Starting Over A Relationship – 11 Tips To Do It Right

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After all the pain and the hurt, when you’re staring at your ex’s contact number on your phone at 2 A.M., you may begin to feel that starting over a relationship might not be the worst idea. When you come to the conclusion that you can’t live without this person, you’re probably hitting the call button right away. But are you sure it will be a healthy relationship this time around?

Let’s not beat around the bush, starting over a relationship after a betrayal or heartbreak takes a lot of work. It’s not as easy as hitting a reset button. The recurring fights will probably get the better of you two, and just because you’ve decided to give it another go, doesn’t mean a new beginning is magically going to work out.

That’s why before you take the leap, it’s important to address a few critical questions. How do you start over in a relationship? What does it mean to you? How do you plan to make the relationship 2.0 better? We’re here to help you navigate the muddled waters of reinstating what once was, in consultation with psychologist Shazia Saleem (Masters in Psychology), who specializes in separation and divorce counseling.

What Does it Mean to Start Over in a Relationship? 

What does it mean to start over in a relationship? Well, in essence, it means giving a relationship a fresh start or a former partner another chance. However, in reality, figuring out the clean slate meaning in relationships is easier said than done. Though you may be wondering how to get your relationship back to the way it was in the beginning, you need to keep in mind that it may not be realistically possible.

After all, you cannot completely forget about the past and the angst they caused you. That would mean exposing yourself to the risk of making those same mistakes all over again. Besides, the success of starting over with an old partner can depend on numerous factors like the issues that plagued your relationship the first time around and reasons why you want to rekindle the connection.

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For instance, if yours was a toxic relationship that threatened your mental or physical health, attempting to rekindle will likely lead to more bad news. Similarly, if what you yearn for is the safety and the comfort of “being in love” and not the person you were in love with, perhaps you’re just feeling lonely and you don’t really want to begin anew.

If you’re looking to start over a relationship with your ex and you haven’t spoken to them in a few years, it’s also important to acknowledge that the person you knew them to be may not even exist anymore. Perhaps you will never be able to see eye to eye on some of the differences that led to the initial breakup. Simply put, if your rose-tinted glasses are very effectively making you ignore the difficult times, you’re infatuated, not in love.

Fortunately, there are ways to deal with this and make sure you get things right the second time around. So, sit with yourself and ask, what does it mean to start over in a relationship for you? Then, move on to how to start fresh in a relationship. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You’ve got to make sure you’re in it for the right reasons
  • Leave your expectations at the door, and don’t assume that the person will be exactly what they used to be; perhaps they’ve changed in ways you can’t even imagine
  • A new relationship same person situation has to be worth the effort. So, you need to ask yourself some tough questions — Are you trying to figure out how to get your relationship back to the way it was in the beginning? And is that even possible? Do you see room for reconciliation? Or are you letting your infatuation get the better of you?

“This process of introspection will help you see clearly whether or not this is a good idea. It may be a bitter pill to swallow, but a healthy dose of acceptance will set you free,” says Shazia.

Related Reading: Am I In Love Or Infatuated | Solving The Dilemma

Is It Okay To Start Over A Relationship?

Rekindling a past romance can be a complex and emotionally charged decision. Whether you’ve been separated for a short while or a more extended period, the question of whether it’s okay to start over a relationship deserves careful consideration. Here are five scenarios where it can be okay to consider starting over a relationship:

1. Mutual growth and self-improvement

Both individuals have taken time apart to work on personal growth, addressing the issues that led to the breakup, and have made significant positive changes in their lives. They now feel more emotionally mature, confident, and ready to recommit to the relationship. Without it, the clean slate meaning in relationships cannot hold good.

2. Temporary separation due to life circumstances

The breakup occurred due to external factors like long-distance relationship problems or career-related issues. If those circumstances have changed, and both partners still have strong feelings for each other, it may make sense to give the relationship another chance.

Related Reading: 5 Long Distance Relationship Mistakes that Couples Make

3. Rekindled friendship

After the breakup, the couple remained friends and maintained a healthy, platonic connection. Over time, they’ve realized that they still share a deep emotional bond and may want to explore a romantic relationship once more.

4. Resolved misunderstandings

The breakup resulted from misunderstandings, miscommunications, or minor conflicts that have been or can now be effectively addressed and resolved through open and honest communication.

5. Changed circumstances

Major life changes have made space for a relationship in the life of both partners. For instance, college sweethearts who went their separate ways reconnecting years later when they’re both unattached and emotionally available. They may want to give the relationship another chance if their feelings for one another have not changed.

In each of these scenarios, the key factor is that both partners have genuinely evolved and are willing to make the necessary efforts to ensure a more fulfilling and healthy relationship moving forward. Starting over in such situations can lead to a more profound and stronger connection between the individuals involved.

Related Reading: 5 Things That Make A Relationship Work | The Basic Essentials

How To Start A Relationship Over – 11 Helpful Tips

So, how do you start over in a relationship? In a new relationship same person situation, you may want to immediately get back to the old days, sharing the same level of comfort, intimacy, and commitment. However, picking up exactly where you left off may neither be feasible nor healthy. If little things seem to trigger you, the following helpful tips and new tools on how to start fresh in a relationship laid out by Shazia will help you:

1. Developing mutual respect is a necessity

Sure, you may think you respect each other when things are going well, but a certain level of disrespect must have crept up during those nasty fights. The elements of developing respect in a relationship run deeper than how you talk to each other, it’s also how you think about each other. Understand this before thinking about a fresh start.

“Accept each other as you are, without wanting to change the other person. Respect your partner’s individuality, qualities, traits, and habits. Developing mutual respect is perhaps the most important when you’re trying to start over in a broken relationship,” says Shazia.

2. Figure out what caused the problems in the first place 

It’s time to put your detective hats on and get to the bottom of why the relationship crashed and burned the first time. If you’re treating a broken leg by bandaging your arm, the cracks will remain unhealed. You won’t know what you need to fix unless you figure out why you two kept fighting and having problems. Spending time on this is imperative.

If you’re trying to figure out how to start all over again in a relationship when you live together or have been together a long time, the best thing to do is to spend time diagnosing the problem. Maybe you want to think about starting a relationship over as friends first.

Related Reading: Top 13 Reasons To Stay In A Relationship

3. When starting over a relationship, let bygones be bygones 

If you’re wondering, “What does it mean to start over in a relationship?”, this is a big one. Getting to the bottom of why there was trouble in paradise will help you with forgiveness as well. Sure, forgiving a cheating spouse or a partner who has hurt you isn’t the easiest thing in the world. But understand that bringing it up over and over again isn’t doing anyone any favors. Remembering to let go of the past is key whether you’re trying to figure out how to start over in a relationship after cheating or a nasty breakup.

“Bury the past. Forget about it, let it go. The more you dwell on the past, the more you’ll be spending precious time discussing things you shouldn’t. Focus on the moment, and deal with the issues that are coming up right now,” says Shazia. No, you shouldn’t bottle up your emotions either. If something is bothering you, you probably need to think about why that is. Ask yourself why past arguments and mistakes are brought up in your “new” relationship.

  • Does it signal an ongoing lack of trust?
  • Are you struggling to learn how to start over in a relationship after cheating?

If so, you now know what you must work on in your new relationship with the same person. After all, you’ve both agreed to give each other a second chance and this will help you learn how to rebuild connection in a long-term relationship. Couples therapy can be of great help with this.

how do you start over in a relationship
If you can’t let go of the past, the relationship can’t have a future

4. A little breathing space will do you both a lot of good

“If you’re trying to start over in a broken relationship, you need to be level-headed. You’re embarking on a new journey altogether, so it’s better to give each other some time and space. Whether you’re trying to get adjusted to the new scenario or just need some time off from it, personal space can help,” says Shazia.

Spending some time away is almost a prerequisite if you’re figuring out how to start over in a relationship when you live together. Step out of the firing range for a bit, and spend a relaxing week or two by yourself. Once you’re in a better state of mind, you’re not going to snap at your partner for leaving that wet towel on the bed. This is one thing that can go a long way in healing your connection when you’re trying to work out how to start all over again in a relationship.

5. While starting over a relationship, kindness is your currency

If you’ve said a few things to each other that you wish you didn’t, there’s always room to make amends. A few small displays of niceties may not mean much at the moment, but the more they add up, the happier you’re going to feel in each other’s company. It doesn’t all revolve around how you can be with your partner, however.

Shazia explains how being kind to yourself may just be the most important thing you can do while trying to start over in a broken relationship. “Be kind and compassionate toward yourself, each other, and the relationship. A person who is not happy and content with themselves can never make others happy. Unless you take care of yourself, you won’t be in a state to be kind to those around you.”

Related Reading: 10 Most Kindest Zodiac Signs

6. Adjust the power dynamics

Whether we know it or not, we often fit into particular roles in our relationships. One may act like the victim, and the other may take on the role of the prosecutor. Especially in dynamics where a person always feels invalidated and belittled, there may be very damaging power dynamics at play. It is surprisingly easy for two people in such proximity to unconsciously fall into the same patterns.

When you’re trying to figure out how to start over in a relationship, theories like the relationship triangle may help you figure out who is inadvertently playing which role in your dynamic. If yours doesn’t feel like a union of equals, starting over a relationship becomes invariably more difficult.

Perhaps the best way to address this would be to practice healthy communication and honesty with your partner. You can also seek help from a therapist or relationship expert to figure out how to break away from old patterns and replace them with healthier ones.

on ex

7. Establish new boundaries 

“From the minute you decide to start things up again, make sure you create healthy boundaries around yourself and the relationship. Boundaries are vital to make sure you have a fulfilling relationship in the long run,” says Shazia.

Boundaries can be as simple as respecting each other’s personal space and helping you achieve and sustain your individuality. Especially if you’re starting a relationship over as friends with the intention to revive a romantic connection down the road, establishing clear boundaries and clear expectations from the get-go will make sure you’re both on the same page. This is one of the positive things about starting over and will also help you improve communication.

Related Reading: How Can I Overcome Feeling Insecure In Relationships?

8. Empathy will be the difference

If you’re starting over with your ex and have been hurt in the past, you’re probably not thinking about what your ex has gone through as well. But once you try to see the other side for a while, a whole new perspective may present itself to you.

“Understand each other’s perspectives, and the only way to do that is by being empathetic in your relationship. Understand your partner’s situation, respect their opinions, and have clear and open communication,” says Shazia. This is key in working out how to rebuild connection in a relationship.

9. Jump in with both feet

“If you’re now in a new relationship same person type of situation, it’s a sign that you strongly believe there’s something worth working on in this relationship. It’s a sign that you’re meant to be together. Make sure you prioritize it. Instead of having high expectations from your partner, think about your part and your role in it. Think about the best you can give, not what you can get,” says Shazia.

Let your actions reflect that you’re committed to making an effort in your relationship. The more your partner can see that you’re committed to making this relationship work through the effort you put in, the more secure they’re going to feel too. This is something that’s easily missed but very helpful in learning how to start over with someone you love. A little quality time can go a long way.

10. Practice effective communication

Clear and open communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship but especially when you’re learning how to start over with someone you love. When starting over, it’s essential to establish a safe and judgment-free space for both partners to express their feelings and concerns.

Active listening is equally crucial; it helps in understanding each other’s needs and perspectives. Additionally, consider setting aside dedicated time for regular check-ins to discuss how the relationship is progressing and whether any adjustments or improvements are needed. This is key in figuring out how to rebuild connection in a relationship.

Related Reading: How To Fix Lack Of Communication In A Relationship – 15 Expert Tips

11. Embrace change and adaptability

To successfully restart a relationship, it’s vital to acknowledge that change is a part of growth and evolution. Embrace the idea that the relationship may evolve into something different from what it was in the past. Be adaptable and open to new experiences, challenges, and opportunities.

Accept that as individuals, you and your partner may change over time, and that’s perfectly normal. Flexibility and a willingness to adapt can help your renewed relationship thrive and flourish.

Key Pointers

  • Tips on how to start with a clean slate in a relationship include establishing boundaries and putting yourself in your partner’s shoes
  • Prioritize your partner and make honest and consistent effort to fix old patterns
  • Forgive your partner for past mistakes but express your needs clearly to them when starting over a relationship
  • A new relationship with the same person essentially requires you to take some space and be kind to your partner

Whether you’re starting over with your spouse or have decided to just be friends with someone, the tips we listed out for you today definitely will help. It can be difficult at the beginning when you’re trying to figure out how to start with a clean slate in a relationship. But the right intent and approach will set you on the right track and with practice, things should work out for you. Give it your best shot and work on creating new patterns and memories. If it still doesn’t work out, don’t worry. At least you tried and that’s what matters.

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