The Bennifer effect: Is it ever a good idea to get back with your ex?
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2021 has proven to be the year of the comeback kid. It’s crop tops, chunky sole shoes and cable knit jerseys topping the trendy lists.
It’s no wonder our hankering for nostalgia could be the reason why we’re so fascinated about the resumption of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck’s relationship - it’s familiarity during these uncertain times.
Hollywood’s IT couple first started dating in 2002 and got engaged later that year. They officially split in 2004 after the spectacular bombing of their movie ‘Gigli’.
Fast forward to July 2021 and it’s game on for Bennifer almost 17 years later.
Seventeen years and a few failed relationships in between; that’s a lot of time to reassess your feelings for someone.
Years have passed, it’s water under the bridge, and yes, time does heal old wounds. But there’s a reason why you broke up in the first place. Maybe the relationship didn’t serve you in any way, it may have been a toxic situation, the list goes on and on.
Durban-based conscious relationship coach Kas Naidoo has a multi-pronged approach when it comes to rekindling a past romantic relationship.
“While it is extremely rare that a new relationship with your ex will work out, it’s not impossible.
“It will depend on the work the two people are willing to commit to, individually, and as a couple,” says Naidoo.
According to the relationship coach, you cannot follow the same patterns and expect different results.
“When a relationship ends, emotions run high; there’s a lot of hurt, anger, disappointment, blame or guilt, and fear of getting hurt again,” adds Naidoo.
It’s time for a soul-searching cleanse. Ask yourself a series of questions, and answer them as honestly as you can.
“Have we both taken the time to heal?
“That means taking a deep look at ourselves; how we showed up in that relationship; what were our beliefs about relationships, our expectations, our needs and our fears. Introspection gives us clarity about our own thoughts, emotions and behaviours in relationships.
“Are we able to take responsibility for our own growth? Are we willing to do the work to become a better version of ourselves, so that the next time we come together, we create a different kind of relationship and not repeat the patterns of the last time, that ended in a breakup?” Naidoo asks.
Naidoo believes that when both people feel confident that they have evolved enough to create a relationship that is more loving, more authentic, kinder and more meaningful, then it’s time to agree on a common vision for their future.
Naidoo asks: “What kind of relationship do they want to create – consciously this time? Do they have the tools in place for times of conflict? Can they communicate in a way that gets their needs met?”.
Lovehoney’s sex and relationship expert Annabelle Knight shares the same sentiment. While chatting to Cosmo about whether a broken relationship can ever be fixed, she referred to it as ’second chance love’.
"If two people are willing to work hard, forgive and nurture their relationship, then it definitely can work. Both partners need to be completely on the same page, and the lines of communication need to be well and truly open,” noted Knight.
For Knight, there are also a few things to consider, like talking about everything beforehand, and once you’ve forgiven, learn to forget.
So, still thinking about slipping into your ex’s DM’s? Just remember this closing nugget of advice from Kas Naidoo: “Epic relationships are possible when two people are willing to do the work necessary to create one.”