10 Reasons to Give Your Ex a Second Chance
You know what they say: It’s not over 'till it’s OVER.
But sometimes a relationship ends for the wrong reasons. And realistically, it is possible for a couple to break up and then make up, leading to a more intimate connection. And other times it’s just not meant to work out — ever. But regardless of how the story is meant to end, isn’t it worth knowing for sure whether you two can ultimately find happiness with or without each other?
While there are certain things that should never be accepted in a relationship, there are other reasons worth considering if that old romance is still on your mind.
Still harboring past feelings about a significant other? Here are the 10 reasons love experts say it's worth giving that ex a second chance. Before you pick up the phone, read on:
It’s More Than Love
Being head over heels is one thing, but it’s a completely different story if the two of you have more in common than a favorite song. “You love each other, but it’s more than love — you share the same values and could actually have a good life together,” says Nina Atwood, therapist and author of “Temptations of the Single Girl.” If your past partner shares similar goals for the future, that should be an incentive to discuss whether the relationship could be mended with a stronger foundation.
You Called it Quits Too Quickly
“Sometimes people give up too easily and take the easy way out, which is to separate,” explains Marina Pearson, founder of Divorce Shift and author of “Goodbye Mr. Ex.” “By going back, you can move forward and enter what feels like a new relationship.” The key to making it work the next time around? Sit down and talk about what caused the rift, and more importantly, decide how it can be fixed as a couple.
He/She is Trying-Really Hard
You have every right to feel angry or frustrated over something your ex may have done that hurt you. But if he/or she is trying their very best to not just apologize, but actually show you they mean business, it’s worth taking note. “It can be worth giving your ex a second chance if that person has made many attempts to make amends and is even willing to get help in the area of concern,” says psychologist Karen Sherman. “As long as the person is willing to address the wrongdoing or problem area, it’s worth going back.”
You’re Willing to Build Trust with a Third Party
“One of the biggest trust issues in relationships centers on lying and secrecy,” says relationship coach Susan Campbell. “If an agreement, such as monogamy, has been violated and hidden, it is still possible to re-build trust. But you will need the help of a third party experienced in such issues.” Sometimes a broken relationship can be fixed by seeking the guidance of a counselor who can help couples communicate better, eliminating the chances of hiding any secrets. “When and if you do give your ex a second chance, be sure you are both willing to commit to clearing the air regularly, so that little upsets and frustrations do not grow into big walls,” adds Campbell.
Feelings Are Still There
This one is a no-brainer, but if sparks are still flying and being friends isn’t enough to make you feel content with the relationship, well, maybe it’s time for Act II. According to therapist Aline P. Zoldbrod, it’s important to be completely honest with yourself and investigate why you feel both emotionally attached and attracted. “As most of us realize, no one’s perfect and even though there are thousands of theoretical mates for each of us, in reality, it’s hard to find someone with whom you really click,” she states.
Chances are, there are some things that can’t be completely fixed, such as a meddling mother-in-law, but life coach Teresa Atkin states that it’s crucial to assess the situation and truly understand what can change within your relationship to make it better for the both of you. “Communication can improve, you can learn to handle conflict better, cheating can stop, and you can learn to reduce misunderstandings,” explains Atkins. “It helps to reunite with your eyes open.” If lifestyles are different, you and your former significant other should understand how you can alter the situation so the both of you are happy without remorse. As with anything else, communication is key.
You Were Wrong
Be truthful, was there something that you said or did that caused the relationship to fall apart? If so, stop putting the blame on your ex and admit defeat already. “Simply put, swallow your pride and admit your were wrong,” says Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills psychotherapist and author of “The Self-Aware Parent.” “If you broke up with him or her and realize you made the mistake, own it.”
There Are Children Involved
“If the ex is the parent of your child, you do have to consider that it will be better for the overall well-being for the two of you to work on your relationship,” says Sherman.
You Tried Dating Other People
Relationship experts agree that if you’ve tried seeing other people since the breakup and it just hasn’t been successful, there’s a reason why. Perhaps you need more time to be alone and focus on your loved ones instead. On the other hand, your past relationship could still have unsolved issues that still need your attention before you can move on completely. Whether the relationship does work or ends again the second time around, you’ll know for certain if he/she was the right person for you. Rather than torment yourself with what ifs or wonder how things could have been handled differently, consider reaching out to your ex again with a new mindset.
You Fought Fairly (Most of the Time)
The conflict must have been big enough to make the two of you call it quits — but what about all the other previous arguments? “One thing couples and individuals can be certain of is that life will bring disappointments, let downs, disagreements, and differences of opinion,” says Walfish. If you were able to solve the previous issues without major damage to the relationship, think about why the last fight did cause the breakup. If it’s a problem that could be mended after some time apart, try seeing if a solution could bring the two of you closer without compromising each other's feelings.