The Ex-Factor: The Pros and Cons of Rekindling with Your Ex
There they are again, smiling at you, texting you, talking to you. Here come those feelings again, too – warm, thrilling. And then those thoughts begin to surface: “Maybe it can work.” “Maybe we just got lost.” “We really are good for each other.” Maybe all those hurt feelings and complications were wrong; they were just a bump in the road. Maybe getting back together with your ex is actually a good idea.
Or, maybe it’s not a good idea. Your doubts begin to rise as you wonder if you were happier around your ex. You question if the supposed “rough patches” were actually the norm for the two of you. And you consider, “Is this person the ONE, or am I wasting precious time with someone I shouldn’t be with?”
Relationships are complicated enough, but when you are considering getting back together with an ex, the complication factor raises several levels. What’s different about starting fresh with an ex is that there really is no such thing as “starting fresh.” No matter how new or different your ex seems, they are still who they are, and you are still who you are. So after that initial phase of fresh romance evaporates and your relationship begins to feel normal again, it is possible that your ex, and your relationship, may fall into the same habits it had before.
One of the mixed blessings is that you both also know one another well. You know each other’s tastes, habits, strengths, weaknesses, styles, and preferences. This can be a plus and a minus. Getting back together with an ex means that, usually, there’s not that period of nervous, flirtatious romance when you get to know one another and you can enjoy each other right away. However, it is possible that if there were certain negatives in the relationship that drove you two apart, those negatives will resurface again.
Of course an abundance of success stories exist where exes have gotten back together and made it work. Often, the couple will recognize their personal areas of weakness and each make adjustments in their life and habits to prioritize the relationship. For example, if your ex’s fingernail biting habit drove you nuts, then that person would recognize this and adjust. Or, more seriously, if the other person had anger, infidelity, or alcohol issues, then it might have been necessary for them to seek professional help to get control over their bad behaviors.
Restarting a relationship is possible, but it takes effort on both sides to overcome the negatives. Making it work with your ex can happen. But even if you really believe that it’s worth the effort, do not just jump into the relationship. If you proceed blindly, it’s likely that you will suffer the same hurt you did before. Have an honest conversation with yourself and with your ex, so that you can figure out what went wrong before, and how you can fix it. Question the likelihood of avoiding the pitfalls you fell into before. If you get the feeling that you are both committed to doing what it takes to make it work, then you can make it work. Passing up what might be a great relationship is a big mistake. But then again, if you’re looking for the right person, then putting too much effort into the wrong one can also be a big mistake.