Dating My Ex Again Was The Best Thing I Could’ve Done To Get Over Him

I knew our relationship was over and I had to move on, but I just couldn’t seem to find happiness with anyone else. I thought going back to him was going to make us have a second chance, but it actually showed me why walking out the door the first time around was the best decision I ever could have made.

  1. I still had feelings for him. Even though we broke up seven months prior, I still couldn’t seem to move on. He was still the guy I thought I needed in my life.
  2. He’d been going through a rough time. Usually, when guys talk about going through a rough patch, it makes me think that they’re actually not boyfriend material, especially if they keep blaming everyone for why their life is a mess. But with this guy, it just felt different.
  3. He had potential. I always thought he could have been amazing, that if he just got his life together, managed to hold down a career, and was more positive, things would happen for him and he’d be in a better position to be someone’s boyfriend.
  4. I thought I needed closure. When my ex got in touch with me on Facebook, I couldn’t help but be intrigued. I realized that I still wanted him in my life and I’d never got closure from our breakup. I dumped him because he was all over the place and I couldn’t help but think, “What if I met him when he was in a better place in his life? Could things have been different for us?”
  5. Now was my time to find out. He made it clear that he was interested in dating me again and I was just as keen because I felt like our story wasn’t over. Not by a long shot! So when he asked me out to dinner, I jumped at the chance.
  6. I was filled with hope. I wish someone had said, “Pace yourself — don’t get ahead of yourself.” Unfortunately, I wasn’t even thinking anymore. I was flying high, hoping that we could have a second shot at our love story and make it last this time around.
  7. He seemed like a different guy. The first thing I noticed when I approached him at the restaurant was that he seemed so much more peaceful than I remembered. He was so much more centered, whereas when we’d been dating he had been a drama king and always distracted.
  8. He was on his best behavior… for a few weeks. We became a couple immediately and he seemed like he was a much better boyfriend than he had been the last time we’d dated. He was considerate and paid much more attention to me. Unfortunately, this was temporary. After about two weeks, the guy started to slip up. He was always finding problems with the world and being negative. I hoped it was just a phase or mood, but it wasn’t. This was his same-old personality coming out again. Then things got worse: he lost his job (his fault, not his boss’s, even though he blamed the guy). He was spiraling again. Ugh.
  9. He tried so hard to act like he’d changed. And sadly, I fell for it. But I could now see that he was still that screwed up guy that he’d always been. He wasn’t going through a rough patch—he WAS the rough patch! The longer I stuck with him and tried to make things work, the more he’d bring me down with him into his circle of darkness.
  10. I got the closure I needed. I was so consumed by “What if?” thoughts about this guy, but now I could clearly see that he hadn’t changed and we had broken up the first time around for a very good reason. He wasn’t going to make a good boyfriend for me and I didn’t want to waste my time treating him like a work in progress. So, again, I broke up with him, but this time it was for good and I knew it was the right decision. I also knew that if he ever contacted me again, I’d run in the other direction. I was so done with the past and it was time to focus on my future. It felt fantastic to be free!
  11. I don’t regret going back to him. If I hadn’t dated him for the second time, I wouldn’t have gained the confirmation I needed to walk away. I would’ve held onto thoughts that he was the one who got away, when really I was lucky to have left.
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.