Want to Get Back With Your Ex? Bad Idea, New Study Says

February 21, 2012

Next time you're trying to talk your friend out of getting back together with their ex for the umpteenth time, just point them here. Now there's proof that getting back together with your ex is a terrible idea. Just take a look at the findings from a Kansas State University study:

"Couples in a cyclical relationship tended to be more impulsive about major relationship transitions -- like moving in together, buying a pet together or having a child together -- than those not in a cyclical relationship. As a result, the couples in cyclical relationships tended to be less satisfied with their partner; had worse communication; made more decisions that negatively affected the relationship; had lower self-esteem; and had a higher uncertainty about their future together.

The researchers found that couples said they got back together because they believed their partner had changed for the better or that communications had improved -- but the results indicated otherwise. Additionally, other couples stated that the relationship continued because it was unclear if they had actually ended their romance."

This is all kinds of comforting to know. Just think of how many times you went to pick up the phone to call an ex or tried to start things up again and landed right back where you started. There's a great finality to this study that makes me feel at peace with not reaching out to an ex ever again, no matter how many incredible nights you had in the past or how hot he looks with his new haircut or that his arms look amazing in that shirt you bought him last Christmas...aw who are we kidding. We'll still make the mistake of trying to rekindle things with an ex. And while studies may prove it's not the smartest idea, our hearts would argue otherwise.

So what do we say, getting back together with an ex: good idea or bad idea? Any DH members have success stories they want to share? No doubt, there are a handful that work out better than before.

Tags: Exes, breakups
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Post written by RobHeartsDH (View Author Profile)
About this author: Rob lives in Manhattan with his black pug Riley. When he’s not thinking about daddies, he enjoys writing, eating burritos, watching copious amounts of television, and thinking about his next meal.
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Once the milk is spilled, better not lick it from the ground. You may well be reminded as to how the milk got spilled in the first place, and I am not referring to cum.

While one shouldn't just bail from it (and we tend to do that,) over relatively insignificant things, if you actually break up, there was a reason for that. You CAN wait til it beats you soundly about the head and shoulders, reminding you of all the reasons why you're not together any more... or just remember it on your own and save all the angst and aggravation.

Even if both would be better because they've grown/matured, the patterns between those two people have been established and set, so it's far more likely that the same patterns will continue, until a lot of time has passed... if even then.

So if you meet up again and can do it just for the sex, that's great. If not, leave it in the past.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said "The patterns have been set". There are cases of successful rekindling of a relationship, though they are few. The key is: you have to understand what killed the relationship in the first place, and that's hard enough, but then you have to change whatever it is in your behaviour that caused it. And to make it still harder, you both have to change, and you both have to really want the rekindling. It is possible but we are now down to a less that 1% probability. You cannot do the same thing and expect a different result. Therein lies madness.

The advantage of getting back with your ex is that you already know all his annoying traits right from the start - the disadvantage is that you will have to deal with all his annoying traits all over again. When a relationship breaks up, it is best to leave it that way. Although there isn't any real harm in agreeing just to be friends, just make it abundantly clear that just friends means exactly that.

I guess I should count my blessings....never had a boyfriend.!! Please do not get me wrong, I wanted one and still do..but the guys I have met so far -none were interested in being a ltr.

Out of curiosity, I checked your profile. Surely this must be a temporary state for you, or else I am blind. You may never have had a "boyfriend" but you are certainly appealing to men!

You must be looking in all the wrong places cause man... you're really an attractive guy... Be patient... don't look too hard...

At 48 ..it's kind of hard not to feel impatient.Some what jaded now...

Good for you kingkarl-keep on being picky and stick to your standards and soon enough the right one will come along. I havent had a boyfriend in 13 years-doesn;t bother me. Since then, the people I have met that I wwould have wanted for a ltr were either too far away or not interested beyond just casual sex. So I have enjoyed the sex and developed other interests and nowadays try to get to know the basics about someone through chat on sites such as DH before meeting in person and starting to date. Don;t know your age, but being choosey gets easier with time & experience..........................

I struggled with picking up the phone to call my ex on many occasions. And I was the one that ended it. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what was going on. I stumbled on a great book...Too good to leave, too bad to stay. It really helped me sort it out. THough I must confess, I still wonder if change is possible with him...I think we all want to believe. Hope springs eternal!

Does that mean axe ur ex?

you know, I had to think about this for a bit... a great deal of what i would do would really depend on the circumstance of the break up... I was in a very short lived "thing" with a much younger guy who was living with his parents who started going through a divorce and a big bunch of other changes. My BF came to me one day and he just wanted to be friends for now because of all the crazy making in his life. If he should pop up on the radar in six months and all this insanity is behind him and said "I really miss us" I probably would take him up on it. We'd start very slow and be very intentional about our "moves" and I'd want to know that he had the stability in his life to be able to contribute to the relationship.

Some of us in relationship with young guys lose sight of the reality that someone with thirty years less life experience will have different responses to challenges.

Oh hell NO
Leave the drama for the stage...

Hmmm. Maybe i just never lived long enough or something but - it never occurred to me to try getting back with an ex romantically! But you can still be friends and fellow travelers through life.

Unless the break was particularly horrid, breaking up doesn't mean you have to say "good-bye".

It's rather nice when you can stay friends with an ex (and i have remained friends with more than a few). If nothing else, not only can you share a few wicked laughs about unspeakable nights long gone, but you know things about each other that can actually deepen a friendship. And nobody gives better dating advice than a good friend who not only has has slept with you and knows your body inside and out, but who has also seen you at both your worst and best and everything in-between.

Ahh , the "Wicked Laughs " So well spoken... Just liked what you said. Thanks , Mark

I broke out of a 2 yr thing 4 months ago and got lured back 2 months ago - just to get hammerred with the same issues amplified. The patterns are certainly consistant and my kind hearted returns- in my yearning of being wanted - just were used as weapons of weakness against me. Pity him.
I feel REALLY good to be free - and getting plenty attention - and have learned, as the Universe DOES speak to you = to LOVE myself and all the rest will fall in place....
I appreciate the sweet memories - I've learned from the bad ones - He's contracted MRSA (flesh eating antibiotic resistant staph infection)for his DAWG ways and is miserable....You CANNOT only validate yourself through your huge cock and I CANNOT fix him...Life is for the learning...
You be good to LOVE...and LOVE will be good to you...Aloha!!

Actually, I am best friends with my ex. If it so happens, I will let us come back together. NOT all reasons for being an Ex is not a good reason to be together again. Distance was ours for the most part. 1 hour away from each other. I know and HEAR many of other situations, and actually talked to 4 people that have gotten back with their ex partner and evaluated whatever may have been wrong and fixed it. So I do Not agree with NOT getting back with your ex. I more than likely will not get back with mine, but who knows? You do not look for it, and BAM! it may happen? :)

My experience has been that, once it's done, it's done. I'm friendly with my exes, but would not ever get back together with any of them.

My ex claimed to want a monogamous relationship. While I was taking care of a relative with cancer as well as helping him with his dying father, my ex could not keep his pistol behind his zipper and was screwing anying on 2 legs because he thought I was out of the way.

I would never consider him as a friend and never would consider going back to him, since all his past BF's and lovers wound up becoming FB's for him to secretly use while in a relat ionship. If trust is burned during a relationship, you can't trust as a friend post-relationship.

I know what was wrong in the relationship, fortunately it wasn't me as my life now has proved.

I especially think that friends should not interfere in any relationship. Problems need to be worked out only between the couple and friends tend to make things worse. In some cases "friends" have their own motives to see failure of others relationships.

Don't have any BFs at all. Sure, had several crushes but that's okay. Felt like hell when I was about to tell someone I loved him but kept it quiet when he was very excited about telling me he finally was in a relationship..

Apparently not many people are "a work in progress" when you see human nature demonstrated where throwing a book at someone does nothing to change human instinct. The funniest thing is when someone sais "no one is above the law" and then you see that the law is up to a very small group of culturally influenced folks to tell everyone else what they are not above. Very odd indeed. Some people do get back together where over time they realize no one is perfect and stuff like that and that simply shows that there is no singular law or advice that applies to all people just based on some righteous rants for sure. Hope everyone has nice day for sure.

This is a success story that has nothing to do with getting back together with my ex. Because I was unhappy with our constant conflict, I started a spreadsheet listing all of the negative interactions that I was having with my then husband. Just seeing all in writing was enough to shake my faith in the worth of our relationship. Then I put together a plan for peacefully expressing my desire to change our negative interactions. When my partner would call me names, I would firmly but politely ask him not to call me names. When my partner would criticize me about how I differed from his conception of how I should be, I would clearly and calmly tell him that I wanted him to respect me when our opinions differed. After a few months of this, I realized that no matter how peacefully and distinctly I went about trying to change the negative interactions we were constantly having, my partner was not interested in changing. He remained tied to name calling, harsh criticizm, and confrontational behavior. The last straw came when he began engauging in threatening behavior. I left and never went back. No sex with the ex, nothing. If I had any doubts, I could have looked at my spreadsheet, but I had no doubts. Despite 11 years together, this was not the guy for me. This objective approach really worked for me. I now know what I am looking for in a partner, and what I am NOT looking for. No as to the dating thing, thats still a work in progress!

its obvious that if one of you wanted out it was a good reason..so...why re live the past....

I had a lover of 15 yrs, and finally told him to leave. He went back to his folks in West Virginia. About five years later, he asked if he could visit for a few days. I consented. His visit was an affirmation that I did the right thing in asking him to leave. Bottom line: Let it go.

I agree. Sometimes a book has a pretty cover, but the pages inside are just scribble or blank.
The cover can change, but what's written in the book never does.

You removed the tumor and hip wart for a reason. I would rather wake up with my head sewn to the carpet or dropped off in the middle of the desert and left for dead........ We say women that go back to abusive relationships are idiots are we any better?

what makes it hard is when your paths cross. Those old feelings come back. Don't give in to them. Doesn't matter that he's with someone or friends or alone. If he comes over to say hello, be cordial but aloof. Be glad he's someone else's problem now. Enjoy your freedom, the next Mr Right will come along in time.

What differentiates Daddy Hunt from most gay websites is the wide age spread of its members. When it comes to this question – whether to get back together with an “ex” – age can play a huge role. I find it odd that this central dynamic in our lives has not figured into the responses to this blog.

The intergenerational relationships that are so commonplace here on Daddy hunt pose special demands on both guys – and when things start to come apart at the seams, putting Humpty Dumpty back together again can be especially challenging.

When two men of the same age break up, it’s often because they were incompatible to start with, they’ve grown apart, one or both is incapable of true commitment, or because of life circumstances that were too hard to overcome – such as the loss of a job, or a transfer to another city forces them into a long distance relationship. Of course, all those things can be the downfall of an intergenerational couple, as well.

Many of us on Daddy Hunt also have wide age differences in our relationships (past or present) that have to be nurtured with special care. I’ve had a lifetime of experience with this, as both the younger partner, and now as the older one.

The first pitfall -- many younger hunters need an older man in their lives for all kinds of youthful emotional reasons. Sometimes, in a very long-term relationship, when those needs are met by a nurturing older man, the primary need for the relationship itself can diminish and even disappear.

The second pitfall -- a high-testosterone older partner who was once attractive for his mature sexuality gradually ages into a mellower, gentler grandpa, still capable of intimacy, but no longer up for all-night sexual gymnastics. And this can make a once fulfilling sexual and loving relationship inadequate, at its core.

If you break up for either of these reasons, you face an uphill battle if you try to get back together – even though the love between both men may still remain strong. These are difficult pitfalls to overcome. But please consider trying.

If a relationship was deeply fulfilling when it began, it can be renewed – after it has been completely rethought. MANY years ago, when I got together with my life partner, he was the great big dominant Daddy in my life – exactly what I needed at that time. Decades later, when he lay dying at age 82, I had become his caregiver and his father figure. The role reversal was stunning – and wonderful. Decades of his love had long ago satisfied my own need for a father figure. In the end, I had a chance to give back, by caring for him when he was too weak to care for himself. The two of us stayed together through thick and thin -- long enough to complete that long life cycle, which has literally made my life worth living.

If you’ve broken up with an abusive partner, then bravo – and good luck moving on to bigger and better things. But if you’ve broken up with an older partner you love because you think you’ve “outgrown the relationship,” please think twice. There are ways to retool the arrangement so all your sexual and emotional needs can be met. If he was the Dad who gave you his heart when you needed him, think twice. There’s nothing like the satisfaction of standing by him, when he needs you most.

Very touching. Very profound.

I'm coming very late to this discussion, but your thoughts are the voice of love, wisdom and well-earned experience. I have put them into a file on my computer for future reference.

I have reached middle-age and only now allowing myself to live as a gay man. I know I want a committed, long term, monogamous relationship with a man to whom I can give my heart and who will do likewise. I have only now begun the search for him which is why I have joined this community. I do not know who that future partner will be, but I want to be open to all the possibilities. Thank you for sharing your insights with us as I'm sure I will not be the only one who will benefit from them.

Once someone breaks up and comes back years later, its back to the same crap all over again. I got burned twice with ex-friends wanting to be friends again and gave it a chance, now I regret it. Recently I received a letter from an ex-partner, it went into the shreader. yeah I felt an urge to open it and read it but, he was abusive 15 years ago,