If you’re wondering whether you should get back with an ex or not, then chances are you still have feelings for them.
However, there are clearly things about them or about the breakup that give you pause and make you question if it’s a good idea to give them another chance.
Will letting them in only get you burned all over again? Or can things be different this time round?
Both of these scenarios actually happened to me.
My ex broke up with me, we got back together, but only for him to leave again. This happened TWICE.
However, the third time we broke up, we actually managed to figure things out for good. We got back together and are now happily married and run this blog, where we help others get through the same hurdles we were once struggling with.
In this blog post, I’ll try to cover everything you need to know to be able to decide whether you should take your ex back or not.
I’ll talk about all the good things as well as, disadvantages of getting back together and the red flags to look out for.
So let’s have an honest talk about it, to help paint a realistic picture of your situation and so you know what to expect. These are the 5 things you need to know before taking your ex back:
I. It’s Normal To Get Back Together With An Ex
Yes, it is normal to get back together with an ex.
Just because the two of you broke up, it doesn’t mean that your feelings for each other are gone, this in turn makes you feel connected to them.
That’s why you might end up wanting your ex back.
Plus, when people say they want to break up, they often don’t actually mean it. We all get attached to our partners and have a really hard time letting go.
Getting back together with an ex is not just normal, it’s also extremely common.
Statistically speaking, 70% of straight couples break up in the first year of their relationship. On top of that, a 2013 study found that almost 50% of couples who break up, end up getting back together.
Applying some simple math help you understand just how common, connecting and reconciling with an ex actually is:
If 70% percent of couples break up and 50% of them end up getting back together, this means that 35% of ALL COUPLES will break up and get back together just within the first year of their relationship!
This means approximately one in three people gets back with their ex just in the first year of being together!
II. Getting Back With An Ex Can Work
Makes sense that you wonder if reconnecting with an ex is a good idea or not.
After all, they likely hurt you, letting them back in means giving them another chance and risking getting hurt again.
When it came to my own breakups, initially getting back together didn’t work for us. But eventually, we figured out our problems and built a happy and stable relationship.
The same is true for our coaching clients, some of which get back together with an ex only to break up again a few months down the line. While others stay together and are good.
Getting back with an ex will never work, when you’re just jumping back into the honeymoon phase without actually fixing anything.
This is what happened for Gabriel and me the first two times round. We were so crazy about each other, our love, and passion took over, and we hoped that that would have been enough.
Spoiler alert, it wasn’t.
Having a healthy and happy relationship takes work and effort.
Getting back with an ex will only work if you manage to solve the problem that made you break up in the first place.
For example, if your ex’s commitment issues drove them away, you need to work on that to prevent them from leaving you again.
(This is something that people loving someone with avoidant attachment often struggle with).
Alternatively, if one of you was too anxious and consequently controlling, you’ll also need to work on your own attachment style and become more secure, for your relationship to be able to function in the long term.
III. It’s Ok to Take Back an Ex Who Dumped You
Friends and family will always tell you, you should never take back an ex who dumped you.
This advice works in theory, but rarely in practice. Because people tend to underestimate the strength of emotional attachments.
In reality, it’s really hard not to take back an ex who dumped you.
After all, them wanting to get back together undoes the pain of their earlier rejection. It lets you instantaneously put all that hurt back in the past and even pretend that it never happened.
That your ex didn’t actually mean what they said and never meant to leave you.
This sometimes truly is the case.
People who break up often don’t know what they’re doing. Dumpers need to go through certain emotional stages before the breakup actually hits them.
Also, some people say they want to leave, only as a last resort. It might be the only way they have left to try to make it clear that something very important isn’t working for them in the relationship.
For me personally, taking back an ex who dumped me worked really well in the end. But there are cases where it is better not to do it.
Regardless whether you’re the dumper or the dumpee, below I’ll list three good reasons when you should get back with an ex and three red flags to look out for.
3 Good Reasons To Get Back With An Ex
Breaking up and getting back together is prevalent. You can actually build a happy and stable relationship afterward. The situations described down below are the ones when taking an ex back could be a good idea.
1. Your Ex Has Qualities You Really Value
It’s not easy to find someone you’re compatible with and whom you appreciate and click with. If your ex has qualities you really value, it could be a sign you have found true love.
If what you share feels very special, then this kind of bond is worth preserving. And could be a good reason, in itself, to get back with an ex.
2. Good Things Outweighed The Bad In Your Relationship
All couples pretend to be perfectly happy and have things figured out. But the reality of relationships is that they’re never perfect.
Everybody has issues. It’s normal and healthy to fight with your partner from time to time.
If you feel like, despite everything, the good things outweighed the bad in your relationship, getting back together could be a good idea for you.
3. You Really Want Them Back
What I see with a lot of our clients (this was true for Gabriel and I too) is that some exes have a very strong pull towards each other. It’s hard to resist them. Staying apart feels straight up wrong.
Sometimes, when you really want something, you do actually have a good reason for it.
Maybe your ex is good for you. Despite their struggles and imperfections, they might be exactly the type of person you want and need to be together with.
It could be a good idea to take an ex back, when you just really want them.
You can trust your gut and your intuition. Plus, if you don’t take this risk, chances are you will regret it further down the line.
4 Red Flags To Look Out For When Getting Back With An Ex
The four red flags I’ll describe below are things to look out for. If you find yourself in one of these situations, be careful. This is when taking an ex back might only get you hurt again.
1. Your Ex Was Abusive Or Cheated
Any form of abuse is not good for you. The same if true about being cheated on.
You deserve better!
Even though your ex might have apologized and said they changed, keep in mind these are two serious issues that don’t change from one day onto the next.
Toxic relationships can get better, but it takes a lot of work and effort on both sides to make that happen.
They say once a cheater, always a cheater. Among our coaching clients, this mostly turns out to be true. It takes some inner work and personal development for someone with those kinds of tendencies to actually change.
It happens. Cheaters can change. The same is true for abusive partners.
But they really have to see the scope of the problem and put their mind and heart into fixing it.
Keep this in mind when giving an abusive ex or a cheater a second chance.
Make sure that their apology is more than just words. It needs to be backed by some serious long-term actions, otherwise it might be better that you don’t get back together.
2. The Relationship Wasn’t Actually Working For You
Another red flag to look out for when getting back with an ex is when the relationship wasn’t working for you before the breakup.
Maybe there were some very important things you were not getting, or something about your ex was a dealbreaker.
For example, they were too controlling, didn’t listen to you, or had a double standard and unrealistic expectations.
But then the breakup happened, all the feelings came up, and now all your issues with your ex became forgotten or stopped mattering to you.
This could be a sign you should not get back with your ex, because some people break up for an effect.
They can sense that you’re unhappy about something and don’t like it. So they break up, not because they want to end things, but to regain power and control in the relationship.
They do it on purpose to make you reconsider your priorities and chase them instead.
3. Your Ex Isn’t Willing To Fix Anything On Their End
Another red flag when getting back with an ex is when they blame you for everything and don’t see any need for improvement on their end.
We all make mistakes. Maybe you really did hurt your ex without intending to do so. You might feel like their anger is justified.
But no matter what the circumstances were, there are always two sides to every story.
Even if you do carry most of the blame, your ex must have still contributed to this situation in some shape or form. Even if it was just by giving up on fixing things and breaking up too soon.
If your ex keeps on blaming you for everything and refuses to see any fault with themselves, it’s a sign it might be better not to get back together with them.
This kind of power dynamic is not realistic or healthy.
4. Your Ex Ghosted You
Last but not least, if your ex suddenly disappeared without an explanation, only to return with a somewhat plausible excuse like: “I was really stressed or depressed.”, be careful.
Ghosting is a red flag when getting back with an ex because most ghosters disappear and come back over and over again.
Dropping off the map could be their default response to any sign of trouble. Or worse yet, they’re hiding something, like serious mental health problems, addiction, cheating, etc.
Again, it can be fixed or worked on. But they have to be willing to put in the effort. Keep this in mind when taking back an ex who ghosted you.
IV. Disadvantages Of Going Back To Your Ex
When considering getting back together, it’s easy to get swept away by all the intense emotions and just jump into things. That’s what Gabriel and I did, and it’s also what led to us breaking up again and again.
This is why it’s important that you prepare yourself for what’s to come and have a realistic view of things. That’s how you can avoid further disappointments and heartbreak.
First off, don’t expect things to be different the second time around on their own.
Breakups followed by promises don’t change anything. In order to actually fix your relationship, you will have to both work on making it happen.
Secondly, you’re going to also have to work through the falling out caused by the breakup itself.
The person who decided to leave abandoned the other. They broke their trust by doing it.
Rebuilding trust after the breakup is another issue you’re going to have to fix, to be able to actually move past it and be happy together.
V. Advantages Of Going Back To Your Ex
So far, you might be feeling like taking an ex back is a terrible idea. After all, we just covered all the red flags to look out for and the disadvantages of getting back together.
However, there are plenty of good things to look forward to too!
First one of them being that it will heal your broken heart almost instantly.
There is no faster way of taking away the pain of rejection, then reversing it. Some breakups are just a misunderstanding or overreaction. Half of the time when people say they want to break up, they don’t actually mean it.
Maybe your ex didn’t actually want to leave, so taking them back is just you undoing their mistake.
The second big advantage of taking back an ex is that it gives you a chance to actually figure things out between the two of you.
Regardless whether you get back together or not, the baggage of a failed relationship will stay with you until you work through it.
Taking your ex back gives you a chance to work through your issues TOGETHER.
You don’t have to figure it all out by yourself. You can have a back and forth and share responsibility for all the problems.
My husband and I couldn’t be happier that we decided to give it another shot. Getting back together worked not only for us, but for many of our coaching clients too. Some of which have been back together for a few years already and managed to build stable and happy relationships.
If you want to learn more of our breakup story, I describe it here:
If after reading all this, you still don’t know what to do, I can help you figure it out in a coaching call.
Here, I’ll evaluate your situation and tell you what are the odds of you actually getting what you want from your ex. This way, you’ll be able to know for sure what the right decision is and what to expect.
Thank you for reading! If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section and I’ll get back to you.
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