Do you believe in the saying, “love is lovelier the second time around?”
Taking the cheesy, hopeless romantic statement aside, getting back with a former lover isn’t a piece of cake. The word “ex” often gets a bad rap. The two of you broke up for a reason, and you fear the possibilities of falling back into old habits and circumstances that didn’t work in the first place. You worry about how your friends and family would react. You’re afraid of being hurt again by the same person you tried to move on from.
But former sweethearts come in different forms. We all have those exes who made our life miserable and we’re good with never seeing them again. On the other hand, there are the ones who you’d be willing to befriend and rekindle with again if the time was right.
If you happen to reunite with someone special from the past and you’re contemplating whether to give it another shot or not, check out these things to see if your relationship is worth the second chance.
1. You had a clean break
You’ve been with this person for three years but due to several circumstances, you felt like it would be better to end the relationship. While it’s tempting to keep in touch with this person and replace the romantic relationship with friendship immediately, it wouldn’t be the best thing to do. The essence of ending a relationship is to grow apart.
Time heals, right?
Give it time. It would be better if you have spent a lot of months or years apart with no intention of future reconciliation. Have you cut off your contact after the breakup? Did you unfriend, unfollow, or block your ex so you can spend the time growing individually? Have you had the taste of life on your own? Did you do some soul searching?
After some time away from the person, you’ll have a clearer pair of eyes to figure out what’s best for you. By the time you reunite, you have a lot of new insights and discoveries about life and yourself, which you can apply on your fresh start.
2. You’re willing to start anew
Start from the start. Isn’t it nice to experience that “getting to know” stage all over again?
Sure, you are in love with the same person. But you’re living a different timeline now. You probably have a new circle of friends. Your career statuses have changed. You have new hobbies and interests to talk about. Your perspectives have evolved too. There are a lot of things to be discovered.
Okay, don’t fool yourselves that you’re “strangers again.” You’re not. The fact that you have a shared history will never disappear. Talking about things from the past is inevitable. But the point now is you have grown separately and you have learned from your previous mistakes. After growing apart, you tend to forget the petty things you fought about. You are restarting with a clean slate and healthier habits.
3. Your past relationship wasn’t a toxic one
Not all exes are the same. There are good exes and there are bad exes. The good exes are the ones whom you can totally relate to. You shared the same interests and you treated each other with compassion, trust, loyalty, and respect. It’s just that you realized you’re no good as a couple.
On the other hand, there are those exes who ruined you. They brought out the worst in you. They abused you physically and/or emotionally. And you got a sigh of relief when you two broke up.
For sure, you don’t want to get back with or even be friends with the latter.
4. The reason for why you broke up is fixable
Perhaps you broke up 5 years ago because of long distance relationship and this time, you’re residing in the same city. Or maybe one’s hectic schedule drew you apart but you’re in a more relaxed state now. Maybe you were just kids when you fell in love and you’ve grown older and wiser now.
If the reason the two of you broke up is no longer a problem anymore, then it’s okay to give it a second chance.
5. You have forgiven each other
It’s a must to seek forgiveness and accept one’s apology. Whether you admit it or not, your relationship is not normal. You’re unlike other brand new couples. You have a heavier baggage, so eliminate that massive burden from your chest.
6. You have let go of the grudges
If you’re thinking of getting back together, make sure you don’t carry the grudges from the past relationship to this new one. When you decide to open up your heart again to your past lover and forgive him/her, you accept to let go of the hurt and resentment so you can finally start over again. Avoid digging and bringing up old issues. Avoid making the other feel guilty about the past. Letting go is your sole ticket to happiness.
7. You understand each other now more deeply
Going back five years ago, you seemed to be living in an entirely different planet. You didn’t like the same things. Your ideas used to clash and every conversation wasn’t healthy.
Aside from healing wounds, time also changes people. Now, you discover that your needs, expectations, and goals have changed and these are aligned with your ex’s. You get along now more than ever. When you understand each other more deeply, you can love each other more deeply as well than you ever did before.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for The Relationship Room, a couples psychology institution specializing in relationship counseling and therapies for couples and families. When she’s not using her pen in writing self-help articles focused on love, dating, and relationships, she spends her time creating poems and screenplays, painting.