It is rumored that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez are back together. Sometimes choosing your ex drunk is a good idea.
The couple dated in the early 90s and broke up after a two-year engagement. But now they’re snapped back together, and the actor appears to be wearing a watch that JLo gave him almost 19 years ago.
The return of ‘Bennifer’ may make you nostalgic for lost loved ones, but re-igniting an old flame isn’t always easy, says Jo Coker, a consulting psychologist who works with the College of Sex and Relationship Therapy.
“It takes courage to go back and say, ‘That could have been good and we can do it well,'” she says. “In some ways it is much harder to go back than it is to go forward.”
If you are thinking of trying a previous relationship again, it must be for the right reasons. Before you send that text, here are the biggest red (and green) flags.
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck in 2003.
Signs You Should Get Back With Your Ex
1. They both grew as individuals
That’s the big one, says Coker. If you still find the person attractive, and the old compatibilities are still there, that’s great – but you have to have grown too if you want it to work.
“If you have matured and suddenly realized that the things you previously thought were problematic are not such a problem – maybe you have been picky, maybe you have matured and you think I know how to deal with these difficulties now – these are the reasons to rethink a relationship in a positive way, ”she says.
A relationship can be better the second time because you both have had time to grow. “You may have learned a little more about life in the meantime,” she says.
2. You have identified your triggers
It’s really important for couples to have conversations about how things will be different, says Coker. This includes discussing your trigger points – the things that caused you to break up in the first place – and making sure they are resolved.
“If someone has a particularly frustrating trait for you, you need to consider, ‘How has that changed, how is it going to change, and what will you do if it comes back?'” She says. “Let’s say someone is really carefree with money, how are you going to deal with it, the two of you together? How are you going to communicate about it? Communication is the key. ”
3. You have really handled infidelity
If a breakup was sparked by infidelity or some other form of betrayal, you need to understand why this happened before getting back together. “People often see an affair as one person good and the other bad, but the reality is Usually it comes from trouble in a relationship that can be unspoken, ”says Coker. “You have to consider whether this has been resolved.”
For a relationship to work after infidelity, a person must be willing to apologize for the matter and really mean it, she adds. The other person needs to be able to find forgiveness. If not, resentment wells beneath the surface of your second attempt.
4. You enjoy the relationship
Yes, coming back with an ex might take a bit of work, but you will know in your gut if it’s worth it. Are you excited to hang out with them again? Are you feeling alright with yourself? These are both obvious and crucial questions to ask yourself.
Signs You Shouldn’t Get Back With Your Ex
1. You have a sense of déjà vu
Does Your Ex Make You Feel 21 Again? Did you go straight back to your old dynamic? It’s not necessarily a good thing.
“If nothing has changed, if there has been no thought, or no work, or development, or maturity, and you go back to it, it’s going to crash again,” says Coker. “It’s really about how the couple individually worked on their life, on their development as people and what they have learned during that time.”
If you are mostly the same people, the old problems will reappear and your ability to deal with them will not have changed. “You whip out a dead horse if the problems that were there are still there and you try to work with them and nothing moves,” says Coker.
2. It was an abusive relationship
Coker emphasizes the importance of not being caught up in the “this time will be different” promises when a previous relationship has been in any way abusive. “If it’s been abusive, it’s a relationship you can never return to because it’s very unlikely to change,” she says. “That will always be there and underline it.”
For further assistance with abusive relationships, please contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
3. You go back to other people
“Sometimes people go back because the family loves their partner – ‘they thought they were great, so there’s something wrong with me if I don’t feel great’ – things like that shouldn’t be your decision, not yours Family, ”says Coker.
This can also happen with friendship groups. Ask yourself if you will be returning for the person or if you like their social scene. The latter will end in tears.
4. You settle down
Has the relationship actually changed? And are you looking forward to reliving the romance? Or are you going back because you don’t have the effort to continue being together, or because you’re afraid you won’t meet anyone?
“I think this is a real dilemma for people, especially biologically, for women as they get older, and there is something to be considered,” says Coker.
It can be difficult to see your own motivations for getting back into a relationship, especially if they’re related to loneliness or fear. Coker recommends speaking with a therapist to unpack your emotions and make the right decision for you.