Dr. Kristie Overstreet contributes to the brutal honest stages of getting back with your ex.
Article by Iman Hariri-Kia and Mia Sherin for Elite Daily.
We’ve all thought about it; some of us have even tried it…giving an ex a second (maybe third, fourth) chance. Of course, there’s no way to know how the do-over will end up, but you can prepare yourself for the ‘new normal.”
There are several stages you may go through when re-starting the relationship. Here’s what to expect.
Acknowledging these stages can also help manage expectations. Kristie Overstreet — a clinical sexologist, psychotherapist, and host of the podcast Fix Yourself First — says is the key to a smooth transition when getting back together with an ex. “We all have expectations, and a lot of times, we end up feeling disappointed and frustrated, not realizing that we had an unrealistic expectation,” she tells Elite Daily.
It’s easy to imagine that once you’re back together, everything will be perfect. But the inevitable whirlwind of emotions doesn’t mean you made the wrong choice — it just means you’re going through the confusing stages that arise when getting back together with an ex.
When you decide to get back together with an ex, you’ll likely have trouble silencing that little voice in your head — the one that won’t stop questioning if you’re making a big mistake. Overstreet assures that, to an extent, this inner voice is just there to check in onus. But when it gets out of control is when it’s time to engage that voice in a conversation.
“What can happen, especially people more prone to anxiety, is that it can get really loud, and we can go into a dark spiral,” Overstreet cautions. When stuck in an overthinking spiral, she suggests writing your thoughts down to nudge your brain back in the present.
If you do want to start this dialogue with your partner but are worried about creating an argument, Overstreet suggests explaining that this is simply something you are struggling with and hoping to work through together. “Use ‘I’ statements and take accountability for your own thoughts and feelings about the situation,” she advises, “rather than pointing the finger at the other person.”
When it comes to putting up a wall…“our defense mechanisms serve to protect us,” Overstreet explains. “If people were hurt last time in any kind of way, you’re probably going to walk in not being super vulnerable.”
Putting up a guarded wall is often our instinctive response to getting our heartbroken. If it takes time to break down that barrier, then, by all means, don’t rush the process — you’re only human, and trust issues are to be expected. “As trust is built, vulnerability follows,” Overstreet says, “and that wall will dissolve over time.”
A “new normal” is simply your relationship’s way of becoming sustainable and creating room to grow. “It can’t take on the same form as before because there’s a reason why you split in the first place,” Overstreet explains. “There has to be this new normal.”
The key is trusting your intuition and making decisions that serve you best, which will keep you on the road to your healthiest self.
Read the full article of the 7 phases at Elite Daily.