From Break Up to Make Up

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It’s easy to be cynical when you hear a couple that had split have decided to get back together. If you’re the one in that position, your decision may be met with an equal measure of concern and derision, especially if the break up was painful or messy. These reactions are perfectly normal and somewhat justified. But is getting back together with an ex a bad decision that should be completely out of the question?

Picking up where you left off when things were still great between the two of you and rekindling the fire of passion with someone familiar so you will not have to start from scratch sounds easy, right? You are convinced the two of you can work things out and get right back on track, then ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after, whichever comes first. Unfortunately, it is not as easy as it may appear.

Getting back with an ex has often been ridiculed and viewed as a sign of clouded judgement, submission or weak-mindedness from either of the parties involved. There are several questions that will be floated around, for instance: “What makes you think the relationship will work this time?” or “What makes you think that your partner has changed?” or “What if he or she hurts you again?” While it is expected that the two people concerned would have learned from their experiences and can now move on, these concerns are valid and not at all misplaced, more so if it was one of those nasty break ups.

However, like with many situations, there are exceptions. Your relationship may have been riddled with issues that eventually led to a break up and at times the time-out you both got after parting ways may just be what will make your new relationship stronger in the long run. However, that depends on whether or not you have found a way to address and resolve your issues. It’s necessary to state that what is being addressed here is a mutual decision to get back together and not one person trying to win back the affection of another. Even if this was the case at first, it has to be that both of you have decided to give it another try. There are certain factors that can hopefully contribute to the success of your relationship the second time round.

TAKE IT SLOW…

It’s easy to ignore this because you’re both in familiar territory, having prior knowledge of each other and hoping to pick up from where you left off and also make up for lost time. However, whether you may or may not realise it, the time you spent apart changed you and there is need for time to get reacquainted with each other. Treat this as a new relationship. Start getting to know each other anew. Question your reasons for getting back together. Is it because you don’t want to be alone and are afraid of venturing into the unknown by finding someone new? You need to be absolutely sure that your reasons for getting back together are because you want to be together and see a future in the relationship.

DISCUSS THE PAST…

This may be an area none of you wants to touch with a ten-foot pole, but it is vital that you discuss what went wrong and how it can be resolved to allow you start on a clean slate. It may seem blurry at the moment because you both want to get back together so badly, but remember that there was a reason why you broke up. What went wrong and how can it be fixed and dealt with in the future if it happens again? Discuss this and act on it. Both of you are going to have to compromise, forgive each other and yourselves, as well as let go of past hurts if you want this new relationship to work.

MOVE ON…

When you have adequately dealt with your rocky past, you can put it behind you and move on. Avoid blame games and dwelling on whose fault it was, even if it was evidently one partner’s fault. Problems will reappear, sometimes very similar to what instigated your break up. Don’t avoid or sweep these under the carpet. Discuss and find a way to deal with them in a tactful and non-confrontational manner. Seek external help if need be.

The past may haunt your new relationship several times before you can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that it is behind you. But both of you have to be committed to doing things differently and making your new relationship work.

Sometimes you’ll find that there is nothing so fundamentally wrong with a past relationship that would keep you from trying again, if you both want to. Getting back together after serious assessment and reflection is by all means a reasonable decision. If you are still interested in each other, want the relationship to work and are committed to making the necessary changes to facilitate it, go for it!

Nonetheless, getting back together doesn’t always work out. In fact things could go horribly wrong. Acknowledge the fact that some ex’s are worth it while others are not. It is up to you to decide who is worth it and who will give you the happiness and the love that you deserve. If violence and cruelty was involved in the break up, you would be foolish to give it another trial.

July2012

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