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Love and Relationships

This is How You Reconnect After a Relationship Break | Advice That Finally Helps

Is a Break the same as a Breakup? We explain the difference and tell you how to start reconnecting with your special someone.


Kenneth Erickson


Feb 25, 2023

This Is How You Reconnect After A Relationship Break | 7 Tips That Really Work!

  • What is a Break vs a Breakup?
  • Definition of a Break
  • The 7 Steps to Reconnect after a Break
  • How to break the ice and start some conversation
  • Reasons your ex could be open to reconnecting
“We were on a break!”

The classic proclamation from Ross Geller of the tv show Friends, when he was trying to justify hooking up with someone else after he and Rachel broke up.

Or maybe you’re more familiar with the break between Bella and Edward from Twilight?

Either way, the fact is that these situations happen all the time and not just on TV or in the movies. Every couple will have its ups and downs and sometimes the down is a big blow up or revelation that a little time apart is needed to assess the future of the relationship.

Read: 6 Types of Breakups That Get Back Together - The Ultimate Guide

The Difference Between Taking a Break and Breaking Up

Is a Break a “Breakup”?

With Ross and Rachel, they had a big heated argument and went their separate ways. They left it open to each other's interpretation for what happened next. Were they allowed to see other people during this time? Did they both understand that it was temporary and that they would be back together soon, or was this just one of them and the other figured it was over for good?

This sounds more like a Breakup than an agreed upon pause and reflection on the relationship.

Is a temporary relationship “break” just a softer way of one person letting the other go more gently?

In some cases this could be true and it could be your partner’s way of transitioning towards a permanent breakup without causing immediate and intense emotional distress. It’s tough to hurt a person you’ve cared deeply about and this is sometimes the easiest way out.

But not all breaks are a desire to end the relationship! Sometimes two people really do need a little time and perspective about their relationship. A little space can make it clear that you want to be with each other or that you really are better apart. 

The easiest differentiation is whether or not the break or separation was mutually agreed upon and whether or not there was some understanding of how to conduct yourself during this time (are you seeing other people or not?) so that trust can be maintained and the relationship is not irreparably damaged.

I’d call Ross and Rachel’s situation a full Breakup and Bella and Edward a temporary break. Ross moved on and started dating someone else after all! Would they have been able to reconnect if he didn’t start dating someone else, and did they stand a chance of reconnecting now after their “break”?

Definition of a Relationship Break:

Taking a Break: When a couple decides to take a break, they are temporarily suspending their romantic involvement while still considering the possibility of continuing the relationship in the future. During a break, partners create some physical or emotional distance, giving themselves time and space to reflect, reassess, and address personal or relationship issues. The intention is typically to gain clarity, work on personal growth, or evaluate the overall compatibility and happiness in the relationship.

Definition of a Breakup:

Breaking Up or Ending the Relationship: Breaking up or ending a relationship, on the other hand, involves the conscious decision to terminate the romantic partnership permanently. It signifies that both partners have mutually agreed or one person has decided to end the relationship, often due to irreconcilable differences, loss of emotional connection, or other factors that make continuing the relationship untenable.

The 7 Steps To Reconnect After A Relationship Break

How the relationship ended or was paused, plays a role in how you should go about reconnecting and if there’s a chance to be successful.

Reconnecting after a romantic relationship break or even a full breakup requires tact, patience, and respect for the other person's feelings and boundaries.

There’s many times when a couple breaks up, not intending to get back together, but realize there is still a connection and the relationship is worth saving.

I always like to say you need to be able to read the room, when trying to reconnect after a break.

It’s a very fine balance to communicate and demonstrate the desire to reconnect, gauge level of interest from your ex, bring down walls and open doors if necessary, be open to criticism, change, and self-improvement, and be ready to accept when you can’t get what you want and move on if it’s clear your ex either doesn’t want to reconnect or reconnect in the way you want.

Here's how to get started:

1. Gauge Interest and Openness

Be sure that your ex-partner is ready or wants to reconnect. Assess the emotional landscape and ensure it's healthy for both parties. Reconnecting too soon could hurt your chances of making up or reconnecting. Also, before attempting to reconnect, ensure you've taken ample time to reflect on the relationship, the break, and what you truly want moving forward. This understanding will provide clarity, avoid repeating past mistakes, help you with the initial communication to gauge interest, and be more successful with the next step which is one of the most important.

2. Communicate Your Feelings and Intentions

This is probably the most important step. This is when you need to be open, honest, and vulnerable. If you did something wrong then own it, if there’s something you were missing in the relationship and want, ask for it. This is when you put it all out there. Now isn’t the time to hide any wants or feelings, because what you are both ideally looking for is the best relationship possible and finding out if you can have it together. Also, If the relationship ended due to a mistake or an argument, forgiveness is crucial. Holding onto resentment will hinder the chances of a successful reconnection.  If there’s a need to rebuild trust, this is when you need to acknowledge mistakes and be clear about why it will be better or different now.

3. Take it Slow and Respect Boundaries

If your ex-partner agrees to reconnect, take things slowly. Start with friendly chats or casual meetups and gradually progress the relationship as comfort levels increase. You’re rebuilding things, and though there’s already history, you’re essentially starting from scratch. Don’t try to skip steps. If your ex isn’t ready for certain things, either physical or emotional, respect their wishes, just like you would if you just met.

4. Get to Know Each Other Again

Try to make this part fun and enjoy the journey again. People change, and the time apart might have led to personal growth or changes in both of you. Maybe you found some new places to go or things to do that your ex wouldn’t know about? Rekindle that love. This is your chance to create excitement and surprise them with the unexpected!

5. Demonstrate Affection

Simple and thoughtful gestures instead of grand or extravagant gestures, opt for simple and meaningful actions that show you're being thoughtful. For example, sending them a playlist of songs that remind you of them, cooking their favorite meal, or leaving a heartfelt note expressing your appreciation for their presence in your life. This can be especially meaningful if there was a lack of these actions previously in your relationship. It's important to avoid putting pressure on your ex-partner or having expectations of reciprocation. The intention behind the gesture should be to express your care and appreciation, rather than expecting a specific response or outcome. 

6. Maintain a Positive Attitude

Adopt a positive and optimistic outlook on life. Surround yourself with positivity and radiate a sense of happiness and fulfillment. Positivity can be contagious and attractive. Engage in activities and pursue passions that bring you joy and fulfillment. When your ex-partner sees that you are living a fulfilling life, it may pique their curiosity and make them want to be a part of it.

7. Therapy or Counseling Can Help

Finally, sometimes repairing or reconnecting after a break could use the help of a professional. This could be especially helpful for relationships that involve kids, marriage, or some other relationship entanglement that makes the effort of couples therapy or counseling worth it. It can also be helpful to enlist the support of a professional when both parties really want to make it work, but struggle individually with how to get past specific issues or how to verbalize their needs. A professional can provide guidance and tools to navigate the complex emotions involved and help you build a healthier relationship.

What’s the best way to start the conversation?

Fun and lighthearted texts or a more serious conversation to gain your ex-partner's attention depends on the history of your breakup and the nature of your relationship. Here are some things to consider:

  • Context of the Breakup: If your relationship ended on a positive note or it was a mutual decision, starting with a fun text might be okay. However, if the breakup was acrimonious, or if there was a significant event leading to the breakup (like cheating, lying, etc.), then a light-hearted approach might seem insensitive.
  • Nature of Your Relationship: If you both frequently engaged in light-hearted banter and humor during your relationship, starting with a fun text might seem natural. However, if your conversations were usually more serious or straightforward, a sudden switch to humor might seem forced or insincere.
  • Respect Their Feelings: Ensure that any fun text is respectful and doesn't minimize the impact of the breakup or any feelings your ex may still be processing. It's important to show that you understand the gravity of the situation and that you respect their feelings.

While initiating contact with a light-hearted or fun text might seem like a less intimidating way to break the ice, it's essential to consider the factors mentioned above. It could be safer to start with a neutral message acknowledging the time that has passed and expressing a sincere desire to catch up.

Chances are there’s a positive memory, discussion, song, etc… that you both appreciate and could be something you would periodically experience in your day. If it happens for you, it could potentially be happening to your ex partner. Sending a text that speaks to these moments and how it makes you feel could be a way to kick things off. If it makes him or her smile and respond positively, there could be the possibility of a reconnection in the works!

Check out: What is Breadcrumbing? What it Means and How to Respond

Reasons you ex may still want to reconnect with you

There can be various reasons why your ex-partner may want to reconnect with you or give the relationship a second chance. Here are some common motivations:

  • Nostalgia and Fond Memories: Your ex-partner may be reminded of the positive experiences, shared memories, and emotional connection you had together. Nostalgia can evoke a desire to rekindle the relationship and recapture those happy moments.
  • Personal Growth and Change: If they see that you have made significant personal growth and positive changes since the breakup, they may be intrigued by the potential for a healthier and more fulfilling relationship.
  • Unresolved Feelings and Emotional Connection: Your ex-partner might still have strong emotional feelings for you and find it challenging to move on completely. They may see reconnecting as an opportunity to address any lingering emotions and explore the potential for a renewed connection.
  • Missing the Intimacy and Companionship: Loneliness or a void created by the absence of your companionship and emotional intimacy might motivate your ex-partner to consider reconnecting. They might realize that they miss the emotional support and connection you provided.
  • Seeing Positive Changes in Communication or Conflict Resolution: If there were communication or conflict resolution issues in the past, your ex-partner might be willing to reconnect if they perceive positive changes in these areas. Improved communication skills or an evident willingness to address and resolve conflicts can be attractive.
  • Shared Goals and Values: If you and your ex-partner have compatible long-term goals, values, or life aspirations, they may see reconnecting as an opportunity to work towards those shared goals together.
  • Belief in Second Chances: Some individuals genuinely believe in second chances and may be open to reconnecting because they believe in the potential for growth, forgiveness, and building a stronger foundation.
  • Regret and Reflection: Your ex-partner may have gone through a process of reflection and regret after the breakup, realizing that the reasons for the initial separation were not insurmountable or that they made a mistake in ending the relationship.

It's important to note that the decision to give someone a second chance is deeply personal and dependent on individual circumstances. Each person's motivations and readiness for reconciliation will vary. It's crucial to communicate openly and honestly with your ex-partner to understand their perspective and ensure both parties are on the same page.


Ultimately, the best approach is to focus on a genuine connection and shared experiences when trying to reconnect after a break. Remember some of these tips:

Highlight your attractive qualities through your appearance, confidence, and engaging conversations, while also emphasizing emotional compatibility and demonstrating personal growth.

Pay attention to your ex-partner's responses and cues during your interactions. If they respond positively to humor, continue incorporating it. If they show interest in reconnecting on a deeper level, focus on emotional connection and understanding, and if they want to get into difficult or serious issues from the past relationship. Do not get defensive. Listen, hear, and understand, and communicate respectfully with a focus on change, improvement, and the future, because there is an aspect of security at stake here and no one wants to waste time or reopen old wounds if there’s not a secure future to be had.

Remember, reconnection is about building a solid foundation based on mutual respect, compatibility, and emotional connection. Focus on creating meaningful experiences, open communication, and addressing any unresolved issues.

These strategies should be approached with sincerity, respect, and consideration for your ex-partner's feelings and boundaries. Focus on personal growth, positivity, and creating a fulfilling life for yourself. Ultimately, rekindling a relationship requires mutual interest, effort, and compatibility.

Related Articles:

Denied | 8 Reasons Your Partner Won't Connect on Social Media

17 Types of Guys You'll Meet on Tinder (2023)

Swiping On an Ex | 6 Things To Ask Before You Swipe Right

Self Care After a Breakup -  Top 15 Tips For a Breakup Recovery

Disclosure: This article was not written by a medical professional, unless specifically stated otherwise. Advice or support content is not intended to be either professional medical or mental health advice or recommendations. All support and advice is from direct and/or anecdotal contributor/author experiences and topic research. If you are experiencing a physical or mental health emergency or mental or physical abuse, please seek professional support. Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to us, at no cost to you when you decide to purchase a reviewed product.


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