Exes are exes for a reason. People always want a second chance and we sometimes feel compelled to give them one. We like to reason that they may have changed their ways or they have grown and are different, but 9 times out of 10 they are still the same. If he was a cheater when you were together the first time, then chances are he is still a cheater….just better at his craft. If he was abusive physically, verbally, or emotionally then he more than likely still is abusive. Don’t put your life at risk for him, you got out the first time, you may not be so lucky the second. When relationships end it does not mean it is necessarily a bad thing. Relationships end for many reasons, good and bad, but what’s important is what you got from it. When the relationship has run its course appreciate it for what you had. Relationships are processes we go through to figure who we are and what we desire in a lifelong mate.
We tend to rekindle old flames because we are familiar with the person we were with, afraid to move on, feel undesirable, or blinded by love. In any case when considering to restart an old romance ask yourself a few key questions:
1) Why did the relationship end?
Did the relationship end because of infidelity? Was he abusive? Did we just grow apart? Were we young and didn’t know how to be in a relationship? Reflect on the relationship and where things started to fall apart. Figure out what your role was in the demise of the relationship and if you have made changes to make it better the second time around.
2) Is he worth it?
Is he the type of man you need right now in your life? Things change over time and so does our needs. What I needed at 18 is very much different from what I need at 33. Is this man going to be an asset or a liability to my life right now? I have a young daughter and he would be a father figure to her. Would be able to handle that role? Would he be a good role model for her? Is he trustworthy? Is he working? Does he have children and how is his relationship with their mother? Is he a protector, does he have a relationship with God, does he have a car and a home, does he drink a lot or does drugs? There are a lot of things to be taken into consideration. You are looking to have a man in your life, not a man-child?
3) What has changed?
If he was selfish, a cheater, an abuser, or mistreated you before, then what has changed since then? Has he sought counseling for his abusive behavior? No one is perfect, but you have to know what your limits are in regards to what you will accept. If cheating is a hard limit for you then you may need him to prove that he has matured past chasing every tight butt in a skirt. Set you limits and be firm with them. Don’t waiver. Don’t settle because you want to be with someone and he is familiar. He is too familiar because he knows you and how to get over on you too.
4) What are the reasons for getting back together?
Do you want to get back with him for the sake of saying you have someone? Is it for the kids? Are you afraid of being alone? Those are not the right reasons. It probably took a lot for you to leave. Don’t hinder your progress by taking steps backwards. Love yourself enough to know you deserve and will receive better. You have to have patience. Take the down time to get to know yourself again and enjoy your single season. If it just so happens that in your time apart you both grow and come to realize that together is where you want to be and the relationship is healthy, then by all means give it a shot. If all parties are on the same page with the same goals and the love is genuine then send me an invite to the wedding. Otherwise, move on and make room for someone deserving of you.
5) How were you when you were with your ex?
Were you at your happiest or you lowliest when you were with your ex? Did you do things together all the time or were you rifling through his pockets finding condom wrappers? Did you spend most of your time together laughing and smiling or in tears and screaming? A man that truly loves and cherishes you will do anything to keep a smile on your face. The only tears are that of joy. If you were constantly depressed, upset, shut off and miserable then why go back to that? Were you constantly walking on eggshells, not spending time with family or friends, and not being true to who you really are? Life is too short to be miserable at the expense of someone else. You need to make every moment count and be with a man who will make it count with you.
When it’s all said and done you have to go with your gut. Make the decision that is right for you. Love yourself enough to know what you want and not settle for anything less. Learn from the experience of that relationship and take the good with you, learn the lessons, and grow from it. We have to go through growing pains to reach our full potential. Most times it is best to listen to our head then to listen to our hearts and know the difference. Love shouldn’t be complicated or hurt. Relationships take work, but love is the easy part. Sometimes it’s better to leave the past in the past and only visit it in memory or through pictures. Actually you’re not strong enough to visit it at all. Burn the pictures and move on.
“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss