Should I Get Back With My Ex?

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Feeling torn? Unsure what to do? Find yourself wondering, “should I get back with my ex?” On one side you miss them. On the other, you really don’t know if it would work. 

You broke up, you’re over. And that happened for a reason. Would going back be a mistake? Or was it a mistake to let go in the first place?

In this post, we’re going to break it all down to get you thinking clearly. By the end of this, you’ll no longer be asking “should I get back with my ex?” You’ll just know. And know for sure

So let’s really work this one out, starting from the top.

“Should I Get Back With My Ex?”

When it comes to if you should get back with your ex, it’s important to know where you’re at and what’s actually driving this question.

Why are you considering it in the first place and why are you feeling unsure about what the right thing is to do?

To help you determine this, I want you to take a moment to ask yourself the following questions:

  • How long has it been after the breakup?
  • Who broke up with who, and how did you feel about the decision?
  • Did you stop speaking? Have you had that space and time to think?
  • Have you tried to move on with your life without them?
  • How about having enough time to readjust?
  • How do you feel mentally and emotionally?
  • Do you feel level-headed, or do you still feel broken and alone?
  • Why did you break up in the first place?
  • Why do you want to get back together? (Be honest, what’s the main drive?)
  • Why do you think it perhaps wouldn’t be a good idea to get back together?
  • What’s making you feel unsure about this? (Look at it from all angles.)

This should start to get the brain ticking. See breakups hurt. Literally. Heartbreak triggers similar brain activity to when you’re in physical pain. There’s actually that correlation there.

And what do we do when we’re in pain? We want it to stop…

So it’s perfectly natural to find yourself asking, “should I get back with my ex?”

Your fight or flight response is telling you to FIGHT – to get back what you had and to stop the pain of heartbreak now.

But this is why you have to take a step back, remember where you are and make sure you’re thinking rationally – acting for the right reasons.

Should you really get back with your ex? Is that the best thing for both of you? The best thing long term?

Making The Right Decision

There’s likely to be a lot of things going through your mind now so let’s build on this further. Grab a notepad. Grab a pen and arrange the following questions into blocks or a table.

Write the question at the top, explore the answer below it, and then use a red pencil and green pencil to highlight the pro’s and con’s in your answer.

The colour code helps you to visually see if there’s more good or bad.

From here, you can better evaluate it further. What are the most important things here? What does all of this mean? Which way is it leading me to go? And ultimately – should I get back with my ex?

You don’t need to make a rash decision, and it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. But the following questions will enable you to better weigh up the situation as a whole, to better determine the next steps forward.

And by the way – that may not mean getting back with your ex straight away.

It could be simply opening the conversation about potentially working things through with your ex – seeing if it’s an option.

Or – on the flip side – deciding to cut contact to help you both let go and move on.

Either way, you need confidence and clarity behind your decision. So let’s work it all out…

Should I Get Back With My Ex?

1) What did and didn’t work?

First up, I want you to look at what did and didn’t work about the relationship. Not the two of you as people, but the relationship that you had together.

What was good about it? What was unhealthy? Where were there challenges? What kind of things created issues or problems?

Is there anything that was lacking about the relationship? Did the relationship match your relationship standards / vision for the kind of relationship you really want?

Try to remove those rose tainted glasses and see it clearly – to see the relationship for what it was, nothing more, nothing less.

You don’t need to build it up, but you also don’t need to unnecessarily knock it down at every point. Stay level-headed to keep a clear, rational overall view.

2) What was / wasn’t right about the two of us?

Next up, I want you to focus on the two of you as individuals, your compatibility together and any areas of change or growth that would be needed in order for the two of you to really fit. So look at:

  1. What did you like about your ex? What qualities or characteristics did they have that you really appreciated and wanted in a partner?
  2. On the flip side, what things didn’t you like? (And we’re not talking petty things like, “he always left the toilet seat up!” Look at the things that really matter. E.G. Did he match you with ambition? Were his core values the same as yours? Were there any habits – like lying or dishonesty – that didn’t sit right with you?)
  3. How were you in the relationship? Did he bring out the best in you? Did you complement each other well?
  4. Were there any things that affected the relationship, that you know you or he needed to work on? (For instance, abandonment issues, relationship anxiety, clinginess, etc.)

3) How have things changed?

So you know that there were things that did and didn’t work – both about the two of you, and about the relationship. Look back at the list of negatives and:

  1. Evaluate how important they are.
  2. Look at if – since the breakup – they have changed in any way.
  3. Consider the likelihood of them actually ever changing, and what that would mean for the two of you.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” 

You have to look back in order to move forward. But in doing so, if you notice there’s things that haven’t changed or won’t change, you must be honest with yourself about it.

There’s no point saying, “oh but it COULD change”. Could is not good enough.

You broke up. Broke up for reasons. So if you’re going to get back together, if you’re going to genuinely consider, “should I get back with my ex?” you have to know – with complete confidence – how things will change, how things will be better, and implement those changes right from the start, if not before.

Has the breakup created any change of behaviour in your ex? Or is he now just “on his best behaviour”, saying all the right things? Do you genuinely believe the change and think it will last?

And what about you – have you done the work you need to do on yourself, to go into this relationship differently if you were to get back together? How have you changed and why did you need that change?

Should I Get Back With My Ex?

Think About It…

One of the biggest mistakes people make when considering, “should I get back with my ex?”, is not the fact that they’re thinking of getting back with them in the first place – but they’re rushing it.

Two people who are truly right for each other and truly meant to be together, will be together. It doesn’t matter what happens, how long you’ve been apart – if you’re for each other, you’ll find a way.

But you have to do the things you need to do to make it work. Otherwise you’ll get back together, make the same mistakes again, and end up falling apart again.

So don’t rush. Know what you need to do, know what you both need to do, work on it, communicate it, support each other – but until that change is there, don’t slip back to where you were before.

I mean, you might find, in doing this learning and growing, you realise that your ex isn’t the one and you are better off going your separate ways. Or vice versa. But that’s okay. It’s better to learn, grow and go, than get back into the wrong thing and stir up all the heartbreak even more.

What Would Be Different?

Ultimately, the two of you broke up because there were things that weren’t working.

Well, that’s best case scenario. The other alternative is that you broke up because there wasn’t enough love there, the relationship stagnated or you wanted different things.

If it’s the latter, this suggests either: 1) You’re incompatible. 2) The relationship needed to be worked on. Nothing in particular needed to changed. It was more about more work needed to be put in to improve it.

Either way, in each situation – there’s changes that are needed for the two of you to get back together. If you get back together, things need to be different.

So if you’ve read all this, you’ve gone through it all, and everything is telling you that you SHOULD try again with your ex – don’t just jump straight into it, and don’t automatically make that decision straight away.

You want this to work right? You don’t want to get back with your ex only for you to both fall apart. So make a plan of action. Really look at what needs to be done in order to make this possible – and if that is possible.

Should I Get Back With My Ex?

If you work through this, if you do it properly and honestly, you’ll come to the right conclusion as to whether you should get back with your ex – whether you should try again.

Of course it has to be a mutual thing. You could work through all of this, make a plan, think “YES, this is it this time!”, then speak to your ex about it and they may not share the same optimism, fight or enthusiasm.

If that’s not the case, and they’re not willing to put in the work, then unfortunately (or not), it’s just not meant to be. And that’s okay. I find that life has a habit of working out the way it should do. Everything falls into place in the end.

But in order to piece it together faster and easier, try to make the right decision.

Sometimes what you want to do and what you need to do, are not the same thing.
Forgetting Fairytales

So be brave, be strong, make your decision and feel confident in it.

Whatever you decide, I wish you all the very best. And if you do need a little extra help making that decision, get in touch, let’s work through it together.

Take care.


Should I Get Back With My Ex?
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Ella Stearn
Ell is a Breakup, Dating & Relationship Specialist & Coach, with over 3 million annual readers, globally. As the Creator of Forgetting Fairytales, her mission is to help you learn to love yourself, find the right person to give your love to, then make it a love that truly lasts.

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