My Ex Wants Me Back: What Should I Do Now?

Medically reviewed by April Justice, LICSW
Updated April 11, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Ending a relationship with someone can be hurtful and confusing regardless of the reason for the breakup. When we feel a strong connection to someone, it can be easy to question whether ending the relationship was the right decision.

If you aren’t sure whether you should get back together with an ex, know that you are not alone. Many people experience doubts after a breakup. One survey found that 44% of Americans had gotten back together with an ex at some point in life.

Below, we’ll discuss breakups, the possible pros and cons of getting back together, and ways to get help with your decision.

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Wondering what to do when your ex wants you back?

At some point in our lives, many of us are faced with the option of rekindling what we had with an ex-partner. The decision of whether to reunite with an ex often requires careful consideration. Being in an unhealthy relationship can damage your self-esteem and lead to symptoms of depression and anxiety. However, some people get back together and enjoy a fulfilling relationship.

My ex wants me back: Why?

There are many potential reasons for couples to consider getting back together. The following are some reasons that your ex may want you back:

1) Familiarity. Couples often get back together out of simple familiarity. When you spend any significant portion of your life with someone, you likely develop an attachment to them. This can be comforting, but some couples may stay in a relationship that might not be best for them because the relationship is known or comfortable.

2) Love. Many couples break up despite still feeling a lot of love for one another. A simple breakup is often not enough to suddenly dissolve love. Many couples come back together because they are still in love and are not yet ready to let go of their relationship.

3) Hope. Many couples who get back together hope or believe that their significant other has made positive changes in their life that may contribute to the relationship. For example, some people may believe their former partner has matured or developed healthier communication patterns.

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Do I really want to get back with my ex?

When considering getting back together with your ex, it may help to recall the reasons that the two of you broke up. If nothing has changed between the two of you, you may fall back into old patterns of behavior and move into a relationship that is unhealthy or unlikely to succeed. The following are some common reasons for a breakup:

1) Loss of Trust. Losing trust in a relationship does not always involve a dramatic breach, such as infidelity. Trust can be broken when financial agreements are violated, when confidence is betrayed, or when lies have continued to build up. Losing trust can damage a relationship because trust tends to be one of the pillars that allow couples to express intimacy, care, and affection for one another.

2) Incompatibility. The American Psychological Association defines incompatibility as “the state in which two or more people are unable to interact harmoniously with each other.” There are numerous ways that incompatibility can manifest in a relationship, such as the way you spend your free time, your desire to have children, and the place you want to live. All of these factors have the potential to gradually erode a relationship. If this is the case for you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you or your ex has done something wrong. The most loving relationships can lead to beliefs and lifestyle choices that are directly opposed to one another.

3) Baggage. Every person can come to a relationship with a lot of baggage, ranging from unhealthy family dynamics to prior relationship challenges. Despite the previous concerns two people have faced in their relationships, there is help available through therapy. 

What should I do?

First, you might consider conducting an honest evaluation of yourself and your relationship. It may help to bring in people close to you who knew you well during your relationship. You can also evaluate old journals and possibly correspondence between you and your ex to determine how you felt for the majority of your relationship.

If your relationship was a constant source of pain or discomfort, you can take that into account. If your friends and family recall the two of you having a lot of genuinely pleasant times together, you can also take that into account. Ultimately, it may be best to prioritize your mental health and not rush into any decisions.

If you or a loved one is experiencing abuse, contact the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Support is available 24/7.

Taking things slowly

If your ex asks to get back together and you agree, it may be best to move slowly. Rushing into a relationship with an ex can be problematic for numerous reasons. If you jump back into a relationship, you might immediately take up old behaviors and communication habits that led to your breakup. Taking your relationship slowly may help halt negative aspects of your relationship and give the two of you time to evaluate yourselves and your relationship as you go. This way, you may find that you can identify any concerns as arise and address them before they cause larger problems.

Getting help with your decision

If you’re still unsure whether you should get back together with your ex, it may be helpful to speak with a licensed counselor. A counselor may be able to help you assess your feelings and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your relationship. If you don’t feel comfortable with traditional in-office therapy at this point, you might consider trying online therapy, which research shows to be just as effective as in-person therapy.

With online therapy, you can connect with a licensed counselor from the comfort of your own home or anywhere you have an internet connection. You can choose the most comfortable mode of communication, whether it be audio, video, live chat, or a combination of these methods. You can also write to your therapist at any time through in-app messaging, and they’ll respond as soon as they can. This may be helpful if you want to communicate thoughts about your ex in between sessions. 

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Wondering what to do when your ex wants you back?

Below you can read some reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people who have been helped with similar concerns.

Counselor reviews

"I've never been to therapy, and so was really hesitant about opening up at first. But Whitney has just been so great! I signed up for BetterHelp because I was going through a breakup with problems I knew stemmed from problems with myself. I knew I felt unhappy in my relationship, but could not for certain say why. Therapy with Whitney has been so great in helping me become more self-aware and reflective. And, of course, the break up was hard at first. But every day, with Whitney, I was able to feel a little bit better than the day before."

"Jonell is incredible! She has helped me through so much, and has been an invaluable asset to my relationship, career, and overall happiness."

Takeaway

If your ex wants to get back together with you, you may be experiencing conflicting feelings and confusion about what to do. It may help to speak with close friends and family about your relationship and your thoughts on getting back together. If you still aren’t sure what to do, you may benefit from talking to a licensed therapist, whether in your community or online. A licensed therapist may be able to help you decide whether it’s best to get back together or move forward in a new chapter of independence. Take the first step toward getting help with your decision and contact BetterHelp today.
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