Psychotherapist Mona Stylianou has this advice for anyone who is thinking of going back to their ex and making things work the second time around.
1. Start again
It’s completely possible to get back together with your ex after a break-up and for it to work better, but in order to do so, both parties have to work hard to create a ‘new’ relationship and not slip back into old ways of thinking and behaving.
If you find yourself repeating the patterns of behaviour that lead to your first break-up, stop immediately, take a few minutes to think about what’s happening and start again.
2. Look back
Before you actually get back with your ex, conduct a post-mortem of the previous relationship to really understand why it didn’t work and how things can be done differently this time.
Do it alone (ask your ex to do the same) and then discuss it together. This is a critical step if you’re going back to your ex and want to make it work this time.
3. Communication is key
Often couples think they’ve fallen out of love when really they’ve stopped communicating and built anger and resentment towards each other. I always encourage couples’ counselling to learn communication skills and stop patterns of behaviour from being repeated.
Although it’s often something people often don’t want to do, if you’re really serious about going back to your ex, I highly recommend it.
4. Leave the past in the past
In order to create a healthier and happier future, you have to let go of past wrongdoings and accept them as a part of the story, without them colouring every future move. This can be the most difficult thing to do, but a clean slate is key to successfully getting back with your ex.
5. Move on
The key words to remember if you’re thinking of going back to your ex are acceptance and forgiveness. I don’t mean that you should forgive every hurt or transgression, but you need to accept that they happened and be able to live with them. If you can’t do that, then rather look for a new relationship instead of going back to your ex.
Whether or not you decide to get back together with your ex, you need to read this dating advice to make the most of your new (or not so new) relationship.