Should I Get Back With My Ex? 13 Millennials On What They Wish They Knew Before They Reconciled With A Former Partner
Breakups can be devastating. I think of a breakup as a mourning process for the loss of an important person in my life and the loss of the future I had imagined with them. In the aftermath of a breakup, I used to seclude myself from the world. My mind would feel filled with negativity. I'd obsess over every detail of our breakup and I felt guilty for every mistake I made in our relationship. I'd reminisce about all of the amazing memories my ex and I shared and I feel empty without their presence in my life. In those dark moments, I'd feel so very tempted to call my ex to try, plead for their forgiveness, and work things out — and I'd always gave in.
After getting back with an ex, the same problems would inevitably arise. We'd get caught in an intoxicating cycle of breaking up and getting back together.
Now, I've totally shifted my mindset towards breakups. I now use my breakup as positive momentum. In the immediate aftermath of a breakup. I'll tell myself that the universe would not take something from me without giving me something better in return. I see a breakup as an opportunity for growth and a catalyst for change. I reflect on how I can improve myself for future relationships. I re-orient my energy to myself and the people that are closest to me and I surround myself with my friends who love me and uplift me.
"There's a liberating feeling that comes with getting thrown back into the universal dating pool, even if it wasn't what you wanted," Erika Ettin, the CEO of A Little Nudge, tells Bustle. "You get stronger. You become your own friend again. And now you have the opportunity to create whatever it is you want. Before you jump into a relationship, invest in yourself. Learn something new, try a different hobby, or say 'hello' to people in line at Whole Foods you otherwise wouldn't. This time around, focus on building a relationship with someone that understands what they have the first time around. Or, if you're not convinced, continue to fix what's broken."
Before I got back with my ex, I wish that I'd understood that breakups are an opportunity for growth, and that I must accept them and move forward. Above all, I wish I'd understood that the universe would not take something from me without giving me something much better in return.
But what about others who've been in the same situation? Here's what 13 millennials wish they knew before they got back together with their ex.
1. Lillian, 25
"We broke up for a reason."
2. Jared, 25
"I shouldn't speak badly about my ex to my friends and family before I'm sure there is no chance of us reconciling. It's an awkward situation for them to give their input about my ex and the relationship and then see us get back together."
3. Casey, 22
"We should only get back together if we are willing to forgive and forget."
4. Andrew, 27
"We need to work through all of our issues first."
5. Ryan, 24
"I shouldn't get back with my ex because I'm afraid of being alone."
6. Harper, 24
"Sometimes love is not enough."
7. Sophia, 22
"It won't be any different the second time around."
8. Aaron, 27
"I need to be honest about my contribution to the breakup and not just assign all the blame to them."
9. Ava, 24
"There's no rush."
10. Kyla, 28
"The makeup sex will be really hot."
11. Erik, 26
"I need to tell them if I've hooked up with anyone else during our time apart."
12. Alyssa, 25
"I need to let go of my grudges."
13. Michelle, 30
"That I was craving connection, not my ex."
In our relationships and our breakups, we're constantly growing and evolving. But when we give ourselves the space to reflect, we are taking a step towards manifesting love, joy and fulfillment.