During the holiday season it’s very normal for many of you to sit back and think about past relationships. To re-evaluate what happened and consider what could’ve been. For some of you, there might even be a chance to re-kindle a romance with an ex partner. But is it really a good idea to jump back on board with an ex?
Well the short answer to this is yes! It can be a great idea.
However there must be one condition. Things have to be different. If you decide to start things up again without making significant changes, then old patterns will simply re-surface and it will all end in heartache.
So if you’re thinking about getting back with your ex, follow theses simple steps:
1) Learn from your mistakes
Before getting back together you must make sure that you both understand what went wrong. Specifically, what you both did to contribute to the breakdown, and what you’re going to different next time around. Consider things such as work hours, drinking, socializing, trust, communication, money, parenting styles, approach to health and fitness, loss of intimacy, lack of commitment, no time together etc. Whatever the problems – you must address them if you’re going to make it work second time around.
2) Get clear about commitment
Don’t even consider getting back with your ex if you’re not on the same page about commitment. Be clear about what you both want. For this to be a success, it’s not about having a fun casual fling that ultimately leads nowhere. Instead, you both need to want a serious long-term relationship that provides you with a sense of trust and security.
3) Establish new goals
Once you decide to do things differently and you have the same levels of commitment, then it’s time to create fresh new goals as a couple. You want to create a shared vision about where you’re headed and what you want in the future. Think about your goals in the next 12 months, 5 years and 10 years and then take action to get the ball rolling.
4) Introduce novelty
Novelty is vital for healthy long-term relationships to remain fresh and interesting. You can certainly have your favourite local restaurant or café that you go to on Sunday’s for brunch, but also sprinkle in new experiences. You need to share things together for the first time and enjoy the excitement of this rather than falling back into a rut. Go to different places, socialise with new people, and learn about new things together.
5) Know your warning signs and have a plan
Both of you must be very aware of old toxic patterns that can come back and sabotage your new relationship (e.g. lack of sex, no time together, increased arguments, heavy drinking, broken promises, long work hours etc) If you begin to see these signs return, then create a plan as a couple to get back on track and protect the new relationship from becoming old. For instance, increase your couple time, do less socializing, drink less, make sex a priority, and come home from work earlier.
John Aiken, Findsomeone’s dating and relationship expert, as seen on the hit TV 3 show Married At First Sight. He is a best selling author, appears regularly on TV, radio and in magazines, is a clinical psychologist and runs a private practice in Sydney, is a sought after speaker, and offers intensive couples retreats. (www.johnaiken.com.au)