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An age-old question in the dating world: Should I get back with my ex?
The decision to reconcile with an ex-boyfriend is one that requires much forethought.
A breakup with him occurred previously for a reason and you want to avoid re-enacting old patterns and dynamics by jumping back in too quickly or when the decision is emotionally-driven.
This is something that involves a lot of individual reflection, as well as pointed communication with your ex.
One of the questions you want to ask yourself is, “Why do I want to get back with him? Why now?”
It’s important to explore your motives for wanting to reconnect to ensure they are healthy and pure.
If you both have grown personally and made some changes that have strengthened your maturity and responsibility, that might be a positive indicator to consider the situation further.
If you’re struggling with loneliness, anxiety about being alone or fear of not being able to find another partner, these would be deemed unhealthy reasons and would be indicative of potentially setting yourselves up to get hurt again.
You want to be truly honest with yourself about what lies beneath your desire to get back together.
Some of the other things that can be helpful here individually would be to do a cost/benefit analysis of the prospect of reconciling. What are the pros and cons?
Another thing you might want to do would be to create a list of your negotiable and non-negotiable needs for a partner, a relationship or even a friendship with your ex.
Pay particular attention to the “deal-breakers” on your list and compare these with your relationship with your ex when you were together.
“Getting back together can be a rewarding
experience or a complete nightmare.”
If so, you may decide not to pursue the relationship further because of incompatibility. After all, if it didn’t work before, why would it now?
Or you may choose to talk to your ex and see if you are both willing to work on any of the deal-breakers you both may share to see if any resolution can be achieved.
Are you willing to invest the time and energy without a guarantee of a desired outcome? Is the risk worth it to you?
You and your ex will definitely want to sit down and have some very serious heart-to-heart discussions.
What were the reasons you ended the relationship before? What went wrong, and how will you ensure these same factors don’t repeat in a new relationship?
You will want to identify all the grievances you both have and develop an action plan for each one to make sure these issues don’t get repeated.
You will need to learn how to manage your old triggers in different ways and develop stronger communication and conflict resolution skills to manage your differences and arguments in more positive ways.
You might also want to read a book together on how to negotiate a successful reconciliation.
Though not specific to gay men, one of my favorites is “Getting Back Together: How to Reconcile with Your Partner and Make It Last” by Bettie Youngs and Masa Goetz.
I also highly recommend you both pursue some form of individual and couples therapy or coaching for help in navigating this tricky slope to help keep you grounded.
Getting back together with an ex can be a rewarding experience — or a complete nightmare.
It’s important to do your due diligence and do your homework where this is concerned to determine if this is truly the right path for you.
These re-pairings can and do work as long as both partners have learned from past relationship mistakes and apply these lessons learned.
These new relationships can then be better than ever!