How To Prevent A Breakup A Second Time Around With Your Ex
- Move slowly in terms of getting back to how things were. There should be some reservation and regrowth so that you don't simply go back to the same problems that caused the breakup. Though it’s tempting to instantly go back to the relationship that you had in terms of its label, sleeping over, constant “I love you’s” and as though the breakup didn’t happen, slow and steady progress is best if you want the relationship to avoid another breakup in the future.
- Focus on direction and improvement if the breakup had a specific reason. For example, if your ex broke up with you because you constantly started fights, don’t slack off and think that now that you two are back together that you can lose your temper. Remember in those moments to focus on what you want most, which is being with this person, instead of making a point in an argument. Learn relationship and conversation skills to reframe, compromise, and empathize.
- Don’t neglect your attractiveness. I speak with a lot of people who were in long distance relationships and the person who initiated the breakup claimed that the distance was the reason for the breakup. That’s simply not true. The distance wasn’t a problem before if there was months or years of them traveling to see you. The distance didn’t change. What happened is that attraction fell and it didn’t feel worth it to them anymore. So work on your attractiveness in all three areas – physically, intellectually, and emotionally.
- Don’t push your partner to move faster or say more. Just as it’s important for you and the relationship for it to move slowly, if your partner is moving slower than you, it’s important that you don’t push or else you will likely invite another breakup. Focus on lighter conversations, fun, laughter, and on sharing the facts and feelings of your life without pushing him or her to go through the motions or say the words that you want. Sometimes it just takes more time.
- Don’t put your partner on a guilt trip or hold a grudge at them for breaking up with you. Yes, it hurt and you feel betrayed or confused but refrain from trying to punish them for it or from attempting to explain how badly it hurt you unless they ask. Focus on the future and on the relationship while letting go of the past as much as possible if you want to be with this person permanently. Though it’s understandable that you want your partner to know how badly they hurt you, nothing productive will come out of such an attempt.
- Don’t become overly clingy or smothering. It’s normal to be concerned that you could lose this person again but be disciplined in terms of knowing when to give space and take small breaks. This is especially true immediately following a reunion if it was the other person who broke up with you. You can’t make up for the lost time by spending every waking second together and you can actually cause harm to the relationship and push them away.
- Consider going to a couple’s counselor in order to learn how to improve your relationship, however, make sure before ever going to that first session that the counselor has the same goal as the two of you and that is to preserve and strengthen the relationship. Some counselors don’t have that mindset and will suggest splitting if things are difficult. Find one who believes that improving as individuals and as a couple is the way forward so that you are on the same page from the first day.
- Don’t discuss the relationship with your friends. It is common to discuss the breakup and circumstances surrounding it with close friends while the two of you are broken up, but now that you are back together that needs to stop. Speak with a professional, parent, or minister but not with friends. I wish I had not seen how treating a relationship like a community project led to its destruction, but I have and I can tell you that your partner might feel betrayed and that his or her privacy had been violated if you air your problems to your friends.
- Don’t get out of balance in terms of falling into a worshipper vs worshiped dynamic. If one of you is constantly showing the other physical interest, paying compliments, doing acts of service, etc., your relationship likely won’t last. Both of you should show interest in each other, compliment, and make the other feel wanted. If it’s one sided, it’s only a matter of time before the other person no longer wants to be the worshipper.
- Ensure that your expectations for the future are compatible. Does one of you want to stay at home and raise a family while the other earns? Make sure that there is an understanding there. That doesn’t mean that there can’t be compromise, but the conversation needs to happen once there is a sense of normal and stability following the breakup. Do the two of you see eye to eye or at least understand the goals, desires, and expectations of the other in terms of where you will live, what your life will be like, what your income will be, how often you will travel, etc.
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