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How Do Second Time Around Relationships Work?

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Picture the scene: you’ve had a wardrobe clear-out and, feeling virtuous, you take a bulging bag of clothes to the charity shop. A week later you’re wishing you hadn’t been so ruthless, and buy all your clothes back. But once you’ve put them on you realise the reason you gave them away was because they just didn’t fit you anymore, so it’s back to Oxfam they go…

Okay, so we’re likening an ex-boyfriend to an old pair of jeans, but you get the idea. Getting back together with an ex is a relief at first, ending weeks of misery where you missed each other and wondered why on earth you split up in the first place. But what usually begins as a heady romantic reunion, full of promises to never leave each other’s side, can rapidly deteriorate into arguments and sulking as you discover that not only are the old problems still there, but you’ve found new reasons to fight too.

What was it that brought you together, and what changed so badly that you split up?

When a relationship ends, for whatever reason, it’s tempting to look back on the good times with rose-tinted specs as the anger and frustrations fade. But if things had been going well surely you would still be together and would have worked at any issues that came up? If the relationship stalled and problems couldn’t be solved, do you realistically believe that you’re both going to find the impetus to make it work a second time around?

If you and your girlfriend/boyfriend feel that trying again is the way forward, here are Goodhew’s tips to help you to back on track.

Keep all the lines of communication open
It’s essential to not only talk about what went wrong but to also look at why you didn’t talk about the problems at the time. Be patient and let each person have their say without interrupting them. Talk about what has gone on in the interim for each of you – be honest about what you’ve been doing so that you don’t start the next stage of the relationship with recriminations every time there’s an argument.

Don’t make any rash decisions or plans
This is not the time to get engaged or start trying for a baby. Don’t do anything big in the first year – give yourselves time to work at the ‘new’ relationship and rebuild the foundations to give yourselves the best chance to make it work.

Take it slowly
Don’t rush back into living together if you were before – start dating each other instead and have sleep-overs at the weekend. Make an effort to do things differently to ensure you don’t fall back into old patterns. Try new restaurants and bars and take up a hobby you can enjoy together such as salsa dancing – in short, do anything to help breathe new life into your relationship.

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