Romances can come and go, but on occasion, you may find yourself thinking about re-starting an old relationship. But getting back together with an ex-partner can be a difficult and emotional process, especially if you two broke up before either you or they got sober.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t restart an old relationship – just that you should do so carefully. It can be easy to let your emotions decide whether or not you want to get back together with your ex, but if you’re contemplating reconciliation at all, it’s important to think about it carefully first. Here are a few things you should consider before getting back together with your ex.
1 . Why Did You Break Up?
Before all else, identify why your relationship ended the first time. Did you break up because of major differences, like one of you wanting children but the other not? Or was the cause more minor, like poor timing?
Even if it’s hard, think about the honest answer to this question. If there was a big issue that lead to your split – or if infidelity or abuse was involved – getting back together may not be the best idea. If it wasn’t serious or you have truly moved past the issue, you may be able to have a more successful romance the second time around.
2. How Would This Affect Your Sobriety?
Maintaining your sobriety is important, and you should think about how rekindling an old flame may affect it. Did you used to drink with this person, and would it be triggering to spend time with them? Are you new to recovery? Would this person be supportive of your recovery, regardless of whether they’re sober or not?
If you think being around this person could threaten your sobriety, it may be better to look for love elsewhere. There are many ways you can meet others in recovery or who are supportive of your sobriety. Remember, your sobriety is too important to risk for anyone, and it should absolutely be a priority in your dating life.
3. How Would Your Ex’s Sobriety Affect You?
You should also consider how your ex’s sobriety (or lack thereof) could affect you. If they used to drink or do drugs, did that factor into your breakup? Can you be romantically involved with someone who isn’t sober? Would there be tension because this person drinks and you don’t? What would happen if one of you relapsed?
Taking care of your own sobriety can be difficult enough, and you may not have the energy to help someone else with their recovery. You may not even be able or want to spend time with someone who isn’t sober. Own your feelings and don’t compromise if you think your ex’s sobriety would affect you in a negative way.
4. Why Do You Want to Get Back Together?
Think about why you want to get back together with this person, and only seriously consider doing so if it’s for the right reasons. Are you feeling jealous about the fact that they’re dating again? Are you bored in your own love life? Or do you genuinely miss having this person in your life?
Make sure you have good intentions when restarting an old romance. Your relationship likely won’t work out very well if you’re only getting back together with this person because you aren’t satisfied with how your love life is currently going. You should have a clear idea of the love and support this person can offer you.
5. Have You Talked Openly About the Past?
If you’re wanting to get back together with your ex, you should be able to communicate about your previous breakup, the time you spent apart, and your expectations for the future. You need to be able to talk about the past so you can learn from any previous mistakes and set clear boundaries about what you need in a romantic partner now.
If you cannot talk about these things honestly and respectfully, you should probably refrain from reconciliation. Effective communication with your partner is vital, and you should be able to address these serious and valid questions about your relationship if you want this relationship to work.
6. Has Enough Time Passed for Growth?
You should also consider how much time has passed since your breakup. If it’s only been a few weeks, or even months, things could ultimately feel like you never broke up to begin with. This can make it all to easy for both of you to fall back into old habits and for the same issues to affect your relationship all over again.
You should have the chance to grow, mature, and change before getting back together with your ex. You should be able to bring a new perspective to the table and not repeat your previous patterns. Keep in mind that you may not need as much time apart as your ex, or vice versa, and be respectful of their needs.
7. Do You Bring Out the Best in Each Other?
Do you like who you are around your ex, and do you like who your ex is around you? Do you inspire each other to be better people? Or do your interactions typically involve public screaming matches, insecure or jealous behavior, or other toxic behaviors?
Alcohol and drugs can have a huge impact on how you treat each other, and can easily bring out your worst qualities. If either you or your ex drank or used drugs during your relationship, but you’re now sober, you may now be able to interact in a positive way. Getting sober is difficult, but it provides you with the tools you need to live a healthier life, which can be highly beneficial for your romantic relationships.
Getting back together with your ex isn’t impossible or an inherently bad decision, but it isn’t something you should take lightly. Explore your own feelings and needs, discuss them with your ex, and decide together if this is the right choice for both of you. As long as you think about things seriously and truly feel good about this choice, there’s no reason you can’t happily reconcile with your ex.
Madison Ann Baker is a writer, Netflix-binger, and pop culture enthusiast who lives in Idaho. Literature and linguistics are her two passions, both of which she studied in college. She enjoys writing about animals and health and wellness, but dabbles in a little bit of everything. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her Borador, Dash, and re-reading Harry Potter. For more info visit her on Contently.