When to Call, When to Walk: When is it OK to Rekindle the Flame
Sure your life returned to normal in most ways. You go to work, enjoy the company of friends, and you might have even entered into a new relationship or two since the big break-up. Still the questions nags you, "Did it really have to end?" You want to call but don't know if you should. To help make the decision to call him or to keep walking, it might help to consider these questions.
1. Why did the relationship end?
Some relationships end for trivial reasons. Maybe one or both of you was under a lot of work or school pressure. He is a good man; you can see that you were acting a little needy at a time when he was temporarily preoccupied. Neither party was willing to compromise and the relationship splintered. Perhaps distance separated you and you drifted apart. In these situations neither party displayed a character flaw. If the relationship ended over a serious character flaw, however, then trust your past instincts and do not quickly return. Maybe drug or alcohol abuse was a factor in the severing of ties. Don't rekindle romantic flames even if your friend has entered rehab. He needs lots of time to heal and to prove himself. Maybe the relationship ended because of a lack of ability to retain a job. Seriously! Do you think he has become an ambitious go-getter since you left? People do change and mature with time but character flaws might take a life-time to change. You are better off creating a new life for yourself with healthy relationships.
2. Who ended the relationship?
If you ended the relationship then you might offer an apology or explanation that restores some level of communication. You might never return to where you left off but an apology could help mend a broken heart and allow a renewal of friendship. Did he end the relationship? In that event, a seemingly innocent phone call or e-mail might appear needy or as stalking. Approach this scenario with extreme caution and allow him to refuse your attempt to reconnect. Maybe one short e-mail void of drama is acceptable. If he wants to answer he will. Otherwise leave him alone. He knows how to contact you. The door is open, let him walk through, or not.
3. How long ago did it end?
If the relationship ended just last week then don't pressure your friend. Let hurt feelings heal. If it has been a year or longer then your friend just might be happy to hear from you. Still, be careful to not appear needy or as a stalker. Nothing could be less flattering.
4. Do you have reason to believe it will be different this time?
Carefully review your reasons for breaking up in the first place then explain to a third party why you believe it will be different this time. Remember circumstances can change and allow for a renewal of friendship. Character flaws, however, rarely remedy themselves. You owe it to yourself to not return to a dangerous or hurtful situation.