8 ways to get ready for a new relationship

Ah, the power of the ex. Is there anything more alluring than The One That Got Away? Probably not. But before you go ahead and try getting back together, know there's a good chance it won't end up with a glammed-out, star-studded wedding like Bennifer 2.0. So, while the urge to text your ex may be all kinds of real RN...so is the potential for renewed drama. (After all, for the average set of exes, it's not all yacht makeouts and movie premieres.) In times like these, it's important to remember that you probably broke up for a very legit reason. Still... your desire to rekindle an old flame is pretty normal. "We are wired for attachment and also for new experiences," says licensed marriage and family therapist David Klow, owner of Skylight Counseling Center in Chicago. "When we can have a bit of both by getting back together with a former lover, many of us jump at the opportunity."

And let's face it: Getting back together with an ex is just easier than spending hours swiping through Bumble (and going on craptastic dates). “We often aren't interested in someone new because we have to get to know someone new and that takes time,” says Terri Orbuch, PhD, author of Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship and professor at Oakland University in Michigan. “When with our ex, we already know what we like, don't like, and how they act.”

It’s definitely possible to have more success with round two, Klow says—but you need to approach it the right way. Here's how to get back with your ex without making a total mess of it.

1. Consider how you might have changed. Before you even weigh the pros and cons of getting back with an ex, it’s important to check in with yourself about where you’re at. Sure, your ex might want you back and say that they’ve “changed”—especially if the relationship ended due to their unsavory behavior—but what do you want, and how have you changed?

“Over time, we learn new things about ourselves and develop different perspectives, so of course you may develop different needs or have a change in plans for the future,” says Chelsea Davis, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist based in Winter Park, FL. “Make sure you’re able to communicate these things to your partner so that both of you have a fair opportunity to make each other happy.” If you’re honest with yourself, you might have outgrown your past connection with this person, or moved on entirely into a new chapter. Either way, this is a necessary step to take before reaching out to your ex.