Rekindling an Old Romance – Things to Know
There’s a time in our lives when after dating multiple people, and all of them end in failure, we begin to look at people we have already been in relationships with. We ask ourselves why it ended, beat ourselves up for the things we did that could have contributed to the failure, and wish we had done things differently. At some point we start to wonder if there might be a chance to actually do that, to get a fresh start with an old partner for whom we had some real feelings that could have gone somewhere. Many will stop at the wondering and do nothing about it, but if it was a good relationship for the most part, save for a few rocky moments, there’s a good chance it’s worth the effort to salvage it. There’s some things to know first before tackling an old romance. First off, having knowledge is power, and some informational material is out there that will help give you the edge to get your ex back.
According to Psychology Today, 62 percent of us would consider getting back together with a former lover. Looking back, we have a tendency to forget the rough spots and remember the nostalgic good times. Suddenly the things that went wrong seem trivial and unimportant in comparison. In order to successfully win over an ex, you’ll have to discuss what went wrong the first time, or you risk making the same mistakes the second time, which could end up being the final time. By being willing to be open and communicate issues where it went wrong, you’re telling your potential mate that you are invested enough to want to do this right, and are sorry for past mistakes. Communication is key in any good relationship, and it starts with making up for past wrongs on both sides.
Consider whether you want to get back with an ex because you truly miss them, or the love you shared with them, or if it’s simply a matter of loneliness. There’s a difference between loneliness and being alone. You have to be alright by yourself completely, and not feel as though you need someone else beside you, or in your bed every night before you can even be in a healthy relationship at all. If you’re simply lonely, you’re much better off choosing to spend time with friends or family to keep yourself surrounded by people who care about you than to attempt to get together with an ex for the simply physical comfort it brings. Something else to ponder is whether you just don’t feel like doing the dating thing anymore. It’s much easier to get back together with an ex who knows all your likes and dislikes, and it can be far preferable than jumping through the endless hoops of dating someone new, and trying to give the best impression constantly.
Another factor to consider seriously is whether this is a serial on-again/off-again relationship. A long term relationship requires a lot of commitment on both sides, and a great deal of solidarity with both partners, which can’t happen if your partner wants you one day, and not the next. If this is your third or fourth time ’round with this person, you may want to re-think why you really want to be with them at all at this point. You gain nothing by investing in a relationship that you’re constantly wondering when will end next, and you lose time and a lot of love and effort that can be better spent with someone who will love you in return, and not run from the relationship at the first signs of trouble. That’s yet another thing to consider, if your ex cheated on you, or abused you, or took you for granted constantly, those are pretty big things to forgive and want to go back to. Think long and hard before deciding to romance an old flame if they did nothing but bring you pain.
Once you’ve thought long and hard about it and made up your mind that it’s worth the shot to get this person back into your life, there’s some ways to go about getting them back to stay. The first and most important thing to do is to move slowly and give ample patience to the matter. If this is someone you potentially want to spend the rest of your life with, the amount of time it will take to earn back their love and affection will seem very small in comparison in the end. If you were or still are connected on social media, take a look at what your ex has been up to, and see if they have moved on and are in a relationship already. The worst step forward would be to impede on a relationship they are already in, and you might just find out that they’re still single without having to be obvious and ask. Begin with a short message asking how they are, and keep it short and casual.
Be sure you give time between trying to renew the relationship. If it’s only been a couple weeks since the breakup, it’s too soon to try to win them back. Both parties need to take time to let emotions cool off and to allow things to settle. Give some space and room to breathe, let them miss you, and allow yourself to miss them too. It can be very cathartic to allow yourself to feel all kinds of emotions after the loss of someone you love in your life, and it may teach you things you couldn’t have seen otherwise. By waiting until emotions are less raw, you give yourself the best chance of mending things, even if you know that it was a mistake to break up the day after it’s over. Give it the time it needs to heal first.
Remember to send cards, or flowers when appropriate for birthdays, or just “because” and keep in contact through text messaging or social media messaging. Keep things light and simple, and take your cues from your potential partner. You know this person better than anyone else you would be dating, so you’ll be able to key in on clues that he/she is responding well to your advances. Be a real friend, and offer help when needed without coming off as pushy or intrusive. Don’t become discouraged if they don’t take you up on your offer the first few times, it’s likely they’ll wonder at your motives, but if you keep at it, they will realize you’re genuinely trying to be a good friend, which shows the person you truly care and have concern for them. This can only help to rekindle feelings that might have cooled since breaking up.
Allow your ex to see that you have changed, because they need to see that things are going to be different the next time. The entire goal is to show that you’ve grown from the mistakes that caused the breakup in the first place, and your behavior being different especially in regard to whichever aspect went awry is the best way to communicate your growth. Don’t attempt to fool him/her however, you want to show genuine change, and if you’re being false and artificial it’s not going to last long and once you’re caught out, you can forget ever having them back in your life again. Talk openly about where things went wrong in an non-accusing way, and don’t leave things unresolved. By removing the baggage and truly clearing the air, there will be nothing left impeding the way forward, and there lies true forgiveness for the past.
Understand that they might be a different person now, especially if it’s been a long time you’ve been apart, and you don’t want to be trying to woo the person you once loved back into your life, or your image of who they once were, you need to truly love and respect who they have become, and will yet still grow to be. They will never revert back to who they once were, as human beings we grow and we change according to the world around us, and the knowledge we gain. By being with someone and constantly hoping they’ll suddenly become the person they used to be, who you were head over heels for, you’re only wasting your time and theirs. This goes both ways too, you may also have grown and changed and you may desire different things now. Be sure you’re both getting to know each other for who you are today, and not who you both were in the past.
Lastly, make sure your ex knows your intentions if you’re aiming to get back together. Perhaps not immediately, but you’ll know when it’s time to let them know. Ask them out to a dinner date somewhere nice, and let them know you have something important to discuss. If your ex acts surprised by the date or the declaration that you want to discuss something large, it’s probably too soon, so be sure that they’re on the same page, or at least close when you do this. Don’t be overly emotional as you express how you feel, and don’t just expect your ex to fall into your arms expressing how much they missed you too. Be sure that the person knows you’re willing to wait for an answer, and that he/she knows your intentions clearly.