Breakups are difficult for everyone. They’re one of the worst things that we go through in our lives and if it’s a relationship that we’ve invested a lot of time in (potentially years of our lives) as well as an awful lot of emotion and love, it can be utterly soul-destroying. And if a little while after, there’s the option of making up, it can be a very confusing time and it’s often difficult to know what to do for the best. Maybe you still love them but you’re worried it’s only going to go wrong again, or maybe you’re just feeling very lonely. All in all, you have three options: getting back together, staying friends, or going your separate ways altogether. Let’s examine the pros and cons of making up after breaking up.
1. Getting Back Together
You still love them and miss them, so getting back together will definitely make you feel a bit better for a while. There’s also the advantage that you already know them well, so there’s no awkwardness to go through, no first time meeting the family, or anything like that (assuming you were together for a fair amount of time in the first place). If you lived together then it means that all those worries about splitting possessions, who gets the dog / cat / rabbit / snake etc. are gone.
Why didn’t work the first time? If it was your partner’s fault, have they really changed? Or if it was something you did, can you be sure you won’t do it again? If it’s a little more complex then it’s even worse, because there are probably many things wrong on many different levels. Then there’s also the question of whether you can get over the breakup and whatever caused it; if they broke up with you, you might not be able to trust them again and will doubt if they really want to be with you.
2. Staying Friends
If you’ve got a lot of mutual friends, then it could prevent a need for them to take sides, and you and your ex will be happy enough seeing each other for social occasions. If you stay closer than that and still have a lot of time alone, you may not feel as lonely and the breakup might not take such a toll on you because you haven’t suddenly lost such an important person in your life. Your ex could potentially make a good friend if they care about you a lot and want you to be happy, but you’ll be able to tell whether this is the case from how they treated you during the breakup.
Mutual friends will probably have already made their mind up about who is to blame and taken sides. This is also a problem if you go your separate ways, but at least then you can make new friends and not worry about the old ones. But if you’re still friends with your ex, you’ll hear all about how so-called mutual friends are inviting him or her to things, when you’re not invited and realize they only used to invite you because you were with your ex. If you stay friends, there’s something even worse you could have to deal with though: your ex seeing someone new. If you’re properly over them then this shouldn’t be an issue, but getting completely over someone can take a while, and if they start seeing someone else after a month or two, not only could you possibly not deal with that because you still love them, but you’ll also feel that they didn’t really love you if they’ve moved on so quick. It could be very messy.
3. Going Separate Ways
If this person broke your heart, then you’re probably best being away from them so you can move on. It’s hard at first, but this way you can get on with your own life without having painful memories dragged up all of the time. Going your separate ways will also mean you’ve fully accepted that it’s over and you’ll no longer be waiting for their calls and hoping that you’ll get back together. Once you’ve accepted the situation, you can move on. There’s also the fact that if you don’t see or speak to them you won’t be tempted back into a relationship that will fail again.
You love them, you miss them, and you don’t know what you’re going to do without them, and the thought of never seeing them again is just too much. Going your separate ways entirely will probably increase the initial trauma of the breakup, especially if you don’t feel like you understand why it’s happened. Plus, the hope of getting back together can keep you going through such a tough time, and if you break your ties completely then you won’t have this hope.
The best option in the end is to leave things amicable, if you can, in a situation where if you have to see each other every so often (be it at work, or at social events, like birthdays and weddings of mutual friends) then it’s not too awkward and you can have a friendly chat. Getting back together is inadvisable because if it didn’t work the first time it won’t this time, and staying close friends will just cause trouble. Lead your own separate lives, but if you can remain friendly, then do so.