- Couples occasionally break up only to get back together weeks, months, or years later.
- If you break up with your partner in hopes of getting back together in the future, there are some things you definitely shouldn’t do.
- Don’t speak poorly about your ex or pursue their friends if you want things to work out in the future.
Breaking up is hard, especially if you weren’t the one to initiate the split. Whether you’re hoping to make a rocky relationship work after spending some time apart or are hoping that your ex will reconsider their decision to end things, there are certain cardinal mistakes that you should never make if you want to eventually get back together with a former partner.
INSIDER spoke to psychologists and therapists to figure out what you should avoid doing during and after a breakup if you still want to be with your ex.
You speak negatively about your ex to mutual friends
We’re all human and we all need to vent. But bad-mouthing your ex could sabotage your efforts to reconnect with your former partner.
“Destroying your ex’s image in the eyes of others can create an unforgivable resentment towards you, which will get in the way of any attempt to rebuild the relationship,” marriage and family therapist Dr. Talal H. Alsaleem told INSIDER.
If you ever rekindle a romance with your former partner, your mutual friends won’t forget all the harsh words you spoke in anger and may be less supportive of your renewed relationship.
“If you have things that you want to say about them that are unfavorable, vent to just those people who know that they will keep it confidential,” advised dating coach Joann Cohen.
You try to romantically pursue one of your ex’s friends
During your relationship, your former partner’s friends were obviously off limits. However, you may have forged strong bonds with them that might lead to emerging romantic feelings after the end of your relationship.
“While it’s not infidelity if you’re truly broken up, this is the ultimate no-no for any partner who wants a second (or third) chance,” psychologist and relationship expert Adi Jaffe, Ph.D., told INSIDER.
If you ever want to get back together with your ex, dating or sleeping with one of their friends is a huge mistake.
“There is nothing more terrible that you can do to someone than to target their best friend for a fling. If they were taboo when you were together, they are taboo now,” said Cohen.
You share your ex’s secrets
Close relationships usually involve sharing secrets and divulging your innermost thoughts. Exposing those after breaking up is a sure way to alienate your ex.
“Pillow talk is meant to go no further than the bedroom door. No matter how tempted you might be to discuss your partner’s past, what they have said or to divulge their past discretions, don’t. If you betray their trust, it will only make you look bad,” said Cohen.
Revealing your former partner’s secrets makes you look like you can’t ever be trusted. If you want to get back together, keep your lips sealed.
You try to make your ex feel bad for you
You may be feeling understandably rotten, but misery and gloom aren’t exactly aphrodisiacs. Trying to make your ex feel sorry for you by isolating yourself and posting cryptic statuses on social media will only make you feel worse and won’t impress your ex.
“Hiding out in your bedroom or your apartment will just make things worse. This is a good time to remember how much other people love you and rebuild your self-esteem. When your ex finds out you’re doing well, they may reconsider the breakup,” psychotherapist and author Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., told INSIDER.
Instead of trying to convince your ex to come back out of pity, focus on rediscovering your individual identity and healing from the breakup. Your ex may be more tempted to return if you seem stable and easy to be around.
You erase all traces of your relationship online
No one wants to log on to social media and be confronted by endless photos of their former partner. But scrubbing your online life of any trace of your previous relationship can finalise the breakup in the eyes of your ex and shared friends.
“We delete and remove every trace so that we never have to see our ex’s face again. But, if and when they return, not only do we have to rationalize erasing them from our lives, but we may also have lost years’ worth of memories,” cautioned Dr. Jaffe.
Take a deep breath and allow some time to pass before instead of immediately going nuclear and deleting all your photos and posts. You might appreciate having them down the road.
You tell your ex that the sex was bad
Criticising your former partner’s skills in the bedroom is a good way to make a breakup permanent as it can make them feel especially vulnerable.
“Never tell your partner that they suck in bed. This will create a libido-killing permanent anxiety in the person,” Laurel Steinberg, Ph.D., NY-based clinical sexologist and relationship therapist, told INSIDER.
Just like sex, relationships require a certain level of vulnerability. Once you insult your partner’s sexual performance, they won’t be eager to be vulnerable with you again.
You end the relationship with a dramatic act
When you’re in the throes of a nasty breakup, it’s easy to let your stormy emotions get the better of you. However, if you want to preserve any chance of getting back together, don’t end the relationship with dramatic actions that you can’t easily take back.
“If you ended the relationship on a bad note by making threats, damaging property, and the like, you’ve made a big mistake. While you may have been in a fit of rage, your ex may have a hard time forgetting,” licensed clinical professional counselor Shlomo Slatkin told INSIDER.
Rather than slashing your ex’s tires or posting a tell-all social media status, try to approach the breakup with as much dignity as possible. Your ex will be left with a far more dignified final impression of you, which may help your efforts to mend the relationship down the line.
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