4 Reasons Your Breakup May Have Been A Mistake

Whether you’ve been together for years or only a few months, breakups are never easy. And in some situations, they’re not always for the better. While some temporary sadness is expected after a breakup, ending things with your SO shouldn’t leave you with long-term regret. If you find yourself stuck in one of the following scenarios, your relationship may be one worth reconsidering:

1. You’re still trying to make them jealous

Regardless of how your breakup went down, it’s normal to feel at least a little jealous the first time you see your ex with someone new. However, if it’s been six months and you’re still going out of your way to hook up with others in front of them, then you may just be trying to distract yourself from what you’re really feeling.

“My current boyfriend and I had a really bad breakup a few months back,” says Anna*, a junior at Emerson College. “We clearly weren’t over one another, though, because we kept texting after it ended. We both tried to make the other jealous by talking about other people we had hooked up with.”

According to Dr. Carole Lieberman, a Beverly Hills psychiatrist and relationship expert, trying to make your ex jealous can be a way of masking the feelings that you still have for them. "It could mean that you do still have feelings for [your ex], though perhaps you don’t want to admit it," she says.

While going out of your way to make your ex jealous may seem cathartic in the heat of the moment, it could cause further strain in your relationship (even if you remain broken up) down the road. If you’re looking to get their attention while still taking the high road, consider getting together for lunch or coffee to talk things through. Even if you don’t end up getting back together, getting closure can making moving on from a relationship a lot easier.

Related: 6 Reasons Why Guys Pull Away In Their Relationship

2. You can’t stop comparing your new dates and hook-ups to them

If you’re fresh out of a long-term relationship, it can be hard to adapt to life without your SO. However, if you’re comparing every new date and hook-up to those you had with your ex, that could be a major red flag that you’re not ready to move on just yet.

“If you are thinking that you made a mistake in breaking up with your ex, you need to decide whether it was really a mistake or whether you’re remembering them with rose-colored glasses because the other guys you’re dating aren’t as great as you thought they would be,” says Dr. Lieberman.

Consider the reasons why you and your SO broke up in the first place. Was it over a lack of communication, a fight that seems minor now or another problem that could be easily worked through? If you find yourself answering yes to these questions, then it may be worth reconsidering the breakup.

3. You remember even the bad parts of the relationship fondly

It goes without saying that there are certain partners who should never be given a second chance—anyone who has cheated on you, abused you sexually or emotionally or caused serious harm to your health and life. However, if you and your SO broke up solely because you fought a lot (and these fights seem stupid in retrospect), then that could be a sign that you’re ready to try things with them again.

“Eventually [my boyfriend and I] had a long talk and realized that while there were definitely things we both needed to work on, we missed one another enough to give our relationship another chance,” says Anna.

Iris Goldsztajn, a senior at the University of California Los Angeles, also decided to give her relationship a second chance. "When [my ex and I] talked [our breakup] over, we decided to try to date again. We had some amazing times, but eventually I started to feel weird about us again—the same way I'd felt the first time, and we broke up again. I'm still very attracted to him and seeing him still stings, but I know we weren't good together. In other words, I shouldn't have regretted breaking up with him, because it was better for both of us in the end."

Sometimes, all it takes is a break from your SO for you to realize how important they are to you. If they’re equally as willing to work through any problems the two of you may be having, then your relationship probably deserves another shot. After all, a little communication can go a long way in repairing ANY relationship for the long term. Even if things don't end up working out the second time around, you'll never be stuck wondering "what if."

4. You bring them up in every conversation 

After a rough break-up, it's totally expected that you'll need some time to reflect on what went down between you and your ex. After spending so much time with someone, it can be hard to go through your daily routine without thinking about them one way or another. However, if you can't get through class, a phone call with your mom, or a girl's night out without bringing your ex into every aspect of the conversation, that's a red flag that you definitely haven't moved on yet.

"I broke up with a guy because I didn't see it going anywhere, but we had a really strong attraction and (I think) strong feelings that just didn't go away," says Iris. "Every time I saw him after that I would whine to my friends about how much I missed him."

Regardless of whether you're bringing your ex up in a positive or negative way, bringing them into every conversation shows that you're uncertain about the decision to break-up. "If you’re always bringing up your ex in conversations, it means you are having trouble moving on," says Dr. Lieberman. "If you bring them up in a fond way, it means that you want others to believe that you once had a great partner, and therefore, will have another one soon. If you bring them up in a negative way, however, it means that you want others to help convince you that you did the right thing in breaking up with them."

If you're struggling to get your ex off your mind, it may be a sign that your relationship is worth considering. If you do decide to give things another try with them, though, make sure it's for the right reasons.

While going through a rough patch in a relationship, it can be hard to figure out exactly how you feel. However, if your feelings for your ex are lingering and there’s no good reason why the two of you shouldn’t try things again, then maybe a break was all the two of you needed to make you realize how much you care. Keep an open mind, and make communication your number one priority whether or not you decide to try things again.

About The Author

Brianna Susnak is a sophomore at Indiana University Bloomington where she studies journalism and Spanish. Her passions include social media, music, traveling, culture and the arts. Outside of class, she hosts her own weekly radio show and writes for the campus newspaper. In her free time, you can find her running, eating Nutella out of the jar and annoying her neighbors with loud music. Follow her on Twitter @briannasus.