Let’s face it, those first few weeks after a breakup can be a roller-coaster ride of all kinds of emotions, from sadness, to not really over the relationship, to not ready to move on, to wondering if you made the right decision, and even contemplating the possibility of getting back together again.
And with the highest number of yearly breakups occurring in December, my guess is there are a lot of you out trying to work through this post-breakup phase of emotions and even seriously thinking about giving your relationship another shot.
But, before you make the leap back into the fire of a relationship gone cold or too hot to handle, make sure you’re NOT doing it for the wrong reasons.
Do NOT makeup after a breakup if:
1. Your partner cheated
No matter how much your partner expresses remorse or promises to never let it happen again, odds are that, long-term, your relationship will struggle to survive the injuries inflicted as a result of the cheating. Because cheating, after all, is a violation of trust and fidelity, and these critical building blocks, once broken, are very hard to put back together.
The resulting distrust and suspicion linger long after the offense occurred and they place tremendous stress on an already rocky relationship. Another breakup is almost inevitable. And if you truly believe your partner when he or she says it will never happen again, I need to warn you. In my experience with couples where cheating was involved, the cheating happened again. It seems that, once a cheater, always a cheater.
2. You’re feeling lonely or nostalgic
It’s only natural to feel alone or to reminisce over the good times you once shared with your ex. It’s all part of the healing process. There’s a void in your life that you long to fill. But don’t let a Saturday night alone on the couch cloud your judgment.
Have you ever called up your ex on a night you felt particularly down?
It’s happened to the best of us. When we suffer a loss – which is what many of us feel after a breakup – our brains tend to block out the negative aspects of what we lost and focus on the positive. This distorted memory of the past can trigger a desire to recapture the good old days and leads us right back into a relationship that we forgot was far more flawed than happy.
3. You have a history of breaking up then making up
If you or your partner has a habit of calling it quits then getting back together again, then it can only mean one thing. There are real problems in your relationship that never get fixed whenever you’re together. Maybe this pattern satisfies some perverted need for drama but it certainly isn’t healthy! Better take stock of what the real issues are that drive you apart and the reasons you feel the need to go at it again…and again.
4. You’re seeking security
For a lot of women, security becomes the diamond handcuffs that keep them going back to a relationship that otherwise isn’t good for them. If the lure of money, fame, or status, or the need to be taken care of are the main reasons for getting back together, then you may be sacrificing true happiness and settling for a relationship that’s less than you deserve.
5. You love the person and are prepared to do whatever it takes to get back together
While this sounds very romantic – kind of a “love conquers all” – doing whatever it takes to make it work often involves one or both of you compromising or giving up something that is really important to you.
In this situation there is typically an underlying compatibility problem between a couple’s core values. Love might get you by in the short term, but over time, those differences and sacrifices made in the name of love become the focal points of increased contention and fighting.
6. You miss the great physical chemistry
Your love-making may have been hot and hard to forget, but there’s more to making a relationship work than physical chemistry. Remember, there was some reason you broke up in the first place. The worst thing you can do is to get back together because you miss the sex.
7. Your partner was abusive
No matter how much your partner expresses remorse or promises to never to do it again, experts say that another instance of abuse – whether physical, mental, or emotional – is almost assured. Abuse is about a need for power and control. So the problem with going back and giving an “abuser” another chance is that he perceives forgiveness as your acceptance or tolerance of his behavior. And because abuse follows an escalating cycle of behavior, the next instance will likely be worse than the last and the longer you stay, the harder it will be to get away safely.
If any of the above rings true and you’re still having thoughts of reconciling, then do the following before you take any action:
1. Take your time.
Give yourself some time to work through the healing process. You need sufficient time away from the relationship to be able to visualize the potential for a better future.
2. List the issues.
Make a list of the issues that drove you apart and really think about whether these can be resolved. Many times nothing really changes when couples get back together.
3. Know what you want.
Make a list of the qualities you are really seeking in a lasting relationship and then honestly evaluate whether your ex can truly live up to those qualities.
4. Create a plan.
Create a plan to get out of your love rut and on a path to attracting the kind of love you really want and deserve.
And by all means, listen to your head, not just your heart, and only do what’s truly best for YOU!