Ask Em: Should I Get Back With My Ex?

What should I consider when deciding whether or not to reconnect with a past love?



Should I get back with my ex? Emily answers a reader’s question.


Dear Em,

Should I take back my ex? I recently got over our break-up, but now my ex has reached out to me again. They want to try and make things work, and they apologized for the problems in our relationship in the past. Is it worth trying to reconnect with someone I love, or should I look forward to the future?

Sincerely, Cautious Communications Major

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Dear Cautious Communications Major,

Relationships are never easy. They are rarely linear, and they rarely progress the way that you expect them to in your head. When they end, it can feel like you settle into a routine of loneliness and despair. Breakups are hard.

It’s all too easy to fall back into a relationship in order to escape the crushing realization that being single means having to do some things alone. If this breakup is recent, don’t fall victim to this mindset. Give yourself the time and space that you need to build up your own routine and realize that you are fully capable of standing on your own two feet. 

To put it simply, don’t get back with an ex just because it’s the easiest and least painful route. Grieving the end of a relationship can mean incredible, soul-crushing pain, but you will get through it to the other side. Make sure your feet are planted firmly in greener grass before you even start to consider getting back into a relationship with an ex. 

You are the only person who can determine what is best for you in this current moment, so trust your instincts.

That being said, it’s important not to rule out the idea that a relationship can grow and adapt over time. While it might not have worked earlier, you both have had some time apart to figure out your priorities and recenter. While I do believe that people rarely change in drastic, life-altering ways, they are definitely capable of growing and changing their lifestyle. Call me an optimist, but love is always worth a second shot. If you feel that strongly about this person, don’t let a past failure deter you from potential future success. 

Many people will tell you to run for the hills. They will say that the relationship ended for a reason and that people rarely ever change, especially in the relationship category. Perhaps, in your case, they will even be right. But you are never a fool for seeing something through, and if your gut tells you that your ex deserves another chance, follow it. You are the only person who can determine what is best for you in this current moment, so trust your instincts. 

Your emotions and your mind might battle, but if your emotions are strong enough to fight against rationality at all, they might be worth respecting. You have so many years in front of you to learn what you want from a relationship, and even if this fails again, you still learned something from it. As long as the relationship is not abusive or harmful to your mental health, it can teach you what you want from a romantic connection in the long run. 

This isn’t an easy decision to make, and I’m sorry that you are so stressed about it. But you’ll be OK no matter what you decide.

all my love, emily

All my love,