If He REALLY Wants You Back, He’ll Do This.

If he really wants you back, his actions will back up his words.

Love & Relationships

I'm not on social media, so some things I miss when they are trending. Take the #HurtBae hashtag that went viral a couple of years ago. I just saw all of the videos recently. Whew. If you're not familiar with the backstory, there's a platform called Iris that featured a former couple—Kourtney and Leonard. The first six-minute-and-some-change video consisted of them discussing/processing the ending of their relationship (according to Leonard, he slept with so many other women while they were together that he lost count). The second five-minute-and-some-change video was about Kourtney talking about the first video going viral and how it literally changed her life overnight. The final a-little-over-seven-minutes video brought Kourtney and Leonard back together, a year later, to see where things stood (Leonard, Leonard, Leonard).

The reason why I'm intro'ing this particular topic by recommending that you check—or re-check—those videos out is for a few reasons. One reason is because it is one of the best examples of the kind of man you should never take back into your life—as a boyfriend or a friend (Leonard's pride was ridiculous; he was mad flippant and disrespectful too). Another reason is, if you're currently going through a break-up with someone, the year later follow-up is a hopeful reminder that time heals all wounds and 12 months can totally change your life for the better (hang in there). And finally, the video series is the opposite of what this article is about. Kourtney revisited why it was good to never reconcile with Leonard; this is about how to know if an ex truly wants you back.

Reconciling with an ex isn't always or automatically a bad—or stupid or pointless—thing. No two people are perfect. Sometimes break-ups happen so that both individuals can mature, evolve and come back together at a better, healthier and more purposeful time. But if that is indeed the case, there are certain things that should transpire first. So, before entertaining letting an ex back into your heart and life again, make sure that he does these following five things (at least).

He’ll Acknowledge His Faults—WITHOUT DEFLECTING


There's someone who really hurt my feelings this time last year. Last month, we met up. Kind of like Kourtney and Leonard, only without the cameras. Anyway, although he let me share how what he did affected me, not once did he apologize. It was more like, he listened and explained why he does what he does without really owning up to how supremely jacked up he can be when it comes to matters of the heart. In fact, there was a time in the convo when he said, "No one else in my life wants to have these kinds of conversations." (No one holds you accountable?) Oh, here was another gem—"Honestly, I'm here more for you than for me." Ohhh…you hurt me but rather than acknowledge what you did wrong, you want me to be thankful that you're even out here at all. #thisguy

You know, not too long ago, a friend of mine told me that their spouse never apologizes for anything and that is something that I might have to accept in order to salvage things with ole' boy. NOPE. An apology is an act of acknowledgement and humility. Someone who isn't willing to do that is someone who is setting you up to go through the same drama and trauma all over again. I'll pass.

So yeah, sis, if "he" really wants you back and he knows there are things that he did wrong (or that simply hurt you because that's not always the same thing as "doing wrong") in the first place, he's gonna bring up where he went wrong, apologize and share, without any prompting on your part, how he's going to do better in those areas. Because his love for you will be bigger than his pride (cue in Sade's "Love Is Stronger than Pride" right here).

He’ll Want to Know Your Needs. And Wants.


Clearly, if the both of you were getting your needs met (not just you, him too), things probably wouldn't have ended in the first place. But sometimes, when you're in the throes of a relationship, you're so busy trying to make it work that you're not always stopping to process if you both are bringing to the table what's required for the relationship to thrive in the first place. Sometimes a break-up lets you see if the love you had for each other really is enough to try and give things another shot.

If your ex comes to the conclusion that it is, he's already gonna know that it's an honor for him to even get a second chance. He's also going to be painfully aware of the fact that if things go south this time, there probably won't be another opportunity. For both of these reasons, he will be proactive about getting to know what you need in order to be fulfilled and happy this go around. He won't assume he knows. He won't be shocked if the time apart has revealed to you that some of your needs have changed. He'll need you, so what you need from him (within reason; check out "Are You in Love or Are You in Need?" to get what I mean by that) will be a top priority. Some of your wants—also within reason—will be as well.

He’ll Be a Better Version of the Man Who Left


There are three online dating series that I currently enjoy. One is called Can 2 Strangers Fall in Love with 36 Questions? It's a reminder to be intentional with truly getting to know someone on your first few dates with them (Russell and Kera and Azariah and Nikki are two of my favorite couples so far). Another is Eating with My Ex. In a particular episode, exes Jas and Ash ask each other (among others) four super-relevant questions: Why can't we let go? Are you always trying to win me back? Where do we go from here? Delete each other's number or get back together? (If you are considering getting back with an ex, I recommend asking these too!) Then there is the Snapchat series Second Chances.

In an episode featuring exes Rovelt and Richelle, they broke up due to flirting and poor communication issues. As they were hashing things out and trying to figure out if they could make things work, Rovelt pulled a surprise on everyone. He not only admitted the areas where he could—and should—improve but he offered Richelle a promise ring as well. He even got on one knee.

I appreciated his effort because, to me, it was a reminder that if/when an ex wants you back, he's not just going to want to be with you again; he's going to present a better version of who he was before. You'll see growth in his character, his efforts and even his perspective. You won't have to prompt any of this to happen either. He'll do it all on his own. Because he wants to. Because he wants you.

He’ll Want the Relationship to Be More than It Was Before


This one right here, while it might seem like the same point that I just made, it actually isn't. I'd venture to say that a top reason for why a lot of relationships end is because it's reached the "piss or get off the pot" portion of the program; you know, the place when one person wants to move forward while the other either wants things to remain exactly the same (see "Love Is Patient. But Is Your Relationship Just Wasting Your Time?" and "Here's How You Know He Won't Commit to You. Like, EVER."). If this is why you and your ex are no longer a couple, I don't care how much you love him, how strong the connection is or whatever other "tempting" reason you have for entertaining going another round, if he still doesn't want what you ultimately desire, what's the point in choosing to frustrate yourself all over again?

I remember Dr. Phil once saying that when he was dating his wife, Robin, there came a point when she was like, "Listen, if you're not gonna marry me, I need to get on with my life." She did just that and moved to another city. Not too long after, he went and got her back; not to be his girlfriend but to become his wife.

Some people might find what Robin did to be an ultimatum. I'm actually not big on applying those to relationships, so I don't. She didn't say, "Marry me or else". No, what she said was, "I know the kind of relationship that I desire and I'm gonna free my heart and life up in order to get it." BIG DIFFERENCE.

There really is no point in reconciling with an ex for more of what you got, that you didn't want, before. This is probably why a lot of men can break up with a woman they love and completely leave her alone; they know this. So yeah, if your ex is truly trying to get back with you and the main reason you broke up in the first place was because the relationship wasn't bad, it was simply stagnant, he's gonna come with a plan, a purpose and a future. You can take that to the bank!

He’ll Be Thorough and Consistent


Two things that are totally underestimated when it comes to both men and women is getting with someone who is thorough and consistent. To be thorough is to be extremely attentive. To be consistent is to be constant, dependable and reliable.

A lot of men like the chase, so don't be too moved by what your ex initially does in order to capture your attention. Take things slow (intimacy included) so that you can see if he's going to call when he says he will, if he's really listening to what you communicate to him, if he's avoiding the past faux pas that were made, if he's striving to make you feel safe and secure—if he's showing that getting involved with him again isn't going to be a rerun but something very fresh and new.

If this is the kind of man who shows up, while it's wise to proceed with a bit of caution, please don't close yourself off to the thought of opening up again. Especially if deep love is there, it's OK that you want to give that man a chance. Even if he is…an ex.

Featured image by Getty Images

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Staples.

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