How to get back with your ex?
5 questions to ask before deciding if you should consider getting back with your ex partner.
Have you come out of a relationship and spent time on your own and realised you miss your ex-partner and want them back? Breaking up with somebody and going your separate ways there will often be at least one of you or perhaps both of you are starting to question your decision of parting ways and if there is a chance to get back together. Can it actually work out with an ex? Of course you know people who have successfully come back together after a breakup, but more often than not the reconciliation doesn’t work. There are 5 important questions to ask yourself before you decide to take the trip down the road of reconciliation.
Step 1: Ask yourself why you want to get back with your ex
Really be honest with yourself and ask yourself why would you want them back? When you ask this question and are really honest you’re going to hear yourself answer things like “I miss them”. “I feel lonely”, “I’m not sure I made the right choice” and “I didn’t think it would be this hard”. These are common emotions to go through, is it about them or is it actually about you and your fears that you made a mistake, fear that you might not find someone else, fear that they might find someone else and move on.
When you start thinking about getting back with your ex it’s very easy to get stuck in a one-sided fantasy and remember all the things you liked about them. Romanticising about the relationship almost like you have relationship amnesia and forget about all the reasons why you broke up in the first place.
Step 2: Have you given yourself enough time?
Have you given yourself enough time to get used to being on your own? You have to give yourself an adequate amount of time to form new routines, to feel free of the past and to start looking forward to the future. It’s not easy coming out of a relationship and rediscovering who you are and what you want.
Have you given yourself enough space between the break up and the make up?
Have you given yourself enough time to grieve the relationship? Have you broken the habit of communicating on a regular basis. Have you got a special event, Birthday, Christmas or Valentines day coming up and letting nostalgia bring up all the beautiful memories of happy times together?
Getting back with an ex takes time and effort just as it does healing from past hurts. Make sure you spend enough time apart so if you decide to come together you will be in a different emotional place than you were when you broke up.
Step 3: Have you changed?
Are you a different person now than you were in the relationship? What have you worked on? Realistically how would you need to change in order for the two of you to get back together?
Reflecting on the relationship and the challenges which lead to the breakup are you able to identify what role you played. It is sometimes easier to blame your partner rather than take responsibility for your actions. How you end a relationship and the circumstances which surround it often have 2 different perspectives.
How much has your ex changed? Have they been working on themselves?
The hard truth is you have no ability or right to try and change somebody. People have to make their own decisions about whether or not they want to change and if you decide to get back with your ex you may have to accept they are exactly the same person they always have been. Loving someone for both sides is an important foundation of a relationship but the moment you start placing demands and expectations on your partner, the relationship has very little chance of surviving. You can’t change your ex, you can only grow and change yourself to be more tolerant, patient and align your needs with your partner’s needs.
Time heals certain wounds because it pushes them to the back of your memory and as soon as you get back with them, all that old stuff comes up and if you haven’t dealt with the past you’re not going to be able to reconcile with the present and certainly not going to be able to move forward effectively with your past.
Step 4: Remember why you broke up
I am not one to recommend focusing on the negative aspects of your relationship but it is wise to be honest with yourself and remind yourself the reasons why your relationship ended.
Was there a defining event? Are you left with unanswered questions?
Why did my partner cheat on me?
What did I do to deserve being treated this way?
Why would the person I love break my trust?
How could they do this to me?
There may have been hurtful words and disagreements which can’t be taken back or perhaps or a betrayal of some kind. Or was it a case of misaligned goals, priorities and values?
No matter what the reason, be honest with yourself about why you broke up and who broke it off with who. If you’re the person who has been rejected, sometimes the motivation to reconcile with an ex is driven by needing to heal and get over rejection.
You have to remember both sides of the relationship. There were times of challenge and support. Relationships have two sides – they have their positives and negatives, pains and pleasures, likes and dislikes.
It’s not possible to go through life without having ups and downs. The pain you might be experiencing now while missing your ex or feeling lonely is not limited to being on your own. There were times in your relationship you felt alone, misunderstood, hurt and frustrated. Sometimes the loneliest place can be lying next to somebody and feeling so disconnected you’d rather be on your own.. It’s natural to cling onto the nostalgia of the past but is it a big enough reason to get back together with an ex?
Step 5: What makes you think it will work this time?
If you have taken the time to ask yourself all the questions above, the next step is to get clear about the potential for a successful outcome of getting back with your ex.
Are you prepared to accept the person for exactly who they are without wanting to change them?
Can you forgive the past and how you have been hurt?
Have you made your apologies and owned your s%*!?
Have you received the apologies you felt you deserved?
Does your partner display the same level of commitment to reconcile?
Do you both have the same or similar relationship goals for the future?
Have you worked on strategies to deal with future conflict? What are they?
There is no reason you couldn’t get back with your ex and build a new relationship on a strong foundation. But if and when you do decide to get back together with your ex, you both have to be prepared to start with a clean slate.
Time camouflages wounds because it pushes them to the back of your memory but they can quickly appear as triggers when you are back together, all the old stuff comes to the surface. If you haven’t dealt with the past you’re not going to be able to reconcile with the present and certainly not going to be able to move forward effectively with your past.
For more information on this topic watch my video titled “Is it a good idea to get back with my ex?”.
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