Have you ever seen Groundhog Day? Of course, you have – it’s a classic. But, just in case it’s escaping you, or if you’ve been living under a rock for the last 20 years, I’ll fill you in. Bill Murray (Phil) is a weatherman reporting on Groundhog Day. However, he quickly realizes that he’s stuck in a loop, wherein he wakes up each morning reliving the same day. Now, Phil is trying to impress a colleague, Rita every day, largely through manipulation. He finds out what she likes and uses it to his advantage. But, because he isn’t genuine in his efforts, most days she sees through him and he fall flat.

It’s not until Phil stops taking advantage of his situation and manipulating his way through life, that he truly begins to be happy. He learns to play the piano, becomes a master ice sculptor, becomes fluent in French, and most importantly, he shifts from being selfish to selfless. That is when Rita begins to see him for the man he truly is and falls madly in love.

He gave up on his manipulation and trying to impress for selfish gains, and instead created himself into the man that Rita couldn’t help but fall in love with.

That is what I want for you. Even though I’m going to give you tips and tricks for short term impressing, the reality is, your ex won’t be truly impressed until she sees a shift in you; a long-term change. Keep reading to find out how you can do this.

Before we get there, though, let me ask you: what impresses a woman? A nice car? Money? A rock-hard body? Well, sure – those things may initially impress a woman but if there’s no staying power then those things are meaningless. What I mean is, if you’re a douche with a sucky personality then these short-term things that initially impressed her will wear off very quickly if you can’t make her laugh or you’re just an asshole.

Let’s get a little more specific: what impresses your ex? And I don’t mean what you did to impress her – because you’ve already done that initially, that won’t work a second time around. You need to think of something new. Did she seem to get a little turned on watching the base guitarist at concerts? Did she always complain that you never took her dancing? Was she always the one to cook for you? Think hard about these things. Think about the qualities that she wished you had, or what you think you were lacking. Make sure these qualities or skills are new to your ex; a side of you that she has never seen before. Now, ask yourself if experiencing and learning to acquire these skills will add to your happiness. If the answer is yes, then that will not only impress her, it will make you happy. Win win. That is how you impress her without looking like you’re trying!

Now, how do you pull this off?

  1. The No Contact Rule

I can’t stress enough how important this rule is. She needs space. You need space. It’s called breaking up for a reason, and the last thing she needs is to feel smothered. In fact, she’s probably expecting you to contact her. When you don’t, she’ll wonder why. She’ll start wondering what you’re doing, who you’re with; it’ll drive her crazy!

Determine the length of time you want ‘no contact.’ It needs to be long enough for her to miss you, but not so long that she moves on. This could be anywhere from 3-6 weeks. This no contact includes phone calls, text messages, social media, and in-person meetings. You are not to initiate contact or respond to her at all. This will give both of you space to heal and work out your feelings.

This is the perfect time to work on yourself. Instead of sitting around wondering those same things about her, do something productive. Go to the gym, travel, learn a new skill – do something for self-improvement. That in and of itself will impress your ex!

But, how will she know what you’ve done? Well, social media is a sure-fire way that she sees what you’re doing – but be careful about what and how much you post. If you over-post, then it will look obvious that you’re trying to impress her. But if for example, a buddy tags you in a picture of you playing the guitar; now that’s getting her attention in a good way, a subtle way. The key is not appearing like you’re trying to impress, so no daily selfies of you “so happy single” all over Facebook – that just looks pathetic and like you’re trying too hard. Which brings us to the next rule.

  1. Stop Engaging with Her on Social Media

Even though you’re already following the no contact rule, that doesn’t give you freedom to creep her on social media. Seeing pictures of her, seeing her updates, and worst case scenario, seeing her with someone else will only make things more difficult for you and make you want to contact her even more. If you can’t help yourself, you’re going to have to cut the cord and either unfriend, block or just remove her from your newsfeed – do whatever you need to do to improve you. If you travel down this wormhole, it will only lead to self-destruction. And for God’s sake, whatever you do, do not post how sad or depressed you are about the breakup!

  1. Take care of yourself

You want to be the best version of yourself you can be. This will make you more attractive to your ex when and if you decide to contact her again (because let’s face it – you might just find that she’s not what ultimately makes you happy after you work so hard to re-create yourself). Eat healthily and exercise. Spend time with friends and family who love you. Do things that help you to feel good and gain clarity, like volunteer, journal, read, meditate…learn to enjoy your company.

  1. Apologize

Next, after your predetermined amount of no contact, the first thing you should do is apologize. I’m not talking about groveling here – I’m talking about being the bigger person, acknowledging your mistakes and apologizing for how those mistakes made her feel. Have no agenda here. And, make sure she doesn’t sense an agenda. You’re not asking for her back, you’re not ‘crawling back,’ and you’re not begging. You’re simply reaching out to see how she is, let her know that you’ve thought about things, that you’re sorry for the way things turned out, for hurting her, and that you want nothing but the greatest happiness for her. This last part is key. You must show her that you’re reaching out to her without an ulterior motive, but that you truly just wish the best for her and to gain closure. That’s it. This can be done in person or on the phone. It is better not to have long or emotional conversations through text messaging.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, will impress your ex more than that. That right there shows real maturity and growth. That’s the long-term change I talked about at the beginning of this article. That is how you impress without looking like you’re trying to impress.

  1. Plan to Meet

For this final step, how you go about it will depend on what your motives are. If you want her back, you might just say something casual that you’ll be downtown tomorrow if she wants to grab a coffee on her lunch break – or something like that. However, if you’re still unsure about what you might want, just leave it at the apology. I can almost guarantee that she’ll be the one contacting you for a coffee before you know it.

So, if this meeting does happen, the ‘new you’ and the qualities and skills that you gained through your personal transformation/self-improvement will just seep out during your meeting, and she will begin to see how you have taken steps to become a better man. The key here is not to list off what you’ve done, or gloat, brag or boast. Just be yourself; your new self and the rest will fall into place.