Getting Back With Your Ex – Is It the Right Thing to Do?
Should I get back with my ex? This thought has crossed the minds of many people after the end of a relationship.
But before you rush to try to get your ex back, we’ve put together some tips to help figure out if getting back with your ex is the right thing to do and how to go about it the right way.
Is the Relationship Fixable?
First, it is crucial to determine if the relationship is truly worth saving. It’s easy to get nostalgic about an old relationship and remember the good times while downplaying the bad. However, there was a reason you broke up. Before getting back with your ex, it’s important to take an honest look at whether or not the relationship is fixable.
Unless both you and your ex have worked on yourselves, matured, learned new relationship skills, and grown, you will likely end up where you were before. Getting back together is a 2-way street and requires both of you to be on the same page and committed to putting in the work needed to move forward.
Ask yourself these questions (you can enlist the help of an objective and honest friend or acquaintance) to determine if your relationship has a possible healthy future:
- Why did you break up? Was it just poor timing? Or was it a deeper issue that will be difficult to address?
- Are you lonely and just w
- anting some familiar comfort?
- Are you idealizing your former relationship?
- Are you idealizing your partner?
- What has changed that makes you think the relationship would work if you try it again?
- Has your partner worked on themselves and made positive changes since the breakup?
- What work have you done on yourself since the relationship? Have you gone to counselling, taken up a healthy new hobby, or switched to a less stressful career?
- If you were betrayed, can you honestly picture trusting your partner again? Or will you be tempted to check their phone or email and second-guess their whereabouts?
- Are both you and your ex willing to put in the work to repair the relationship and make it better than before?
- Are both you and your ex remorseful and genuinely sorry for any past hurts?
- Are both you and your ex willing to take responsibility for your mistakes?
- Do you both recognise what needs to change to have a successful, healthy relationship this time around?
- Are you both ready to handle future disagreements with love, respect, and a willingness to compromise?
Trust Can Be Rebuilt in a Relationship
A strong level of trust is the foundation of the majority of healthy relationships. If you had your trust broken by frequent lies, or if your partner cheated on you emotionally or physically, trust can be extremely hard to rebuild.
Are you 100% willing to give your partner a fresh chance? Or are you going to panic and assume the worst if they miss your call or are late coming home from work?
With commitment and hard work, it is possible to rebuild trust in a relationship. Here are some key steps to form a strong level of trust and move forward with your ex:
- Discuss what fidelity looks like to both of you
- Develop realistic expectations for maintaining trust
- Agree to be 100% honest and open going forward
- Practice radical transparency
- Decide how each of you defines commitment
- Define your long-term goals as a couple
- If you or your partner cheated, decide what changes must be made to prevent it from happening again (i.e. attending therapy, switching jobs, deleting social media, going to rehab, etc.)
10 Must-Follow Rules if you Decide to Get Your Ex Back
Okay, so you’ve decided getting back with your ex is the right thing to do.
Here are 10 must-follow rules before getting back with your ex.
1. Pinpoint Why You Want to Get Back Together
Are you missing the positive connection you had with your ex? Or are you just lonely or sick of the dating process?
Take an honest look at your reasons for wanting to get your ex back. Turning back to your ex because you are lonely or haven’t made another connection just yet is almost certainly a recipe for the relationship to fail a second time.
2. Think About What You Want to Discuss Beforehand
If you want to get your ex back, it can be helpful to organise your thoughts and think about areas you want to discuss beforehand. This ensures you address areas of concern, past hurts, and what you want out of the relationship without missing anything important.
If you don’t feel comfortable expressing your feelings or do not feel validated when you bring up concerns, this is a huge red flag and likely indicates you should move on.
3. Be Willing to Completely Forgive
If you aren’t willing to completely forgive your ex and start fresh, think twice about getting back together.
If you throw past mistakes in your ex’s face or bring up past hurts, the relationship will slowly deteriorate and likely come to an end… again.
It’s normal to have past hurts and wounds, but it’s important to address them honestly and calmly with your ex. Then, forgive and move on if you want any chance at a normal, healthy relationship. If this feels too difficult, it’s a sign that you are not meant to be in a relationship with this person now (or possibly ever).
4. Take It Slow
There are many stages of getting back together with an ex. Ideally, the first stage will involve taking things very slowly. Before you jump right in, consider a trial period to ease back into a relationship.
During a trial period, consider keeping the relationship private. Pay attention to any changes – positive or negative – you notice. Are the same little arguments cropping back up? Are you sweeping issues under the rug just because things feel fresh and exciting again?
It is critical, to be honest with yourself during this trial period to ensure it is a good idea to officially get back together with your ex.
5. Remember: You Can’t Change Someone
Were there certain habits or behaviours that bothered you before? Although people can certainly change, you have to accept that some things will still be the same.
- Are you okay with their busy work schedule?
- Can you get past their annoying quirks?
- Do they still have many of their old habits?
It’s common for couples to enjoy a new honeymoon phase before falling back into the same patterns as before. Be sure you are ready for the potential that unwanted habits and patterns are highly likely to reoccur.
6. View It As A New Chapter
While it isn’t possible to have a completely fresh start with an ex, you can still view this as a chance to get to know your ex all over.
Enjoy this time of re-learning their likes and dislikes, finding out if they have any new hobbies, asking about advancements in their career, and other big life changes.
Find out how your partner is feeling and thinking and enjoy the chance at opening a new chapter.
7. Figure Out What Your Needs and Expectations
This is your chance to be 100% clear and honest with your ex about what you want out of the relationship, what you hope for in the future, and what a healthy relationship looks like to you.
Be clear on your expectations for the relationship, and what you expect from your partner. Let them know the qualities you need in a partner, how you feel most loved, and address any changes that need to be made.
- Do you need more kisses, hugs, and intimacy?
- Do you need your partner to tell you, “I love you”, “Thank you,” or “You mean so much to me” more often?
- Do you need your partner to listen better?
- Do you need to feel more supported in your goals and dreams?
- Do you want your partner to spend more time with you?
- Do you need a set date night to look forward to each week?
Make sure your expectations, goals, and values line up before giving your relationship another try.
8. Address Past Issues
There’s a high chance old fights will pop up again. So why not get ahead of them?
Calmly and respectfully discuss past issues with your ex and develop a strategy for how you’ll handle disagreements when they come up. Your past relationship can be an amazing learning tool if you decide to get back together with your ex.
Sit down together and discuss areas that needed to be worked on and view it as an opportunity to grow and do better. You might be surprised at how much insight you gain.
9. Listen to your Gut
Ever felt a knot in your stomach before a big decision? That’s a phenomenon known as “gut feelings”. Often, our intuition can be our best guide.
If you have hesitation deep down or feel like your gut is telling you it isn’t the right move, take some time to address these concerns.
10. Don’t Settle
The most important person to be honest with is yourself. Although it may be tempting to get back with your ex, take a good look at your life and if your ex can truly complement it and enhance it.
Also, look at how many times you have broken up with your ex. Would this be the first time getting back together? Or the second? Or third?
If you’ve been caught in a repeating cycle of being on and off again with your ex, it may be time to accept that you are not a complementary match and that a better relationship is waiting for you.
In Search of More Love and Dating Advice?
The end of a relationship, whether it was short or long-term, can be a difficult time, particularly if there is still a strong connection and mutual respect between former partners.
If you aren’t sure if getting back with your ex would be falling back into old habits or repeating a toxic cycle, it might be a good idea to enlist the help of a relationship coach. Before getting back with your ex, a relationship coach can provide a knowledgeable, objective opinion and uncover any red flags.
If you have any questions about dating, relationships, or matchmaking, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team of experts. We are dedicated to helping you find a meaningful, fulfilling, healthy relationship.