Over the summer we’ve been gripped (maybe that was just me) by the subject of getting back with an ex. From the high-profile Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez to reality tv’s Love Island Liam and Millie. Two completely different couples in completely different circumstances, but somehow instigate the same debate; should you get back with your ex? Is it ever a good idea?
Firstly, let’s look at the couples in question as we can quickly dismiss Liam and Millie from the conversation here. They’d been together for all of five minutes within the confines of the Love Island villa without ever having existed together in the normal outside world. On his “lads” trip to Casa Amor he quickly (lightning speed) was hopping on the first girl that batted a false lash at him. He embarked on what can only be described as a three-day affair. He then trotted back to faithful (gullible) Millie thinking she would be none the wiser. Has this guy never watched reality tv!!!!! She was always going to find and sure enough, about two minutes later the bombshell was dropped that Liam had spent three days with his tongue down Lillie. Cue fireworks. Drama!
But three days later all was forgiven, and Liam had wormed his way back into Millie’s affections. Fast forward a few weeks and they went on to be the winners of the show. I really hope this isn’t a national representation of the standard we hold relationships to!
Anyway, for me, Liam cheated very early on in the relationship whilst he should have been loved up in the newness of it all. He wasn’t even secretive about it and showed no discretion. He literally spent 3 days wondering who Millie was! This showed a complete lack of respect for Millie, and she should have dumped him and moved on without a second thought. Alas, she didn’t but I think that will be a lesson she’ll learn the hard way.
This is the type of ex you most definitely should not ever be getting back with. Ignore their pleas and sorrow. You are worth so much more.
Why Did You Break Up?
When deciding if you should get back with your ex, a good place to start is looking at the reasons why you broke up in the first place. For me, a complete red line is cheating and abuse. If you take back a cheat, especially if you do it quickly after the breakup then chances are you are setting yourself up for more heartbreak down the line. Or maybe they’ll be as good as gold in future. That’s one great big risk to take when the odds are stacked against you.
Obviously, if there was any form of abuse in your previous relationship or your ex showed signs of being a narcissist then stay well clear. Don’t even consider if you should get back with that ex! Trust me when I say those leopards do not ever change their spots.
But if you broke up for the simple everyday reasons that did not cause the breakup to be contentious, then this is the ex you should consider getting back with.
Was It A Contentious Breakup?
Non-contentious reasons can be as simple as the right person at the wrong time or the wrong place. This will be the one you always felt was the one that got away. Perhaps you met someone at a time in your life when you just had too much other stuff going on in your life to give the relationship the energy it deserved. As you get older more things get in your way. Work, kids, divorces, health, lack of time, lack of energy. The focus you could end up giving a relationship could impact other areas of your life that you really need to keep in check. But life and people change. Priorities change. That workaholic may have learnt that life is too short. The smelly chain smoker could have kicked the habit. The guy with the loopy ex and messy divorce may now have everything resolved.
But if your breakup was messy and hurtful with harsh words spoken, can you really put that toothpaste back in the tube? Memories fade of exactly what was said, but often the feelings of hurt stay with us or at least are buried. If your gut feels a twinge of hurt again at the sight of an ex, that’s your cue to turn and walk away. Trying to keep those feelings buried will become exhausting.
What Has Changed?
Sometimes it can be the right person at the wrong time. The circumstances just might not fit. Your life might be all over the place or your career is at the top of your priorities list. Perhaps you aren’t clear on what it is you want from a relationship at the time. But times and situations always change and the one that got away 10 years ago might just be a perfect fit now. Like Ben and Jennifer. These are the ex’s you really should consider getting back with.
Once you know a person well enough to not have to go through the whole getting to know you stage, then it’s quite easy to get back with your ex. Although, it’s good to remember that this ex may have changed, and you could be getting to know a whole new version of them. I know I’m definitely not the same person I was 10 years ago and the version of me that was a train wreck 20 years ago is long since gone.
So long as the circumstances have changed that made things not work out the first time around then this is a good ex to get back with and you stand a good chance.
Was The Grass Greener?
Sometimes we don’t know what we’ve got until it’s gone. Did you break up because one of you (mainly you) thought there was better out there? This isn’t a good breakup tactic by the way. But the time wandering around in the not so green fields could have made you realise just how good you did have it. Or that maybe you had gone on a self-sabotaging mission to ruin your own happiness (very common with us girls not feeling good enough or worthy). Just get your shit together and get back with your ex.
Don’t Even Consider Getting Back With Your Ex If…….
What if you’re considering an ex because you’ve heard they are now also single and, well, hey, why not? It’s better than being on your own, right?
Wrong! This is a fear of being on your own, which basically means anyone with a warm body and a pulse is likely to do and you are letting your boundaries and standards drop. A fear of being alone also shows a lack of self-love and independence, and they are not good qualities in anyone, especially women.
Learning to love yourself and spending time out of a relationship is vital to our own well-being. The relationship you have with yourself is the longest and most important one in your life. How can you expect anyone to enjoy spending time with you when you don’t even want to spend time with yourself? Perhaps a friends with benefits situation might suit you better if all you want is a warm body.
Being lonely can be awful but so can being in a relationship with the wrong person. Make sure that getting into a new relationship or getting back with an ex is the right decision for you. Doing it for all the wrong reasons will end up in a whole new level of messiness. And messy is not what you want as you get older. Trust me on that one!