You know that one ex who you still secretly think you might live happily ever after with? You can’t help but compare your brand new suitors to him, and you think about an alternate universe where it could potentially work out with your old flame. Stop. Right now. Your blurry daydreams (or drunken rambles) about reuniting with your ex in an epically romantic fashion should never become a reality. Unfortunately, your life isn’t “The Notebook,” no matter how much you dream of reuniting in the rain.
Research suggests that getting back together with an ex never works. Seriously. Maybe your best friend just went through the breakup from hell, or your little can’t seem to forget the gentleman caller who did her wrong. Show them the statistics, because while the best way to get over someone is to get under someone new, another good way is by realizing it won’t work out in the future.
Amber Vennum, an assistant professor of marriage and family therapy at Kansas State University (Can I major in marriage? MRS degree, here I come.) researched “cyclical couples,” who break up and get back together. Her research found that on average, dating and cohabiting couples who reunite after a breakup report lower satisfaction and higher conflict.
Even if the reunion leads to marriage, the breakup still impacts the couple. Newlyweds who break up before getting married are more likely to go through a trial separation during their first five years of wedded bliss, and while this study doesn’t mean it never works out if you reunite, it certainly means you should at least attempt to erase your ex from your memory. You may look at the past through rose-colored glasses (and a decided lack of memory due to alcohol) but there’s a reason you broke up in the first place.
[via New York Magazine]