Exes always have a special place in our hearts. The end may have been terrible, but every breakup leaves a little crack that longs to be whole again. This is especially true in a relationship that ends abruptly. Have you ever thought about dating your ex again?
Before you do anything, you need to ask yourself if you’re ready to give your ex a second chance. In most cases, the intense affection and lost love may cloud your judgment and make you believe you’re ready to fall in love when you might not be.
But if you’re certain that you’re ready to take a plunge into the same waters again, there are many things you need to know. [Read: How to get over an ex – 17 steps to heal ASAP in the healthiest way]
Some people never fall out of love with their ex, but if you managed to move on from them and separate your feelings, of course, it’s still possible to fall in love with them again and give your ex a second chance.
The only reason you should ever get back with an ex is if you truly love them and find yourself shattered after the breakup.
If you’ve been dumped or found yourself walking out on a cheating partner, you may still love and want to start dating your ex again. But should you take a chance on your ex’s love again?
Facing whatever forced you to split up in the first time is important.
If you skip this step, the past will always be lurking around the corner, waiting to jump in and cause problems. You can’t fully forgive and move on until you’ve overcome the issues. [Read: 20 relationship problems that push a couple apart or bring them closer]
You also have to ask if the feeling is mutual.
Do both of you want to get back together or is it just a one-sided love story with no happy ending in sight?
If your lover is happy in another relationship and has no interest in getting back with you, you really can’t force your ex into walking out of a happy relationship just for you. [Read: Signs your ex is missing you]
If the relationship ended without drama and extreme pain, you may come together again in the future. But if the relationship ended badly, that memory is always going to be there.
Choosing whether to date your ex is a personal choice, but the truth is that it ends badly more than it ends well.
However, if you can both be sure that you’re on the same page and it’s going to be a fresh start, maybe you have a shot.
Of course, it might be that it wasn’t your ex that caused the breakup but was something you did. If that’s the case and they can forgive you for it, giving your ex a second chance could lead to a happy future.
There’s no right or wrong answer here, but it’s important to know that if it went wrong before, the chances of it going wrong again are pretty high. [Read: Women’s relationship issues that all men must know]
You may miss your ex a lot. But have you asked yourself why you genuinely want to get back with an ex?
Missing an ex is never a good reason to go backward. You have to have a great reason to get back with someone you walked away from.
If you’re having a hard time getting over an ex, don’t assume that reason is enough to fall back into love. You may just end up going through the same hardships all over again and finding yourself back at the start, with two heartbreaks from the same person.
If you want to get back with them, think about all the difficulties and happy times you’ve had and ask yourself if you really need to experience it all over again.
Are the differences repairable and are both of you compatible with each other, especially when you’re considering a long-term relationship? [Read: How to face relationship challenges and overcome them as a couple]
It’s an exciting thought, getting back with an ex. It feels like a vacation to a place you’ve been to before, and you know you’re going to love it!
A vacation is a short break, getting back with an ex isn’t a short fling. When you fall in love with someone new, both of you want to know about each other and take time to grow as a couple.
But when two exes fall in love again, the only fresh excitement in the relationship is the joyous reunion of two old lovers.
There’s really nothing new to experience, which means the novelty of a new relationship will wear off in a few weeks.
Can both of you still love each other even after the excitement turns into a seasoned relationship? If you’re convinced about it, perhaps a relationship with your ex is going to work out just fine. [Read: Give him a second chance? How to know if he’s sorry and won’t hurt you]
It’s entirely possible that although you’ve officially broken up, you’re still kind of dating your ex in another way. If you haven’t completely gone your separate ways, that confusion and bond will always be there.
For those of you who have recently had a relationship end and are curious if this is you, we’ve put together a list of signs that can tell you if you’re still dating your ex.
Some of these signs may be obvious but overlooked, but others can be a little more difficult to see.
When you broke up, there were a few tears but nothing overwhelming. You went straight back to your happy self the next day. It may be that you took the “we can still be friends” lines wholeheartedly, and that settled your emotions a little.
Odds are, you skipped the stage of being upset because you simply are in denial of the breakup. You’re holding on to the hope that you can be friends. And by thinking that, you’re thinking that you two will just get back together. [Read: Do you still love your ex? You’re not alone]
How can you let go and move on if you’re still talking to that person every day? Do your conversations still consist of the same material? Then you’re probably still dating them.
In order for you to move on, conversational contact needs to cease immediately.
Umm, hello? If you guys are truly broken up, then there shouldn’t be any hanging out—at least not for the first couple of months.
If you two are still engaging in all the same activities *including the one between the sheets* or even just going out on “dates,” then you are still dating. [Read: Signs you’re clearly still attached to your ex]
Making plans and talking about the future are things that couples do. Even if you say you’re “broken up,” that’s certainly not the case if you’re planning dates, events, and even still talking about the future as if they’ll still be there.
You’re broken up! You shouldn’t care if they’re going out on a date with someone else. Sure, you can still care, but you can’t get angry at them—unless you still feel like you’re dating your ex and can’t let go.
Getting jealous and angry is not something you should do if you are truly broken up. [Read: Surefire ways to deal with your ex dating someone new]
*Sigh*. Just don’t do this. Don’t have frequent conversations with their parents or any other family member for that matter. You can’t continue a close relationship with your ex’s parents if you’re broken up.
It will inhibit your ability to let them go and honestly, it will seem as though you’re still with your ex—especially if your conversations are basically the same as they were before!
Why? You frequently talk about them as if you’re still together—because in your mind, you still are. Just let go!
If people don’t know the two of you are no longer together, then it must be because you don’t think of it that way yourself. [Read: Is your ex still thinking of you? Signs to know for sure]
When you think about the future, you still see them by your side. That’s how you know you’re still dating them and you can’t let them go.
Despite everything you’re saying, you still think they’re going to be the one who’s there until the end. [Read: 16 signs your ex misses you and wants you back in their life]
If you’re very sure that you’ve totally broken up but you miss them endlessly, you’re probably questioning whether you made a mistake.
But here’s the deal: everything happens for a reason. And remember, there were reasons it ended, otherwise you’d still be together.
Here are reasons why you should most likely not give your ex another chance.
If your ex can convince you otherwise, or if you truly believe things have changed for the better *the odds are always very, very slim*, perhaps you could give them another chance.
But remember, when you get back with an ex, as good as it may feel, there’s a bigger chance that another heartbreak is just around the corner. [Read: Common reasons why relationships fail again and again!]
People can be amazing talkers. But saying something and actually doing it, are two completely different things. So if you’re hearing a lot of talk from your ex about how much they have changed, look for the proof.
Actions speak louder than words. If what your ex is doing isn’t lining up with what they are saying, they probably haven’t changed. If this is the case, then you most likely shouldn’t give them another chance [Read: 15 ways to stop getting manipulated by your partner’s words]
Similar patterns are bound to reoccur if you have one individual coming into the partnership as the same person that left it.
If your ex didn’t learn anything from your last relationship together and didn’t take the time to grow as a person and a partner, odds are you are going to have some of the same issues as the last time around. [Read: How taking the right kind of break in the relationship can actually help you]
This is especially dependent on the number of chances you have given your ex already. Remember that your friends often are the ones hearing all of the horrible things about your ex during and after your relationship.
Your friends will most likely try and talk you out of giving your ex another chance, especially if they realize that your ex doesn’t deserve you.
If you ignore their honest advice and take your ex back, your friends are going to be upset.
This can be particularly awkward if you had a rather nasty breakup or if your family was fairly close to your ex. They will likely know the reasons why you broke up in the first place and hold a grudge against your ex.
Of course, because you are their family, you could really do no wrong. So, even if your breakup was mutual, or you were equally to blame, your family won’t see it that way. [Read: 16 little silly relationship habits that hurt more than you think!]
As you’ve dated your ex before, they might automatically assume that means that you pick up the relationship where you left off.
If you do give your ex another chance, you might want to make it clear from the start that you are going to need a clean slate.
This means that you will have to take the time to get to know each other again in terms of your new relationship. [Read: 15 reasons why couples get bored with their relationship very soon!]
This can be a major reason to think twice about giving your ex another chance. Depending on how long it’s been since the two of you have broken up, or how well you’ve kept in touch, your ex might have acquired a whole new set of baggage while you were apart.
New baggage can come in many forms such as a loss, depression, a career change *or no career at all*, family issues, physical health problems, or another relationship.
And if your ex has been dating someone else since your last breakup, there could very well be a new ex in the picture. [Read: Emotional baggage – what it is, types, causes, 27 signs and steps to put it down]
If your ex isn’t willing to meet your needs or to compromise so that each of you is fulfilled in your relationship, you should not think of giving them another chance.
Identifying and living up to your partner’s basic needs and wants is a crucial part of any healthy relationship.
So this time around, you must make it very clear what you expect from your ex. And they should be willing to deliver. [Read: 15 important lessons you can learn from your past breakup]
If your life goals and dreams do not line up with your ex’s aspirations, you will most likely run into problems if you decide to give them another chance.
When you are sharing your life with someone, you need to be on the same page, or at least the same book.
To fully support each other, both of you need to understand each other’s goals and dreams and help each other achieve them.
If your ex isn’t supportive of your life goals, whether they be career, family, or personal, you should not give your ex another chance. [Read: Reasons why the no contact rule is the best way forward]
Okay, we’ve talked about why it’s probably not the best idea and how you might actually still be dating and not realize it.
But if you’re still on the fence about it, or you’re veering toward the idea of dating your ex again, there are some things you need to think about carefully first.
This isn’t an easy decision to make, but these questions and things to ponder will help you decide whether to give your ex a second chance or not.
It’s not a good idea to jump straight back in. If the breakup was pretty recent, you both need time to allow the ground to settle and for your emotions to do the same.
At this point, everything is still very raw. Give it time and see if your feelings change. [Read: Why do people break up even if they’re still in love?]
Pinpoint the exact reason and ask yourself whether anything has changed. Was cheating involved?
If so, can you get over it or will it always be in your mind? And if there was any abuse involved, it’s always best to walk away and not look back.
Work out what the actual reason was and you might have a different take on whether you should be dating your ex again.
If you think you can overcome the reason for your breakup, what are you going to do differently this time? What do you need, and are they willing to meet those expectations?
Remember, if you just do the same things as before, the relationship is likely to go full circle and repeat the same problems. [Read: 38 small changes to better your love life and improve the relationship ten-fold]
Are you both capable of change? Or will old habits stick around? This isn’t just about your ex, but about you too.
It’s likely you played some part in the breakup. So, what is going to change, and how are you going to alter your habits as a team?
You could be rebounding from your ex or from a fling you had to try and get over them. Either way, rebound relationships are rarely a good idea.
Give yourself time to settle and grow as an individual. Only then can you work out whether you want to give your ex a second chance or move on for good. [Read: Rebound relationship – what it is, 43 signs you’re in it, and the must-know rules]
This is treading on tricky ground because both of you may not always be too keen to accept responsibility.
But can you pinpoint where both of you went wrong in the relationship? This isn’t always about what caused the breakup, but the small mistakes that led to the end.
Dating an ex is easy, but going through the same pain and frustrations all over again is just not worth the effort unless both of you avoid repeating the same mistakes. [Read: How to stay in love forever]
Have both of you matured emotionally since the breakup? When you’re experiencing a messy relationship, it’s easy for two grown people to behave like children, especially when it comes to things like relationship insecurity, jealousy, and communication.
Do you genuinely think you and your ex can look past the earlier errors and avoid them from ever happening again? [Read: 20 signs of emotional maturity and traits that reveal a mature mind]
When you miss someone, it’s easy to see things through rose-tinted spectacles. But there were bad times as well as good. It’s likely those bad times ultimately led to the breakup in the first place.
It’s important to stay neutral and remember the good and bad times in equal measure. Otherwise, you’ll go back into the relationship trying to ignore all the negative elements that are probably still there.
We can’t stress this enough. If the relationship was toxic, if there was gaslighting, abuse of any kind, or a generally manipulative pattern to your time together, you have to walk away.
Yes, it hurts and you probably still love them in some way, but it’s not worth getting back into such a negative situation again. [Read: Toxic relationship – what it is, 107 signs, causes, and types of love that hurt you]
Second chances are easier said than done. Couples often hold onto resentment and won’t let go of what happened in the past, which can lead to arguments and perhaps another breakup.
Getting back together with an ex is a huge decision to make. There are so many things that can go wrong and you’re putting your heart on the line—again.
So if you’re serious about going from breakup to makeup with an ex, you’ll need these tips to make it happen.
You broke up for a reason and you can’t just ignore it. You have to talk about the breakup and everything that led up to it.
Get all of your issues out in the open now, so you can actually have a clean slate if you both decide to get back together.
For all intents and purposes, your relationship is new. It is fresh. It is time to set new boundaries.
Talk about what you’re okay and not okay with them doing and just agree on things in general that are important to both of you. [Read: Boundaries in a relationship – 43 healthy dating rules you must set early on]
Don’t just jump right back into things without even thinking it through. Both of you have to take the breakup and your makeup seriously if you really want to make it work. No messing around just because you guys broke up and got back together.
Bad communication is a major reason many couples end up in Splitsville. While their actual breakup may have been because of something else, that very same issue may have been solved with just a little more communication.
If you really want to make up and have a better relationship this time, you need to up your communication game and clue them in on all the things that upset you and vice versa. [Read: 15 reasons why so many couples get bored in their relationship]
It needs to happen. If you’re getting back together, the future should be one of the first things you talk about. There’s no point in making a relationship work if you guys don’t have futures that line up.
Talk about your plans, your values, your life goals, and what you envision for your future. [Read: 50 relationship questions to test your compatibility instantly]
Are you really in love with them? Or are you only upset about the breakup because you were so used to having them around and now you feel like your life is missing something?
If you can’t reciprocate the same feelings they have toward you or you realize you just don’t feel as much for them anymore, the breakup should stay permanent.
We know it’s easy to slip back into old habits as if nothing has happened, but something has happened: you guys broke up.
Don’t take that lightly. Move slowly in your progression after getting back together.
This gives you both the time and space you need to think and feel without the other breathing down your neck. Don’t just rush back into the same old relationship—because it’s not the same. It’s new. [Read: The step-by-step guide to get your ex to love you again]
To go from breakup to makeup, you both have to make changes and really commit to them.
Don’t change who you are, but if something was causing a problem between the two of you, you have to change certain things to not relive those issues.
Whether you broke up for two hours or two years, what you did in the time you were not with them is not their business.
Don’t talk about what—or who—you did in that time frame. All that they need to know is you are now fully committed to getting back together with them.
Make sure this is truly what you want. Never get back together with someone if you feel pressured to do so just because they really want you back.
You will not only be unhappy in that relationship, but you’ll feel resentment toward them for making you feel that way. [Read: 20 things happy couples don’t do in a perfect relationship]
You’ve thought about why you want to get back with your ex, but you need to sit down and talk about it on both sides. Doing so means you’re both clear on what you want.
Look, it might have been your partner that cheated but along the way, there may have been something you did that caused a chasm to open up between you. It’s not your fault, but it happens.
Whatever caused you to break up, take responsibility for your part in the breakup and learn from your mistakes. Otherwise, they’ll only repeat themselves. [Read: Mutual breakup – why they happen and how to recognize the signs]
If you say you’re going to forgive your partner, you have to actually do it. Don’t bring up their misdemeanors in an argument later down the line. What is in the past has to stay there if you’re going to move forward.
That doesn’t mean you can’t look back fondly on the good times, but you’re starting over, so that involves creating new memories.
Do things you never did before and make an effort to communicate openly and honestly. Your relationship will grow because of it. [Read: 80 very unique, fun, and exciting things to do with your boyfriend]
You’re going to need to talk about it when deciding whether to get back together so you can address the issues that caused it.
But once that conversation is over, leave it in the past. Don’t keep bringing it up for the sake of it.
Discuss what it means to trust one another and list realistic expectations. Only then can you work toward a better future where you both feel secure in your relationship. [Read: How to build trust in a relationship & learn to be loyal and loving]
When you give your ex a second chance, you’re effectively starting over. Everything is fresh and new. That means a few things are going to be different from what you experienced the first time around.
Knowing about these differences ahead of time helps you to navigate the new ground you’re traveling through.
It’s possible that either you, your partner, or maybe both of you, will be slightly different.
When you’ve been through something painful, it’s bound to change you a little. It could be your outlook or maybe that you put up walls slightly.
Understand this and don’t push your partner or yourself too much, too soon. [Read: How to be kind to yourself and others & love life instead of hating it]
And that won’t change. It might feel strange that you’re trying to push past something huge in your relationship, but the familiarity will still be there. However, there will be small changes, so remember to embrace them and don’t run away from them.
It’s important to handle this carefully. It’s very easy to bring up the past when you’re in the middle of an argument and that can take a regular misunderstanding from 0 to 100 very quickly indeed.
Be aware of this potential and you’re more likely to side-step it. [Read: Relationship arguments – 38 tips & ways to fight fair and grow closer in love]
If your family and friends watched you suffer when you broke up or during the relationship, they’re probably not going to be so thrilled that it’s back on. In the end, it’s your decision, but don’t expect everyone to celebrate.
You’re starting a fresh chapter in your relationship and that means you should see it as a new adventure. Do things you’ve never done together before and make memories you can talk about for years to come.
Why not sit down and make a list of all the things you want to do? It will keep your focus on the positives. [Read: Tips to have a great time when you travel as a couple]
If you want to know something, ask your partner. Don’t listen to gossip or whatever you read on social media. Whenever relationship drama goes on, people want to get involved and stir the pot. It’s an unfortunate part of life.
So, if you’re concerned about something, you’ve heard something, or you want to know something, go directly to the source and ask them – your partner.
You lost each other and now you’re back together. Take some time to sit and realize how special that is. Whenever times get tough, and they will again at some point, remember this moment and it will pull you through hardships. [Read: Low self-worth – steps to see yourself in better light]
You might think that we’ve been pretty down on the whole dating your ex situation, but the truth is that it’s a situation fraught with pitfalls.
You’re putting your heart out there to someone who has probably hurt you before, and even if they didn’t do so intentionally, the situation hurt you.
But of course, giving an ex a second chance can work out as long as you’re both happy to put in the time and effort.
It won’t always be easy, and don’t expect everything just to slot into how it was before. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create something beautiful and long-lasting out of the ashes of your former union.
[Read: Signs your rocky relationship deserves a second chance]
There are different ways to date an ex the second time around. But if you truly want to understand the secret behind knowing how to date an ex again successfully, you need to take it slow and ask yourself the right questions at every step.
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