There’s no better tool than grief to push us outside of our comfort zone in order to find long term solutions to our problems.
But most of the time the changes catalyzed by grief are unlikely to right past wrongs. Examples of this might include basic character mismatches, differences in core needs or the damage and trust issues born of repeated infidelity. Sometimes you just have to throw in the towel.
Sometimes the break up can serve as a push in the right direction. A way of making our ex realize what life without us truly entails. This void left in the wake of separation can bring about the change that was needed back when you were still together.
If you don’t feel it isn’t too late, here are five signs your ex might be deserving of another chance and that genuine, positive change has occurred.
Your Ex Demonstrates The Will To Initiate
A manipulative ex might initiate verbally in order to gauge your feelings. But these attempts are usually weak (mixed messages), indirect (crumbs) and temporary (hot and cold).
An ex who cares will not want to run the risk of having you move on into a rosy new dawn without them and will therefore attempt to remain present. They will want to know what you are thinking, and they will want to retain the ability to influence your future decisions.
All of this means one thing: They will choose actions over words.
Patricia C. Wrede
“Well,” said the frog, “what are you going to do about it?”
“Marrying Therandil? I don’t know. I’ve tried talking to my parents, but they won’t listen, and neither will Therandil.”
“I didn’t ask what you’d said about it,” the frog snapped. “I asked what you’re going to do. Nine times out of ten, talking is a way of avoiding doing things.”
Your Ex Offers Realistic Compromise
When faced with a breakup, it is all too common for the dumpee to offer their core needs as fuel to keep the relationship fire going.
The main problem with this is that this offer is impossible to sustain indefinitely, and you know it. It is a promise that cannot be kept, and will ultimately lead to resentment and bitterness when it all inexorably slides back to the same situation that led to the breakup in the first place.
Realistic compromise means finding an objective way to make ends meet without sacrificing core needs.
There is a chance that the detachment and separation caused by the break up has led both parties to become more objective about the issues that caused relationship toxicity.
If your ex’s arguments for reconciling stem from a place that isn’t fueled purely by desperation and grief, and is instead both rational and forward-thinking, there’s a chance something really has changed. Ultimately, you know your ex best and will have to trust your gut instinct when deciding if they are as genuine as they sound.
Your Ex Communicates Clearly And Directly
An ex who is on the fence or isn’t wholly committed will tend to blur their communication in an effort to keep you hooked but also refrain from making commitments they are unwilling to keep.
Refuse the stalemate and demand transparent and concise communication or this state of perpetual anxiety and confusion will endure. I guarantee it.
The flipside to this is an ex who knows what they want and isn’t going to run the risk of confusing you. Because confusion, as it turns out, will become unsustainable, and you will move on. Feelings or no feelings.
If they are communicating clearly, and asking the questions that matter, it is a sign that they are committed to fixing the issues that have plagued you both. Confronting the truth in this way takes courage, and is usually a sign that the foundations of the relationship are being rebuilt on solid ground.
Your Ex Is Willing To Take Responsibility
I’ve already mentioned the value of an ex who is willing to take responsibility for their situation by choosing action over words, but this time I mean something a little broader.
This time it isn’t just about pushing forward, it is about taking responsibility for the past as a whole and not just the present.
Reconciling successfully will demand that both parties become objective about their roles in the demise of the relationship the first time around.
Given how personal and traumatizing it can be to confront these truths, a lot of the time we bury our insecurity and project our pain outwards, blaming everyone but ourselves for our imperfections and mistakes.
An ex who shows they truly understand your side of the story, whether or not they agree with it, and how their actions may have impacted the relationship over time, is also demonstrating that they are ready to begin rebuilding something stronger.
But words and just words, and taking responsibility will also mean taking action. Be wary of promises that are not backed by the will to act.
Your Ex Is Willing To Lose
Being willing to lose is more than just an acceptance of what is. It is an attitude that prizes the pursuit of the truth before false hope and other distractors.
In a sense, the willingness to fail is also a sign that they respect you because it means that despite their desire to reconcile they understand your reservations about the relationship.
The willingness to lose is above all else a demonstration that your ex is balancing their needs with yours, and this balancing act is an important part of negotiating the birth of a better future together.
Signs Your Ex Deserves Another Chance
Many of these points merge into each other and are difficult to separate entirely. But they all share the same ground rule: They rely on your knowledge of your partner and your ability to channel your gut instinct effectively.
Look for breaks in patterns of behavior rather than U-turns in what they say. It is much harder to fake taking action than it is to craft a paragraph of text because of how much effort is involved. If your ex says they’ve changed, their actions should serve as the measurement of that change.
And if all else fails, trust your gut instinct, because it’s usually desperately trying to tell you something.