I want to get back with my ex. Is this a good idea?
Question submitted by Sierra from Colorado
I’m seriously thinking about getting back with my ex… A very, very long time ago, I met, dated, and quickly entered into an exclusive long-term relationship with a guy who was roughly 10 years my senior. And we had a blast together for the two and a half years we were together.
To put it succinctly, we were having the time of our lives when two things happened simultaneously – he decided to join the Armed Services, and I realized in an intuitive leap that he was going to ask me to marry him. I was still a kid in many ways, and while I was happier than a bug in a rug to be in a relationship with this person, the idea of committing myself to someone legally and emotionally for the rest of my life was staggering. I panicked, and I broke up with him a few months after he completed boot camp.
Fast forward thirteen years – I have been through several emotional ringers and come out of it stronger and wiser than I was back then. I’ve got age, and most importantly, some experience behind me now. Recently, we connected again and have been talking quite frequently.
We’ve both changed and grown up since that chapter in our history, but what amazes me is that I can still feel that spark between us, and – again, going on intuition here – I know he does, too. We’ve discussed what really went on with our breakup because, at the time, I didn’t really understand WHY I felt the way I did, I just knew that I was terrified of staying with him. So, for a long time, he never knew why I broke up with him when he certainly didn’t see it coming. We’re both single right now. I have been single for a few years (some sorely needed love-me-for-me time) and he’s been single for a few months. I have never dated an ex before; I’ve never even considered doing it before now, but still, getting back with my ex is scary.
I’m terribly confused about this whole mess. On one hand, I think that this time we could make it; I’m not as emotionally immature and commitment shy as I was then. Yet I hear horror stories all the time from people who got back together with their exes, and I am so happy to be talking to him again that I don’t want to risk losing it a second time. Almost all of the advice I’ve found on the internet regarding getting back together with an ex is based on the fact that the breakup was recent (usually within one year).
So, what do you think based on the info given? I’m usually a very logically oriented person, but I’m too caught up in this tangled moment to pull back and consider it objectively. Should I get back with my ex? Please offer your insights and personal experiences if you have them!
A sticky situation
Generally, when you come to the conclusion, “I’m getting back with my ex,” it’s rarely a good idea. You are right about one thing, Sierra, the closer you are to the actual breakup, the more of a chance you have for failure. But if this is what you truly want, I’m going to introduce you to the silver bullet on how to get back with your ex: check out Your Love Guru by Rachel Wilkins. This book outline EVERYTHING you need in your arsenal to get that man back into your life and keep him happy!
Let’s explore the standard situation: two people breakup for whatever (usually several) reasons. As they take time away from each other, they get further away from those reasons. Most people spend this time on a self-destructive spiral instead of the love-me-for-me time so they don’t really spend these sad moments reflecting on what happened and how things could have been done differently.
There’s only one common denominator in all your failed relationships: YOU! And you are doomed to repeat the same mistakes in all your relationships if you don’t look inward and honestly ask yourself some serious questions about what you want out of life, what you are willing to offer a relationship, and how actually compatible your choice of men fits into your desired outcome. Whether it’s getting back with your ex or someone else, it’s time to look inward.
Speaking generally, most women never even consider their needs but instead, focus on the direction their boyfriends are headed on. The man often provides the direction and this is swallows up the life goals of the woman. Don’t let this happen! You didn’t the first time and that’s pretty smart of you (being a military wife is pretty horrible especially in war time). But there is definitely a need to continue with the self-discovery. A wonderful book called Should You Stay or Should You Go is exactly what you need whether you are considering leaving a relationship or getting back into one that failed in the past.
Focus on yourself
Now is time to think about you and only you. Can you make this work? Are you bringing your best game to the table or is this a last ditch effort to not be lonely? Stop asking, “should I get back with my ex” and instead ask, “Am I ready for a serious relationship?”
Who are you that you can now keep this man? Have you done a bunch of “growing up” since you both went your separate ways? Do you have the skills to re-captivate his love and keep it around this time? If you can’t answer that with a definitive, “hell yes!” then it’s not the right time for getting back with your ex.
All is not lost! You might have shared a good thing in the past and today is a new day. You need to come back to this relationship ten times the woman you were before. You’ve already been through the awkward early stage of this relationship with this man so getting into comfort will happen much quicker. The what? Two little lost loves waiting for something cool to happen that never does.
You need to seriously maintain your mystery and enchant him in whole new ways. You need to prove to him (and yourself) that you are way smarter and have the skills to make this relationship work this time. How do you do that? By Rousing the Lion! This book should be illegal it works so well! You’ll learn ways to make him fight for your love and how to make him feel like more of a man than any other woman he’s met.
You simply cannot think “getting back with my ex will be great and we’ll live happily ever after” unless you make some real changes in who you are first.
Think about the past
The further you get away from a bad relationship, the less and less you remember all the bad times. Your brain simply does not want you to always dwell on the negative. So as time creeps along, the memories you have get better and better. All those bad things about him slowly fade away until all you have left are a bunch of key moments where you felt the best being around him.
Don’t forget you broke up with him for several reasons! It’s easy to say now that you did it mainly for [insert reason here], but that wasn’t the ONLY reason. If you think back hard enough, there was more than just one factor in you making this decision.
There were things about him that drove you nuts. They will again if either he hasn’t stopped doing them, or you haven’t come to terms with his negatives. Seriously give some thought to those days and make sure you’re going into this realistically with no fantasies of “that one lost love.” If you are getting back with your ex, make sure you really know what you’re in for.
Take a fresh look at him
It’s time to look at him through a new set of lenses. You knew him when you were younger and much less evolved than you are now. Whether it’s been thirteen years or three months, going through a breakup changes you in many ways. It gives you a sense of clarity you never had before. Don’t neglect the person you have become because your excited to get your love back by getting back with your ex.
Has he spent any time working on himself or is he just the same guy you threw away however long ago? Has he acknowledged his past mistakes and committed to fixing them? Or will you go directly back into relationship mode with no difference from the first failed attempt?
People need to grow in order to reconnect. If you’ve made the commitment, “I’m getting back with my ex,” make sure your ex is (or has become) a man that you can be proud of. All those old feelings just come popping up and cloud you ability to see this guy for who he really is.
Do you have a future together? Or rather, are you two now on the same life path? Are you both ready to make a serious try at it? Is he (or you) in a place in his life to commit to something real? I know that’s a pretty heavy thing to put on this, but dating your ex is rarely a casual dating situation. It will get heavy and it will lean towards long term.
The second breakup is worse
Let’s say you two go for it and you get back with your ex. A few months later, one or both of your start to remember all those things the other one did that drove them nuts. A breakup the second time around is often much uglier than the first one because you are disappointed in yourself and no longer have that illusion to play your cards right in case you decide to patch things up.
For the most part, the second breakup is final. There are people who split and make up all the time and they are just maniacs who love drama. For the rest of us who have a head on our shoulders, consider what a re-breakup will do. Can you stand the thought of losing this guy forever as a friend? Just a thought…
Love is a crazy emotion that will make you do all kinds of things that will have you shaking your head later. But as long as you stay focussed and really open your eyes, then the “getting back with my ex” part of the relationship just becomes part of your relationship folklore. A story for the grand kids maybe?
If you are really going to do this, then give it a fresh start. This isn’t a second chance, it’s a whole new chapter in your lives. We recommend you try to learn everything about this “recycled lover.” There’s no better way than by asking a ton of fun questions. Really get to know him this time, now that you are approaching it smarter. Get the eBook, 1000 Questions for Couples to really get to know who you are getting back together with.
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