Getting back with an ex
Hollywood loves a happy ending. A good sequel – like Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck rekindling a decades-old flame – is even better.
If ‘Bennifer’ found their way back to each other after a few failed marriages and five kids between them, maybe love connections never die.
So does the one who got away (or the one you pushed away) deserve another chance?
About one in three couples who break up will eventually get back together, and it’s usually a good thing.
But before you make the first move with an ex, think about why they are ‘the ex.’ Understand the reasons for the breakup, or risk repeating history.
People often fall in love with the idea of falling in love, says psychotherapist, Eddie Reece, who sees it happen all the time at his practice.
“Our emotions get in the way of us being sane and rational,” he says.
So how do you know if it’s a good idea to get back with an ex? Here’s what relationship therapists say you should look for.
Start with a ‘diagnostic’ review of the past
Too often people create a balance sheet, weighing the good and bad in a relationship.
“They look at both sides, cross their fingers, and hope for the best. That’s the wrong approach,” says Reece. “It doesn’t matter what’s on the good side of the balance sheet if the bad is really bad.”
Having good hygiene and being a good provider do not balance out physical abuse or destructive habits.
Trust your instincts and your friends
Chances are your friends and family know your ex. They were around when you were a couple and were witness to the rise, the fall, and the breakup.
As you venture into possible reconciliation, involve those people, says counsellor, Laura Morse.
Bring your ex to social events or family gatherings and let your friends see the dynamics.
You may be caught up in the excitement of the reconnection, but your friends know you and your past. They can provide an objective view of the present picture.