You just got out of a relationship, and are contemplating on starting a new relationship. Luckily for you, the question is not “To be or not to be?” It is, “To date somebody new or to “recycle” your ex-girlfriends?”
Assuming that you’ve been in a considerable number of relationships with different women, all of which didn’t work out, you ponder for a moment whether it is possible that you may have missed the right one in your haste to conquer the world of beautiful women? Not to make you look bad, let’s assume that you did not initiate your most recent breakup. You did your best to make it work, but she still broke up with you over nothing (perhaps her own insecurities). But that is not something you’re worried about. Your biggest dilemma now is that all or most of your ex-girlfriends want you back (thanks to Facebook, you have access to them), but the world is still rich with single ladies clamoring for your attention. (It seems like you finally have something in common with President George W. Bush: “Decision Points”). You’re at your decision point; what are the pros and cons of the options before you?
First of all, congratulations! If all or most of your ex-girlfriends want you back and you’re not filthy rich, then it means you’ve been doing something right, and that makes you highly competitive in today’s single’s market. So let’s first look at this option: “recycling” your exes. Getting back with an ex-girlfriend has its advantages and disadvantages. The first obvious advantage is the ease of hooking up with an interested ex, and the predictability of her behavior in a relationship. Since she is already interested, you are guaranteed to have her back, and you know what to expect in her behavior (attitudes, habits, likes, dislikes, interests, strengths, weaknesses, family background, character, etc), even though some changes may have occurred during the time you were apart.
But this ease and convenience could also be a disadvantage, as it takes out the challenge that makes it fun to woo a “stranger,” as well as the fun of discovering each other in a new relationship one step at time. But it is also true that there will always be something new to discover about a person no matter how long you’ve known them. And even though she may be interested, getting your ex back can still be challenging, for instance if she has to leave a current marriage or relationship to be with you, because it might take a little while before everything works out.
Another advantage of getting back with an ex is that you already have the guidepost (knowledge base) to make the relationship work if you choose to. Since you already know each other well enough, you can avoid certain issues and problems that often crop up in new relationships as a result of new couples discovering new things about each other. Being already aware of what turns each other on and off means that you can always choose the right direction for your relationship (Something you’ll have to learn the hard way with a “new lover”). You will also be dealing with familiar people in terms of her family and friends who may already like you, and whom you may already be comfortable with. The disadvantage here, however is that, if your relationship with these people was strained by your breakup, then you will face the difficult task of trying to repair it which may or may not work favorably.
Also, exes share a connection (some kind of bond) that makes it natural for them to fall in love (again). In a new relationship, you will sometimes have to work hard for such a connection. Besides, you already know if you and your ex are a good fit for each other; something you’ll never know about a “new lover.” (Then again, why would you have broken up if you were a good fit for each other? Well, things happen!).
Another advantage of dating an ex again is that you will always have fond memories (magical moments) to talk about and cherish together (and recreate if you want), as well as past problems to draw experiences from, to avoid a bumpy relationship. The fond memories can energize both partners to make the relationship work this time around (The second time is the charm!). But the disadvantage is that the problems of the past if not completely forgiven and gotten over with, can haunt the new relationship you’re trying to build and destroy it. Thus, if you can’t forgive the problems of the past, then all you’re doing is setting yourself up for heartbreak again.
In sum, if you examine and evaluate the situation and you think you and your ex want to genuinely get back together, then you will probably do whatever it takes to make it work this time around, since no one likes to fail at the same task twice (even though it happens all the time). Otherwise, you can choose to date somebody new.
Dating a new girl (somebody who is a complete stranger to you “relationship-wise”) also has its pros and cons. The first obvious advantage is the fun and excitement of being back in the wooing game; the challenge of devising a winning strategy, dressing up and hitting the road either by yourself or in the company of equally hungry friends, to look for that beautiful stranger you can call your girlfriend. It makes you feel like a hunter and an adventurer, and no matter how many times you’re turned down, there is a sense that you’re having fun being in the game. The disadvantage, however, is that, if you’re turned down too many times, and take too long to find your match, it can affect your self esteem and keep you lonely and depressed.
Once you find a new girl, however, the newness of the relationship and the mystery or unpredictability of events can also create excitement and bring fresh challenges. There is always fun in getting to know somebody new in a romantic way. It is similar to the excitement a new baby brings to a new couple. But the disadvantage is that, the challenges that come with such a new gift could overwhelm you since you have no way of predicting how things will evolve. It is like starting school all over again from KG. You have to learn everything you need to know about this new person, such as her attitudes, likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, temperament, habits, family background, health issues, goals, dreams and aspirations, character, etc. This can be very challenging, since being with a new person will sometimes require you to change some of your habits and behaviors as you merge your personalities. Be prepared for bumps along the way.
Another disadvantage is that, if you are not already in love with your new girl, falling in love or establishing a connection or bond that is magical can take time, and if you’re impatient, you may not be able to wait long enough to experience it. Again you have to deal with your new girlfriend’s family and friends who may or may not like you. Either way, that situation can make or break your new effort at love.
Love can be created anew or reignited with an old flame. You just have to evaluate your situation and needs before deciding which is right for you. An ex girlfriend is tried and tested, but it didn’t work out once so what shows that it will work this time around? That is a mystery. A new girlfriend is unpredictable. What shows that she is not like all the other dozen or so women you have already broken up with? And couldn’t she be the angel you have been looking for all this while? That is a mystery as well. Don’t you wish you had a crystal ball? Well, you have information now. You know the pros and cons of the options before you. It’s your decision, make it, and make it right.
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