Break Up Or Make Up?: 5 Ways To Decide When To Let Go Of The Past

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Getting a girlfriend back requires asking yourself the tough questions.

Many guys who go through a breakup wonder, "how can I get my girlfriend back?" This, of course, is a natural query: often, many of us don't know what we have until it takes its toothbrush, its razor, and its box of tampons and walks straight out the door. But, before wondering how to get a girlfriend back, you should ask if getting her back is the smart decision.

Now, just like only you can prevent forest fires (at least according to Smokey the Bear) only you can decide if reconciliation is the path worth traveling. So, as you ask yourself "how can I get my girlfriend back?" also ask yourself the following five questions:

  1. Did We Have a Healthy Relationship?: Perhaps the biggest factor in deciding if getting back together is the right choice is the health of your relationship: was it solid or was it toxic? Did you fight from time to time or all the time? Did you support each other or constantly strive to one-up each other? The answer to these questions will tell you whether asking "How can I get my girlfriend back?" is just asking for trouble.
  2. Will She Give Me What I Want?: People can break up for all kinds of reasons: disagreeing about the final season of Dexter is enough to make some people call it quits. However, the concept of independence is a common reason to break up. Men, in particular, second-guess their relationship when the woman they are dating is a red alert, stage-seven clinger. So, as you ask "How can I get my girlfriend back?" also ask yourself if your girl will give you the independence you so greatly covet.
  3. Will We Repeat Past Mistakes?: Really, there is little point in reconciling if you're going to find yourself in this same position three months down the road. In other words, if you haven't solved the issues that led your relationship to its ultimate end or, at least, haven't agreed to work on solving those issues, you may soon just find that reconciliation rhymes with aggravation for a very appropriate reason.
  4. Will I Be Happier With Someone Else?: If the remake of Total Recall taught us anything, it taught us this: sometimes, you should leave the past in the past and let well enough alone. When wondering how to get your girlfriend back, this is something you should consider. Just because someone is familiar and even comfortable doesn’t mean they will make you happy. If you believe that you will be happier with someone else, then reconciling probably isn't in the cards. And, if you feel this way, it's especially important not to get back together with an ex only until someone better comes along. That’s not fair to you, and it's certainly not fair to her.
  5. Do We Want the Same Things?: In a dating utopia, Joe Namath would appear and guarantee a win: all relationships would lead to a happily ever after as sweet as a Super Bowl upset. But, because the dating world is anything but utopic, no relationship comes with a guarantee. Some of them are meant to be short-lived, while others are meant to have never existed at all. The latter is usually applicable to a relationship where two people want different things. This isn’t to say there can't be different points of views – if one person wants to live in the city and one wants to set up roots in the suburbs, an agreement can usually be reached – but some things you just can't compromise. A relationship where one person wants kids and one doesn’t, for example, is a relationship that will almost always end up sinking.

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