4 Reasons Not To Get Back With Your Ex

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Those who want to rekindle a relationship should carefully evaluate if that’s a good idea. That romantic partner who dumped you could still be the same person. The reasons you broke up with someone may still hold true. Or you may simply be thinking about reconciling for the wrong reasons.

This article will explore why you might be feeling you want to get back with your ex, four reasons why reuniting might be a mistake, signs of an unhealthy relationship, and how to move ahead.

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Why You're Feeling This Way

After you experienced a relationship breakup, you probably felt disappointed, sad and had emotional pain. You might’ve even become depressed.

As time passed, you likely found ways to get over that person and finally accepted it wasn’t working. Or you realized both people need to want the relationship. If your ex cut it off or you ended the relationship, both of you weren’t all in.

Despite those reasons, you may be second-guessing yourself. It’s possible you think you’re still in love with your ex and are ruminating over the breakup. Maybe you were reminded of the happy times you spent together and reminisced by scrolling through photos on your phone. You saw your ex, remembered the fun times, and now view the relationship with rose-colored glasses.

Also, If you still find your ex very attractive and you happen to believe they're better-looking than you are, that could actually play into your desire to be with that person.

4 Reasons Reuniting Might Be a Mistake

Couples split up for a reason. Some people confuse missing someone with wanting to get back together. Here are four red flags that show rekindling your romance could be a bad idea.

Loss of Trust

Let’s say your ex cheated and you forgave them. Forgiveness allows the person forgiving to move forward. But because you remained suspicious even after the incident and never trusted your ex again, you grew apart. You couldn’t share your own worries or fears; you couldn’t open up and be vulnerable with them.

While couples can rebuild trust in their relationships, true intimacy needs trust as its foundation. You want to be with a partner who is empathetic, someone you trust who also trusts you.

Problems With Communication

Communication fosters connection. If your ex brushed things under the rug, avoided difficult conversations or became aggressive and yelled, recognize that you deserve a partner who cares about you and communicates respectfully.

While all relationships have disagreements, arguing destructively can ruin relationships. Checking in with each other on not only mundane, logistical matters, but on deeper matters is healthy in a partnership.

If you or your ex-partner have not become better communicators, these problems can just as easily impact a rekindled relationship.

Confusion Between Lust and Love

If it’s hard to distinguish the difference between lust and love, just think back a moment: Do your memories of your times together revolve around amazing sex? Sexual chemistry is about physical attraction and not necessarily about a close emotional connection.

Intimate sex, however, does combine sexual desire and sexual experiences with a deep, enduring bond.

While it might seem impossible to define love, it is possible. Love can be characterized as a caring, devoted, and deep emotional attachment. Scientists have gone one step further.

Conducting a substantially large, intercultural survey in a recent study across 25 countries, scientific analysis evidence showed that three key components of love characterize romantic relationships: intimacy, passion, and commitment.

While these elements aren’t always present at the same time or to the same degree in a relationship, psychological research shows these are primary aspects of love.

Lack of Friendship

A good friend accepts you for who you are. They offer affection and trust. Friends enjoy being together. If you didn’t have a friendship with your ex, something important was missing.

According to The Gottman Institute, friendship is key to the vitality of a long-term relationship. Though the movies usually depict strangers falling in love, according to scientific research revealed in a 2022 study, most couples begin as friends.

Research published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, comprised of four different studies on relationship initiation, found that 2/3 of people began romantic relationships first as long-term friends. LGBTQ participants had even higher rates of friends-first beginnings than those in heterosexual relationships. But the sample of LGBTQ participants was also smaller in these studies.

Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship

You might not be educated on the characteristics of an unhealthy relationship. For those who grew up in dysfunctional families or with domestic abuse, being with someone who doesn’t treat you right might feel familiar.

The Cleveland Clinic says gaslighting, stalking and bullying, not respecting your personal space, and even talking about their previous relationships in a derogatory manner can be warning signs that a partner is abusive.

Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself about your previous relationship. Take a moment to sit down and truthfully answer each question.

If the answer to any question is yes, ask yourself if that person has resolved that problem. Chances are that they didn’t. It’s one thing to identify an issue, but if a potential partner has not transformed that issue into a healthy alternative, you may think twice before renewing a relationship.

  • Did your ex criticize you?
  • Did you feel a lack of support from your ex?
  • Did you feel uncomfortable, pressured or afraid?
  • Did you feel unseen and unheard or disrespected?
  • Did that person complain about you or handle conflict poorly?
  • Did you feel like communication wasn’t there between you?
  • Did that person try to isolate you from friends and family? Did they try to control you in general?
  • Did your ex treat you poorly and then love bomb you afterward?
  • Did this person not spend time with you?
  • Did you ex lead you to believe he was hiding something?
  • Did your ex scoff at your desire to go to couples therapy?

You deserve to be in a healthy relationship that consists of trust, affection, good communication, and intimacy. If you’re not dating anyone or feeling nostalgic for the good times with your ex, take some time for yourself.

You might not really want to get back with your ex. Maybe you’re just feeling lonely.

There are ways to stay inspired after heartbreak. Give yourself compassion, remember ways you can make yourself happy, return to your hobbies and passions and look ahead to a wonderful future.

Word From Verywell

If you find you need assistance, reach out to a mental health professional in-person or online. A therapist can help you sort through the ending of a romantic relationship and your feelings about wanting to get back together with someone who hurt you or broke your heart. Qualified therapists can help you cope with difficult emotions and help you build your resilience.

They can counsel you on what are the best treatments specifically for you from journaling to cognitive behavioral therapy. Look into it as therapy can provide a safe place from which you can heal.

4 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Bruch EE, Newman MEJ. Aspirational pursuit of mates in online dating marketsSci Adv. 2018;4(8):eaap9815. Published 2018 Aug 8. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aap9815

  2. Sorokowski P, Sorokowska A, Karwowski M, et al. Universality of the Triangular Theory of Love: Adaptation and Psychometric Properties of the Triangular Love Scale in 25 CountriesJ Sex Res. 2021;58(1):106-115. doi:10.1080/00224499.2020.1787318

  3. Stinson DA, Cameron JJ, Hoplock LB. The Friends-to-Lovers Pathway to Romance: Prevalent, Preferred, and Overlooked by ScienceSoc Psychol Personal Sci. 2022;13(2):562-571. doi:10.1177/19485506211026992

  4. The Cleveland Clinic. How to Spot Relationship Red Flags.

By Barbara Field
Barbara is a writer and speaker who is passionate about mental health, overall wellness, and women's issues.