We're happy to present this story from one of our favorite sites, Fox News Magazine. Today, Allison Pescosolido shares some of the reasons it's easy to still have feelings for an ex.
Feeling strong impulses to reunite, "start fresh" or try a failed relationship again is normal, especially when one is particularly committed to the relationship. It happens to many of us at some times after the breakup.
Just because you feel drawn to get back together with your ex doesn;t mean it is necessarily the best idea. Like an old habit, a relationship can be extremely difficult to break, even when we know that those habits are tremendously unhealthy for everyone involved. Before acting on such feelings, however, it's a good idea to take thorough stock of your past and present dynamics as a couple.
There are a number of reasons that individuals might seek companionship with an ex. Some miss their previous lifestyles and choose to view their ex-partners in a new, idealized light. Others simply feel lonely and as though they have no place else to turn. Whatever your personal situation happens to be, think twice before you succumb to any of the following motivations or justifications.
Whether the relationship was ideal or not, it was a way of life to which you had become accustomed. After a breakup, when we are most vulnerable, we often find ourselves clutching for remnants of the past — a time when we felt better than we do now. Although this familiarity can be appealing, statistics show that most rekindled relationships end as they did the first time around: in failure. As you pine for all of the positive aspects of your absentee spouse or significant other, remember that the negative aspects that you left behind are lying in wait for you as well.
After the breakup, our mind plays tricks on us. It seems to remember the good times we spent together but forgets about the reasons why things ended. These thoughts can be so compelling that, if we allow our mind to wander, we soon become so caught up in our own fantasy world that we find ourselves on the phone or even in bed with our ex.
They appear to be making positive changes
Words can be extremely convincing, but demonstrating a strong intention to change is not enough. The limited contact that you and your spouse currently share may seem primarily positive in nature. This will be especially true of exes exhibiting their best behavior in an effort to restart the failed relationship. Such behavior, however, is not likely to be indicative of what your shared future together will ultimately entail.
Hopes and dreams
The physical reality of your breakup doesn’t put a stop to your imagination. In fact, your ability to dream and fantasize is likely to grow even stronger now that you are using it more. This type of wishful thinking is nothing new, however. It started long before you married or even met your ex. The storybooks and Disney movies of your childhood planted seeds in your mind about what a relationship would, should and could look like. A key to having a dream relationship is choosing a partner that is compatible with you at this particular moment in time. Seek out individuals who will support you in your efforts to become the most authentic version of yourself.
Better than nothing
An ex almost always looks more attractive compared to being alone. And for those who have failed to make much of an effort to date, old spouses might seem significantly better than any new alternatives that they might imagine. The truth is that after putting time into learning from past relationship mistakes, healing our wounds, and educating ourselves about how to date as a responsible adult, the probability is high that we can achieve greater happiness by developing a brand new relationship.