Is Your Ex Your Best Next Partner?

How people win or lose by returning to an ex-partner.

9/21/2021 12:19:00 AM

7 reasons why someone might choose to get back together with an ex—and how likely their chances are of making a relationship last the second time around

How people win or lose by returning to an ex-partner.

is a heavy burden to carry, and if it doesn't lighten in the days, weeks, or months after a break-up, maybe getting back together solves an important problem. Reuniting can provide companionship, a benefit that might outweigh the reasons their partners broke up.

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Insight.People can realize, after they break up, that their ex-partner is actually"the one." They might also learn more about their ex-partner in their absence, changing their perceptions of who that person is and why they may have behaved as they did. Ex-partners might see each other in a new light after time has passed, perhaps because they have, in fact, each changed, matured, or in other ways had life experiences that make them, now, well-suited for each other.

The ex is still better than other partners.Sometimes, people get back together with their ex-partner because they discover that other available potential partners aren't so appealing.Regret.Breakups can happen suddenly or unfold gradually over time. Sometimes they're intentional, other times a heat-of-the-moment type decision. Some ex-partners get back together because they believe they should never have broken up in the first place, and they view the break-up as a regrettable mistake.

For the partner's sake.Not all reunions are desired equally by both partners. Evidence suggests some people reunite not because they want to but because they feel guilty or indebted to their ex. They might feel bad for their ex and see getting together as a way to manage their ex's distress.

Together Again, for NowEx-partners who reunite could do so for the long haul. They might relaunch with renewed commitment. They might both have a readiness to be with each other that wasn't present before. They might bring a new appreciation for each other that elevates their relationship to the next level.

Many on-again couples, however, cite problems in their renewed relationships. Besides the emotional roller coaster of separating and then reuniting, people note that they might expect their relationship to bedifferentthis time and experience disappointment and regret when they discover that the same patterns or problems that may have made them unhappy the first time around emerge again (Dailey et al., 2011). They might feel friends' and parents' concerns rather than their support, and they might question whether they can truly trust their partner.

Remember, though, that people's reasons for breaking up in the first place differ. Breaking up because of a mismatch in habits orgoals, for example, is different from breaking up because of parental disapproval or a move that would have made the relationship long-distance. Likewise, people who get back together because they're lonely or feel bad for their ex-partner may be less happy in their new relationship than people who have gained new realizations about themselves and their partner.

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Even though self-reports show that on-again/off-again relationships are of lower quality onaverage(Dailey et al., 2009), there may be subgroups that not only do well but thrive in theirtake-2attempt at a happy relationship together.ReferencesDailey, R. M., Pfiester, A., Jin, B., Beck, G., & Clark, G. (2009). On‐again/off‐again dating relationships: How are they different from other dating relationships?

. Personal Relationships, 16, 23-47.Dailey, R. M., Jin, B., Pfiester, A., & Beck, G. (2011). On-again/off-again dating relationships: What keeps partners coming back?. The Journal of social psychology, 151(4), 417-440.Dailey, R. M., & Powell, A. (2017). Love, sex, and satisfaction in on-again/off-again relationships: Exploring what might make these relationships alluring.

Read more: Psychology Today »

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I wouldn't. I get people change and grow but look towards the FUTURE right Nooooooooo Its in generally speaking a bad idea. If they remember why their ex became an ex, then definitively is a very bad idea It depends on the situation Is taking an ex back is a good idea? Only if both have grown as individuals and can take responsibility for their actions/behavior. Never say never…

Well, it depends on the nature of the experience they had in the previous relationship. Perhaps it was not a failed experiment, but rather they could not get along properly, and this separation helped them understand each other better. Love is acceptance. Relationships end because one or the other partner stopped being the other person's friend. You should be friends first and foremost, lovers and mates. I learned you can't go back. No matter how you feel...

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