Ask Leslie: Should I rekindle with my ex during a quarantine? 

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DEAR LESLIE, 

Should I rekindle with my ex during a quarantine? An ex has reached out during the pandemic and we’ve revived our friendship and maybe romance. However, I can’t keep wondering if we take that next step will the magic disappear once quarantine is over. 

– Lovestruck2x

Dear Lovestruck2x…,

With so many in quarantine and alone with their thoughts, many are questioning if they should rekindle with an ex. These thoughts are usually prompted by an ex reaching out, apologizing for their past bad behavior, and realizing what they had lost because of it. Conversations are renewed, as is the friendship eventually leading back to another chance at the relationship. Begging the question is there is a genuine change in behavior on the part of their ex, or is the change just a temporary response to Corona, and once it is over, will they return to their old ways?

While evaluating whether your ex is sincere in their change of heart and behavior, you need to be honest with yourself about why you split up in the first place. Certain people meld together like peanut butter and jelly while others are like oil and water, together for a while but separate by nature. Understanding what your true needs and wants are is the first step in assessing the relationship you truly desire to make you happy. Accepting you cannot change the other person to fit into the mold of how you think they “should” be as opposed to how they are is the key to a successful union.

Consider also their behavior before the break-up. Did your ex irritate you with minor offenses like being perpetually 20 minutes late or leaving the bed unmade and laundry on the floor? Or were they on a grander scale that caused feelings of hurt or pain such as refusing to disclose their whereabouts, answer text and phone calls, and routinely choosing to make plans with friends first? The smaller matters are behaviors that can be worked on together, and while it is a process, you can undoubtedly find a middle ground where you become a team and form a true partnership. The behaviors that made you feel bad or sad are not about you, rather a reflection of how your partner feels about him/herself, and those behaviors are not easily changed. The change has to come from your ex, and the change has to be for him/herself first – before there can be a change in your relationship – here is where actions speak louder than words.

If you believe your partner wants to better for themselves and is willing to do the work to make that change, which will flow over into your renewed relationship, then you go in with your eyes wide open. No expectations – and you might find yourself in a better place than you were before. If not, at least you know for sure that it is time to move on, no regrets.

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