Whether or not you should try to get your ex back or take your ex back is a very personal decision.

It is, after all, your life and you will have to live with the relationship if you get back with your ex. On the other hand, if you let go of a special relationship, you will have to live with the regret of not trying.

This article will not give you a simple “yes” or “no” answer to that question. It will not try to convince you that “an ex is an ex for a reason” or that you should absolutely give your relationship another chance.

Instead, this article will equip you with the tools you can use to make the right decision for YOU. This article will share stories of people who were in a similar situation and how things turned out for them.

But before I share the tools and the stories, let me answer the burning the question that most people have on their minds.

Does getting back together with an ex work out over the long term?

The answer is, yes it does.

We conducted a study of 3.5k participants (who at one point wanted their ex back) and found out that around 15% of participants got their ex back and stayed together.

But that’s not all, we also found that 15% of participants got their ex back and broke up again.

Do you know what that means?

It means that getting back together is the right decision for a lot of people. But it’s also the wrong decision for many.

If you get back together, there is a 50/50 chance your new relationship will be a healthy one.

I have been a breakup coach for almost 13 years at the time of writing this article. And with this article, I hope to ensure that if you decide to get back together with your ex, it’ll be the right decision for you.

Should I Get Back With My Ex?

Most experts agree that getting back together with an ex is only a good idea if

  • The issue that drove both of you apart can be resolved.
  • Enough time has passed since the breakup for both of you to heal and get some perspective.
  • Both parties have grown since the breakup.
  • And if you are not getting back together out of fear, desperation, loneliness or just to fill a void in your life.

In other words, you should get back with your ex only if you are fairly certain that both of you can have a healthy relationship after getting back together and you are not making this decision out of fear or loneliness.

It’s true that you can never be a 100% certain of what will happen in the future. And yes, there is always a risk when you are going back to an ex. But like every other important decision in life, you must weigh the pros and cons before making the final decision.

Pros Of Getting Back With an Ex –

  • If you could get back in a healthy relationship, the new relationship can be stronger and better than before.
  • You both already know each other and the issues that may arise in the future. If you can find a solution for those issues, things could work out great.
  • Getting back in an old relationship is comfortable and familiar. But that’s not always a good thing.
  • You both already know that you love each other and find each other attractive. If you are both thinking about getting back together, it shows you have strong feelings for each other.
  • If your friends and family like your ex, introducing your ex to them will be less stressful than starting a new relationship.
  • If you have a children, a successful reconciliation in a healthy relationship can prove to be good for the children.
  • If both you and your ex have grown since the breakup, getting back together can feel like a brand new relationship.
  • If you have worked on self-improvement, take things slow, work on building a solid foundation and are mindful about your feelings; you can minimize the chances of repeating the same patterns that lead to the breakup.

Cons of Getting Back With an Ex –

  • There is a chance that you may breakup again in the future, causing more pain and heartbreak to both parties.
  • If you have not healed from the breakup, attempting to get back together can be stressful, challenging and anxiety inducing.
  • Speaking about the past issues with your ex can bring up painful memories. But it is necessary if you want to get back in a healthy relationship.
  • If the new relationship is toxic/unhealthy/manipulative/stress inducing, it may be hard to breakup again.
  • If your friends and family don’t like your ex, it will be hard to convince them that you are doing the right thing.
  • You risk jumping back into the same old relationship and repeating the same old patterns again.
  • If you are young or if you want to explore your options, getting back with your ex will stop you from exploring and discovering what you truly want in a relationship.

As you can see, the pros and cons of getting back with an ex contain a lot of “ifs” and “buts”. It’s because nothing in relationships comes with certainty. However, you can minimize the risk and increase your chances of a healthy reconciliation by asking yourself these questions.

1. Are You Terrified of Losing Your Ex To Someone Else?

The first set of questions that you should ask yourself are related to your state of mind and how well you are coping with the breakup. These questions include.

  • Are you terrified of losing your ex to someone else?
  • Are you extremely anxious, sad or depressed right now?
  • Are you extremely anxious or desperate to get your ex back?

In addition, the following questions can help you determine if you are experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety after this breakup.

  • Are you constantly stalking your ex on social media?
  • Are you texting or calling your ex a lot?
  • Does any communication or lack thereof cause you to feel extremely anxious?
  • Do you have obsessive thoughts about your ex, the past relationship and the breakup?
  • Is the thought of getting back together the only thing that brings you peace and calms you down?

Breakup grief can cause a lot of stress. Like grief, breakup grief can have stages such as denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Each stage can happen at different times and may last for different duration depending on the individual.

While it may feel overwhelming, it’s important to remember that it’s a natural process and that healing takes time. Seeking support from loved ones or a mental health professional can be helpful in navigating the difficult emotions associated with a breakup.

But if you are thinking about getting back together with your ex, then you may be going through the bargaining stage of the breakup grief.

The bargaining stage means that you are trying to convince yourself that you should get back with your ex. That it’s better than going through the stress that you are experiencing post breakup.

A 2011 study published in Gale showed that breakup can be one of the most stressful events in the lives of University Students. It can negatively affect academic performance, and can cause anxiety, anger, disorganized behavior, and sleep disturbance.

And it’s not just the dumpee who experiences this stress and breakup grief. In most cases, people who initiate the breakup also experience the different stages of breakup grief.

But just because getting back together will stop this pain temporarily, it doesn’t mean that you will end up having a strong, healthy and fulfilling relationship with your ex.

Remember, getting your ex back is not your end goal over here. It’s to have a healthy long lasting relationship with them. Your goal should be to get your ex back permanently.

If you are experiencing breakup grief and find yourself anxious to get back with your ex, then you should not get back together with your ex. At least, not until you’ve healed, processed what happened and you can think clearly.

I recommend you follow the No Contact Rule for a few weeks or a few months before you make a decision to get back together. The No Contact Rule essentially states that you refrain from contacting your ex so both of you can heal from the breakup and grow individually. If you still have feelings for your ex after that and you want to try reconciliation, you can choose to contact your ex after that.

For now, you don’t have to give up on your desire to get your ex back. But you should make sure that you don’t make this decision based purely on fear. And doing no contact after a breakup is a great way to get some perspective and heal.

When To Seek Help?

It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, anxious, stressed and extremely sad after a breakup. Breakup grief is a natural and common human experience. But it gets better with time. Doing no contact and focusing on yourself should help you start feeling better.

However, if the feeling of sadness is unbearable, and it’s severely affecting your personal and professional life, then you should seek professional help. In most cases, getting therapy from a qualified therapist is the best option. A therapist can help you deal with the breakup grief, process your feelings, and find a way forward. A qualified therapist can also teach you coping techniques and uncover any underlying issues that may be aggravating the breakup pain.

In addition, you can also try things like,

  • Speaking to a relationship coach to help you understand your breakup and relationship patterns. (Check out our services over here.)
  • Joining a support group in your area. Speaking to people who are going through the same thing can help.
  • Asking your friends or family to help you. Spending time with loved ones helps a lot in times when you feel uncertainty and overwhelmed.
  • Activities that can help you process and accept the breakup such as meditation and journaling.
  • Online resources that focus on guiding you through the healing process after a breakup. (Such as our 30 days email course that you can subscribe to by taking this quiz.)

Reader Experience: Waiting a few extra weeks helped Ari avoid a huge mistake

Source: An Email Coaching Client from 2017.

Ari (F24) experienced a devastating breakup after a she graduated college and was just about to start her career. Her boyfriend Andre (M25) left her and gave her the “I need to explore and find myself before I can commit” line.

They were together for four years. She always thought that they would be one of those couples who would always be in love with each other forever. They were the perfect couple throughout college and everyone knew they were gonna get married eventually.

When the breakup happened. She couldn’t really believe it for a while. She cried for two days straight. Barely ate anything. And just couldn’t get the energy to go out and meet her girlfriends.

She started feeling better on the third day. But she still couldn’t stop thinking about Andre.

She would text him constantly and he would reply only once in a while. Just enough to give her a little bit of hope.

She read a lot of articles and watched YouTube videos teaching how to get an ex back.

By the end of the week, she had decided to implement the No Contact Rule. She decided to stop contacting her ex, and just do things that made her feel better. This included gym, yoga, meditation dance classes and a night out with the girls.

Things started getting better. But she still couldn’t stomach the thought of dating again.

“When I went out with my girlfriends, everyone expected me to give my number out other guys. But I felt so guilty about doing that. It felt like I was cheating on Andre. Even though we had been broken up for more than a week.

Whenever a guy approached me, it made me feel so anxious and uncomfortable that I would try to end the conversation as soon as possible.

All I could think about was what if Andre is out there approaching girls in another bar? What if he meets someone and forgets about me?

When a guy asked for my number, I felt so guilty that I told him I have a boyfriend. My friends didn’t really approve of that.”; said Ari about her night out experience.

But Andre didn’t really know how Ari felt. The news of “night out with her girls” reached Andre. And he freaked out. The thought of Ari dating someone else was unbearable for him.

And he came back to her. Begging for another chance. Pleading and telling her that he made a huge mistake and he would never leave her again.

Suddenly, Ari didn’t feel so anxious anymore. This was all she wanted. She can have him back if she chooses to. But something about him begging her to take him back felt off. What changed suddenly? Is he done exploring?

So Ari asked herself, “Should I get back with my ex?” And with some advice from our coaches, she decided to wait until making a final decision.

“I am not sure if we should get back together. I do still have strong feelings for you and I think about you all the time, but I just don’t know if anything has changed. How can I trust you to not leave me again like that?” She told Andre.

Andre tried to convince her, but the only thing she agreed to was giving each other some time and revisiting the topic in a month.

If they were truly meant to be, time will only bring them closer. Right?

A lot of things changed during that month. Ari realized that Andre and her were very different people. They both wanted very different things in life. Andre, was clearly not ready to commit and provide the stability and security that Ari needed in her life.

Through therapy, Ari realized she was an anxious attachment style, and Andre was not healthy for her. There were a lot of things in the relationship that caused Ari to feel anxious and develop an unhealthy codependency on Andre.

At the end of the month, when they both met, Andre was also not sure about getting back together with her. While he still confessed his love, he again said that he wants to “explore” and is not ready to commit yet. He proposed an open relationship. And Ari was strong enough to say no and move on from him.

Here’s what Ari said after a few years of the breakup.

“I am glad I took some time to make the decision. If we had gotten back together, we would have continued our relationship and wasted many more years to realize what we realized in that one month. That we are both not compatible. We actually ended up being good friends and are both in separate healthy relationships.”

Moral of the story: Even if getting back together seems like the easy thing to do, it’s not always the right thing. In most cases, it’s better to take some time apart to make sure you are getting back together for the right reasons.

2. Are you just lonely?

A lot of times, you want to get back with an ex just because you are lonely. It’s not a good idea to get back with an ex just because you miss being in a relationship. Not unless you are sure that the issues in your previous relationship can be resolved.

Ask yourself these questions before you decide to get back together..

  • Are you just feeling lonely and the thought of getting back with an ex is just a comfortable option?
  • Have you tried dating other people?
  • Do you actually miss your ex or do you just miss being in a relationship?

A lot of people found themselves contacting their ex during the pandemic and lockdowns. The loneliness reminded them of their ex and it just felt like a comfortable option to get back together or at least hook up.

But loneliness can often make you overlook the obvious red flags and the potential drawbacks of getting back in an unhealthy relationship with someone you left behind.

Before you decide to text your ex and ask them to get back together, try asking yourself if you actually have a good reason to do so.

So what is a good reason to get your ex back?

In my opinion, the only reason to get an ex back is if you think there is a potential for a healthy, long lasting and amazing relationship with them.

No one can really guarantee that you will have a great relationship with your ex if you get back together. The only thing you can know is if there is a “potential” for a healthy and amazing relationship with them.

So how do you do that? By asking yourself and your ex (eventually) the following questions.

3. Do you understand the reason for the breakup?

You’ve probably heard the saying that an ex is an ex for a reason.

Unless you understand that reason, and it can be fixed, getting back with your ex is not going to work.

Here are a few common reasons for breakups that we usually come across from our readers and clients.

  • Not ready to committing to a relationship.
  • Neediness and insecurity pushing your partner away.
  • Neglecting the relationship that causes your ex to lose attraction towards you.
  • Infidelity or betrayal of trust.
  • Lack of trust causing extreme stress in the relationship.
  • Outside interference such as parents, relatives or friends.
  • Communication issues, arguments and fights.
  • Differences in values, beliefs or life goals.
  • Inability to handle stress, conflicts or challenges in the relationship.
  • Lack of emotional intimacy or physical attraction.
  • Growing apart due to distance, time or changing circumstances.
  • Financial problems or disagreements about money management.
  • Mental health issues or substance abuse problems.

Understanding the real reason of the breakup is important if you want to make sure you are getting your ex back for the right reasons.

In most cases, I highly recommend that you take some space from your ex to get some perspective on the breakup. Again, doing no contact is a great way to start thinking clearly and understand the real reason for the problem.

4. Can the issue be fixed?

There are things that can be fixed. And there are things that can’t be fixed. Once you have understood the real reasons for the breakup, you need to try to figure out if that thing can be fixed.

If you are desperate to get your ex back, or if you are lonely, you may try to convince yourself that things can easily be fixed. But it’s important to slow down and try to get a realistic perspective of what needs to be done to make the relationship work.

Sometimes, the solution to the issue could be relatively simple (although it still needs effort, time and perspective).

  • If the breakup happen due to a communication issue, argument or heat of the moment, just talking about it openly and honestly can help fix the issue.
  • If long distance caused the breakup, then getting a job in the same city can fix most of the issues that lead to the breakup.
  • If one, or both of you neglected the relationship, then just creating a schedule to spend quality time together, and putting in a lot more effort should fix things.
  • Inability to handle stress or conflicts in a relationship can be fixed by learning stress management tactics, communicating effectively, creating a system that works for both of you.
  • If it has been a while since the breakup and both of you have already fixed the major issues that lead to the breakup in the first place (such as insecurity, maturity, commitment issues, jealousy, communication etc.)

But often times, things are a lot more complicated and require introspection, self-awareness, communication and a lot of work from both parties.

  • If one of you was insecure, needy that caused the other one stress; then you should work on your insecurity and try to figure out the root cause of the issue. You may have an anxious attachment style and your ex’s avoidant attachment style may be aggravating your anxiety. You both may need to work on your issues separately before you can come together. (See the reader story below for an example of this)
  • If the breakup was caused due to infidelity or lack of trust, then you both may need to explore what caused the lack of trust or what lead to infidelity. You also may need to make a lot of compromises to rebuild the trust. Getting back together after infidelity is very difficult but it is possible.
  • If one of you was not ready to commit, then you should explore what has changed since the breakup and if you are both ready for a commitment. Communication, understanding each others needs, and honesty is very important before you commit to getting back together.

And sometimes, the issues that lead to the breakup are so vast and complex that even the most dedicated efforts to resolve them may prove to be futile.

  • If both of you have grown apart, then you probably can’t really pinpoint exactly how to fix that issue. You’ve both just grown apart. And you can’t really grow in the reverse direction into loving each other the same way again. Maybe after years of staying apart you both grow into loving each other again. But it’s not something you can control or plan.
  • If there are differences in your core values, beliefs or life goals; then there isn’t much you can do about it to change that. You can try to make compromises if the differences are minor. But any major difference is going to create a rift between the both of you sooner or later.
  • Mental Health Issues, Substance Abuse Problems, Narcissism, or abuse (of any kind) make it very difficult to fix the issues after getting back together. These issues often require years of therapy, individual work and there is still no guarantee that you would be able to have a healthy, long lasting relationship with them. (Note: If you or anyone you know is experiencing abuse of any kind, get help immediately).

There are, of course, exceptions to this and a lot of people get back together in a healthy relationship despite all odds against them. Some of my clients have gotten their ex back even though it seemed like the issues were unfixable. But in my experience, the common denominator in such cases is the willingness and dedication to improving oneself. That may be through self-help activities, self-help courses, coaching, or therapy.

Our study showed that self-help is the most important factor when it comes to getting back with an ex.

A lot of times, it’s the intense love for their ex that drives people to self-improvement, therapy, or coaching. And that dedication to fixing the issues often leads my clients and readers to getting back in an amazing relationship with their ex.

When To Seek Outside Help?

If you and your ex are thinking about getting back together and you are not sure how to make it work again, couples counseling can make a huge difference. A therapist or a couples counselor will help you both understand your needs, and help you figure out how to create a healthy relationship together.

If couples counseling does not feel like the right choice for you, you can also try some other resources such as

  • Online courses designed to help you rekindle a relationship (such as our flagship course.)
  • Relationship coaching that helps you understand the issues and craft a plan to fix them.
  • Self-help resources such as books, courses. (Our most recommended communication resource is Non-Violent Communication by Marshal B. Rosenberg)

Again, it’s better to give yourself some space and time to think things through. If you are still panicking about losing your ex, then there is a good chance you will have wishful thinking about the breakup, and you won’t be realistic with yourself as you are thinking things through.

You may lie to yourself just because you want to believe that getting back together is a healthy decision. And that lie may cost you months or years of another unhealthy relationship followed by pain of another bad breakup.

Reader Experience: An Anxious Jane Gets Back Together with an Avoidant David

Source: Reader Email

Jane (F34) was in a relationship with David (M29) for more than 5 years. While David reassured her that age wasn’t an issue, Jane still felt insecure about being older than him.

Her insecurity made her feel like she always needs to be in crisis control. That she needs be vigilant if she wants to save this relationship from what seemed like an inevitable doom.

When David came home late, she would fear that he was spending time with his young coworkers? She needed to discuss it and be reassured that he won’t cheat on her.

If David wanted to spend some time away from her and with his friends, it would make her feel like he is avoiding her and no longer loves her. She would try to control it but her feelings would eventually come out in the form of a petty argument.

The insecurity became worse when David didn’t propose even though they discussed marriage.

“I thought we we discussed that we will get married within a year. But he never proposed. I just couldn’t help but think it’s because he wants someone younger and is not telling me about it.

The last month, we would fight on every little thing. And he would always just retreat and shut down. It infuriated me that I couldn’t get a response out of him.

At the end of the month, I decided to end it because I was sure he no longer loved me. He cried, but he agreed to the breakup.

And now, I just can’t stop thinking about him. About how I made a huge mistake. That maybe we could have fixed things.” Said Jane when she came to us.

She wanted to try to get back together, but decided to follow the steps that we laid out in this article.

She realized that her insecurity and fear had a lot of control over her. It was her insecurity that lead to most of the fights and what pushed David away.

Through therapy, she realized she was an anxious attachment style and David was an avoidant attachment style. She started understanding the relationship dynamics and what caused so much friction in the relationship. She started to understand how her actions, her fights, her scream for attention drained David.

She continued therapy while keeping a minimum contact with her ex. They still spoke, but only when David reached out. She knew that David still loved him but he just wasn’t sure how to say it without hurting her or getting back into another draining relationship.

After a month of minimum contact, Jane asked David to meetup and talk. She laid out what she learned in therapy about herself and David. She also laid how they can make the relationship work by communicating better and taking things slow.

Fortunately, David was also working on self-improvement and was learning to realize how to express his feelings and his needs. He shared how he felt pressured to propose and his mind just shut down whenever he wanted to share his feelings. He shared that he just couldn’t see himself getting married to her and continue the same fights and arguments for the rest of his life. He shared how he was glad that she broke up with him because he didn’t have the courage to do it himself.

David still loved her, but wasn’t ready to get back together. They both decided to start dating again slowly rather than jumping back in a relationship. They also went to couples counseling together. Eventually, they officially got back together.

“Today is a very special day. Not just because I am getting married. But because I am sure that I have an amazing relationship with the person I love with all my heart. To me, marriage just feels like a celebration of our love that I know will pass the test of time, rather than a proof of his commitment. I already know he is committed and I know we love each other.” Said Jane when she emailed on the day of her marriage 2 years after the breakup.

Moral of Jane’s Story: Pushing a relationship to work will only push your partner away. Instead, work on yourself and try to understand what is making you anxious, needy or desperate. If your partner cares for you, more often than not, things will work out in the end.

5. Is your ex really worth all the trouble?

relationship potential

Just because you and your ex can fix what was broken in the relationship, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should try to fix it and get back together.

Getting an ex back can take a lot of time and energy from you. And in the end, doing all that work may not really be worth it. For all you know, you may fix what was broken in the relationship only to realize that you and your ex are just not that great together.

You need to figure out if the relationship with your ex has a good potential to be an amazing relationship. The kind of relationship you deserve.

You don’t want to get back together with your ex because of fear. You don’t want to get back with your ex because you don’t have a better option. You don’t want to reconcile with them because you think you don’t deserve someone better. Or worse yet, you shouldn’t get them back just because you didn’t have anything better do.

When it comes to getting your ex back, you shouldn’t be saying;

“Ehh. Why not?”

You should be saying;

“I really think we can have a great future. I am excited about it.”

When you think about your past relationship, try not to think about the honeymoon stage of your relationship. Think about all the ups and downs, about the connection you felt with each other, about how the relationship affected your growth and other areas of your life.

great relationship with ex

Here is how you can gauge the potential of a great relationship with your ex.

  • Your relationship was based on honesty, respect, communication, trust and compatibility.
  • You and your ex have a child (or children). If you and your ex can get back in a healthy relationship, it’s worth trying for the sake of the kids.
  • Your friends and family think it’s a good idea to get back together. Friends and family don’t often support an ex unless it really was a special relationship.
  • You still want them back after enough time has passed and you have healed from the breakup. If you are not panicking, desperate or going through grief; and you still want to get your ex back, then the relationship is worth rekindling.
  • Your love for your ex was different from anything else you have experienced. If your relationship with your ex truly felt special compared to your past relationships, then your love may just be special and you should try getting back together.

It’s important to note that all the above points are only guidelines to get back together only after you’ve come to the conclusion that the issues in the relationship can be fixed.

If you can’t get back in a healthy relationship with your ex, you shouldn’t. No matter how special your love for them is, no matter if you have children together and no matter what your friends and family think.

6. Do you and your ex have what it takes to get back together in a healthy relationship?

So, you’ve realized that you want to get back together because of the right reasons, that whatever was broken in the relationship can be fixed, and that your relationship with your ex has a potential to be a great one.

But is it something that’s even possible?

If your ex wants you back, then the answer to that question is simple.

Yes, you can get your ex back. You just need to tell them that you are ready to take them back. But before committing to a new relationship, speak to your ex about the issues that lead to the breakup and how they can be fixed. Communicate. Have the difficult conversations. Speak about the things that are important to you. Speak about the things that are important to them. And most importantly, take things slow.

On the other hand, if your ex doesn’t want you back, things get a lot more complicated. And for that, I have written in depth articles that you can read. The links for these articles is below.

How To Get Your Ex Boyfriend Back Permanently – 5 Step Plan (If you want your ex-boyfriend back)

How To Get Your Ex Girlfriend Back By Leveling Up (If you want your ex-girlfriend back)

But before you even go on this journey to try to get your ex back, you should understand your chances of getting your ex back. There’s no point in trying if you don’t have any chances, right? I’ve designed a quiz that will tell you your chances of getting your ex back quite accurately. You can take the quiz by clicking here.

Here are a few extra points to help you figure out if it’s possible to get back together with your ex in a healthy relationship.

  • You and your ex both agree on the reason for the breakup (and the issues in your past relationship.)
  • You and your ex are not acting out of desperation.
  • You and your ex are open to seeking help if needed. (Such as couples counseling, anger management, individual therapy, relationship coaching etc.)
  • You and your ex are willing to put in the work to rebuild the relationship.
  • You are both being honest with each other and are not hiding anything important from each other.

7. Do you have the strength to walk away if getting back together doesn’t work out?

The last (and perhaps the most important) question you need to ask yourself, before officially getting back together with your ex is whether or not you have the strength to walk away if things don’t work out.

Sometimes, people end up getting back together with an ex only to realize that the new relationship is even more toxic than before.

Sometimes, an ex is so good at convincing you that things will change that you invest all your emotion into the new relationship. Only for the ex to betray you, use you and go back to the same old patterns again.

Sometimes, you invest so much into the idea of getting your ex back, that you just can’t imagine leaving them even if the relationship is taking a toll on your mental and emotional health.

In a study published in the Journal of Current Psychology, researchers found that we continue to stay in an unhealthy or unfulfilling relationship because we have already invested a lot of time in it. It’s also known as the Sunk Cost Fallacy.

If you invest a lot of time, energy and emotion in getting your ex back, you may continue to stay in the relationship despite it being, unfulfilling, unhealthy, emotionally draining or even toxic.

This is why, it’s extremely important to make sure that you are strong enough to walk away from your ex if getting back together doesn’t work out.

If you don’t have the strength (or the support system) to do that, then you should not get back with your ex.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to make sure you can walk away from your ex if things don’t work out.

  • You have healed from the breakup and have worked on your self-esteem.
  • You feel confident about yourself, your needs and your core values.
  • You know how to set boundaries and you know how to walk away from someone who doesn’t respect your boundaries.
  • You have a support system (other than your ex) that you trust and can rely on if things don’t work out. Support system could include friends, family, therapists, therapy group or coaches.
  • Be aware of the Sunk Cost Fallacy. Just because you have spent a lot of time in trying to make the relationship work, doesn’t mean you should continue staying in it.

If you meet the above criteria, then you should have no problem walking away if your new relationship with your ex turned out to be unhealthy or toxic.

But if you don’t meet the above criteria, then you should seriously consider postponing getting back with your ex. Breakups are an excellent opportunity for personal growth and you should use this time to build up your self-esteem, develop a support system and learn how to set boundaries.

Reader Experience: Despite all odds, Jack got his ex back. But he was in for a shock.

Source: Reader Emails

Jack (M29), was with Didi (F27) for just over 3 years before they broke up. Jack, was always the people pleaser. He was the quintessential, “Nice Guy”. When they initially started dating, he would take Didi to dates, always buy her flowers, open doors for her and listen to her for hours.

Didi, loved him for all the effort he put in the relationship. When they started dating, she would often joke about how he is probably the last gentleman left on planet earth.

Whenever they fought, John would go the extra mile to please Didi. He would buy her gifts when she was upset and things would go back to being normal again.

Until one day, Didi just started slowly pulling away. She wasn’t upset, but she also wasn’t fully into the romantic stuff they used to do. She almost started acting like a room mate despite Jack’s best efforts to woo her.

After a month of this, Didi broke up with him. He was devastated. But he eventually found his way to our article on getting your ex girlfriend back.

He started no contact, worked on his issues, learned to stand up for himself, joined a few support groups in his area and started expressing himself more.

As he gained more confidence, he stopped people pleasing all the time. He eventually reached out to Didi (after almost two months), and they instantly felt a connection. Jack was more confident, more upfront about what he wanted and wasn’t afraid to make a move. This was turn on Didi and it wasn’t long before they were back together.

The relationship was stronger than before. They communicated better. The sex was better. Didi felt head over heals with him.

The new relationship lasted for a year before Didi confessed something devastating. She confessed that she cheated on Jack a month before they both initially broke up. She said couldn’t live with the guilt of cheating on him and she had to get it off her chest.

Jack was devastated. But he didn’t react. He asked for some space. And he leaned on his men’s support group and his relationship coach to talk things out. He talked to them about how hurt he was and what cheating meant to him.

In the end, he came to the conclusion that he could never get over the fact that she cheated on him. And he needs to walk away from her. The breakup was painful, but it was the right decision for him to walk away from his ex.

“I worked hard during the initial breakup to build my self-esteem and rediscover myself. I went through a lot of pain to become the person I became. And I just couldn’t let all that be in vain. I had to let her go because I know I could never fully trust her again. And I deserve a better relationship than that.”

Should You Seek Help If You Are Already Back Together?

If you and your ex are already back together and the relationship is not healthy, you should seek help in the following scenarios

  • You can’t muster the courage to leave the relationship even if you know it’s the right thing to do.
  • You feel the issues in the relationship can be fixed but you are not sure how to go about doing that.
  • You find your self-esteem and self-confidence get worse as you continue staying in the relationship. (this could happen if you are in a relationship with a Narcissist or are being Gaslit).
  • You find yourself feeling more and more alone with time. You find yourself being alienated from your friends, family or your support system.

Therapy, support groups, friends, family, coaches, and even phone helplines can help you if you find yourself in the above situations.

Still not sure if getting back together is a good idea?

Each relationship is unique and so is the situation you are in. While I’ve tried to cover a lot of situations in this article, you may still need some time to figure out if getting back together is the right decision for you.

My most recommended resource to help you process the breakup (and possibly get your ex back in a healthy relationship) is our free 30 days email course. You can subscribe to this e-course by taking the EBP Basics Quiz. It will also tell you your chances of getting back (which are usually very accurate).

Other than that, read the following articles to help you formulate a plan to heal from the breakup and move forward with your life (with or without your ex).

The No Contact Rule – Heal From The Breakup While Increasing Your Chances of Getting Back Together

How To Get Your Ex Back Permanently – 5 Step Plan

Should I Text My Ex? – When You Should and When You Shouldn’t

9 Signs Your Ex Will Eventually Come Back (And You Are Not in Denial)


Field, Tiffany, et al. “Breakup distress in university students: a review.” College Student Journal, vol. 45, no. 3, Sept. 2011, pp. 461+. Gale Academic OneFile, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A270894533/AONE?u=googlescholar&sid=bookmark-AONE&xid=4613abcf. Accessed 10 Apr. 2023.

Rego, S., Arantes, J. & Magalhães, P. Is there a Sunk Cost Effect in Committed Relationships?. Curr Psychol 37, 508–519 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-016-9529-9

About Kevin Thompson

Kevin Thompson is a breakup expert and coach with more than 11 years of experience of helping people recover from a breakup and get back in a healthy relationship.

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