Wednesday, February 22, 2012

6 Reasons You Shouldn't Get Back With Your Ex

I am guilty of playing the date-the-ex game... Are you? If so, this hits where it hurts!!

Check out the story from

Amber Vennum, an assistant professor at Kansas State University, is conducting a study of couples in cyclical relationships, i.e., those who have broken up and then gotten back together. According to her research, this is a common dating situation. Vennum analyzed information from cyclical and noncyclical couples using the relationship deciding scale, which assesses relationship qualities and accurately predicts what the relationship will be like 14 weeks into the future. What she found doesn't look good for couples who are considering getting back together.

Per Vennum’s research, couples in cyclical relationships display the following negative traits:

  • More impulsive about major relationship transitions, like moving in together or having children
  • Generally less satisfied with their partner
  • Worse communication
  • Make more decisions that negatively affected the relationship
  • Lower self-esteem
  • Experience higher uncertainty about their future together

Vennum also cites to previous research that indicates that couples who get back together think their partner has changed or that communication is better, but that doesn't seem to be the reality. She says, "The idea is that because people aren't making explicit commitments to the relationship, they are less likely to engage in pro-relationship behaviors, such as discussing the state of the relationship or making sacrifices for their partner." Vennum’s general advice for couples who have broken up is to not get back together.

As an infamously bad decision maker/the survivor of a cyclical relationship myself (you guys, I think I have seriously used the phrase, “When we broke up for the fourth time…”), I have to agree that I don't think cyclical relationships are healthy or have much potential to last. Aside from the reasons above, and the fact that your friends will probably be unable to break their own personal cycle of hating his stupid guts, I think there was one crushing reason why it didn't work for me. By dating my ex again, after he had done some pretty terrible things and without any major changes other than that we missed each other, I was basically sending him the message that it was okay to hurt me. So he kept doing it until he finally messed it up so bad, I reached my breaking point. As you can imagine, that did not feel like a positive experience. Getting back together can seem sweet or exciting, but it's really hard for people to change. Unless you broke up over something like distance or youth that can truly be different once you are back together, I think it’s generally a bad idea.


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