Sunday, March 27, 2011

Reader question: Why do my exes always end up back in my life?

Q: Haley:) I've got a question about my "ex" boyfriends No matter how long we dated, how things ended etc. They ALL have come back into my life at one point. Some months/ years later. Why is this? Does this happen to most people? Thoughts? Thank you


A: Ahhh, nothing like rehashing old experiences. Am I right, Anon? ;)

Of course, the sarcasm (or surprising lack thereof) of my statement is largely contingent upon whether or not you are happy about them coming back into your life. I will say that your experience is pretty rare, although most people do have SOME exes return in some way, if only for a little while. As far as WHY they come back, here is what you should consider: your personality, your exes' personalities, and the details of your experiences with your exes. 

Now, naturally, my first instinct is to tell you that they all come crawling back because you're fabulous. I'm sure you are, but let's dig deeper. Think about your own personality. Are you extremely giving (and FORgiving) or are you the badass who's aloofness keeps the guys guessing? At either of these points, you are the kind of girl that guys will eventually want to go back to after they are sick of dealing with girls who are either extremely clingy or outright boring. Those latter two types don't keep men on their toes, they drive them away. A "giver" doesn't at first, but after a while a man will start to miss a girl who was just that awesome to them. A "drifter" (the person I described earlier who was aloof, mysterious etc.) WILL keep a guy on his toes, especially if he likes the chase, so even after a break up there is a good chance of him coming back.
 (Note: I understand that we can't be shoved into one of these definitive groups, and that many other groupings exist, but I can't CAN categorize most high school- and college-aged girls in this manner with fair certainty.)

No matter who you are, though, the other key thing you have to consider is the personality of each of your exes. Everyone is different, so think about each one individually as well as collectively. If you find that the guys in your past are generally passionate, sensitive, and/or dependent people, then of course they are more likely to feel sentimental and return. 

Finally, consider the experiences with each ex. Did you help "X" through a particularly hard time in his life while you were dating? Were you and "Y" really good friends before your little tryst? Were you with "Z" for many years before you finally dismantled? Even little experiences can be powerful enough to form a sort of lasting bond between two people. Other things to consider are location and easiness of communication. It is much easier to come back into someone's life if you see them a lot or can easily talk to them. It also takes two to tango, so there is a good chance that, at least with some of them, the re-entering of them into your life has been a product of both you and your ex finding each other...

I'm not a big believer in fate, so that novel above is essentially what I've got for ya. However, if you believe in the "everything happens for a reason" adage, you may consider the fact that each of these guys is somehow instrumental in your life and will help shape your future...
Even for me, that's something to think about. :O

Best of luck!,

--Dr. O.

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