You’ve been dating your ex-partner again, but something has changed. You’re still enjoying each other’s company and having fun together, but you’re not sure if you actually want to get back together this time around. You know you probably shouldn’t be developing feelings for your ex, but you feel like this is happening anyway. Read on to learn 7 ways to develop feelings for your ex and stop yourself from making any major mistakes in the process of getting back together with him or her
Let go of the story
Many of us focus on our most recent failed relationship to help explain who we are and why we’re single. But there’s a good chance your past relationship doesn’t even predict your future relationships. Instead of spending time rehashing why you were with someone in the first place, try asking yourself these questions: What do I like about myself? How can I build on those strengths? How can I accept my weaknesses? How can I learn from my mistakes so they don’t happen again? Most importantly, how can I be open to finding love again—and when it comes knocking at my door, will I be ready for it? Asking yourself these questions is an opportunity to remind yourself that your worth isn’t tied up in any one person; it exists independently of them.
As soon as you start focusing on what went wrong, or beating yourself up over something that happened, stop and ask yourself if there is anything you can do differently next time around. When we approach dating as an opportunity to improve ourselves rather than evaluate others, we tend to attract people who appreciate us for who we really are.
Accept your feelings
Let’s face it, you’re probably going to develop feelings for your ex at some point. It can be tough to accept, but it is a reality. The sooner you accept that you will develop feelings for your ex, and therefore need to break up, the better off you’ll be. Before having any contact with them (phone calls, texts, e-mails), remind yourself of how badly they hurt or disappointed you. Remind yourself why you broke up in the first place.
If you feel like calling them just to hear their voice, tell yourself no! Don’t do it! You know where that road leads—right back into their arms! If you feel like texting them just because they texted you first, don’t do it! Don’t even read their text if it has nothing to do with something important. Just ignore it.
Instead, turn your attention to someone who deserves it: you! Spend time doing things that make you happy. Whether it’s hanging out with friends, reading a book, watching TV or playing video games—just make sure it doesn’t involve contacting your ex. They aren’t worth your time right now. And remember: You deserve so much more than what they gave you. Be patient and keep reminding yourself of all these things until those feelings start to go away on their own.
Reframe your mindset
The biggest hurdle you’ll need to overcome if you’re hoping to avoid developing feelings for your ex is reframing your mindset. If you still consider yourself their partner, and keep thinking about them as such, chances are high that eventually you will fall back into old patterns and develop feelings for them once again. However, if you truly want to move on from your relationship with your ex, it’s important that you stop considering them a part of your life in any way—and that means breaking all ties with them. It might be easier said than done, but it’s possible—and when it comes down to it, moving on from an ex is worth every bit of effort you put into it.
Do things differently in your new relationship
After a breakup, it’s normal to look back and remember why you fell in love with your ex in the first place. It’s hard not to wish that things could go back to the way they were.
But while relationships usually progress by learning more about one another and building deeper connections, after a breakup—especially if you’re moving on with someone new—it can be easy to revert back to old behaviors.
Cut contact with your ex as much as possible
It’s very easy to start developing feelings for an ex when you’re not spending much time with them. All it takes is a little bit of time to remember why things didn’t work out, and suddenly, you can be right back where you started. The best way to combat that is by limiting your contact—after all, if you have no choice but to interact with them on a daily basis, it won’t be long before those feelings develop into love again. Limit phone calls and visits as much as possible, and keep in touch only through text messages or emails.
If you really want to cut down on interactions, consider moving away from your ex-partner’s city or even state! You might feel like you’re being overly cautious, but trust us: When it comes to feeling bitter towards someone who broke your heart, prevention is definitely better than cure.
Don’t be around mutual friends (easier said than done!)
If you keep bumping into your ex and his/her new partner, it’s going to get harder not to develop feelings for him/her again. This doesn’t mean cutting your friends out of your life, but just don’t hang out with them in groups where your ex may be hanging around as well. Not seeing them together will make it easier not to develop feelings again. Remember, love is a choice – so choose not to have any more strong feelings for your ex!
Cut off from physical contact
Breakups are hard enough without having to deal with constant reminders of your former flame. If you’re struggling to let go, stay friends but keep interactions digital—add them on Facebook or Instagram and Snapchat each other a lot. Keep things light and friendly and don’t jump at opportunities to hang out. The less you see them, no matter how tempting, in person, the better!