This article is about the ultimate question that lies in the heart of each one of my clients – Should I get back together with my ex?
Most of the time, if you ask your friends and family for advice on this, they’ll probably convince you that getting back with your ex is the worst thing ever. They’re coming from a different place and them talking down at you as if you should just know it’s a bad idea can come across as condescending and make you do the opposite.
I’m not going to be one of those people today. I’m going to have a frank discussion about whether getting back with an ex is a good idea and how you should know if it’s okay to get back with your ex.
The answer lies in one simple question – how you can tell if it will work if you get back with your ex.
The Five Questions You Should Ask Before Getting An Ex Back
Here are five questions that you should be answering to tell that getting back together with your ex will actually work, unlike the relationship you had before breaking up.
- Are you in an on again/ off again situation?
- Are you overcome with loneliness?
- Is your ex open to change?
- How much time has passed?
- Is there a better option out there for you?
Let’s take an in-depth look at each of these questions.
Question #1: Are You In An On-Again/Off-Again Situation?
This one might seem odd, but interestingly, I’ve learned that one of the easiest ways to get an ex back is actually to look at people’s situations. I understand that each relationship is different, and the ones that have offered the most “success” in such situations are those on-again-off-again relationships.
This means that this isn’t their first breakup- it might not even be their second. Some people just keep breaking up and getting back together. Why do we want to avoid that situation, though?
Well, it is probably one of the best indicators of your future chances of success; it is NOT a great indicator of relationship success.
What’s the difference? What’s the big deal with being in an on-again-off-again relationship?
Most of the time, such relationships have one partner who’s addicted to that short honeymoon period right after they get back together. Once that period fizzles out, the relationship doesn’t interest them anymore, and they want to break up with you again to “restart” the cycle. See how this just becomes a never-ending loop?
Statistically speaking, if it’s your fifth or sixth break up with someone, chances are it’s not going to work out in the long run.
Such volatile relationships are immature, and it’s an indicator that your partner is not likely to change. Not saying they can never change, just that change is not going to come easily if it hasn’t already happened.
You need to be prepared for the eventuality that they will never change, and you could be caught in this breakup-makeup loop for life.
Question #2: Are You Overcome With Loneliness?
Relationships are often defined by our patterns, like our communication patterns and life patterns, especially if you lived with your ex. When those patterns become interrupted after a breakup, it can be extremely hard to cope, and that can make you feel lonely.
Perhaps your ex was the one who stayed up late, holding you or talking to you till you fell asleep. You grew used to that pattern, and now that it’s not there, there could be a metaphorical hole in your heart where those feelings of love used to be.
That hole left by your ex can be filled with loneliness, and that can start to overpower your life. At that moment, it’s very important for you not to let that loneliness shroud your overall awareness of the situation.
Most people who come to me wanting to get back with their ex do so because of their knee-jerk reaction to the loneliness. They simply can’t imagine a world without their ex.
Ironically, to win your ex back, you NEED to imagine a world without him. You need to imagine a world where you never get them back, and that will give you an indescribable power- a power that cannot be given by loneliness.
Feelings of loneliness seldom make great decisions.
This is the time to ask yourself the hard question of whether you just want your ex back because you’re lonely. Are you just reacting this way out of loneliness?
If yes, that’s not a solid foundation for a rekindled relationship, and even if you can restart your relationship with this, it will not last the way you want it to.
Question #3: We Know That You’re Open To Change, Are They?
A lot of people thinking that the hard part in this process is getting an ex back, but I’d argue that making a relationship work is much much harder. But why?
For relationships to work, they need TWO individuals to be trying their best. Now we know you’re willing to try to make your relationship work, but what about your ex?
There’s no point in making all these efforts if your ex isn’t willing to do the same.
Sometimes I get repeat clients where they were really happy about getting back with their ex, but a few months down the road, their ex breaks up with them again. Situations like this make me feel guilty sometimes, but then I realize that it’s not my fault, it’s their ex’s problem.
The person who got their ex back was willing to give it their all to make things work out and improve their relationship, but their ex just wasn’t ready to try to change anything at all.
If your ex is extremely stubborn and unwilling to admit to any of their wrongdoings even if the breakup was their fault, they are not a great candidate for getting back. I’d actually argue that if an ex isn’t willing to concede any ground, you probably shouldn’t even try to get them back.
Then some exes make false promises about changing their ways to get you back, but when push comes to shove, they’re the exact same person. How do we even determine what the truth is with these kinds of exes?
Honestly, this will always be a mystery because it requires factors that you can’t always swing in your favor, like time and experience. Your ex needs to SHOW you he can change instead of just saying that.
After all, I always say that actions weigh more than words. If someone says something to me, it doesn’t have much value until they can actually act on their words. The same goes for your ex.
Question #4: How Much Time Has Passed?
The biggest candidates for entering into an on-again-off-again limbo are those who break up and get back together within a week. Why? Well. How much real change could have occurred in a week?
Can people even get true clarity that quick?
People often get swept up in the excitement of getting back what they lost, and in doing so, they forget WHY they lost it in the first place. People need time to reflect on their mistakes and decide how they can better themselves before jumping back into the relationship.
This is actually why our ex-recovery process requires a minimum of a 21 day no contact rule. We’re finding that our best success stories take a long time to get back together. So, to have a long healthy relationship after a breakup, it takes an average of 3.5 months or more of self-reflection and growth.
Let’s take two situations as an example. In one situation, a couple gets back together within 2 weeks of breaking up, and in the second situation, the couple takes 6 months apart before getting back together. Which of these couples do you think has a better chance at having a lasting long term relationship?
From what we’ve seen, it’s definitely the couple that took 6 months to get back together. Why?
Because the couple that only spent two weeks apart is basing their decision solely on emotions while the second couple is basing their decision on logic that they arrived to after lots of self-reflection.
I’ve heard people say that raw emotions are what make relationships last, but we’ve found that people who make logic-based decisions stay together longer because they VALUE themselves and their relationship more.
Question #5: Is There A Better Option Out There For You?
Here’s the controversial part. I believe that every single person who goes through a breakup should go on a date with someone else. The more dates, the better. Why?
The reason is twofold:
Going out and dating someone new can actually help you get over a breakup.
If you go out six months after your breakup and you’re still not feeling a deeper connection with anyone, maybe it’s a sign that the connection you had with your ex was more powerful than you realized.
Thus, going on dates serves as a kind of litmus test to determine if there’s someone else better for you out there.
If there isn’t, you can try getting back with your ex!
The decision of whether to get back with your ex isn’t one that your friends and family can make for you. Its not one that you should make in a hurry either.
Here are the five things to think of before you know if getting back with your ex will even work:
- Are you in an on-again-off-again relationship?
- Are you making a decision because you’re lonely?
- Is your ex open to change?
- Has enough time passed for you to reflect on your relationship?
- Can you find someone better for you?