Should you go back to your ex?

You met him when the times were simpler, when a stroll by the river meant more to you than jet off to exotic locales and when a single red rose could warm your heart in a way an expensive perfume couldn’t. But not all great romances have to work out. And more often than not, the two of you don’t end up riding on a white horse towards sunset. Sometimes, even if you may get married to the love of your life, the tedium of marriage can shatter your rose-tinted glasses and bring any great infatuation to its knees. Couples may also drift away or be separated due to parental disapproval or distance. But if it’s meant to be, many rekindle their lost romance and go back to lovers they have lost in the past. Why do some people remarry their exes?

There are many reasons why an old romance could be tempting. There is an element of familiarity, comfort and chemistry. Distance also gives you perspective and time to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your relationship. That’s why it is tempting to rush into the arms of long-lost love. Many famous personalities have done so in the past. Recently, there were whispers about Hrithik Roshan and Susanne Khan rekindling their failed marriage. But is going back to an ex or a lost love such a wise thing to do?

When it’s an ex from a failed relationship
Dr Era Dutta, Consultant Neuropsychiatrist and Therapist Mind Wellness & Fortis Healthcare says that many people go back to their exes, even after the relationship has failed or ended up in a divorce. “Most of the time, love has to be quantitative, not qualitative. That’s why many value long-term comfort over short-term chemistry,” she says. It’s fine to go back to an ex after your relationship has failed, provided that the couple work towards mending the problem that separated them in the first place. “People evolve. Some issues like infidelity can be forgiven and forgotten if the couple wants to save the relationship. Even incompatibility can be worked out if the partner’s quirks can be overlooked,” she says.

But some issues are an absolute deal-breaker, according to Dr Dutta. If there is emotional and physical abuse involved, there is no point in going back to the relationship. “Another one is addiction. If one partner doesn’t seek help for it, the other may find it difficult to cope in the relationship,” she says.

When the ex is a “lost love”
We have all had a certain someone who was “one that got away.” In case you are wondering whether it could have worked out, here’s some encouraging news for you. Dr Nancy Kalish, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, California State University, Sacramento has both figuratively and literally written the book on the topic of lost loves. Dr Kalish’s two books Lost & Found Lovers and Lost Love Chronicles are based on her extensive research on the topic of rekindling love, especially one which was interrupted due to situational problems like relocation, parental disapproval or falling in love too young.

If the couple dated each other for a year when they were younger than 22, if a situation outside their control broke them and they always wondered how their relationship may have turned out, rekindling such relationships may often be a success. Dr Kalish says that these are good romances that were interrupted. “So when they get back together, the situation that broke them up is no longer there. But if people who were not getting along during the initial romance try again years later, it doesn’t work,” she opines.

There’s no way to predict the outcome of rekindling failed or lost relationships since human beings are dynamic creatures who are often evolving. If you think the relationship is worth fighting for, no rule in the rule book should discourage you.

Image source: Shutterstock

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