It can be mighty tempting to get back together with an ex, especially after a couple glasses of Chardonnay and the latest rom-com. Whether you were close friends that didn’t work romantically, had a passionate relationship that you haven’t found with anyone else, or just want to stop missing them, there are so many reasons that going back to an old flame can seem like a great idea. But Déjà vu isn’t always a good thing when it comes to exes.
After quite a bit of personal experience, I honestly believe that getting back together with an ex is never a good idea. Chances are, you broke up for a valid reason, and even though you miss them, things probably haven’t changed all that much. Reopening those wounds may even cause more pain in the long run; but if you do want to give it another go, it’s important that you are taking those steps for the right reasons.
I spoke to relationship expert and dating coach, Francesca Hogi, about making these difficult decisions. Hogi has seen it all when it comes to relationships. If you are contemplating getting back with an ex or need reassurance about pulling a Taylor Swift and saying that "we are never ever ever getting back together"— be sure to check out Hogi's surefire signs that you should leave your past in the past.
1. Your Closest Friends Admitted They Didn't Like Your Ex
"If you trust them and they love you, their opinion matters," Hogi tells Bustle. She warns that though you shouldn't base all your relationship decisions on the approval of friends and family, they might offer helpful observations that should definitely not be ignored. An outside perspective might even reveal some flaws in the relationship that you glossed over, explains Hogi.
"Biggest red flags? They didn't like the way he [or she] treated you, or how unhappy you always seemed when you were with [them]." Before diving back in with an ex, keep an open mind and open ears — if your friends think it's a bad choice, they'll be sure to speak up.
2. You Feel Like You Blew Your One Chance At Love
"Did you feel great about your decision to end things, only to have panic set in? That's a normal reaction to a breakup," reminds Hogi. A lot of change occurs when exiting a long-term relationship, and regretting the decision to end things is unfortunately quite common.
Hogi's advice? Stay strong and carry on. "It's going to be a bit of a roller coaster for awhile. Don't choose out of fear! This too shall pass."
3. You've Started Rationalizing All Your Deal-breakers
"If you broke up because of a fundamental difference in values or lifestyle or relationship goals, it probably was as bad as you thought it was at the time," says Hogi. The memory can play some unfair tricks on you. After a break up you may start to second guess yourself, focussing on the good times and downplaying the real problems. Instead of thinking that maybe your deal-breakers were unfair or too harsh, remember the reasons why you broke up in the first place.
4. You Need An Ego Boost
"If your ex wants you back, that can understandably make you feel good. But if you're actually letting your inflated ego rule your decision making process, that's not a good sign," Hogi explains, and boy is she right. When an ex pursues you again, reaching out over social media and text, the attention can make you feel amazing.
Beware of getting swept up in the rush, Hogi warns, or the flirtation might turn problematic. "The high won't last for long, and it's not fair to your ex to use [them] that way. (You wouldn't want someone to do the same to you, would you?)," she says.
5. You Just Hate Dating
The dating pool can seem pretty bleak at times, and though you may feel lonely now and again, learning how to be on your own is an important part of healing. If you spend time focussing on yourself instead of finding your next bae, you may discover new and unexpected hobbies or sides to yourself. The right person is out there and you will find them, says Hogi. "Dating can be hard. It can feel so frustrating to try to start over with someone new. But you can do it — you will find someone special again," she says.
6. Trust Was A Big Problem
Building trust is an incredibly important part of a relationship. If you and your ex broke up over issues of cheating, jealousy, or problems opening up, getting back together will not fix these things. Wondering if they are being honest with you, and constantly checking their phones will only push you further apart. You deserve a positive relationship where you feel confident and secure!
7. You Think They Will Make You Happy
Getting back with an ex can seem like a quick-fix for heartbreak, but as cheesy as it sounds, only you can make yourself happy. Give it time and try reaching out to family and friends for support. It's tough, but just remember, you're awesome!