There’s no easy answer (Picture: Neil Webb/Metro.co.uk)
Welcome back to The Sex Column, our weekly advice series where we get the experts to resolve your dating dilemmas.
Last week we chatted to someone in a sexless relationship with a cheating girlfriend.
This time we have the age-old dilemma: should you or should you not get back with an ex?
Is it destined to be doomed? Or is life all about second chances? What should our dater do?
Let’s see what the experts think.
‘My relationship of one year ended around eight months ago. We kept bickering and he was in and out of work while I was busy with my new business. We were in very different places.
‘Looking back, I think he was even a little depressed but eventually we both agreed it wasn’t working.
‘I missed him but I focused on working hard and he went abroad to work with a friend. He’s due back soon and has got in touch to say that he wants us to try again.
‘I’ve been thinking about him a lot lately and I was happy when I read his message but there’s a big chance history could repeat itself.
‘I know I was distracted by work but I don’t know where he’s at with many things. How do we make this work?‘
What the experts say:
Many relationships would suffer under the pressure you describe.
‘You were soaring with work and he was stagnating,’ says Dr Angharad Rudkin.
‘But you both moved on to fulfil yourselves individually and enough time has now passed for you to consider this second go.’
Your break-up was an agreed resolution with no power imbalance and a mutual ending is a good place to consider a second beginning.
‘Whatever happens, at least you’re going in with your eyes open,’ says Rupert Smith. ‘You’re aware there were problems that might recur and you’re also aware there’s attraction that has survived the break-up.’
While we see plenty of potential, we suggest you start slowly and take time to discuss the unresolved dissatisfaction from your initial relationship.
‘You sound as if you’ve been very honest, at least with yourself,’ says James McConnachie. ‘But have you been honest with each other? To give yourselves the best chance, talk about what didn’t work and decide together how you’ll do it differently.’
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It can be difficult to understand what life is like for someone whose reality is separate from ours, so accept you were in different places and do your best to initially enjoy simply spending time together as opposed to launching back into the intensity of a relationship.
‘The past can cast a shadow if you let it but it can also create a solid foundation,’ says McConnachie. ‘Things that are mended well are sometimes stronger than things that never broke at all.’
Rupert Smith is an author and counsellor
James McConnachie is the author of Sex (Rough Guides)
Dr Angharad Rudkin is a clinical psychologist
Got a sex and dating dilemma?
To get expert advice, send your problem to firstname.lastname@example.org
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