What to do if your ex wants a second chance?
No-one enjoys going through a break-up, but what should you do if your ex wants a second chance? Here are a few things you should ask yourself before taking them back
There are so many variables when it comes to relationships as each person and situation is unique. One thing is the same across the board though; breaking up is hard to do. If you have been through it once you are unlikely to want to repeat the experience, especially with the same person, so what do you do if your ex comes back keen to give it another go?
Get some perspective
Emotions can be overwhelming and, in the case of an ex, you’re likely to have a whole mix going on because you’ll have happy memories of when you were first together, sadder memories of the break-up and everything in between. It’s important, if you are considering getting back with an ex, that you get a realistic view of the relationship rather that look at it through rose tinted glasses because it all happened so long ago.
Talk to your friends and family about it – you’ll be able to see from their reaction whether or not they think it is a good idea for you to give it another go. Try to get a realistic picture of what things were like between you and your ex rather than an idealised romantic image.
Do this exercise
One approach is to get a blank sheet of paper and start each sentence with ‘I remember ….’ e.g. ‘I remember our first kiss when we were in the back of the cinema’ or ‘I remember how hurt I was when I found out you had lied to me’. This exercise can bring up a lot of emotions so make sure you have the time and space to do it – and a box of tissues on hand! Confine your memories to that person and that relationship. Keep each memory brief and succinct so that you don’t end up writing your life story. Continue writing until the memories dry up. It’s even okay if it takes a few days; how many memories you have will depend on how long you were together.
In the end, you’ll have compiled a summary of what really affected you in that relationship. And with that knowledge you’ll be able to ask yourself whether you want to go back and give it another go. It’s really important that you allow the negative emotions to surface as well as the happy ones. It’s the unhappy emotions, after all, that you’re likely to deny or repress if you blindly decide to give it another go on the basis that you did really love each other once.
If you think you might like to give it another go there are a few things to consider:
1. Are you reading the signs correctly? Has your ex actually said that they want to get back with you? If so the best thing you can do is to ask for time to think about it and take as much as you need. Don’t jump straight back into their arms (especially if you are under the influence of alcohol) no matter how wildly romantic that seems to be.
If they haven’t asked you directly but you are getting the feeling that they are interested, do nothing until they make a direct approach. In the meantime, you can continue working through your own feelings and decide what would be best for you.
2. Some people have the annoying habit of only wanting what they cannot have. If you’ve moved on and got on with your life, maybe even found a new partner, then someone who had previously left you might begin to be interested again. They want you to want them, but the minute that you do they’ll likely go cold on you again. The best way to handle this is to not get involved with them at all – this behaviour is co-dependant, unhealthy, and will make you feel crazy.
3. The best reason to get back with an ex is because you both want to be together again and whatever it was that caused you to break-up in the first place has been resolved. The worst reason is because one or both of you are lonely and there’s no-one else available. Or you’re jealous because you can’t bear the thought of them being with anyone else.
Whatever you do, take time to think it over before you make a final decision. Be wary of taking an ex back more than once – if they keep dumping you and you keep taking them back it’s unlikely that a lasting relationship will ever develop.
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