Relationship Advice

23 April 2012

Reconciliation with an ex – is it a good idea?

by eHarmony

There are many reasons why relationships end and if it isn’t replaced by a new one it can be tempting to get back together with an ex. Here we look at some of the good, and not so good, reasons to give it a second chance.


There are some couples who seem to break up and get back together all the time, but for a lot of people once a relationship is over they don’t go back to it – the break up was evidence that they were incompatible and they move on without a backwards glance.

There are situations where couples break up but neither of them move on or find new partners and the old relationship is given a second chance. The break up may actually make the relationship stronger but on the other hand reconciliation with someone who hurt you can leave you regretting having made the same mistake twice. If you are considering getting back with an ex here are some things to bear in mind while deciding if it is a good idea.

Good reasons for wanting to get back together:

Change: Often relationships end because of the habits or behaviours of one or both partners. It comes to a point where the other person can’t live with it any more and has given up believing that things will ever change. If the break up of the relationship has acted as a wake up call and they have finally made the change – e.g. quit drinking, gambling or got help with health or emotional problems – then you may be tempted to give it another go with them.

While it is great to give someone a second chance if they are making a serious attempt to change you need to be sure that they are doing it for themselves and not just to win you back.

Reunion: Sometimes couples can’t be together because of circumstances beyond their control. Maybe one of them has to move away or there is family opposition to the match. If the reasons that they couldn’t be together changes, and they find themselves in a position where they can be reunited, then the separation often makes the relationship stronger and more committed because they have experienced what life was like apart.

Closure: If a relationship ends abruptly, or in anger, it can often leave one, or both, parties feeling like it didn’t end properly, or ended too soon. If the decision was made in haste and when feelings have calmed down you both want to give it another shot then it is important that you work through whatever it was that caused the separation in the first place.

Getting back together because neither of you feel the relationship was complete can be the beginning of a new chapter or the important confirmation that you needed that the relationship wasn’t right for you. Either way at least you won’t be left wondering if it could have worked out if you had given it another go.

Bad reasons for wanting them back:

Loneliness: it is all too easy to drift back into a relationship that wasn’t ideal simply because no-one else is around that either of you is interested in. It is unfair on both of you to do this. If you get back with someone who really wants to be with you again then they will most likely be hurt when they realise you are using them. If they don’t really want to be with you, and are just drifting back with you because there is no-one else on the scene, then you may end up feeling used and hurt even if at the time you think it is better than nothing.

It is better to learn to be happy on your own than to be unhappy with someone else.

So no-one else can have them: to get back into a relationship with someone simply because you can’t bear the idea of them being with anyone else is unfair on both of you. The strength of your feelings might feel like love but it is more likely to be jealousy and control that is driving you on and it would be better for you both to let them go and find happiness elsewhere.

Is it a good idea?

Only you can know if it is really a good idea to get back with an ex. The important question to ask yourself is have you really let go of whatever it was that caused you to break up in the first place? If you have then don’t get back together and try to recreate how things were before because they won’t ever be the same. Look forward and create something new and hopefully stronger.

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Comments

1

john whittingham

13 May 2012 00:39

Good article. I have a rule, wish I was better at sticking to it! You have to know what was wrong before and how it will be substantially different this time or don’t go back. Our own judgement of this is not very good. Discuss it with someone objective who has no vested interest. john

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2

Jan Grove

13 May 2012 10:46

Going back to a relationship you have decided is not the best for you, is going back for more of the same thing.
Unless both of you have genuine desire to work things out, love each other enough to sit down and negotiate your way back to what you both want…ditto..you will be going back to the same things.
Do yourself a favour do not go back to the same things.

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3

m.naisbitt

14 May 2012 05:18

anyone who gets back with an ex is asking for trouble—people very rarely change, if he/she was two timing you then you are not giving him/she what she wants —-forget them and start again

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4

kikay

14 May 2012 09:53

Good information, somehow gives me enlightenment on my current predicament. I’m hoping of be able to make the right decision about whether to take my ex back or not with this article.

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5

Eddie

14 May 2012 23:07

Great Article but my 2 cents worth is people don’t change, maybe what didn’t work for you may work for someone else. If you aren’t compatible in key areas that matter to you then so goodbye and don’t look back. believe me I know it hurts but there is sunshine after rain:)

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6

Barbara Wilkinson

15 May 2012 05:18

Trying to go back in time to an ex is likely to tie you up in knots. I tried it, I had changed, he hadn’t. All ended in regrets and hostility. If one partner changes and the other stays the same it’s like talking through thick fog.

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7

Benny

18 May 2012 11:26

Of course this is good advice, but what happens when you don’t know why the relationship ended in the first place? In my own siduation, we were dating for a short while, and then broke up. I was a little upset because I felt misjudged – as though she never got to know me, and I never knew why she wasn’t interested. I also had by that point developed feelings (a big mistake) and so it really hurt. Some time later she became interested again, and she was quite lovely – but I could never get back, I was afraid of going through that pain all over again. Eventually I did decide to ask her again, but by then it was too late… I was crushed for the second time, and really felt betrayed.

Sometimes it is not possible to know why. Not knowing why, it is not always possible to have the confidence to get back together.

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8

Susie

26 May 2012 08:12

In Mills and Boon novels there is often a separation until the guy works out what he really wants. I think in that sense it is okay – to get back together, that is. However I have never reconciled with an ex – because we split unamicably in the first place. Perhaps when I meet my Waterloo I’ll marry him… :D

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9

Sam

31 May 2012 13:00

I was in that situation after years in a relationship all of a sudden it was over he had found someone else online, then he wanted to come back…. I made a mistake but that wasnt truly the case… More that she had moved to Sydney and he was insecure about being on his own so came back to what was old and comfortable. Be careful that you don’t believe what you want to believe.. I loved him so wanted it to be the truth but I soon learned otherwise, observe what is rather than what you project. Often we just have to realise that they are not the one for us, don’t think of it as an ending but a chance at a new beginning. Better to be with someone who is worthy of you than just using you because it easy and convenient for them.

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10

Sally

1 June 2012 22:14

I have to agree. A leopard doesn’t change his or her spots. When a relationship ends, abruptly or not, there is a reason. There is no going back. If someone is immature enough not to tell you why, then you Havevto question of they were right for you in the first place. If they are a truly good person they would talk to you about how they feel. If you have strong feelings for someone, of course it hurts. Like crazy for a while, but for me it’s a sign. Move on when you can and eventually someone special and deserving will walk into your life.

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11

natalie

17 June 2012 05:15

I think getting back with an ex is a huge mistake. I have done it a few times, and it has ended badly. In my experience, men rarely change. It does hurt though when you don’t know the reason why they broke up with you. I try not to dwell on the negatives, and hope there is a decent man out there for me.

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12

Ina

18 March 2013 14:20

My ex ended our relationship abruptly and found a girl to date within ONE day! I didn’t even see it coming since we were almost gonna get engaged..all our frnds knew about it! Even our frnds couldn’t believe at first what had happened.But I’m a strong person…I did break down a lot on the first few weeks but it has been three months now that I don’t even cry about it anymore.I chose to remain single cuz relationships r too much for me atm.
However…i don’t know what is wrong with my head…I do think a lot and sometimes wish he was still mine…and I quickly push that thought aside.For me..it feels like it happened for the BEST but I also can’t seem to move on even tho I know I should.So I cut him off completely…No contacts whatsoever…He e-mails me if he doesn’t hear from me. I try not to reply but I end up replying…
Now he thinks He loves only me and he can’t love anyone else.He is messed up …. I tried to help him out as a friend but He starts to go emotional and lovey dovey…then just when I start to go lovey dovey with him…he disappears!
I told him clearly that I feel like he is playing mind games with me! He was seriously hurt when I said that…and I have NO IDEA what is wrong with him …even he doesn’t know what he really wants.I told him to take his time and try to stay away from me…yet he keeps coming back to me.
he is still dating that other girl…he calls her a “random girl” when he is talking to me.I have known him since childhood to say that he was never a bad person.I don’t know if he has changed…I don’t know if he has turned into a toal jerk now or if he is genuinely LOST about his feelings….
I have done my BEST with everything from trying to reconcile to trying to help him as a friend and even MOVING ON…so far…nothing has worked…
I am losing myself too…I need to make one final decision…pls..somebody help me..PLS…I really can’t stand strong anymore..I’m breaking too..

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