When the Warrior Poet and I decided to give our relationship a second chance, there were a number of things we had to discuss before moving forward. How could we better address the issues that built up to the break-up in the first place? How could we rebuild trust? What did we need to do to become even better partners to each other? While we are still a work in progress, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned firsthand as tips for getting back together after a breakup.
Commit to Honesty
At this stage, honesty is more important than ever before. You must be honest with both yourself and your partner for a relationship reunion to truly last. If you are finding it hard to trust and believe in the stability of a relationship again after a sudden breakup, share this concern with your partner. It will help explain why you may sometimes appear distant or why you suddenly pull away after things seem to be going smoothly.
“It’s so hard to jump full in when we weren’t talking to each other at all not that long ago,” I nervously told Warrior Poet. “How do I know you’re not going to suddenly freak again and walk away?”
His response surprised me. “I know, I’m just as scared,” he admitted. “A part of me is terrified that you’re just going to say, ‘I can’t do this anymore. I was wrong to take you back.’”
Knowing the others fears can be both enlightening and reassuring. Just because you’re back together doesn’t mean everything is perfect again right away. Acknowledging it and addressing your concerns is crucial to moving forward.
Open Up the Channels of Communication
If your breakup was long enough, you might have gotten out of the pattern of regularly communicating with your partner. To start doing so again with great frequency may feel forced or done purely out of habit, instead out of true desire. Yet rebuilding your relationship rapport will be fed by positive communication.
If you aren’t ready to immediately start texting each other constantly through out the day, don’t force it. However, if you’re thinking about your partner, don’t be afraid to reach out. Share a link to an article or image that they’ll find funny or interesting. If you know they were nervous about a big work meeting, don’t hesitate to wish them luck or ask how it went. Baby steps are great until you start to feel the comfort and ease of regularly communicating with your partner again.
One of the issues that came out in my breakup was that mediated communication led to many of our misunderstandings, and I pointed out that WP’s disdain for using the phone other than as a texting vehicle certainly didn’t help. In our almost yearlong relationship, we’d only spoken over the phone three or four times in each other’s absence.
WP told me that was one of the things that stuck in his head during our breakup. He fondly remembered this awesome phone conversation we’d had that was so involved and lively, it felt like we were virtually in each other’s presence. Yet not being a phone guy, I was very surprised when our relationship re-blossomed, and he started asking if I’d like to talk on the phone.
After the first call, he told me how nice it was to hear my voice just before falling asleep. He told me how he felt close to me during our conversation, and he now understood why I enjoyed speaking to my love outside of his presence. We’ve been talking on the phone almost every night ever since. I made sure he didn’t feel obligated, and he reassures me how much he’s enjoying it.
Carve Out New Routines
While it is very tempting to fall back into the old, familiar routines from pre-breakup, such as sushi every Friday night and a movie out every third weekend, I encourage to start doing new things as well. Try out that breakfast joint you guys always talked about but never wound up visiting. If one of you loves an activity that the other hasn’t yet tried before, invite them to do it with you.
I’ve found that committing to doing novel things together brings new life into the relationship. It’s creative and a fun adventure to experience as a team. It also helps reinforce that this is a fresh start for the two of you and your future together.