Why You May Think You Want Your Ex Back, Even Though Things Didn't Work Out

by Jordan Lueder

I still miss his scent sometimes: the way his cologne attempted to cover up the undeniable aroma of marijuana that lay behind it.

It's something I'll never forget about my ex – among so many other things – despite being broken up for years now.

We had been on and off in a long-term relationship of six years. That's six years of trying again and again to make it work, only to fall short every time.

I wondered why. I wondered how the relationship didn't work, despite the love I had for this person and the history we had together. A fresh start just always seemed to be the most ideal way to recreate the relationship and possibly make it work once and for all.

Being in this kind of relationship has taught me that you can love someone, want him or her more than anything or anyone else in the moment and put all your energy into that person. But for some reason, it can continue to lead to an empty point.

You break up. What was once a relationship – a feeling of trust, connection and comfort – is suddenly gone. You're forced to grieve, even if you know it's the right thing to do.

You can be more than sure it's the right choice to leave. But a day later, you'll crave this person back in your life once again.

If you feel yourself wanting someone back, if you desire the touch of someone you once had but no longer have, realize the reasons why you do.

Do you miss who your ex was as a person, or do you miss having someone to love? Do you miss the deep conversations and challenges that came with the relationship, or do you miss the comfort of not having to find someone new to do this with?

We tend to love the exhilaration that comes with making up. The intensity of seeing someone we once had and no longer do forces us to reconsider our decision.

At one point, it did work. It worked at the beginning, so maybe starting again might be the answer? Maybe going back to the beginning is all it takes.

I'll tell you this right now: It won't work.

People don't alter their personalities, their lifestyles and the way they connect with others in the time you're not with them. Most of the time, they remain the same.

And so do you.

We tend to reach for the things and people we have lost simply because we lost them. It's that same concept as wanting what we can't have.

We lost this person, and so we take it on as a challenge to get them back... as if we gain more by losing them and winning them back than by just committing to them in the first place.

This is the problem with relationships that continue to be held onto despite the constant splitting up that may occur. If you find yourself wanting to go back to the person you initially left, know there has to be some kind of substantial change between the two of you.

That's unlikely to happen.

If this person loved you, cared for you and wanted you in his or her life, he or she would keep it that way. You don't need to fight for someone to come back.

You can fight for a relationship to work when you're in it. But to put in that same effort when you're not with that person is ridiculous.

It's an addiction, like quitting cigarettes and going back to the store to buy a fresh pack after you threw away your last one. You're putting more money into something that you know is not good for you.

Make the damn decision: Quit or don't. Going back and forth is only going to drain you, take away your energy and play with your emotions. It takes an unnecessary toll on you.

Fuck giving an ex another chance. Your ex already had a chance, and so did you. There was a moment when you put your all into that person, and it still didn't work.

If you continue being caught up in the past, there is no room for you to move on to a better future. You'll fail to move on from your pain.

The pain you receive from breaking up is temporary, but the pain you receive from being in the wrong relationship will last for as long as you stay in it.

Give staying broken up a chance. Give yourself the chance to find a relationship that remains. Give someone else a chance to show you he or she is willing to stay.