Should Couples Get Back Together After Time Has Passed?

couple reunited
Heartbreak, Love

Sometimes time apart helps you both grow. And sometimes the past is just doomed to repeat itself.

Every single day, we are reminded that time marches on and does so quickly. Suddenly, the nineties seem ancient. Beverly Hills 90210 premiered almost 25 years ago, and the cute kid from Full House is a recovering meth addict. Time is like a runaway train on crack — there's no way to stop it. For those of you wondering how to get your ex back, this is of course bad news; as time moves on, so do people. A failure to act quickly can close the window before you wiggle through it. But what after time has passed and the moment possibility to get your ex back seems to have already waned? Is there any possibility of getting them back or has that door slammed shut forever? The answer? A concrete "it depends." You're welcome for the clarity.

The reason getting back together after time has elapsed can be like playing with fire is because it isn't always possible to reconcile. It depends very much on the individual situation. But, before you set out to win back your ex's affection, you should take some time to answer three critical questions. The answers to these questions might not tell you whether or not you and your ex will go galloping into the sunset happily ever after, but the answers will tell you whether or not the pursuit will be worth all the effort.

Am I Being Selfish?

The first question you should ask yourself is probably the hardest: am I being selfish? If your ex has moved on (they are married, they have a family, and you showing up will only make waves that ultimately come crashing to shore) then pursuing them isn't always the best option. Love is patient and love is kind, but love also means sacrificing. If you know in your heart that your ex is truly happy in their new life, then it might be time to take a cue from Frozen and "let it go."

Is This What I Really Want?

The second question you should ask yourself when trying to reconcile after time has marched on is whether or not this is what you really want. A common pattern for some people hoping to get back together with an ex is this: they break up with their ex, they date other people, it doesn't work out, they realize they are getting older and need to settle down, they stalk their ex on Facebook and notice they are single, they call them and ask them out for a Pumpkin Spice Latte. If you're perpetuating this pattern—you want someone but not necessarily your ex specifically—you are wasting your time and theirs. You should only work to get your ex back if you indeed want them back. Reconciling simply to have someone is reconciling for all the wrong reasons.

Will History Repeat Itself?

As anyone who didn't sleep through high school social studies probably remembers, those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. While this adage is more applicable to things like war, it also works for relationships. This is why it's important to ask yourself why things will be different this time. Have you worked on your flaws? Has your ex? Are you willing to compromise more or willing to be less stubborn than before? If you are willing to work on your relationship, then you can rewrite history. But, if you reconcile only to travel down the same dead end road, it's highly unlikely that things will be different. You'll find yourself in the same situation, with more time elapsed than before.

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