My ex wants another chance — what should I do? It’s a question many of us have faced over the years and while the answer is sometimes easier than others, it can occasionally be a little murkier. Objectively, you would probably tell a confused friend to forget that dud, to move on and concentrate on finding someone better. However, when you’re actually in that situation, it’s always a little more complicated than that.
It’s also pretty much every woman’s fantasy to have that guy who screwed her over eventually come back to grovel on his hands and knees, begging for her forgiveness. Can you say sweet, sweet revenge? Before you slam the door in his face or welcome him back into your life with open arms, there are a few things to consider.
How serious was your relationship? The length of the relationship is a huge factor in whether it’s worth giving him another shot. If you were together for years and grew apart, you might be able to work on that. If it only lasted a couple of months and you were fighting like Sammi and Ronny (is it too late for Jersey Shore references?) the whole time, maybe it wasn’t the greatest match.
Why did you break up in the first place? There are endless reasons for breaking up with someone. Endless. If you broke up during one especially intense fight, maybe you were both too caught up in the moment and your own pride to see the big picture. Or maybe he just “forgot” to show up to your sister’s birthday party, or he has a habit of flirting with other girls when you are just out of earshot. Whatever it was, it’s definitely worth revisiting the original reason for getting rid of him. If it’s something that’s going to require some heavy couple’s counseling, think about if you’re willing to commit to that.
How was the sex? Sex isn’t everything, you’re right. But it could be, under the right circumstances. No one’s saying getting back with him has to mean he’s your future husband. If the sex was mind-blowing, no one would judge you if you took him back just for a little more of that. Literally, no one would judge you. Just be honest with yourself if that’s all you are really looking for here. Chances are, he won’t object either.
Can you trust him? For girls, trust is a huge deal. No matter what kind of relationship you’re in (casual, serious), it’s important that you trust the guy you’re with. If he cheated on you, will you be able to be his girlfriend again without having unlimited access to his email, texts, Skype chat history, and internet browser history? And if not, do you want to be that girl? It’s exhausting to constantly wonder where he is, and if he’s being a douche. It will take work to get back the security you had before the breakup. Think about if you’re willing to put in the work to get back to a place where you can uninstall the GPS tracking device you secretly installed on his phone.
Have you already (mostly) moved on? Chances are if you’ve already stopped pining after him and accepted it’s over, you aren’t going to want to let him back in. If it was easy to get over him, maybe he wasn’t as great as you thought. If it’s been months, and you’ve done the tough work of erasing him from your life, do you really want to give up the new, independent, strong you for a guy who already decided once that you aren’t the one for him? Sure, there might be exceptions to this rule, but that’s for you to decide.
What are his reasons for wanting you back? Just because your ex wants another chance with you doesn’t mean it’s for the right reasons. Was he finally rejected by the 20-year-old gymnast he dumped you for? Is he having a hard time at work? Have his friends shunned him for the way he treated you? He better have had a damn good reason for giving you up. But let’s face it, if he did, he probably wouldn’t be shivering on your doorstep right now looking for a second chance. But maybe he’s realized what he gave up and sincerely regrets it (don’t laugh, it’s possible). Basically, he should be able to clearly articulate why he wants you back. If he can’t, don’t be surprised to be on the business end of yet another “it’s not you, it’s me…” talk within the month.
How has he gone about asking for another chance? The late-night drunk “hey” text is not going to cut it, buddy. Guys get brave when their attempt at picking up a one-night stand has failed miserable – and oh, hey! Look, your number is still in his phone. Can’t hurt to try, right? Drunk, horny guys will say anything they think you want to hear to get in your pants. Asking for a second chance at 2 am on a Saturday night is never, never (did I mention never?) genuine. Ignore that booty call disguised as an apology and block his number. Sleeping with him again isn’t inherently wrong, just don’t make it so easy for him. Trust me.
Will he fit back into your life? You probably spent some time bad-mouthing him to your friends, so expect some backlash from them if you decide to let him back into the circle. Depending on the severity of the breakup, your friends could trust your judgment, or they might call you totally crazy and refuse to tolerate his presence at any group gathering ever again. Or, if you’ve made a lot of big changes as a result of your breakup, will taking him back mess up the new life you have started?
Ultimately, whether you should take him back or not should be decided on an individual basis. Things that are a deal-breaker for some people are acceptable to others. People can change, believe it or not. Except maybe that stoner guy who turned your empty Gatorade bottle into a bong. Don’t take that guy back.
Don’t give your ex another chance if he’s guilty of these things
He might claim that he’s desperate to give things another try with you and that he can’t live without you, Even if that’s true, don’t consider his request if he’s guilty of any of these things. They indicate a lack of respect and consideration and prove that he’s never going to be the kind of partner you deserve.
He cheated on you. Some people would insist that cheating isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, especially if it really was a one-time mistake and the person swears to never do it again. Ultimately, this is an entirely personal decision, but if you’re really honest with yourself, you probably know that you can’t move forward with this guy. He broke your trust entirely by being unfaithful. Can you really get it back and do you really feel confident that the same thing won’t happen again in the future? It’s better to leave it.
He’s known for making empty promises. How many times has this guy let you down over the course of your previous relationship? How many times were you left feeling alone, unsupported, and unloved because he claimed he would do all these things with/for you but when it came down to it, he was never there?
He’s not sorry and he hasn’t changed. If your breakup was all down to him and something he did to destroy your relationship, it goes without saying that he should be contrite if he wants another chance. He should grovel a bit, prove how sorry he is and that he’s done the work necessary to change and become a different and better man. If that’s not happening, what are you wasting your time on?
He takes you for granted. When you were together, he seemed to expect that you would always be there to do everything for him and to put in all the effort and carry the load of your relationship while he sat back and did nothing at all. Finally, you had enough of it and kicked him to the curb. Now your ex wants another chance and you’re pretty sure things are going to be the same as they were before. That’s a big nope.
He’s a repeat offender. If he screwed you over, cheated, let you down, whatever, how many times did he do it? We all make mistakes once, but a guy who continually does the same stuff over and over again and expects an “oops, sorry” to suffice for you to forgive and forget isn’t one who takes you seriously or who deserves to be with you. What’s different this time? What makes you feel like those same wrongdoings won’t just keep happening in the next round of your relationship? Save yourself the time, energy, and heartache and refuse his invitation for round two.
For more insight into whether you should give your ex a second chance, check out this video by dating and relationship expect Susan Winter below.