The Only 3 Reasons You Should Ever Get Back Together With An Ex
By Macaela Mackenzie, Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash
It’s time to take an honest look at your relationship.
No matter how devastated you feel when a relationship ends, indulging in the idea of a way more successful round two (cue heart-eyed emojis and the better-than-ever Miley and Liam), is generally not a good idea. “If a relationship ended, it’s for a reason,” says Matt Lundquist, licensed clinical and social worker, a couples therapist in New York. “The vast majority of times people get back together, it’s a bad idea.”
That said, there are plenty of couples who do reunite for the long haul and end up with a partnership that’s healthier and happier than their OG relationship. To follow in the footsteps of fairytale reunions like William and Kate’s (and avoid anything reminiscent of Kourtney and Scott’s on-again-off-again fiascos) Lundquist says the first thing to do is take a cold hard look at why it ended. From there, you can decipher whether things will really be ‘different this time’ or not. To help you suss that out, here are three situations when getting back together with an ex may be the right move.
1. YOU’VE BOTH CHANGED
Remember that cold hard look at the relationship? You have to take that same cold hard look at yourself and at your ex, says Lundquist. “If you can’t point to some serious self-discovery on both sides, it’s guaranteed to end in the same way.” In other words, if you can point to things you learned from your first relationship failure and how they’ve helped you both grow as individuals, a second first date might not be such a bad idea.
2. THE SITUATION HAS CHANGED
If your split could be described by something along the lines of “it just wasn’t the right time for us,” it could be worth a revisit if circumstances have changed, says Lundquist. “A lot of times relationships end because of environmental factors like distance and work.” If he was finishing grad school on the other side of the country and is now moving back to town, or if you took a new job that will make your 100-hour work weeks a thing of the past, it might be time to try things again. Just be sure things have actually changed, Lundquist says, not just that your potential partner says they will.
3. YOUR MIND HAS CHANGED
If you kicked the relationship to the curb because you weren’t feeling happy, loved, or fulfilled, that’s not something to brush aside just because you can’t find anyone better on Bumble. “That’s a terrible reason to get back together,” says Lundquist. “It’s important not to get back together based on an economy of scarcity.”
The critical question to ask is “what has changed?” he says. If you broke up for reasons along the lines of “I’m young, I should get out there and date while I can,” there’s no harm in re-assessing your feelings now that you’ve played the field a bit. Who knows, spending some quality time on Tinder may have helped you realize your ex is actually what you’ve been looking for all along. Just remember: “It’s a domain where being really honest with yourself is key,” says Lundquist.
This article was originally featured on www.womenshealthmag.com