Back with the ex: How another relationship works

Some couples reunite after a breakup. (icon image)

To get back together after a breakup, you should communicate a lot with each other.

You should address what you have learned since the breakup and respect your partner’s perspective.

For the new attempt to be successful, you should give yourself time to get to know each other again and list what you want to do differently this time.

Are you missing your ex or your ex and hoping for a love comeback? You should not rush such a decision. You did not end the relationship for no reason. But that does not mean you should never give the old flame another chance – especially if emotions are still involved. If you get the second try right, you might even be able to build a healthier relationship together.

Wherever the love comebacks are, they happen more often than some might think. Because many couples who end their relationship find each other again eventually. According to a 2013 survey, more than a third of couples living together and a fifth of married couples are reunited after a breakup.

If you give the old love another chance, be aware that it will not be an easy game. You have to make an effort, and you have to think new, so that this time it does not fail again because of the same problems. Here are eight tips to help you build a healthy relationship after you get back together.

1. Talk about the past

Coming to terms with the past is fundamental to making your reset work – even though talking about the past can be difficult and painful. “There’s always a temptation to sweep the past under the rug, just move on and not talk about it. This can quickly cause past heartache to resurface in the relationship,” said Gregory Cheney, an American-based marriage and family therapist.

Talking about what has hurt you promotes intimacy and can bring you closer than ever. According to Cheney, it also strengthens your communication and crisis management skills.

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2. Respect your partner’s point of view

In your new relationship, you should listen to each other and make room for both perspectives. That means you need to get rid of the idea that one person is right and the other is wrong. This allows both partners to express their feelings in a healthy way in a safe space. Listen actively so that you really understand what your loved one is thinking – your partner should react to you in the same way.

3. Discuss what you have learned since the breakup

While fractures can be very painful, they can also be a learning experience. Be honest with each other about what you have learned and consider what you can change in the future. Marriage and Family Therapist Heather Browne suggests some W questions you can ask yourself:

  • How did the breakup change you?
  • What did you do wrong in the relationship?
  • What will you do differently in the future?
  • Where should you take responsibility?

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4. Think about what you can do better this time

You should take the time to consciously figure out how to manage the relationship better the second time than the first time. You both need to work actively to change old patterns. This is the only way to ensure that a healthy partnership develops.

According to Browne, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • How will you treat each other differently?
  • How can you communicate healthier with each other?
  • How can you avoid falling back into old habits?
  • How can you support each other?
  • How can you create a relationship where both sides feel safe?

5. Listen to your feelings

Self-reflection is the key to a healthy restart. You should try to understand what is going on inside you, even if you are confronted with difficult emotions, says partner therapist Cheney. “This kind of self-reflection requires conscious steps. Try to sit still or go for a walk. Take a few deep breaths, relax inside, and engage in what you notice.” Cheney recommends downloading one of the many mindfulness apps to help.

However, it is important not only to understand yourself but also your partner. “Developing an awareness of others can be just as important as developing an awareness of yourself. Everyone sees the world with different glasses. In healthy relationships, both sides strive to understand how the other experiences the world, “says Cheney.

He suggests making this change of perspective in two steps: First, ask your partner conscious questions about how he or she is doing in the relationship, and listen actively to show understanding. Then summarize the answers to avoid misunderstandings. When both sides feel heard and understood, Cheney says it can strengthen the relationship.

6. Gives time to the relationship

A hectic workday can make it difficult to prioritize time with your partner. “Getting time for a relationship seems easy at first, but it is not. Time together does not come without effort,” says Cheney. Time together is important in any relationship, but it is even more important when you have been apart and rebuilds the relationship.

Remember, it’s not just about the amount of time together, but the quality of that time. A study from 2015 showed that the quality of time spent together is an important factor for satisfaction in the relationship. This proves that it is not enough to spend time together – time must be spent consciously.

For example, instead of watching a series together, Cheney advises pursuing a hobby that both enjoy. You can also go for a walk together, try a new restaurant or explore another place. There are bonus points if you put your phones in Do Not Disturb mode so you can both focus on each other instead of staring at your phone.

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7. Make a wish list for the relationship

To set expectations for both sides, sit down and communicate what you both want in a successful relationship, such as fun and passion. You should live up to those expectations as best you can, says Browne. It’s not about forcing your partner to be someone else – it’s about deciding what your ideal partnership should be and what steps you can both take to achieve that goal together.

You should also be aware that you probably do not agree on all points and should discuss how to approach it. For example, if you value a healthy lifestyle and would like to integrate it into your relationship, but your partner does not want to go to the gym or eat super healthy, it is up to you to find a compromise. According to Browne, you can find activities that are healthy but do not require a trip to the gym, such as dancing or hiking. In any case, you should communicate openly so that both your wishes can be taken into account and there is no discussion.

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8. Play with open cards

Healthy relationships are based on honesty and communication. Whether it’s difficult or uncomfortable, you should tell your partner everything that happened during the breakup, Browne says. It may mean that you are telling them that you have dated other people.

If you put all your cards on the table, you can make sure that later there will be no unpleasant situations and meetings or secrets. If you have been with other people, you should also be tested for STDs before becoming intimate with your partner again.

Our conclusion

If you are dreaming of a love comeback with your ex, you need patience. You probably can not just continue where you left off. The relationship eventually needs some time to thrive again. Browne says that one must remember that you and your partner are a team and that the success of the second attempt lies in both your hands. You just have to choose it. If you are not making progress on your own, couple therapy can also be a great help in gaining new perspectives on the relationship and getting professional advice.

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Thatrightarticle is translated from English by Lara Hansen. You can find the original here.

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