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The one that got away: Getting back with your ex and making it work

Relationships - By Derrick Oluoch | June 23rd 2020 at 04:28:35 GMT +0300
The appeal and desire to rekindle the old flame is quite normal (Shutterstock)

The allure of The One That Got Away!

We are always getting tempted to get back with our exes. The appeal and desire to rekindle the old flame is quite normal, isn’t it? You might have gone your separate ways over very legit reasons but shouldn’t mean you cannot try getting back together.

In her book Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship, Dr. Terri Orbuch explains that while we are normally interested in someone new, it is quite easier to get back with an old flame as we do not need more time to get to know them better: “When with our ex, we already know what we like, don’t like, and how they act,” Dr. Orbuch elaborates.

While there are fears that round two of relationships never really yield much, with many considering it a treacherous endeavor, it is actually possible to find more success the second time. Key is, you need to be patient and be really willing to work it out together this time round.

Here are a few pointers to help you get going with your second shot:

No rush!

There’s no proven formula for how fast or how slow you should get things rolling again with an ex. However, you need to take your time and be certain about what exactly you want.

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Even after jumping back on, you need to take some time to chill and figure things out. The last thing you want is to let the dinners, the sex and the fun times because you are back together cloud the real picture.

So, before getting back on social media as a couple and hanging out with your partner’s parents again, take time and let the ‘new’ relationship settle in first.

What do you want?

Happiness is a key ingredient in successful relationships. Getting back together gives you a chance to be real about what exactly you need to be happy.

As Dr. Orbuch puts it, you need to know both your expectations and the qualities you need from your partner. Don’t forget why your relationship didn’t work out the first time. Have your deal breakers in mind. Understand that some of your concerns – especially the things they weren’t able to fulfill last time – are not going to change overnight.

Treat it as a new chapter not a new relationship (Shutterstock)

Kill the surprises now!

It is not easy to have a fresh start with someone you have already known and dated.

It is more practical to treat your ‘re-union’ as a new chapter in your old relationship rather than as something new altogether.

Work on separating the past from the present, and don’t allow yourself to stick with your ‘first impression’ of them.

Remember, as you kick it off, ensure you talk about what you did when you were apart. Tell your partner about that guy you dated for a few months while you were apart. This will go a long way in avoiding unpleasant surprises down the road.

You can mention your endeavors and if your partner is hurt or upset about them, be willing to talk about it and address the concerns and fears so that you can smoothly move on.


If you have decided to give it a second go, forgiveness shouldn’t be a choice. Your ex could have cheated on you or abused you, before you get back with them, you have to be truly willing to give them a chance lest you end up crucifying them for the past from time to time.

"It's perfectly normal and okay to have old wounds, but you need to be able to talk about them calmly and respectfully together to avoid an unhealthy cycle of criticism," explains Dr. Chloe Carmichael, a psychologist and author of Dr. Chloe’s 100 Commandments of Dating.

It is the same person

Lastly, you need to remember that you are still with the same person. Well, people can change, but in most cases, they tend to remain the same. Don’t be too ambitious with your expectations after the ‘getting to know you again’ face is over.

There’s a high chance that you are both likely to drift back to your old selves. You are liking going to have to deal with the habits you hated before, so before to settling back, be sure that it is worth your time and effort.

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