Most breakups end up leaving the dumpee feeling blind-sided and confused. The thought that a deep, romantic connection can be so callously severed can be consciously and subconsciously shocking. But not all is as it seems, and despite a dumper’s best attempts at shielding their emotions behind a smokescreen of anger or placidity, sooner or later they too must come to terms with their decision.
Only once a dumper is finally confronted with the notion of what life entails without their partner, do they begin to miss them in earnest (and it can take a surprising amount of time for this to occur). In my limited experience, almost all cases of dumping involve a withdrawal period where a dumper will miss their ex, even if they have no intention of reconciling.
Does this mean they always come back? Of course it doesn’t! But you knew this already didn’t you? The real question is, then, what are my chances?
Analyzing the breakup
Communication: The chance for post-breakup reconciliation begins with the establishment or continuance of contact. Due to the fact that most breakups lead to a degree of drama and impulsiveness, contact can be compromised. If the lines of communication between you and your ex are still open, especially if you are reminded they are, the foundation for reconciliation exists.
Motives: What reason were you given for the breakup, if any? Not all breakups are equal, some are impulsive and others are not. Impulsive breakups are more likely to lead to reconciliation. Some examples include:
- A breakup after a fit of anger or strong disagreement.
- A question of pride.
- A peak of anxiety or stress.
The key realization here is that a traumatic out-of-nowhere breakup stems from a strong emotion, which naturally implies caring. If they didn’t care, they would not have reacted as strongly as they did! In time, as anger dilutes, a window of reconciliation may present itself assuming pride can be overridden, contact is established, and there were no other factors that influenced the breakup.
In most cases, however, the breakup is the result of a lengthy, progressive downward spiral. While it may appear to be impulsive, bear in mind that most people breakup with their partners once they have surrendered and given up hope of a future together. Because of this, they also stop communicating their feelings as they once did. To the dumpee, the result is a brutal hi-and-bye, but in actuality, the emotional breakup happened a long time before the action itself took place.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which of these scenarios is most probable. In the case of the latter, getting back together may be an unrealistic goal in the short-term.
Analyzing the relationship
Forget the traumatic breakup, forget how oddly or ridiculously we often act once we’re dumped, in the long-term you will be judged not by the breakup event, but by the relationship itself. As I mentioned previously, our best chance for the dumper to come back comes after a significant amount of time, when they realize fully what life is like without us.
It is not uncommon to receive a strange out-of-the-blue call from the dumper a few weeks, months or even years down the line. The chance of this happening will hinge upon a few factors.
- How secure or insecure they are as individuals.
- How they were treated during the relationship.
- How prideful they are, and whether or not they feel you will be hostile or welcome to their contacting you.
- Their experiences after the breakup.
The bottom-line is this: If the relationship, beyond your dependency on each other, was something inherently useful and desirable in their life, they may decide they can’t do without it. If all that connected the dots was an addictive, possessive love, then once the addiction has passed they may find their new-found freedom more desirable. As harsh as this sounds, only you can decide which of the two is more likely.
Not all contact is equal
Be warned that even if your ex appears to be coming around, this may not necessarily indicate that they wish to reconcile. Instead, they may genuinely miss your platonic companionship, need your advice or have trouble letting go (guilt).
Real dumper’s remorse occurs when they want you back, not when they need you back. A good rule of thumb to go by when attempting to analyze their intentions is to:
- Take all contact at face value.
- Judge them by their actions, and not their words.
If you would settle for nothing less than an all-or-nothing relationship with your ex, make sure they are aware of this or you may find yourself pigeon-holed in a backseat driver friendship that will end painfully. Reconciliation involves compromise, settle for nothing else or you could be chasing shadows.