Question: Should I Get Back Together With My Ex?
This is a difficult question to answer without the specific details of your relationship. For example, did you only date your ex for a month, or for three years? However, without the details of your specific situation, I will attempt below to help you determine whether or not you should get back together with your ex.
Introduction: What Are the Goals of a Relationship?
The fields of biology, sociology, psychology and social psychology have discovered the basic needs of all human beings. Obviously, any healthy relationship would help to meet these needs, while an unhealthy one would prevent them from being met. Therefore, any relationship that was helping to meet these needs is worth salvaging, while a relationship that wasn’t is better of left alone. In other words, if your ex boyfriend or girlfriend was preventing your basic human needs from being met, then consider it a blessing that the relationship is over.
The Basic Emotional Needs of Humans
Safety and Security
The first need all of us have is the need to feel safe and secure. This safety comes in various forms, such as physical, emotional, financial, etc. Did your ex violate your safety in any way? Was he or she physically or emotionally abusive? Did he or she use fear to control you? If any of these are true, then you are better off letting the relationship die. Do what you need to do to move on. Alternatively, a relationship worth fighting is one where the other went out of their way to make you feel safe, physically and emotionally.
Friendship and Intimacy
These are crucial needs that we all need to have met on a daily basis. Fear of intimacy is quite common and we all suffer from this fear to some extent. Mild to medium fear of intimacy can be tolerated. And, if you and your partner can become aware of your fears of intimacy and make efforts to work on them, then you can expect a reasonably healthy relationship. On the other hand, you should avoid a relationship with anyone who has more than a moderate fear of intimacy. They could be the nicest, kindest, most attractive and successful person, but you are NOT going to have your basic needs met if they fear intimacy.
It should be noted that the intimacy under discussion here is not sexual intimacy, though also quite important. Couples can have an amazing and fulfilling sexual relationship, yet sex cannot fulfill the emotional intimacy discussed above, and any relationship lacking it is doomed to failure.
Take this Fear of Intimacy Quiz to determine to what extent you or your partner fear intimacy. It says it’s for a “boyfriend” but it works for both men and women.
Sense of Autonomy, Agency and Control
Humans have a basic need to be free to do what one wants, within certain limits of course. Any relationship where one partner is restricting the freedom of the other is dangerous and should be dissolved. Some examples of what to watch out for are a partner who is over-controlling, doesn’t let you go out with friends and is always wanting to know where are you are what you are doing. If this sounds like your ex, then move on. They are not worth getting back together with.
Related to the previous need, humans need to feel part of a wider community. If your ex was trying to limit or completely prevent your engagement with friends and family, then be thankful the relationship is over.
Also related to the two previous needs, a healthy relationship is one where both have a sacred respect for each other’s privacy.
Still asking: Should I Get Back Together With My Ex?
Are you still wondering if you should get back together or not? If you feel, after careful reflection of your basic needs outlined above, that your ex was meeting them more than violating them, then it is definitely worth considering getting back together. If on the other hand, you have determined that your ex violated your basic human needs, or was actively involved in thwarting them, then make EVERY effort to resist ANY desire you have to get back together with him or her. Keep calm and move on.