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Dating: The returning ex

There always seems to be one constant in our dating lives: the ex that won’t stay gone. It’s almost as if they have some kind of silent alarm that rings the moment we are completely over them. They show up and say the right things and suddenly we make a bad decision in a weak moment.

What is it about the one that resurfaces and makes us forget the reason we broke up with them? Is it ever a good idea to reunite with a former flame?

What would you do if your “one that got away” came back and seems to have changed? Do you give it another try or find a way to keep your distance?

Have you ever reunited with an ex and things turned out great? What do you think made the difference the second (third?) time around?

By Wise Diva, Misadventures in Atlanta Dating Blog

236 comments Add your comment

Lily

August 14th, 2012
7:31 am

I’m all too familiar with this scene but I never forget why he’s an ex. No going back for me.

Dwayne

August 14th, 2012
7:59 am

Stay away from your exes. Cut all ties as soon as things are over. Don’t answer the phone. Don’t answer the door. People need to move on.

The man formerly know as Dan - still...Superior

August 14th, 2012
8:15 am

If there’s a person with whom you share a geniune connection, you feel comfortable enough to drop your most guarded facade for, but – for whatever reason* – your relationship doesn’t work out, why dismiss that person as a possible mate?

People grow, people change, and some people need to have life ‘assist’ them along that path. With maturity comes perspective.

“Cut all ties” has never made sense to me. Maybe because I don’t like people in general, when I do find someone I like (more than tolerate) I like to keep them around if possible.

*Please note, DAN does not condone physical or mental abuse, these are explicit reasons to remove someone from your life permenantly and without recourse. Once someone feels comfortable assaulting you, they will NEVER lose that impulse. They may be able to control it over time, but the impulse – thus the fear and the probability that they will hit you again – will always be there.

disco

August 14th, 2012
8:42 am

I’ve been at work all of ten minutes and already I’m calling on jesus. here’s to a very good blog day. I ask you all to BRING IT.

disco

August 14th, 2012
8:49 am

y’all know I’m the chick with exes as friends. thing is, the ones that are friends aren’t necessarily ones that I’d want back. we cool but that’s it. now there is a guy who I will probably say is the one that got away. that one that I probably thought was “perfect for me” though I didn’t realize it until it was over. after it was over I spent many, many years comparing guys to him. probably still do on some level. he married about 10-12 years ago, had a kid and as far as I know they are still doing their thing. if he divorced and our paths crossed again I would definitely be willing to give it do-over.

Into the Light

August 14th, 2012
8:58 am

Morning, all!

Busy day at work already, but wanted to step in and say hello. :)

@disco: Somebody needs to turn on the blog music and get some coffee going…. I’m sleepy. :(

Single and Happy "don't judge others simply because they sin differently than you"

August 14th, 2012
8:59 am

I have an ex that recently came back in my life after 23 years and thought we could pick up where we left off, after a few conversations I remembered why she was an ex. And I also have an ex who went on a recent vacation with me, we had a great time with no hanky panky.

Most of the time when you’re lonely and they know the right thing to say to get you back, you give in, but after awhile you have that aha moment where you remember why they’re an ex!!

Cool Breeze

August 14th, 2012
9:06 am

There’s a reason why this person is an ex and, I’m sorry, contrary to what some say people DO NOT CHANGE. Why keep yourself in emotional turmoil and your life in limbo. Move forward, not backwards.

Call me corny but I look at my life like a beautiful sail boat. Once I set that sail I don’t keep an anchor out holding me back from what’s waiting for me ahead.

disco

August 14th, 2012
9:09 am

S/H – re remembering why they are an ex. in general we all usually assume that one or the other party had something wrong with them or did something wrong that led to the demise of the relationship. most times that’s the case. lol. every now and again though it can be right person just at the wrong time. I think I’ve already used up my supply of “good men”. I happened to meet several of them in my 20s. thing is, in my 20s I wasn’t ready. marriage wasn’t even on my list of things to consider until I was over in my 30s. by then that supply of good men had dwindled considerably.

Comon Cents

August 14th, 2012
9:17 am

Well, those of you who read my situation when I first came to blogsville know that my ex is now my one and only. I would say that I am like disco in that I KNEW he was the one, we just both had to go through some things and do some growing up before we could be together. Now that we are reunited, I believe that we both appreciate what we have and how long it took us to get there. So, yea, I believe that there can be a good outcome with an ex.

Good Morning, everyone! ITL~ I just turned on the music and I have the coffee brewing.

Ray Charles to the BS

August 14th, 2012
9:19 am

Thinking about the 80 year old couple that reunited after many years of being divorced. hummmm?

Ray Charles to the BS

August 14th, 2012
9:24 am

I don’t mean to change the subject, but I am acknowledging publicly that I am so shallow…I let someone go who deeply cared for me and who I actually had great chemistry with because he was too short. We looked like the perfect 10…Lawd heal me.

Single and Happy "don't judge others simply because they sin differently than you"

August 14th, 2012
9:25 am

Disco, there are still some good men left, just stop looking up over them (LOL) That aha moment goes for both parties, most relationships don’t end because of just one person.

Single and Happy "don't judge others simply because they sin differently than you"

August 14th, 2012
9:26 am

Ray Charles to the BS I see you looking over the good men too (LOL)

disco

August 14th, 2012
9:31 am

S/H – I don’t deny that there are “good” men. I put good in parentheses because many so called good men are still doing much dirt. I put good in parentheses because good is relative. I always think of my friend trying to hook me up with a guy who still lived with his ex while trying to convince me he was “good people”. I put good in parentheses because our nations prisons are filled with good men but that doesn’t mean I want one of them once they make parole. okay. forgive me. my very first post of the day indicated that I was feeling kind of janky today.

Single and Happy "don't judge others simply because they sin differently than you"

August 14th, 2012
9:35 am

Disco, I’m not talking about any of those “good” men, I’m talking about the vertically challenged men :-)

The man formerly know as Dan - still...Superior

August 14th, 2012
9:43 am

I’m one for speaking with the person, (attempting to) understand where they’re head is/was, and going from there.

If I could honestly say I was the same person 5 years ago that I am today, I’d be lying. Why wouldn’t I give someone else the opportunity to express/show/prove their growth?

While I agree that ‘wallowing’ is not helpful, nor is conversely an over estimation of one’s own wortth. To say you haven’t cufked up and needed/wanted/earned a second chance at something, and then deny that to someone else is….not good.

Leggs

August 14th, 2012
9:50 am

“What is it about the one that resurfaces and makes us forget the reason we broke up with them?” – I can honestly say that this has never happened to me. No sweet talk, goodtime memories of yesteryear can make me forget or push to the back of my subconscious and allow me to dive back in.

“Is it ever a good idea to reunite with a former flame?” If the uniting is solely for a dusting off and both know, go for it. No matter is prowess in bed, if he was a male ho as one of the reasons the relationship ended, I wouldn’t advise until you see his medical papers!

Oh, good morning!

czBrat ♀

August 14th, 2012
9:57 am

lmao @ the topic. NO experience with anything like this. thank you, God!

now lemme browse some blog stories (or off topics). HiYas!

Ray Charles to the BS

August 14th, 2012
10:03 am

@S&H – Yes, sad but true. smdh ugh…maybe overlooking Love is wore than losing Love.

Ray Charles to the BS

August 14th, 2012
10:04 am

lolalee

August 14th, 2012
10:04 am

Amen, DAN.

Can’t say I’ve ever had an ex that I wanted to get back with…except one that was a quick dusting off, and nothing more. Otherwise, by the time I walk, I’ve thought it through and made all the effort I will ever make, so I’m ready to cut the ties. Maybe it would be different if I were the one dumped, but so far that hasn’t happened.

lolalee

August 14th, 2012
10:06 am

and good morning. Almost done with a huge coffee and still sleepy… must be the rain.

SlimUno

August 14th, 2012
10:10 am

Good morning,

I can’t say i’m necessarily friends with exes…we are proably more like faint old acquaintences really. The one ex I was with for 8+ years off and on had called into a talk show to get me to come on. I believe the topic was “Second Chances”…up until that point, we would talk errrry now and then. But after he went through all that to get me to go to some show in New York knowing I am in a relationship, just made me feel some kind of way. I asked the assistant producer of the show, when she called, why in the world would I go all the way to NY on a talk show to hear what the ex has to say about our past and his mistakes, when i’ve already moved on…been over 2 years now. Of course, she offered to bring my current beau to the show too but i was not going to make a fool of myself for mere entertainment. So after all that, I figured that it was just not good to even really do the “is everything okay, calls”. I told the beau about it and he thought it was funny, but I have to say, I think he probably wondered in the back of my mind whether I’d decide to go. He told me he’d go just for the free trip to NY lol Anyway, from the grapevine I heard that exman is now in a relationship so maybe he’ll be happy now.

czBrat ♀

August 14th, 2012
10:13 am

comon, your story sounds super sweet.

as for change. following any breakup i pray for growth for all parties involved. i expect something good to come of each experience. but my goal has always been to use that growth to move forward … never back.

i suppose it’s within the realm of possibility that an ex could sidle up at the right moment and make my knees go weak. but if the past 25 years are any indication, that just ain’t happening.
i’ve been waaaay too happy in each successive relationship to even wonder “what if” about the exes.

disco

August 14th, 2012
10:14 am

every now and again you hear about folks getting divorced and then getting re-married. I always wondered if it was more of a matter of I realized the error of my ways and you really are the one for me OR if it was more of there ain’t nothing else out here and we might as well be together. about 4 or 5 years ago I remember saying there must be something going on with the earth’s rotation. at that time I had maybe 3 divorced friends who were all screwing their ex-husbands. they all blamed it on the “drought”. I have another friend who got divorced at 30 after 10 years of marriage. she said if she didn’t have a new man by 40 she’d reconsider the ex. fortunately/unfortunately (who knows?) she lucked up on a man. lol.

Leggs

August 14th, 2012
10:21 am

disco ~ I have wondered what it is that have divorcees remarrying each other. I know it’s not going to happen in my case, just as I know I won’t be fornicating with my ex. My neighbors tell me I’m crazy not to get some from him, or even give him some for the work he has done around the house. Although I certainly believe in the “barter” system, my body isn’t a bartering piece of merchandise.

SlimUno

August 14th, 2012
10:23 am

Booty Bartering lol

Leggs

August 14th, 2012
10:28 am

SlimUno ~ guess he really wanted to get back to you. I too wouldn’t have gone on the show, especially if I was involved with someone. Even a free trip wouldn’t have enticed me. No doubt you did the right thing. For some, it takes a little longer to actually let go.

czBrat ♀

August 14th, 2012
10:30 am

lola, between the oatmeal that’s weighing me down and the rain outside my window this huge mug of coffee don’t stand a chance of waking me up today.
pretty sure i’ll perk up when the boss gets in, tho. :grin:

disco, it’s probably natural to go back and forth between fear of not finding someone and uncertainty of letting that ex get away. i recall at one point thinking about how some woman was going to benefit from the 20 years i put into my ex. that he’d eventually be a better man for another woman, when all i wanted was for him to be the best man he could be FOR ME.

then i realized that out there, somewhere, some woman was diligently shaping the man who would come along and shower me will a grateful love that you only learn from devastating loss.
and that’s when i kicked my ex out with the quickness! :lol:

SlimUno

August 14th, 2012
10:35 am

Leggs – Yeah, I felt good about my decision and I think the beau relaxed a bit as well. I don’t say that to mean he was stressing or worried about the ex, but he does know that we had a very long courtship. I could see how that would make the next person uncomfortable for the fact that people do do the back and forth thing. The same applies to when you meet a dude with a fairly young child. You just never know how his relationship is with the baby mama…I hear it’s easier to get some baby mama puddy than new puddy lol

disco

August 14th, 2012
10:36 am

brat – your post puts me in mind of conversations i’ve had about first v. second spouses. opinions run the gamut as opinions do. at one point I was firm in wanting to be a first wife in my first marriage. subsequent marriages I don’t think I would care so much. contrary to what folks say, they bring some of that previous marriage with them (not all good, not all bad). I was just of the mind that it needed to be new for both of us. a couple of my friends disagreed with me but they were first wives in their first marriage AND first wives in their second marriages. go figure.

czBrat ♀

August 14th, 2012
10:45 am

so, disco, how do you feel now about possibly being a second or even third wife in your next marriage?

disco

August 14th, 2012
10:50 am

brat – I’ve never been married. still, I’m not overly thrilled about the idea of being a second wife. I wouldn’t even entertain being a third. I’m also a single father magnet. when I had a child I was more open to that. now that I’m “childless” I don’t think I really want to be bothered with minor children and I’ve discovered that I don’t want to be bothered by adult children who are still treated/supported like minor children. my issues, I own them. lol.

HST

August 14th, 2012
10:55 am

Since I have only been committed to two women, and married to one of them, I have always played with my GFs from past. I was monogamous with my wife, and as much as I was required with my LTR. I have moved, taken different paths, and married but it seems all my past loves/flings/FWBs have never left. Only with my ex-wife was it completely over after divorce, and I was only with her while married.

I’ve never been the one to burn a bridge, or dismiss a Miss. I will say it’s never me who stays in contact, I even stay off social networking sites, so that I may not be found so easily. My sister said she’s going to charge me for any more notes she has to pass to me from my GFs contacting her through FB.

I have changed my attitude recently though, and for the first time in my life, I’m in love and realize it.

HST

August 14th, 2012
10:58 am

Disco, is your child in college? Moreover, no one can blame you for not wanting a man/woman-child or wanting to raise another child.

Why are single fathers attracted to you so often?

kimmie

August 14th, 2012
11:01 am

Hi Gang!

I went back once and it didn’t work. Wasn’t terrible, just didn’t work, we were not compatible for the long term. If the ex is a basically good person but the timing just wasn’t right, I can see a person going back. Good people you get along with and have chemistry with are hard to find. I don’t think a person’s basic core personality traits change – sorry I just don’t. Sure, people grow up and mature. Their circumstances change. I am not an advocate of taking someone back and hoping a core trait has or will change. Life is too short for that. There really are some folks that you need to cut ties with, for your own sanity and well-being. They might be a decent person but they are just not for you. Sometimes things happen that you over time can forgive but you can’t forget. Those things you can’t move past for a healthy relationship to thrive. You should always look forward. If taking that person back will drag you down, that’s not a forward move.

People should do what is best for themselves. I wish all of my exes well, even the ones that hurt me the most. I see nothing wrong with leaving it at that.

HST

August 14th, 2012
11:02 am

Good post kimmie.

Into the Light

August 14th, 2012
11:05 am

I’ve “retraced” by steps a couple of times, and it’s always come back to the same thing: there is a reason he is an ex.

There is this one guy, though, that I can’t say with 100% certainty I wouldn’t be willing to try again with. The thing I miss the most with him is our friendship. We had the best connection, laughing all the time, finishing each other’s sentences….. Even if it was just as friends, I would allow him in my life again.

disco

August 14th, 2012
11:06 am

HST – my son graduated has graduated college and is currently working full time and doing the grad school thing. he’s well on his way. graduated high school, left my house and hasn’t looked back. consequently, the most recent ex has a daughter who is damned near 30 and lives at home with two kids. daddy doesn’t charge her any rent or make her pay any bills and he pays her car note. he and I are still cool and I still talk about his daughter like a dog. all he can say is “that’s my baby”. I’ve got a female friend who is nearly 40. lost her job about 5 years ago and moved into a home that her parents owned. lived there rent free up until a few months ago when she moved into the house that her parents live in (translation: moved in with her parents). I asked why thinking maybe the parents decided to rent the house to someone who would at least pay them rent. her response, she moved because she couldn’t keep up the utilities on the house!!!! I’m like you have been living rent free all this time and you can’t keep the lights and water on???? really??? my only point with my tales is that adult children can pose just as many problems as minor children but I can’t be party to that mess. I’ve told my friend countless times that she needs to appreciate her parents because if I was them I’d put her behind out and tell her to make it the best way she knows how.

kimmie

August 14th, 2012
11:09 am

HST – Thank you. Did you make a decision about your lady love in Russia?

Into the Light

August 14th, 2012
11:11 am

@kimmie: I was just about to ask the same thing! :) Great minds…

Leggs

August 14th, 2012
11:17 am

3 minds think alike because while reading his post and scrolling to the end, I now see your’s ITL/kimmie.

kimmie

August 14th, 2012
11:18 am

HST – The 3 of us are on the edge of our seats!LOL!!!

Into the Light

August 14th, 2012
11:20 am

F5 F5 F5!!!! And still no update. C’mon HST!!!! :lol:

czBrat ♀

August 14th, 2012
11:21 am

I’m not overly thrilled about the idea of being a second wife. I wouldn’t even entertain being a third. … now that I’m “childless” I don’t think I really want to be bothered with minor children and I’ve discovered that I don’t want to be bothered by adult children who are still treated/supported like minor children. my issues, I own them.
my issues as well. this was my staunch stance up until a couple years ago, now i find myself searching for healthy balance/compromise.

disco

August 14th, 2012
11:22 am

HST – come on man. where you at? you’ve got to give the people, give the people what they want.

Single and Happy "don't judge others simply because they sin differently than you"

August 14th, 2012
11:26 am

CZ, Disco we get those issues because now we finally have that freedom after 18 loving years on lock-down, sure don’t want to start over again.

HST

August 14th, 2012
11:27 am

I have some good news about my absentee LTR – in reference to our discussion – if y’all wanna know what happened.

Sorry, I was on the phone with my car tuner, but give me a sec to type what happened.

Single and Happy "don't judge others simply because they sin differently than you"

August 14th, 2012
11:27 am

HST, “you never miss your water till the well runs dry” (another one of those dumb ass sayings) (LOL)