As the excitement surrounding those Bennifer rumours highlight, the idea of a romantic reunion is a well-loved concept. The Notebooks of the world tell us that great love stories often break apart – only to come back together stronger than ever. But is that the truth?
Sure, nostalgia can be a mighty aphrodisiac but not all old loves are worth a second (or third) look.
So, how can you tell if your reconciliation is going to be the stuff of fairytales, and what are the key signs that the past should be left where it lies?
If you’re flirting with the idea of heading back to an ex à la Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck (allegedly), here are some hints that it isn’t a god-awful idea.
1. Things have changed, considerably
Why did you break up in the first place? If the issue at the core of your relationship’s demise is no longer a problem for you, maybe it’s worth giving your love story another go.
It’s important here to make sure that you actually address what went wrong last time, though. If your relationship broke down because of a communication disconnect, you need to work out how to effectively talk to one another before picking up again, otherwise, you’ll end up in the same bind over and over again.
In some cases, it may be worth chatting with a therapist about the areas you personally need to focus on. Couples’ counselling can also help in cases where trust needs to be rebuilt.
2. A solid chunk of time has passed
Sometimes, relationships burn out because the two of you are after different things. Other times, it really is a case where you’re both a little too young to really give your romance a shot. Time, growth and a shift in needs can all lead to a seamless reunion.
Timing is everything, baby.
3. You’re a couple of messes without one another
Don’t mistake this point as a green light to return to painful on-and-off-again relationships because you’re infatuated with one another. This rule does not apply to relationships that hurt you.
If, however, you and your partner split because of a solvable problem (see point one), or a desire to take a breather, and you’ve both discovered you’re miserable when apart, that’s probably a sign you should revisit things.
A good gauge here is checking with your family and friends. If they fall to the floor and cry out “for the love of all things holy, please don’t date that jerk again” – take the response into consideration.
Look, no one knows a relationship like the people inside of it. And if your heart desperately wants to go back to the one that got away, we’re not here to judge. Just be sure to think about it seriously, and be sure you’re making choices because they work for you, not because you’re feeling a little lonely and wish you could touch your ex’s abs again.
Anyway, best of luck (maybe) Bennifer 2.0.