Are Second Chances Worth It?

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Thinking of dating them again? Our relationship expert, Dr Pam dissects the pros and cons.

You've been through a breakup but you've had a creeping feeling that it was a little hasty and second thoughts have set in. 

You miss their sense of humour, the Sunday morning sex-on-tap, and even the little things they did that once annoyed you. Well, you're in good company - join the post-breakup crowd as about 80% of couples give it a second go. 

It's rare that a couple breaks-up and never thinks about giving it one last shot. There's practically always some unfinished business that brings you back together again.

Five WRONG reasons for dating them again

To save your precious time and spare any extra heartache, be honest if any of the following are pushing you back towards them. These are the five main - and wrong – reasons people go back to exes:

1/ Loneliness: Are you going back because you've been lonely since the break-up? This is a biggie for both men and women but loneliness is never a reason to date them again. It's tempting to have another go when your bed and life seem empty but that often means you'll settle for a third-rate relationship.

2/ Sex: You two might’ve fought like cats and dogs but if the sex was great it can be a big temptation to try again. You can't hinge long-term happiness on the bedroom-action alone because after the first 6 to 12 months, couples spend more of their time out of the bedroom anyway. You need to share good things across the whole relationship.

3/ The pressure's on: Are they pressurising you to go out again? Have they managed to grind down your ability for rational thought and your honest belief that it's probably not a good idea to give it a second chance? With vast imbalance between your motivations to try again, it's bound to fall apart quickly. 

4/ No immediate alternatives: Since your breakup three days, three weeks, or three months ago you haven't met anyone else. So you're figuring there aren't any available alternatives. But post-breakup you’re probably giving off the wrong vibes to attract other people. It's bound to fail if going back to them is all about not having found someone else.

5/ The lazy option: If you're honest with yourself, is it that you can't be bothered to go through all that dating "stuff" with someone new? That type of relationship laziness spells trouble - for any relationship.

How to make it work the second time around

Hand on heart, if you think you're getting back for some good reasons, give it the best possible shot: 

*Can you talk about what went wrong without arguing?

A clue that you’re both committed to really trying again is that you manage to discuss past issues without descending into the rows that originally finished your relationship. 

*Can you both see where you each went wrong?

A break-up is rarely one person's fault - if both of you can now see what part you each played that's a healthy start.

*Have your issues changed?

If the main issue/s that came between you previously has changed it's a good sign. For instance, if you were always stressed from working too long hours - and now manage your time better - that bodes well. 

*Have you both brought ideas to the table about how it might work better this time?

If you're both thinking about different and better ways to do things this time around it boosts your chances.

*Can you agree new tactics?

You both should be feeling happy about trying new ways of relating to each other. Maybe you’re now both aware you need to listen more and never storm out over a disagreement.

Ultimately dating again and doing the same old thing will lead to another breakup. It's up to you both to create a new, better and more loving vibe this time.

A final word of warning - proceed cautiously when talking about any ‘love-action’ you had while apart! Discretion is crucial even if they say they wants to know what you've been up to while on your ‘break". Remember what happened to Ross in sitcom Friends when he ‘fessed up to Rachel about having a fling on their break…’ it didn't end on friendly terms.

Check Pam’s ​podcast: 

​Find her on Twitter @drpamspurr and at ​

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