A few women I dated over the years decided that going back to an ex was better than going on with me. Aside from my bruised pride, there’s a certain sense to this. After all, people are comforted by the familiar. This is why I will, even now, purchase a can of SpaghettiO’s and franks and eat them in ecstatic silence in a darkened room where I can fully embrace my shame.
In any case, going back to an ex means that you can have the intimacy and everything else with someone you don’t have to waste time getting to know. For people on the go, this might appear to be an attractive option. But there are a few things you should consider before attempting this:
1. The other person must have some interest in reconciling with you. This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people exhibit little to no apparent brain activity. But if you’re interested and they’re interested, check this one off and move onto…
2. Why did you break up in the first place? I understand there is a great temptation to dismiss this notion, but don’t. You might think, “We’re past all that. We’re more mature now and better able to work problems out.” That’s cute. But wrong! If you broke up because you’re vegan and your ex is a carnivore, chances are this is still the case. You’ll fight about it again! Probably regarding what restaurant to go to!
3. How long has it been since you broke up? You might be thinking that this question is not relevant, because love! Come on, get real. People change. They evolve. Well, most people do. You might still be eating cereal in a recliner wearing nothing but a moldy t-shirt and boxer shorts, but you’re different. You’re special and unique and don’t listen to anyone who says otherwise! The rest of the world has moved on the last seven years. They’ve got a better job now, they’re making more money, they have insurance and savings and a stock portfolio and they even smell good! What I’m saying is if they’re successful and you’re a loser, it probably won’t work. If you’re successful and they’re a loser, the odds are on your side. If you were a loser before and so were they, you might have a shot. If you were a loser before and they were still successful, give up right now. You’re wasting both our time.
4. If you’re still reading, presumably you’ve cleared all of the above hurdles. Good for you! That storybook reconciliation is dead ahead. Or is it? Is it the person you miss, or just the idea of them? Here’s a good way to differentiate between the two: picture your would-be sweetheart. Picture a nice, plush blanket. If they’re interchangeable then you want the idea of them. So go buy yourself a blanket and enjoy. If not, if the mention of their name gives you butterflies, see a doctor, because that’s just weird. But if the idea of talking with them, touching them, looking in their eyes, and just generally being in the same place as they are turns you on, then good news. It’s the person you want.
5. Now comes the hard part. You want them, they want you? Check. The reasons behind your breakup have been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties? Check. It hasn’t been so long since the breakup that you’ve become strangers to one another? Check. You’re into the person and not simply what they represent? Check. So what comes next? Ask yourself one question: if all the signs point to yes, as my Magic 8-Ball used to say, then why hasn’t it happened yet? I told you this was the hard part. Does the problem lie with you? Are you a procrastinator, always putting things off until a tomorrow that never comes? Do you need to be motivated? You shouldn’t. If you loved this person you wouldn’t be reading this, you’d be running to them right now. If you’re no longer reading then I can only assume you’re doing that. Of course if you’re no longer reading then you’re not seeing this and why am I still going on and on?