Should You Get Back Together with Your Ex? (Advice from 8 Relationship Experts)

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Is it a good idea to get back with an ex? Is there ever a good reason to do so?

Audrey Hope

Audrey Hope

Addiction Therapist | Relationship Expert

If you have tried everything to stay away and to move on but you feel like you can’t function without this person, like a piece of you is missing – then it may be time to consider going back with an ex.

The time off could have taught you something- that you really love him/her and you want to get serious. Space and time is a great learning tool to consider the truth of the heart. It tells you things that your rational mind cannot tell you.

When you realize they mean so much to you and the empty time and space has shown you that.

When you can’t stop thinking or talking about them and the breakup and your friends are starting to ignore you.

When you have tried dating other people and you find yourself comparing everything they do – to your ex.

All of a sudden the little annoying and irritating things he or she did are not so bad. When you begin to base everything on him/her. He/she is the marker and baseline of what a person and partner should be like. It is time to consider going back.

When your soul knows the truth.

Sometimes you know you love someone when you lose them, or when you are apart from them. The void and empty space can be a great tool for the truth of your heart.

Dr. Sherrie Campbell

Sherrie Campbell

Clinical Psychologist | Inspirational Speaker | 
Author, But It’s Your Family: Cutting Ties with Toxic Family Members and Loving Yourself in the Aftermath

In most cases, I would say “no”.

You shouldn’t get back together with your ex; however, there are rare cases where two people can be apart and work hard on the parts of themselves that contributed to the relationship failing and if their ex is still available things can sometimes work out.

In most cases, there is a breakup because something was broken and not working in the relationship. The more people break up and get back together without truly fixing the problem, the breakups only become more and more painful each time, which makes it even more difficult to heal and move on.

Continuing the cycle of breaking up and getting back together is horrible on a person’s self-worth and overall mental health.

Lesli Doares

Lesli Doares

Marriage Coach and Relationship Expert, Foundations Coaching NC |
Author, Blueprint for a Lasting Marriage: How to Create Your Happily Ever After With More Intention, Less Work

Getting back together with an ex is possible but it must be done carefully.

The first and foremost issue that needs to be addressed is if the reason you originally broke up has been resolved. Sometimes couples break up due to bad timing of the relationship—you may be too far away from each other to keep it going or there may have been a life situation (family illness or responsibility) that needed immediate time and attention.

If the reason for the break up was external to the relationship, but the relationship was good, go ahead and rekindle it.

If the reason for the breakup was due to problems with the relationship, go slowly.

Maybe there were communication problems, anger issues, differences in priorities, or even broken trust. All of these can be overcome but don’t jump back in without having evidence that things have changed. Each of you should be able to spell out how you are different now and how that will allow for a healthier relationship.

Don’t take someone’s word that they’ve changed. One important indicator is whether each of you can identify and take ownership of inappropriate behavior your first go round. Clear apologies are essential. It also might help to run both the past relationship and the proposed current one by a professional who can help guide you to not make the same mistakes again.

Sophia Reed, Ph.D., NCC

Sophia Reed

Spiritual Transformation Coach

Do not just go and jump back into a relationship with your ex.

Your ex is your ex for a reason and there is a reason why you broke up. So before you get back with your ex you need to make sure that either they have changed, you have changed, or that the reason why you broke up has changed.

Don’t just ask them but make sure that you see the change in their behavior.

For example, if your ex had a habit of spending all his time going out, spending time with his friends, and never enough time with you; then before making him your boyfriend date him for a few months and in that time he needs to show you that you are his priority. If he is still doing the same thing and does not change then leave him as your ex.

Adina Mahalli, MSW

Adina-Mahalli

Social Worker | Relationship Expert, Maple Holistics

While deciding if you should get back together with your ex, you need to think of a few different factors.

Think about why the two of you originally broke up.

If the two of you got back together now, would that issue still exist? Even if your ex promises that they’ve changed, change is usually an ongoing slow process. Therefore, it’s very possible they will fall into their old patterns and behaviors occasionally. If you are still dealing with the same issues, then in most cases the relationship would end in the same way as it did the first time.

You definitely should not get back together because you’re lonely or if you hate the single life.

It’s hard to go from a relationship to a single life because it’s hard to learn how to be comfortable having a lot of alone time. A lot of people end up in their same old toxic relationships because they don’t know how to be single. Being comfortable while being alone is actually an important skill to learn.

If the original issue has gone away.

But, if the original issue has gone away, you both want the same things now, and you’ve really taken the time to grow, then why not get back together?

Sometimes you both just really need to see that the grass isn’t greener on the other side to realize what you two had was incredible. You needed the time to learn about yourself and what you truly needed.

Michelle Baxo

Michelle Baxo

International Love Coach | Dating Expert

Generally speaking, you should never get back together with your ex.

While there are exceptions to every rule, chances are, getting back together with your ex is just delaying the inevitable ultimate failure of the relationship.

I’ve personally and professionally seen how strong the pull can be to go back to a relationship that doesn’t work. Longing for comfort and intimacy can actually blind you from the unworkability of the relationship.

I recommend you look at what caused the break-up in the first place and what is at the root of that. Even if you were simply having a highly insecure or unstable moment and ended the relationship on a whim, I recommend staying apart, do some personal development work and then try again with someone new.

Corrin Voeller

Corrin Voeller

Couples Counselor | Owner, Prosper Therapy

“How did this person make me feel when we were together?”

Ask yourself when you are considering getting back together with your ex. Did I feel valued, respected, supported and like a better version of myself or did I feel like I needed to make myself smaller, to conform or hide certain parts of myself when I was with them?

The better answer is obviously the first one. If your answer is the second one, it’s unlikely this person has changed their fundamental values and attitude towards you enough where this will be a healthy relationship that lifts you up instead of brings you down. And you deserve to be in a relationship like that.

Don’t settle for a crappy ex just because they’re familiar or you are looking for their approval.

It is possible and there is someone out there looking for you. Be real and honest with yourself and know you deserve to be treated like the amazing person you are.

Katie Ziskind, LMFT

Katie Ziskind

Owner, Wisdom Within Counseling

If you’ve both been through therapy.

Getting back together with your ex can work if you’ve both been through therapy and are developing healthier coping mechanisms.

When you get back with an ex, I highly recommend seeking couples therapy to work through old issues. Your old issues will absolutely come up and you will need positive coping strategies to build attachment, trust, commitment, and effective communication skills.

However, if you want to get back with your ex in order to fill a void within yourself, it won’t work out.

Getting back with an ex is like putting on clothes you had from five years ago, you’re probably a healthier person now, and have a whole different style of relating.