Commented on By Trix O’Callaghan (Counselling Psychologist) - Destiny Magazine, 23 March 2010
You may still love your ex, but have you dealt with the problems that caused the break-up?
If you’re considering getting back together with your ex, you need to think about a couple of factors before diving back into the deep end. The harsh reality is that your previous attempt failed, so in order to make it right the second time around, you’ll need a fresh start. Trix O’Callaghan, a psychologist , advises us how to start over with an old lover:
Take a look at the past
To give you both a fair chance, take a peek into your shared pas. By comparing the people you both were then and are now, you can see how much progress you’ve made as individuals. Those factors will play a huge role in forming your new future together. According to O’Callaghan, most couples split in the power struggle phase of their relationship: “We begin to experience frustrations and conflicts arise. One or both partners feel that they are with the wrong person,” says O’Callaghan. Make sure you don’t try and pick up where you left off without evaluating the past and where you want to be.
Move on to the future
The biggest issue is letting go of the past and moving on. The idea of evaluating your past isn’t so you can harp on it and hold it against yourself and your partner; it’s so you can start over on a clean slate. “The factors that caused the original break-up will eventually resurface, so the second time around, you have to take a few steps to work through the issues in a constructive way,” says O’Callaghan. You may have to tweak the person you were before to suit this new relationship. Don’t try and be someone you are not – just be a better version of you old self.
Give it a fair chance
Don’t try and compare your ex with previous boyfriends or even his previous self. If you’re planning to start over, then do just that. “You can only really move on from the past issues in your old relationship if you understand it and have processed it with each other in a safe and conscious way. That way you can truly make the past history,” says O’Callaghan. Don’t be too hard on yourself and ease back into the swing of things. “Falling in love actually means that we are subconsciously attracted to a person who can help us heal and claim back our original wholeness. We have to grow and learn in relationships,” says O’Callaghan. Allow yourself the space and time to do so.