Better Together: 10 Tips For Getting Back with an Ex and Making it Work
If Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck have taught us anything, it’s that an old flame can be rekindled no matter how long you’ve been apart. (Seriously, 18 years later?!) They may have set the bar a little too high for romantic reunions, but hey — successfully getting back with an ex is definitely possible (and a lot easier without all of the paparazzi). If the relationship is fixable (i.e. there are ways that could have made it better the first go-around) or one or both of you has changed for the better, getting back with an ex might just work out.
If you’re thinking about getting back with an ex, you’re probably a tad wary of how it might go, right? Maybe you’ll pick up where you left off (Bennifer style), like no time has passed — or maybe you’ll end up realizing why you broke up in the first place.
Either way, we have ten tips and advice for getting back with an ex:
1. Take Time Before Reaching Out
Think about the main reason you want to get back together. Did you suddenly realize what you lost? Do you truly believe the relationship can be revived? Or are you just feeling a little lonely and they’re the first person that comes to mind?
It’s natural to miss an ex (even if it ended on a sour note), but make sure you’re not pouncing on any temptations too quickly. Think about why you miss them, and if it’s because you honestly want it to work out (and you’re not emotional after a few drinks at the bar), then it might be time to reach out.
2. Consider Why the Relationship Ended
It’s easy to forget about the negatives when you’re missing an ex, but reflecting on why you broke up can help put you in a more realistic state of mind and determine whether getting back together is really the best option.
3. Think About What Will Be Different This Time
The relationship ended for a reason, so what’s going to change to make it work the second time around? Do you need to improve communication or rebuild trust? Are you planning to work on your conflict management? Take some serious time to consider what’s going to be different when you get back with an ex and whether it’s actually plausible.
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4. Address the Breakup With Your Ex
Before you can give it another shot, you need to be honest and direct with each other about what happened. After all, you can’t just jump back into a relationship and pretend that the break up never happened, right? Talk to each other about what you’ve learned from your initial split.
5. Keep Your Friends and Family in the Loop
Listen, we get it — after your breakup, you probably said some things about your ex that were...less than flattering. But if you’re going to get back together, it’s important to talk to your friends and family. Maybe they’re opposed to or unsure about your decision, but keeping it a secret will only cause tension with the most important people in your life.
6. Put Yourself in Someone Else’s Shoes
Here’s a great way to determine whether you’re getting back with an ex for the right reasons: can you imagine your best friend doing the same thing? Sometimes, your reasoning might make sense to you but not to anyone else. Imagining yourself as a neutral third party can help you determine whether you’re making the right choice.
7. Have a Trial Period
You wouldn’t buy a car without a test run, right? Maybe it’s not the best example, but the premise is relevant, nonetheless! You don’t know for sure whether your reconciliation will be successful, so why not give it a trial run first? It gives you a preview of things to come and whether you want to stick with it.
8. Take It Slow
And we mean at a snail-like pace. It’s so tempting to jump back into each other’s arms after a separation period, but you need to be realistic. JLO and Ben Affleck might motivate you to hit the ground running, but in reality, you need to take things one day at a time. Remember, you broke up at some point, so reuniting at full-speed is a quick way to break up again.
9. Leave the Past in the Past
One of the biggest challenges of getting back with an ex is letting go of the past. While you shouldn’t forget what happened during your initial relationship, it’s important not to let it interfere with your rekindled romance. Instead, use it as a learning experience to help you grow as a couple and avoid making the same mistakes again.
10. Know When It’s Time to Say Goodbye
Unfortunately, there are times when two people just aren’t meant to be. If you’re stuck in the vicious cycle of making up and breaking up over and over, it might signal that the two of you just aren’t compatible. Be honest and realistic with yourselves, and if it’s time to let go, do your best to move on.
Getting back with an ex is always a risky move, but if you keep these tips in mind, stay honest and open with each other, and put in sincere effort, you can definitely make it work!
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