Breakups hurt. There’s no two ways around it. Whether you were the one who decided that you two just couldn’t be together anymore or you’re the one who was dumped, and whether it happened completely out of the blue (although ending a relationship is rarely a decision one makes out of thin air) or you could feel it coming for a while, it hurts.
And of course it would. Here you spent months, possibly years with this person, shaping your life to include them, spending your present together and planning your future as a twosome. Then, all of that is ripped away from both of you. Now you’re alone, left in the aftermath with far more free time than you know what to do with. It’s no wonder that even someone who did the dumping (who we’ll refer to as the dumper from here on out to make everyone’s lives easier) can feel shaky about their decision and eventually renege, asking the dumpee if they want to get back together.
In the months after a breakup, when you’re still raw and heartbroken and painfully in love, reuniting with your ex may be all you want. You lay awake at night and long for the day when they may call you (okay, let’s be realistic; text you) and confess their undying love while admitting to having made a huge mistake. The phone call would end with them begging to be with you again, and suddenly you’re the one with all the power who can make the decisions. You could laugh in their face and make them hurt as much as they’ve hurt you, but more realistically, you’d say yes. Here are some very compelling reasons why you may want to rethink that decision.
10. You Broke up for a Reason
You’re crying and listening to your couple’s song over and over again on repeat. Your mind is flooded with memories of your relationship both good and bad, but you must admit that the good memories outweigh the bad ones. In fact, your mind is recalling events that had happened so long ago that you had completely forgotten about them. It’s like a cruel form of mental torture.
Research has proven time and again that when it comes to your ex, your brain tends to put on rose-colored glasses, warping reality to accommodate what you want to recall. However, every relationship has its bad times, and yours had enough bad times that were so severe that it led to the breakup. Every time you start to get misty over what happened between you and your ex, remind yourself that you split up for a reason.
9. You’ll Probably Feel Even Worse
You imagine that if you can just speak to or see your ex again that all of this anxiety, desperation, depression, and pain that you’re feeling would instantaneously vanish. That may be the case, but only for a minute. Once you have some time to reflect, you’ll realize that communicating with your ex just makes you feel worse. You two can’t call each other pet names anymore, there’s no warmth in your conversations, and plus your ex could mention that hot date they had just the other night, which would crack your fragile heart in two.
8. There’s Someone Better For You
When you first started dating your ex, whether you were playing the field or not, you chose to become official with them because they seemed like the best-suited partner for you. Over time, as you two grew closer and the relationship went on longer, you may have even thought they were your soul mate or “the one.” However, problems began creeping up slowly more and more until they led to your demise. Now you’re left clinging to the past and wondering if you’ll ever find someone out there who loves you more than your ex, and, almost as importantly, if you’ll ever find someone that you love as much as him or her.
It can be scary to make that first step to try finding love again, especially new love. Some people are content to stick to the old and familiar—their ex—suffering through an endless loop of on-again/off-again togetherness. Don’t be like that. Although it’s not easy, you have to be brave. How will you know if there’s someone even better for you if you never make an attempt to find out? Your future husband or wife could be dating a stream of losers and wondering where someone like you is right now.
7. It’s Tough on Friends and Family
Friend groups tend to intersect when you’re in a relationship. You become chummy with your significant other’s pals and they buddy up with yours. Maybe you already shared a mutual friend group before officially dating. Once a breakup occurs, friends are divided. Although no one really wants to, and although it’s certainly not easy, they will pick sides. Bonds will be severed; you’ll be unfriended on Facebook and other social media. Family, of course, will naturally favor you, no matter how nice that your ex was and how well he or she treated your parents.
If you get back together with your ex, you’re asking your friends and family to forget about all of that side-taking that they did. If you commiserated with your mom or your bestie about your ex and talked some crap, you’re now insisting that these people dismiss all the mean things you said and treat your ex nicely. It’s a lot to ask of someone, and it tends to make things very awkward. No one ever forgets about the heartbreak that led to the first breakup, and your relationships with friends and family will never quite be as smooth as they once were.
6. The Same Issues Still Exist
Remember the first point we made, how the breakup happened for a reason? Think about that reason. Whether someone cheated or you two just naturally drifted apart over time, something huge drove you apart. Maybe it wasn’t such a major issue as that but a combination of little things. You may have different views on marriage or children, one of you may not want to live together, someone may be bad with money management or lack basic life skills.
The fact of the matter is those issues don’t just disappear overnight. If you two get back together a week or a month after the initial split, your love will still come with the same problems as before. You can’t make someone change. They have to want to do it themselves. Maybe the breakup will be a big enough impetus to push them to turn their lives around, but that could take months if not years. You can’t sit around holding your breath on the off-chance that your ex may suddenly wake up one day and want to get married or have kids.
5. You Don’t Want to Hurt the Same Person Twice
Few if any breakups occur where one party gets out totally unscathed. As mentioned, even the dumper tends to feel a modicum of hurt. If you’re in the process of getting back together with your ex, you’re likely overwhelmed with feelings of excitement, unbridled joy, euphoria, and yes, nervous anticipation. With such a potent cocktail of emotions running through your system, you’re not thinking practically and logically.
From this point forward, the dumper has a huge responsibility, one that the dumpee isn’t totally immune to: you already got your heart smashed open once, and it would just be criminal for the same person to do it to you again. You remember how hard it was after losing your ex the first time? Imagine how much worse it would be after round two. More so, imagine how foolish you’d feel, how frustrated and angry with him or her, but mostly with yourself. Is this person really worth the potential for two times the heartbreak?
4. It Doesn’t Often Work out Well
All your wishing, praying, and hoping has paid off. You and your ex have been talking for a while now, and you finally want to meet up and see if you two still hit it off. If you do, then you’ll be a twosome again. You want everything to go as well as possible, yet at the same time, you can’t help thinking and feeling that if you two got back together against all odds that this time you’ll stay together. Right?
Actually, no. Although Hollywood is always a distorted view into what real love and relationships are like, look at all the celebrity couples that broke up only to fall back into each other’s arms and split once more. Ask your friends, coworkers, and families of any couples they know that got back together and lasted. We’re not saying it can’t happen—it can and does—but it’s rare. Both parties have to be mature enough to admit wrongdoing in the past and get through these next few hurdles…
3. Your Feelings May Be Different
You think that you’re head over heels in love with your ex; of course you do, why else would you want them back so badly? However, they hurt you and that’s tough to forgive entirely. Your feelings could very well be tarnished. Even if you manage to completely forgive them (in which case, you’re likely a saint), maybe they got a bad haircut or a regrettable tattoo, or perhaps they’ve neglected to take care of themselves and they have a beer gut.
Wouldn’t it just utterly suck if you spent all this time thinking about the dream man or woman that was once your S.O. and then your hopes are dashed with a cruel dose of reality? You may get back with your former love only to find out that you didn’t actually really want them back after all. Your feelings have changed and you’re pretty much over it. All you get for that is months of wasted time.
2. The Trust Is Likely Damaged Forever
When you think about your ex, you think about how much you want them back and how much you miss them. Very likely, you don’t think about how much you trust them, right? You certainly trust them. After all, this is the person who loved you, took care of you, treated you right, broke your heart…yeah. Don’t forget about that. This is one of those things that you probably won’t foresee and you really can’t predict. No matter how many sleepless hours you spend at night thinking and furiously dreaming about what it’d be like to get back together, the trust issues tend to only crop up once you’re actually back in your ex’s loving embrace.
Think about it: this man or woman destroyed your heart, blasting it to smithereens. Now that they’ve done it once, what’s stopping them from doing it again? Absolutely nothing. You now have to wake up each day and attempt to forge a normal, happy, healthy, functioning relationship knowing that at any time, your ex could put you back in the same hellish position that they had before. Sure, it won’t hurt as much the second time, but do you really want to wait around and find out personally?
1. The Honeymoon Period Is Never Coming Back
At the beginning stages of a breakup, almost everyone wants to be with their ex, no matter how cruel or terrible this person was. In the days, weeks, and months to follow, many people will wise up and realize that they’re better off without their ex-beau. Some though will still pine, their lives in a state of limbo as they’re forced to forge a new life without their ex but they fail to date anyone long-term since their heart belongs to someone else.
What those people are holding onto is the old relationship. They want those happy times back. However, those times are gone and never coming back. Even if you and your ex reunite, with all of the points mentioned above, there’s no way that you can ever go back to those early carefree days when you two were madly in love and the only thing that mattered was each other. There’s too much water under the bridge, and you’ll never be able to forget that, not entirely. Instead, the relationship will be a shell of what the old one was, with less trust and less vulnerability. You deserve better than a patchwork relationship. You deserve someone new who will love you wholeheartedly, someone whom you can trust and rely on. That person isn’t, nor will they ever be, your ex.