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February 27, 2019

Should I Reconnect With My Ex?

Hey, Bonita…

Hi Bonita,

My last relationship ended several years ago. My partner and I were together for about four years, and we lived together. It was a serious relationship. When we broke up, it was because we weren’t on the same page about where our relationship was going. Anyway, the breakup was actually one of the best breakup experiences I've ever had. We ended on very good terms with lots of understanding and compassion for each other.

Fast forward a few years to now. We still live in the same town, and I've been finding myself missing them a lot. I feel really odd about it, since we broke up so long ago, but I find myself seeking this person out and attempting to keep up with them via their social media profiles and their friends’ profiles.

One thing I really valued about our relationship was that we could communicate really well. I wonder if I should try to reach back out and let them know how I'm feeling and see about rekindling this relationship? Or should I just let it go? I mean, we've been broken up for so long that if they wanted to get back together, the assumption would be they would have reached out to me by now. What do you think? Do you think I should try to rekindle and work this stuff out, or just let it be?

Sincerely,

Still Feelin’ It

Feelin’,

I’ve gotta say, this is awesome. Personally, I have detected no screaming red flags or anything that would make me issue my usual caveats for dealing with breakup feelings. That’s not meant as shade to those who have written in with complicated issues and feelings—life is hard, my dudes. I’m just saying that even though this is obviously causing a bit of emotional turmoil for you, you can be thankful that it’s not worse.

OK, there is one thing: the very casual online obsessing you describe. It sounds almost like a crush—you’re “stalking” your ex’s social media profiles AND those of their friends. It would be cuter if this wasn’t your ex, but you describe a very painless breakup that ended with y’all on good terms, so it’s not the weirdest thing in the world. It’s clear that your feelings have not diminished over the years, so why not just reach out? You say you have lots of compassion for each other, so I assume this person would at least understand if you hit them up date-style. To be honest, I wonder why you haven’t already.

If it’s just an issue of nerves or lack of confidence on your part, keep in mind that you have dated this person before, and you two have already done the hard work of showing each other your real selves. Perhaps the reason you broke up is still prevalent, and in that case, I’d say you could start by settling that issue out and clearing it up for good before diving into the “let’s get back together” conversation.

I know plenty of couples who spent years apart, worked on themselves, dated others, lived entire lives and became better versions of themselves before finding each other again. What you want is not out of reach, but it depends a lot on why you broke up initially and what’s changed in the years since. You know what those issues are, so explore them, and ask yourself if they leave space for you and your ex-boo to start a new page together. Best of luck to you.

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