Sunday April 20th 2014

Why Some Get Back Together After A Break Up and Others Don’t

Whenever someone comes to me asking for help getting their ex back, one of the things I look for is if there was strong enough emotional attraction and if enough time had been spent creating an emotionally safe relationship.

A good number of people are quick to say, yes to both. But when I ask a few questions, we both quickly realize that in fact the emotional attraction was minimal or wasn’t there at all, and not much attention had been paid to creating a strong emotional connection.

When there is no emotional attraction or when the emotional bond between two people is weak, it usually shows. While the relationship may seem stable – and even exciting and passionate on the surface, the emotional safety needed for open and honest communication, trust, respect, and even liking may be missing.

Nowhere does lack of emotional connection, emotional bonding and emotional safety show more than when two people go through a rough spot in the relationship, more especially just before, during and after a break-up.

Where the emotional attraction or the emotional bond between two people is weak there is usually a dysfunction in communication just before the break up, hostility during a break up and emotional disconnection after the breakup. 

Where the emotional bond is strong, both people find it painful to just break away and act like they never knew each other. Some people choose to remain friends, others mutually agree to completely severe ties and most reconnect at some later stage in life with no hurt feelings.

But it’s in when one or both people are trying to get back together that the lack of emotional attraction or a weak emotional connection really becomes the deciding factor.

It goes without saying that no relationship is perfect, and there are varying degrees of “emotional safety.” See how you answer to these five questions (zero being “never” and ten being “all the time”), it may just give you an indication of what your chances of getting back together are. Be completely honest with yourself, it doesn’t do you any good lying to yourself.

1. Did you both feel safe enough to tell each other everything (your inner thoughts and feelings) holding nothing back?

2. Was there this strong urge (on both sides) to share your ideas, thoughts, and interests with the other; and were you able to build on each other’s ideas, and thoughts to a point where you always felt that you both wanted what’s best for yourselves and for each other?

3. Did you both have the feeling that the other was emotionally invested and making enough of an effort to nurture the relationship?

4. Did you trust your partner and did he or she believe that you were honest, trustworthy and had no hidden agenda?

5. When you had a disagreement or fight did you communicate honestly, forgive yourselves and each other, talk about what you learned from the experience and move on? 

Congratulations, if you feel good about your answers. Your task now is to take the momentary lapse in emotional safety back into the emotionally safe zone. If you can do that, you’re already half way to getting your ex back.

If your responses leave you feeling like you didn’t do enough to create an emotionally safe relationship, this is where you should be starting from. If your ex doesn’t feel emotionally safe to return to the relationship, nothing will work.

 

Reader Feedback

6 Responses to “Why Some Get Back Together After A Break Up and Others Don’t”

  1. blossom says:

    The hardest thing for me was accepting that the emotional connection must be worked on by both sides. Where as i was building the bridge, the “surface passion” was all that existed for him on his side and he made no effort to open up to me and let his guard down. As a result, he never developed the attachment for me as I did him. One sided is so very hard.

  2. Blu says:

    I am ashamed of myself for how I cried, begged and pleaded with him not to breakup with me. I haven’t seen or talked to him since the breakup. I want to reach out to him just to know how he is doing but I don’t know if that is a good or bad idea. What if he has moved on? What if there is someone else? It’s been 6 months.

  3. No need to be ashamed. A break-up experience is hard on almost everyone.

    6 months is a long time. It’s possible that he has moved on or has someone else, but if you are reaching out just to ask about how he is doing, then it shouldn’t matter if he has moved on or if there is someone else.

  4. Stoica says:

    Great article. Having been through counseling, saying certain problems aren’t fixable seems like an easy way out. Unless you’ve reached the point where one or both of you don’t want to fix them, most relationship problems can be “fixed”.

  5. Samantha says:

    Wow! Great article. I read through the five questions and I feel like we nailed everyone of these questions. We were definitely great together. Its been 2 months. I finally wrote to him (thanks to you) just to see how he’s doing, which him the best and take away his anxieties. I hope to hear from him soon cause it took a lot of courage to write. Thanks for your articles.

  6. Carmen says:

    I was always able to convince myself that my ex had changed and take him back. For the first few weeks he acted like he’d changed, but then things went back to how they used to be. This is our 4th breakup and I have accepted that he will never change.

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