Dear Dr. Darcy –
My ex and I dated for 5 years starting in college and we broke up because we were on two different pages on a lot of topics. He and I have different religions and different political views. While we were dating we tried very hard to allow each other the freedom to be who we are but in the end those differences, along with one other issue (which I’ll tell you about in a second) caused us to break up. The other issue is that I was in my mid 20’s and ready to get serious / engaged and he was in his mid 20’s and not even close to ready to get serious. Here’s my problem: He recently contacted me and told me he’s ready to grow up and move on with his life and he’s still in love with me (even though it’s been almost 2 years since we broke up). He told me that we’d get engaged by the end of the year if we got back together. But I’m worried that the old issues that divided us years ago will show up again. What do you think?
Getting back with an ex is like re-watching a movie that you’ve seen because you already know how it ends. If you told me that one of you had a philosophical or spiritual shift in the two years since you’ve been apart, I’d be inclined to endorse giving it another try. But if the only significant change is that he’s now fucked enough women to feel ready to settle down, I’m not on board.
I admire that you were committed to remaining two separate individuals with different beliefs about important topics, but unless some of those beliefs have changed, I absolutely believe they will rise up within the relationship and prove to be a dividing force. The issues you describe are core issues that tap into our values and principles as people – which is precisely why they haven’t changed over time (principles and values rarely do).
Don’t be seduced by the promise of a ring for the holidays. Stay strong. You know how this story ends. You’ve been there. Don’t go there again.
Writer’s Stats: Female, Straight.