My Ex Wants Me Back: What Should I Do?

Updated March 21, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Ending a relationship with someone is typically devastating regardless of the reason. Regardless of the reason, when we feel a strong connection to someone, it's really easy to question whether ending the relationship was the right decision. You want to make sure that your decision is not based solely on emotion but on rational thinking if you're thinking, "my ex wants me back". 

Wondering What To Do When Your Ex Wants You Back?

Because of this, at some point in our lives, many of us are faced with the option of rekindling what we had with an ex-partner and we may question, "Do exes come back?" The decision on whether or not to reunite with your ex requires careful consideration. Being in an unhealthy relationship can damage your self-esteem, trigger symptoms of depression and anxiety, and make future relationships difficult. It's important to make sure that you really think about your decision before leaping back in.

Why Does My Ex Want Me Back?

There are many different reasons for couples to get back together. If you're thinking, "my ex wants me back", you do not necessarily have to take action, but you might need to make a definitive decision about whether or not to get back together with your ex. In many cases, there are sincere reasons to get back together with an ex. These might include:

1) Familiarity. Couples often get back together out of simple familiarity. When you spend any significant portion of your life with someone, you develop an attachment to them. Familiarity is one of the best ways to create and maintain love; studies have demonstrated that couples often stay in relationships that might not be the 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. This is because a simple breakup is not enough to suddenly dissolve love. Many couples come back together because the two of them are still in love and are not yet ready to let go of their relationship.

3) Hope. Most couples who get back together hope or believe that their significant other has made positive changes in their life, which will then contribute positively to the relationship. For some couples, this might be someone who cheated previously changing to leave their cheating behaviors behind, while for others, it might simply mean that one or both partners believe their former partner has grown up, matured, or developed healthier communication patterns.

Do I Really Want To Get Back With My Ex?

When considering getting back together with your ex, it may be important to recall all of the reasons that the two of you broke up. If nothing has changed between the two of you, or within the relationship you once , you are far more likely to fall back into old patterns of behavior and move into a relationship that is unhealthy or unlikely to succeed. Consider the following common reasons for breaking up.

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 make any relationship non-viable because trust is one of the foundations that allow couples to express intimacy, care, and affection for one another.

2) Incompatibility. There are numerous ways that compatibility comes into play - the way you spend your free time, wanting a family, wanting children, wanting to stay in one place, wanting to pursue certain career options, etc. All of these are serious factors that come into play when two people enter into a relationship, and all of them have the potential to gradually erode a relationship. The most loving relationship can lead to beliefs and lifestyle choices that are directly opposed to one another.

3) Baggage. Relationships can come with a lot of baggage, ranging from dysfunctional family dynamics to prior relationships and corresponding relationship issues. Baggage might come from issues that stem from before a relationship began but can very often come into play in a new relationship and even years into a relationship. Baggage often requires intervention from an outside professional to fully resolve, and at times it can take years of intensive therapy to do so. Some relationships do not stand up under the weight of a respective partner's baggage.

What You Should You Do

So, what should you do if you're constantly thinking, "my ex wants me back"?

First, an honest evaluation of yourself and your relationship should take place. Bring in people close to you, who knew you well during your relationship, and evaluate old journals or other sources of timekeeping, and determine how you felt for the majority of your relationship.

If your relationship was a constant source of pain, terror, or discomfort, take that into account. If your friends and family recall the two of you having a lot of genuinely pleasant times together, also take that into account. A history of negativity in your relationship is significant, but a history of positivity is also important.

Taking Things Slowly

If your ex asks to get back together, you should also take it slow. A glacial pace is the best course of action. 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 slow can help halt negative aspects of your relationship and can give the two of you time to evaluate yourselves and one another as you go. This way you can flag any issues that might begin to arise.

If everything has gone well up to this point, and you are still unsure of how you should proceed with your relationship, it might be time to bring in the help of a mental health professional. A professional therapist can see you individually, or can see the two of you together, and can help identify any underlying reasons for your breakup or desire to get back together. This can help you understand yourself and each other better.

Having a better understanding of one another can help you determine how healthy and realistic getting back together actually is; it may be that the two of you are wanting to get back together more out of convenience than out of actual love or a determination to make a life together, which would hurt you both in the long run. The therapists at BetterHelp are equipped to tackle difficult questions such as these, and more, and may be able to provide insight into your situation to help you achieve a more concrete decision regarding your relationship.

While it would be easy to think that therapy is only for those who have a mental illness, that isn’t so. Therapy provides people with skills that can be useful in healthy relationships, such as problem-solving tools, better insight about yourself, and being able to talk about your feelings. Such benefits probably transfer to online therapy too. Most research seems to indicate that common types of talk therapy, when dealing with an issue that isn’t severe, is just as effective as traditional therapy.

There are other benefits to online therapy that might be appealing. With a traditional office, you run the risk of being put on a waiting list. With BetterHelp, most people are matched with a counselor within 24 hours. BetterHelp also has more than 14,000 counselors and the ability to easily switch between counselors, so it’s likely that you’ll be able to find the right person to be your counselor.

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

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."

Wondering What To Do When Your Ex Wants You Back?

Moving Forward With (Or Without) Your Ex

If your ex wants to get back together with you, you certainly don't have to, but some situations might warrant a second look. Whether you are able to able to evaluate the situation on your own, with your former partner, or with your loved ones, or if you prefer to enlist the help of a mental health professional, you have the strength and ability to move forward, whether beginning a new chapter in a relationship or forging ahead. Either way, your own mental health comes first. Take the first step today.

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