Saturday, July 03, 2004

Should You Give an Ex a Second Chance?

By Laura Synder

Every player in the dating game has the tale of the one that got away. But sometimes we get a second chance to reel that catch in for good. But should you?

If you're hooked on starting over with an ex, consider the following:

How bad was the break-up?

It's not just a matter of who dumped who, but what the reasons behind the split were. Was it just a circumstance (like too far a distance or too demanding jobs) or was there bigger reason behind the split, like infidelity? All relationships deserve to start on a clean slate, but some old hurts are much, much harder to erase.

How have things changed?

Maybe it's as simple as your long-distance ex moving back to your zip code, but most likely a reconciliation requires a change in behavior on both sides. Has your cheating girlfriend proven that her wandering eye is finally focused on you? Or are you sure your jealous boyfriend is really ready to trust you? Make a little time for self-reflection here, too. Chances are, you have your own burden of fault in the end of your relationship. Have those conditions changed?

How long has it been since you broke up?

After the break-up, give yourself enough time and distance to gain a little perspective. Break off all contact with your ex, if possible, until you've recovered enough from the pain to honestly decide if ending your relationship was really the wrong thing to do.

Why do you want to get back together?

The most important question is often the hardest to answer. Neither of you should be on the rebound from another break-up, nor want to get together just to escape the sometimes lonely life of a singleton. Are you feeling particularly vulnerable or nostalgic? It's a challenge to pick up the pieces of a relationship that's already failed once; you'd better have a good reason for taking the risk again.

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