Question: My ex has been trying to get me back for 5 months. Because this is our third breakup, it concerns me that just like the other times, I maybe ignoring red flags . In your experience, what should I be looking for as red flags that I should not get back together with my ex. I don’t want to go back to the way things were. My question is: How do I know it will be different? How can I tell he has truly changed? Are there any signs I should be looking for?
Yangki’s Answer: How do you know if you should not get back with your ex is a great question. I’d need more details of your relationship to give you a more detailed response. For example, how long were you together, what was the relationship like, why did you break up, what do you think needs to change etc.
I don’t have all the information. So, here are common red flags you should not get back with your ex. This list applies to men and women alike.
1. They have not truly and completely accepted the break-up
If your ex is acting like you’re still together, they have not yet accepted the break-up. Someone who has not truly and completely accepted the break-up is unlikely to be working to change anything.
2. They are trying hard to convince you to take them back
When every text or email is about how your ex has changed, that’s a red flag right there. Real change takes time. Even when your ex has indeed changed, it’s advisable to wait and see if the changes stick. But you’re getting the feeling that all your ex wants is for you to take them back; it’s a sign that they have no real interest in a better relationship,
3. They haven’t changed one bit
Same drama, same neediness, same controlling, same everything is a flashing red flag. From a distance the same old ‘issues” may not be like a “big deal” and you might ignore it; when you get back together, it’s same-old-same-old all over again.
4. They haven’t taken full responsibility for their role in the relationship ending
Your ex is blaming the break-up on you, your friend(s), family, your ex, work, therapist, etc. If they can’t take responsibility for their role in the relationship ending; they can’t see what they need to do to be a better partner to you. If you take them back, you are going back to the same old relationship; or worse.
5. They are obsessed with “fixing you”
This is probably one of the biggest red flags that you should not take back your ex. Someone who believes the break-up is because something “wrong” with you is not taking responsibility for their role in the break-up. They think that if you fix you; everything will be alright. Indirectly they putting all the responsibility on you.
Sometimes you feel like they think they know you better than you know yourself, and other times, it feels like you’re constantly being “coached” or “counseled” by a life coach or relationships “expert”. This is your ex’s way of saying the break-up is all your fault. If you fix this or that, the relationship will work.
6. They don’t want to talk about why the relationship ended
It may feel good when your ex says things like “You were great, I’m the one who messed up” or “You’re a wonderful person, I made you do x and y”; and they may be right. Most of the time however, this is “emotional bribery”. They want you to think they owned up to their ‘wrongs’ and just forget everything they did and take them back. Nothing has really changed.
7. They are using your family or friends to get to you
Your ex talking and being “friendly” with your family and/or friends is not necessarily a red flag. It’s great to have someone who gets along with your family and friends. But if they are saying things to family and friends that they should be talking to you about; this is a manipulative attempt by your ex. What they are doing is trying to get everyone close to you on their side consequently forcing you to take them back.
8. They are still playing stupid mind-games and trying to manipulate you
You should not get back together with your ex if they are still trying to manipulate you. There is no place for mind games in a healthy relationship. People who play mind games know that the only way you can take them back is if they can manipulate you into taking them back. They are not trying to work on a better relationship they; are trying to trick you back into the old relationship.
9. They are rushing you into making a decision
If your ex dismisses your concerns, doubts and fears about getting back together, as you afraid of love/commitment/getting hurt again etc; it means they have not done anything to change. They may be rushing you because the fear that if you take things slow; you might see that things are still the same.
10. You have doubts about your ex
You should not get back together with your ex if your concerns are not addressed. If you have doubts about your ex not being the right person for you, or it being the right timing, listen to what your gut feelings or intuition is telling you. Our intuitive self knows things that our conscious mind is trying to convince us aren’t real.
If the relationship was relatively good and you still love your ex, then give it time. You may find that the red flags are your ex’s over reaction to the break-up. Only time will tell.