Want Your Ex Back? How to Tell If the Relationship Will Work

The weeks following a painful breakup can be trying. It’s hard to not become consumed with thoughts of wanting to get back together. You may repeatedly go over a mental list of pros and cons only to be even more confused about how to proceed. Sometimes things work themselves out and you do get an opportunity to rekindle your romance. After a few conversations, you and your ex decide to reunite. But how do you know the relationship will work out the second time around? Should you even get back together at all? The Cheat Sheet asked a few relationship experts to weigh in.

Consider the circumstances

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Don’t let your emotions rule you. Take time to analyze the circumstances under which you and your ex parted ways. Gaining deeper insight into why your relationship didn’t work the first time around can help you decide whether  or not the relationship will work out.

Dr. Jane Greer, marriage and family therapist and author of What About Me?, told The Cheat Sheet it’s important to see whether you’re both willing to work on what was wrong in the relationship. “It depends on the circumstances of your breakup,” Greer said. “It depends if there’s differences in preferences, and you are both willing to compromise.”

Face reality

Couple having a fight about their relationship

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It’s common to only focus on the good times you and your ex had. However, Lesli Doares, a couples consultant and coach and author of Blueprint for a Lasting Marriage, says it’s necessary to face the problems in your relationship that caused the conflict. Don’t ignore the unresolved issues that caused your relationship to end. “It’s easy to dismiss the hard stuff and focus on the times when the relationship was good. But if neither of you have learned how to do it better, the result will be no different the second time around,” Doares said. “Not wanting to be alone or wanting to be with the fantasy partner, not the real person, are not good reasons to get back together.”

Don’t rely on feelings

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Feelings can be deceiving and lead you right back into a toxic relationship or even cause you to leave a relationship that might be good for you. Marriage and family therapist Georgiana Spradling recommends stepping back and objectively looking at what was and wasn’t working in your relationship.

“In my e-book Don’t Get Stuck with The Wrong Partner, I present 60 questions to answer and 10 life dimensions to look at in order to decide whether you should be with a particular partner or not. Feelings get people in trouble and often lead them to the wrong decisions,” Spradling said. “In my opinion, the three things that matter most in the choice of partner are: a) a fit between your personality — which includes goals, values and habits — and your partner, b) the absence of negative traits and behaviors in your partner that are non-negotiable for you, and c) the ability of both you and your partner to negotiate the ‘negotiables.'” To learn more about Spradling’s methodology, check out her online webinars.

Live your life

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Happy woman | iStock

Greer also reminds those dealing with a breakup to remember to live a full life. Don’t stop doing things you enjoy just because the one you love isn’t with you. “Invest your energy into your life, your family, your friends, your work, and your hobbies. Focus on taking care of yourself, getting healthier, getting stronger. Try new activities and interests. Take your mind off what you lost, and replace it with things that make you feel content and fulfilled,” Greer advised.

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