Originally posted on Bustle.
Should you get back together with your ex? It’s a question that a lot of us have asked ourselves. Once post-breakup regret sets in, we start reminding ourselves that nobody’s perfect — and that no relationship is either — so maybe we made a mistake. It is definitely true that every relationship has its issues, but that doesn’t always meant that getting back together is the right choice. “According to the well-known couples researcher Dr. John Gottman, 69 percent of relationship conflict is about perpetual problems — and ALL couples have them,” Pella Weisman, Dating Coach and Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, tells Bustle. “It’s inevitable that there are ongoing issues in any relationship, and this is OK (although not easy), as long as they are things you can live with. If the issues are problematic, be honest with yourself about this. Even better, get an outside perspective from someone you trust.”
Because it can feel impossible to know whether the issues are big enough that they warrant a breakup. Maybe they don’t want kids and you do, but you don’t want them yet. Maybe you always have the same fight, but feel like you’re good at talking about it. Maybe your relationship is more complicated than that. But which issues are big enough that mean you need to stay broken up — and which ones can be dealt with?
Well, the truth is, you can’t divide it up that simply. Every couple is different, so what is a dealbreaker for one couple might not break another. Instead, you need to focus on being honest with yourself. And there’s one issue in particular you need to be really willing to be open about.
So, what’s the one question you should ask yourself before you decide to make the leap and get back together with you ex?
Can I Be With This Person As They Are Now?
Can you be with them not as they’re promising to be, not who they’re promising to become, but the person who they are right now. If you can’t accept who they are right now, then getting back together could be really, really messy. “The only reason you should ever get back together with an ex is because you’re willing to accept them exactly as they are,” sex and relationship expert Ravid Yosef tells Bustle. “Acceptance, no matter the circumstances, is the only way that you can make it when that thing that was wrong in the first place creeps up again.”
And it makes total sense. If you broke up with someone but then regret it because you realize you want to be with them and want the relationship you had, that’s a lot different than getting back together because someone promises you things will change. My mother always says that a leopard can’t change his spots. They may fade, but they’re always still there.
It’s not that people can’t change, we all shift as we grow older, but if you’re holding out for things to get better, you could be disappointed.
Getting back together with an ex is tough decision to make. And it’s totally normal to really, really believe that they can change and that the relationship can be transformed. I’ve done it way too many times. But if you want to get back together with somebody, make sure you’re ready to be with the person who they’ve always been, rather than some idealized version of them in the future. If that’s not the case, then hold out until you meet someone new —somebody you’re willing to accept as they actually are.