It’s often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. So, it begs to question why you would get back together with an ex, following the realization that you weren’t compatible enough in the first place. That being said, when emotions are part of the pattern, it is challenging to break out of a vicious cycle. It is easy to let the feelings of love and lust get in the way of rational thinking, and end up back together, even when it is not the best decision for the couple.
Here are things to be considered before getting back together with your ex to ensure the emotional wellness and success of the relationship:
Figure out what went wrong. Take some time to reflect and identify the reason why the break-up happened. It might be due to many things, but identifying exactly what it was will help you figure out what to do next. Was it a difference in values? Was it a misunderstanding? Was it poor communication? Was it infidelity? Each of these questions will dictate a different solution.
Figure out if it’s unrequited love. A lot of times the issue is that one of the two parties involved is simply “not that into “ the other person and that is okay. You don’t have a shot at making this work if one of the two people is simply not as invested as the other. You must be honest with your partner, as well as yourself, if you find yourself out of love or never in love with your partner.
Figure out if it’s something that’s fixable or changeable. Now that you know what happened exactly, it is time to figure out if this is something that can be changed. There are some things that can be worked on such as communication, but other things are harder to work on, such as compromising when there are differences in values. If the issue is infidelity, are both people ready to heal the betrayal? Is couple’s therapy needed to address these issues?
Was it something that you want to put effort into working through? It is time to ask yourself if you have the motivation and desire to work through the issue that you have identified. Sometimes you might be tired of trying and simply not have the energy to work on the relationship. For example, you may feel like you simply cannot get past the betrayal of infidelity. But if you feel like the relationship is worth it, this is the time to work through the hurt or disappointment.
Make a plan for your new relationship. If both partners feel like they want to make it work, create a plan on how things will be different this time around. Each partner might need to make compromises and find ways to work on themselves. If both members of the couple are committed, take the necessary steps towards improvement, getting back together may result in feelings of appreciation and a deeper connection.
When considering if you should give your relationship another shot after a breakup, use logic in conjunction with your feelings to guide your decision. It is easy to open up your heart, only to find that you are back in a familiar, uncomfortable territory again. But, there is the possibility that you both have grown and the future will be different.
Written by Carolina Vargas, Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy and Relationup Advisor