After a breakup

After a breakup it’s easy for someone who is heartbroken to believe that the only way his or her heart will mend is if that person comes back. And sometimes that’s exactly what happens- two people realize that they are actually still in love with each other and want to be together.

But is it right to get back together?

There are several things you should do and consider before getting back with an ex.

First, take a piece of paper, fold it in half, and on one side write all the attributes of a partner that you want. On the other half write all the things you don’t want, including dealbreakers, such as abusive tendencies, destructive habits, or having different religious, political, or family views. Then go back and circle all the good traits your partner has. And circle all the bad traits, including dealbreakers, if any.

If your “bad” side has more circles than the “good” side, or any dealbreakers circled, then you probably shouldn’t get back together.

Why do you want to be together? Fear of not finding someone else? Fear of being alone? Not wanting to start over in the dating pool and get intimately close to someone all over again? Fear is never a good reason to return to an ex.

Did either of you ever have to use manipulation to get what you wanted in the relationship? If yes, then it’s probably a bad idea to get running right back into that.

Hang out with your closest friends and family. Go back to doing things you enjoy but didn’t have time for because you had a partner. Build your self-confidence. Do you feel better now without him or her? If the answer is yes, then you definitely don’t want to go back!

If you do decide to get back together with an ex make sure a significant amount of time has passed between breaking up and getting back together, such as two weeks to a month. Take that time to focus on the things you enjoy. Then, when you’re back together and have a clear, fresh perspective on things, talk openly about what went wrong in the last relationship. You may even choose to have this conversation in the safety of a couples counseling session. Sometimes a professional mental health provider may be needed, especially when there are deep emotional wounds left from the last relationship.

Don’t put a person who was willing to walk away from you before you. Take some time to really think about whether or not you want to backslide.

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