What To Do When An Ex Wants To Get Back Together

Updated October 7, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

If your ex has expressed a desire to rekindle a past relationship with you, you may be confused about your options. Considering rational thought, past experiences, and current emotions may help you decide how to react when your ex shows back up in your life.  

Unsure What To Do? A Third-Party May Help

I Miss My Ex So Much, What Can I Do?

Usually, these feelings of missing your ex are going to pass after a certain amount of time. There are times when they will linger, though. It might lead you to wonder whether or not breaking up with your ex was truly the right call to make. No one likes having doubts and this is certainly going to make you uneasy. There are tools to help you cope during this difficult time. This article will cover reasons people miss their exes, as well as possible solutions to move toward a happy, fulfilling life.

What Causes People to Miss Their Exes?

Going through a breakup can be one of the most emotionally painful experiences in the world. You're used to having your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend around you all the time. Once you've broken up, you're going to have to get used to being alone again. You might have friends and family to help fill that void, but it's normal to be lonely when you're used to having a romantic partner.

You might find yourself remembering the good aspects of your relationship and pining for them due to the loneliness that you're feeling. This can be difficult to go through and you might even feel a profound sense of sadness when reflecting on your relationship. There's a good chance that you loved your ex and feelings such as love don't just go away overnight. Some people will even consider whether or not they should try to get back together with their ex due to these feelings.

Is Getting Back with My Ex a Good Idea?

You'll often find that relationships end for a good reason. You see, there was something that caused you to break up in the first place. It's possible that you could attempt to rekindle your relationship. You just have to make sure that this is a good idea first.

If your ex was physically or emotionally abusive toward you, then you should try to stay strong. You might love him or her, but this doesn't mean that having a relationship together is going to be a healthy life choice. If there are issues that are minor that you can work through, then you could consider trying to get back together. It really is completely dependent on the situation that you're in and the type of person that your former partner is.

You might simply be feeling the symptoms of depression or anxiety. This is totally normal and people regularly have struggles with their mental health when they're placed in a stressful situation. Having a relationship end is going to make you sad and it's going to take strength to get through things. You might feel weak at first but you need to know that you aren't alone.

When you're struggling with a breakup and you find yourself getting depressed, it's important to have a support system in place. Turning to friends and family to help is a great idea. It might also be helpful to rely on professionals who understand what you're going through. Facing depression and anxiety alone is never recommended and you're always going to have to people who care about your well-being.

Sometimes, people are faced with the option of rekindling what they once had with an ex-partner. The decision on whether to reunite with your ex may require careful consideration.

In some cases, you could be on the same page and would happily get back into a relationship. However, it may be helpful to consider why the relationship ended in the first place. If you were in an unhealthy relationship, returning to that relationship may damage your self-esteem, trigger symptoms of depression and anxiety, and cause another breakup.

Taking the time to consider every aspect of your decision can help mitigate this. Alternatively, you have the choice to ignore or block your ex and continue to move on.

What To Do When Your Ex Wants To Get Back Together

First, evaluate your feelings and thoughts about your ex contacting you. Did it make you feel sad? Scared? Angry? Excited? Indifferent? Are you worried about any aspects of speaking to them? Is there a chance you are unsafe by talking to them?

Consider reaching out to your friends and family who were close to you during your relationship with your ex. Ask them what they would recommend. You can also evaluate old journals or other sources of timekeeping to remember how you may have felt during the difficult and happy moments of your past relationship.

If your relationship was a constant source of pain, terror, or discomfort, try to remember the reasons. If you, your friends, and your family all remember a harmonious and happy relationship that ended due to poor timing or communication, you may want to consider whether you still want a relationship with your ex and how it would serve you. A history of negativity in your relationship may help you decide, but positive history can also help.

What To Do If Your Ex Is Harassing or Stalking You

If your ex reaches out after you have communicated to them to stop, this may be considered harassment. Even further, if your ex has followed you, entered your home without permission, tracked your device, or taken photos and videos of you without consent, this might constitute stalking. Report stalking to your local police department by filing a report or calling the local number. If you feel you are in direct danger of being physically hurt, drive to your local emergency department or contact your local emergency line.

In this case, a temporary or permanent restraining order may be an option. Document all attempts your ex makes at reaching out to you, as well as evidence of abuse or toxic behaviors while you were together. These could be in the form of screenshots, photos, or witness accounts. Reach out to your local civil court to find out more about the process.

Block your ex on all forms of social media if you feel it would be helpful. You may also be able to block their phone and email from contacting you. You do not owe your ex a response at any point.

What To Do If You Want To Get Back Together

If you decide to give your ex another chance, consider taking things slowly at first. Rushing into a relationship with an ex may cause you to ignore red flags or behaviors you don't want to consider. Old communication habits may come back, or new problems can arise. Taking your relationship slow may help both of you have time to evaluate how you feel and what you hope to happen throughout the beginning of your new relationship together.

Checking in with your ex now and then to communicate how you both feel may be helpful. Creating a list of concerns that you wish to discuss and having a sit-down chat about these issues may also help you not sweep old problems under the rug. If you're unsure how to communicate with your ex without outside help, an online or in-person couples’ therapist may also be an option.

Things To Consider

If you are still unsure whether you'd like to get back together with your ex, it may help you recall why the two of you broke up. Your ex may lie and say they have changed, even if they haven't. You may desire to return to a familiar relationship, even if you know it wasn't always healthy for you. You may have also broken up due to unfair timing, differing needs, or a mutual decision to explore your individual lives.

Some of the most common reasons for breakups include the following.

Loss of Trust

Losing trust in a relationship does not always involve a significant breach, such as infidelity. Trust can be broken when financial agreements are violated, confidence is betrayed, or lies have continued to build up. Losing trust could potentially make any relationship non-viable because trust is one of the foundations that allow couples to express intimacy, care, and affection for one another. If you no longer trust your ex, it may be challenging to build up again.

Incompatibility

You may have broken up due to incompatibility. If changes weren't made in your time apart, those incompatibilities might still be present. For example, you may be incompatible in how you spend your free time, wanting a family, wanting to stay in one place, or pursuing specific career options.

Many couples break up due to a difference in core values, as well. For example, perhaps one person has a different belief about how to raise children and is unwilling to change their mind. In this case, you may find it challenging to rekindle things with your ex if neither of you has had a change of heart.  

Individual Difficulties

Relationships can come with a lot of individual struggles. For example, one partner could have a mental health condition and has panic attacks when confronted by communication patterns that remind them of trauma. If their partner does not understand or becomes triggered as well, it can cause individual concerns to arise. Individual difficulties can also include subjects such as:

  • Work schedules
  • Career goals
  • Schooling
  • Family conflicts
  • The loss of a loved one or pet
  • Trauma
  • Friendship struggles
  • Moving long-distance

Sometimes, the things in our lives can impact how we interact with others. Considering reconciliation may be possible if you've had a temporary individual difficulty that ultimately ended your relationship. However, if nothing has changed since your breakup, you may want to wait or re-address the concern with your ex or a trained therapist.

Why Does My Ex Want Me Back?

There are many different reasons your ex may want you back. They may have already communicated this reason to you if they are reaching out. Perhaps they feel regret for actions they took while in a relationship, or they're missing your connection. Some reasons your ex may reach out include the following.

Familiarity

Some couples reunite out of familiarity. It can be possible to form a deep attachment to someone you spend a lot of time with. Familiarity has been proven to be one of the easiest ways couples connect and fall in love. However, the same study has also demonstrated that couples might stay in relationships that are not the best for them because the relationship is known or comfortable.

Love

Many couples break up despite still feeling love for one another. A breakup may not dissolve love or attachment that already exists, even if you logically know that you can't stay together. Your ex may still feel love towards you, and this could cause them to reach out.

Hope

You or your ex may hope or believe that changes were made since the breakup that would positively impact a future relationship. In some cases, they may have noticed a positive difference in your life. Or perhaps they have worked on some of their own behaviors and are hopeful they'd be able to act differently this time. Hope may be a common reason for an ex to reach out.

Getting Help With Your Decision

If you are still uncertain about your decision or your confidence in rekindling the spark with your ex-partner, online therapy may help. With online therapy, you have the flexibility to try a variety of counseling methods, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, couples therapy, or trauma therapy. You can join your session from any location with a secure and speedy internet connection by video chat, phone call, or messaging with a trained therapist. The therapists at BetterHelp are equipped to tackle complex topics such as these and may be able to provide insight into your situation to help you achieve a more concrete decision regarding your relationship.

Therapy provides people with skills that can be useful in healthy relationships, such as problem-solving tools, better insight about yourself, and communication techniques. Such benefits transfer to online therapy too. Most research seems to indicate that cognitive-behavioral therapy online is an effective way to treat individual and relational concerns. Online couples therapy is also an option.

With BetterHelp, most people are matched with a counselor within 24 hours. BetterHelp has more than 14,000 counselors, and clients can easily switch between therapists, creating flexibility. BetterHelp's partner, ReGain, is also available for couples looking to attend a session together.  

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."

Unsure What To Do? A Third-Party May Help

"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 has contacted you to get back together, you may feel unsure. Whether you evaluate the situation on your own, with your ex, or with your loved ones, you're not alone. Additionally, with the help of a mental health professional, you may find the clarity you need to move forward, whether you hope to reconcile with an ex, try couples counseling, or discuss your indecision. Take the first step and speak with a licensed online relationship counselor. 

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