Know When It's Time To Walk Away, Just Be Friends, Or Keep Fighting For The Love You Once Had.
After combing through hundreds of questions from heart broken readers who write into our Yourtango experts, I have found one question coming up time and time again: How do I get back an old flame though we've both moved on but we're still in love with each other?
Most of the time there are more layers of complication added such as one person has gone on and gotten married, or both have gotten married, or one person has just started dating another, maybe one person moved away for some time and now they're back. Either way, the basics are the same: Couple has broken up for whatever reason and now they are in contact again, though one or both person has moved on, all the old feelings come rushing back and they want to know, should I or can I get it back?
The main problem with this situation is that one or both people have never gotten over the former relationship. By not completely getting over the other person, they end up burning a hidden candle in their heart for that old relationship, never really giving their new dating partner a fair chance at love and a future with them. As soon as their ex walks back into their life, they're willing to drop everything and everyone to be with them again.
Some people are probably not even aware they are doing this and mask their feelings or pain by jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. Moving onto a new relationship before you've healed from a past relationship is one of the biggest mistakes a person can make.
How this commonly happens is your old flame looks you up, maybe you become friends on facebook, exchange some texts, maybe even go out a few times secretly, though you've already started dating someone else. This is a huge no no, and really unfair to your new relationship. If you're truly happy and moved on, there's no reason an ex should come back into your line of sight and maybe you should be asking yourself why you're willing to emotionally cheat on your new partner with an ex?
I have had clients confess that though they are married they ran into an ex who they thought was the love of their life and never got over, and now want to leave their spouse for this old flame.
The only time you should pursue an old flame is if you both are single and available.
So How do you know when it's really over? When you've both moved on. And that's the point. Move on, and let the past stay in the past, don't burn a candle for the old relationship. When you've started dating or pursuing new relationship, when they've started dating others, no matter how you once felt about each other or believe you still feel about them...you need to accept, it's over.
Also, make sure you don't get stuck in the old flame trap. I've had clients get stuck seeing their old flame dating someone new while they're telling them secretly how much they still love them and long to be with them.They convince themselves it's a good idea to stick around because their ex is still in love with them even though they are dating someone else. If someone wants to be with you, they will be with you. And again, you wouldn't be in the trap if you hadn't tried to move in on an ex who said they were dating someone else. Do not put yourself in that situation. Move on. When/if they become single again, then entertain rekindling that old romance. But don't believe an ex who says they still love you but won't end their current relationship. And it's selfish to ask them to do that. Stop texting them, de-friend them on facebook, walk a different route to work, whatever you have to do to cut them out, but do it for your own emotional health.
What if you were their girlfriend? How would you feel if you found out the guy who is engaging you in a meaningful relationship is secretly talking to his ex? If you don't want it done to you, don't do it to another.
Bottom line, if you've moved on, move on. Don't go out with an old flame who is in a relationship or is married. Look back on your past with fondness and then let it go. Figure out what was so special about this relationship and set that as a goal of the type of future relationship you would like to have. There's zero reason to entertain another relationship if you're already in one. You're setting you and everyone else involved up for a lot of unnecessary heartache.