Occasionally, even if we’re completely in love, there comes a time when we need a break from the relationship. Sometimes that break is permanent and other times it’s a temporary thing that makes the relationship stronger. Since the latter can sometimes be the case, before you do get back with your ex, here are the things that you should ask yourself first.
Why did we break up? It’s important to pinpoint why you broke up in the first place and if that reason is something that can be worked through. If you broke up because there was a whole load of lying and cheating going on, that doesn’t exactly mean round two is going to be any better.
Can we rationally discuss where we went wrong last time? It’s important to discuss why you broke up and do so in a civil manner. You need to be able to address it openly and honestly.
Do I harbor resentment? Resentment is something that doesn’t go away very easily. If there is any sort of resentment over the breakup for whatever reason, that’s not a good sign.
Am I able to forgive the messy fallout? Even mutual breakups can result in some pretty harsh words, from both parties. Granted, these are things that are said in the heat of the moment, but you can’t let that negative energy linger because it will just interfere with your second attempt.
Are we willing to make compromises? Maybe your relationship ended because one of you was a workaholic and the other felt ignored because of it. These are perfect examples of things that need compromise on if you want any hope of making it work.
Did we set goals for ourselves and accomplish them while we were apart? When people take a break, it gives them the perfect time to focus on themselves and what they want. You want to have attained those goals, or at least made valiant steps toward procuring them.
Have I grown since the breakup? You want to be able to answer this with a big fat YES, because growing is essential so you bring your new and improved self back to the relationship.
Have they grown since the split? If you’ve grown, then they better have grown, too.
Why do we want to get back together? You should be able to answer this clearly without even the slightest hesitation and that answer should involve more than, “Well, we’re in love.” In the real world, successful relationships need more than love; they need partnership, equality, and support.
More questions to ask yourself before getting back with your ex
Has there been enough time so we can start new without rehashing the past? You can’t get back together after just a couple of weeks apart, because nothing will have changed. You need ample time apart so you really can begin again as the new and improved people you are now.
Have the issues that caused problems been remedied? Maybe there were financial issues because one of you was unemployed or you were dealing with a long-distance relationship – whatever those issues were, they need to be fixed before you can make another go of it.
Is what we have worth trying again? You shouldn’t have to hesitate to answer this question. If you do, I think you know your answer.
Will we both be willing to give it our all this time? You can’t half-ass a relationship if you want it to work. You either give your 110% or expect it to fail. Again.
Can we resolve problems with discussion instead of just giving up? Relationships take work, and you need to want to put in the necessary effort.
Do we have realistic expectations for our relationship and ourselves? Because relationships aren’t easy, you can’t let yourself be delusional; you need to be realistic about what you want, what they want, and how the relationship will benefit.
Are we ready to focus on the future? If you’re just looking to start dating your ex again for some casual sex, then nix that idea immediately. You’re either in it to win it, or just don’t bother.
Can you get back together without your friends and family giving you the third degree? Well, can you? Or have you dragged your ex’s name through the mud so badly that they’ll never be allowed without 500 feet of the people who love you most?
Do they bring out the best in you? Some people bring out the best in us and some people bring out the worst. It’s the person who makes you feel strong and confident you want to be with. If they couldn’t give you that during your first try as a couple, and haven’t changed enough to give you that the second time, then accept that maybe getting back together again is a bad idea and it’s time to meet someone new.
Why getting back with your ex may be a bad decision
Regardless of any leftover feelings you have for them, giving your relationship another shot isn’t always a wise choice.
You’ve been there, done that. You’ve had a relationship with your ex and for myriad reasons, it just didn’t work out. You gave it your best shot, you went to the ends of the earth to keep the relationship together, and you still broke up. Once you’ve done something, you know the general layout, and in this case, it wasn’t great. Why are you going back for more?
Chances are, nothing has changed. Unless one or both of you have undergone a complete personality and lifestyle transplant, chances are you’re still the same people you were then. Those two people were ultimately incompatible, hence the reason you’re not still together now. Getting back with your ex when this is still true is an exercise in stupidity and deep down, you know it.
You’ll end up having the same arguments. Because neither of you has changed and you know one another well enough to be familiar with each other’s flaws, be prepared to have the same fights and arguments you did the first time around. It might be smooth sailing for the first couple of weeks, but you’ll both ultimately fall back into old habits and patterns and the whole thing will fall apart again in no time.
The next breakup will hurt even worse. If you thought breaking up the first time sucked, you’re going to love doing it the second time around. Your heart will hurt even more knowing that you were so desperate to make it work that you got back together even though you knew it wouldn’t. That pit of despair the ending brought will get just a little bit deeper.
You’re cutting yourself off from other relationships. While you’re busy getting back with your ex and running that same old tired track, it’s possible that you’re missing out on some other great guys (or girls) who would be a much better fit for you and with whom you’d enjoy yourself a whole lot more. That’s not to say that the two options in your life are being with your ex or being with someone else — you could be totally happy and fulfilled on your own! — but if you are looking for love, it’s unlikely you’ll find it with your former partner.
You’re stunting your own growth. The whole point of moving on from relationships is that they allow us to grow and become smarter, stronger versions of ourselves. Personal evolution is the whole point of being alive, and getting back with your ex isn’t a great way to do that. In fact, it kind of works in opposition to that process.
You’re not learning the lessons you were meant to learn. Again, the way to avoid seeing failed relationships as, well, failures is to take the lessons they taught you — and every relationship has something to teach you, no matter how brief or messed up — and use it to change your approach to love so that next time, things will be a bit different (and hopefully better).
Can reuniting with your ex ever work out?
It’s possible that your second go-round with your ex will work out, but that’s only possible if you’ve both truly worked through your issues both individually and as a couple. You also have to be equally as dedicated to making thing work this time and committed to putting in the effort needed to address problems as they arise and to make sure the other person feels loved, appreciated, and supported. Most people simply aren’t in this place, which is why retreading old relationship territory rarely works out.