If you want your ex back, you want to take action. But many people, me included, will tell you to take it slow, be careful and wait for the right moment. But how long are you supposed to wait for your ex to come back? How long is too long and what should you be doing in the meantime?

Today I’ll answer all these questions and more.

Before we get into this, I want to say: you can’t rush this process.

If you try to take shortcuts, you’re only hurting your chances with your ex in the long run. If you’re struggling to get through a period of No Contact, think of how much worse it will be to spend the rest of your life without this person.

You need to delay your gratification here. Trust me, the wait will be worth it. 

No Contact In A Nutshell

So let’s talk about the timeline. Your period of No Contact should last about a month but that doesn’t mean your ex will always come running back to you on day 31. Chances are it’s going to take a little longer than that. 

After 30 days of No Contact you can begin the re-attraction process. This starts with a few harmless text messages and, eventually, it escalates to in person meetings and, after awhile, you two are officially back together. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. 

Now, I know you wish your ex would come begging for you to take them back, and while that does happen often, sometimes you do have to make the first move.

But that said, if it’s only been two weeks since the breakup and you’re afraid that you may have missed your chance for good, don’t worry.

It typically takes a couple of weeks for your ex to even begin processing the breakup. They’re not going to just forget you overnight. 

Another factor is the length of the relationship. The longer you two were together, the longer you’ll be apart.

So if you two were in a serious relationship for two years, don’t fret if it’s been a month, or even two since you broke up.

This doesn’t mean that there’s no hope. Just that the more significant the relationship, the longer it will take to process the breakup. 

There’s no rush here. The worst move you can make is to get back together for the wrong reasons.

This is very common for people who get back together very quickly after a breakup, in order to avoid feeling sad and heartbroken. You want this relationship to be real, not just a rebound. 

How Long To Wait In Different Scenarios

So let’s get into some specific scenarios here. Chances are you’ll fall into one of these categories.

Scenario #1: You dated for six months. You were blindsided by your breakup but you get the sense that your ex wasn’t entirely confident in their decision to end things. You sought my advice soon after the breakup and immediately went into No Contact. 

This is one of the best situations you can be in. Since your ex didn’t end things because you made some huge mistake like cheating on them or snooping through their phone, there’s not any bad blood here. So you can expect that you should be able to get back together with them after two or three weeks of re-attraction, but, in some situations, it could take more than a month.

I’m sure that might feel like an eternity to you now but, trust me, you’re in good shape. The worst thing you could do right now is put pressure on your ex just to make yourself feel better.

And that’s the real secret here. Often our brain plays tricks on us, especially in a vulnerable state like this. We’ll push too hard and too fast to get close to our ex, not because they’re slipping away, but because we’re anxious about the situation. We’ll win the battle and end up losing the war.

That’s why managing your own mental state is so important here. If you can do that, you’ll set yourself up for success when the time comes.

Scenario #2: You dated for two years. You cheated and they dumped you, vowing never to talk to you again. 

This is going to take some time, but believe me when I say it’s not as bad as it may seem. In fact, the angrier your ex is, and continues to be, the better your chances are. This is counterintuitive until you think about it. If your ex was truly over you, they wouldn’t still be reaching out to you to tell you how mad they are, right?

Obviously cheating is a huge deal and I don’t want to minimize that, but it’s much more common for someone to get back together with an ex who cheated, than an ex who they’re no longer attracted to. 

But it’s going to take more than No Contact for you to win them back. It will require many apologies and concrete changes if you want to get another chance with them. And even then, it will take time for them to come around.

Show them that you’ve changed in any way that you can. Obviously keep as much distance as possible from the person you cheated with.

Give your ex room to breathe and process what happened. And above all else, don’t try to justify what you did or minimize their feelings about it. It’s a long road back but I do believe that you have a fair chance of winning them back. 

Scenario #3: You dated for a couple of weeks and things didn’t work out. Now, you’ve been out of touch for a year and you’re wondering how much longer it’s going to take for them to come back to you.

I’m sure most of you already know what I’m going to say here but there are plenty of people who come to me with this exact scenario so I wanted to touch on it. 

Here’s my advice: in this situation you need to seriously begin the process of moving on. If you’re determined to give it another shot then stop waiting. Reach out to them directly to see if they’re still interested in you.

But don’t get your hopes up. A couple of weeks isn’t enough time to build a significant connection. There’s a good chance that this relationship is mostly in your head at this point but it’s always worth putting yourself out there just in case. If nothing else, this will let you know, once and for all, that you two are not going to happen so that you can begin seeking out people who actually do want to be with you. 

In fact, in pretty much any scenario, if you’ve been apart for a year or more, then you need to stop waiting and take action. 

Scenario #4: You dated off and on for a long time. This breakup was just the latest of many and you’re not sure where you stand.

Since you two have had multiple breakups in the past, this means that they’ve been willing to take you back before. But everyone has their breaking point.

This one can be difficult to sort out but I will offer you one word of advice: figure out WHY you two keep breaking up if you want to prevent it from happening in the future.

While it may seem like it’s happening for different reasons each time, chances are there’s one major underlying factor that’s created this pattern.

Scenario #5: You broke up 2-3 months ago. You didn’t hear about the No Contact method and instead opted to be friends with your ex.

This is not a great situation to be perfectly honest. Being friends with an ex can transform the relationship you two had into something entirely different.

You may think it’s better than nothing but you’d be wrong. By being friends with your ex you’ve taken yourself off the table as a romantic partner.

Now, it’s going to be pretty difficult to put that genie back in the bottle.

For example, when trying to win back an ex, in-person meetings are essential to recreating that chemistry you once had when you were dating.

If you’ve stayed friends with your ex then seeing them in person won’t have the same power as it would have if you had successfully completed a period of No Contact.

So in this situation it’s not just a matter of waiting things out and hoping your ex will suddenly come to their senses and beg you to take them back.

You need to completely change your approach. Sit down with them and make it clear that you want to be more than just friends.

No Contact is also off the table as you can’t go from close friends to radio silence without making them seriously confused and upset.

This is a risky move and one that could have been avoided, but it’s definitely not hopeless. In fact, sometimes this is all it takes for your ex to really consider giving you another shot.

Scenario #6: Your ex is now married to someone else, they got a restraining order against you, or they’ve passed away

In this situation, you need to accept that your ex is never coming back and it’s time for you to move on. I know this can be hard to face but, if you look at it another way, it can be freeing.

It’s tempting to cling onto people from our past, even if they aren’t right for us, because we wish things could have been different.

Unfortunately, the only option we have is to move forward. 

Dave Barker

Breakup Coach

About the Author

Dave Barker is a breakup and 'ex back' coach with over a decade of experience helping clients repair and improve romantic relationships.

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