Deciding whether or not to give someone a second chance requires thinking about a lot more than you had to when giving them the first chance. Your pride is involved, and having your heart broken for a second time by the same person is the worst kind of heartbreak. So you need to make sure it’s worth it. Here are 15 questions to ask yourself.
Whose idea was it to break up?
If it was your idea to break up, you might have a good chance because he didn’t want things to end in the first place. You leaving him may have made him think about changes he needs to make. But if he left you, be cautious: there was a time when he decided he didn’t want you. So, how can he flip flop? You haven’t changed so…has he?
Whose idea is it to get back together?
I hate to say it but men just take longer to make decisions about love than women do. By nature, they’re more hesitant to be monogamous. If it is his idea to get back together, that’s a good sign: he came to that decision with no prompting from you. But if it’s your idea be careful: he might say yes when he’s only 50% certain. Your ex should want you back on his own, whether you’re prompting him or not.
How hard is he pursuing you?
Is he really putting himself out there, calling you on the phone or even showing up at your door, giving you his speech, willing to accept you could slam the door in his face? Or is he sending you cryptic, half-enthusiastic texts and emails of “I miss you…” and “Did we make a mistake?…” If he really wants you back, he’ll tell you it, he’ll be clear about it, and he’ll risk rejection.
Would he pursue you if you didn’t make it easy?
This ties into the last point. If you didn’t answer his calls, would he call you again? If you protested and began listing all the reasons it wont work out, would he persist and address all of those points? Or would he skulk away? He needs to know he wants you back, and be ready to meet your resistance. If he’s not, he could bolt anytime you’re the tiniest bit difficult or distant in the relationship.
Is he okay with being alone?
Is he someone who knows how to be single? Can he be alone without seeking out affirmation in other people through dating and tons of sex? OR is he a serial monogamist? Is he only happy when in a relationship? If he falls into the latter category, just don’t date him: there is no way you or he can ever know if he’s with you for you or just to have a relationship, until he can learn to be alone.
Is he irreplaceable?
Now let’s turn the tables: when you think about the things you liked to do together like shop on Sundays, watch Netflix and cuddle, host dinner with friends, does it have to be him there, or could any guy fill his spot? If you’re honest with yourself and find he is irreplaceable, then you just don’t want to be alone.
Did he betray your trust?
Did he cheat on you or lie to you? If so, just know trust issues are very, very hard to overcome in a relationship.
Do you feel the urge to punish him?
Do you like the idea of him feeling guilty? How about the idea of him feeling jealous? Do you want him to feel stupid for ever losing you in the first place? If you answered yes to any of these, you’re just getting back with him to “win” something—not because you love him and want the best for both of you.
Are you seriously interested in anyone new?
Is there anyone else you’d seriously consider pursuing a relationship with? If so then, newsflash: you’re over your ex! So let him go. Don’t be afraid of new things.
Are you happier now than when you were together?
Be real with yourself and think about your happiness levels every day now, versus every day when you were together. When were you consistently happier? If you’re happier out of the relationship, then why would you take him back? If you were happier in it, that’s something to think about.
Can being with him make you happier than you are now?
Maybe you know that the relationship as it was didn’t make you happy—you don’t want that relationship back. But, your ex is promising to make certain changes. With those changes in action, would you feel happier than you do now?
Has he thought about everything?
Have you expressed to him every single need you need him to meet? Has he said he is willing to meet them? Has he expressed that he knows how to meet them? Don’t hold anything back: you have nothing to lose now. You already lost that relationship!
Can you keep your eyes wide open?
Do you have the patience and self-control to remain cautious and constructively critical for the first few months of being back together? If not, you could get overwhelmed with the feel-good emotions of having him back and fail to notice that all the same issues are happening again.
Will you be comfortable calling him out?
If you see him falling back into his old ways, are you comfortable telling him so? You’ll have to be!
Has he been dating around?
Has he been dating other people while you’ve been apart? How many? How long have you been apart? If you’ve only been apart for a few months and he’s been going on tons of dates, the odds are he’s just coming back to you because he realized the dating world is scary. But, he didn’t even give himself the chance to see what his life would be like alone.