I’m one of those people who rarely give second chances. In my opinion, if it didn’t work the first time why bother trying a second? But, every once in a while I’ve been known to give it a go with an old flame, and it’s usually worth the second chance.
Of course, when you date an ex you already know what to expect. You know how they feel when you make love, you know their favorite television show and what they like to snack on in the middle of the night.
Giving it a second chance, though, requires you to be braver than you are when you’re dating someone new. You have to forgive and forget, you have to be able to keep the fights clean. So, before you let your emotions from the past ruin your future, remember these 10 rules for dating your ex.
#1 Don’t Bring Up the Past
No matter what happened between you before, whether he cheated on you or you were the one who did him wrong, the first rule of dating your ex is to not remind each other of the past. You should never start a sentence with the words, “Remember that time when….” Leave the past behind you and don’t talk about old (bad) memories.
#2 Don’t Ask Questions
If you and your ex were apart for some time and you know that you both had the chance to see other people, you are not allowed to ask questions. Rule number two in dating your ex: It’s none of your business what happened when you were apart.
#3 Give Each Other a Blank Slate
Rule number three is similar to rule number one except it takes more effort. You have to be able to wipe the slate clean before you can get back together with an ex. In other words, try to learn about each other all over again. Instead of assuming you already know everything there is to know about your ex, give him a clean slate, forget the past, and re-learn him.
#4 Be Cautious but not Untrusting
Of course, giving him a clean slate doesn’t mean you have to go back into the relationship blindly. In fact, rule number four is very simple: Be cautious with your ex (it’s very difficult for people to change their ways, so he might not be as perfect as he seems), but don’t completely mistrust him right away, either. Take your time and don’t go in with presumptions.
#5 Remember Why it Didn’t Work
One of the best things to remember when you’re getting back together with an ex is that it didn’t work out the first time. Before you think it won’t work out this time, you need to seriously analyze why you originally broke up. Were you just not ready to be in a relationship? Was there too much distance? Was it something minor or something major? Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember why things didn’t work out the first time and work around those issues.
#6 Don’t Make the Same Mistakes
Which brings us to rule number six. Although it is hard for people to change their ways, it’s not exactly impossible for people to change their ways. One of the most important things you can do for your new relationship with an old boyfriend is to remember your mistakes and NOT repeat them. Were you too pushy and overbearing? Stop it. Were you too closed-hearted and emotionally available? Open up this time and let him in.
#7 Don’t Jump Back into Love
When you get back with an ex, one of the first things you’ll notice is that all of those old feelings come back. I was recently kissed by an old flame with whom I thought I had become “just friends” and suddenly my pulse raced, my heart fluttered, and all those old feelings came rushing back into my head and my heart. I have not yet decided if I’ll give it another try (his intentions aren’t quite as monogamous as mine), but it did make me realize how easily I could fall for him. So, before you start shouting, “I love you!” off the rooftop, step back from your old feelings and try to start new. I know, it’s easier said than done, right?
#8 Take it Slow
Not only do you not want to start the “love” part of a new relationship with an old lover right away, but you also want to take everything else slow. Sex? Yeah, you remember how awesome it was with him. But, before you jump into the sack on the first date, treat this relationship like you would any new relationship. Take it slow. The physical aspect and the intimacy should come naturally, but should also be done with caution.
#9 Make Sure Your Friends and Family Know to Behave
If there’s one universal aspect to any relationship it’s that men and women love to share their problems with friends and family. In other words, if you had a bad break-up with this guy and your pretty sure your brother might kill him if he ever sees your ex again, you’d better tell the family you’re dating again before the two of you show up for dinner. Also, make sure your family and friends behave themselves and keep their opinions to themselves) whenever your ex is with you.
#10 Try New Things
Finally, rule number 10 for dating your ex explicitly states to “try new things.” An old beau might feel like he fits you like a glove, but that could be a problem. Before you jump back into the old relationship routine, it’s important you and your ex get out and try new things together. If you had plans you never did before (such as skydiving or camping in the desert), then now’s your chance to do so.
Make sure when you get back with an ex that you’re really ready to be with that person again and not just lonely for love. Also, make sure the past doesn’t become the future.
Have you ever dated an ex?