If you've gone through a particularly messy break-up and come out the other side feeling heartbroken, it's not uncommon to start ruminating on how to win your ex back.
If you were the one that wanted the relationship to continue, you may feel as though if you just try hard enough, you'll be able to get back together. If you were the one that called time out and decided to walk away, with time you may start to look back on the relationship with rose-coloured glasses. The prospect of single life, and spending more time alone, may seem too daunting, and so thoughts of returning to your ex boyfriend or girlfriend may push to the forefront of your mind.
So, how do you know if getting back with an ex is a good idea or not? And if it is a good idea, is it even possible?
'Should I Get Back With Them?' - A Good Idea or Not?
It's a big decision to try and repair a relationship after a break-up. While you may be able to forgive, neither of you will be able to forget the hurt that's transpired, and this can lead to serious trust issues further down the track. When it comes to wondering how to make your ex want you back, the answer lies within weighing up the pros and cons.
Signs That There's A Chance
- You both have insight into why your relationship broke down. Each of you have the ability to reflect on your actions and think 'Ok, I could have done this better.'
- You can both discuss what you would like to be different this second time around. No point repeating the same behaviour and expecting brand new results!
- What are your long-term goals? If one person wants to get married and have children, and the other wants nothing to do with those commitments, how will get past these vast differences?
- How long after your break-up has it been? Only a few weeks, or has it been months or years? Time has the ability to heal wounds, but it also allows you to mature and grow as a person.
- Is the main problem something you can fix? If you split because you got tired of doing long-distance, is someone now willing to move to be closer to the other person?
- It's normal to feel utterly miserable after a break-up, but if neither of you have ever recovered, maybe your relationship just meant to be. In Greek philosopher Plato's 'The Symposium', we are told that humans originally had four arms, four legs and a single head with two faces. The God Zeus split these humans in half as a punishment for their pride. So sad were they that they were separated, that they spent their lives searching for their other half - and this is where we get the idea of soul mates.
Signs You Should Both Move On
- Are you two guilty of being on-and-off again? Studies show the more you break-up and get back together, the less chance you have of maintaining a satisfying long-term relationship. If you've tried reconciling a few times now, maybe you should focus less on how to get your ex back and more on how to move on.
- What's a circumstantial problem that you can surmount, and what's a personality trait? Major trust issues, infidelity, emotional manipulation, controlling behaviours - these are part of someone's personality, so don't expect these traits to disappear.
- Did you see this break-up coming, or did it completely blindside you? If you were dumped unexpectedly, your grief will be so much more overwhelming. You may desperately want to get back with your significant other as a way to regain some power and control over your life trajectory and emotions. In these circumstances, asking "Will my ex come back?" is more about your issues than it is about the pair of you reuniting.
- If your relationship has been the cause of any kind of abuse, it is in your best interest to leave and never return. These is obviously much easier said than done, because leaving an abusive partner is difficult. When you love someone who causes you pain, it's never as simple as walking away. If this applies to you or a friend, the following links may be of some help to you.
- Reach Out
- White Ribbon Australia
Is Getting Back Together Possible?
If your reconciliation is ever going to work
- You both need to be willing to get back together. Don't resort to trying to convince your ex to get back with you, because unwanted attention or stalker-like attempts at contacting them are not ok.
- The problems that caused you to split need to be things that can be fixed. Personality traits, differing long-term goals, abusive behaviour - these things can't be changed.
- Enough time needs to have passed so that you're both thinking clearly. Don't make rash decisions whilst you are both still grieving.
- You both need to be willing to have hard talks about how you plan to succeed this time around.
Celebrities Who Have Gotten Back Together
1. Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard
The couple split in the early days of dating, but got back together once Dax realised it was a mistake. They got married in 2013 and have two children together.
2. Chrissy Teigen and John Legend
Apparently John once tried to break up with Chrissy when he was tired, sick and on-tour - and she simply said 'Nup, it isn't happening'. They got married in 2013 and also have two children together.
3. Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo
Maroon 5's lead singer and the stunning Victoria's Secret Angel broke up in 2013 after about a year of dating. But they reconciled, getting married in 2014 (Jonah Hill officiated - how cool is that?) Adam and Behati now have two beautiful daughters together, Dusty Rose and Gio Grace.
4. Justin Bieber and Hailey Bieber (née Baldwin)
Justin and Hailey dated from December 2015 to December 2016, before splitting up. They reconciled in May 2018. They obtained a marriage licence in September, and were married by November. Congratulations Mr & Mrs Bieber!
5. Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth
Miley and Liam started dating when they were co-stars on 'The Last Song'. They had a three year on-and-off relationship, getting engaged in 2012, but this was broken off in September 2013. After Miley was photographed wearing her engagement ring again, and in October 2016 she confirmed in an interview with The Ellen DeGeneres Show that their engagement was back on. They married in a private ceremony on the 23 December 2018.