Every week we choose one question from a community member to answer here on the blog. This week we heard from Zoe, who is having a relationship dilemma and doesn’t know whether she should give her ex a second chance.
Q - Please help! My ex-boyfriend and I broke up around six months ago, after four years together. Recently he got in touch, and we met up for a drink. He told me he really misses me and thinks we made a mistake by breaking up. I still love him and I miss him so much, but I don’t know if us getting back together is a good idea. Do you have any advice? Love, Zoe.
A - Hi Zoe,
Thanks so much for your question. That is a tricky situation that people face all the time, but none of us really know the answer to. Unfortunately, there is no straight-forward ‘yes you should’, or ‘no you shouldn’t’, answer to this; there are a number of different things that could affect whether it’s a good idea or not. Only you and your ex can answer the question, and even you might not know for sure if you’re right. However, there are some things to consider that might make the decision easier for you. Here are the questions you should ask yourself if you’re considering getting back together with your ex.
Why did you break up?
The very first thing you need to ask yourself is why did you break up in the first place? Was it because of a fight that got out of hand and resulted in a break up simply because emotions were running high? We tend to feel overly dramatic when we’re angry or upset and can make hasty decisions we come to regret later. If this is the case, maybe it is worth another shot, now that tempers have cooled and the argument is no longer valid.
However, if the reason you broke up was something different, such as incompatibility or fundamentally different values or goals, you need to consider carefully; has anything changed? Has the thing that made you decide to go your separate ways been resolved, or is it something that you’ve decided you can live with? If there was a solid reason that you broke up, such as one person wanting children and the other not, or maybe one person wanting to live in an area the other person dislikes, then you need to think logically; if the issue still exists, and it is still something that you disagree on, then it will probably continue to cause problems down the line.
When you miss somebody, you tend to look at the past through rose-tinted glasses, and only see the good times and not the bad. However, if you get back together with the issue still being present, you’ll soon find that once the honeymoon period is over, the issue will probably raise its head once more. If you think the issue can be solved, then go for it. However, if it’s something that you will never be able to agree on, it probably means that one person will end up resenting the other, and that is not a good basis for a healthy relationship.
Are you doing it for the right reasons?
When we’re heartbroken and missing somebody, getting back together seems like the easiest thing to do, and sometimes it is. Relationships are like habits; they’re hard to break. As good as your reasons for breaking up may have been, once you’re hurt and alone, it is easy to convince yourself that they’re not that important and that all you want to be is back in the safety and comfort of that old, familiar relationship.
When considering whether you should get back together with an ex, you should thoroughly examine your life as it is, while you’re single, and your reasons for wanting to go back to that relationship. Is it simply because you’re lonely, and you miss having company? Or are you simply craving the physical side of the relationship, and confusing that desire for something more? Before you make any decisions, really question your motivations, and be completely honest with yourself.
Will the relationship add something to your life?
Many people wrongly think that you must be in a relationship to be truly happy and fulfilled. Though relationships bring us joy, love, companionship and so much more, it is possible to be happy without one. Many people are happily single, and feel very content and fulfilled without a significant other. Sure, most people aren’t single forever, but it is important to feel happy and content with your life while you’re on your own.
Whilst deciding whether or not to rekindle your old flame, you should consider what that person and the relationship will bring to your life. A good relationship is more than somebody to simply sit and watch TV with; relationships should help us grow and flourish. They should be uplifting and inspiring, and both people should feel as though they are benefitting from the relationship.
If you don’t think you’ll be any better off in the relationship than out of it, then what is the point? There could be somebody you haven’t yet met who is destined to bring joy, happiness and a whole wealth of other things to your life. If you tread water in the same relationship that doesn’t serve you and your life, you’re robbing yourself of other opportunities.
Relationships are complicated, and there is never a straightforward answer to matters of the heart. The only people who know if a relationship is wrong or right are those who are in it. However, considering these three questions should help you think about the relationship more logically, and will help you decide if this is a good or bad decision. Good luck, and I hope that whatever happens, you find love and happiness.