10 Red Flags You Should NOT Get Back Together With Your Ex

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.

Related:

10 Signs Your Ex Is A Loser (How to Spot A Loser)

8 Toxic Relationships that Feel Like Love (Red Flags)

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23 Comments

  1. says: DigitalLex

    She gave me a list of things that she said I should change about myself before she can come back. For the last many months I’ve been working hard to change but it still seems everything I say or do gets her mad and upset at me. Now that I’ve changed the way she suggested she says we’re different people and not right for each other. What gives?

    1. This is usually what happens when you “change for someone else” and not for you. People’s “needs” keep changing and hard to keep up with. In any case, I think your ex may have her “own issues” (i.e. not sure what she wants) or she’s just not serious about you/not that into you and using “you change” as cover up.

      If as you said, you’ve done everything on the “change list” (hopefully you wrote it down), go to her with the list and talk to her about how it does not make sense to do all the changing she asked of you, and it’s still not good enough.

      If she can’t come up with an explanation that makes sense to you, then she’s right, you are not right for each other. In that case move on. Next time change for you and not to try to fit someone else’s idea of “perfection”.

  2. says: Sarah

    I have been with my ex for 14 years and we have a child together. He became emotionally abusive and angry as we had split for 2 years and then got back together but never dealt with our issues as to why we split up after having no contact at all. We moved in together right away not dealing with anything and one night he got angry and hit me. He has enrolled himself in anger management and wants to change his life and loves me and wants to try again once he gets some help which may take a while. Can people really change and how would i tell my friends and family

    1. Can people really change? Yes, people can change.

      Can your ex change? I don’t know.

      Taking Anger Management Classes (if he is genuine about it) is only a start. There is no guarantee your ex will change. That type of change takes commitment, time and baby steps.

      If he enrolled for the classes because he thinks it’s what’ll get you back, you will take him back at your own risk. Chances are very high that he’ll abuse you again. Your friends and family will probably tell you the same thing. You should listen to them.

  3. says: Jim

    It was a troubled relationship and not to disparage my ex, she’s a great woman with many wonderful qualities, but she’s also the most selfish person I have ever met. Because of this there has been a whole lot of on and off, and on and off again. I had made up my mind this was the very last time we broke up, but last night we met up for the very first time after 2 weeks of only texts and I just felt like hugging her so tight and never letting her go. Am I crazy or is something wrong with me? Everyone keeps telling me “don’t do it she doesn’t deserve you” . I know that she’s not going to change but I also know that I’ll never meet anyone like her. Should I walk away now or should I try t make this work? Btw, I was the one that left this time round.

    1. Yes, you are crazy…many of us have been there…(: …. You know something is not good for you but you want it anyway.

      It’s not my place to make such an important decision for you. My goal as a coach is to give you the tools to make decisions that are good for you –on your own.

      1. Listen to “everyone’s” reasons for saying you should not get back together. Do they have a point? Are their views of your relationship a true objective reflection of the dynamic between the two of you? Are they saying it for their own reasons unrelated to your relationship?

      2. Be honest with yourself because you are the only one who will get hurt again, in the future if you make a decision based on wanting to feel good rather than what is good for you.

      3. Make the decision whether or not to pursue this any further all by yourself. It’s your life, your decision — that’s part of being a grown-up.

      Can this relationship work? Yes, absolutely, but not without a lot of work on both sides.

  4. says: Jessica

    My ex and i were together for 3.5 years. He broke it off Jan of 2011 but said he wanted to remain friends. At first, it made me so angry that he didn’t want to be with me but wanted me as a friend. I found your site and bought your ebook, it changed my mind about being friends. Our contacts have since become more frequent, we’ve been out on 5 dates and texting several times a day. I’m following your advice and not having expectations or putting a time limit on what we have. Just open to the idea that we may or may not be back together and continuing living my life.

  5. says: Saida

    My ex is generally a great guy except for his serial lying. I broke up with him because I didn’t know when he was telling the truth or lying. We were both devastated by the breakup and he said he wanted no contact for sometime. After 2 months, I missed him so much I was going crazy and contacted him. It was like no time had passed at all. We’ve been spending a lot of time together and even talked of getting back together. Today I find out he’s been lying to me all this time. He said he was in therapy, didn’t see other women when we were broken up and has been looking for a better job. ALL LIES. I’m so angry at him but more angry at myself for believing he had changed.

    1. If it helps at all… you are not alone who has been fooled twice over. Often times as time goes on, the reasons you broke up get forgotten because you miss someone so much but once you are back together, you find out that nothing really changed.

      I personally believe that people do change, but they have to want to and work at it. If they do not want to change and do not work at changing, there is nothing you can do about it.

  6. says: gobaltimore

    Yangki, I think that as humans we want to allocate blame because it helps us cope. It’s wrong, but that’s how humans behave.

  7. says: ylana

    He came back and, once again, let me believe we might have a promising future together, but he is still the same selfish narcissist masochist he has always been. I wasted my love on someone who enjoys humiliating and hurting woman and has broken many hearts and doesn’t care. All his exes hate him, even his own family does not want anything to do with him. That’s the kind of man he is.

    1. I don’t know this guy… it is possible that he is all you say he is. But if you knew all those things about him, and still took him back, what does that say about you?

      There is an African saying: If you leave the cheese unattended, and the rat steals it, it’s not the rat’s fault. In other words, you can’t blame the rat for doing what is in it’s nature to do.

      It is emotionally dishonest to take back someone you know has a history and then turn around and cry “victim”. You have to take some responsibility for putting yourself in the situation you find yourself in.

  8. says: Michael

    Me and my current girlfriend have been having issues to where she has cheated on me this year and lied about it. after some time she did come clean i was staying with her till the guy she cheated on my with became homeless and having the big heart that she does asked me to leave so he could have somewhere to stay till he finds a place. i don’t think he is trying. just today she tells me he is out monday after she finds him a place to stay but also she has been saying that all week. she also tells me that she would like it to go back to our 1st or 2nd or 3rd or 4th year of dating. which is what i have been wanting. this thanksgiving we will be been togather 7 years in which i also helped raise her daughter from another failed releionship. Should i try again I really want to but is also unsure

    1. Whether to try again or not is a decision ONLY you have to make since only YOU will live with the consequences of your decisions and choices.

      In your shoes, I’d wait until she’s done away with her “baggage” which from what you say doesn’t look like she’s doing anything to get rid off. May be she’s a really “kind and caring person” or she still has a thing for this other guy. Her asking you to leave for him should be a red flag/expression of where her loyalities lie.

      But it could also just be that you are a “door-mat” type of guy who lets her walk allover you, and the other guy is a “smart-ass” who knows how to get a woman to take care of him. Whichever way one looks at it, a happy ending to this is VERY far away!

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