When you’re going through a breakup that you aren’t sure is right (or even if you ARE sure it’s right), you’ll probably have some feelings of confusion. Crying over the loss when you feel lonely, even if you KNOW he’s not the right one for you, is appropriate even if it was a good decision.
When you invest in a relationship with someone, regardless of the outcome they were an important part of your life. So it’s not easy to simply move them out of your thoughts.
However, if you believe that the breakup was a mistake (whether his or yours), should you try to get him back?
Marni and Dating with Dignity are here to help you determine if you should try to get him back. So when is it worth it, and when is it time to just let it go?
When It’s Time to Let Go of Your Relationship
1. When you left in limiting beliefs.
Whether your choice to reconcile is a reaction to feeling lonely, or you’re afraid you’ll never find anyone else, or some other sort of desperate “victim” thinking, it’s most likely time to let your relationship go. Being motivated to reconcile based on the fear of a consequence (e.g., “If I don’t get back with him, something worse will happen”) is an indication that you’re not choosing from a place of self-love and confidence.
If you simply miss the feeling of sleeping next to someone or hate that you don’t have a date to an upcoming wedding (and of course you seem to see couples EVERYWHERE), this is NOT the time to reconnect with your ex. The fear of being alone forever can certainly motivate people to settle for someone who isn’t a good match, so don’t be one of those women. Make sure you love and respect yourself first, be comfortable being alone, and then you can re-evaluate your long-term relationship goals. Remember, put yourSELF first.
2. You have a different values.
Perhaps the two of you broke up because you wanted children and he didn’t. Or maybe he wanted to get married while you preferred to commit to each other in an alternative way. Whatever the reason, if your values, relationship goals, or ideas about your future differ, it’s most likely not an ideal match. Things such as having kids, what religion to raise them in, and commitment levels are all aspects of a relationship on which both partners need to agree. If you don’t, you need to move on.
3. He was a repeat offender of a non negotiable.
If your ex continually did something such as disrespect your opinions, cheat, or engage in physical or verbal abuse, getting back together should not be an option. They say the most tumultuous relationships are the most addictive, so don’t fall off the wagon. Stick by your non-negotiables. And if your partner engaged in behavior that didn’t reflect your values of a good relationship is? Sayonara. Move on and move up.
When It’s Worth Fighting for Your Relationship
1. When the timing was off.
Sometimes, timing is everything. Maybe your partner had just gotten a big promotion and you broke up because he was working 15-hour days and you two spent no time together. Or maybe you’re in school and found that you just weren’t focusing on your relationship and thus broke up…but you both feel you have time to focus on each other now AND you’re both afraid to lose the other person. We say go for it.
2. When his actions and words match.
If your ex has been contacting you and wants to discuss the option of getting back together, let him show you he’s serious. If his words and actions match, he calls when he says he will and he’s in the action of making changes. Let him show you that he means what he says. If you feel confident that the second go-around could be better than the first, give it a go.
3. You’ve deeply thought about your decision (alone or with a professional) and feel it’s a healthy and safe choice for you to give it another shot.
People break up for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they’re small (He forgot your anniversary.), and sometimes they’re big (She cheated.). But whatever the case, if you find yourself thinking your ex is a healthy and smart choice as a partner to lead you to a fulfilling relationship, then getting back together might be the best thing for you to do. Consider talking to a professional such as a therapist or dating coach to decide if it’s right.
At Dating with Dignity we find that sometimes people break up for the right reason and sometimes they break up for the wrong reason. If you check in with yourself and the above checklist, we think you’ll be on your way to making the right decision.