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Most folks have seen, judged and likely committed this inevitably stress-inducing act: Sliding back into a situationship with an ex. (Don’t be mad at Mariah!)

At first it makes so much sense, right? You’re single, or almost solo, and longing to be with someone who totally gets and digs your core. For a person who is simply the embodiment of everything you “needed” that your most recent-ex just couldn’t give you. You think you know exactly where to look for something new. Dating apps are way too unpredictable and you’re not in the mood for a real life hunt. Without fail you slip back into your old habits… you hit the last four of your top five with the “WYD?” text.

Here are the facts: Rekindling with an ex only works if you both are willing to invest in the labor of love.

The first few exchanges are always bomb. You’ve both genuinely missed each other and are in that awesome phase where you’re not quite in representative mode but instinctually leading with your best behaviors. The euphoria is short-lived. Eventually, you begin getting on each other’s nerves, again, and you remember why s/he is  fourth on your list.

Once the magic of accessibility wears off, you’re left with a harsh reality— nothing has changed.

Here are the facts: Rekindling with an ex only works if you both are willing to invest in the labor of love. Yes, it sounds cliche, but being anyone’s friend is challenging. Add in boning and finances and you start to see why fat asses and long d*cks aren’t enough to sustain a decent sex life—forget about a real committed relationship. Bouncing back with an ex when you’re lonely or bored is easy, but it’s not without its own set of issues, the most important being that you’ll backtrack into another terrible relationship.

If you’re single and considering doing more than hooking-up with an ex, something bigger is likely brewing. Be real with yourself before you try to get that old thing back and ask yourself the following questions.

1 Am I in desperate need of a warm body?

Pop culture tells us that loneliness is something that merits shame, and that social media connections can substitute real-life interactions. Lies. It’s natural to want in-person companionship and feel angst if it’s missing for too long. Don’t bury those feelings and seek soothing between the wrong thighs. Instead, spend a little more time with friends and family, and get super busy connecting with potential mates. Also, don’t forget to do a little self-inventory! Consider what you need to do better internally to make it work with future bae.

2 Do I have temporary amnesia?

Loneliness is a lot like hunger. When you’re emotionally starving your best option can seem like a five-course meal. Three bites in you realize it’s just a plain old burger. Before you try to hook-up with an ex, take a few minutes to remember why you actually stopped rocking with him/her. Has s/he likely changed? Have you? If not, it’s a waste.

3 Is what I’m feeling fact or fiction?

Everyone has that someone who is so perfect in theory and sometimes, particularly if you’re looking for a quick escape, that individual can seem like the ideal solution to warm up the cool side of your bed—until s/he does and all goes wrong. If you can’t talk yourself out of hitting your dream lover up, remember one thing when you reconnect: It’s not his or her fault if she/he doesn’t live up to your imagination.

4 Am I still sad?

There are times when breakups crush your spirit and rocks your confidence. That’s exactly when a good-natured, doting ex seems like the optimal way to lick your wounds. Unfortunately, no one can love away your hurt. Yes, s/he will make you feel better for the short-term, but a sense of inadequacy and buried hurt will ultimately prevent you from truly mending.

5 Damn, what do I have to do?

Raise your hand if you’ve ever blamed yourself for a break-up. Right. Most folks place fault on the other party, which makes it easy to bounce around from ex to ex, absolved of accountability, and enjoying the pseudo honeymoon phase that accompany reconnections. But what happens when the euphoria wears off and you’re just left with, well, you? Man or woman up, face your faults and get something real popping.

 

So the #MESSAGE is…

Rebound dating can only work out if you and your partner decide to put in some effort to have a high-functioning relationship (Read: This does not mean monogamy or even a happily ever after moment, just a solid connection sans the drama). In order to achieve this, you have to address your ish. You know, the cyclical issues that repeatedly arise whenever you date someone for more than a month, are a great place to start your work.