Is it possible that your old lover is no longer the person you broke up with?
I have often said that going back to your ex is a recipe for disaster. Naturally, people change, but that isn’t always a good thing. The girl who was perfect for you in the first few months ended up turning into someone you couldn’t stand, and that’s why you broke up with her.
When I was with my first girlfriend, I was a bit of a player. I wasn’t “sleeping around”, because I only had sex with people I was committed to – but that wasn’t to say that I was committed to any of the girls I was seeing.
Now, on the other hand, I view sex as separate from commitment. I still wouldn’t sleep around on someone I was committed to, but when I’m single – I’m single. Overall, I don’t know if I would say that this is an entirely positive change for me, but the separation in my mind is a new development. Ten years since my first girlfriend and I have very few of the same characteristics I had back then. I don’t even look the same anymore.
That being said, you shouldn’t always assume that a past partner has changed in the ways that you want them to. Change and personal growth are deeply internal. No matter how many outside pressures may push us towards being a better human being, it’s up to us to make the changes that will result in us being different.
There are some situations where you will be able to see that the old flame has changed for the better, or that your expectations have changed – and in these scenarios it may be a good idea to give it another go. After all, we are constantly changing in some way or another, and just because your ex hasn’t gotten “better” doesn’t automatically mean they’re still wrong for you.
Reason #1: She used to be afraid of commitment, but now she’s ready to settle down.
If, in the past, you had a desire for her to commit to just you, and she wasn’t willing to do so – there’s a chance that her needs have matured and she’s now looking for a “partner” instead of a fling. You’ll need to evaluate whether you’re still looking for the same things you were, but if your needs are now on the same page, it may be worth a second look.
Reason #2: She used to be bad in bed, but now she’s got some more experience.
I personally usually vote against breaking up on the basis of sex, but it does happen sometimes. If your partner was lousy but she’s been with more people, it’s possible that her skills have improved – just as it’s possible that your sexual demands have been reduced. After all, your hormones will vary over the course of your life. When we’re younger, we may put more emphasis on sex, only to find out later in life that it’s not as big of a deal.
You shouldn’t necessarily “take her word for it” that her skills have gotten better – as there is a chance that her partners in the meantime haven’t been entirely truthful with her, or that she’s not being entirely truthful with you. But if you no longer care as much about the sex in the relationship, and she was otherwise a good girlfriend – why not give it a shot?
Reason #3: She used to be a cheater, but she’s reformed.
There’s a widely-known saying that “once a cheater, always a cheater” – but quite frankly that’s not true. Sometimes it’s a matter of circumstance. Of course, with this one, you’ll be depending on her honesty about her reformation, but it is entirely possible that she’s grown and learned to handle her emotions (and her hormones) better than she did when you were together.
If this is the reason that applies to you, and you decide to give it another shot, keep in mind that she may not have actually changed – and you’ll need to remember her past indiscretions so that you can save yourself from future pain. If she commits one of the “crimes” that led to the downfall of your last attempt at a relationship, let her go – she obviously hasn’t changed.
Reason #4: She wasn’t sure of her sexuality, but now she is.
This one is a special category that almost exclusively pertains to the gay community. We question and we experiment – and the results of that experimentation are different from person to person. Sometimes, we’re someone’s “experiment”, and they later find out that we’re actually exactly what we wanted or needed.
In particular, this may be one of the contributing factors for bisexual invisibility. After all, sometimes we assume that we’re an experiment to our partner because they’ve only been with men in the past – but that doesn’t mean that they don’t know that they want to be with us. In these cases, we should definitely give it another try if this was truly the only reason it didn’t work out in the first place.
Reason #5: You didn’t know what you had until you didn’t have it anymore.
Hindsight is 20-20, and this definitely plays a part in our happiness in a relationship. Sometimes, someone is really good to us, and really good for us – but we let them go because we think there’s someone else out there who may be better. It’s not fair to our partners, and it sucks no matter which side of the equation you’re on.
You should never settle for being someone’s second-best, but sometimes the time apart is enough to tell them that you weren’t second best after all. Keep your guard up and be aware that there’s no guarantee that they won’t move on in search of greener pastures again – but this “second chance” opportunity may be exactly what you needed.
(This scenario happens to be true whether you were the wanderer or the cast-off party; sometimes we take for granted the situation we have and it takes some time to realize what’s really possible.)
Do you think there are any reasons I’ve missed? Let us know in the comments section if there’s a scenario where you think it could be beneficial to go back to an ex – or if you want more detailed advice, don’t hesitate to send in a letter. You deserve to be happy!