Back To The Ex: When Does It Make Sense – And When Not?

Back to the ex? That’s not always the best idea. Our author tells you when a love comeback can work and when you should leave it alone.

Once upon a time there was love! And the memory of this feeling, of how nice it could be with the ex-partner, is the most common reason why sometimes, after a breakup, the feeling arises of wanting to go back to the ex after all. Often a permanent separation is nevertheless the best solution. After all, there were also the times that made life with him difficult and robbed a lot of energy. And people do not change significantly. A turnaround is therefore unlikely to happen if both try it again with each other. Nevertheless, there are people for whom the paths lead back together after a breakup and for whom it works.

When can a second attempt be the right thing to do and when is it better to learn to let go? Here are valid arguments.

Back to the ex: When a second try doesn’t make sense:

When memories are transfigured
It has its advantages when, for the sake of psychological hygiene, our soul banishes the unpleasant memories of the ex-relationship to the basement and pushes the good memories into the easily accessible foreground for better healing of the wounds. Unfortunately, this mechanism sometimes leads us to develop the illusion that, from today’s perspective, everything was not so bad or even very nice after all. Thanks to repressed dark sides, the idea then arises in some people: Maybe I did something wrong? Or maybe I was just in a funny mood! The circumstances were not optimal! And so on.

Those who develop such thoughts should take time for an honest reflection. Look at old photos: Where were we and how do I look from the laundry there? Ask friends and parents: How did you experience us together back then? Check old news: How has the tone changed? In many cases, this reality check leads to a kind of disillusionment that prevents you from asking your ex out again.

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When everything has remained the same
After the breakup, everyone has continued their boot? No one has moved on and been inspired in a way that makes him or her less neurotic and instead more content with themselves and the world? Then there’s no point in getting together for a second try. After all, just because time has passed doesn’t increase the chances that it could work out again.

If only the other should change
A reunion often turns out to be a flop if the good intentions for the second attempt are only aimed at the other person and we don’t want to change anything ourselves. If you want to start the new attempt with the attitude “It wasn’t up to me! Because a new attempt needs initiative from both sides.

If the separation phase was too destructive
The separation was a real war of the roses? You have insulted, tormented, despised, beaten, cheated, taken advantage of each other and all the other nasty things you can do? Often much more is broken than most people want to admit. Because if the hatred or the despair at that time have discharged in a way, in which one has completely lost the respect for the other one, and has showered him with offenses, grass can grow over it rarely completely. There always remains a distrust in the sense of: I know what you are capable of! Or a feeling of: You went too far! If this is not properly worked through, love has no chance in the second attempt.

If it happens out of convenience
It wasn’t that bad with him. In the end better than being alone! Such thoughts come up quickly. Because, of course, the other person is not 100 percent impossible. But is the part I like quite well enough for me to get back into the old waters from which I have already swum free? Do I want to continue to retrieve certain benefits, be they financial or physical, because they are so easy to get? Or do I want to take charge of my life, make an effort, and become more independent in that regard? If convenience is the driver for rehashing an old love, it’s pretty sure to backfire.

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Back to the ex: when a second attempt makes sense:

When both can forgive each other
Forgiving is not the same as forgetting. Because we do not forget really painful experiences. But sometimes it becomes possible to forgive them. If hurts can be put to rest in this way and continue to heal as a result of the new trust that builds up, the relationship has a chance. Forgiveness, however, is only one pillar for the new relationship. It alone is not enough. It also requires, among other things, the further development of both partners.

When both have moved on
The ways have separated for a while, each has pursued his or her goals or found out what is really important to him or her in life and in a relationship? Some things may have needed to be experienced with someone else first to get the feeling of experience or the opportunity for comparison. During the time contact was kept and both were still confidants to each other? Some need has been satisfied or newly formulated and the exchange about it is imaginable! Then it is possible that a new attempt has a real chance of success.

If both look at what the problem was at the time
With some distance sometimes a new view succeeds on what happened at that time in the relationship. Sometimes one or the other understands what part, for example, jealousy, the mother-in-law, the career or the urge to move away had in the breakup. This often happens when people have engaged in self-reflection through literature, seminars or psychotherapy. If both succeed in becoming clear about it and exchange how one sees things today and what one understood from it, what was not good for the relationship, the relationship can get a new quality in the second attempt.

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When there is no more rehashing of old stories
“If you hadn’t been with the neighbor back then…” or “That’s typical old XY from the past again. The only thing missing is that you’re about to…” Stop it! In order to start anew with each other, it is necessary to stop bringing up old stories. That means: Reproaches of all kinds, which refer to the first attempt of the relationship, should be spared to each other. If you don’t succeed in doing this, you haven’t got over the old stories yet (see above). The new deserves new ways to talk to each other about wishes and grievances. Then the relationship can succeed.

When looking ahead is possible
In order to find out what contributed to the breakup, it is necessary to look back. But at some point it must be possible to stop this analysis. The most important motor for a new start in the relationship is the jointly developed idea of a common future. The conversation and the prospect of how it will be with the other person after a purification through the break can be very inspiring. Here, of course, you have to be careful not to produce castles in the air and to really look: Is this possible with him and me? And if so: What is each of us willing to give for it? Do we love each other again enough to accept possible limitations? The more openly a conversation about this succeeds, the better it can go.