Relationships are complicated. In the real world, every romance story has plenty of twists and turns.
But sometimes, even when couples part ways, their story isn’t quite over.
There are certain types of breakups that are destined to get back together.
10 different types of breakups that usually get back together
1) The uncertain breakup
Top of our list is the uncertain breakup.
This is the couple who have been ambivalent about their breakup all along.
It was doubts about the relationship that made them split. But that same doubt remains afterward too.
Did they make the right decision? Should they work on the relationship instead of throwing in the towel?
Almost half of the couples who break up do decide to give it another try and reunite. A large part of this is because they were on the fence about their decision.
The choices we make in life aren’t usually black and white. There are plus points and negative points to everything.
Most relationships have problems, but they also have good times too. And this can lead people to question whether they made the right decision.
These lingering doubts can be made worse when they become mixed with feelings of loss and grief from the fallout of the breakup.
Many couples decide that rather than live with long-term doubt and regret over whether they have done the wrong thing, it’s better to give it one more try.
2) On-again-off-again breakup
Next up is the on-again-off-again relationship.
This is where there is already an established pattern of breaking up. Rather than deal with conflict and issues in the relationship, the go-to approach is to split.
But it isn’t ever for very long. Deep down neither feel finished with the relationship. And so they get back together again.
Years ago I was caught in this cycle too. My ex’s solution for any problem or discomfort that came up in our relationship was to break up.
The first time he broke up with me I was devastated. I mourned the loss of the relationship, only for him to get back in touch a few weeks later wanting to try again.
This happened two more times within our three-year relationship. I wish I could tell you there was a happy ending. But the reality is that the pressure of yo-yo relationships ultimately is too much of a strain.
Unless you can find healthy ways to resolve your issues, you are always destined to keep ending up in the same place.
This is backed up by research that has found on and off again couples suffer from lower satisfaction in their relationship. They experience less love, less sexual satisfaction, and less of their needs feel fulfilled or validated.
That’s why it’s important if you do reconcile with an ex to find a way to resolve the problems that lead to the breakup in the first place (more on this later).
3) The heat-of-the-moment breakup
The heat-of-the-moment breakups deep down aren’t really even a proper breakup. They could even be considered an argument that simply got out of hand.
Sure, in an ideal world we would calmly and maturely resolve every disagreement we had with a partner.
But we live in the real world. And in the real world, nothing can be quite as triggering as the vulnerability of a relationship.
And it can lead us to behave in all sorts of unreasonable ways. We get defensive. We shut down. We scream and shout.
And we might make knee-jerk decisions based on firey emotions that, once we cool down, we come to realize we don’t really want.
It’s easy to say things you don’t mean when your feelings take over. If a couple breaks up in the midst of an argument, it’s not uncommon for them to end up getting back together.
When the dust settles, things start to look very different. A one-off argument that doesn’t have much substance can be pretty easy to get over.
4) The circumstantial breakup
Not all relationships break down from the inside out. Some are facing external circumstances that put them under pressure.
It really can be a case of the right person, wrong timing.
Maybe they needed to focus on other things. Their career was at a crucial point and they didn’t have room in their life for a serious relationship.
Perhaps the relationship was long distance, and it was too difficult on a practical level to continue. Or one person had to move for study or work.
There are plenty of reasons why things don’t work out that have little to do with the connection between two people.
It wasn’t anything about you two together that wasn’t working, it was simply that life that got in the way.
If those circumstances change and they happen to find themselves thrown back together again when the timing is better, couples can reunite.
5) The true love breakup
I hesitate slightly at calling this the ‘true love breakup’, as there is a risk this oversimplifies it.
Because rather than being an effortless Fairytale, it’s more that with growth, reflection, time, and effort a couple manages to ride out and overcome their obstacles.
But obviously, that doesn’t make for a catchy title quite like “true love” does.
I’m talking about the Ross and Rachel from friends couple. The romance that isn’t without its difficulties but in the end, love does conquer.
Maybe the real-life equivalent is Bennifer (Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck). Their romantic timeline is one that spans decades.
Having first dated and called off an engagement in the early 2000s, they are now happily married after 20 years spent apart.
As J-Lo explained to her fans, with the benefit of life experience and hindsight, they found their way back to one another:
“Nothing ever felt more right to me, and I knew we were finally settling down in a way you can only do when you understand loss and joy and you are battle tested enough to never take the important things for granted or let the silly insignificant nuisances of the day get in the way of embracing every precious moment.”
The truth is that people, love, and relationships can be unpredictable and complicated.
But if solid foundations of respect, affection, and attraction remain, couples can find their way back to one another. No matter how long it’s been.
6) The grass is greener breakup
Some couples break up and get back together again because one of them (or both) started to wonder if the grass might be greener on the other side.
They fantasize about the single life and imagine whether it could be more fulfilling.
They question if they are missing out, or whether there is more on offer.
Perhaps they picture the freedom of dating other people, having no one to answer to, and enjoying life with friends feeling footloose and fancy-free.
The problem is, the reality of single life doesn’t quite match up to the fantasy.
They thought life outside the relationship would be better and built up an idealized image. But it’s not. It has its own unique set of challenges.
They don’t find a better connection elsewhere. Being single isn’t as fun as they thought, in fact, it feels pretty lonely.
The problem is that when you’re in a relationship, you can end up focusing on all the negative stuff. And you neglect the positives.
But as soon as you’re single, you start to remember the good times again from your relationship. Those things about your partner that drove you nuts at the time fade from memory.
They realize that maybe they did have something special after all. So regret kicks in, and they decide to go back.
7) The amicable breakup
An amicable breakup is far more likely to get back together than a nasty one.
That’s because an amicable breakup suggests things haven’t gotten so bad that there is no way back. The lines of communication are still open.
There is a chance that a couple can work through their problems and resolve their issues. They may even agree to stay friends.
Whilst they remain in each other’s lives, it’s possible that they decide to move forward together and try to put the past behind them.
Of course not all couples who remain close after a breakup want to get back together. But it does suggest a strong and healthy bond.
And that’s always a good sign when pondering whether reconciliation is possible.
8) The unfinished business breakup
I think the unfinished business breakup can be hard to define.
Probably because it’s not one thing, in particular, that means there is unfinished business, it’s more like an overall energy that remains between a couple.
The attraction is still so clearly there. You may flirt still with one another, or feel those nervous butterflies in each other’s presence.
You know that there are unresolved feelings too and a clear affection between you.
For some reason, it just doesn’t feel like the end. It feels more like another chapter in your story that is still to be continued.
It’s a bit like saying goodbye to someone but knowing that you will see them again.
So although it’s over, you still feel connected to them, and they still feel connected to you too.
With this type of breakup, there is always that question mark in the back of your mind (and probably with your friends and family too).
It’s the “will they, won’t they” question. Because there is no denying, you’ve got unfinished business.
9) The “need a break” breakup
I’ll admit, I used to think that having a break from a relationship or deciding to separate was pretty much the kiss of death.
I just didn’t really see how there was a way back from it.
So when my friend told me she was taking a break from her very long-term partner (we are talking 12 years) I confess I assumed it was just the first stage of the inevitable demise of their relationship.
Almost like one foot out of the door.
Although they still spoke to one another and kept in contact, they both did their own thing.
For almost a year they traveled in different countries and spent time figuring out how they felt and what they wanted moving forward.
Very much to my surprise (clearly, I’m more cynical than I like to imagine) they eventually came back together and actually stayed together.
That was over 5 years ago. And they have made it work ever since, staying together a whopping 17 years.
I think sometimes couples just need some space. Sometimes they need to figure out where they stand before they can commit to each other.
This gives them time to think about it without being pressured into making any decisions.
Distance can offer us perspective. And so when they eventually come back together, they can genuinely be stronger for it.
10) he co-dependent breakup
Let’s be realistic.
Not all couples get back together for the right reasons. When I say “right”, I guess what I really mean is healthy.
Whenever we’re in a relationship with someone, our lives end up merging to a certain extent.
Separating it again can feel very complicated, messy, and painful.
But if a couple has become co-dependent upon one another, it can feel more than messy. It can feel almost impossible.
Having built their entire world around one another the loneliness feels too much to bear. They cannot see a life without their ex-partner.
The familiarity of their ex is enough to pull them back in again, regardless of how bad the relationship was.
Fear of being alone. Feeling desperate for companionship. Getting hooked on toxic cycles and habits in a relationship. All of these things can pull some couples back.
Getting back together after a breakup: Steps to take
1) The evaluation
It’s tempting to just jump back into your full-blown plan to get back your ex without thinking it through first.
But if you want to get back together, you should always start by asking yourself why you broke up in the first place.
Now is the time to be brutally honest with yourself. Remember the on-again-off-again couples?
You don’t want to be one of those.
Without dissecting the problems you had, you will only keep repeating the same mistakes. There is no point in putting yourself through even more heartache in the future if you can’t fix your problems.
So it’s time to consider:
What were the problems in your relationship? How could you improve on them?
All relationships have issues. They do not need to spell the end. But they do require both of you to work together to resolve them.
Don’t be tempted to rush this evaluation time. Sometimes a bit of space and time is just what you need.
Remember that in the aftermath of a breakup emotions are bound to run high. This craving to stop the pain you feel can make you feel desperate to get an ex back.
But sadly, that doesn’t mean it is always for the best.
2) Getting your ex back
You’ve decided that despite any difficulties that might lie ahead, you do want to get back with your ex.
But how do you make that happen?
I’m willing to bet that you’ve come across plenty of seemingly contradictory advice out there.
Do you ignore your ex and hope they come to their senses?
Do you try to talk to them about your problems?
If they orchestrated the breakup or wanted it, how do you get them to change their minds?
The bottom line is that for whatever reason your ex has started to question your relationship.
That means to get them back you are going to need to re-spark their interest. You have to induce a “fear of loss” in your ex which will trigger their attraction for you again.
I’m guessing this fear of loss is what is driving you right now? So you can see how powerful it is.
The reality is that all of this is a process. There isn’t a one sized fits all antidote to quickly share.
But I learned about this fear of loss (and plenty more) from relationship expert Brad Browning.
In his free video, he’ll talk you through the important dos and don’t of getting your ex back and actually keeping them.
He will help you steer clear of the common mistakes that many people make when trying to get back with an ex.
And he can give you lots of practical tools that you can apply, regardless of your unique situation.
I’m talking about texts to send, and what to say to your ex in different contexts to get their attention firmly back in your direction.
If you are serious about making it work, I really recommend checking out his free video.
He can’t wave a magic wand that will put you two back together again. But what he can do is show you how to rebuild the love and trust between you and your ex.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.