“Should I get back together with my ex?” This is a question most of us have asked ourselves at least once in our lives. After all, choosing our partner is probably the most significant life choice we will ever make. The stakes are even higher with an ex, you’ve already been there once, and you’ve probably been hurt along the way. Although most people in this situation want assurances of success; with attraction and love, there are no certainties – there are only smart choices and poor ones.
Through my research and experiences I have come to realize there are two variables in a relationship which will determine whether or not it is a smart choice to get back with your ex. You must be honest with yourself in your assessment of your situation, it is easy to lie to yourself in a breakup situation; this is a short-term solution to ease the pain. Long-term happiness requires that you be honest with yourself, and brave enough to face the truth. Ask yourself:
1. Was your breakup caused by one person becoming less attracted to the other?
A loss of attraction can be also be translated into a “loss of love”. Did one person fall out of love with the other?
- Signs exhibited by someone who is losing attraction include: a reduction in sexual desire, persistent doubts about the relationship, feeling that that relationship in its current form is a burden, talk of being better as “friends”. The person losing attraction will also often be described as “cranky” and unpleasant around their partner.
I have also found that in most cases, the person who is falling out of love will be emotionally confused as the love dies. They might leave and come back, breakup only to make up. They will be inconsistent and their words generally won’t match their actions.
If a loss of attraction was the root cause of the breakup, my suggestion is to let the relationship go. It is extremely difficult to revive attraction once it is dead. I have also found that this is especially true when it is the female that “falls out of love.” It’s important to let go because keeping the hope of reconciliation alive prevents you from grieving the breakup and ultimatley moving on with your life.
I should also warn you that rejection sets off a strange reaction in the brain; it makes us believe the rejector is better than they actually are, and it increases our attraction to them. This “super-charged” attraction is only temporary and usually lasts for about a month after a rejection. Keep this in mind as a possibility of why you may you want your ex back, or in the case your are the rejector, why your ex is chasing you so desperately.
Someone who falls out of love with you will probably never fall back in love with you again. There is a reason this love died, and that reason will probably never change. Learn from your mistakes, keep your head high, grieve your loss and grow from this experience. Getting back with your after this type of break up is a bad decision – and a set up for more pain down the road.
2. Was your breakup up a Circumstantial Breakup?
A circumstantial breakup is one caused by outside factors. The underlying criteria for this breakup is that you both wanted to be together, enjoyed being together, and you would have stayed together if the circumstance hadn’t occurred. A good example of a circumstantial breakup is if one person had to move for college. Depending on the circumstance, a successful reunion with your ex is possible.
In some cases, however, a circumstantial breakup should remain permanent. I have developed six questions you should ask yourself before you decide to try and make it work a second time.
- Did the breakup occur with hard feelings afterwords? Will you and your ex have trouble starting again with a “clean slate”? Is there resentment between the two of you?
- Are either of you on the rebound? Do either of you have anyone else in the picture? It is an absolute must that both people are single and emotionally available.
- Was the circumstance that caused the breakup someone leaving for a third party person or cheating?
- Could this circumstance happen again?
- Was the circumstance incarceration, physical or emotional abuse or any violent actions?
- Has there only been one previous breakup? Remember, no third chances. As they say, fool me twice, shame on me.
If you answered yes to any of the questions – irreparable damage has been done. You and your ex will likely never be the same as you were. Your emotional energy is better spent on someone new.
Image Courtesy PhotoBlog