Is going back to your ex really the best idea?

Recently I received a message from a friend that, referring to her ex, read: ‘I think we’re going to give it another go. Thoughts?’.

I replied, ‘Ahh sweetness’. Don’t judge me, I didn’t want to rain on her parade.

What you will find below is the detailed, albeit dramatic reply that went through my head and that I should have sent.


Let me just stop you right there Kelly (in the respect of anonymity, her name is obviously not actually Kelly). The word “ex” freaks me out almost as much as the word “boyfriend”, but anyway, in an attempt to take an unbiased approach, I’ll start by saying that most people have, at some point in their life really missed the person they used to be with and considered a giving it a second chance. It’s a bizarre thing how you can go from knowing someone’s daily routine and all that is going on in their life, to being sometimes worse than strangers (exiled strangers…?). Whether to give it another go is obviously dependent on the terms in which you left things when you first went your separate ways, so I’ll split this into three parts.


Part A. You left things on good terms. When you meet a new friend and they ask what your relationship status is, you simply answer ‘I’ve just come out of a relationship but it’s all fine and we are friends’. This tends to translate into an amicable, if somewhat one-sided ‘friendship’, in which you don’t really speak that much and you DEFINITELY do not sleep in a bed with them after a boozy night out when they suggest going back to yours because they ‘just want a cuddle’. Your friends will have said a lot of ‘you’ll be fine’s and ‘it gets better’s in an attempt to comfort your broken heart. You might even become actual friends later in life – FYI this part excludes those weird people that jump immediately into the ‘friends’ stage, despite having been sleeping together two weeks before and naively assume that neither one of them is going to get hurt. This usually has the highest success rate when a second chance is tried.


Part B. Things didn’t end so well, but no one cheated (this is key). Look, this basically has a 50/50 chance of working. Either, the past is left in the past and you overlook the things that annoyed you so much the first time around and end up really quite happy. Or, you realise that Ryan’s boyish good looks can’t mask how annoying he is when he’s drunk, or that it doesn’t matter how wonderful Jade is in bed because her voice makes you want to slam your head against a wall. The latter is perhaps more common but, who knows, maybe you’ll get back together and things will just work.

Part C. Someone cheated. Sadly, this is the section that ‘Kelly’ falls under. So here is the painful truth. Leave. I know it’s harder than you could ever have imagined it would be and you won’t fully understand that sick feeling just above your womb (I myself am a female so cannot accurately say where boys get this feeling) until you yourself have been cheated on. You will tell your friends, who inevitably have not yet experienced this, that they don’t understand and it isn’t as simple as just walking away. But, seriously, do it. Walk away and don’t look back. Going back to someone that has cheated on you is like reading the same book and expecting a different ending (such a mum quote, I know). It’s like reading Harry Potter and expecting Dumbledore to still be alive at the end. I know some people might read this and disagree. So, I’ll give you a brief explanation behind my reasoning.  Someone I cared about shagged a girl in a carpark two days after I left the country to go on holiday – to clarify this wasn’t okay and yes, we had had ‘the chat’ that confirmed we wouldn’t be kissing, let alone sleeping, with anyone else. I debated it for two weeks and then went back. It wasn’t the same. I became crippled with anxiety and a fully-fledged psycho and it took me about a year to properly get over it. Realistically, life’s too short and it’s just not worth it. What I kept reminding myself is that I would never have done that to him. ‘Kelly’ is like me. She’s kind and loving and wouldn’t hurt anyone, let alone someone she cared about. So, I think I’m going to need to paraphrase this and send her a harsher, but more beneficial reply. In all these parts, the best thing to have is good friends. One’s that will support you whatever your decision, but that certainly will tell you that ‘Kevin shagged a girl in a carpark and you are SO much better than that’.

Then again, what do I know? I’m not cupid!


HCX love xxx