Why YODO—You Only Dump Once—Is A Relationship Rule To Live By

You might be tempted to take back an ex or date that guy who ghosted you and then crept back out of the woodwork a few months later. You might think you should let him in because YOLO—you only live once, right? Screw that. It’s much better to make YODO—you only DUMP once—the rule you live by. Here’s why:

  1. You move forward instead of backward. YODO is so great because it keeps you focused on the future. You dump a guy who’s bad for you and then you move on instead of rethinking your decision or analyzing the situation to death. You’ve closed the door to your exes and won’t reopen them because you know you’re made for bigger, better things. Doesn’t that sound like a better way to live?
  2. You don’t really need the past. You’ve already lived through the past—why go back to it? What new things could it possibly teach you? Just think: if your ex was an item of clothing, he’d be those white platform sneakers you rocked in the ’90s when you liked the Spice Girls. Gross.
  3. Your relationship (and ex) will probably still be a disappointment. Research has found that people who go back to their exes tend to end up heartbroken. One reason is that getting back together makes people more impulsive about relationship milestones (like moving in together), which can cause them to experience major relationship dissatisfaction including bad communication and uncertainty about their relationship. Basically, the rush at the beginning of the relationship feels great but doesn’t last.
  4. You’re taking a step back. If you go back to your ex, you’re basically saying that your decision to dump him the first time doesn’t matter anymore. Yes, even though you really thought long and hard about it and were heartbroken. You’re trashing all the self-growth you gained from that breakup by going back to him, and no man is worth that.
  5. There’ll always be baggage. How could there not be? You’re getting back with a guy you loved and then left. There are bound to be issues there, and probably more from his side because you dumped him. Do you really need that in your life? No.
  6. Not everyone deserves another chanceIf you go back to the ex who betrayed you or give the guy who ghosted you another chance, you’re opening the door for future disappointments. The relationship will never be a clean slate. There’ll always be fears that you’ll get hurt again or that people don’t change.
  7. It’s important to remember why it endedCome on—you had a pretty good reason to walk away from this guy. You didn’t? Well, even so, it happened because it was the right choice for you then. Looking back on it now might make you feel you were a little hasty. You might think, “So what if he bored me to death or never shared his feelings?” No. It does matter. Going back to him means that you’ll be facing those flaws again and they’re bound to irritate you just as much, if not more.
  8. One hurt was enough. Are you a sucker for punishment? Do you like getting hurt and feeling a fool? No, that’s why YODO! If some guy hurt you before, you shouldn’t give him an open door to do it all over again, even if you’ve forgiven him. You should value yourself too much to accept bad behavior.
  9. He doesn’t deserve how fantastic you’ve become. Breakups make you stronger, there’s no doubt about it. Think of all the great things you’ve gained from leaving your ex. You might be more self-assured, independent, a better communicator, or something else. Make a list and don’t forget all that you’ve gained. Now ask yourself: does someone who hurt you deserve that amazing person? Hell no.
  10. You don’t need all the work. All relationships require hard work, but going back to a failed relationship means things are going to be even harder. Not only are all the old issues going to have to be resolved, but there will be others to deal with. You also have to hope that the person has changed and that you can trust them again. It’s a lot of work and stress, and not enough fun.
  11. It’s not love. You might’ve heard about those couples who get back together and fall in love all over again, but that’s not the norm (and they sound a little too perfect, IMHO). If you and your ex had the kind of love that lasts, you wouldn’t have walked away from him. Don’t go back to the relationship thinking that you can have real love a second time around. You’re more likely to have all the old crap come up again. You only love once, and if it doesn’t work out, YODO. Deal?
  12. You’ve got something better than a relationship. Thanks to the hurt you experienced, you’ve toughened up and set higher standards to weed out the losers in future. If you take your ex back, you’re throwing out your high standards. Don’t—they’re so much more valuable to you than a jerk from your past who couldn’t treat you well when he had you. Do what he couldn’t do and respect yourself. Move on.
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.