Sammy Nickalls
August 29, 2015 7:00 am

Breakups can be messy, heartbreaking affairs that can leave us crying on the couch with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that life paths sometimes need to diverge for two people to stay on track as individuals. But occasionally, those paths meet back up again. It’s not unheard of for two people to break up and get back together again later on, but how do you know that’s the right move for you and your ex? Here are a few signs that your relationship is worth another shot.

You broke up because of location. . . but now you’re in the same area.

Maybe there was nothing wrong with your relationship at all except one of you had to move for a job, school, or other responsibility, and the other wasn’t able to come along. You weren’t at the right stage in your lives to maintain a long-distance relationship, and you agreed that it was best to see other people. But now, you are in the same area again for the foreseeable future, and you’ve grown since then. Why not try going out on a date and see what happens from there?

The change you want in the relationship is reasonable and possible.

Write down why you broke up and what you’d want to change for the next time. Then, write down some ways that change could happen. Are those ways reasonable? For example, say a reason you broke up was because you wanted your ex to call or text you more often. That’s not asking to change personality or core being, so perhaps if you discussed it before you made the big decision, your ex would be totally willing to genuinely work on it. But if you broke up because your ex was verbally abusive, that is not something that will likely change anytime soon, and you’d just be putting yourself through more pain.

It’s been at least a month.

It’s totally normal to question the breakup a couple days or even weeks afterwards. You haven’t started to move on yet, after all. But if it’s been some time — at LEAST a month, preferably longer — and you still find your life empty without that person around (and, of course, your ex feels the same way), maybe that reason you broke up is something you can work through together.

Your friends and family agree.

Your loved ones only want what’s best for you, and if your relationship was unhealthy, they definitely noticed while you were together. If you ask them whether they think you should get back with your ex, they will certainly give signs (if they don’t just tell you outright!) if you should leave your relationship in the past where it belongs. On the other hand, if they seem enthusiastic and supportive, that’s a good indicator that restarting your relationship could be a great idea.

You both want the same things now.

OK, can I talk about Friends for a sec? Remember that time when Mike THOUGHT he didn’t want to get married again, but Phoebe was sure she wanted to get married, so they broke up. . . but then Mike changed his mind, and they lived happily ever after?

Obviously, life isn’t a sitcom; please don’t base your life around Friends, as awesome as it may be. But remember that people grow and change; though we try to pin down what we want in the future, our goals and dreams evolve as we mature. Maybe you two broke up because you thought you wanted different things, but now, you want the same thing. And that “thing” involves each other.

Much more often than not, your ex made you feel loved and appreciated.

A lot of times, it’s easy to look back on your relationship with someone you still love and remember the happy times only, effectively serving as a blinder that makes you forget the reason you broke up in the first place. But if you are really, truly honest with yourself, were you genuinely happy the majority of the time? Did your ex make you feel appreciated and loved? Did they treat you the way you deserve? And do you still love that person? If you said “yes” to all of those questions, it may be worth another shot after having a real conversation about the problems that led you to break up in the first place.

The presence of the word “despite.”

This might sound weird, but think about a scenario for a second. Say you decided not to get back together with your ex. You would find happiness no matter what, because you’re a fab person whom anyone would be lucky to have, but consider this: Would you be happy not dating your ex, or would you be happy despite not dating your ex? That is, even if you still love your ex, was your relationship something to put up with, or was it something that truly added to your life? If the word “despite” definitely crossed your mind, it may be worth having that conversation.

Whoever did something wrong is honestly and truly sorry.

If the reason you and your ex broke up is because one of you did something totally not OK, that person better be genuinely sorry, and not just saying it to get back together. We’re all human, and we all make mistakes — but we also have to own up to those mistakes.

You are 100% ready to forgive your ex, and vice versa.

A breakup can cause some majorly hurt feelings. Whether your ex did something totally uncool or there were just a lot of little things that transpired, it can bring out the worst in us. But if you want to get back with your ex, it means giving each other a clean slate. If you hold their past grievances against them, it’s just prolonging another painful end. Getting back together means starting anew.

If these things rang true for you, and your heart is swelling with happiness at the thought of being with your love again, may you have a very happy reunion indeed, you lovebirds. <3

(Image via FOX.)

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