Your relationship turned sour and your partner dumped you. You feel the pain and you are in agony.
What popular songs make people cry when going through a breakup? If you were a little curious, Spotify has a popular playlist of 111 breakup songs with over half a million fans.
The description on the playlist is literally “songs to cry to when you break up.” It’s interesting because it says a lot about how we deal with the emotional pain of a breakup.
Normally, we try to avoid the cause of our pain. But when it comes to relationships, humans are weird. Against our better judgment, we will poke and prod the cause of our pain again and again. We will even take our “exes” back even it will result to the same painful experience — sometimes more than once.
So, why is it so hard to let go after a breakup? Well, it’s not your fault. It is actually your brain’s fault. Or specifically, the way we are wired to love, which keeps us connected to our ex-lovers even after they bid their “farewell” and utter the dreaded words: it’s not you, it’s me.
Our brain creates a link between an event and the emotion of that moment. It’s how we develop habits. When you have a strong reaction to an experience, the connection between emotion and event is strengthened in your neural pathways.
That’s why it’s easier to remember your crush from 3rd grade than the sandwich you had for lunch. The more passionate the relationship— or, the more painful the breakup –, the easier it is for your brain to remember.
In a breakup, you can choose one of two ways to move forward — get on with your life, or get your ex back. I would argue that it’s better to move forward even if that’s the more difficult path.
If you’re rolling your eyes now and saying that’s easier said than done, keep reading.
Here are 7 reasons that will convince you that it’s stupid and foolish to get your ex back.
You’ve dodged an addiction.
Love and drugs have two things in common. They activate the same feel-good receptors in our brain that reward us with pleasure and relieve pain. And in their sudden absence, both love and drugs cause extreme withdrawal symptoms.
In a substance addiction, during the withdrawal stage, the person may suffer sleepless nights, despair, and physical pain. It’s the same thing with love addiction. There is no difference from staying up late, thinking about your ex while you’re clutching your heart and crying, wishing he/she would come back?
Addiction is the inability to stop doing an activity or consuming a substance that’s harmful to you. When you take your ex back, you’re reinforcing a pattern of unhealthy pleasure-seeking and pain-avoidance behavior.
Your ex hasn’t changed.
And neither have you. When the relationship ends but your feelings haven’t changed, you might idealize your former lover’s good attributes while ignoring the reasons you broke up.
But if you’re still clinging to the possibility of reconciling, it’s safe to say that not enough time has passed to change both of you. Getting back together without a better understanding of your issues will only lead to the same outcomes.
The definition of insanity is doing the same things over again while expecting a different result.
You’ll have the mental bandwidth to learn more about yourself.
We underestimate the impact of relationships on our personalities. Your partner sees you in a certain way, and with enough time, you will internalize their perception of you. How your partner thinks of you becomes part of who you are.
When you break up, you may doubt yourself or question your identity. Getting back together will only make this confusion worse. So, take the time to get to know yourself. This time, do so without your partner projecting their ideas of who you are or should be.
You’ll open yourself up to other experiences.
Intimate relationships sometimes take over your entire life. Some couples begin to develop the same habits, hobbies, and even have the same circle of friends. While familiarity makes you feel secure, it also stifles new experiences. So if you’re interested in personal growth, ask yourself if there are experiences you want to have that may be getting back together will prevent you from experiencing?
You’ll regain your personal power.
It is devastating when your partner breaks up with you. For you, it’s probably a surprise. But they’ve probably been working up the nerve to tell you. Your ex may have rejected you, but they can’t take your power away.
Getting back together, especially if the relationship had been toxic, implicitly allows them to reject you again. So, be the kind of person who knows their worth and does not apologize for sticking to their guns.
You’ll start healing emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Breakups may be traumatic and painful, but there’s a silver lining to this. It could be the catalyst for a change you desperately need but can’t articulate. A breakup could be the beginning of an emotional detox to start healing yourself. Some people lose weight after a breakup or take on new hobbies.
A detox works the same way whether you’re eliminating the bad stuff from your gut or your emotions. You go through a stage when you can’t live without the bad things. But when the gunk leaves your system, you immediately start feeling better. So ride it out and don’t take your ex back.
You will thrive better without your ex.
Taking your ex back may be the salve that soothes your emotional pain now, but it’s only a temporary fix. Your well-being shouldn’t depend on your ex-lover taking you back. You may get together again, but there’s no guarantee the relationship will go smoothly.
If you’re constantly trying to protect yourself from the future possibility of another breakup, you’re not living in the present. You’re living in the past. You cannot thrive when you’re constantly trying to protect yourself.
So, should you take your ex back or move on with your life?
This is a nuanced question and something that only you can answer.
But important things must be done first. You need to fix yourself and that is a high priority. Right now you’re undergoing a terrible withdrawal period and you need to fight and remove this addiction. Remember, you are not in debt with your partner and you owe him / her nothing.
Who knows right after this withdrawal, you will realize you don’t need your partner at all in your life.
For the next 30 days forget about your ex and start caring for yourself. Let the withdrawal symptoms die.
If you’re considering getting back together, it’s best to do so when you’re grounded and joyful. It’s best when you have conquered your addiction. Self-improvement must be your utmost priority.
This way, you’re attracting positivity into your life. By doing this you unstuck your life. No matter what your reasons for taking your ex back, it’s always a good idea to do so out of love and not out of addiction.