Are You Backsliding? What It Is & How To Stop So You Can Finally Leave Your Ex Behind

You think you’re getting over your breakup… until you hear an Adele song and you start wondering if it would be such a bad thing to get in touch with your ex. Oh man. Before you reach for your phone, read this because you’re backsliding and need to stop.

  1. You’re plagued by what-ifs. You know the kind: “What if I’d given him another chance?” or “What if we would’ve been happy together if I just stuck out the relationship a bit longer?” These thoughts are total BS and can give you false hope. The trick when having these thoughts is to be realistic about them. What if you’d given him another chance? He probably would’ve cheated on you again because he’s a douchebag!
  2. Throw out your rose-tinted glasses. After death and breakups, it’s easy to remember the person as being perfect. You’re probably remembering all the great times you shared in your relationship and totally forgetting what a jerk your ex could be. Try to be level-headed about this. He wasn’t perfect and he certainly wasn’t right for you. There’s a reason why you broke up.
  3. Backsliding is worse for the dumped. If you ended the relationship with him, it might be easier to resist backsliding because you’ll remember why you walked away. But if you’re the one who got dumped, it makes it harder because you never would’ve left him. Ask yourself: do you really want to go back to some guy who couldn’t stay with you? His decision to leave was bad, but don’t pay the price for his lousy decisions by going back to him.
  4. Maybe you don’t even have feelings for him. You might think if you’re backsliding, you’ve got feelings for your ex but maybe not. You might be nostalgic for him for other reasons, such as loneliness or a fear of being alone. Maybe your BFF just got engaged and it made you feel like crap. Maybe you’re bored AF and looking for a distraction. Get a hobby instead. It won’t run out on you the way your ex did.
  5. Backsliding into sex is a quick regret. Sex with your ex is never a good idea, especially if you’re hoping for the sex to bring back the relationship spark. But chances are, once the orgasm’s over, he’ll be keen to go back to life without you and you’ll be saddled with even more disappointment.
  6. Bite the bullet instead of backsliding. It’s so tempting to backslide into a relationship with your ex if he’s also interested in having a second chance with you. But just think: you’re going to give him another chance, and you’ll probably end up in the same situation you are right now. People don’t change. So, isn’t it better to deal with the breakup and move on, instead of re-live all this pain again in future?
  7. “It’s complicated” isn’t a relationship status. You and your ex broke up, but now you want to have sex with him or you’re casually dating each other. Your Facebook relationship status is set to “It’s complicated” but honestly, you’re just complicating the situation that’s actually very simple. You’re settling for relationship crumbs.
  8. You’re blinded by pain. Breakups can be brutal. So when your ex “likes” your Instagram post or texts you to see how you’re doing, it’s really easy to want to stop fighting through your feelings and just surrender to how things were. But resist the temptation. Think of how far you’ve already come after he dumped you. If you stick to your guns to forget him and move on, you’ll gain so much more than he could ever give you, like strength and a better life.
  9. You’re slipping back into old issues. You might think you’re choosing your ex again, but you’re really choosing him and all his issues. Screw the drama. You can do better than that.
  10. It’s degrading either way. If you chose to dump him and now you’re backsliding back to him, you’re backtracking on your decision and you’re settling for him. If he dumped you, you’re going back like you have no dignity. Either way, he doesn’t deserve a second chance with you and you’re screwing yourself over if you give him one.
  11. Wait for the storm to pass. It’s easy to think your relationship was so fantastic when you’re viewing it from the pain of a breakup. But as time goes on and your feelings feel more like a drizzle than a thunderstorm, you’ll see that you’re so much better off without it. You’ll see that if you chose to backslide into that relationship, you’d never have found happiness. You thought you wanted your ex, but what you really wanted was love, and you can get the real thing from someone else who’d never dream of leaving or hurting you. Wait for it—it’s worth it.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.