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There are dif­fer­ent rea­sons former cou­ples get back to­gether, says Jo­han­nes­burg so­cial worker Nthabiseng Madikgetla.

Fear of the un­known Peo­ple are fear­ful of what life will be like with­out the per­son they dated. When the re­la­tion­ship ends, the per­son be­comes afraid of a new be­gin­ning.

Hope for change They may be hold­ing on to the hope they can work things out and have a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence the sec­ond time around.

Peer and fam­ily pres­sure Peo­ple may go back to an ex be­cause ev­ery­one around them is telling them they’re a match made in heaven. The fam­ily and friends may say things like how good they looked to­gether, how giv­ing their ex another chance won’t be such a bad idea or that they gave up too soon.

Pres­sure from the ex Some­one who’s un­able to stand up for them­selves and see their de­ci­sion through may be eas­ily per­suaded to change their mind if the right amount of pres­sure is put on them.

His­tory of the re­la­tion­ship Good mem­o­ries can make some­one go back to their ex. A per­son may feel in­debted be­cause their ex sup­ported them through a tough ex­pe­ri­ence.

Ben­e­fits of the re­la­tion­ship Peo­ple go back to an old re­la­tion­ship be­cause they feel they’re not get­ting what they used to get from the old re­la­tion­ship. If the part­ner was pro­vid­ing them with fi­nan­cial or emo­tional sup­port it’s com­mon to go back be­cause of those ben­e­fits.

Se­crets be­tween the cou­ple Peo­ple are likely to go back to their former part­ners if their exes know some­thing about them that if told, could de­stroy their life.

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