When your ex wants you back… Before I even begin, I want to say that this post DOES NOT just apply to romantic relationships. This applies to friendships, familial relationships and professional relationships as well. This applies to any and everyone who was on the receiving end of heartbreak, betrayal, disrespect, selfishness, etc., and is now faced with the offending party wanting to make it right in the form of getting back into your emotional bed (with monogamy, consistency, respect, care, communication, trust and follow-through in supposed tact).
This is something that I’ve dealt with many times; something that I’ve FAILED MISERABLY at handling in a healthy/dignified manner and something that on so many levels, I am dealing with in my life right now. It’s hard, it’s heartbreaking and it’s an all-out WAR between your gut, your head, your heart and oxytocin.
There’s so much material out there on “how to know if your ex wants you back,” “signs that your ex wants you back,” “does he/she want you back QUIZZES”, etc. The reason I’m not delving into all that is because I feel like if it gets to the point where you have to take a quiz or become Inspector Gadget to decode whether or not someone actually wants you in their life… it’s not cute, it’s not flattering and it’s definitely not worth your time.
It’s a red flag.
But what do you do when your ex wants you back for real (& makes it very clear)?
How are you supposed to proceed with the one person who’s now assuring you, won’t break your heart in the same way – or any way – that they ALREADY have?
You’re suddenly hearing everything that you wanted to hear and seeing everything that you wish you could have seen before the tornado hit. Or maybe you’re just getting more crumbs, but because they’re so.much.bigger than the few, “hear-and-there” crumbs that you got in the past… It stops you right in your emotional tracks.
Because these crumbs are substantial enough for YOU to construct a loaf out of. So… Is it still a loaf if you’re the one constructing it?
Welcome to the depths of back-and-forth, emotional-philosophication limbo HELL.
Whatever the case may be, the other party has either done or said enough for you to at the very least, stop and think about wtf to do and how to proceed. And because we are energetic beings, this usually happens right at the moment when you’ve made the decision to surrender to what is, accept, let go and do your best to move on with the picked up pieces of your broken heart in tow.
Here’s what to do when your ex wants you back + what you need to know so that you can make the right decision for YOU…
When the offending party returns with their emotional hat in hand, it’s really easy to get swept up in the mere fact that they’re back and because of that, feel like we don’t need to remain kindly inquisitive and keep ourselves at an emotional arms length. So… We prematurely open our hearts, ears and legs to ASSUMPTIONS that cater to our desire to be chased, needed (as opposed to being wanted), and fought for.
When your ex wants you back, make sure that you’ve taken time for yourself to think, process and digest the pain before engaging in communication on any level. The moment that someone hurts you, even though it may have been completely unintentional, they forfeit the right to critique how you choose to process your pain (as long as you’re not eye-for-an-eye hurting them and are speaking with your actions/respectfully taking the time to heal and have your own back).
If they have that much of a problem with you backing off and needing time to heal, maybe they should have been more mindful when they did what they did to cause you pain and sever the relationship (in some cases, more than once).
Whatever you decide to do, here’s what to keep in mind when your ex wants you back:
Chances are, you won’t need to dig very deep or refresh your memory much to pin point the reason why you broke up. First and foremost ask yourself, “Has the reason that we broke up changed?” – not changed a little, not selectively changed, not changed because there’s the potential of getting laid, not changed here and there, but CHANGED. Yes, this can take time to fully figure out, but if they haven’t changed (which takes something called time, commitment and a desire to change independent of selfish needs + the ability to view themselves and their actions in a not so positive light so that genuine responsibility and accountability can be taken), you’ll still be able to see the little pink/red flag remnants of selfish, hurtful and thoughtless behavior once they feel like they’ve secured friendship at a very minimum with you. Remember – you didn’t breakup just because. You broke up for A REASON. Make sure that reason and any “symptoms” of, are no longer in tact. You need to first identify what is is that you’re going back to and second, determine whether substance outweighs the superficiality of their assertions (because until they’re backed up with actions, that’s all they are… SUPERFICIAL).
Who are you dealing with?
BOTTOM LINE: If this is someone who is emotionally unavailable, empathetically bankrupt, narcissistic, sociopathic or has gaslighted and lied/decieved you in any way, at any time… that’s a hard NO. There is no point in tying your worth to the hope that your ex has undergone a personality transplant in a matter of a hot minute. If you don’t speak with your actions and remain on your white horse, you’ll end up reclaiming your role as resident doormat. You’ll be their on-call therapist/cheerleader/emotional training wheels and down the line, they’ll end up resenting you for the very reason that they fell for you. At the end of the day, no one wants to be in bed with Mommy. They want to be in bed with the girl who is anything but needy. The girl who has limits, standards, values her time and knows her worth.
What are you doing?
It’s hard, but getting real with yourself and ceasing to front is the ultimate freedom. The truth really does set you free and your gut always knows whats up, no matter how much the Happily Ever After ideal and ovulatory forces try to detract. Are you ignoring pink and red flags? Are you kindly communicating with your actions and upholding your boundaries or are you betting on 3 of the most f*cked up things to EVER bet on: words, “what ifs,” and potential? Are you having an emotional jerk off session with yourself; once again shining YOUR light on your ex and then marveling at their illumination? Are you talking to much? Seriously. Are you hashing and rehashing the daylights out of things or are you being the quiet and classy observer who realizes that she’ll never be able to control others (nor does she care to), and understands that the only thing she can control is her reaction to the sh*t. You can choose to either stir the sh*t in the toilet or flush. You can’t control the fact that it’s in the bowl.
What’s driving you?
For me, it was always FEAR. Fear was triggered by my un-dealt with abandonment issues, which made me STARVING for a crumb of security. Because past relationsh*ts depleted my self esteem to the extent that I allowed them to, I wasted so.much.time on exes (and people in general), that weren’t worthy of it. And like I’ve said before – as humans, we will sacrifice our own health, happiness, sanity and self worth JUST TO FEEL AN OUNCE of the security that predictability provides – EVEN IF it’s the predictability of our own misery, suffering and heartbreak. EVEN IF it’s the predictability of a f*cktard. I consistently chose known hell over unknown heaven because it was just too painful to bank on happiness in which history had proven that the other shoe would always, at some point, DROP. I was so scared of being alone, scared of having to actually FEEL the feelings associated with rejection, scared of allowing my ex to own his behavior (which would induce so much guilt), and I was scared of him being a better man with a better woman (even though he had proven to be consistently sh*tty with me and reckless with my heart).
GETTING BACK TOGETHER when your ex wants you back…
When your ex wants you back… If you’re going to get back together, it needs to be a positive (NOT a painful or anxiety-inducing), decision that enables both of you to continue evolving (not just the other party while you yet again, get reduced to their emotional grade school teacher). When I’ve gotten back together with exes, it’s often because I chose to turn my back on the pain of reality and the truth. I avoided acceptance so I could be justified in my pink and red flag blindness. I failed to acknowledge that these issues still existed with my ex, and so “getting back together,” became nothing more than a very lame and watered down attempt at recreating a long lost honeymoon period that lasted once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away. When you’re ex wants you back, you first need to see what specifically there is to go back to. I used to think that the level of heartbreak I felt was an indicator of the irreplaceability of the other person and the quality of what we had. It’s not. Their consistent ACTIONS are; their CHARACTER is. As humans, we are physically designed to be resistant to change, but resistance to emotional change doesn’t come as easy. YES – there are couples that get back together and they’re better than ever. They evolve together and individually, but before this can happen, you need to restrain from acting on impulse and make sure you have a relational foundation that’s conducive to health and happiness on BOTH ends. If one person emotionally and empathetically eclipses the other, it’s not going to work.
When your ex wants you back – You need to understand that the reason why he wants to get back together and the reasons why he misses the relationship, may be at the expense of your heart (selfish). Remember – your heart will always want to see “genuine,” but your gut will always know bullsh*t. Trust your gut. Become bffs with it.
When your ex wants you back – It doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s not okay with his past behavior. It means that he’s reached a level of discomfort that initiated reaching out because HE’S JUST AS SCARED AS YOU ARE. Don’t over-inflate what isn’t there.
If he broke you on more than one occasion, this doesn’t mean you need to vilify him and think he’s a bad person… He’s just not YOUR person. And yeah, it hurts… but it’s okay because when you see the emotional wood for the trees, you realize that it’s no longer about you because IT NEVER WAS.
When you’re in a relationsh*t… Fear of abandonment, drama and crumbs will always be mistaken for passion, connection, chemistry and love because that’s what people with low self esteem do.
And lastly, remember this…
Just because you love someone with all your heart, it doesn’t automatically mean that they’ll have the capability or capacity to appreciate, acknowledge communicate and reciprocate the love that they so willingly consume (and enjoy the benefits of), in the way that your heart longs for.
Love YOU first and if you can’t, just know that I do. I see you, I am you and I’ve been there.
Like Drake says, “know yourself, know your worth.”
You are the furthest thing from alone.
+ if you need more personalized help, please look into working with me here.