So many people get into a relationship with so much potential, but after a few months of dating start to feel like they either made a mistake or the person they are with changed to someone they no longer recognize. Truth is, both feelings are right.
You may have made a mistake. You didn’t listen to your gut and you ignored all the red flags because you wanted to believe you had finally met “the one”.
The person you met and fell in love with is not the same person you are now in a relationship with (or broke up with). Like you, they were in their best behaviour when you met, but that mask wore off and now you are with the ‘real’ person.
So yes, you might want them back, but do not again ignore the red flags or signs that they may not be “the one”. Getting back an ex is emotionally draining, there is no point going through all that only to come to the same conclusion. You again made a mistake and/or with the wrong person.
So here are some serious things to consider before trying to get back your ex. It is best to minimize the possibility of regret, again.
1. Is there an easy and constructive flow of information back and forth?
Can the person engage and follow you with curiosity, interest, and intelligence into the world that you find interesting and mentally stimulating? If they are not interested in your world, and not trying to at least understand it, it’s going to be either a one-sided relationship with you giving up too much of yourself, or the relationship will not last.
2. How comfortable are they in their own skin and how do they show it on the outside?
While being attracted to particular physical characteristics is not a sin or a bad thing, it becomes a problem when your “ideal” is an unrealistic mix of physical traits taken from glamorous magazine cover models and movie stars, with a little bit of your own imagination thrown in.
If the other person is not happy with who they are and/or how they look, you will never be happy either because you will have to keep re-assuring them that you still find them attractive. That’s a lot of work!
3. Is the person sincerely interested in you as a person or do they just want to be in a relationship with the idea of you?
Except for people who lie so smoothly and cleanly that they’re almost impossible to catch—we can with some accuracy, tell if a person really wants to be there, wants to talk to us, or even get to know us. If you didn’t feel that ‘interest in you’ in the relationship, you might want to rethink why you want your ex back in the first place. The problem may not be with your ex, the problem may be with your self-esteem and self-value.
4. Does the person signal deep-seated issues that pose a challenge in the relationship?
Most of us have ‘issues”, however, people who do not know what makes them happy or do not believe they can be happy are not only hard to give to, they are also hard to get back anything from. If you do get back ‘anything”, it usually comes with strings attached, and may be hurtful in the end.
If your ex is not willing to deal with his or her ‘issues’, there is nothing you can do for them. You ‘staying’ may actually be you enabling them. It’s toxic for both of you.
5. Are they open-minded enough to adjust to the new and the unexpected, or do they tend to try to control everything, even fun?
Be especially wary of people who pride themselves in their emotional restraint. Besides being really uninteresting, these people are also easily offended, particularly when their sense of “control” is challenged or when they feel embarrassed or betrayed. They simply don’t know how to “do fun.”
A relationship that lacks a sense of ‘fun’ is going to be highly stressful and unfulfilling.
6. Can the person properly regulate their emotions or do you feel like you are walking on egg-shells around them?
“Wild and crazy” is all fun and good, but if a person can not balance his or her emotional highs and lows, you will find yourself feeling like you are holding your breath waiting for something to “drop” on the ground—like really hard. Over time you may find their impetuous energy a little reckless, and a bit unbearable.
The emotional roller-coaster ride may be ‘exciting’ for a while, but it will take a toll on your mental and physical health. And if you try to put your foot down, you may get dumped, and the rejection from putting up with their “craziness” only to be dumped will be hard.
7. Have they let go of the past or still stuck there?
There are three kinds of people who are stuck in the past: those who can’t let go off the “pain and heartache” caused by others; those in denial about the reality of their past experience (if they don’t acknowledge it they don’t have to deal with it); and those longing for the past because it was so much better than the present.
Men and women who are hang up on the past never seem to be happy with the present no matter what you do. The two of you will never really be able to enjoy the relationship, unless of course you don’t mind playing therapist.
8. Is the person capable of trusting you and can they be trusted?
This includes both emotional trust and sexual trust. Be brutally honest with yourself. It’s okay to admit that your sex drives may not match anymore. But even if you have the same sex libido, can you trust the other person not to want to “‘explore things” outside of the relationship, or if you are in an “open” relationship, not to abuse your trust?
9. Do they show you respect even when you disagree or have a fight?
Respect is about showing how much you think of someone. Do not look at the ‘disrespect’ or rude behaviour they have shown you as a passing thing. If someone shows you they think very little of you, that is not likely to change just because you broke up.
10. Do have the same vision of the future?
For a successful relationship, we must all compromise. But there are some things you just do not compromise on however much you love someone, e.g. who you are, your values, and your vision for the future that makes you happy and fulfilled.