Anybody who has been through a painful breakup knows it can often be hard to imagine what the future looks like without their ex in it. Though it may seem impossible in the aftermath of a breakup, there becomes a time – eventually – that this particular relationship fades into the past. For some people though, the past does not stay in the past and they rekindle a romance with an ex-partner. But does it ever work if you get back together with an ex? After all, there’s a reason you broke up in the first place, so it may feel like wishful thinking that everything will be ironed out if you try again. However, there are plenty of couples who have made it work the second time around – research suggests the amount of couples who break up and get back together is as much as 50%.
Why people give it another shot
For some single people, it just may feel easier to get back together with an ex rather than putting themselves out there in the dating world. This person feels very familiar, and you don’t need to go through the effort of getting to know somebody from scratch if you pick things up with an ex again. They may feel lonely without the person who, once upon a time, felt so perfect for them, and they are prepared to try again. For others, they have a niggling gut feeling there is still something between themselves and their ex-partner and it was a mistake for things to end when they did. They may have lingering feelings for this person they can’t just ignore.
But what do you need to consider if you think the relationship might have a chance of working the second time around? We’ve shared our top tips below.
Are you genuinely wanting to rekindle things?
It’s natural to miss an ex after you’ve broken up but don’t take this as a sign that supposed to be together. You may also be viewing the former relationship with rose-tinted spectacles, so you need to be honest with yourself about your motives for wanting to get back together. This includes not overanalysing what it means if you’re missing their presence in your life. You decision must be the best thing for you, so be sure you are doing it for the right reasons, and you aren’t just idealising what you had together. It’s even possible to be swayed by other people in your life that love your ex and miss you being a couple.
Have you decided what has changed?
You need to decide what’s changed to make things different this time, otherwise you risk history repeating itself once the initial excitement has worn off. Have a careful think about what went wrong in the first place, making sure you can understand why the relationship did not work. Consider whether you’ve worked through the issues and reasons behind the break-up. You both may well have matured in the time you’ve spent apart as well as invested time in personal growth, which may help the new relationship succeed. You both need to be willing to put in the work to address what happened the first time around and be able to rebuild trust in each other. Then you must ensure you are leaving the past in the past, by making sure you don’t open old wounds in the heat of an argument.
Distance can give you a fresh perspective
A long stretch of time can mean your circumstances have changed or you’ve had a change in priorities and life goals, which may make you more compatible than the first time around. Your break-up may have just been down to bad timing if your goals did not align at the time. It’s possible you are both much more on the same page about what you want out of life now.
Spend some time together
If you are adamant you want to give it a try, spend some time together, seeing if you connect. Go back to the dating stages and get to know each other again, rather than expecting everything to be the same as before. Don’t be afraid to take things slow, giving you plenty of space to assess how things are going. Trust your gut feeling and watch out for red flags that suggest nothing has really changed this time around. And remember – people don’t change that much, so if there were old habits and routines than felt like dealbreakers at the time – they are likely to crop up again.
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