Thanks to social networking sites like Facebook, reuniting with a past love is becoming more and more common.
As a woman who re-dated a man I married after several years apart, I confess to being part of this growing trend. However, most “rekindlers” (as experts call them) are folks who get together after decades apart.
At first, re-dating an old flame can feel more comfortable than getting to know someone new, but depending on how long you dated, how well you knew each other, and the intensity of your past romance, there could be a highly charged emotional outcome.
Unlike a new relationship, old issues could begin to surface. Relationship coach Dona Murphy says, “The spark of love and desire you once felt for each other can reignite easily, even passionately. But too often the same challenges and issues that ended the relationship quickly resurface.”
Murphy continues, “You two have history — a double-edged sword that works to your advantage and disadvantage.”
Relationship expert Keya Murthy says, “Rekindling love with an old flame is both exciting and nerve-wracking. It can work depending on two things,” Murthy continues, “First, how did you part ways the last time you were a couple? If it was bad, you will have to work really hard at making it good this time.”
If your breakup was caused by deception or cheating, you find it’s still hard to move on. If the separation was caused by geographic changes or parental disapproval, the chances of a successful reunion are better.
Murthy says the second thing is stability and emotional maturity, “Do you feel needy, or stable? Also, has your old flame grown older with time or grown up with time.” These are important things to consider when rekindling an old romance.
If you recently rekindled with an old love and want it to last, follow these tips so that you both have a chance at making it work out the second time around.
How To Make Rekindling Love With An Old Flame Work
1. Don’t overthink it.
After the initial excitement of reconnecting wears off, don’t begin overanalyzing the past mistakes or reasons for the breakup. If he cheated on you when you were 17, it doesn’t mean that he’ll do it again at 37.
If her dad didn’t like you when you were in college, maybe he won’t feel that way today. Maybe he wanted his daughter to finish school and explore the world before she settled down.
Murthy suggests, “Set new ground rules, and remember slow and steady always wins the race.”
No matter what the past situation, start fresh, and approach the reunion with the same outlook as you would a new relationship.
Murphy suggests, “Agreeing to leave the past in the past, not forgetting but sincerely forgiving, and committing to a fresh start can bring a true reconciliation and reunion.”
2. Don’t think “I already know you.”
Just as you have likely changed over the years since last being with your ex, your ex has undergone physical, emotional, and intellectual changes as well.
It’s easy to fall into the old patterns when reconnecting with someone, but don’t be so quickly convinced that you know all of each other’s likes and dislikes.
Although some of what you remember about one another could still be true 25 years later, people change a lot over the course of their life.
Throw away your preconceived thoughts about who the other person is and enjoy taking the time to get to know them again.
Murthy says, “If both of you are feeling emotionally stable and more grown-up than the time when you parted ways, you can converse, connect and rekindle a new flame from the old one.”
3. It must be about more than comfort.
Before getting serious about your blast from the past, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.
Evaluate your current situation and ask yourself why you want to reconnect. Maybe you just came through a divorce or death or your last child moved out of the house leaving you by yourself.
If you’re feeling lonely inside and longing for a companion, it can often feel easier going back to a familiar lover rather than moving forward to someone new.
Related Stories From YourTango:
Evaluate your current situation and make sure your intentions are real before seeking out a past lover.
Despite the potential issues that could arise, “rekindler” romances have a high success rate.
The Lost Love Project, a study out of California State University, surveyed over 1,000 men and women who tried a reunion with an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend and found that 72% of couples who reunited after more than five years apart, entered into long-term relationships with two-thirds resulting in marriage or engagement.
So if you’re interested in pursuing a past love, the odds are ever in your favor!
Lori Bizzoco is a writer living in Brooklyn, NY.