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  • Bessie Wang

Should I accept my ex back?

Updated: Aug 29

Ending a relationship that you have put a lot of effort into is difficult and heartbreaking. When your ex comes back to you and asks you to reaccept him/her back, it is hard to say no because your body wants to get rid of the sad feelings of losing someone you loved. Besides, there are many more other emotions that come with the decision to take your ex back, such as distrust, disgust, hurt, sorrow, questioning, and skepticism. If there were no third person involved in your break-up, the relationship could sometimes be easier to sort out compared to those who dealt with infidelity and cheating. Nevertheless, break up means break up. Getting back together doesn't mean you are continuing the previous relationship, but actually starting a brand new relationship.


Well then, shall I give us another chance?


However, we must learn to think with reasons instead of thinking with emotions to avoid repeating the same behavior pattern and conflicts with the same person in the future.



5 Reasons to accept your ex back

  1. You broke up over a misunderstanding

  2. The reason for the break-up was temporary

  3. They have made a tremendous change

  4. You will accept a great compromise and accept them as who they are

  5. Counselling and self-improvement

1. That you broke up due to a misunderstanding

Misunderstanding, among the many reasons to break up, is an easier issue to solve. A misunderstanding will not affect you and your partner's relationship in the long term. Maybe you thought your partner was not committed enough to the relationship but you find out later that they were dealing with some underlying issues with a family member or at work. Maybe you broke up because one of you was moving away, but now you are able to come to an understanding about how to continue. There are endless ways for couples to experience significant misunderstandings in their communications, but if you can sort it out and get to the core of the issue, there will be room for your relationship to continue. Once the misunderstanding is figured out, accepting your ex back will bring both of you to a deeper level of commitment and love for each other.


2. The reason you broke up was temporary and now no longer exists

Sometimes, the reasons that led us to break up are only temporary. By the time your ex asks you to come back, the issue no longer exists. So getting back together would appear reasonable. Temporary reasons could be schooling, projects, short-term disability, etc.. For example, maybe your partner's schedule left you no time to spend time together but they now have a new job and are able to spend more time with you. If the causes can be external factors that no longer exist, then getting back together could be a desirable outcome. There might be a change of mind too, such as those who felt fearful to try outdoor sports and now starting to find it fun and exciting. Accepting this same person back means you will start a new relationship together: a relationship that is completely different from the one you had prior to breaking up. So if you broke up with your partner due to temporary reasons, accepting them back will be completely fine.


3. This person made a tremendous change to meet your need

If this person puts a massive amount of effort to make a big change to become the person who you can accept, the reason for breaking up might no longer exist. You will need to know that this person can maintain the change for a life-long period; that they aren't just doing the change to get back with you. Unfortunately, we cannot change anyone and if they are not willing to, they won't. You can't force them to make the change, and you have to be careful to not stretch your expectations to make it seem like they made enough of a difference when they really haven't (yet).


As a theoretical example: When you and your ex were younger and dated casually, you took a submissive role in the relationship. You didn't argue much and 'went along' with your partner's plans and direction. The stakes were low and there was not much to argue over anyways. You have a baby now and you are older; you want to take an equal role in the decision-making around the home. Your partner would have to make big changes to their perception of the relationship to meet you at this new place. Maybe your partner wasn't willing to change and you fought over this and broke up. Maybe some time has now passed, and they have come back to you with real evidence that they are willing, and able, to make the changes necessary to keep the relationship.


The change your partner would need to go through must be substantial and permanent. If your ex has made this kind of a leap, then maybe you should consider accepting them back.


4. You love this person enough to make the compromise

If this person is not willing or unable to make the change, you will need to be the person to make changes.


An example: Your partner works late and does not come home for dinner on time like you grew up to expect a family to do. Maybe they are a pastor or a CEO of large companies. Maybe they run an organization in which their role is critical and which defines their character. Their career takes a lot of time and their time is shared with many other people; who rely on them. This person loves you but is not able to make the required changes to resolve the conflict. Over time, this becomes enough of an issue that you break up.


Ultimately, in this example, the person who might have to make the change is you. You might have to accept that this person's time will be shared by many who rely on them for support. You might have to accept that in order to be with this person, you will not have exactly what you expected to have out of the relationship. Are you willing to make the change? Are you prepared to accept this forever? Think of the long term and how this will look in five years; in ten. Are you still okay with it? If you think you can make the change, and handle the consequences, then you should consider accepting your ex back.

You know what you want in a partner and are able to accept what you are getting from your ex moving forward. If you know your partner well and you are willing to accept the way of who he/she is, you are most likely ready to restart the relationship with your partner.


5. You both went through counselling and did some self-improvement work.

During the counselling process, the counsellor will help you to know you and your partner's needs, wants, and communication styles. You will learn conflict resolution skills to manage current and future conflicts. If you and your ex both do not want to give up and decide to work this relationship out, but do not know where to start, talk to a counsellor and the counsellor will help guide you to reach your goal.




You don't accept your ex back when,


5 Reasons to NOT accept your ex back

  1. The reason to break up was unresolvable and continues to exist

  2. Neither of you have changed since the break-up

  3. You are not willing to compromise

  4. The person is still in confusion or a state of flux

  5. The person is unable to provide what you need in the relationship


1. The reason to break up was unresolvable and continues to exist

It is not a good idea to accept your ex back when the reason for breaking up was unresolvable. For example, you or this person's family does not support this relationship, and the conflict cannot be resolved, this person cheats on you and you can never forgive, this person has anger management or family violence issue, this person makes you lose self-confidence, self-esteem, or becoming a worse person...etc.


In addition, it is not a good idea to give this relationship another chance when the problem of breaking up still exists. For example, if this person cheated on you and promises you that it will not happen again, but the infidelity issues obviously continue to exist, then it is not recommended until you talk to a counsellor. If this person has financial issues and this problem continues to exist, the relationship is not likely to work out.



2. None of you have changed since the break-up

If you and this person have not made any changes since the breakup, the problem still exists and you and this person are likely not going to have a stable long-term relationship. More problems can come up later that cause breakup. It is not recommended to get back together either, even if small changes have been made but the major problems still exist. The fundamental problems in the relationship need to be identified and the changes that need to be made have to be examined first, and only then can you decide if those changes have been made sufficiently.


3. You are not willing to compromise

If this person has made changes for you but they are still not enough to reach your needs, you will need to compromise the deficiencies before you accept the relationship. Or else, it is not recommended since the problem will continuously exist but you cannot endure it which can eventually hurt the relationship.


4. The person is still in confusion

If this person is still questioning or looking for their identity, such as gender, sexual orientation, career choice, place of future residence, etc., it is not recommended to accept the relationship now. When a person is uncertain about their identity, it is predictable that this person will go through a lot of changes and bring in a lot of ups and downs in the relationship. The uncertainty of what they want will cause a lot of uncertainties in the relationship. Unless you are a strong-minded person and able to support your partner in every way possible, most likely the relationship will be unstable and dramatic. So it is not good timing to get into a relationship for you with this person. At the end of the day, it is your choice. But you would really need to know what your can support and offer to your partner if you accept this ex back. See a counsellor -->


5. You know what you are looking for and do not see any possibilities that your ex can offer that

When you are sure that you cannot get what you want from this person, this relationship is not necessary to you. If a relationship is not important and cannot offer what you need, you and this person are not likely to be happy.


When it is frustrating to decide whether or not to accept the request, thinking about the reasons above carefully helps you to get a clear image of the good and bad of accepting the relationship. If you have problems figuring out the benefits and disadvantages of accepting the relationship for your final decision, counsellors at Nuway can provide you with practical advice that helps you to guide your way.

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