Recycling – Should You Give Your Ex Another Try?

Mar 10, 2021



“Even when something has been recycled, it is still made of the same material it was when you tossed it.”


Your ex is back, hat in hand. He says this time he really understands what he did wrong, why it hurt you, and he promises he’s changed and it will be different.


Should you give him another try? (I refer to this phenomenon as “recycling” where the woman gives the ex another try).


If you know the answer is no, tell him no. A good script for this is, “Oh that’s so sweet but I’ll have to pass.” (The reason this is a good script is that it contains no explanation, thus gives him no opening to try to refute/negotiate your reasons.)


If you aren’t sure whether to give him a second chance, then before you decide, tell him, “I need to think about it.” This buys you time.


The first thing I want you to do once you’ve bought yourself the extra time, is to assess is your own vulnerability. This is because when we’re vulnerable, we are more prone to decisions that seem okay short-term but aren’t as beneficial to us in the long-term. Reasons for vulnerability can include loneliness, uncertainty (like the state of the world re Covid-19), big transitions in other areas of your life that you are navigating (maybe launching a new business, death of a loved one, a move, an accident or major illness, anything that is a big change in your life). These changes (even positive ones like starting a new business) in another area of life can make you more vulnerable to going back to what is familiar in your dating life.


Next, we have to look at the likelihood that he has actually changed. There is the old adage “A leopard doesn’t change its spots.” In all my years of advising women on dating and relationships, I have yet to see a recycling situation work out well for the woman. What I find is that the same problems that caused the demise of the relationship the first time around continue to plague the relationship the second time around.  When I recently told Carrie F. my thoughts on why “recycling” an ex often yields poor results because so often it results in the same problems again, she quipped “Even when something has been recycled, it is still made of the same material it was when you tossed it.”  (Thank you, Carrie for giving us permission to use your quote.)


So at the end of the day, my best advice would be that the issues that came up the first time around will likely still be in the mix on the second try. Thus, we find recycling an ex to generally be a waste of the woman’s time and energy.


 - Coach Cori at Love Academy for Women 



In any area of life, it helps to have a mentor. Dating is no different. 

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