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Should You Get Back Together With an Ex?

December 27, 2008
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Relationship questions answered: Should You Get Back Together With an Ex?

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A classic question after you break up with someone is should you get back together with an ex? For some, the option is not there – if you are saying I hate my ex girlfriend! or your ex won’t even ackowledge you exist, there’s a pretty good chance you won’t have to worry about the possibility of getting back together and can move on to mending a broken heart.

But sometimes, you find yourselves after breaking up unable to stay apart, or maybe one person is doing some things to try and get you back – maybe they won’t stop text messaging you or calling you, maybe they keep “accidentally running into you” everywhere you go (also known as stalking). It’s possible you may even be the one doing these things, especially if you find yourself unable to get over the break-up or wishing you were back together.

Before you decide if you should get back together with an ex, make sure you answer these questions:

1. Why did you break up in the first place? It’s easy to be swooned again if you meet back up with an ex – all those memories come flooding in, you might notice he or she is still kind of cute. Before you get swept up in all of those emotions, make sure you identify the reasons you broke up and keep that in mind at all times while together. Maybe it was an issue of jealousy or control – maybe cheating was an issue or you couldn’t communicate with each other effectively.

2. What are the most annoying habits of your ex? When you break up with someone, it’s likely listing their faults and most annoying habits comes pretty easy. It’s a good thing to concentrate on these because it’s very likely your ex has not gone under a total transformation and all of his or her faults magically disappeared since the two of you broke up. While yes, every person has faults, it’s important you realize that your exes faults are still there.

3. What are your long term goals? Most relationships go one of two courses – you stay together forever and live happily ever after, or you end up breaking up and going off your separate ways. While getting back together with an ex doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to end up married, you should be looking into the long term future together, unless your plan is to go through heart break over and over again. Actually, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to check out our pre marriage questions to see if you have a chance for making it work out for the long term.

4. Why do you want to get back together? Think carefully about the real reasons you might want to get back together with your ex. Are you just lonely? Miss having someone around? Do you feel like you’ll never meet anyone better? Need some intimacy you don’t get when you’re single? Examining the real reasons you are interested in getting back together might make you realize your reasons are not the best or may be based on only short term or physical motivations that would go away after a little more time and healing after the break up.

5. Does he/she deserve a second chance? People make mistakes. But some people never learn from these mistakes or change for good. If your ex was full of excuses, had constant problems with honesty, or spent most of your relationship apologizing, it’s a good chance that he or she hasn’t changed or learned from their mistakes or will treat you right the second time around. Not everyone deserves that second chance to screw with your heart. On the other hand, if it truly was a one time thing, and you’re convinced something like that would never happen again, maybe forgiveness is all that is necessary.

6. What do your friends and family think? While friends and family may be a little biased or partial, there’s a good chance that they’ve been watching your relationship from the outside and have formed an opinion about your ex. If they think he or she is a total scumbag and can list 10 reasons to back it up, then it’s a good possibility they’re right.

7. Do You Know What a Healthy Relationship Is? Healthy relationships are full of trust, understanding, and even forgiveness. Both partners give the relationship 100%. A relationship can fail for a lot of reasons – and there are signs that a relationship was healthy but maybe external pressures caused the break up. Then there are cases when a relationship is unhealthy from the beginning and breaking up can be a way to improve both of your lives. Our article on the stages of a healthy relationship will help you determine if you ever had a healthy relationship in the first place and if a healthy one would be possible if you got back together.

Thinking about all of these things will help you decide in the end what the best decision is. In general, its probably best to let things go – but occasionally getting back together with an ex might be the right thing to do, especially if both parties understand exactly what went wrong and what it would take to make it right. Before you decide anything, make sure you take some time and really think about everything objectively. You just might find a better, more mature relationship out there, though it will likely take the time.

What are your thoughts? Should you get back together with an ex?

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