Things I Learned From (Re)Dating My Ex-Boyfriend

1. People Don’t Change

We all grow and have experiences, but at our very core, I don’t think we ever really change. I still get annoyed by the same things that I did when I was twenty. The things he used to do that made me laugh still make me laugh. And all of the things he did that drove me crazy, still do. People can emotionally evolve (see Lesson #4) but our personality and general demeanor generally stay the same. You will NEVER be able to change someone. So you either take the good with the bad or walk away. Don’t you wonder why so many people break up and get back together as often as Olivia Wilde has a new boy du jour? Deep down we hope something will change to make the relationship work, but sometimes, the best thing you can do for your love life is to let go.

2. You Had (And Still Have) Way More Power Than You Think
Sitting across from my ex at a bar I noticed something…he was actually nervous! I was too but I was definitely doing a better job at covering it up with a false sense of confidence. I started thinking back to our old dating patterns and I realized something important. I had it back then too! Why didn’t I realize it at the time? I was so into him that I was worried about what I was saying/doing/bringing to the table I hadn’t even noticed that he was too. Don’t exploit this power, but realize that you have it and allow that to help your own self-confidence.

3. Time May Not Heal All Wounds, But It Allows For New Beginnings
Go ahead, mock the cliché, but I AM right. You can’t change the past- unless you have a DeLorean, Christopher Lloyd, and those awesome Nike’s that are being auctioned on Ebay. But, you can make a fresh start. Once you’re over all of the who did what to whom silliness and forgive, you can start to build a new relationship. It won’t ever be the same as the old relationship, but sometimes it can be better. It can be worse too, but you never know until you give it a try.

4. Maturity Makes For A Healthier Relationship
I have a confession. I used to think that guys (particularly my ex) would think I was cooler if I had the newest clothes and newest gadgets. Of course he noticed none of these things and still doesn’t. Now that I’m older and more mature, I see it isn’t all about impressing guys with stuff, but being a good partner. So don’t worry about being the first one to have the iPhone4S. Focus on being a fun and loyal girl.

5. Hooking Up For The First Time (Again) Is Still Awkward!
Will it be as good as it was before? Note: if it was never good, don’t even bother dating again. Keep it in the friend zone! Does my body look as good as it did when we dated? Will I remember what I’m doing? Don’t worry, he’s thinking the same thing. People that say it’s like riding a bike are liars. Sure, you know the physicality of it. But now that you’re together again you have to re-learn each other’s sexual identities. The first time you’re intimate again it will be super awkward. Just remember that it’s ok and sex is never (well, rarely) good the first time. Keep at it and it may even surpass the level it was at before.

Sometimes, re-dating your ex is a catastrophic mistake. Sometimes it gives you a sense of closure. And sometimes, it’s actually quite nice. Whatever your situation turns out to be, just remember to let go and enjoy the journey. Regrets are usually things that we never tried, so regardless of the outcome, you can check it off the list.


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real. college. love. really smart people.