4 Questions You Need To Ask Before Getting Back Together

questions ask before getting back together

If you are thinking of getting back together with your ex, then it’s probably a good idea to ask yourself a few questions, before taking the leap. These questions will help you get a lot of clarity about whether or not you should go ahead with your wish of getting back together with them.

It had been eight months since Evelyn’s relationship ended, and the more time passed, the more she missed her ex-boyfriend. She wanted to know whether they could reunite and share with each other the comfort and acceptance they’d grown accustomed to; maybe this time around, they wouldn’t fight as much and she could finally become satisfied with the subdued love their relationship offered her.

But Evelyn always felt as though something had been missing in their relationship of two years, something she couldn’t quite put her finger on, but desperately wanted to discover.

Day after day, Evelyn’s mind wandered to the same question: Should she get back together with her ex?

Research shows that between one-half to two-thirds of us will experience an on-again, off-again relationship, while the rest are able to make a clean break or don’t break up at all.

For those who decide to reunite with an ex, the future isn’t typically very bright: Research shows that partners in recurring relationships are less satisfied in their revisited relationship—less satisfied with their partner, more likely to report negative attributes about their relationship (such as having communication problems or feeling considerable uncertainty about the future), and much less likely to report feeling love and understanding, as compared to partners who never broke up.

“Reuniters” also tend to suffer from lower self-esteem than more securely attached counterparts and consistently make decisions that adversely affect their revisited relationship. Worse, even after a commitment like marriage, the on-again, off-again relationship cycle tends to continue, with the quality of the relationship diminishing with each breakup. 

Despite these limitations, research shows that the urge to reunite is kept strong by lingering feelings, one-sided breakups, not dating other people after a breakup, and feeling as though the on-and-off nature of the relationship actually improves it. If the breakup is mutual or we feel uncertainty about the relationship, it decreases our willingness to reunite with an ex.

If your desire to return to a past partner is strong, answer these four questions before going back.

Here Are The 4 Questions You Need To Ask Before Getting Back Together

1. Why Did You Break Up?

Breaking up on the grounds of distance (where you or your partner needed to relocate for a new job) or a large misunderstanding (where outside forces like in-laws meddle in an otherwise healthy relationship) are very different reasons for terminating a relationship than more serious issues. If you broke up because of infidelity, abuse, toxic behaviors, or incompatibility, then getting back together is not in your best interest.

Though it may not always feel like it, breaking up to get out of a relationship that leaves you feeling devalued ultimately ensures that in the long-term you will be healthier and happier, either single or with another partner. The happiness that comes from staying in a toxic relationship is fleeting and will not last, at least not without ample therapy, hard work, consideration, and understanding.

Carefully consider your reasons for breaking up, and whether your relationship is genuinely bound to be healthy in the long run if you reunite.

Related: If You Broke Up For Any Of These 11 Reasons, Getting Back Together Is The Best Thing To Do

2. Are You Going Back For The Right Reasons?

Going back to a relationship because of extrinsic reasons, such as your partner providing you with a home, car, money, job, or other material goods will not make an intrinsically rewarding relationship. Similarly, if you feel emotionally dependent on your partner, meaning he or she provides you with the positive emotion and motivation you need to get through your day, or you simply feel lonely without a partner—any partner—your relationship is unlikely to last in a mutually healthy way.

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Mariana Bockarova

Mariana Bockarova is interested in trauma, interpersonal relationships, and human behavior — essentially, how we are affected by other people (including corporations and brands, which our brains similarly interpret as people!). She pursued her Bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto, followed by her Master's at Harvard University where she graduated with distinction. She is currently teaching various courses in psychology at the University of Toronto and consults on a range of topics. She is often interviewed by Cosmopolitan Magazine and has been featured in the Daily Mail, The Sun (UK), Prevention Magazine, Vice, and Medium, among others.View Author posts