Hooking up with your ex shortly after you’ve broken up; good idea or the epitome of relationship faux pas?
Britney Spears launched her wildly successful career singing about it ("Baby, one more time"), rumours regarding a Rihanna/Chris Brown hook up (after a highly publicised break-up) have been rife and Jusjess Timberbiel break up and make up quicker than Serena Williams can hit a ball across a tennis court, so really, how bad can it be?
In order to get to the bottom of this simple sounding yet highly complex dilemma, I decided to conduct a ‘round table’ discussion with a diverse group of individuals. After I had thrown in a couple of architects, a doctor, filmmaker, animator, project manager and a business consultant, I decided the combination was just right for solution stew.
To kick things off, the doctor, in typical medical fashion, asked me how I felt about the subject, to which I immediately replied "It’s called a breakup because it’s broken" – yes, the title of Greg Behrendt’s follow up to his 'groundbreaking' pocketbook He’s Just Not That Into You, but also a truth that I’ve always believed.
If you have to break up to fix a relationship, the relationship will always be broken
In Behrendt’s New York Times' bestseller, he dedicates an entire chapter to ‘No Backsliding’. Behrendt says, “…There’s one all-important truth that you need to recognize: Some things can’t and shouldn’t be fixed…It’s over for a reason and even if you’re in denial about it, deep down inside you… know what that reason is.”
Why are you in this scenario?
Hook ups with exes happen, because you are lonely, it’s easy and familiar, and much like childbirth (so I hear) you forget about the intense ripping pain once the process is over and the joy arrives. Just because you have decided to give it another try does not mean that once the moment arrives for ‘the child’ to be ejected from your being, it’s going to hurt any less or you are going to be equipped to deal with it better just because you knew what was coming and had experienced it before.
Cally felt strongly about this and said, “Hooking up with your ex is never a good idea. There was a reason why you broke up in the first place and revisiting will just confuse your emotions and make the break up even worse.”
Although my melting pot was almost synonymous in this belief - with even Wolf, the male filmmaker in the group saying, “Exes are like torn clothes... It’s good to keep them around for the memories and sentimental value but you shouldn't wear them again..." - not everyone agreed.
Dalia* took the standpoint that I believe most of society shares. She said, “My first response would be, just do it! Hook up one last time...get out any leftover emotion, attachment and desires you may still have for that person. You usually regret the stuff you didn’t have the guts to do... so if the opportunity presents itself for one ‘last night’ … take it and make it count.”
Even though I am Nike’s biggest #justdo it #makeitcount fan - to what end are we actually going to make this count? Where can one night really lead? Cally added, “Society is too focused on instant gratification - If we want to be respected we need to respect ourselves first. You are worth more than a one night stand, because that is exactly what it is.” Really stop to think about what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Find YOUR voice of reason
If you are doing it because you are lonely and your ex just happens to be there, take Cally’s advice and “step into a cold shower.”
If you’re doing it because you are afraid you will never find anyone else, take my gran’s inherited words of wisdom and “Never run after a guy or a train, because there is always one to follow.”
And if you are doing it because you truly believe there is something there that you missed and you owe it to yourself to explore, then wait. Wait a day, wait a week, wait a month, wait a year – if you were right, no matter how long you wait it will still be there.
Just as he started it, the doctor closed this off for me by saying, “When real passion exists within a relationship, when it ends, it ends with a passionate finality – when there was never real passion in a relationship to begin with, it never really ends and that is why you go looking for that hook up – you’re still searching for something you never had.”