The sting of the breakup is just subsiding and your ex calls you out of the blue. Here are six crucial considerations when you realize “they want me back.”
The sting of rejection by an ex…its a pain like no other. It leaves you reeling and heartbroken. But then your ex returns, begging for a second chance. Do you think twice, or jump back into the familiar arms of love? Your answer may not always be clear.
Here are a few things to consider before you take them back.
Use the One Chance Rule.
I like to consider the one chance rule. This means, if this is the first breakup you’ve had with this partner and you believe there are some redeeming qualities of the relationship, it might be worth ONE chance. Not two, or three, but ONE.
Sometimes you have a fight and things fall apart momentarily. It doesn’t mean it may not fall apart again, but we are dealing with human imperfection here. Sometimes it’s worth another chance. However, remember that this is the “ONE CHANCE” rule. If you are in a relationship that is plagued with breakups and reunions, get out now. This is not a sign of health and commitment. This is a sign of dysfunction, and eventual demise of the relationship.
Honor the truth of the past.
Despite your probable sadness and longing for the relationship after a breakup, try to take a bigger picture view of how you felt when you were together. It’s not uncommon to sugar coat the relationship when your heart is breaking. You may hold on to the good memories and minimize the negative aspects of the relationship.
Before making a decision to return to an ex, it’s important to accurately reflect on the relationship. Did you feel happy, content, secure, and supported? Or was it full of conflict, disconnection, or other negative dynamics? If the relationship was more difficult than easy, it is a good sign that getting back with your ex will only lead to future heartbreak.
Abuse: Always a no.
Any form of abuse is a reason to never return to an ex. If you have been in a relationship where you have been emotionally, physically, verbally, or sexually abused, and your ex is asking for a second chance…beware. A common cycle with an abusive partner is for them to abuse, then ask for a second chance, making promises that the abuse will never be repeated. But the abuse is almost always repeated. It is a vicious, endless cycle that usually requires some sort of therapeutic intervention to stop. If you think you are being abused, it is helpful to seek help with a professional.
Know your whys.
Get clear on why you would reconcile with your ex. If you truly believe your relationship was healthy and worth keeping, it might be worth the forgiveness. If you can look back and remember more conflict or moments of misery, is it likely things will change? Why return to something that wasn’t good in the first place?
Know your ex’s whys as well, if you can tell. If he or she is making sincere claims of awareness, apology, with a goal to improve your relationship, it might be worth considering. But if your ex seems to want you back because he or she is just lonely, looking for sex, or boredom, think twice.
Beware the loneliness factor.
Post-breakup loneliness can be devastating. It’s during this time you can be most vulnerable to returning to an ex (and maybe to an ex you don’t want to return to). Returning to an ex because you don’t want to feel lonely is never a good reason. You’ll also want to decipher if your ex wants you back for the same reason. Ask questions and learn about how loneliness plays into his or her decision.
Two people who weren’t doing well in a relationship can only stay together for so long. You might as well cut your losses and free yourself for a better relationship now if this is either person’s motivation.
Know your worth.
Seriously… if this person failed to see your worth, is he or she worth it? If your ex has spent any amount of time over 24 hours rejecting or ignoring you, then later comes begging to come back, consider your own worth. Your ex failed to recognize it at the time.
Is it likely they’ve been out looking for new partners and later realized you were better than the rest? Who wants to wait for someone to figure this out later? First of all, trust there are plenty of fish in the sea who will recognize your worth—plenty who would never let you slip out of their hands. Believing you are worth it will help you stand up to an ex who missed the piece about just how valuable you are!
So hopefully when you have this chance at reconciliation with your ex, you can have a clear mind and heart to help you make a good decision. Remember your worth, the patterns of the past, and the promises for the future, and let them help navigate your way into a decision.