Getting Back with your Ex – the Pros and Cons
There is no simple answer as to whether you should get back together with your ex.
There are multiple things to take into consideration such as the reason for the breakup, personality traits, circumstances as well as family and friend issues. Only you can know what is best for you.
Rachel says there are some things you need to consider before you make any move to get back together with an ex-partner. The first one is how many times you have broken up. “There’s quite a bit of research that shows that the more times you’ve broken up and gotten back together, the less chance there is of you having a satisfying, happy relationship,” Rachel says. “If the on-again, off-again thing has been a trend in your relationship, that would be a red flag.”
Another important factor is personality traits that may be causing harm to you and the relationship, “Trust issues, control issues, infidelity, emotional manipulation… These things are personality traits, not circumstantial problems, and should be thought twice about before jumping straight in. If the person’s personality was something that you didn’t like, it’s unlikely that’s going to change.”
Thinking about why you broke up and the reasons you want to get back together is also of significance, “If you got dumped quite unexpectedly, or there was a lot of grief associated with the breakup, you can feel like you just want them back to regain your power. That’s when it’s more about you than it is about how happy you two were as a couple, and that’s a big red flag. If you’ve had a recent bad breakup and you’re not feeling your best self, that’s not really the best time to make a decision about going back into a relationship because you’re coming out of your own issues. Any recent trauma, any big issues in life, career changes, you don’t want to make those decisions when you’re in that state.”
Rachel says it takes a lot of reflection on the relationship to have the self-awareness to understand why it didn’t work the first time. Reconnecting and discussing both people’s faults in the original relationship can be a massive step towards rebuilding a healthier and more successful partnership. “The green light is when you both have insight into why it didn’t work. If someone says, ‘Maybe I was a little bit controlling, maybe I was a little bit busy with work, maybe I didn’t make you a priority. It’s a really good sign if you can both recognise what went wrong. That’s a good beginning. Both people need to have the insight to say, ‘this is why it didn’t work for me’ and listen to why it didn’t work for you.”
However, you need to be aware that when you enter into the relationship again, you do so with rose-coloured glasses. “When you break up and get back together, there’s this big injection of limerence or, what you’d call lust, which gives you an invincible feeling. Like, ‘We can conquer anything’ and ‘It’s all going to be better’. The problem with that is, it is a bit of a trick to stop you from seeing the red flags. In the beginning, when you’re in limerence, you don’t have your best judgement. So, you’d need to sit down and think through why you broke up. Was it really because of those ‘big ticket’ things? Like trust, personality, them letting you down? Ask yourself, ‘Why is it that we broke up?’ Think through it rather than feel through it.”
If you are thinking about getting back with your ex, then some serious conversations need to be had on important life goals and beliefs. “In a conversation about getting back together, you should check in on financial goals, commitment, marriage, living together, etc … Does one believe in marriage, and one doesn’t? Does one never want to live with a partner, and one wants to? What are your beliefs on commitment and what does that look like? Do one or both of you want kids? How much do you want your extended family in your life? Check in that you’ve got the same goals moving forward before you put in all the effort in getting back together. When people get back together for a second time, both of them normally assume this is a committed, long-term thing.”
In summary, you need to make sure your reasons for getting back together are valid and healthy, ensure that communication lines are open about future goals, there needs to be a commitment to a healthier relationship pattern, don’t let lust overwhelm your better judgment and make sure you approach everything with caution and reason.