Humans are creatures of habit. We have a routine, we have our usual circle of friends, and sometimes we have an ex that just won’t quit. No matter how badly it ended, you two always find your way back to each other. It doesn’t matter that your friends no longer support your decisions or your mother hates him; you yearn for him like a drug addict. I am guilty of this and I am here to say that taking back your ex is a bad fucking idea.
1. There Have Been More Than 3 Reconciliations.
“Try, try, try again” does not apply to failed relationships. It’s easy to reconcile with your ex. You know what makes him laugh, makes him angry, makes him turned on, makes him think. He’s like a book you’ve read and memorized. He also knows you better than any first dates you had planned to go on. Allowing your ex back in comes from a state of comfort, not love.
I took my ex back more times than I can remember (really, I’ve lost count in that two-year span). Eight times is putting my insanity quite nicely, but let’s just stick to that number. He wrote me sweet nothings, told me his regrets of losing me, showed up at my door, and called relentlessly. This happened every single time that by the fourth breakup, I could predict his game plan in winning me back to a T. Whenever I gave in, I was so elated with the comfort of him and the makeup sex that was about to go down. After those initial feels, I almost instantly regretted it for a slew of reasons that will come up down the list.
2. He Cheated On You.
Never take back a cheater. EVER.
Little ol’ me took him back after he cheated on me on New Year’s Eve. Granted, he never cheated on me again but I still believe that once a cheater, always a cheater. In my case, it came down to my very irreversible trust issues with him. When it comes to dating, I let the guy do whatever he wants (with certain boundaries, of course, like don’t cheat) because I also like my space and freedom. I’ve never been one to want to run errands and do boring mundane tasks with my significant other. I still didn’t want to do any of that shit with my ex, but my trust issues drove me insane. I kept it collected, but in my head, I questioned everything he told me.
“His laundry basket was pretty empty when I was over, what does he need to do laundry for?”
“When he says he’s going to the bank, does that mean he’s gonna fuck some girl in the parking lot?”
See? Bat-shit crazy. I began to keep tabs on his social media and my girlfriends were essentially my PI’s. I had eyes on him everywhere and he had no idea. I got nothing done. Most unproductive two years of my life.
3. Nothing’s Changed.
This is simple. If he hasn’t fulfilled your needs or requirements that he agreed to in getting you back, he’s never going to change.
I had to come to an understanding within myself that my ex is who he is. He’s always going to put weed before me. He’s always going to do what is convenient for him first. The way he loves and the way I love are two different entities. The complications can only be romantic and exciting for so long until you realize he’s never going to change no matter how many times you break up with him.
4. You Don’t Feel The Same Way About Him Anymore.
If you take back your ex and realize you really hate his guts, get the fuck out. If everything he does annoys you or you just don’t care, it might be time to reevaluate why you’re back with him. Don’t take your ex back because you guys have history, debt, or anything that keeps you connected that’s not based on love.
When a person has been disappointed time and time again, at some point you just go numb. That’s exactly what happened to me. The last few times we reconciled, we agreed to take things slow and rebuild our friendship. By then, I had learned to live my life completely independent from him. I didn’t care to know what he was doing day-to-day. Even his laugh made me cringe. I didn’t like who I was becoming with him; so negative and annoyed all of the time. I didn’t like that I became numb, because I’ve always passionately cared for my relationships. I started going on dates with other people and at that point, I realized I fell out of love with him. My ex’s advantage was expecting my loyalty because I’m just not emotionally wired to juggle different men. So you can imagine his reaction when I told him I was seeing someone new and that we should cut ties.
5. You Don’t See a Future With Him.
Rule of thumb: Don’t take your ex back if you can’t imagine him being the father of your children.
About a month ago, my ex said something to me that solidified how I felt about him. We hadn’t really spoken for a year, but he called relentlessly wanting to meet up. He was high on life, celebrating getting the job of his dreams. With that confidence, he told me I was the one and that he sees me as the mother of his children someday.
Now, I’m not going to lie and say I wasn’t touched by his unusual vulnerability. Once he said I would mother his children, I realized one very important thing. I couldn’t imagine a future with him. We didn’t share the same core values that I wanted in a partner. Personally, I don’t even think I want children. So there’s a real problem if the idea of someone you loved being the father of your future-probably-accidental-child is an absolute no-go.
6. You Finally Realize You Can Do Better.
After you break up, cry, delete his number, wait a week, then go on a date. Just do it. Even if your eyes are puffy or you’re depressed, just go out and get to know someone else.
I decided to just date, go with the flow, and take my time once I ceased the cycle of taking him back. None of them worked out in the long run, but I didn’t expect them to. I just needed to learn what it was like to be cared for in a way my ex was incapable of doing with me. Once you know better, you do better.
I can’t preach that I have everything figured out, but I can recognize when a situation isn’t making me feel good and what I should do about it. Relationships should elevate you and make you feel like the best version of yourself. You should be inspiring each other, not draining one another. So raise those standards. The more aware you are with yourself and the goodness you bring to a relationship, your past will begin to fade. The first step is to close that door.