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Relationships

Should You Get Back With Your Ex? 3 Questions To Help You Decide.

The following guide applies to both guys and girls, though for simplicity’s sake, this is from the perspective of a guy with a female ex.

We’ve all been there. Even a few months after most breakups, whether you are the one who initiated the breakup or the one who got dumped, there is usually still that whirlwind of emotions. In fact, you guys might still be texting and meeting up occasionally! Eventually, you might be thinking, should we have another go? After all, we understand each other. We understood each other for so long. Don’t we still have so many unfulfilled promises to each other? In every love story, love doesn’t come easy, and maybe you think you just can’t give up. But, does she still like me? Has she been seeing other people? Such overthinking is really common. Not overthinking is difficult when your emotions are in play. Hope especially plays tricks with your mind.

Should you get back with your ex? The eventual answer for each person will be different. But how to go about reaching your own answer is really very simple. Here I help you to cut through all those contradicting emotions. There are only 3 questions that you have to ask yourself.

Should You Get Back With Your Ex Question No. 1: If today is the first day that you’re meeting your ex, would you go for her? 

Imagine that you’ve only just met your ex for the first time, although you do know a bit about her. The two of you have never kissed, have not even held hands. How attracted do you feel to this person? Would you make an effort to go after her? Do you foresee a nice adventure together with her?

The point is to try and forget all that has happened between you for a moment. You focus on the present, and you see your future ahead of you. You have many options, and there are as they say, “many fish in the sea”. You could even decide to be single and have more time for your own projects. Do you want to spend your time with this person?

The reason for this question is that too often, we are prisoners of our past. In a relationship, especially if it’s a long one, we get used to being exclusively loved for who we are, warts and all. Even if the relationship has been deteriorating for some time, the breakup still comes as an emotional shock. Sometimes, the desire to get back together is because of the ego. We cannot accept that our lover has actually left, and we want to know that the ex still finds us attractive and that we are lovable. Our ego still would rather not accept the fact that she is choosing something other than our relationship.

A point that is related to the ego is our sense of security. For many, a relationship is a source of affirmation and meaning. At the very least, our lifestyle and expectations form a new pattern to accommodate it. When the relationship is no longer, our security blanket is removed. Out in the cold, we can want it back so badly. 

Thus, the past is not a very good influence for the future. So throw away all those plans you made in the past if you haven’t already. They’re not sexy and she’s not interested. Let go. The question is: today, RIGHT NOW, if you just met her, would you find her attractive? Would you walk up to her in a bar and tell her, “You look beautiful”?

If your answer is no, then you probably should not get back with your ex. 

Should You Get Back With Your Ex Question No. 2: Can you make your ex happy and does your ex make you happy?

This question is actually an extension of the previous one. In the first question, we focus on the present and the future and ask if you still find your ex attractive. In this second question, we dive deeper to find if you have any underlying motivations when you say you still find her attractive and you still see a future with her.   

Look, she’s your ex for a reason. It takes two to tango. When was the last time the two of you had a good time? Do you enjoy each other’s company? Does she feel that life could be a lot better elsewhere? Do you feel as unhappy but just afraid to admit it and you want to cling on to being a pair?

Or maybe it’s the other way, your ex was actually pretty satisfied with you, but she did some things to make you really unhappy. And therefore you broke the relationship off. What you’re feeling now is the trauma of a sudden change in your life. 

Either way, if she doesn’t make you happy or you don’t make her happy, you’re probably clinging on to something that is not healthy. If you don’t make her happy and yet you persist in wanting to be together without changing yourself, that’s being possessive. If she doesn’t make you happy and yet you want to continue in a relationship, you may be suffering from low self-esteem. Are you just afraid that you can’t get anyone else to love you? Don’t be trapped by your fear. 

Should You Get Back With Your Ex Question No. 3: Can you let go?

The first two questions are really warm-up questions for this last one. The first question gets you into the correct mood by making you think about the present attractiveness of your ex minus all the baggage (focusing you on the present), and the second question makes you aware whether there are feelings you should be letting go of.   

So can you let go? Letting go sounds really counter-intuitive if you still think that she’s the love of your life and that you’re meant to be together and all it needs is a little persistence.  Let me explain. 

It is only by being able to let go that you can love unconditionally. Unconditional love means you have to love and appreciate the person for who she is, without expecting anything in return. If you find yourself obsessed by thoughts of “Does my ex still like me?”, the probability is that your love is highly conditional. It is conditional on her loving you and giving you emotional and social approval. You should not get back with your ex in this state. 

What do you need to let go of? First, you need to let go of any resentment generated before and after the breakup. If you were the one who broke it off, and you feel that it was her conduct that forced your hand, let go of the resentment for that conduct.

If you got dumped, let go of the resentment at being dumped. Understand that most of the time it is not personal. It is not personal in the sense that there are many things outside your control, and there are always so many reasons why things end up the way they do. It could be that she was insecure, or something to do with her upbringing, or it could be something to do with your upbringing. How would you know if you’ve let go? You’ll be able to genuinely wish her well.

Secondly, you need to let go of your expectations. All those thoughts of marriage and kids, or whatever else you discussed in the past in the relationship, that’s over. This is the new uncharted territory. You should be excited. 

When you let go, the possibilities are endless. You can decide after all that she truly is the love of your life, and that you’re going to give it all the loving you got to build a new relationship with her. But you won’t hate if she rejects you or if it otherwise doesn’t work out. 

Or you may find that minus all that baggage, you are not that attracted to her anymore. And that’s fine. You have memories to treasure, and you can move on with life.  

It is not a rational decision, and will never be. Even a few months after a breakup, it’s perfectly normal to feel emotionally uncertain, and how to overcome a breakup is a whole topic in itself. These 3 questions pondered over a period of time should yield some answers for you. 

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