The fall season brings more than just cooler weather and pumpkin spice lattes; it also brings nostalgia for past relationships. Suddenly, after the end of a long day, you’re thinking about cuddling up with your ex on the sofa watching a movie.
The yearning for companionship in the era of swiping and catfishing is understandable. Wanting to rekindle an old flame is something many single people revisit after a significant breakup. However, the biggest question that lingers in the lonely air is, is it a good idea?
If you’ve been sending flirty texts to your ex or looking through old pictures, the idea of getting back with your ex has probably been on top of your mind. To help you decide to try again or walk away for good, here is relationship advice from experts and everyday people to help you make the decision.
Is it a bad idea to try to get back with an ex?
To answer the question, is it a bad idea to get back with your ex, the response might change depending on who you ask. Your best friends might say yes, and your mother might say give him another chance, but what’s important is how you come to an answer that is right for you. Here are some things to consider.
Take an honest reflection of the past.
Consider why you and your ex parted ways in the first place. Was it because of something that’s no longer an issue, such as living in separate states? Were you not communicating enough? Ask yourself, was trust broken, and can that trust be rebuilt? Relationships aren’t black and white. You need to ask yourself if the problems of the past will continue to be problems in the future.
Are you or your ex the same as before?
Personal growth is not just crucial for one’s self but for relationships as well. During your time broken up, how have you grown as a person? Have you become more patient? Do you now have more of a work-life balance? Does your partner show maturity of emotional growth? Consider if the person you are now is ready to get back into a relationship with the current version of your ex.
Do you miss them?
Sometimes, wanting to get back with your ex results from you simply missing them. Perhaps they were the one person who could always make you laugh. Maybe they are a great listener, or you share the same weird hobbies. Either way, it’s essential to consider whether the feelings you are having are romantic or not. Perhaps you can work on building a friendship rather than a new relationship.
What do experts say about getting back with your ex?
You’ve probably questioned your best friends about whether you should get back with your ex, but what about some professional advice? According to a survey by eharmony, getting back with an ex is common amongst adults, especially millennials. Their data showed that 6 in 10 adults have rekindled an old flame.
“One reason someone might choose to get back together with an ex-partner may be because the familiarity and comfort of the past relationship is more appealing than the uncertainty of starting a new relationship with someone else,” shares Minaa B. “Others may feel the need to reconcile with their ex to regain a sense of control and power in the relationship.”
It seems that this idea of familiarity draws couples back together. “There’s comfort with an ex,” shares Laurel House. “They know you. They may have seen and experienced the good and the bad of you. They understand your lifestyle and likes as well as dislikes and quirks. It feels easy to fold back into each other.”
House also mentioned that for singles, the idea of entering a new relationship with an ex can be more appealing than entering a brand-new relationship with someone new.
All in all, this expert advice shows you there is no shame in wanting to return to a relationship with your ex. The most crucial factor is that you enter that relationship with open communication, understanding, and a few other tools to help you make the partnership better. If you’ve realized that getting back with your ex may lead to long-term happiness, here are some things to consider as you get back into the relationship saddle.
Take things slow
You might be feeling giddy and happy to have someone to cuddle up with on a Friday night, but the critical thing to remember is to take things slow. It might feel counterintuitive, but it’s helpful to move slowly to see if the relationship is viable or not.
Taking things slowly can look like going on actual dates, limiting how much time you spend the night at each other’s places. It can also be sitting down and having a serious conversation about what you both expect from the relationship the second time around.
Address old issues
An advantage of taking things slow is that it gives you time to address old issues. Take the time to discuss not only why you broke up but also what led to the breakup. Try to get to the core of your relationship problems. For instance, if your partner was putting more time into work than into the relationship, what has changed? Has your partner decided to work fewer hours, or do they have a highly demanding job that doesn’t allow much leisure time?
When you bring up old issues, be mindful not to play the blame game. Instead, approach old issues as wanting to find solutions rather than bringing up old problems.
Start from a blank slate
Once you’ve addressed and resolved your old issues, it’s essential to start from a blank page. Meaning you want to start the relationship without any expectations or assumptions.
It’s okay to have hopes and dreams for the relationships, but be open to things turning out differently than you wanted. Different doesn’t always mean bad.
Try them on for size
Even though getting back with an ex feels familiar, it’s okay to have a test run before committing fully. A trial period can help to work out any issues you have that are unresolved. Setting the parameters of the trial period can be something you and your partner develop together. Perhaps you want to give yourself three months of being in the relationship and then decide to have a check-in afterward to see if it’s a good idea to continue.
Consult with a therapist
Sometimes, you need the help of a third-party professional to help you clean up some of the areas of your relationship you may have overlooked. Working with a therapist can also help you to better communicate with your partner and make sure that both sides feel seen and heard.
Notice bad habits before they turn into a problem
Wanting the relationship to work is understandable. However, overlooking specific problems is not going to make things better in the long wrong. If you start noticing yourself slipping back into old habits, such as being quick to judge or not supporting your partner, have a way to break or change those habits.
Remember that the beginning of a relationship is building the foundation of your partnership. Communicating and setting boundaries in the beginning will help you create a lasting future with your ex.