How Did We Get Here in the First Place?
Right now I’m going to ask you to do something nearly impossible because you’re not thinking clearly – even though you probably think you are. When your heart is broken from a breakup – even if you did the breaking up – it clouds your true vision of the past.
But I need to know one thing…
What Caused the Split With Your Ex?
This is our #1 priority right now because if you can’t be honest with yourself about why this relationship ended (and that means knowing your contribution to it), then it’ll be like trying to save a sinking cruise ship with a thimble – it won’t work no matter how hard you try.
Is Your Ex Really Worth Your Time?
After this exercise, you’ll know if it makes sense to reunite – or keep dating until you find exactly what you need and want in a love relationship.
If you’ve followed the instructions in the previous chapter, you’re now calm enough to take a step back and look at what made yours and your ex’s relationship begin in the first place – and what made it end. Being physically and mentally ready will help you think more clearly and solutions will come more readily.
First, think about what attracted you to your ex in the first place. Was it an emotional connection (you could empathize with your ex’s past or it may be similar to yours) – physical (you really liked his looks) — or did you meet on a higher plane. For example, your ex may be extremely brilliant or have a powerful position. Many of us are seriously attracted to power and intelligence over anything else.
Another scenario of your mutual attraction may be that you were attracted to each other physically and later, developed an emotional or mental connection. Whatever it was, think about it and how it worked – or didn’t work – for you in the long run.
How to Take That First Step Back Into the Dating Game
The last thing on your mind after a breakup may be dating someone else. Just the thought of making another relationship work makes you sick at your stomach. But, there doesn’t have to be a “relationship” if you merely date someone else that you’re somewhat attracted to.
Getting back out into the world of dating is extremely important at this time of your life. It will give you a more panoramic view of what your life can be and let you know that you can be happy again.
If you’ve been out of commission for quite a while, you may have lost contact with other single friends who could lead you back to the places where you can meet new people and have a life outside of home and work. You may have friends who know singles or you may decide to go to one of the online dating sites to meet someone.
What Traits Do You Want In a Companion?
This is the part of evaluating your last relationship where you can get a clear view on why you and your ex didn’t work out. In your journal or workbook, begin writing down what traits that you think are important in a long-term relationship. Be hon- est. You may choose some of the following subjects to think about:
• Trust – It’s the number one trait that most people want in life-partner. Did you trust your ex only to suffer a major betrayal? As Oprah likes to say, “When a person shows you who they really are – believe him!” Remember that when you evaluate your ex.
• Dependability – Have you been disappointed in the past by your ex’s depend- ability? Maybe he didn’t remember your birthday or anniversary – or was late or didn’t show up to an important event.
• Success – If you’re successful, you probably want your partner to be successful. If not, you may build up resentments because you’re providing more.
• Loves kids (or animals) – You may have children from another relationship, and if so, it’s an absolute deal-breaker if your ex doesn’t like kids. It’s also a deal- breaker if you have a pet that you love dearly and your ex hates it.
• Liking the same leisure activities – You may enjoy hiking or sailing and your ex wants nothing else but to lay on the couch and watch sports. Having to find some- one else to enjoy off-time with can get old – fast.
• Financial security – Does your ex make an attempt to spend money wisely and save for the future? If that’s important to you, but not to your ex (or vise-versa) – think twice before you get back together.
There are dozens more “must have” traits that you may find appealing in someone you want to build a relationship with. Write them all down as you think of them – then go back over them again and try to discover where your ex stacked up.
Get to the Crux of the Problem
Deep within, you know why your previous relationship failed. There may have been a climactic occasion, such as discovering that your ex was cheating, but there were most likely problems that led up to it. As you carefully go through the exercises in this book, you’ll become more clear about what the root of the real problem was and how you played a part in it.
Beware that relationships are in constant evolution. If you’re in a relationship for five years, you won’t feel the same as you did during the blooming stages, but those feelings can be even better if you see them for what they are – knowledge of and a deeper love for the other person.
Giving Your Ex the Green Light to Get Back Onboard
after you’ve given yourself some time to rethink the relationship between you and your ex, you may decide that you want him back. If you’ve given each other some space to think, he may be as ready as you are to patch things up.
My advice was to halt all communication until you’ve given thorough thought to the situation – and if you heeded that advice, it’s time to make contact again and get back on the relationship highway.
Stay Away From the Blame Game
The “getting back together” light was red and now it’s yellow – for caution. As you begin to have conversations with each other again, you’ll both be cautious about bringing up old hurts and reasons for the breakup.
It’s important that you stay away from blaming each other, no matter how much you want to, even when the time is right to talk about it – and you will have to talk about it.
This time may be the only opportunity you have to turn back the clock on your relationship – to rekindle the sparks that brought the two of you together in the first place. To make that happen, you’ve got to stay away from why the split happened in the first place. That means not bringing up a huge fight, a cheating incident or anything else that can break the spell of this magical time between you.
Special Obstacles for Star-Crossed Lovers
There are many obstacles blocking the path for lovers who split for some reason or other and then realized they’ve made a horrible mistake. Is it too late or is it just too exhausting to try and figure out the angles of a successful reunion? Many star-crossed lovers have been successful in their quest to resume a relationship – but many more never make it back together because there’s just too much to overcome. Listen up if you don’t want this to happen to you. To be successful, couples have enough problems to deal with without having to deal with the aftermath of making up after breaking up. These obstacles to a happy and successful relationship must be overcome and it takes lots of work from both of you. Certain patterns in your relationship will determine success or failure. How you react to issues, outside influences that can be good or bad and how much you strive to work together on removing the obstacles is the best measure of a successful relationship. If only one of you is working on these issues, the relationship has very little chance of success – but if you’re both determined to move on despite the break up and the roadblocks surrounding it, there’s a good chance you can enjoy life as a happy and successful couple.