What regrets after a Break-Up might really mean

As a woman who has penned two books on matters of the heart (Inside of Me and Pure Heart), has been a relationships writer for about two decades, and is a marriage life coach, I’ll be the first to admit that breaking up is hard to do.

It sounds so cliche, right? That doesn’t make it any less true, though. No matter who did the breaking up, no matter how short or long the relationship lasted, no matter what the reason (or reasons, because there is usually more than one) why you and “yours” decided to call it quits, ending a relationship can sting — if not flat-out take your breath away.

But what if, in the process of processing everything, you come to the conclusion that you want your ex back?

Before sending a midnight text or hitting them up in their DMs, please save your time and heart the trouble by reading some of the reasons behind why you might regret your break-up. That way, if you do decide to give it another shot, you know exactly — more or less — what you’re getting yourself into. And why.

You broke up too soon

Relationships are work. Hard work, at times. Anyone who tells you otherwise has either not been in a relationship for more than a couple of months or someone within their relationship is not revealing all of their true feelings (probably in order to keep impressing the one they’re with, or to “keep the peace”).

Just because you’re with a great person (and you’re pretty impressive too), that doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be ups and downs — and disagreements. If every time the two of you don’t see eye to eye on something, you end the relationship, you’re probably gonna have regrets. Not only that, but you’re also not going to do well in the next relationship. Why? It’s because you’re going to put yourself in the position of always running away from conflict. Every relationship has conflict.

If you broke up just because you got into a fight or you didn’t give the relationship enough time to really get to know the other person, I hate to say it, but you definitely broke up too soon.

You need to apologize

Pride has killed a lot of relationships. A huge part of the reason is because one or both people will make a mistake (intention or by accident) and refuse to either admit it and/or apologize for it.

If this point makes you feel uncomfortable, maybe you’re the one who fits the bill. Knowing that you need to apologize and refusing to do so is basically saying “My ego is more important to me than you or this relationship.” And really, who wants to stay with someone who thinks like that?

Dr. Phil used to ask on his show quite a bit, “Do you want to be right? Or do you want to be happy?” It’s a loaded question that has a simple answer.

If you know that saying “I’m sorry” could mend your relationship, maybe that’s why you regret breaking up. The good news is, you know what you can do to make things right.

You want a second chance

Sometimes it takes losing someone for you to realize what you had. Don’t feel bad if this is where you’re at right now. It happens to the best of us.

If you regret breaking up with someone because you hate how things went down or you know that you took them for granted but you’re working on changing your ways, don’t let your pride or fear get in the way of trying to get another chance with them. Try reaching out and owning where you messed up. That alone may convince them that you’re worth the risk of trying to make the relationship work.

Sometimes the second or third chance really is the charm. And that’s okay.

You don’t know how to be single

This is one of those uncomfortable questions that can actually help you to grow: Are you someone who always has to be in a relationship?

Think about your past three relationships. Why did you get in them? How long did they last? How long were you single before getting into a new one?

If you only feel complete if you’re with someone, then pretty much every time a relationship comes to an end, you’re gonna regret it. But it won’t be so much about the relationship, but the relational status that it puts you in.

If this is you, all day long, it’s time to start seeing being single in another light. Choose to see singleness as being whole and complete. Shift your mindset so you can see being single as an opportunity to discover who you are and what you really want out of life. That way, the next time you get into a relationship and you’re not getting your needs met, ending it won’t fill you with regret, but rather, relief. Relief that comes from knowing that you did what was best for you, followed by excitement about finding someone someday who will love you and make you happy — someone who will leave you with absolutely no regrets!