How to know when enough is enough
I’ve come across the question a lot: Should I give an old lover a second chance? Here are my thoughts on the matter, for anyone who’s interested.
Unless you meet one of the four criteria outlined below, my answer is a “no.” And, as always, these are not hard and fast rules, but rather just general principles, so there are always exceptions. However, exceptions are just that: not the norm. So, if you want to base a decision on the off chance that your situation is not the norm, then by all means go ahead! Just be willing to take the risk and own up to whatever happens next.
All four of my criteria coalesce around one question: What has changed? If there hasn’t been a significant change (and by that I mean actions, not just words), then I’d recommend against going back to the ex unless you’re a sucker for pain and heartbreak.
If they have changed in an area that was a deal-breaker for you in the past, and now they’ve demonstrated that change appropriately with their actions over time, then I can support going back to the relationship to see whether it might work this time.
For example, let’s say that a healthy lifestyle is something that you really value in a partnership. If in the past they they’ve communicated that they exercise regularly and aim for a healthy lifestyle, but you noticed they never hit the gym, and yet recently you’ve seen that they’ve been following a consistent exercise routine for the past year, that may demonstrate that something significant has changed, which better aligns with your values. Therefore, you might get a different result this time around.
Perhaps you’ve changed. Maybe your ex was ready to give you everything you wanted back then, and maybe even asked you to move in with him (or some other marker of greater commitment), but you just weren’t ready. Maybe you got scared, or just weren’t ready to cut ties with your bachelorette ways.
But now time has passed, and you’ve grown out of that phase of your life. You’re ready for a long-term, committed relationship with deeper intimacy and connection, and you think that you and your ex finally want the same things. Then by all means, go get yours!
- The situation
Maybe you both tried hard to make it work the first time around, but the timing just never seemed quite right. Perhaps the first time he was moving away to grad school, for example, and the long-distance relationship didn’t work for you two. You both needed more intimacy than you were getting, and his priorities were centered more around his studies and creating connections with his classmates than they were about the partnership. But now that he’s graduated, you’re both back in the same city and ready to dedicate the necessary time to the relationship.
- Your perspective
By “perspective,” I mean that maybe you’ve realized you never should have broken up in the first place. While you didn’t think the other person was right for you back then, perhaps your perspective has shifted and you’ve realized that he actually was—and still is—right for you.
Perhaps he had all of your deal-breakers checked off, and he treated you with respect, but past experiences led you to a path of emotional unavailability and a love life that was too wrapped up in the chase. You interpreted the relationship without drama as being boring and without passion, and then you broke it off with this high-quality guy just because you thought that the spark just wasn’t there.
And yet, as time has passed, you’ve become aware of your emotionally unavailable tendencies, masked as the “I just can’t ever find the right guy” syndrome, or the “there just wasn’t any chemistry” conundrum, which really just meant that you chased unavailable men with red (or at least pink) flags so that they would finally pick you and prove that you were good enough.
But then you decided to work with me, and your perspective changed, and you realized you are so loveable! And then you went back to the guy who always thought you were the whole world and treated you like a queen, and who after a short while proved to be the most passionate of them all.
When in doubt
If you and your ex’s situation does not fall under one of the criteria above, then my advice would be to not go back to him in the end so that you avoid experiencing the same hardships that you did the time before. And more importantly, this will allow you to leave space for a high-quality guy to enter your life—a guy whose values and actions align with yours, and who you are compatible with.
If you want a man who acts and treats you better than your ex did, then you have to become a woman who expects and demands more than your ex could offer. A woman who respects herself and refuses to settle for less than what she deserves does so not only because she knows that she deserves more, but because she finally wants more, is ready for it, and is willing to demand it.
More often than not, she’s finally fed up with always putting up with less. She’s sick of the self-sabotaging behaviors that lead her to constant suffering and frustration, of being let down again and again and again. Because what I know for sure is that the universe has your back, and like energy attracts like energy. If you up-level your energy and start demanding more out of your life and the people in it, then your life and those in it will start to up-level along with you, and you’ll attract potential suitors who will also expect and demand more from you. Men will rise to the occasion. You just watch.
And if you’re curious about what energy you are putting out into the world and on your dates, and what that might be attracting into your life, take the Energy Strengths and Blocks Jump-Start Assessment and Debrief with me and let’s figure it out!
A lot of my clients feel like they’ve tried everything and are doing everything “right” in order to attract a high-quality man, but then they find that they still come up short because they are unconsciously giving off a certain vibe that repels men. For example, they might think that they finally deserve a good guy, and intellectually they know that it’s true, but deep down on some unconscious level they still don’t believe that they’re good enough, and therefore they continue to give off a hesitant, self-conscious air while dating.
Let’s get you out of your damn own way and into your epic love story once and for all! My dream for you is bigger than getting over a past lover that didn’t meet your wants and desires. I want you to be aiming for a relationship with a partner who sees you for the wonderful and fierce woman that you are, who meets all your deal-breakers (see the previous blog post entitled “Stop settling for less than you want and deserve: Defining your deal-breakers”), and creates the most authentic, true, and beautiful love life with you, as soon as damn possible.
Book a consult with me today to see if the Most Authentic You Dating Program is right for you.