Leaving a tumultuous relationship for good can seem impossible. You might feel completely over your ex for the first few days after a breakup. But soon enough you know that all-too-familiar gnawing feeling in your gut will inevitably pull you back together…even though you knew breaking up was the right thing to do. Here are five reasons we keep coming back after breaking up.
Breakups often don’t last long because the sound of silence can be deafening. And the weight of solitude is suffocating. You run back to your ex-partner so you can breathe again. So you’re not alone with your thoughts, and you don’t have to deal with your real feelings. After all, being unhappy together is better than being unhappy alone. Right?
You’ve come back to your safe space in a bad relationship because it’s all you know. Your safe zone may not bring you the absolute peace you desire. In fact, it may slowly strip away everything that builds you up and makes you feel solid. But it’s something you can count on. It’s comfortable. Just the fact that it exists is comforting in itself. Change is hard and uncomfortable, even if it’s change for the better.
3. Inside out
You and your ex beau know each other inside and out. You have your inside jokes and memories that make your love unique. Moving on means meeting someone new. This means time and energy spent learning about them, and them learning about you. You don’t know how they like their steak, what movies they hate, or the perfect gift for the next special occasion. New territory is harder to trek than a worn trail or beaten path, so it’s just easier to return to an old flame.
4. Fear of rejection
Even though breaking up can inspire feelings of rejection, a makeup-breakup cycle softens the blow. You know they love you even if they act like they hate you. And when they want you back, the sting of a break up is basically erased.
Your former beau also accepts your faults. A new pair of eyes may point out how that quirk isn’t cute, or how your attitude “saucy” is actually unacceptable. In the arms of someone you can’t let go of, you don’t have to face criticism you haven’t heard before. What is said here might hurt but at least it’s predictable and doesn’t cut as deep.
5. Back in the day
Reminiscing about old times easily brings long estranged lovers back together. It’s easy to get caught up in yesteryear; thinking about what used to be instead of what is. But hindsight isn’t always 20/20. The past is often viewed through rose-colored glasses and the hard times get minimized and dismissed. The future can become glorified with goals and desires, but a bright new future can’t happen if you are stuck in the past.
It’s easy to recognize an unhealthy makeup-breakup relationship but it’s harder to understand why it happens. To help break the cycle you must understand why you keep coming back. Awareness is on the first step, but it’s a big one. Look at your love life with greater clarity and make more conscious choices going forward.