Following her recent break-up with The Weeknd, a relationship which lasted ten months, Selena Gomez has recently gained attention for spending more time with her ex Justin Bieber.
The pair have been spotted together on multiple occasions in the last week including at an ice hockey match he played in and a bike ride the day before – subsequently sparking rumours they could be getting back together.
Exes getting back together…does it ever work? We decided to investigate further.
So, the pair famously dated on and off from 2011 to 2015, the end of which resulted in a handful of shady social media digs at the other as reported by Time. A year after their breakup, Gomez called out Bieber for attacking his fans.
Now the two are on much friendlier terms, it begs the question- if they did get back together, would it ever work? And more generally, why are some of us tempted to date an ex when it didn’t work the first time?
Jo Barnett is a dating and relationship coach and has revealed all of the answers to these important questions to IBTimes UK.
Why are we tempted to go back to an ex?
“It’s a very easy thing to go back to someone we’ve got a history with – it’s comfortable,” she says.
Apparently it’s completely natural too. “Whether it’s good for someone or not it’s comfortable, it’s familiar, and people quite like that. As human beings we like to have familiarity, someone who knows us. If you put yourself out there dating you’ve got to start all over again.”
And who can blame people really? With the rise of online dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble, finding someone can feel overwhelming to say the least.
“When everything else is new, someone who knows you can be very comforting and stabilising. The challenging option is to put yourself back out there and find the right partner for you.” At that point you have to start from scratch.
Does it ever work?
Instead of suggesting that “dating an ex is always bad” she points out “sometimes people meet at the wrong time, sometimes they’re immature and they’re not in the right head space. I wouldn’t rule it out for everyone but it’s very important to talk about why the relationship broke up and take some responsibility.”
Whilst the relationship isn’t completely doomed, Jo makes the case for there being a great deal of work ahead if you’re serious.
“In my experience it doesn’t work because the same issues are there unless people change, work on themselves and are aware of the problems in the relationship,” she says. “If you just go back and say lets start again, the likelihood is they’re going to have the same problem.” There’s no immediate guarantee of a happily ever after – it takes both people wanting to resolve the past.
They shouldn’t make it Facebook official just yet, apparently. She says: “My advice is that they should go slowly. They spend some nice quality time together and iron out any of their issues.”
Is there a time span for these things?
Don’t fret if you’re in the situation yourself as Jo has some measured advice. Firstly, don’t rush into anything, “you want to leave some time and process it,” she says.
Just like with her advice to Selena and Justin she adds, “you need some time to work out why it went wrong and how you can do things differently and lots of good communication – very slowly.”
Don’t send round texts to family and friends saying everything’s back on either as she says “the challenge in relationships is always about restriction- we want the end result. People don’t have patience but if you put in a little bit of restriction and go a little bit slower, that’s what will get you the long term happiness. It’s always the case.”
So maybe there’s hope. If Jo hasn’t ruled it out, maybe ‘Jelena’ could find their happy ever after and maybe dating an ex isn’t always destined for failure.