Written by Writer’s Corps member Adrianna Nine
Deciding whether to date someone you’ve already dated is tricky. On one hand, you might think “why not give it another go?”… and on the other, you think “there must have been a reason you broke up in the first place. Right?”
While there isn’t one solution to the internal debate concerning getting back with your ex, there are a handful of crucial questions you can ask yourself to head toward the right answer. Test them out before getting back with your ex.
1. Why Did You Breakup With Your Ex?
You don’t have to examine every single thing that might have caused your breakup. Why? Because it’s pretty easy to divide the causes into two categories: internal and external circumstances or pressures. An internal reason to break up may include infidelity, lack of compatibility and disinterest. External, however, might include a family member’s disapproval, geographical distance, or a lack of time to put into building a healthy relationship.
2. Have You Given Yourself Space From Your Ex?
Not putting enough distance between yourself and your ex can prevent you from truly moving on. If you two share a class or go to a lot of the same social gatherings, it’s no wonder your ex is on your mind. Try waiting until next semester to make a decision about rekindling the relationship, or spend more time with friends individually instead of group settings where your ex might show up.
3. Are You Romanticizing Your Past Relationship?
Bittersweet words ahead: Nostalgia is a liar. We tend to look back at old relationships with fondness because the pain we felt during or immediately after the relationship isn’t as fresh. Unfortunately, the reality is that we left those relationships for good reason, and the pain we felt back then would most likely sneak up on us again after we go back. It’s just easier to remember the good then it is to remember the bad.
4. Do You Miss The Person Or Just Their Companionship?
It’s okay to admit that it can be nice to have a partner. Especially when it seems as though all of our friends are “cuffed,” there’s a lot of pressure out there to be in a relationship, and it’s often easiest to imagine ourselves with the last person we’ve dated. Plus, there are little good things sprinkled throughout every relationship, no matter how bad it ended—it’s okay to miss those things, but they aren’t always worth going back.
5. Are You Holding On To The Past?
Any relationship with a poor foundation will crumble. If you go into version 2.0 of the relationship with negative feelings about your first go-around, those feelings (bitterness, jealousy, anger, sadness, and so on) will manifest now, too. Many people who get back together with an ex choose to look at the relationship as a brand new relationship, which helps them address their feelings in a healthier way.
Have They Changed?
Have they worked on eliminating their toxic behaviors, maybe through therapy? Have you both righted your wrongs and discussed how the relationship would be healthier moving forward? Or do you just believe it’ll work out this time because you’ve enjoyed a bit of time apart? A second go-around isn’t guaranteed to work, and if the relationship has been unhealthy in the past, it’s likely to be unhealthy in the future without significant effort to change.
Do They Bring Out The Best In You?
A partner with a negative attitude will make you bitter and pessimistic. Someone who nitpicks and starts unnecessary arguments will cause you to become defensive and unsure of your footing in the relationship. Conversely, a healthy partner who respects your opinions and accepts you unconditionally will make you a brighter and more confident person over time.