Relationships end for many reasons, and sometimes a couple question a prior decision to split up. If a reconciliation is in the cards for you and your ex, make sure it's for the right reasons, and not because you are lonely or insecure. If you genuinely care about your ex and believe the relationship can work, there's no reason it can't last the second time around.
The Fundamentals of a Healthy Relationship
A healthy relationship requires trust, open and honest communication, and a healthy balance between individuality and being a couple, according to relationship coach Dr. Dar Hawks in the article "Should You Reconcile With An Ex?" for "YourTango." To give your reconciliation the best chance of success, consider what your relationship was like before you split up. If any of these elements were missing, ask yourself whether things have changed. Perhaps trust was lacking because one of you was unfaithful, or because there was a lack of respect. You should discuss these issues openly with your partner to work out how you can regain trust. A qualified couples counselor may be able to help.
Identify Common Ground
Your relationship won't work if you don't have common goals with your partner. Remember, your relationship ended for a reason. Talk about why you separated, and why you both want to reconcile. Make sure you want the same things. For example, if you want to give it another try to "see what happens," but your partner has his heart set on getting married and having children, this may lead to conflict further down the line. Hawks suggests taking the time to reflect upon your relationship. If it was mostly a positive, happy, fulfilling relationship, it is more likely to be so again. However, if it caused you stress, unhappiness and anxiety, or had a negative effect on your self esteem, you should seriously consider whether a reconciliation is in your best interests.
Take Your Time
Take your reconciliation slowly. No matter how serious you were before, treat this as a new relationship. Diana Kirschner, author of "Sealing the Deal: The Love Mentor's Guide to Lasting Love," warns against rushing into things in the "Huffington Post" article "12 Signs You Should Get Back with Your Ex." Start with a coffee date. Don't drop your friends and ditch your hobbies just because your ex is back on the scene. Progressing at a gradual pace allows you to determine whether you have both made the necessary changes. For example, if your partner treated you badly before you split up, you should be looking for signs that things are now different, such as a realization on his part that he was in the wrong, and a sincere commitment to treating you with love and respect. Whatever your partner promises you, he needs to back it up with actions, says Kirschner.
Enjoy Starting Over
While it's important to address the issues that lead to the breakdown of your relationship, try to make time for fun and romance. Psychotherapist Jeanne Segal suggests finding a hobby or activity you both enjoy, in the article "Relationship Help" for "HelpGuide.org." It doesn't have to be anything too adventurous. Even going to a new restaurant together is something you can do regularly to help rekindle your love. Make fun a priority by surprising your partner with an unexpected gift or thoughtful gesture, and try to handle potential situations with humor, advises Segal. Having a sense of humor can help you work through tough times and handle conflict.
C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."