If you want your ex back, you may have heard that you need to “fight for them.”

While love may be a battlefield, do you really need to fight for your ex or is there a better approach to getting them back?

I’m going to give you 4 signs that you SHOULD fight for your ex, and then we’ll talk about HOW to go about it and, specifically, what behaviors you should avoid if you want to successfully win back your ex. 

Signs You Should Fight For Your Ex

Now let’s get into some signs that you SHOULD fight for your ex. These are basically signs that all hope is not lost. If your ex shows one–or, ideally, ALL–of these signs then you can rest assured that your ex may be open to reconnecting and that your relationship will be salvageable.

1. You two have a REAL connection

I hate to say this because I know it’s going to make a lot of you feel bad. But there are so many people who come to me for help and describe the relationship they’re trying to save, and I immediately know that they have ZERO hope of winning their ex back, no matter what they might try.

And that is because they have no real connection. These people think they’re trying to get their exes back but their exes don’t even really consider what they had to have been a relationship. So maybe they only went out on three dates. Or maybe they were “official” for two weeks.

Now, if you only saw someone in person a couple of times, I don’t care how magical those two times were…you two were never truly connected. And that’s if you have met at all! I’ve had people come to me who have never even met their ex. And yes, some of these people were just being scammed, it turns out…very sad situation.

I’m here to teach you how to reconnect and you can’t reconnect if you’ve never connected in the first place.

Then there are other people who come to me after cheating on their ex, having a nasty and toxic breakup, or even divorce. Many of these people have broken up multiple times and are now not on speaking terms with their ex. Their relationship was riddled with multiple issues that are still unresolved.

And these people STILL have more hope of getting their ex back than the people in the first category. This is because they had an actual relationship. And in fact, relationship issues and trauma–even when it’s very negative and hurtful–can have a bonding effect between two people.

Don’t get it twisted, if you treated your ex like crap then it won’t help your chances, but a little static in a relationship can actually bring two people closer together and help your chances when you do try to reconnect with them.

2. You haven’t already tried to win them back

If you have already tried to win your ex back and they’ve, in no uncertain terms, told you to get lost, then this is going to make it MUCH more difficult for you to reconnect with them. Obviously a straight up rejection is a sign that they’re not interested, but it’s more than that. The FACT that they’ve already rejected you has essentially closed that door in their mind.

Now I won’t say that it’s impossible for you to win someone back after something like this, but it does greatly hurt your chances. This is one of the reasons why you have to be smart and deliberate during this process. Don’t just do what feels right in the moment. 

But again, all hope is not lost. You just need to give your ex some space and begin working on yourself. This is the situation where you NEED to make big improvements that your ex will notice if you want to win them back for real. So don’t just sit on the couch waiting for them to call. Use this time to your advantage and try to achieve real results.

THIS is one of the ways you fight for your ex. You improve yourself and your circumstances so you can be a better partner to them.

If you avoided the pitfall of trying to win them back, congratulations. You’ve set yourself up for success moving forward. Now you can do it right the first time.

3. Your ex is conflicted about the breakup

I know how much it can hurt when your ex is hot one minute and cold the next. It can be really confusing and aggravating. But it can actually help you in the long run. Obviously it would be better if your ex was 100% into you and wanted you back, but if that were the case, you wouldn’t be here, would you? 

So the only other options are either your ex is ice cold, or they’re both hot AND cold. And hot and cold can be good for you because it means that they’re not completely confident in what they want. They don’t know for sure that they want you, but they’re also not set on moving on. Their feelings are complicated.

And since they’re unsure, it’s up to you to offer them that certainty. So don’t be pushy but be confident and in control. Show them that you offer stability and consistency. And don’t be hot and cold in return.

This means don’t bring up old drama and try to hash it out and don’t treat them badly just because you’re feeling insecure. Instead, remind them of the good times that you had together and keep things light and fun. You’re going to come across much better this way.

4. You have a future together

Now I know that right now you love this person and you want them in your life…but what about next week? ….next month? ….next year? Can you picture your life in five years with them by your side?

It’s a hard question to answer but it all comes down to what you both want. Are they looking to move to another country to open an orphanage while you’re hoping to stay in your hometown and work at the bowling alley? This is an extreme example but you need to look at your own goals, priorities and plans and then those of your ex. Do the two match up or are they wildly disconnected?

Be honest with yourself about this because it’s not about to magically change through the power of love. And since you’re thinking about this stuff, so is your ex. If they know that you never want kids and are infertile while they’re hoping to have 3 biological children in the next five years….the chances of them agreeing to start things up again are pretty slim. And even if you somehow managed to make it happen, what would be the point? 

If you’re still not sure, look at the reasons you broke up. Are these things related to long term compatibility or just temporary issues? Take a real inventory and think about it for awhile.

How To Fight For Your Ex

Now that you know that you want to fight for your ex, let’s talk about what that means. It’s not going to be as dramatic as it may sound.

Just know that I’m not going to tell you to give up and let your ex get away. I believe in second chances and taking steps to get there. But it’s more about HOW you make this happen. 

So the question becomes, what do people mean when they say you should “fight for your ex”? I don’t want to get too in the weeds here but this is a really important distinction.

Because there’s a kind of toxic idea out there of “fighting” for someone’s love. It’s that Hollywood idea of showing up to your ex’s house in tears and telling them how much you love them and working everything out.

Basically confronting them–or even their new partner–and telling them that you need them in your life and you can’t live without them. It’s not taking no for an answer and being impulsive and thinking with your heart only.

If this is what you mean by “fighting for your ex” then you absolutely should NOT fight for your ex, except *maybe* in one very specific situation.

The only real situation where you should “fight for your ex” in this way is if they truly have NO idea how you feel.

This is in a situation where your relationship was quite immature and unclear and maybe they ended things because they didn’t think that you cared about them.

This is applicable if you never really defined the relationship, weren’t faithful or didn’t treat them right. In this case–and this case alone–you need to let them know how you feel and that you want to be with them.

You don’t need to make some grand romantic gesture…just have a single conversation. And I mean single. Once you’ve made your ex aware of how you feel, you need to leave them alone for a bit.

Don’t keep showing up and declaring your love and asking for a second chance. This will cross the line from romantic to annoying to scary before you notice and it’s very difficult to come back from that.

So once they know that you do care about them and want them, you must leave it there.

But that doesn’t mean that you should give up and accept that you have no chance with your ex. You can–and should–make an effort to get your ex back if that’s what you want and if you think you could have a happy future together. 

So let’s talk about how to fight for your ex in a way that will WORK. It’s going to be counterintuitive and it’s not as exciting as showing up with a romantic monologue or camping on their front lawn but it’s the most effective way to win them back.

You have to ask yourself if you really want your ex back or if you just want some drama and excitement in your life. 

I hope you find that you do want another chance with this person specifically. And you can begin really romancing them once you’re back together for good.

In my opinion, if you want your ex back, you need to start by making a plan. Right now you’re feeling a lot of love for your ex, and while that’s great, if you start acting without making a plan, it can easily cause you to make mistakes that will hurt your chances and, ultimately, scare your ex away. 

So your first move needs to be to make a clean break from your ex. I know that you want to get closer to them, not further away, but you need to take this step to allow you and your ex a little breathing room. This is going to HELP your chances with your ex in the long run even though it will mean you two won’t speak for a little while.

This works for a few reasons. Giving your ex space is powerful because it allows them to process the breakup and return to what I call a “centered” state. This is the version of your ex that you fell in love with. It’s them at their most “them”. Right now they’re agitated, they’re irritable and they’re extremely crushed by the weight of this breakup. Even if they initiated it, they’re still very sad.

This is not the version of your ex that you want to deal with. Not only are they going to be acting irrationally–and typically from a place of negativity towards you—they’re under such extreme stress that they’re practically a different person–a person YOU don’t know. You can’t communicate with them effectively right now so you’re not going to be able to reconnect with them and rebuild that bond.

So give them space to mourn the loss of the relationship and get a little stability in their life. At the same time, you need to also go through this grieving process.

But you have a different goal here. As I talked about earlier, you need to begin the process of rebuilding your life. And not only rebuilding, but surpassing your former life and your former self. It’s a lot to ask of yourself right now but it IS possible and it WILL be worth it if you can make it happen.

Start simple. Take a look at your life. What’s something that’s standing in the way of your happiness? Maybe you’re not as healthy as you want to be. Maybe you lack confidence. Maybe your living situation is causing you stress.

Now think of a way to shift this block just a little. You don’t have to run an ultra marathon tomorrow but maybe go for a walk every morning. This is solid, tangible progress that will have results in your quest to win back your ex. How? Well it’s going to improve your mental health which will improve confidence which will help you in every area of your life, not just with your ex.

It will also take your mind off the breakup. If you reach out to your ex after this period of No Contact, they’re going to be able to tell if you’ve been sitting on your butt, thinking about the breakup for the last month. 

And finally, it’s going to show your ex that you’re not the person that they broke up with. Because they don’t like that version of you as much as they should, or you’d still be together.

Now it may take more than going for a little walk in the morning but start small and build from there. Improving your life tends to have a snowball effect and you’ll be shocked at where it takes you in even a short period of time.

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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