You and your former flame have been peacefully split for quite a while. You’re still single and casually meeting others. Or, perhaps you’ve found someone new to keep you warm at night. Either way, you’re feeling just fine…until you get that phone call.

“I miss you.”

Oh, no he didn’t! Oh, yes he did. He done put “goodbye” and “farewell” to the side and called you trying to get that proverbial ‘old thing’ back. Surely there’s a song by The Spinners or Frankie Beverly and Maze that fits this situation, but I can’t think of it right now.

If you were sitting at home singing Janet’s “Come Back To Me” in front of his picture with a  bottle of moscato, then he’d have lost your number. I’m not sure what it is about being settled and comfortable with your life that sends a message to old loves inviting their disruption, but somehow, it draws them in like a moth to a flame. Suddenly, you find yourself forced to ask just how happy you really are without your ex. Drama!

Don’t mistake residual feelings for confirmation that you should hop on the ‘EXpress’ train back to where you used to be. It’s quite normal to get sentimental or nostalgic even for a relationship that proved itself unworthy of a second shot. If you’re in a new situation, the stakes are even higher; the time you spend even daring to consider a trip back to the past can cost you your current boo.

If you are single, don’t mistake loneliness or a desire to be coupled up for evidence that you need to take your ex back. Remember: you broke up for a reason. Have the circumstances surrounding the split changed? Or are you blinded by feeling lonely? Also: what are his or her reasons for popping back up? Is it love? Or did he just realize that he’s thirty-two and that his parents were married by thirty-four and that maybe you might be the one anyway, seeing as though you’re tall, pretty and would be a good mother? Or, perhaps he heard about your new situation and got jealous…

You say you were waiting secretly for a reconciliation all along? Well, that may be a good thing…if whatever issue that caused the rift has been worked out or can be. Again, you broke up for a reason. Something was bad enough to make one or both of you feel like the relationship should be no more. So is it really right for you to hope back into it?

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not entirely cynical. Many former couples have had some issues that caused them to part ways and to later find each other once again. Good for them! And you should always feel empowered to reevaluate a situation and identify most accurately how you truly feel about getting back on. However you shouldn’t allow your emotions to drag you wittingly into a love land mine. Never be so comfortable as to lean on memories as if having prior history with someone is reason enough to get romantic with them.

Be sure to ask very pointedly what he/she wants and why would they come back. If you want to give it another go, you have to be prepared for the possibility of repeating the first relationship yet again and likely with a nastier split. Just be sure that you aren’t going to even consider some foolishness and that you will not repeat the sins of your first pairing.

If you know your former paramour is poison, cut the interaction off at the very start. Ignore his calls. Refuse to read her emails. If you have no resolve when it comes to the sexy beast who stole your heart, but had another woman in your bed, then put his number on the call block and tell GoDaddy to make your email stop. Keep the lines of communication as closed as possible.

The return of an ex can be a gift or a curse. He may help you to see how serious your bond is with your new tender…or, to see how it is seriously lacking. You may be forced to confront your unresolved issues, but you could see instead why they are fine the way they are. Just be sure that you understand that a past with someone does not obligate you to give them your time in the present or to think you may have something viable for the future. You used to wear a training bra, too. You wanna wear that 28A cupless wonder now? I think not. We are meant to go forwards, not backwards. If your former lover can’t help you keep that pace, then leave them back where they were.


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