When I was dating, I had exes who want to get back together. I’ve also seen numerous friends deal with this dilemma. In thinking about this, I’ve come up with a few guidelines that may be of help when deciding if your ex might be worth another shot or if it’s better to stay off the court.
Do NOT give your ex another chance if:
- Your ex was ever physically or verbally abusive. No matter how sincere your ex may seem when he promises to never do it again or how great things were in between the fights, any kind of abuse is a clear NO when it comes to giving the relationship another try. You may find it helpful to educate yourself on the cycle of violence.
- The relationship is on-again-off-again. I’ve seen this most often in couples that get physical early in the relationship. They are attached to one another and are, therefore, unable to break it off for good, even if they recognize that they just can’t get things to ever work out between them. In these cases, it’s likely best to call it off once and for all. Give your heart plenty of time to heal and move on.
- You haven’t dealt with the issue that caused you to break up in the first place. Be honest with yourself about why you broke up. If you haven’t dealt with it, but merely pushed it under the rug and decided to forget about it, then the issue will likely come back for a replay.
- Your ex won’t commit. Yep, we all know at least one of these people. For one reason or another, they just can’t seem to make a clear decision. If you were together for awhile but your ex still can’t decide if you are the one they want to spend the rest of their life with, then I’ll help you out: Your ex isn’t the one. If you’re going to wait, it’s better to wait for the one to come into your life who will decisively and eagerly want to commit to you.
- Your ex doesn’t show a willingness to change. You deserve to be with a person who loves you enough to want to be a better person for you.If your ex hasn’t really changed and doesn’t even want to or see the need to, then you should move on.Of course, sometimes a person wishes to change but change is hard and they relapse into old ways. How many chances you give a person to change depends on the issue. For example, I would not give an addict another chance until they are a good way into their recovery. Before then, they likely won’t be capable of putting you first because addiction affects their ability to connect and care about your feelings.
- Your decision is fear-based. Do you still have strong feelings for them? Or are you afraid that you won’t find someone else? If you don’t really want to be with your ex but are, for one reason or another, trying to convince yourself that you should be with them, don’t go back.
In a healthy relationship, both partners are good for each other. They each make one another better than they are by themselves. If your relationship with your ex wasn’t like that and it doesn’t look like it will become that, then it’s not worth the effort or heartache to try again.
When you want to break it off for good but you are finding it difficult to, one effective way to help yourself achieve final freedom is by telling your ex that you don’t wish to stay in contact, so they shouldn’t text or message you. Once you have done this, unfriend and unfollow. Stop social media connections and interactions. Stop texting. It may sound harsh or even mean, but it’s mean to yourself to keep your wounds open. Cut the cord and then let yourself heal. One day, you’ll be glad you did. Trust me.
Sometimes, even if there is a certain yearning for an ex evoked by feelings of cozy familiarity, it’s best to cut your losses and stay away. I know that sometimes the heart wants what it wants, but it’s important to also listen to what our brains say.