“I am sorry. I have realized my mistake. I was foolish to let you go. Please come back. You are the one for me.”
These are the dialogues exchanged between my boyfriend and me two years after our breakup. I had dreamt of this conversation for almost two years. I know you have been dreaming of this very moment, even praying for it. And they have come back to you now. They are sorry and are promising they would change. But hold them on for a day longer. For right now, it doesn’t matter if you go back to them or not. What matters is your utmost clarity on the situation. You need to very sure before taking them back.
It’s a matter of the heart but you can use a little of your brain too.
Backtrack to the day they had left you. Remember the pain of sadness you had felt that day and ever since. You couldn’t sleep without tearing up. You felt weak doing it, but you called them, asked them to come back. You may have begged them. For a long time, you believed you were at fault and questioned everything you do.
Can you put yourself through all those all over again?
If not, hold your horses before jumping back into another relationship with them. Sit down in a quiet place and relax. Ask yourself these seven questions to get a clear picture of the situation. Then, you can decide whatever route you like to go.
. . .
1. Have you communicated your feelings loud and clear?
Their behavior in the past had hurt you. I am sure you don’t want that to happen again. So it would be best if you expressed yourself. Communicate it direct and upright. You can go to the extent of listing it out.
They must know they had hurt you and that you want to be sure they understand you. Talk about it before the start of the relationship. Tell your ex you are ready to forgive, but it’s the last time you are doing it. Any further strikes will ban them from your emotional server forever. There’s nothing selfish in being firm with what you like or don’t. No matter what society has taught you, putting yourself first is not always wrong.
. . .
2. Do they respect you and your point of view?
No communication is going to work unless they respect you enough. Even if you pour your heart out, the person will keep taking you for granted. Think back to the time you were together. Did they ask for your opinions? Or did they take it well when you gave your thoughts on stuff?
Also, a relationship without respect isn’t the best kind. You need to respect each other. You and your opinions should matter to them. They can’t talk down upon you. There should be equality in a romantic relationship. Did you feel equal? Did you feel valued and respected in the relationship? You get to choose the second season of the relationship, so choose well.
. . .
3. Have you resolved the issue?
Why did you guys break up? What was the actual reason? Before you get into anything, talk about the issue that separated you two.
You can’t expect to last long in a relationship if there are matters left unchecked. If you had separated due to an issue, you need to solve it first. Else there will be bitterness in your hearts which is not a great way to live as a couple. You won’t be able to put up the pretense of nonchalance for too long. If it had hurt your relationship so much that it broke, it is powerful enough to do it again.
If you want to get together, you need to behave like adults. Please sit down and hash it out together. Talk about it. Be respectful of each other but do not shy away from stating the facts. Call them out on their past behavior.
. . .
4. Are they remorseful?
Do they accept their fault in the breakup? I hope you aren’t getting excuses for the past action. If there’s no acknowledgment of the mistakes, I don’t think your future looks any different. They blame the situation, the environment, a third person, or even you, for that matter. Everyone seems to be at fault except them.
A person who doesn’t take responsibility for his actions can’t improve. You are up for another exact relationship and a similar ending.
. . .
5. Are they trying to change?
Being apologetic for one’s actions is the first step to change. But it isn’t equal to change. They need to take actual action. Do you see any differences? After you have communicated your issues, did they improve even by 1%? Does it look like they want the change, or is it all talks? If you notice the same behavior patterns as before, it’s because most likely they haven’t changed. And they don’t mean to change any time soon.
You can’t be with the same person and expect your relationship to work this time. It didn’t the last time. It won’t this time.
. . .
6. What if they don’t change?
Are you up for one more soul-crushing heartbreak? Can you or your heart survive that? Give yourself some extra time to reflect on this question. They are promising never to repeat the mistake. But what if they do? No one can know the future for sure. They think in their hearts that they’ll change. But are you prepared for the future where they don’t?
If you can live with the same person they were before, you may not have any significant issues. But if you have come to loathe the person he was and are staking all your happiness on his change, you need to think.
Yes, sometimes people change, but a 180-degree change is near to impossible. Please choose how much of the previous them you can tolerate and base your answer on that.
. . .
7. Have you forgiven them for their mistake?
Your relationship cannot walk even a yard if you hold a grudge against them. You have analyzed all the aspects of this, accepted them, and the ties back to your life. Now, it’s your actions that are responsible. You cant get them back in your life but still be hung on the mistake. If you have decided to be together, or even apart for that matter, you need to forgive them.
It would help if you let the past go. Build your trust, your love, and your relationship again. Start it all over again — from ground zero.
. . .
You either need to let them go or get them back. Being in the constant state of indecision will do you nothing but harm. Ask yourself these questions. You can write the answers down if you want. Use your mind and emotions to conclude. Listen to your intuitions. After all, no one knows what’s best for you better than you.
You need to be around people who motivate you, who make you feel desired, and help you win. That cannot be someone who pulls you down at every chance they get. You are not responsible for changing anyone. You have your own messed-up life to solve and get better.
Whatever you decide, give yourself a second chance. Gain back your life and happiness. Teach yourself to love again.
This post was previously published on Hello, Love.
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