Your relationship has come to an end, and you’ve said your goodbyes, but you still find yourself struggling with lingering feelings. Is this normal? If you’ve ever wondered whether you’ve said goodbye to the one great love of your life, this ones for you…
Polls reveal that a whopping 73% of Americans believe in the existence of soulmates, a testament to the number of romantics that still exist among us. We long to find that ‘special someone’ that we believe we are destined to spend our lives with, building a dream life together full of joy and happiness. The problem with this thinking is that it’s built on the idea that there is only one person, and when that person is gone, or if you missed your chance, then you are doomed to live this life alone.
However, relationship and wellness coach Shula Melamed assures us that this isn’t the case. In fact, if you believe that your ex may have been ‘the one’, there is nothing wrong with revisiting the relationship. She warns, however, that you need to figure this out within your own head and heart before even making an effort to reconnect.
“Dig deep and figure out your motivations for ending the relationship in the first place,” she advises. “Have you done the necessary work on yourself to show up for yourself, the other person, and this relationship?”
Generally speaking, your ex is an ex for a reason. Your relationship didn’t end for no reason. Take some time to look back on the relationship, specifically the breakup, and identify why it didn’t work out the first time. Remember, we can change as can life’s situations. You may have been at a place in your life that you weren’t ready to commit, or that you needed to work on aspects of your own life before you could welcome someone into it, and that’s okay. Have you addressed these areas before trying to open that door again? If not, you’re only setting yourself up for certain heartbreak.
Take a hard look at the effort that you previously put into this relationship, was it lacking in any way? If so, are you ready to step up your game and truly be there for your partner? Are you at a place where you can embrace the idea of compromise and sacrifice where necessary? Melamed confirms that “If you or they have come to a place where better care and attention can be paid to the relationship, it might be worth a shot.”
If you truly believe that you, as a person, are in the place you need to be in order to revisit the relationship, then take a look at why you are suddenly interested in reconnecting. The big question that needs to be answered is whether you are truly missing that person in your life, or simply missing the idea of that person in your life? Are you in love with your ex, or in love with the idea of being in love? This is an important distinction, as you don’t want to open past hurts when all you are really looking for is someone, anyone, to fill the void and allow you to feel love again. Instead, you would be better served working on yourself and looking forward to the future and new possibilities.
Finally, and arguably the most difficult step, you need to discover whether or not your ex is feeling the same way. Just because you are regretting breaking up, doesn’t mean that they will be. There is the possibility that they are happier now, moving on with their life, and not interested in reopening that chapter. As Melamed warns, “Be prepared for whatever their response might be.”
Most importantly, remind yourself that there isn’t just ‘one love’ in your life. Relationship experts have a number of theories revolving around the idea of multiple loves, each serving a different purpose. There is the possibility that while your ex was a love that taught you important lessons about relationships and connections, that may have been their purpose. If so, it’s time to keep your heart and your mind open to the possibility that your greatest love is still out there.