Your Call: Should I Try Again with My Ex?

photo by Janine

We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call by leaving your advice in the comments section below:

Dear Em & Lo,

I broke up with my boyfriend of almost two years four days ago as I didn’t feel like I was in love him him any more. I had been thinking about breaking up for so long and really thought I was making the right decision. Anyway, we said we would stay friends (he’s been my best friend, and me his, for the last two years, and I would hate it if he left my life altogether). The first few days were full of ups and downs but overall I felt like it was going well (a lot better than I expected to anyway). We are both at the same university doing the same degree so have every single lecture together, which I admit does make things slightly more awkward.

Last night he came round to my house and we were talking about how we were both feeling and we ended up kissing. One thing led to another and … well, I’m sure you can guess what happened next. It felt like the right thing to do at the time but now I’m so confused about what I’m feeling.

Ever since I told him I wanted to end our relationship, he’s gone back to being the sweet guy I met and was besotted with two years ago. He says he would like to try again at a relationship, but taking it slowly, i.e., going on dates and trying to rebuild my feelings for him. Part of me is tempted to try again, but then I don’t want to just completely disregard the feelings I had before I ended it — that would feel like taking a step backwards.

We’re only 20, and I don’t want to be tied down to someone this young, whereas he is sure he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. I’ve asked for a few days to think about what I want to do, but I feel like whatever I choose, I’ll always be wondering what would have happened had I chosen differently. Please help. I don’t know what to do.

— Torn

What should Torn do?


  1. Dump him and go cold turkey. Take out his phone number from your phone. Get rid of any emails and pictures that you would see often enough to remind you of him. Clean your facebook wall, potentially block him from your news feed for a while, and delete any emails and messages that might make you nostalgic. Then, don’t talk for about a month. I’m very serious about that last one. Talk to everyone and anyone but him. You broke up with him, too, so if people don’t take your side in this, don’t be shocked. Also, don’t date someone in your major because the break up will be real.

  2. there’s a reason he’s your ex. Only look to the past to learn from it, don’t wait for a tomorrow that may never come. Live with what you are given TODAY!!!

  3. I agree with Katherine.

    I know its difficult and you can’t avoid seeing him, but try and spend some time with other friends, take up a new hobby or something. Maybe even try actively not thinking about it for a while. Taking a bit of a break will help you to think objectively about the situation and really decide on what *you* want. If you go straight back into it so soon, you’ll just have the same problems again.

    2nd time around can work out. But you need to figure out the reasons why it didn’t work out the 1st time, give each other space, maybe even have other relationships. It might take a lot of time (a year or so, maybe even longer) but if it’s meant to be that will become clear to both of you.

  4. you broke up with him 4 days ago? that’s too quick to sort out your feelings. seriously, give it at least a month.

    you might want to look at Scarleteen’s tools for healthy relationships – i find them good advice for all ages but especially for the concerns young adults have.

  5. Exes tend to be exes for a reason- if it didn’t work the first time it’s very unlikely that it’ll work the second time unfortunately x

  6. I really think you should stick with your original feelings of breaking up with him. You’ve been with him for 2 years and there are obviously issues that caused you to reconsider the relationship that had been brewing for some time.

    I hate to say it, but while this may have been a wake-up call for your ex to get his act together, it’s probably too little too late. In essence you’ve exhausted time and resources on a relationship you’ve wanted out of for some time. That doesn’t bode well for a longer-term relationship. Get out while you can and don’t fall back into the comfortable pattern.

    In my opinion, you probably fell back into his arms because you were seeking the comfortable nature of your relationship. Comfort is certainly something to seek, but don’t repeat the same pattern when you could be growing through this experience and moving on to someone better than you could have imagined.

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