Steps on Reconciling When Deciding to Give a Relationship a Second Chance

Don't rush reconciliation and avoid doing the repair work required for success.
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Any relationship can suffer conflict and difficulties that cause the partners to wonder whether the relationship can survive. If you both are committed to reconciliation, you might salvage it. It's easier to reconcile if you know why the relationship crumbled, but you can try even if you aren't sure what the problem was. Working together with your ex could reveal the problem and suggest a solution that works for both of you.

1 Choosing to Reconnect

It's not uncommon to break up with a sweetheart and then reconnect again. The on again/off again pattern happens for nearly half of those in adolescence and early adulthood, suggests a study published in 2013 in the "Journal of Adolescent Research." For the relationship to have a second chance, both of you have to want to get back together. You might be uncertain why you broke up or whether you gave the relationship an adequate chance. Check with your ex to see if he is willing to try it again.

2 Determine the Cause

Honestly look at the relationship to determine why it didn’t work the first time. Perhaps you asked too much of your love or she did something that made you angry and you overreacted. If the problems were small, you may be able to fix the relationship. Do not dig up past hurts, warns therapist Elizabeth Keyser on Healthy Life. Focus on what you need to do to be a better partner, not what she needs to do.

3 Forgive and Rebuild

Apologize for your mistakes, such as expecting him to prefer spending time with you over his friends or getting upset because he was simply talking to another girl. Take full responsibility for your part in the break-up and forgive your partner for his part, whether he apologizes or not. Give up the idea that your partner needs to be punished for past faults; commit to loving him the way he is. You are both free to change and make the relationship better.

4 A Bright Future

Envision what your relationship can be when you work together as a team. Realize that your relationship requires trust, honest communication and a balance of you as individuals and a couple, according to relationship coach Dr. Dar Hawks in “Should You Reconcile With An Ex?” on the YourTango website. Go slowly and accept that despite your commitments, the relationship might not go the distance. Establish and maintain good boundaries, such as both of you equally giving and taking from one another and investing time and energy in friends and activities outside the relationship.

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.