Signs You Should Take Your Ex Back
Sometimes love is everything
Sometimes the world spins unexpectedly and an ex-boyfriend comes calling. What do you do? Should you respond to his text? Ignore his call? Meet him for a drink?
It’s a tough situation and we’ve all been there. And then, what happens if it turns out he truly wants a reconciliation? Again, more big decisions to be made. People can change, but change comes forth slowly. So it’s not something to rush into.
There are times that it’s okay to take your ex back, and other times you should send him packing. Find out the difference.
No relationship is all bad
“This is a really tough one because, no matter how bad the relationship, there is almost always some positive residual feeling and a sense of what might have been,” said Lesli Doares, marriage consultant and therapist and author of the book, "Blueprint for a Lasting Marriage: How to Create Your Happily Ever After With More Intention, Less Work".
“But, if nothing has really changed, going back into that relationship will simply lead to the same unpleasant outcome. However, if one or both of you have really learned how to do things differently then your relationship might have a second chance,” Doares said.
Signs that you should consider taking an ex back
- They don’t tell you they have changed/matured/dealt with a dealbreaker—they show you they have.
- Your interactions have changed for the better in a very concrete way—how you communicate, and the way you handle disagreements.
- They express genuine remorse/regret over the loss of the relationship and accept responsibility for the part they played in its demise.
- They have dealt with their part of the primary problem issues you had together. For instance, if you had money problems and If they had debts and were generally irresponsible with their/your money—they will have paid down their debt and be handling their finances with more responsibility.
- Your past issue was due to distance, a job change /transfer, a desire to move abroad for a while and experience something new, and/or a desire to return to school or move somewhere new—that they followed through on and it led to your breakup. Now that issue is resolved and they want to move closer, have graduated, have given up the idea of the new job far away, and want to return to live close to you return and work on the relationship. In other words, whatever it was they thought they wanted, they now want to give up because they realize your relationship is the most important thing to them.
- If you're still in love with each other and broke up over a bad disagreement, but the other person has acknowledged and apologized for that and is willing to change his/her behavior, then you can consider taking the ex back. Make sure he or she is demonstrating awareness and consideration for the things that were problematic in the relationship previously – if they are, you can take a chance going forward to reconnect.
- He is aware of the things that are important to you and what he can do to please you and make you happy. He's also aware of the things that make you unhappy. He's working to demonstrate changed behavior across both fronts.
- If he says he's going to, for example, be more punctual or less rude, then his behavior needs to reflect the intention. If he's not making those changes on a behavioral level, it's only a matter of time before things become problematic again.
- Did he change his mind and walk away? Sometimes people rush into things too fast, if this is the case men tend to run away to explore all their options. Sometimes men figure out they walked away from someone fabulous and want to come back. The decision of getting back together is completely up to you, if you still care and want to give him another chance. If he sticks around and you feel he’s ready to settle down this time, you should give this guy the benefit of the doubt and become exclusive again.
- Your ex has done work on themselves through therapy, made changes to their issues such as handling any addictive behavior, dealing with career issues; anything that was related to why you broke up in the first place.
- Your ex acknowledged what was wrong and makes efforts to correct it. If they weren't available because there job or location was an issue and they want to make themselves more available, see if this can move forward.
- Your ex allowed family to make his decisions and put you in a distant second but now has vowed to put you first. If you see a change in how you are treated, see if this change is temporary or permanent.
If you sense true change in your ex-boyfriend, and the love is still deep, then it's possible that a second chance is all you need for a lifetime of love.
Sources: Stef Safran, owner of Stef and the City dating service in Chicago; Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC, psychotherapist and relationship coach; Dr. Jane Greer, a marriage and family therapist, sex expert, author, radio host, and creator of the popular celebrity sex & relationship commentary, “SHRINK WRAP with Dr. Jane Greer.”