If there's one thing pretty much everyone can agree on, it's that breakups suck. Having a long-term relationship come to an end is a painful, emotional, and often confusing experience for both partners — even the one ending things. And the aftermath of a breakup isn’t any easier: you can be left needing more clarity or closure, and with plenty of conflicting feelings about your now-ex. Even if things didn’t work out romantically, it’s not easy to forget your entire history with someone — which is why, down the road, you might want to know how to mend your relationship with an ex and get back on friendly terms again, because not every breakup has to end with a burned bridge.
"Healing wounds from past relationships will set you free and help you avoid repeating the patterns that lead you to the past relationship," Eliza Boquin, MA, LMFT, Licensed Psychotherapist, and Relationship & Sexuality Expert, tells Bustle. "Healing empowers us with self-awareness that can later guide us when we're ready to begin another relationship. Humans are wired for connection; heartbreak can cause us to isolate or later hold back in future relationships. Healing helps us to stay connected."
Obviously, there are some instances in which you shouldn't reach back out to an ex — if the relationship was toxic or abusive, for example — but if you feel comfortable re-opening that door and want to clear the air with someone, here are five expert tips for mending things with an ex.