Your evenings are lonely; your memories of her burn bright. You have to admit you are still head-over-heels for a girlfriend who just dumped you. Or maybe it was you who did the dumping, and now realize how stupid that was. Either way, if you play it smart, there's still a chance you can win her back. Here are a few ideas that might help make that happen.

1. Examine the reason the relationship ended

Look carefully at the part you played in causing the split. If she loved you then, there's a chance she still loves you now. If she was hurt by something you did, you need to recognize what it was you did that hurt her. Maybe she hurt you and you left. Either way, there's still hope if you examine your and her reasons for calling it quits. Only then can you make up for the damage done.

2. Be willing to take the blame

Apologize for what you may have done that hurt her. A simple, "I'm sorry" won't cut it. It has to be deep and real for her to know you really mean it. There are a variety of ways you can do this. Be a little creative. One idea: send her a dozen long-stem roses, each with a note attached to the stem that says something like, "I miss you. Please forgive me." "You are the best thing that ever happened to me. Please forgive me." "I'm so lonely without you. Please forgive me." "Give me another chance. Please forgive me." "I know I don't deserve it, but please forgive me." "I still love you with all my heart. Please forgive me." If she sees "Forgive me" enough times, she may actually think you are sincerely sorry.

3. Invite her to dinner at her favorite restaurant

Make it special. Don't get mushy. Just keep it friendly and memorable. Sometimes being at a place you enjoyed together before can ignite the spark again. If she resists, say you'd like to go out as friends for old time's sake. If it's somewhere you know she likes, she will be tempted to accept your invitation.

4. Write her a letter

Not an e-mail or text. A real honest-to-goodness letter on nice stationary. Don't type it - it should be handwritten in your best penmanship. Express your feelings to her without going overboard. Having a hard copy letter to hold can be very romantic. She can read it over and over. She can save it under her pillow or some other place where she saves treasures. Make it worthy of such a place.

5. Don't rush her

Be patient and keep being where she can see you periodically without stalking her. Don't be obnoxious. Be friendly, no matter how she treats you. If she's hurt, it may take some time for the hurt to go away. Patience and persistence go hand in hand when winning someone back.

6. Send her a love song

If you dated for quite awhile before the breakup, you probably know each other's favorite songs. If you are a good singer, sing it on a CD and send it to her. If you're not, don't try to sing it. Give her the original. That will help her remember the love she felt for you.

7. Don't get involved with someone else while you wait

If she's worth your love, she's worth waiting for. If she sees you or hears about you romancing around with someone else, she'll know you really aren't sincere about missing her.

After a few months, if nothing you do seems to work, you will need to move on. Just because this relationship is over doesn't mean you can't find someone else. Author Denis Waitley put it this way: "Don't dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next."

Who knows, breaking up may be the beginning of something even more wonderful - either a stronger relationship with your girlfriend or finding someone new to love and adore. Never give up on love — it's there for everyone. We can learn much from a failed relationship. Apply that knowledge to a new one and make it better than ever.

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