Author: Lauren Levine
The Princess of Laguna Beach (LC was the queen, duh) Kristin Cavallari just announced that she and Jay Cutler are not only back together, they’re engaged again. But need we remind Kristin that Jay previously dumped her as she was planning her dream wedding? And, if you believe Life and Style, he dumped her because she was working too much. Uh, you play football, dude. You travel and play games non-stop for a good chunk of the year. I’d imagine that you work a lot, too. Find a way to balance your careers and your relationship. That’s how big kids do it. To add (serious) insult to injury, right after the breakup occurred, a photoshoot featuring Kristin modeling wedding dresses and talking about her wedding plans hit newsstands. Ouch.
This got me thinking about couples who participate in the cycle of making up and breaking up. It seems like some couples live for the drama of the break up and then the new burst of romance that comes when you rekindle the romance. It’s okay to take a break and get back together, if you do it for the right reasons. You shouldn’t constantly make up and break up because you keep fighting about the same things over and over. You shouldn’t make up and break up because you can’t decide if you want to be in a relationship with the other person. You shouldn’t break up every time you get in a fight, only to get back together the next day. I know couples who are so on and off that it’s nearly impossible to keep track. This just doesn’t seem healthy. If the relationship is that fickle, clearly there is some underlying problem that isn’t getting addressed. Or maybe you two just aren’t a great match. No shame, but it’s better to realize that instead of trying to make a frustrating relationship work. For the most part, your relationship should be steady and peaceful. Of course you’re going to fight. That’s natural when you’re in a relationship. Sometimes the other person is going to drive you absolutely insane. But you shouldn’t be storming out of his apartment every other week and changing your Facebook status as soon as you get home. You should both be willing to work through problems, and the level of drama should be relatively low. There’s enough stress when you’re an adult, you don’t need your love life adding to that.
If I were Kristin, I don’t know that I could jump back into a relationship with Jay. I guess it would depend on why exactly they broke up, but I’d imagine it’d be fairly traumatic to be engaged and in the depths of wedding planning when all of a sudden your relationship ends. If they were both ready to get married and something so big came between them that he broke the engagement, it seems like there may be an irreparable problem in the relationship. On the other hand, if the problem was that they rushed into marriage (they only dated for ten months before getting engaged), then it might not be a bad thing that they’re back together as long as they’re taking it slowly. VERY slowly. Which they are apparently not doing. Kristin needs to be sure that she’s not harboring any resentment or trust issues towards Jay for ending the engagement the first time around and causing her sadness and embarrassment. They also both need to be sure that they’ve addressed all the problems that caused them to split in the first place, and that they’re not holding anything back this time.
There are a few things that you can learn from Jay and Kristin’s break up and make up. If you’re in the same type of situation, here’s what you should consider before you decide to rekindle your romance:
1.) Why did you break up in the first place? Was it a timing issue or was it a problem in the relationship? If it was a timing issue, are you ready for a relationship now? If it was a problem with the relationship itself (or with the other person’s behavior) you need to carefully examine if the problem is fixable and, if so, how you can make the problem better. You also need to make sure that both parties are willing to work hard to repair the problem. Both sides need to be willing to work hard or else nothing is going to change and someone will be frustrated. If you split because someone cheated, you may want to consider some sort of counseling before you get back together (if you get back together at all).
2.) Can you get over the fact that you broke up? If you’re trying to get back together but keep feeling angry about the break up, you’re not going to be able to have a clean slate. Breaking up is emotional and upsetting, especially if you weren’t the one to initiate the split. But you need to be able to move past those intense feelings and give the other person a fresh start. However if the other person didn’t treat you well during your time apart maybe this isn’t a person you want to spend more energy on.
3.) How did you feel when you broke up? After the original shock and sadness over the relationship ending, how did you feel? Were you still missing the other person or were you actually starting to feel happier without him/her? These are important things to think about when you’re deciding whether you should get back into a relationship. It’s easy to get comfortable in a relationship and to mistake that comfort for love and happiness. Sometimes it takes a split to realize that you weren’t actually happy, you were just too comfortable to make a change. Consider whether you might be happier without the person before you decide whether you want to get back together.
4.) Why are you getting back together? Are you getting back together because you hope that it will bring back a burst of romance? Are you getting back together because you’re lonely and want someone to do couple-y things with? Or are you getting back together because you’ve spent time working on the issues that caused the split and deciding how you’ll avoid the problems that led you to break up. Make sure both you and your significant other have laid out your feelings and have been very clear about how you want things to be before you get back together. You shouldn’t assume you’ll figure it out, or that things will just work themselves out when you reunite. You may need to physically write down a list of things that need to change and how you’ll do change them. You want to make sure that you’re both on the same page and feel good about your fresh start.
Have you gotten back together with an ex? Did it work out or did you end up regretting it? What are some things you think need to be considered before you get back together with someone?