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You took the time to do some soul-searching, took time apart, and dated other people. However after all this you have come to a terrible realization: you miss you ex.

It’s a horrible feeling to not have the love you once had. You realize now that you made a huge mistake in letting them go, and now you want them back.

It’s never too late to see if there is something still left between you two, but it must be done right. Taking any sudden, rash or emotional moves might sabotage all chances you had to revive the lost connection. Here is a step by step guide on the actions you can take to win them over again.

Keep the First Interaction Light

First things first, you have to get back in contact with your ex. As an initial contact, it’s advised to not call. Instead send an email or thought-out text message. While you have had time to think about your old romance, they might have not and will be anxious if put on the spot through a phone call. In addition, this is a good way to test the waters and make sure they haven’t moved on to someone new. Think about something that you shared together that would warm their heart. For example, send a song that you think they would like with some text saying “I thought of you when I heard this and I hope you are doing well!” If they respond with something positive, it could be a sign they are ready to start a dialogue.

Take it Slow

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but that doesn’t mean you can go from zero to sixty without a little work first. There are probably a lot of hurt feelings between you two still that need to be addressed. Immediately calling your ex to confess your undying love will only scare them away. First, suggest a casual date to a coffee. This will give them a chance to see you in a low-pressure environment, and they can better gauge your genuine desires. If you are pushy about getting back together they will see it as a red flag. From there, you can continue to try and see them and chat on a regular basis. Work toward building up a friendship again first, especially if things ended badly.

Be Honest and Admit Past Faults

At some point, the past relationship will need to be discussed. It’s important to remember that honesty is the best policy here. Be apologetic if you feel there were issues that were your fault. Don’t be afraid to own up for your mistakes, and acknowledge your shortcomings. No matter what your ex did in the relationship, it is important that you take responsibility for your actions and work on changing them. This is a huge step forward in gaining trust again. Make sure to not just talk the talk, but also show through your actions how you have changed.

Tap into Your Romantic Side

Once things have started to progress on a friendship level, things can be taken a little further. It’s important to show your ex that you are interested in rekindling things past acquaintances. While chivalrous acts aren’t’ the most important thing in a relationship, they are important to many. Some time-honored clichés can include chocolates, flowers and cards. Write something sweet to show your ex that you are putting in the effort need to properly court them again. Consider asking your ex on a date to dinner and a movie, or a picnic at the park. These small gestures will show that you care.

Once it’s out in the open that you are interested in getting back together with your ex, wait for their response but be willing to accept the possibility of them saying no. Sometimes, it isn’t in the best interest for everyone to try a past relationship again.

Do not put extra pressure on them, be demanding or pester them on their choice. This will only ensure that there is less chance further in the future.

If they do want to move forward you can rejoice in the fact that you gained back your lost connection. Remember that there is still considerable work to do in order to keep the relationship going. It’s vital to show them that this time is going to be different and should be considered a completely new relationship. Keep up your promises and show them that you have really changed and the relationship can begin to grow and flourish.