Is Your Old Boyfriend On Your Mind?

Thinking of getting back with your ex?

by Amy North

While some relationships are written in the stars, others are simply not meant to be.

Most times when breakups happen it’s for a number of reasons, some of which leave couples content with their decision to call it quits, and others that cause them to question where things went so wrong.

At the beginning of every romantic relationship, there is some sort of pull or reason that brings the two individuals together. Some relationships will blossom from this root cause, while others stay stuck in the same spot – holding on solely to the original attraction.

The Pros and Cons Of Getting Back With Your Ex

When a couple decides to end their relationship, it’s common for them to look back on the reason they got together in the first place.

This can quickly lead to feelings of nostalgia, and once this happens they may even begin to wonder the proverbial “what if” or become compelled to give their relationship another shot.

When these type of sentimental emotions fill the mind it’s easy to forget the reasons the relationship didn’t work in the first place.

Before you decide to relight an old flame, first consider the pros and cons of getting back together with an ex.

The Upside

There are many reason why getting back together with an ex may seem like a good idea. You were attracted to this person at one time, so why not rekindle that attraction and focus on building a better relationship together? Here are some major pros for giving your ex another shot.

You Already Know Them

The most obvious reason to get back with an ex is the fact that you’re already comfortable with each other. People are naturally drawn to feelings of acceptance, and for many being accept is an underlying goal in their life – even if they don’t notice it.

Regardless of the reason for breaking up, the act itself is a form of rejection. When you get back together with someone who “rejected” you before, you feel accepted again. This sense of acceptable and familiarity is comforting and fulfills many people’s deepest insecurities.

You Know What Areas Need to be Improved

Since you’ve already done the song and dance together, you and your ex will know exactly what does and doesn’t work in your relationship.

Knowing this can make it easier to avoid the negative areas and improve your relationship.

Many times people wonder what could have been if their relationship would have been different.

This is why getting back together with an ex may seem so appealing -it’s the opportunity to redo the relationship the way you would have liked it have went the first time round.

While this type of positive thinking can get you far, it’s important to remember that it takes two to tango, and in this case, two to make a relationship work.

Before you agree to giving love another shot, first make sure that your ex is also up for doing things differently the second time around.

You’re “Better People”

If some time has passed since you and your ex broke up, then you’ve both had time to work on yourselves and become better versions of you. The perspective you gain from growing after your breakup can work to make your relationship stronger than ever.

Sometimes the reality of losing someone you once loved can cause people to get their act together.

They do some soul-searching to figure out where they went wrong and they realize how they should develop to be better in the relationship the next time around.

The key here is learning from the past and mistakes and working to change that which went wrong in the first place.

Sometimes a break helps you sit back and take stock of everything.

Be sure that the people you and your ex have become since the breakup are the ones you expect one another to be.

If your ex is banking on your to have the same mentality and emotions you did when you were together in round one, they may be quite surprised to learn that you’ve grown or changed your priorities since your previous relationship.

There’s Comfort in the Familiarity

The same reasons you have for buying the same shampoo or wearing your favorite sweatshirt from high school may also apply to rekindling a relationship with an ex: It’s familiar, comfortable and nostalgic.

Depending on the reasons you broke up, returning to a place of comfort can be incredibly tempting and quite pleasurable.

Before you get back with your ex, be sure that you’re not considering a redo on your relationship solely for this reason.

As familiar and comfortable as a relationship may be, if you choose to get back together for these reasons alone, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment.

Make sure that your ex knows that you won’t stand for the same mistakes you made the first time around.

You may be familiar and comfortable with one another, but that’s no excuse to get back into the same routine that caused in your breakup.

You Skip Formalities

Dating an ex means skipping the awkward “getting to know you” phase. You’ll get to pass on the small talk and won’t have to worry about meeting his family or friends for the first time.

Since you won’t be spending hours opening up to your ex about your past, personal interests or life goals (because they already know them,) you’ll have more time to focus on the heavier aspects of the relationship such as commitment, future plans, etc.

At the end of the day, the pros for getting back with an ex are determined by the reasons you broke up in the first place.

For instance, a couple who couldn’t make a long distance relationship work but now live closer together are more likely to be successfully the second time around than a couple who broke up because of cheating, abuse, or different priorities.

The Downside

As you may have already concluded, the cons of getting back together with an ex rarely outweigh the pros. Despite the familiarity and comfort an ex can provide, getting back together usually puts you at a greater risk for emotional harm than a new relationship.

Before you make your decision, consider the following cons.

Old Habits Die Hard

Falling into old habits is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it can feel great to reconnect with an ex, but if the relationship was anything but perfect (and let’s be fair, you’ve already broke up before), then getting back with an old lover could mean setting yourself up for pain and disappointment.

In order to recreate your relationship successfully, you both have to make a conscious effort to start over.

To do so you must both be willing to beat and banish old habits. It may sound easy, but to figure out the habits that drove your ex up the wall you’ll have to openly talk about them together.

If the talk alone is heated enough to question the direction of a new relationship, then perhaps you should take the hint and accept that your relationship simply isn’t meant to be.

It’s Easier to Forgive than to Forget

You may be able to forgive your ex for things that happened in your past relationship, but can you fully forget about the negative incidents or hurtful words?

If you’re considering rekindling your relationship, take the time to think through your previous experience.

How bad was it? Are there certain things that you can’t get past?

Remember that even if you do get back together and things start out great, it’s easy for painful memories to creep back in once the new honeymoon stage comes to an end.

Getting back together with your ex means facing the pain and rejection your experienced head on.

Is this worth it?

In order to fully move on you and your ex must be willing to let go of what was, and create a new relationship together.

Old resentment or bitter feelings will only lead to destroy a new relationship. If you’re on torn about your decision, remember that no amount of familiarity is worth putting yourself back in a relationship that was unfulfilling.

You Could Get Hurt Again

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

If you choose to try and make love work with your ex, you need to consider if this is someone who has hurt you before. If they have, then remember that despite how much they assure you it won’t happen, they could still do it again. If this does happen, you’ll not only be feeling hurt but also stupid for making the same mistake twice.

If you’re considering going back to a previous relationship that caused you pain, seriously contemplate the situation you’d be putting yourself into and how vulnerable you’ll be in it.

If you have any doubt in your mind that your ex would hurt you again, then don’t be a masochist.

You’ve Both Changed

Breakups change people, and sometimes when exes are considering giving their relationship a second shot, they don’t realize that their once partner has changed in more or different ways than they thought.

Every experience leaves a mark, and breakups undoubtable affect you and your outlook on love in some way, shape or form.

Since these type of changes are usually subtle mental shifts, you or your ex may not see them in one another. However, the only way a new relationship can work is if you and your ex both acknowledge that you’re no longer the people you were when you dated in the past, and accept that it’s the present, new versions of yourselves that you both want to be with.

You Have No Room to Grow

While some people get back with their exes because of feelings of familiarity, doing so prevents them from meeting new people and learning from new relationships.

Going back to an old relationship can stunt your growth as a person and prevent you from forming new relationships.

Before you get back with your ex ask yourself if you truly believe that they’re “the one,” or if you’re wasting your time on a relationship that’s never going to feel whole.

The last thing you want to do is wake up five years down the road and realize that all the time you spent on your ex was wasted.

It’s not easy, but sometimes you just have to forget the person you once loved, let go and move on. No matter how tough it may be, you should always do what’s best for you.

The importance of forgiveness: as tough as forgiveness may be, you can never leave your past behind you until you make peace with it and accept it for what it was.

Then and only then will you be ready to love again.

Amy North is a women’s relationship coach and best-selling author from Vancouver, Canada, with a degree in Social Psychology. Her programs, including Text Chemistry and The Devotion System have helped dozens of women attract and keep the right guy, or improve the relationship they already have. “As your relationship coach I can be your guru, supporter, challenger, and motivator. I’ll give you the push to get going, and the tools to keep you on track. Your interests will be my interests, and I won’t judge, but I will help.”

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