So you’ve been through a breakup. Now your girlfriend is the ex-girlfriend, and you need to make her your girlfriend again. Well, there’s hope. Take a deep breath and realize that this has all happened millions of times before. Then follow these steps to start the entire process of healing, before you say “I didn’t say that” she’ll be yours again.

Apologize. Apologize for all those awful stuff you said/did throughout the split up process. Did you get in a fight throughout the break up? Apologize. Did you insult her mom and her dog? Apologize for that as well. Did you not take your ex on a date on Saturday three weeks ago and she missed her friend’s party? Say sorry. You are going to have to swallow your pride and just say sorry for whatever you can think of. Preferably not sarcastically.

Disappear. Once you're done apologizing for the things that you did or did not do, you will need to lay low for awhile. This means no calling, texting, e-mailing, and preferably no contact. This step is crucial. You can always love her and perhaps you even believe she still loves you, but you also need to demonstrate to her that you're capable of not being an obsessed person, and respecting the earlier decision. Despite any delusional thoughts you may have, getting in touch with you ex during this period won't help your cause to get together again with her. In 4 of every 5 cases, not disappearing in the period after breakup is going to be detrimental for your relationship. This might be difficult, and it may take several weeks, but have confidence that eventually it will be your ex-girlfriend who is contacting you. Otherwise, at least you've given yorself a decent distance between yourself and the event. Post-apology contact within the first couple of weeks after breakup will probably be considered “desperate.”

Set the stage. After 3 weeks or so, it will likely be acceptable for you to make an effort to make contact again. You ought to be calm, nice, and non-confrontational. You’ll do better to make conversation short and sweet, simply to set the stage for a true reconciliation in the future.

The things you need to do in the immediate aftermath of a breakup will set the stage for the second period of wooing. While it might be tempting to make a sudden drastic romantic move following breakup, such gestures are more likely to backfire than they are to alter your ex-girlfriend’s mind. By setting the stage in the early breakup period, you might be able to salvage the relationship. Following these unspoken social suggestions should establish yourself like a “good guy,’’ and therefore are the first smart things you can do in your secretly maniacal quest to get back your ex-girlfriend permanently. Just don’t forget to apologize.

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