Ex Love

Seldom do movie sequels ever truly live up to the original, and the same rings true for relationships with ex-partners. That being said, there does come a time when both a movie sequel and a relationship sequel not only contend with the original, but in some ways surpass it. Just think of the way the Godfather sequel was far superior to the original.

The subject of recycling an ex is tricky at best and a flaming dumpster fire at worst. I’ve experienced both sides of the coin, and honestly, the only difference between both outcomes is a willingness to change and look forward instead of holding onto the past. Call me an optimist, but I believe there is always a possibility for love in all of its imperfections to prevail. However, love isn’t omnipotent, and a relationship rerun requires a willingness to work and evaluate in order for it to be better than the first act. 

A person looking to rekindle an old relationship needs to consider the problems that led to the termination of the original coupling. 

If the prior issue was something like distance, job scheduling or just the level of maturity at the time of the relationship, then the aspects that led to the breakup probably won’t apply for the second go-around. However, if the issues in the past were cheating, fighting or a betrayal of trust, then a person should evaluate how both parties have changed and whether or not those factors will come into play again. 

Even if both people in the relationship have changed and matured past prior issues, scars of the past can open wounds of the present, and it’s important for an individual to be aware of this and communicate those buried feelings respectively. 

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not always incredible at this, but the beauty of relationships is that they tend to be fairly malleable and forgiving to those who are willing to put in the work. We don’t have to be perfect; we just have to be willing to try. 

Along with the importance of communication, the old adage of forgiving and forgetting also plays a large role in the success rate of a relationship re-do. If you have evaluated the situation and decided to move back into a relationship, the sins of the past must be forgiven on both ends and left there, never to be dredged up again. 

The reason so many attempts at getting back together with an ex fail is because people seldom take the time to fully soak in the myriad of emotions pertaining to a past love or an old flame. 

It’s easy to theorize getting back together with an ex, but the follow-through needs to be done without harboring any level of resentment. Two people who once cared about each other cannot simply slip back into the swing of an old relationship. As far as both parties are concerned, that relationship is dead, and those involved in the present relationship have to focus on cultivating a new coupling for the future. 

Communication is paramount. Before making the decision to dive right into the relationship, talk about everything. Set boundaries for the future and make sure you understand your partner more than before. Otherwise, history is going to repeat itself. 

Those of us investing in a relationship sequel have a responsibility to ourselves and the other person to be vulnerable in a way we never were before. In the words of my mother, “You have to do what you’ve never done in order to get what you’ve never had.”

The point of recycling anything is to create something new, not to keep using the old materials in the exact same way. Such is also the case for relationships. There is a reason there aren’t many success stories when it comes to second acts, but that doesn’t mean exceptions cannot exist. With a willingness to nurture the new relationship, I do believe that anyone can reignite an old flame, so long as it isn’t with the same candle.

culture@dailynebraskan.com