You are not alone if you are considering getting back together with an ex, whether it is because of the seductive romance of The One That Got Away or because you are experiencing a dry period in your relationship.
Despite the fact that you most likely ended your relationship for a legitimate cause, human beings seek connection and comfort. It should come as no surprise that you may be contemplating returning to a familiar environment, or that you may have just discovered who you want in your life to be.
And if you were up thinking that Ross and Rachel will end up together (were they on a break?) or that Big and Carrie were meant to be together (despite how many times they split up and got back together), you understand that a breakup does not always spell the end of a relationship. But what is the best way to tell whether you and your partner have matured and are now ready to have a healthy and happy relationship, or if you are just bored of swiping around Bumble?
Here are eight questions to ask yourself to help you choose whether or not getting back to your ex is the best choice for you.
1. Why did you decide to end your relationship in the first place?
Nothing ends without a cause, and although it’s simple to recall the highlights of a day’s events, nothing lasts forever. Because it is easier to recall the pleasant memories of a previous relationship than it is to recall the unpleasant ones (nostalgia, you stink! ), you will most likely romanticize your past relationship rather than recalling the agony it brought you.
The truth is that we leave relationships for a variety of reasons, no matter how difficult the situation seems to be. If you go back into the same circumstance, the same pain will creep up on you again until the underlying cause is fully addressed (and you have remedies in place to avoid it from happening in the future). Instead of focusing on the beginning and middle of the relationship (which is almost always a montage of pleasant memories), concentrate on the conclusion of the relationship.
2. Have you really forgiven your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend?
Whatever the reason for your breakup, there is almost always pain on both sides. You may be struggling with trust problems, anxieties, resentment buildup, or a combination of the three. Despite the fact that you will need to go through previous problems before deciding to try again (more on that below), you should avoid bringing up old concerns in new disputes that arise in the future.
When you bring up old disagreements during fresh conflicts, you’re simply repeating the cycle that brought you two together in the first place. It may also be an indication that you haven’t moved on from what occurred in the past. Forgiveness is a process that takes time. Whether you haven’t reached that point yet, either wait till you are or ask yourself if your intuition is telling you not to forgive them.
After the split, did you have enough room to yourself to recover?
Especially if you are in the same social circle, work together, or just communicate with one other on a regular basis, you may not have had enough time apart to get used to life without your former partner.
If you’ve gone through a breakup before, you know that the most difficult aspect of getting over a relationship is frequently realizing that the person in question was a part of your daily routine, just like any other habit. Because you never have a chance to break that “habit,” not having adequate distance from your ex makes it difficult to move on and start again.
Of course, missing your ex may be a sign that you really should be back with them, or it could be a sign that you haven’t given yourself enough time to heal from your breakup. If your ex is on social media, try muting or unfollowing them, or encourage pals to arrange separate plans without your ex for a period of time. If you’ve already spent enough time apart and should have been able to move on by now but haven’t been able to, it may be worthwhile to give the relationship another go.
4. Have you had a thorough discussion about the previous issues?
Firstly, if you are even considering rekindling the relationship, you should sit down with your ex and talk about where things went wrong and what you don’t want to happen again. You should discuss your expectations for a relationship as well as your love languages.
You should also discuss what trust and love really mean to you. Whether your ex is quick to brush things under the rug or acts like it wasn’t a big issue, keep in mind that even the tiniest things contributed to the breakup; they are a huge deal to you. Your emotions should be acknowledged, and you should fully address what didn’t work in the previous relationship in order to make it work this time.
Along with making certain that the previous problems are addressed, you should also have a “what are we” conversation, just like you would at the start of any new relationship. Make it clear what you both really want out of the relationship, and make certain that your values are in alignment.
Fifth, will you be okay if your friends and family don’t agree with your decision?
You may believe that you have gone through ups and downs in your dating life, but keep in mind that your support system is also going through ups and downs. Your pals are likely to have wept with you after the split, unfollowed your ex on Instagram, and advised you on how to do better in the future.
Your family may be protective of you, and they will want to avoid the pain you went through the first time around if possible. Even if you’ve moved on from your previous disagreements with your ex, it doesn’t always follow that your loved ones have as well.
Keep in mind that your friends and relatives are looking out for your best interests and are most likely just hostile toward your ex because of the experience you had with them. Learn about their perspectives and pay attention to their recommendations.
Even if you decide to get back together, be sure to explain to your loved ones what has changed and how you want to prevent any further disagreement in the future. However, don’t expect them to be completely on board right immediately; it may take some time.
6. Do you anticipate your ex to be a different person when you see him or her again?
Granted, some individuals change with time, and we’re all evolving (or at least that’s the goal), but here’s the harsh reality: your ex is still the same person. If their behaviors contributed to your previous split (such as infidelity, emotional unavailability, lack of effort, etc.) or just made you miserable, remember that they are still the same person, even if the circumstances or time is different.
They are still your partner. You should expect to see a lot more change in your ex if this is the case and you are still contemplating getting back together. It is not enough to just hear a promise that things would be different this time. The bottom line is that you should get back together because you have changed (and are now genuinely ready for a relationship), not because you are expecting that they have changed.
7. Do you miss the person, or do you miss simply the company that they provided?
Does it happen to you from time to time that you find yourself aimlessly calling your ex’s phone number to share a joke you know they’d like or thinking about how much you miss their laughter? Maybe you miss their endless tales or the way they held your hand when they could sense you were frightened or apprehensive.
Or did you just start missing them after your last date went horribly wrong or after you were depressed and lonely? Perhaps you just miss having someone in your life so much that you are only recalling the positive aspects of your former relationship.
It’s quite OK to miss those wonderful things, but just because you miss them doesn’t imply they’re worth returning to.
We may be embarrassed to confess that all we want is to be in a relationship from time to time. However, the need for companionship is not a sign of weakness or dependency; rather, it is a natural part of human nature (PSA: You can be a kickass independent woman whether or not you are in a relationship).
While it’s fine if you’re a “relationship person,” keep in mind that (at the risk of sounding cliche) there are other fish in the water. And yes, this includes fish that will not offer you a cause to end your relationship with them in the first instance. Rekindle the flame if you really miss your ex, but do not do so if you are just missing the company of your former.
8. How do you feel when you’re with them? Do you feel comfortable?
Even while it’s easy to get caught up in how you feel about them, it’s as important to consider how you feel about yourself when you’re with them. When you’re with your ex, you should feel comfortable, secure, loved, and like your real self.
This is an indication that getting back together may be the correct choice. No amount of loneliness, on the other hand, is worth feeling insecure and jealous, or having them make you feel less than and unworthy of their love. Keep in mind that life is not about Friends, Sex, or the City. No one is going to create your season finale episode for you, and you won’t have season after season to figure it out on your own.
At the end of the day, this is your life, and if your ex did not assist you in making the most of it at the time, they are not worth your attention right now.