When the heartache and the sleepless nights get to be too much to handle, your aching heart may convince you to get back together with your ex. Putting aside the flood of questions and doubts that this decision brings with it, the stages of getting back together with an ex often prove to be tricky as well.
A million questions come rushing to your mind, “Is getting back together after a breakup a good idea?”, “Is it even possible?”, “Should I do it?” While answers are few and far between, the only thing you know for certain is that you want to feel loved again.
What brought upon your pain is what will end it, and nothing seems like a better antidote than the arms of the person you once called your partner, wrapped tightly around you. Let’s take a look at the stages of getting back together with an ex, and whether you should do it in the first place or not.
How Do You Know If You Should Get Back Together With An Ex?
Although it may seem like you want your ex back in your life right at this very instant, are you sure it’s a good idea to pursue the relationship that led to all this pain? After all, it must’ve ended for reasons considerable enough to warrant a breakup.
Plus, the stages of getting back together with an ex bring with them their own turmoil and ups and downs, as you’ll soon find out. It’s not exactly the easiest journey in the world to embark on, so don’t get inspired by all those Taylor Swift songs.
If there were any rules for getting back together with an ex, the first would be to step away from your infatuated senses and think with a clear mind. You don’t want to dive headfirst into another toxic relationship only to navigate the constant blocking and unblocking on social media.
That’s what happened with Kayla, who got back together after a breakup with her boyfriend, Caleb. The only problem is, they did so prematurely, trying to wish all their problems away instead of talking about them. When the initial infatuation of “restarting” the relationship ended after a fortnight, the familiar arguments resurfaced, causing the same problems all over again.
“At first, getting back with my ex who dumped me seemed like a perfect idea in the beginning. After all, he was the only one who knew so much about me,” Kayla told us. She added, “We broke up because of his trust and jealousy issues. I should’ve known better than when he said he could curb it. It only took him a few weeks to drive a wedge between us again. Only this time, it hurt more somehow.”
While considering whether you should get back together with an ex or not, you need to have an honest conversation with yourself. Try to understand whether reconciling with the ex is a sustainable decision, instead of just giving you joy for the time being. Will you be able to take it slow with your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, or are you too tempted to jump in with both feet, getting injured in the same places you did last time you jumped in? Take a moment to think about it all and consider the following points:
1. Why did the relationship end?
If there was just one good question that determined whether getting back together after a breakup with an ex is a good idea or not, it’s this one. Was it infidelity? Was it jealousy? Or was it because you couldn’t stand his B.O?
If it was something superficial like the last one, there’s all the reason in the world to reconcile. However, if it was one of the more serious issues like infidelity or trust issues, you need to make sure you’ve both worked on the problems before you even start going anywhere near the stages of getting back together with an ex.
Not working on past problems and plunging into reconciliation is like Chernobyl residents going back to live there because “it just feels different, you know?”
Related Reading: 12 Tips To Get Your Ex-Boyfriend Back And Keep Him
2. Do you want your ex back?
Was it infatuation or are you truly in love? Do you love being in love or do you really have feelings for this person? Are you considering getting back with an ex because they looked cute on your Instagram stories?
Granted, that last one may not be the driving factor behind most situations, but the question remains the same. Do you really want this, or have you just convinced yourself that you do? Figure out if you were infatuated or in love. In most cases, you already know if you’re just in love with the idea of being in love, or if you really actually have feelings for the person you grew so close to.
Think about it: is your (ex) partner someone you’d be friends with? Do you see yourself loving their personality, the way they are, or do you just see yourself loving (read: missing) the cuddles and the niceties? Whether you’re getting back with an ex-fiancé or someone you were with for a few months, it’s important to assess what you miss more: the relationship, or the person you were in love with?
3. Does your ex want you back?
Did your ex say, “Yeah, okay, I guess we can try,” or are they as enamored with you as you are with them? You can’t really go through the stages of getting back together with an ex if your ex doesn’t want to put in any effort.
Post-breakup sex may rekindle a lost romance for you, but it may just be a night to regret for your ex. To make sure things don’t get awkward after getting back together, make sure you want each other the same way. Especially if you’re trying to initiate reconciliation after no contact.
4. Is the dynamic different?
One of the biggest rules for getting back together with an ex is to only proceed if there’s a considerable change from the unhealthy relationship that led to the breakup.
If you’re wondering things like, “Should I get back together with my ex?”, it’s important to look at how you both plan to approach the relationship before you take any further steps.
A relationship shouldn’t feel exhausting and the time you spend with your partner must feel like a treasured moment that inherently makes you happy. It shouldn’t make you wish you’d slammed the door and started walking in the opposite direction away from them.
5. Is there still animosity or have you forgiven each other?
Breakups are rough. In other news, water is wet. Everybody blames the other person for the breakup and the blame game doesn’t end unless there’s a shared sense of responsibility and considerable personal growth has been achieved.
FYI, you don’t accomplish #growth by posting about it or treating yourself to a spa day. The lack of forgiveness and understanding will clearly be visible when on day one of getting back together, you’re telling your friends, “I got back with my ex, but s/he is distant!”
If you’ve taken the above points into consideration and decided that it’s now time to venture toward the stages of getting back together with an ex, we’re here to help you know what to expect.
The 7 Stages Of Getting Back Together With An Ex
So, you’ve decided you’re not just getting back together after a breakup to curb the pain, but because you love your ex and want to give it another go. How does it all go down? How to take it slow when getting back with an ex? What should you expect?
“When I was getting back with my ex who dumped me, I had no idea if I should’ve expected awkwardness or utmost passion, like we once shared. What followed felt a little weird, and for a little while there it seemed like she wasn’t even as interested as I was in reconciliation after no contact,” Matthew told us.
“Getting back together after a breakup is very different in your head than it is in reality. You never know what’s going on in your partner’s head. Frankly, I didn’t even know what was going on in mine. Eventually, things seemed to fall into place once we established new boundaries and guidelines,” he adds.
Here are the 7 stages you’ll probably go through, so you can have a fair idea of how this chapter of your very own rom-com ends. Sorry for the spoilers, I guess?
1. The first stage of getting back together with an ex: no contact
Regardless of how early after the breakup you make up your mind about wanting to get back with your ex, there is often a no-contact period involved. The messy pool of emotions you go through cannot be tackled if you’re still in contact with your ex.
If you’re not in a karmic relationship or an inherently toxic dynamic, you’ll most probably spend some time apart after the breakup to deal with the mess that’s going on in your head. After a few sessions of introspection and a LOT of ranting over the phone with your friends, you might realize you want to reconcile.
It’s usually during the no-contact stage that most people realize if the issues they had are fixable, and that they’d like to go through the stages of getting back together with an ex. The decision of getting back together after a breakup isn’t taken in a day, it’s often a few weeks of deliberation (read: annoying your friends).
Related Reading: 5 Signs The No-Contact Rule Is Working
2. Could we? Would we? Should we?
Now that you’ve decided to embark on this journey of getting back together after a breakup, a different set of questions come rushing to you. Sigh…they just never stop, do they?
“Will it be awkward after getting back together?”, “How to take it slow when getting back with an ex?” “Does s/he still love Game Of Thrones or was that a lie as well?” It’s possible you start doubting everything during this stage of initial contact, but that’s to be expected.
If you’re getting back with an ex-fiancé, what’s at stake can be enough to freak you out. Since you had a major commitment with this person for a considerable period of time, feeling cautious before you invest in them again is natural. Though you may convince yourself that you’re going to take it slow with your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, it doesn’t always work out that way. As a result, the pace gets scary.
We fear the unknown, and when the unknown promises another go at the once known – here, the romance we once thought would be our final destination – attempting to rekindle it will trigger some anxiety. Of all the stages of getting back together with an ex, this one might be the most anxiety-inducing.
3. “Can I call him/her ‘baby’ yet?”
When contact is established and you’re both now attempting to form a connection again to try and get back in the thick of things, the early days might be a bit awkward. You’ll be overly polite since an argument is now a death sentence and you’re not quite sure how comfortable you can be.
At this point, you might be itching to call them all the cute things you once did, but you’re just not sure if they feel the same way you do and just how strong their feelings are. We’d suggest you test the waters by sending them cute photos of you two from the time you were together and wait for their reaction so that you don’t jump the gun and end up saying “I got back with my ex but she is distant!”
4. The first post-breakup date
Now comes the time for your first proper date after you two have decided to get back together. You might end up feeling eerily nervous, just like you do before a big presentation at a new job, but somehow you still have a funny feeling that everything’s going to be alright.
Once you see your partner smiling at you, waiting to hug you, the thrill of the whole experience hits you all at once. Like a series of déjà vu flashbacks that makes you realize why you loved this feeling, and this person, so much. By this point, any fleeting thoughts in your mind of, “Should I get back together with my ex?” have been laid to rest, and you’re convinced you made the right decision.
However, you must be careful to not let expectations and nostalgia dictate what you feel while reconciling with an ex. Since you two are now different people, the dynamic must change as well.
5. Things feel great, and that’s terrifying
The stages of getting back together with an ex are different from the regular stages of falling in love. When things feel like they’re going well, you’re on cloud nine. However, when things are going well while you’re getting back together after a breakup, it can often feel terrifying.
While some aspects may feel great, it may feel as though you’re walking on eggshells the minute an argument arises. You’re both scared of messing it up, so you avoid any confrontations which will just lead to suppressed feelings and separate beds in the future. That’s why it’s best to keep the doors of communication ajar.
Related Reading: 13 Ways To Get Back With Your Ex
6. Learning the tricks of the trade
While things may have seemed awkward after getting back together, there comes a time when you accept that the dynamic is now a little different than what it was, and that’s okay. You’re no longer the people you were when you broke up with each other, and the relationship is no longer the same as it was either. Perhaps that’s a good thing, since it didn’t fare so well the last time!
You’ll learn, you’ll adapt, you’ll thrive. You might end up letting go of all the expectations you had from this endeavor when you stepped into it, which is perhaps the best thing you can do.
7. Rediscovering love
The stages of getting back together with an ex can be messy, filled with expectations and disappointments alike. After all, you’ve known and loved this person once before, it’s impossible to not expect everything to fall back into place as you left it, devoid of the toxicity of course.
By this point, you realize it won’t be exactly how it used to be, and a new, overwhelming love takes hold of you, validating your need to get back with your ex in the first place. The decision you made a few weeks/months ago to send a disarming, “Can we talk?” to your ex now seems to have paid off, and love can thrive once again.
Getting back together after a breakup isn’t necessarily the easiest thing you’ll do, emotionally. If you successfully manage to navigate a whirlpool of expectations, desires, and frustration, you’ll come out at the end of it with your lover’s arms wrapped around you.
Keep in mind that there is no set path both of you will walk on. The roads you come across might either be exceedingly treacherous or smooth sailing, but more often than not, they all lead to the same destination.
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Putting it bluntly, if you want to get back with your ex and make it work, you have to work on the issues that caused the breakup in the first place. One of the biggest rules of getting back together with an ex is to make sure you both forgive each other and yourselves for any harm caused, and that you are able to work past your issues.
When you approach the new relationship with mutual respect and open communication, it can work when two exes get back together.
You can look up ways to get back with your ex depending on your dynamic. If you want to restart your relationship with an ex, work on yourself, show them you’d like to get back with them and await their response.
The best way to tell if your partner is serious about getting back together is through honest and open communication. You can also interpret their body language, and their willingness to talk with you and reconcile. If they’re putting in the same amount of work you are, chances are they’re pretty serious about getting back together.
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