Thinking about giving it another chance with your ex?
Worried that you won’t find anyone else who measures up?
But what if it’s a huge mistake?
Before you jump into another potentially heartbreaking situation, it is important to carefully consider the pros and cons of getting back together with an ex.
It’s very likely that you’re going to want to try to win him or her back even after you do weigh the options because you’ll know deep down that’s the right choice, but nonetheless it’s still worth thinking about some of the advantages and potential pitfalls…
There are many reasons why getting back together with an ex makes a lot of sense.
Clearly you were attracted to this person at one time, so why not rekindle that attraction and focus on the positive? Let’s take a look at the clear pros for getting back together:
- You can make things better the second time around
If you have both had adequate time and space to work through your breakup as well as make improvements to yourself, the perspective you gain can work to make your relationship stronger than ever. The key here is learning from past mistakes and working to change that which went wrong in the first place.
- There is a comfort in familiarity
The same reasons you have for still wearing your favorite sweatshirt from high school may also apply to rekindling a relationship with an ex; it’s familiar, comfortable, and nostalgic. Depending on the reasons you broke up in the first place, returning to a place of comfort is incredibly tempting and really nice.
- You can skip formalities
Dating an ex makes all the awkward “getting to know you” stuff repetitive and allows you to focus instead on the heavier aspects of the relationship such as commitment, future plans, etc. That is, so long as you get back together without the intention of making something permanent– at least not just yet, in most cases.
- You’ll enjoy a sense of acceptance
For many people, acceptance is an underlying goal in many aspects of their life. Breaking up, no matter the reason and no matter who initiated it, is a form of rejection. When you get back together with someone who “rejected” you before, you feel accepted instead. This sense of acceptance and familiarity is comforting and fulfills many people’s deepest insecurities.
When it comes down to it, the pros of getting back with an ex are really determined by the reasons you broke up in the first place.
A couple who couldn’t make a long distance pairing work, but suddenly find themselves living closer together are far more likely to be successful in Round 2 as compared to the couple who broke up because of chronic cheating or differing worldviews.
In some cases, getting back with an ex can actually help you get closure on the relationship, so you know once and for all if it was really meant to be.
As most people can guess, the cons of getting back together with an ex far outweigh the pros in a few cases. Despite the familiarity and comfort that an ex provides, getting back together puts you at a greater risk for emotional harm than a new relationship, which is why this is not a move anyone should make lightly.
Here are some cons that come with getting back together with an ex:
- There is a danger in old habits
Just as the familiar intimacy of your ex can be a good reason to get back together, the other side of this is that the “old (bad) habits” of being together may resurface. You both have to make a conscious effort to start over which means refusing to fall back into the same old pattern that lead to your breakup in the first place.
- You may forgive, but can you forget?
The hurt and pain that the end of your relationship caused may dull with time, but the memory of it will always be there. Getting back together means facing that pain and rejection head-on, which may cause additional pain as you talk out your feelings and be honest about your experiences (which is necessary for future relationship success).
- Your ex may no longer know “you”
The experience of your breakup no doubt changed you and you must figure out who your ex wants to be with – the you of today or the you of the former relationship – things can only work if he/she wants the former, not the latter.
- You may lose progress
Getting back together with an ex, someone who, by definition is from your past, may cause you to regress into someone who you no longer want to be. If you have worked on yourself since your breakup, especially if it’s been many months or years, the comfort of old habits and the temptation of someone who you used to know may derail those efforts.
Though rediscovering love can at once be one of the best, most fulfilling relationship choices, at the same time repeating a cycle of hardship and pain is not worth it, no matter how much you love the other person.
With that in mind, getting back together with an ex is a really delicate decision that must be made on a case-by-case basis. What’s important is to keep the focus of your decision on the most important person in your life (yourself) and get guidance as much as possible in order to get an unbiased view of your relationship.