7 Things to Think About Before Reuniting With Your Ex
Please put the wine down and read this.
1. Do some serious soul searching.
Payal Patel, a registered marital and family therapist, recommends taking some time to think about your relationship before deciding to stand outside your ex's window with a boombox.
"Unfortunately," she continues, "people don't typically take time to reflect on the qualities they liked or didn't like about themselves and their spouse in the relationship." "I'd consider why things might work this time, as well as what's unique about you or them that would make this reconciliation work differently.
Because, adds Liz Powell, PsyD, sex educator and author of Building Open Relationships, "in a lot of circumstances, someone is your ex for a reason." "There's no reason to believe things are better now until something substantial has changed.
However, if things have changed significantly—you've grown up, worked through your baggage, and so on—a there's possibility it may work," they continue. "In any case, I believe it's worthwhile to take some time to consider why things ended and whether anything has changed to make things different today."
2. Be realistic in your objectives.
Dr. Liz advises being genuine about what your present sentiments entail after taking a close look at why your relationship ended and whether or not things are any different today. It's natural to still have feelings for your ex, but that doesn't mean you should try to repair your relationship.
"Reaching out to an ex is generally motivated by a desire for an idealized, nostalgic version of the past rather than a desire for the connection to work better in the present," explains Dr. Liz. "I believe we may get caught up in our own ideals of what is good or useful and lose sight of whether or not our ex even wants to hear from us."
Ask yourself why the relationship ended, why things might be better now, and how hearing from you would influence your ex, according to Dr. Liz. Reaching out for no apparent purpose may exacerbate pain or reopen wounds that have begun to heal.
3. Give your (ex)partner some breathing room.
This one will be more difficult if you were the one who was dumped, but trust me, it's crucial. If you can't respect your ex-fundamental partner's needs for privacy, you're not going to make it easy for them to want to date you again.
Of course, if you're trying to get back together, you'll want to reach out eventually—but Dr. Bockarova believes there's no set length of time to wait. A decent rule of thumb is to break the silence after you have a better understanding of the connection.
This implies that if you've been broken up with and have been blaming yourself for the breakup, you should only reestablish communication if you're no longer feeling that way. If you were the one who ended the relationship, send a text only if you're confident you miss your ex for the right reasons, not out of boredom or guilt.
4. Do not consider it a competition.
Dr. Bockarova states, "I would avoid the idea of 'winning over anyone." In a society where dating culture is seen as a "challenge," it's unhealthy to try to win your ex back by thinking of it like a football game, where there's a clear winner and loser.
Dr. Bockarova confirms that viewing a reconciliation as anything other than a process of mutual development and effort is a bad idea, and it probably means you shouldn't be getting back together in the first place.
5. Make a change in your life before determining whether or not your ex is a good fit.
You could feel a bit lonely during your time apart, especially while planning weekend plans or looking for things to do on a wet Tuesday night.
The most important aspect of this process, though, is learning to appreciate yourself just as much when you're alone. Even if you're still depressed about the breakup, Dr. Bockarova recommends investing in new connections and interests and filling your life with as much joy as possible.
Only when you've addressed your fear of being alone can you determine if you truly want your relationship back. "It won't make for a very rewarding relationship down the line if you only mourn your ex when you're lonely or when you compare your life to that of others in partnerships, but not when you're happy and confident," Dr. Bockarova adds.
6. Determine whether or not your problems are genuinely solvable.
So, you're convinced you miss your ex and really want them back. But there's more to it than that: Could you reconcile your reasons for splitting up?
"Visible problems are readily solved," says Dr. Bockarova. "If you split up because a job sent one of you to a new place and long-distance communication was tough, the situation might be addressed if one or both of you are ready to make a sacrifice."
However, if you have significant differences in your values or future goals (such as whether or not to have children or where you want to reside), you will most likely remain incompatible in the future. Regrettably, you may find yourself in the same situation as previously.
7. If you do decide to get back together, put forth the effort.
This relates to the no "won them over" rule. If you decide to try again, keep in mind that it is not a quick fix.
"Though it will take some time to reestablish trust," Dr. Bockarova explains, "this is your chance to develop an even stronger friendship." "However, it can only happen if you tell your spouse what you like and hate, when you're wounded or joyful, and how you want to be treated."
The point is that, as fated and passionate as reuniting might feel, there are still reasons you split up in the first place, and now is the time to address them. But, hey, if you're with the person you want to be with, you already know you're willing to give it another shot.