In a previous post entitled:Step Away From Your Ex:An Overview, I briefly discussed the whole staying stuck on your ex phenomenon. I received both positive and negative feedback on the blogpost. The feedback encouraged me to do some more in-depth field research on the topic. I started asking random people about why they would ever consider reuniting with their exes. Admittedly, this was not a scientific survey by any stretch of the imagination. No doubt, there are more than nine different reasons why people wish to reunite with an ex. However, these are the ones which my unscientifically created control group listed as their reasons.
Below are the 9 reasons why people try to reunite with exes:
- Unfinished business
- Fear of moving on from the past
- The need to triangulate
- Trying to rectify the mistake of an initial relationship
- Family and friends adore your ex
- For the sake of the children
- Chasing the bliss of the first few months
- Your ex has moved onto another relationship
- Default safety net
1. Unfinished Business
Sometimes, relationships end so abruptly that one or both of the parties involved do not have the opportunity to fully process its demise. You end up with all of these questions and unresolved feelings towards how and why the relationship ended. Years go by and you are still holding onto the anger and hurt from this past relationship. You believe that reuniting with your ex will help you to move on with your life. However, perhaps a day spent discussing the relationship will help you move on with your life. This situation seems to be more about closure than it is about reconciling with your ex.
2. Fear of moving on from the past
Fear of moving on from the past is not the healthiest type of glue to hold any relationship together. This requires both parties to remain emotionally stagnated in order to keep the reconciled relationship afloat. It may work for awhile, until one or both parties realize that their shared history cannot take the place of love and mutual respect. How many couples do you know whom have been together for a long time and they literally cannot stand to be around one another? They breakup every other week and then get back together. The cycle continues for years and after each reconciliation, the resentment between them grows. There is an eternal air of misery around this type of couple. Yet, their reluctance to move on from the past is what keeps them rooted in unnecessary misery.
Perhaps, being in a relationship with your ex launched you into a higher social and financial strata. Since the breakup, you have been unable to attain the same level of status. You do not necessarily want your ex back, just the lifestyle which accompanied with the relationship. Why not work on creating that lifestyle for yourself by finishing your degree or changing your own career path?
Maybe, you are unable to get over feelings of guilt especially if your ex ended up in worse position after the relationship dissolved. You believe that reuniting with your ex will help get them back on their feet. This will only end up causing heartache for both of you in the long run. Your actions while on the surface admirable, will create a codependent bond between the both you which causes more pain down the road.
Revenge can be another powerful motivator in reconciling with an ex. I once had an ex whom was verbally abusive towards me. He constantly harped on my weight and physical appearance. After we broke up, I got back into shape and became a much happier person. Of course, then he wanted to reconcile with me. I was almost tempted to do so out of a need to avenge the pride which he wounded during his verbal tirades. Thankfully, I put the brakes on and realized that reuniting with him would be a huge mistake. Instead, I decided to charge him to the game and move on with my life.
3.The need to triangulate
This is an immature reason for reuniting with an ex and it is also unfair to them. You are essentially playing family and friends against your ex. In addition, you are using your ex as a scapegoat. You make a huge show of running back to your ex because your family and friends do not appreciate you. Your family and friend dislike your ex immensely.
You set up a bidding war between your family/friends and your ex. Then, after six months you decide to leave your ex and return to the family fold. In another six months, you will start the process of winning your ex back only to dump them off again.
4. Family and Friends Adore Your Ex
One the flip side of the coin, everyone has an ex whom is universally adored by both family and friends. This ex is the one that got away and your family never ceases to stop reminding you of that fact. Since the breakup from this ex, your life has taken a turn for the worse. You recall that during your relationship with this particular ex, your life vastly improved in ways you never imagined. Alas, the timing was not right and you realized that you were not ready for a huge commitment. In the end, you dumped them.
Your family was devastated by the news of the breakup. They are not as friendly to subsequent significant others as they were to your ex. You miss their approval and you think that reconciling with your ex will bring you closer to your family. This is a shaky reason to reconcile with someone. You are trading in your happiness for a few morsels of approval from your family. Time to emotionally grow up and leave home.
5. For the sake of the children
Reuniting for the sake of the children can create a whole lotta resentment and tension between a couple. There has to be love and respect, between you as a couple, otherwise this reconciliation will do far more harm than good.
6. Trying to rectify the mistake of an initial relationship
Everyone one makes mistakes in their lives. The difficult part is learning from your mistakes and moving on. Especially, when family and friends warned us not to get involved with our ex the first time around. Though it ended badly, you still feel as though you have to rectify that mistake. So, you will either keep the breakup/make up cycle with an ex going for way too long. Or you will look for people similar to your ex and try to fix them. These coping mechanisms never really work in the long-term. Instead, you are just perpetuating the same recycled BS into your life. Better to just admit that you made a mistake in the first place and keep it movin'.
7. Chasing the bliss of the first few months
Your thoughts keep returning to the first few blissful months of the relationship. You recall all of the romantic dinners, leisurely strolls, and late night chat sessions. However, your mind has conveniently blocked out the tortuous hell that the relationship evolved into. Your heart is still clinging to the initial blush of the relationship. You are thinking that reuniting with your ex will result into once again capturing the elusive bliss which vanished from the relationship after the first few months. Eventually, you will have to accept that idyllic time which you shared with your ex is gone. Reuniting your ex will probably not bring the initial bliss back. Why not just make a fresh start with someone else?
8. Your ex has moved onto another relationship
You may have heard that your ex is in a new relationship or is getting married. You do not want them back, but the thought of them moving on from you is hard on your ego. Besides, you still call them whenever your family is getting on your nerves or still use them as a scapegoat for both your past and current mistakes. They are a dysfunctional crutch/raggedy a** security blanket for you. Cut the cord and let them find happiness with someone else.
9. Default Safety Net
You left them for someone else...but the grass was not greener. Now, you want another chance with your ex. But, do you really want to go back? Perhaps, you are just lonely and missing the familiar. Once firmly ensconced back into a relationship with your ex, boredom will rear its ugly head again. Next thing you know, you are back trolling for another "upgrade". When yet another pairing with an "upgrade" fails, you will inevitably try to reconcile with your ex yet again. Your ex becomes your "default" shelter from the storm. Creating a "default" cycle with your ex can seem like a win-win situation. You have the opportunity to explore other romantic options and yet you have the security of someone waiting in the wings if the other relationships do not work out. Ironically, having a "default" in the wings sets you up to not give your best effort in any other relationship. Why try when you have a tried and true "default" in your life? The best scenario in this situation is to let your "default" go on with their life...without you in it.
Writing this blogpost made me closely examine my own thoughts about this topic. In fact, I had so many thoughts about this topic that I had to break it up into four separate blogposts!
Nostalgia appears to be a common theme running throughout each of these reasons. A little nostalgia can be a pleasant thing. Thinking back on happy memories can make you automatically smile. However, attempting to go back and live in said happy memories especially as it applies to reuniting with an ex...sets you up for disillusionment.
Grasping for Who and What We Know
Step Away From Your Ex: An Overview