When you’re single and you have the chance to get back together with somebody who you still love dearly, you may feel on top of the world, and want to jump at that opportunity. You have seen people come back together after a breakup, and their relationship was better than ever. Apologies were exchanged, lessons were learned, and real changes were made. Time apart showed that they wanted to be together, and they really worked things out long term. You think you and your ex can make the same things happen and heal your own relationship. After all, there are no perfect people, we all make mistakes, and we all deserve another chance to make things work again, right?
Not always. Sometimes coming back to somebody is one of the worst decisions for your own life that you can make, and you will have to take a lot more into account than whether or not you love them and want to be back with them.
Not everybody who says they love you actually loves you. Abusers are notorious for stringing their victims along for extended periods of time with the three magic words of “I love you”. But if somebody truly loves you, they are not going to repeatedly hurt you, or disregard your rights and boundaries. Saying they love you is entirely different than behaving in loving ways. You MUST be top priority to a significant other, and yes, they need to put your needs before their own desires. If both of you can’t do this for one another, getting back together is a bad idea. Yes, even if they say they love you.
When They Say They Are Sorry
Who among us has not messed up, and said or done what we knew better than at the time? We were then genuinely sorry, were willing to accept the consequences of our actions, and we have never ever done what we did again. Not everybody who says they are sorry means it in this way. They just want consequences taken away. Even if somebody truly is sorry, and something was so bad, there is no going back from that, it really doesn’t matter if they are sorry. Some things terminate the trust in a relationship, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about cutting things off when the relationship is over. Getting back together after tiffs, arguments, and sometimes bigger falling outs happen all the time, but some things are just too big to repair the trust in the relationship from. Being fair enough to take action on that will free you and your loved one up for moving forward with your lives. Sometimes that means moving away from one another.
Sometimes we are only meant to be in somebody’s life temporarily, not for good. Like the seasons change, when the time we were meant to spend with someone passes, trying to extend that short season will hold us back from blooming into the next beautiful season of our lives. Societal conditioning may have instilled in us that we are bad people, failing at life if we cannot stay in a relationship forever with somebody, but this simply isn’t realistic or fair at all. We are brought into one another’s lives for a reason, and we don’t get to decide for ourselves what that reason is. Relationships last for as long as they are meant to, despite what we want or how hard we work to make them last forever. What IS forever is all the good things and lessons we take with us even when a relationship is over, and nothing can ever take those things away.
When you have had time apart, you have had time to miss each other. You remember the good times more easily than the bad times, and distance really does make the heart grow fonder. We cannot live in the past, and we can’t live in the future, but only in the now. If the person who you are thinking of getting back together with is not somebody who could work towards a brighter future with you, it is best to thank them for the good things they brought to your life, and honor that by leaving it in the past where it belongs.
What Went Wrong?
In situations of abuse, gaslighting, toxic words, or simply not being treated the way you wanted to be, even if you feel your ex wasn’t truly abusive, some things are deal breakers you cannot go back from. As we progress through our relationships, we learn more about one another, and people are good enough to show us how they are. They demonstrate what sharing life with them is like, and they are kind enough to show us their bad sides as well as the good ones. When the bad outweighs the good, the relationship is not working. Relationships are supposed to improve our lives, not make them worse. How bad was what caused the breakup in the first place? If it was too bad, parting ways permanently is best.
What HAS Changed?
What has changed besides time? Has the problem been resolved, and you both have assurance it won’t ever happen again? As much as we can see our loved ones and want to fix every problem for them, there comes a time in some relationships, when we have to accept something is not going to change, and that issue is the very thing driving us apart from somebody we love dearly. As much as it hurts to part, staying and struggling hurts more sometimes. We cannot force people to change, and people are not like broken toys. We cannot fix THEM. If both people in the relationship can live with the way the other partner is, then great. If you cannot live with how the person you want to get back together with is, and you are constantly wanting to change them, then you are not really wanting a relationship with them, but a version of them you think you can create. People have to be accepted as they are, or let move forward in peace.
While some people have deeply held beliefs about the sacredness of forgiveness, it is not true that to forgive, one must forget, and pretend things that should never have happened never actually did. Moving past things from the past, and coming to terms with them may entail leaving people in the past as well, and that’s not wrong. Sometimes, they are not sorry, and will continue what they did that makes things unbearable. Never let anybody guilt you into staying in a bad relationship or insist that you owe forgiving and forgetting all about things to somebody else. No, you don’t.
You cannot make somebody love you, just like nobody can make you feel a certain way about them. You cannot be in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t want to be. Besides that, some people might want a relationship with you, but you just aren’t on the same page as to what kind of relationship that should be. Some people are ready for lifelong commitment, and the other person doesn’t see themselves ever doing so. Some people can’t make a way of life together because they need different lifestyles than one another. That’s okay. It’s not wrong to want or need what you do, and your loved one isn’t wrong either. When this happens, it’s a matter of consent, and everybody has the right to say no to a relationship. Sometimes, saying no to a dead-end relationship is actually saying “Yes!” to the possibility of the right relationship with somebody else.
So you, or you and your ex have thought it over, and realized this was not a small falling out or a little tiff you need to put behind you. You realize the relationship itself is over and that’s what needs left behind. Picking up the pieces of your heart and your whole life may seem impossible without that one person you believed you would always be with through thick and thin.
The number one thing you are going to need is faith. It might be faith in a higher power and their plan for you. It might be faith in your own strength to pull yourself along, and it might be faith in the existence of love being greater than just two human beings.
Know that love has existed before any of us were born, and it still will long after we have left this life. Love is too great to be confined to one relationship, and as long as you are here, you have much more love to give and receive.
There is only one way to go in this life, and that way is forward. Give yourself and the people you care about enough love to have the freedom to move forward, even if it means doing it apart.
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