Expert reveals why we root for failed relationships to rekindle love

Do YOU want to get back with an ex? Expert reveals how to rekindle a romance including visiting ‘meaningful places’ together – and the FOUR signs your relationship is beyond repair

  • Relationship counsellor Mig Bennett explains why we root for failed romances 
  • Says a break-up has ‘hallmark of death’ with complication ex-partner is still alive
  • Tells what can help rekindle a romance, and the signs things are over for good 

Longing to get back together with an ex-partner is a natural feeling for many singletons, no matter how the relationship ended.

But relationship counsellor Mig Bennett, of Crowborough, East Sussex, believes that not all relationships can be rekindled. 

Speaking to FEMAIL, Mig explained why so many of us find it difficult to let go of our exes, comparing it to a grieving process without any closure. 

She also offered her expert advice on how to go about reuniting with a former flame – and shared the four signs that mean your love is beyond saving.  


Relationship expert Mig Bennett reveals what compels us to want to rekindle old relationships and what we can do to successfully patch things up with an old partner (stock picture)

Mig said there were several reasons that might push us to want to give an ex-partner another shot at romance.  

‘The end of a relationship is described as a “complicated grief reaction”,’ Mig said. 

‘It has the hallmarks of a death along with the complication of that person still being alive, in contact with you and now maybe with someone else. 

‘It’s not possible, in a separation, to mourn, put flowers on a grave, be a widow or widower, so closure can be difficult. 

Mig Bennett is a relationship counsellor based in Crowborough, East Susex

‘And the lingering feelings can lead to “what ifs” that will make it even harder to let go.  

‘We remember, and yearn for, the relationship we had aspired to have with an ex, (even if that relationship never met those expectations) not the reality of why it ended. 

‘And, especially if life post the split is proving difficult, we want another hit of that falling in love feeling, with all its excitement and hope.’

However, Mig said someone willing to give an old flame another try might want to thread carefully, as it would be difficult to get back what once was.  

‘Beware wanting back “what we had”,’ she said. ‘At some level what you had didn’t work. What you create going forward needs to be better.’


If you are convinced that getting back with a partner is worth a shot, there are certain things you can do to make sure the relationship lasts.  

‘Rekindled relationships have a good chance of longevity as long as there has been enough time apart for each to have reclaimed there sense of individual self,’ Mig said. 

‘Check you have become “separate” and “individual” enough in the time apart because that way you may come together to make a better couple.’ 

Dating someone for a second time is not the same as resuming a relationship after a break. Mig advised to treat it like a new relationship and to keep things lighthearted and positive at the beginning. 

Visiting meaningful places and experiences together can be beneficial for a couple who are getting back together, as long as they are positive. It can help spark erotic feelings and romantic memories.   

Don’t dive into the reasons of your split too early, but instead, try to look at your relationship with new eyes, and possible some professional help to see what happened.  

Should you tell your friends you’re rooting for them to get back together with an ex? 

The simple answer is no, according to Mig.   

‘We are very influenced by our family and close friends opinions when relationship traumas are involved.

‘A thoughtful and helpful friend is one who keeps their opinion to themselves and listens, asks questions and, like a counsellor, invites them to explore all the issues they are struggling with,’ she said.  

‘Because the friends’ opinions may not be what is decided in the long run and this can cause a feeling of shame in the person who hasn’t heeded “advice”. What ensues can be degrees of tension and even family or friendship rifts,’ she added.  

However, Mig said that if one of the partners had been deeply hurt by the other in their old relationship, an apology was in order before it could come up in the early days of giving it another go.  


‘I talk to couples about the following four signs noted in their communication that suggest the relationship is in deep trouble,’ Mig said. 

‘These are known as The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,’ she added, using the theory coined by relationship coach John Gottman. 

Criticism: The first negative pattern to emerge could be criticism, which arises to create an ‘I’m right/you’re wrong’ dialogue, Mig said.  

Contempt: After criticism comes contempt, which manifests itself in tone, facial expressions or words. Mig explained these reactions aim to psychologically undermine or insult the partner.   

Defensiveness: These two partners are often followed by defensiveness, or ‘playing the victim’ and avoiding any attack on yourself.  ‘”Yes, butting” is common in a defensive conversation, along with blaming others, saying it’s “not true! and turning it onto your partner. These all constitute a situation where you aren’t listening to your partner at all,’ she said. 

Stonewalling: The last pattern that could emerge is known as ‘Stonewalling,’ which is the most dangerous sign of a relationship breakdown, the expert said.  ‘The others are at least ‘active’, suggesting there’s enough interest to bother. Stonewalling indicates a withdrawal from the relationship, which may appear as a cease fire or a neutrality, but in fact conveys a cold, silent disapproval and possibly complete disconnection,’ she said. 

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