When to Let an Ex Back in – And When Not to

Cosmopolitan (South Africa) - - LOVE - BY JES­SICA GOOD­MAN

af­ter break­ing up more than three years ago, the hottest celeb cou­ple is back on and smoul­der­ing. are we talk­ing about Se­lena gomez and Justin Bieber? or Liam hemsworth and Miley Cyrus? or per­haps Chris Evans and Jenny Slate?

Yeah, lately there seem to be many for­mer cou­ples, fa­mous and not, who’ve rekin­dled their love (even tem­po­rar­ily). In fact, one study found that nearly 45% of peo­ple aged be­tween 17 and 24 have got back to­gether with an ex at least once. But how do you know whether back­slid­ing is a good idea?

De­spite the de­press­ing adage about peo­ple never chang­ing, ev­i­dence sug­gests that your con­nec­tion with some­one from the past ac­tu­ally can trans­form, given the right cir­cum­stances. In fact, exes who re­unite tend to have a higher level of ‘in­ti­mate self-dis­clo­sure’ than cou­ples who are mak­ing it of­fi­cial for the first time, says Sarah Halpern-Meekin, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor in the School of Hu­man Ecol­ogy at the Uni­ver­sity of Wis­con­sin at Madi­son. ‘ They’re more likely to share thoughts, fears, hopes and feel­ings, and feel bonded in an im­por­tant way,’ she ex­plains. Here’s how to size up whether your hap­pily ever af­ter, ver­sion 2.0, is a go.

1 Do you for a while

If your split is fresh, odds are you’re miss­ing bae like crazy. But it’s cru­cial to give your­self time alone to re­cu­per­ate from the re­la­tion­ship-end­ing blow. So, hang with your BFFs. Take a bunch of splurge-y work­out classes. Go on dates with peo­ple who are to­tally dif­fer­ent from Ex-y McEx­er­son. In short: get over them.

That might seem coun­ter­in­tu­itive, but re­search shows that work­ing through the dif­fi­cul­ties of a nasty split on your own can help you ex­pe­ri­ence per­sonal growth. ‘When you’re still sting­ing from a break-up, be cau­tious about get­ting back to­gether with your ex – you risk rip­ping open par­tially healed wounds,’ says re­la­tion­ships ex­pert Ty Tashiro, au­thor of Awk­ward.

If you rec­on­cile right away, you’ll deal with the same BS that irked you be­fore. But if you put in the solo time and work, then if/when you two do re­con­nect, both of you will have more self-re­liance and a clearer idea of what you want in a ro­man­tic part­ner.

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