You know what they say: you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Isn’t that the truth, especially when it comes to relationships? You’ve probably had at least one guy in your life who you were really happy with for a while… until he decided to leave and see if there was something better out there for him. When he decided there wasn’t and realized he’d lost something great, he came crawling back into your arms and try to win you back. So what do you do?
- Stop and think about what you want. First things first. Take some time to sit down and think about whether or not you want this guy back into your life. Did whatever he did to you hurt you so badly that you can’t even imagine going back, or is your love so strong that you can forgive his wrongdoings and move forward with him? It’s important to be honest with yourself here.
If you want him back…
- Make him prove that he wants things to be serious this time. How many times have you been in or heard about someone being in this situation and instantly letting the guy back into their lives, only to have it end yet again in a pretty nasty way? Who wants to be in the on-again-off-again relationship that people shake their heads at? Not me. Sounds like too much stress that I don’t need. Does he know what he did wrong and is he willing to come to terms with the fact that he hurt you and can’t repeat these actions? If he truly seems like he’s back, then factor that into your decision.
- Make sure he’s back for the right reasons. After you two broke up, did he go hook up with a bunch of girls and come back to you after he realized just how terrible the dating world really is? That’s absolutely not cool and you should definitely think long and hard about taking this guy back. You’re a safe option for him because he knows you love him which makes you more vulnerable.
- Don’t — please don’t! — have sex with him the first day you guys start talking again. Have you ever seen one of those movies where the boyfriend and girlfriend get in a fight and then see each other, profess their love and then end up hopping on top of each other for a passionate love-making scene? Okay, sure, in the movies I guess that’s fine. But please, this is the real world and things don’t usually happen the way they do in the movies. If you give into his sexual advances before you guys have even established new boundaries, then good luck keeping him around for more than a hookup whenever he feels like it.
- Test him. Tell him you deserve better. Tell him you’re not sure that you can forgive him for his misdoings prior. Don’t make it easy for him to get you back because, to be honest, you deserve someone who is going to fight for you and not give up when things get hard. Also, making it a little challenge for him will only make him appreciate you more and know that it won’t be easy to get you back if he decides to repeat him leaving again.
If you don’t want him back…
- Be the bigger person. Even if you’re not looking to let him back into your life, plain and simple, don’t be a bitch. Even if he did unspeakable things and hurt you more than you could ever imagine, it speaks wonders about how mature you are if you’re the bigger person. Be nice and don’t pull any immature BS. You definitely don’t want him to go around telling people how immature you’re acting.
- Don’t play games with him. Make a solid decision. When it comes to ending a relationship, sometimes you have to put your foot down. Still try your best to keep your mature, calm demeanor, but you need to make a solid decision. Don’t tell him you need to think about things or you want to “take a break” if you know for sure that you’ll want nothing to do with him as soon as you’ve broken up. If you’re comfortable with it, tell him you can be friends when you’re ready, which can take some time. In one of my past relationships, which ended badly, I didn’t want anything to do with him. I told him we could be friends maybe sometime in the future — and believe it or not, about two years later, we’re actually pretty good friends. It takes time to figure out your feelings sometimes and in my case, I realized that my ex and I were better off friends.
- If all else fails, you may have to just block him. Yes, I know that this doesn’t seem like the most mature way to handle the situation, but there are times with guys just. won’t. stop. Sometimes the only way to get them to leave you alone is to block them from your life which includes but may not be limited to social media, phone calls and—if it’s extreme and you feel unsafe—a restraining order.
- If he really loves you, he’ll be happy with any decision you make as long as it makes you happy. This is seriously important. Sometimes seeing how a guy handles your decision is the best way to see how he really feels. If you break the news to him that you’re not looking to be in a relationship with him anymore and he acts crazy, rude and inconsiderate, you know that he’s probably just mad because he has to get back into the dating world. Someone who handles the breakout with grace and maturity really is someone that you might be able to be friends with in the future.
- Make sure you’re happy with your decision before you completely commit. Whether you choose to take him back or not, you need to really take some time to think about your decision and make sure you’re 100% happy with it before you tell your ex. If you choose to take him back, it would be unfair to change your mind after he’s already happy with your decision. It’s important not to toy with people’s emotions—even if they’ve done that to you in the past.