We regularly observe our ex-relationships through a psychological phenomenon known as the Rose Colored Glasses or Rosy Retrospection, especially when our breakup happened recently. This phenomenon unconsciously and often violently makes us wholly focus on the positive aspects of our former relationship while making us forget the negative. (1)
We may ruminate on the first dates and kisses, the nibbling on each other’s food, the words of affirmation, and the soothing sense of security that comes with knowing we have someone who loves us. Yet, we may disregard how those beautiful moments turned rancid and got replaced by arguments, fights, and enough resentment to power a small town.
Now, while falling into the maw of the rosy monster is normal, falling into an abyss of denial is not. Yet, that’s exactly what happens to most breakup survivors, most notably those who want to get back with their ex.
They overlook the negative aspects of their former relationship and try to rekindle it against all odds — even when their ex is a serial cheater and liar, a codependent, a self-entitled fruitloop, or simply incompatible.
These are all glaring signs you shouldn’t try to get your ex back, yet some people still push forward. They don’t take “no” for an answer. They rationalize how their ex is “the one.” They make up reasons for why it’s a good idea to get them back. They bullshit themselves into believing their breakup is an easily reversible one-time thing and that if they could just get one more chance, everything would turn out peaches and rainbows.
Well, everything will not always turn out peaches and rainbows. Only a minority of people actually benefit from going back to their ex and stand a chance at making their reformed relationship work (we’ll get into that later). The majority, however, shouldn’t even try. They are better off by finding someone else.
Now I know I can’t change your mind about going back to your ex. But I can at least try to educate you on some pretty good reasons why the pursuit is probably a horrible idea and hope you change your mind yourself.
1. Staying In The Past Only Prolongs Your Recovery
Let’s not kid ourselves. Your ex is not special. There are many other smart and attractive people out there who will rub you in all the right ways and will be willing and able to form a healthy and lasting relationship with you.
But as long as you’re looking for reasons to come back to your ex, you’re closing yourself off from those potentially amazing experiences.
Sure, some may involve rejections, spilled drinks, or even a bitchslap or ten. Yet, those same experiences will help you become a better, more well-rounded person — someone who won’t start punching holes in walls just because one fucking person doesn’t like them back.
For example, maybe you start noticing that you get anxious not because the people you like or love don’t include a heart emoji in their texts, but because leaving out those emojis makes you relive the same feelings of abandonment you felt in childhood.
Or maybe you started noticing that your constant gift-giving is not a result of your generosity but your sick desire of needing other people’s validation. Maybe you even become aware of why you need that validation in the first place. Worthiness issues? Low self-esteem? Shitty values? Who knows…
These are the kind of life-changing realizations you can only become aware of when you shift your focus from your ex to yourself.
Nevertheless, becoming aware of your emotional issues is not enough. It’s only the first step to getting better. Once you become aware of them, you also have to accept or manage or overcome them depending on what emotional issues you’re dealing with.
2. Your Motives For Wanting To Go Back To Your Ex Are (Probably) Fucked Up
Most people want their ex back not out of love, but out of fear.
They fear there’s no one better out there… They fear no one will love them the same way their ex did… They fear they’ll never find someone else… They fear they’re not good enough to attract someone else… They fear no one will think of them as good enough to commit to…
… So they stay stuck — forever chained to their ex, forever locked in the past.
Truth is, all of these fears, while they do feel true, are nothing but sick delusions fabricated from fragments of one’s past trauma. And the only way to get past them is through self-improvement.
And no, getting your ex back wouldn’t help. Even if you got them back, your fears would still linger beneath your mind’s surface, causing you to sabotage your relationship in a variety of ways:
- Spying on your partner while they’re away.
- Checking their search history.
- Reading their private messages.
- Checking who they’re following on social media.
- Trying to limit which friends they can go out with and which ones they can’t.
- Obsessing if they still love you because they haven’t responded to your call for more than a third of an hour.
The list could go on and on.
Your fears won’t disappear until you mature into a secure individual and convince yourself that you don’t need your ex — or anyone else for that matter — to be happy, fulfilled, and worthy. You can be all of that without relying on others for validation, companionship, or closeness.
Reaching this personal transformation is obviously easier said than done. It’ll take months or years of self-improvement and probably some quality therapy to reach a point where you feel secure and comfortable in your owns skin. But it can be done. And, believe me — I went through this shit myself — it’s going to be one of the best things you’ve done with your life.
3. Your Ex May Have Moved On Already
Note: While this is normally not the case for dumpers reading this article, it is sadly the case for several dumpees.
People fall in love slowly over time. And they also fall out of love slowly over time. Think of your ex’s attraction as a scale ranging from one to ten — one meaning they want nothing to do with you, ten meaning they love you and want to stay with you forever.
Here’s what probably happened in your case — at least it’s what happens typically:
Your ex, at some point, reached the 5s and 4s on their attraction scale. They like you, but they don’t see themselves being with you for the long haul. This is the first time your ex would also start thinking of dumping you, and, on average, this period tends to pop up a month before they actually do it.
Now, while there are many reasons you lowered your ex’s attraction (neediness, low self-esteem, frail boundaries, etc.), that’s a topic for another article. In this one, I want to discuss what happens when your ex’s attraction floors.
So when your ex reaches the 3s and 2s on their attraction scale, that’s when they decide they want out. At that point, all they’re doing is building up the courage to vocalize their desire.
When that does happen, they have probably moved on already. So getting them back would be fruitless. This is because while they droned in the 5s, 4s, 3s, and 2s on their attraction scale, they had more than enough time to detach from you emotionally and get over you.
And you know what happens when your ex gets over you. Getting them back becomes pretty darn tricky. Plus, their decision to leave you wasn’t made on a whim. It was a calculated one, even if your breakup felt sudden. Hell, especially if your breakup felt sudden. Just think how difficult it is to change the mind of someone who made a thought-through and calculated decision of high risk. It can happen, but the odds are not in your favour.
4. The Things That Made Your Relationship Fail Will Still Be There
If you break up with your ex and later rekindle things, the reasons why you broke up in the first place don’t always just magically disappear.
For example, if your ex left you because of your needy tendencies and then came back, and you haven’t learned how to manage those needy tendencies by that time, what do you suppose will happen?
Or if your ex left you because you never stood up for yourself, never asserted your boundaries, and always tried to match your opinion to theirs, and now you contact them while being the same spineless jerkoff as before, what do you suppose will happen?
Or if your ex was a serial cheater that hooked up with the friendly neighborhood mailman, and now, one week after you dumped them, you want them back because they said they were sorry, what do you suppose will happen?
You’re just going to break up again.
After all, the underlying problems in your relationship — the reasons it failed in the first place — were never addressed, handled, or overcame. Therefore, it’s only a matter of time before those same problems bring your relationship to its knees yet again.
This is why I keep harping that whenever you want your ex back, you shouldn’t be looking for tactics and tricks from a cheesy “get your ex back” site to “win” them back. You should be spending that time focusing and investing in yourself, for yourself. And as frustrating as it is, your ex should be doing the same.
Only once you both change for the better (and assuming you’re compatible and attracted toward one another) will you have any chance of rekindling your relationship and making it last. If you attempt to get your ex back in any other way, your efforts will likely blow up in your face.
You’ll either fail to get them back or end up in a restored yet fragile relationship composed of two wholly different and skeptical individuals, replaying the same problems and dramas over and over while being constantly reminded of why things failed in the first place.
And that never ends well.
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