As much as you might want to right now, we will advise you to never take back an ex who dumped you. You see, we are all wired to remember the good times and forget bad memories. And thank god for that! It is for the sake of our own sanity and peace of mind. But this is probably why you have forgotten what it felt like to be dumped, and why it didn’t work out with your ex in the first place.
Your ex might be approaching you again for any one of the varied reasons why people reconsider their decision to end a relationship. Their reasons could be sincere and heartfelt, such as experiencing genuine remorse. Or they could be much more manipulative. Be wary of those, lest you get sucked into a toxic cycle of abuse.
In this article, emotional wellness and mindfulness coach, Pooja Priyamvada (certified in Psychological and Mental Health First Aid from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Sydney), who specializes in counseling for extramarital affairs, breakups, separation, grief and loss, to name a few, talks about the disadvantages of going back to your ex. Her inputs should convince you why getting back with an ex never works. She also explains when is it a good idea to actually get back with an ex, if it is at all. And what one should keep in mind when doing that.
13 Reasons To Never Take Back An Ex Who Dumped You
The urge to stay within our comfort zone is completely understandable. After all, what counts as comfortable? Why do victims of abuse tend to stay in abusive relationships? Why do we put up with pain even when we recognize its source? It is because the “unknown” seems more dangerous to us than the “known”, no matter how dangerous, toxic or painful the “known” is. This is one of the main reasons why all of us at one point or the other in our lives have reconsidered the breakup we were so sure of. No matter how bad the relationship was, at least it was familiar.
Never take back an ex who dumped you because this could just be an ego issue for you. An ex who dumped you earlier but is now approaching you for a reconciliation gives you a chance to prove your ex wrong, or prove to yourself that you are better than what they had accused you of in the past. These are terrible motivations to restart a bad relationship.
What doesn’t help matters is the positive memory bias. We tend to remember the good moments or experiences over the bad ones. It is a cognitive bias that helps let go of pain and allows us to feel at peace. So, it is highly likely that you have forgotten how it felt to be dumped by your ex, why your relationship did not work, and why it will still not work. Allow our expert to remind you of the disadvantages of going back to your ex to give your relationship another go. Hopefully, it will help you see why you should never take back an ex who dumped you.
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1. This can be bad for your self-esteem
Words like “dumped” have an inherent sense of devaluation and humiliation. Taking back an ex who dumped you or devalued you is going to take a toll on your self-worth. If you are thinking about letting that ex back in your life again, chances are you are already struggling with low self-esteem and do not think you can get a better deal than your ex. Getting back with them is only going to make matters worse.
Pooja explains, “Going back to an ex means agreeing to compromise on issues that you found unbearable or irreconcilable in the first place. It can damage your self-esteem and self-respect forever.” Remind yourself that you deserve better. Only that frame of mind will help you open yourself to receiving more from life. Surround yourself with people who make you feel respected. Consciously work toward building your self-esteem.
2. This can be sustaining an unhealthy cycle of codependency
Pooja says, “Getting back with an ex often happens because you do not know any other healthy form of intimacy and hence assume that you would not be able to survive without your ex no matter how badly you get treated in the relationship.” This behavior reflects a classic case of codependency.
Codependency in relationships is caused by low self-esteem and fear of abandonment. It is worthwhile to note that codependents have a specially difficult time getting over a relationship. Even if you do not identify as already being codependent on your partner, if you give in to this urge, you might get into an unhealthy cycle of codependency. Never take back an ex who dumped you because such a relationship will only further encourage codependent behavior.
3. You are seeking comfort, not growth
Are you wondering if getting back with an ex is a good idea? That you are even considering it shows that you are averse to taking risks. Or at least this time you are. It seems like you are seeking comfort, and not growth. “Ex wants me back after dumping me” – the mere sound of this self-talk will hold you back, limiting your growth.
Personal growth comes from a zone of slight discomfort. You are pushed into becoming better when you are faced with the prospect of the unknown. It can be scary, yes, but it is also an adventure. Say no to your ex and move on. Look at this phase as an opportunity for self-growth. It will motivate you to never take back an ex who dumped you.
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4. Some issues are not reconcilable – why getting back with an ex never works
Do you remember what the breakup was like for you? Did your partner raise any issues before calling it quits? If the breakup was a mutual decision, what were the major issues that led to it? This is a great time to tell yourself that there is nothing that guarantees that those issues will not come back.
Pooja says, “If your ex is not going to change some of their behavior patterns such as cheating or abuse, taking them back would mean these issues will keep surfacing time and again leaving you hurt again and again.” Even if there wasn’t cheating or abuse involved in the breakup, the clash of values and priorities, trust issues, loss of acceptance, love and respect, whatever it was, it is possible that the same issues will crop up again. Because, some issues are irreconcilable.
5. Taking back an ex means not respecting yourself enough
You say, “My ex wants me back after dumping me.” Our expert’s advice will always be to take a step back and hear yourself. How does it make you feel? Thinking about taking back an ex who dumped you reflects that you probably believe you will not find someone better. The term “being dumped” carries a connotation of it being a decision thrust upon you. That you did not have much control over the breakup must have messed up your sense of self-respect.
Never take back an ex who dumped you because doing so is going to only worsen that feeling. Pooja insists, “If your ex has overstepped your boundaries time and again and assumes that you would not be able to live without them and hence will put up with all their nonsense, please don’t prove them right.” Instead, prove to yourself that you can stand up for your future.
6. You both are not the same people
Ever since you broke up, you have had different experiences, beginning from the breakup itself. It was a milestone of your life (and your ex’s too) that you dealt with by yourself. Experiences such as these change you. We deal with them, get hurt, go through the breakup healing process, learn and grow. We find new people and become new people.
If it has been long since you broke up, it would be hard for you to recognize that person you had a relationship with. When you think of getting back with an ex, you imagine a halt in time, and for the relationship to begin where it ended. But much has changed. That can be surprising, unsettling and ultimately, disappointing.
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7. You will never be a new you if you take back your ex
Yes, you are not the same person as before, but going back to the same relationship drastically raises the chances of you being pushed toward old patterns of behavior. Both of you responded to each other’s personality and settled into a certain status quo in your relationship. As much as you resist, your partner’s personality and behavior is going to push you into settling into being the same person as you were before. This is natural. Your mind knows how to resist conflict and it is going to influence you both to adapt to the same old attachment styles psychology and relationship equations.
Never take back an ex who dumped you because they will drive you toward being the same individual. This inhibits you from becoming a new person. And you deserve that change. To learn from old mistakes and experiences and re-mould yourself into a more self-loving individual.
8. Lack of trust would always haunt such an equation
Like we have been saying, being dumped can cause trauma to one’s confidence and self-esteem. This can, in turn, create in you a fear of abandonment and the feeling of lack of control over your future. One of its side-effects are always being fearful of your partner and the fear of being dumped again. This will lead to unhealthy people-pleasing tendencies.
A lack of trust will keep you in a state of constant anxiety. It will force you to tiptoe your way through life, putting up with toxic behavior, having unhealthy boundaries in relationships. Even if your ex had your best interest in mind, a lack of trust will adversely affect the health of the relationship, irrespective of their sincerity. Pooja warns, “If you and your ex get back together while major areas of discontent remain unresolved, you would face a lack of trust from time to time and this would dampen the relationship in the longer run.”
9. You are moving backward
Getting back with an ex is going to stir up old trauma. And why would you want to do that? No matter how much you try to brush it under the carpet, feelings were once hurt. No matter how much you say it, there is not going to be a true “fresh start”. That is impossible. Emotional baggage may keep coming in the way as a hindrance to a stress-free relationship.
All these past hurdles will work like hooks that will constantly pull you back – a relationship that gets stuck in the past. And if you are not moving forward, you are moving backward. “Ex came back after I gave up” – this is such an unfortunate issue. A case of having moved forward only to be pulled back again. This sort of tussle is completely unnecessary when you can be doing so much more with your life. Our advice? Never take back an ex who dumped you because they will stop you from moving forward.
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10. Its a ticking time bomb
Let’s be honest. Getting into the same relationship with the same person who has the same issues doesn’t paint a very hopeful picture. You both might make promises to each other about a clean slate. And we are not saying those promises are insincere. But old issues will surface again and you will be left dealing with them with the same set of arsenal. This is why getting back with an ex never works.
Terrible things can happen in a relationship without trust. Mistrusting your partner, holding on to grudges, feeling the fear of abandonment, brushing things under the carpet – the infestation of these issues in the foundation of your Relationship 2.0 is only a ticking time bomb. Never take back an ex who dumped you, we say. You are much better off on your own.
11. You are so close to the finish line!
Hey, look how close you are to the finish line! Maybe you had already crossed the finish line if you are the one who typed on google “ex came back after I gave up”. You have seen the worst. And survived! Why take back an ex who dumped you and revisit the whole drama once again?
You were just about to begin to let go of the past and let bygones be bygones. Maybe you were already there before the ex who dumped you approached you and offered to give it another go. Never take back an ex who dumped you. Have new relationships, make new mistakes. You only deserve a better partner, a better chance at love than the one you are compromising with.
12. It isn’t good for your mental health
Everything we have discussed will adversely affect your mental health. Pooja says, “Couples that break up and get back together have higher rates of conflict, including serious disputes involving physical and verbal abuse. Breaking up and getting back together is related to increased psychological distress, especially when partners create a pattern of breaking up and getting back together over and over again.”
Instead, take steps to be more hopeful of love. You will find someone more compatible at the right time. Singlehood is not such a terrible thing. A happy life with your own self is better than an abusive one with a so-called partner.
Listen to yourself. If you feel it in your gut that you want to get back with your ex for the wrong reasons, but you still can not let them go, consider seeking support from a trusted friend or family member. You can also approach a counselor to help you. They will get to the root of your issues of codependency. With their insight and objectivity, you will be able to make the right decision.
13. There are plenty of fish in the sea
Last but not the least, there truly are plenty of fish in the sea. It may be difficult for you to see it right now. But there are so many people looking to share love. Never take back an ex who dumped you because it is futile. You might wonder if you will ever find love. But you are indeed going to, if you stop frantically chasing it. It may help you if you redirect your focus toward the things that are in your control. Pick an old hobby, chase that “new thing I must learn”, or “place I always wanted to visit”. In the process of enjoying life and pursuing happiness, you will come across the right person for you.
Follow healthy mindfulness practices, such as journaling, or seek a support group to ensure some objectivity of the situation at hand. Only later in life while joyfully watching the sunset with someone or by yourself, when you look back, will you see this phase as a small blip in your journey of life.
When Should You Reconcile With An Ex Who Dumped You?
We asked Pooja if there were any reasonable scenarios where reconciling with an ex seemed like a good idea. Pooja had her apprehensions. She said, “Researchers have several names for it: relationship cycling, relationship churning, on-again/off-again relationships, push pull relationships. There are times when a breakup can bring clarity about what you want in a partner, and coming back together is a good choice. However, in most circumstances, once you break up with a partner, your outcomes are better if you move on instead of cycling back to them.”
It is also important to know that one should not confuse forgiveness with reconciliation. Forgiveness is a healthy value to help you move on. But forgiving by itself doesn’t mean that you and your ex must try the relationship all over again. You could remain in touch as friends, or not remain in touch at all before respectfully moving on from the old relationship.
Getting back with an ex is a good idea for people who broke up because they seemed to have fallen out of love, or had grown distant. Having children in the picture who will benefit from the reconciliation is one of the motivating factors for such couples. However, if signs of toxic relationship were apparent in your relationship, children or not, going back to such a relationship is strictly not recommended.
If you do decide to give your relationship with your ex another chance, Pooja has a few recommendations. She says, “Reconciliation requires patience on both people’s part. You need not have perfect trust right away to have a good relationship. Let the forgiving emerge. Let the reconciliation emerge.” So, take a break, take a step back. Consult the advice of people whose opinion you trust. But above all, trust your gut.
Pooja rightly points out, “Both the decision to forgive, and the decision to come together again in mutual trust, are your choices and you should never be forced into them.” Do not let external factors dictate this decision. Also, mind your self-talk. Never take back an ex who dumped you because your mind tells you, “This is it. This is my chance to prove I was right.” Be wary of self-criticism and limiting beliefs about what you deserve and what you are worth. You deserve the world and much more!
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Having said all of the above, matters of the heart are subjective, complicated and personal. No article on the internet can clearly endorse your decision. But, we sincerely advise that you introspect and educate yourself plenty before taking such a step. We also advise consulting a professional counselor who can hold your hand every step of the way, from deciding if you should take back an ex or not, to how you should go about handling the emotions that surface. Should you need them, Bonobology’s panel of skilled counselors are here to help you.
This happens for many reasons. Maybe they are genuinely remorseful. Maybe, they broke up with you because of a temporary attraction toward someone else, and now that is over. They might have had their heart broken, and you are now their rebound, or a safe choice. It is also possible, your ex may be manipulative and abusive and this whole breakup was part of an abuse cycle. The breakup was the Discard stage, and them coming back to you seeking reconciliation is the Hoovering stage . How to treat your ex boyfriend who dumped you but now wants to get back together, after knowing this? Be tactful. Politely say, “No,” and get out of it as soon as possible.
Don’t give in to the temptation of proving your worth with a second chance. At the same time, don’t give in to the temptation of taking revenge either. The chances that an ex who dumped you earlier now wants you back as part of an abusive cycle are very high. You don’t need to worry about treating them right or wrong. You should make sure that you tactfully get out of the situation unscathed.