Two experts lay down what you should keep in mind before reuniting with your ex.
The debate on whether you should rekindle an old flame is a never-ending one. With over half the couples reuniting after they split, it’s safe to say that you’re not isolated. From false hope to worsening ties, there are a lot of factors that make you think it’s safer to avoid mingling with your ex. But then again, chances are it could work out for the better. So, should you ditch the old times and start anew, or pull a string from it hoping for a positive future? Read on to see what relationship experts and therapists have to say:
Toni Coleman, a LCSW says, "In my experience, couples can and do get back together successfully. Some reunite and/or remarry and make it long term; there are many factors that determine whether it will work or not, and these impact success or failure."
A 2013 study noted that a third of cohabitating couples and a fifth of spouses had split or grown apart at some point through the course of their relationship. Jordan Madison, a licensed therapist, agrees, "I've heard of plenty of exes that get back together, but the common factors are space and time apart from one another," she points out. So goes the saying, ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder.’
From resolving previous differences, to sharing your intent for reuniting, Toni and Jordan share their advice on the factors you should consider before chasing an old relationship:
Check your reasons for reuniting
To begin with, it’s extremely important to be identify whether your reasons for getting back together will yield positive results in the future. Madison states a few reasons you should avoid from letting them dictate your decisions-
The fear of “starting over”: "If you're returning to the relationship just because it's comfortable, then you're operating from a space of fear, and not what is in your best interest," says Madison.
Loneliness: "Spend time with yourself alone and be comfortable doing so," she advises. "If you don't learn to value time with yourself first, you'll never know if you're choosing someone out of love or loneliness."
You can’t confront your friends and family: "This could mean you don't truly think it is the best decision for you, or you know they would raise questions or concerns that may make you second-guess your decision," she says.
A strong feeling of missing isn’t a strong reason
Memories aren’t a reason imperative enough to get back. Coleman explains, "Thinking everything will be fine now because you missed each other or your shared life, and [you'll] just be happy to be back together, is a trap that many couples who want to try again fall into.”
"I've experienced couples who separated, got back together, but nothing really changed," adds Madison. Issues that haven’t been resolved can cause couples to split again.
Maturity, on the other hand, is....
One sign you can rely on for prosperity is maturity. Coleman points out, "Maturity, which is an important factor is all relationships, may be missing the first time around. After time apart, one or both individuals may have gained new relationship and life experience that will help them be better partners in a variety of different ways. This experience could help them see different perspectives, understand themselves better, approach problem solving and resolution in a more constructive way, and appreciate qualities in the other person that they could not the first time around."
It’s one of the key factors that one should look for. Not just for previous issues, but accountability can also act a strong building foundation for your second innings. "For reconciliation to happen, it is important for both partners to be able to recognize, within themselves, how they may have contributed to the demise of the relationship and what they are choosing to do differently," says Madison. However, if there have been instances of physical, verbal, sexual or emotional abuse, staying apart are the best option.
Apart from these, it’s ideal for you to have a candid conversation before you start all over. You can also seek help from a counsellor to check if it’ wise to reconcile for better.