Another year, another new beginning on our lonesome. Being single is great on New Year's Eve, but what happens after the ball drops, the ecstasy wears off and the open bar closes? We begin to reevaluate our situation and consider whether we wouldn’t be better off giving our ex a buzz. It’s a new year, so maybe it could work this time around? You’re older now, more mature and maybe even a bit wiser. So why not give your past love another shot?
Well, let’s be honest: If you were wiser, you wouldn’t even entertain the thoughts of getting back with your ex. In the wake of the New Year, you’re riding an emotional high and have become painfully aware that you have no one to share your life with. It’s normal. This fleeting feeling of nostalgia will pass. You don’t need to get back with your ex -- err, you should not get back with your ex. Here’s why:
1. You had a good reason for letting him or her go.
You got together, gave it a try and it failed. Some people simply don’t work together. You may still have feelings for this person, but it doesn’t change the fact that you are not as compatible as you first imagined -- or that you may now be relapsing to imagine. If you let your ex go once, let him or her go forever.
2. You're both still carrying the baggage from your relationship.
Emotional baggage weighs down each of us. Thankfully, the suitcase becomes lighter as time goes on; older memories are whitewashed by new ones. The problem is, when you do decide to get back together with an ex, your baggage seems to start gaining weight... and quickly.
All those bad memories you had of fights, all those things that annoyed you about the person and all the things you did to hurt each other all come back. It doesn’t all come back at once, but in big waves. The fights start up again and a few long months later, you’re back where you started: broken.
3. The sex couldn’t have been that good.
Don’t underestimate the importance of sex in a relationship. The majority of relationships end after the sex life begins to suffer. If you didn’t like giving it to him or her at the end of the relationship, once you got past the honeymoon phase, guess what? You won’t like it now, either.
4. The trust you had has been shattered.
Trust is incredibly important in a relationship. It’s difficult to construct and even more difficult to put back together once the trust has been broken. Do you want to be in a relationship where the trust is lacking and you’re never 100 percent sure that your partner won’t turn and run from you?
5. Love is 50 percent mental, 50 percent physical and you’ve already made up your mind.
Love is not just physical; it’s not just about the chemistry. You have to decide to be in love in order to stay in love. It’s easy to do when everything else is just right, but much harder when things aren’t going so well. Breaking up is a big deal, especially when you once were in love with the person you broke up with. However, you made that difficult decision to end the relationship and now it’s time to stick with it. You can’t change your mind as easily as you’d like -- not for long anyway.
6. What you feel now is not what you did feel or will feel when you are with your ex.
When we are distanced from someone we care about, we will begin to miss that person. Throw romantic love into the mix and we are soon bathing in a feeling of light obsession, a feeling often confused with love. This feeling, thankfully, goes away once we are around that person more regularly.
However, missing someone while he or she is away leads to creating fantasies about the person, which are, more often than not, nowhere close to the reality of things. Once we spend time with our ex, we become disillusioned and revert back to not wanting to have anything to do with them; it’s our mind playing tricks on us.
7. You can either move forward or backward, not both -- that’s called standing still.
If you want a new, different, better life, don't go looking for it in your past. You weren’t the person you wanted to be back then and won’t be that person now if you start living in your past, rather than thinking about your future. Moving backwards will only increase the time it will take you to move forward.
8. There are so many other people out there.
The world may be getting smaller, but the amount of people and potential lovers is increasing. In other words, there are more and more people for you to potentially fall in love with, and it’s getting easier and easier to meet them. Don’t settle.
9. You have to learn to love.
Loving comes with a learning curve. There isn’t just one person out there for us, but there may very well be one combination of person, time and place. You have to be the right person, in the right place in your life in order to be able to love truly. Being capable of falling in love deeply and truly doesn’t just rely on the other person; it also relies heavily on you.
The only way to learn about love is to love. Loving new people will tell you more and more about yourself and how you love. After loving enough people, you’re bound to meet the right person. Right person, right place, right time, right you.
10. People don’t make you happy; you’re happy when you’re with them.
It’s not so much the effect a person physically has on you that makes you happy, but rather, the perception you have of him or her. This is important to differentiate because while you may feel your perception has changed of this person while you are away from one another, once you get back together, all those negative thoughts you had will resurface.
Even though the person may have changed, our perception of him or her isn’t so mutable. In our minds, a person is not just composed of who he or she is in the moment, but rather, of all the things we remember about him or her, along with all the memories and emotions that the person reminds us of. If you were unhappy with someone for an extended period of time, the chances of reversing that unhappiness are slim to none.