You found love, but then you lost it. No matter your reasons, breaking up is never easy (although there are a few ways to make the process a little more bearable). But what do you do when you want to get back together with your partner? Is it ever a good idea?

When it comes to dating an ex, there isn't a simple once-size-fits-all solution. However, there are a few things that you can take into consideration before making up your mind. Keep reading to find out when it can be a good thing (and a bad thing!) to re-date an ex.

When Is It Okay, and When Do You Say "No"?

Depending on how your relationship with your ex ended, chances are that there are going to be a lot of people telling you to let the chapter of your love story stay closed. After all, they're probably remembering everything that you went through when the relationship ended the first time around. There are a few instances, however, in which it may be okay to give it another try.

Time Has Passed

How long ago did you and your ex call it quits? Obviously, there's a big difference between a week and five years. If you and your partner broke up last week, that's a pretty good indication that you should stay apart. It doesn't matter how much you miss them; the issues behind the breakup are still going to be present. On the other hand, if you and your ex have had enough time to recover from your breakup, you've dated other people and now you want to give your relationship another chance, then it may be okay to proceed, albeit cautiously.

Something Has Changed

Did you break up because at the time it seemed that your lives were going in different directions? Did someone have a destructive habit or tendency that made the relationship dysfunctional? In order for your reprise relationship to work, something needs to have changed significantly.

Just missing someone, even just loving someone, isn't enough to make a relationship work. If the dynamics that caused your breakup are still going to be there if you date again, then just do yourself a favor and say "no."

Proceeding with Caution

When considering whether or not you want to date an ex, it's imperative that you remember that there was a reason you broke up with them in the first time. Unless you have solid evidence to believe that the reason is no longer a factor, you're likely to end up in an "on again, off again" cycle, which, like most cycles, just becomes sad after a while. People who are caught up in a cycle never move forward.

Here are a few tips if you do decide to date your ex.

Treat It Like a New Relationship

Hopefully, if you're dating your ex, you've both undergone some big changes. When you have a history with someone, it's easy to feel like you know them, which makes it difficult to slow down and take the time to get to know them again. When dating an ex, treat it like a new relationship. Make mental notes of their favourite foods, their favourite activities, how they feel about their job and anything else that comes up, just like you would if you were dating someone you've only just met.

Be Mindful of Old Habits

Chances are that your relationship didn't go from great to over overnight. If you're like most couples, you have a specific and time-honed way of communicating with one another. For example, if you and your partner fell into a pattern of arguing and nitpicking, it's likely only a matter of time before that defines your relationship again unless you can be aware of your old habits and actually make an effort to change them.

Keep Your Eyes Open

Sometimes, no matter how much you want a relationship to work, it just doesn't. You see what you want to see in your partner and in the relationship, and you delude yourself into thinking that all is well and the problems aren't a big deal. Unfortunately, if that's the case, then it's only a matter of time before the relationship implodes. When dating an ex, be realistic and upfront about any issues, past and present, you may be dealing with. If necessary, be willing to permanently end the relationship.

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