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How Can I Get My Boyfriend Back?


Dear Athena,

I'm completely heartbroken. I was with this guy forever and I need him back. He was the first guy I dated after coming out of the closet. I can't think of anything else but having him back. But I don't know what to do. We broke up a few weeks ago, and I'm so sad and lonely. Can you help me think of a romantic thing I could do to win him back? The breakup was sort of mutual, but now I totally regret it.


Desperately Dreaming of My Ex

Dear Desperately Dreaming,

I'll admit it: I'm into romantic gestures. I've been known to watch Sleepless in Seattle more than once a week. I keep every card and note my partner gives me. I love it when two people come together in the end, preferably in the rain or in Paris or while Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" is playing.

But before you surprise your ex with plane tickets to Miami or hire a violinist to play outside his window, you need to reflect on why you two called it splits.

You say he was the first guy you dated after coming out. He was your partner at a crucial time in your life, and that's really special. He will always be your first. But just because he played a big role in your past doesn't mean he automatically fits into your future — or you in his. You note the breakup was mutual. Did you have a spat, something that can be easily resolved? Or did the two of you simply outgrow each other?

Give this some serious thought before attempting to win him back. It's normal to feel sad and lonely when a relationship ends. But you need to sort out if your heartache is bigger than the usual breakup blues.

If it is, tap into his swoon-fest fantasies when planning your romantic gesture. Send him flowers every day with invitations to call you, perhaps, or invite him to an intimate dinner. How did you win his love the first time? Is there something you can do to re-create that?

On the other hand, you could simply ask him to come back. Have you tried that? Sometimes the most romantic move is an honest plea — an apology and an offer of your love and commitment.

If he turns you down, or if you realize you need to move on, remember that time heals heartbreak. Ice cream might help. Better yet, get out of the house and meet some new people. Cherish your history with this guy, but shift into anticipating your next romantic adventure.