Ending a relationship usually isn't easy. You might have doubts about whether or not it's the right thing to do if you're the one ending things, and if you're the one being broken up with, you might feel blindsided. There are a lot of emotions that go along with a breakup, and they're all totally valid. But once your partner becomes an ex, do those feelings you used to have for them just suddenly disappear? And if years pass, can you fall back in love with someone after you’ve spent time with other people?
According to experts, it's totally possible to fall back in love with someone you used to date, and the reason why makes sense. "Once you love someone, unless your respect for them is destroyed, you can always love them again," Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, tells Elite Daily. "This is the person that knows your hopes, dreams, and secrets. You had a bond that is easy to reestablish. Why do you think some people are always threatened by their partner's ex? You have got a hold on them and vice-versa."
It’s possible you ex once had — or still has — a piece of your heart from when you were together. This isn't to say that you aren't complete without each other, but if it was a loving relationship, there may always be a part of them with you and vice-versa. "You don't fall back in love with an ex," Heather Kristian Strang, spiritual guide and matchmaker, tells Elite Daily. "The love was always there, the question now is — is there more work to do together? Is there more joy to have together? Is there more that you two are to create together? Or, is it complete? Have you both grown together as fully as you can?"
With so many questions to ask yourself, it’s obviously a confusing process. That’s why for some, getting back together with an ex may not be worth all the stress and hassle it requires. Some people might just enjoy having a blank slate and a fresh start with someone new. Besides, if your relationship was tumultuous and you ended on not-so-great terms, allowing yourself to fall for an ex might not be the best idea.
“It’s OK to fall back in love with your ex if things change," Trombetti says, though she notes it's also important to remember that "you broke things off for a reason. Don't let your emotions take over and wind up back where you were pre-breakup the first time. If someone is willing to fix the things that were wrong, if they are fixable, then it's safe to give it another try. If it's a fatal flaw though, like compulsive lying, cheating, or abuse, then that's always a no-go. Don't ever go back or look back."
Another good question to ask yourself is, “Do I really miss my ex? Or am I just lonely?” As clinical psychologist Dr. Joshua Klapow previously told Elite Daily, “If your distress is focused on not doing the things you did together, not having the certainty of a mate, not having someone to talk to, but at the same time you can envision yourself with all those things [on your own or with a different partner] and not your ex, you know that you are missing the relationship more than the person themselves.” If you’re just feeling lonely, try to consider why, and think of some things you can do to occupy your time and energy, like making a dinner date with a friend, or exploring a new store or coffee shop in your neighborhood.
While this might be easier said than done, Trombetti also has some great tips for how to avoid falling back into the arms of an ex. "Create space and break off communication so you can move on," she says. "As a matchmaker, this is the number one thing that holds people back from finding the right one," Trombetti explains. "I always say, 'Everyone is hung up on someone, whether it's real or in their head.' Don't be hung up on your ex comparing everyone to him because you have feelings of love being stoked on a regular basis by your ex." It’s not your fault if you’re still in love with an ex, but there are ways to help curb your impulses.
If you know your ex isn't the one for you, the best course of action is probably to avoid getting back together and try your very best to move on. But if your relationship was a healthy, happy, and stable one, and you ended it for reasons that now seem like part of the past, then there's no harm in trying again.
Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking
Heather Kristian Strang, spiritual guide and matchmaker
Dr. Joshua Klapow, clinical psychologist
Editor's Note: This story has been updated by Elite Daily Staff.
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