When you find yourself back on the market, the first potential lovers who tend to come to mind are the ghosts of your relationships past. Whether the flings ended on good terms or bad, we have put together a few key points to keep in mind before you dive into those familiar waters.
Do consider how long the two of you have been apart
A lot can change over the course of your love life and these fluctuations can alter a person’s entire views on life, love and people in general. It is possible that if you and your ex have been split up long enough, that the amount of water under the bridge could mean the difference between life-long happiness and an all-too-familiar heartbreak.
On the same token, if you and your ex made the split more recently, there is a very good chance that not much, if anything, has actually changed in either of your lives and those same old problems that caused the break up in the first place will still be there waiting.
Don’t jump right back in and expect things to be the same
This one can be tough, because re-kindling with an ex can seem like the perfect opportunity to jump right back in where you left off, but under different and (hopefully) better circumstances, but in almost all cases, this will not be your reality.
Break-ups change people and more than likely, you and your ex will have spread your wings and both dated and lost a few relationships between then and now.
These relationships will have changed you both in many ways from introducing you to new types of food or music, new friends or, on the negative side, created a host of shiny new hang ups that weren’t there before.
You may be surprised to see just how much you or your ex has changed, so embrace these new incarnations of yourselves and see how well you fit into each other’s lives.
Do take it slow
At best, a new old relationship will feel like last season’s coziest sweater on the first chilly day in Autumn and you may find yourself eager to push the relationship along faster- push it to where two of you left off, but remember that it was that point where your relationship broke in the first place and being in a hurry to get back there will ultimately do more harm than good.
Be friends, enjoy each other’s company, hold hands, go out, but don’t rush the mushy stuff. You are more than welcome to talk about your feelings to make sure you are both on the same page.
However, just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, you and your ex built Rome, bombed it, watched it burn to the ground and did nothing to save the Romans, so relax and enjoy what you have while you have it.
You can forgive each other, but forgetting is much more difficult and the heart never forgets those who have broken it.
Don’t spread the word until you are both ready
While this is good advice for any newborn relationship, it stands especially true for this situation. Chances are that the same friends who liberally applied ice cream to your emotional wounds and vodka to his are still around and may not be overly excited to watch romance bloom between you again.
This may not seem like a big deal when your brain is flooding with those awesome love chemicals, but concerned friends excel at planting seeds of doubt that can create unnecessary concerns.
It should be noted that if your ex really was a terrible person, he will probably not have changed that much and your friends could have a point, but if either of you have worked hard and made a conscious effort to be better people or you just had a slight timing error the first go-round, it is definitely worth all of the positivity and hope in the world and nay-sayers can only hurt that in the first few months.
Do fully examine your motives for wanting back in
Regardless of why you have found yourself newly single, take a good, hard look at why you have found yourself reaching out to this person before you reply to their flirty text.
Going back is always harder than going forward and the majority of the time, going back will end up hurting worse the second time, if for no other reason than you will have all of the heartache of love lost with the added bonus of knowing for a fact that you should have known better.
But if you both seem to have a firm grip on reality, no (more) crazy exs, no debilitating habits or more than the normal amount of untreated emotional issues, it will always be worth a shot. There aren’t many good people in the world and if you were lucky enough to have had one once and stupid enough to throw it away, you owe it to yourself to try again.
But if you or your ex is desperate, miserable, lonely or looking for closure, you’d be better off looking for your prince in another castle.
Reigniting a flame with an ex is phenomenally easier than finding a spark with a total stranger, but keep in mind that without a firm foundation and a slow beginning, it is liable to be a fire that consumes both of you before you even know what’s happening.
Ultimately, the object of dating is to find the one person that fills your heart with joy and with that as your goal, everything else should fall naturally into place.
Date Ideas for Rekindling Old Flames
Although it might seem obvious to hit up your old hot spots when starting over again, we have compiled a few date nights that are new and exciting ways to get to know your old lover all over again.
Take a day trip to a new city
If the two of you have a thousand memories built up in your current town, try a new place on for size. Hit up an online review database or the city’s chamber of commerce website for hints on hidden gems and get lost together. For maximum chat time, check out a train or bus schedule and let someone else do the driving. You never really know someone until you are both out of your comfort zones.
If you or your man are culinarily challenged, try finding a delicious recipe online and preparing it together. No matter how modern the man, most will be intrigued by a lady who is willing to get her hands dirty to feed him.
Head out to the Drive-in
Although most experts would never recommend seeing a movie on a first date, the drive-in can offer a casual, comfortable atmosphere (depending on how recently you’ve cleaned out your car…) The two of you will have plenty of personal space for a little chatting and snuggling plus the added bonus of being able to bring your own food, snacks and drinks.
Do Something You Always Talked About Doing
Most couples have that list list of things that they would casually mention maybe doing someday and their relationship ran its course before the fun times could roll. Well, there is no time like the present. The best part about this is that it doesn’t even need to be a traditional “date.” Has your man always wanted to learn the guitar or did you always want to see the butterflies at the zoo? Go.
Buy the tickets, make the appointment and just go. If the experience of living and learning has taught you anything, it should be that there is no time time like the present. Every date should include something that one of the two of you is passionate about and if you haven’t found your passion yet, its about time you started looking.
So, go out and learn Brazilian Jujitsu or practice your waltz; perfect the art of Turkish coffee or sing your song for drunk strangers at a karaoke machine. Make new memories to enhance the old ones, because that is what this is about after all.
Take Him to Your New Favorite Spots
You’ve been busy in the months or years since the two of you split- meeting new people, doing new things- and there is no better way to show off how awesome you’ve been doing than to take him on a guided tour.
Whether you’ve discovered the best gyro within 100 miles or a beautiful new spot on the lake, going there on a date will not only be a fun experience for the two of you, but will also prove that you have been busy growing as a person.
Just keep in mind that if you were introduced to the new locale by a former beau, it’s best to keep that to yourself.
The key to picking a great date spot is going somewhere comfortable, devoid of all bad memories and doing something that at least one of you loves to do.