Sometimes, relationships don’t wither because there is a lack of love between two people. It happens when there is a communication gap, trust issues, and partners don’t know how to revive their love. That’s when it becomes important to find out how to start over in a relationship because you don’t want to lose out on this person you love and adore so much.
Starting fresh in a relationship means determining that you can still make it work, and without committing the same mistakes again that put your relationship in stagnancy in the first place. With a little bit of faith and a lot of effort, you can write a new story with your existing love life. Learn how to start fresh with the help of the following tips.
What Does It Mean To Start A Relationship Over?
Joel Block, Ph.D, psychologist and author of The 15-Minute Relationship Fix, says here, “Couples who are struggling are wise to consider therapy early on, since it will only get worse over time and without intervention, will likely end badly.” As per this Forbes article, research shows that relationship counseling positively impacts 70% of people.
Clearly, facing turbulence in relationships is common. The relationship can turn sour because of things like:
- Suspicion and trust issues
- Different expectations and life goals
- Moving through life at different speeds
- A feeling of growing apart
- Intimacy issues
- Financial problems
- Alcoholism and substance abuse problems
- Mental disorders
Now that we know some of the reasons we might need a fresh start, let’s find out what starting fresh in a relationship really means. It means to be happy in a relationship again by letting go of negativity, unhealthy behavior, and past issues. It means you are willingly and consciously agreeing to give your relationship another chance.
You and your partner have decided to focus on the brighter side by agreeing to work through the problems. You can also start over in a marriage after infidelity if you and your spouse do your best to ensure that the recovery process won’t be one-way. Both of you must put in the energy to revive your love life.
How To Decide If You Want To Start Over In A Relationship
Before you find out how to start over in a broken relationship, find out why you want to do so. You need to be in a healthy emotional state to be able to decide what you want from your partner. Here are some bad reasons for starting over with someone:
- You think you will be alone forever if this person leaves you
- You can’t start over with someone you love because you selfishly want them in your life, even though they don’t love you back
- You can’t start over in a relationship just because you have no other place to go, and you want to continue living with them
- It’s one of the relationship red flags if you don’t care deeply about this person but you don’t want to break up either just because they fulfill your sexual and financial needs
- You can’t start over in a marriage after infidelity only because you are afraid of what people will think of a broken marriage
On the other hand, your relationship is worth fighting for if:
- Both of you sincerely love each other and see a future together
- You are ready to meet halfway and talk about expectations
- You have forgiven yourself or your partner for betraying or hurting you
- You and your partner have taken accountability in the relationship for the things that went wrong and have mutually decided to starting new in the relationship
- You genuinely believe there is miscommunication between the two of you that can be fixed
How To Start Over In A Relationship — 13 Tips
New relationship same person — sounds a bit challenging, doesn’t it? But don’t worry. We have compiled a list of things you can do with your partner that will revive your relationship:
1. Practice self-compassion and self-love
Scientific data shows that self-criticism makes humans weaker in the face of failure, more emotional, and less likely to learn lessons from failures. Studies are finding that there is a far better alternative to self-criticism: self-compassion. Here are some things you can do to be kind to yourself while you navigate this relationship turmoil, even if you’ve caused hurt to your partner in the past:
- Avoid negative self-talk. Whenever it happens, replace it with a positive thing about yourself and the efforts you’re making
- Don’t make your past actions and judgments your identity
- Try to journal your negative thoughts
- Set boundaries with people who hurt you, bring you down, and make you question your self-worth
- Allow yourself to make mistakes, this self-compassion will extend to your partner too
- If you care deeply about your partner, you’ll need to care for yourself too
Related Reading: 8 Ways Blame-Shifting In A Relationship Harms It
2. Identify past mistakes in your current relationship
How to start over in a damaged relationship? Try to identify what went wrong. Here are some questions you can answer about your long-term relationship:
- Did the two of you have a habit of fighting just to win and prove the other person wrong?
- Did you always speak to each other in a condescending way?
- Were you and your partner critical of everything?
- Did physical or emotional adultery take place?
- Did either of you stop making efforts toward intimacy?
- Were they unsupportive of your ambitions?
- Did they try to control you or vice-versa?
- Was the relationship heavily codependent?
Any of these recurring problems could have caused your relationship to fall apart. Once you find out the mistakes and agree to talk openly about your emotions, you can be happy in a relationship again.
3. Don’t dwell on past mistakes
You have decided to let go of the negative thoughts and negative feelings. Then what’s the point of dwelling on the things that drove you both apart? Thinking about them makes you feel worse about your relationship even after you have apologized to each other.
When asked on Reddit how to stop dwelling on past mistakes, a user replied, “Accept that you are human and will screw up … sometimes spectacularly. Mistakes are an opportunity to learn something. If you keep making the same mistakes, you haven’t learned the lesson.
“Staying in the present moment helps. I’ve found that not only do I not think of past mistakes while embracing the present moment, I rarely make them while I am focused on the present. Just try making peace with the past. The brain is not our friend. It is only trying to keep us alive on a basic level. We have to train our minds to maintain our perspective.”
4. Stop the blame game right away
According to extensive research conducted by Harvard Business Review, “People who blame others for their mistakes lose status, learn less, and perform worse relative to those who own up to their mistakes.”
You can’t solve your problems and, in fact, make them worse when you don’t stop pointing fingers at each other. Here are some ways you can stop blaming your partner:
- Look at the situation from each other’s perspective
- Don’t take everything personally
- Think about your own actions that have led to this predicament
- No name-calling in the relationship and avoid talking about their character
- Appreciate each other
- Recognize that you’re both trying to solve the issue
- Try using “I” statements more. For example, say “I feel unloved” instead of saying “You don’t love me anymore”
5. Partake in each other’s interests
When you are starting a relationship over as friends, take small steps. Don’t rush into the hot and heavy stuff like moving in together, constantly having sex, or getting engaged. Try to be friends before lovers. Take an interest in the things they like. If they love working out, try going to the gym with them.
If they love watching movies, stay in and watch their favorite movie. Celebrate each other’s hobbies. Take an art class together if they love making art. If you don’t have anything in common and their interests don’t interest you, then find a middle ground. Here are some other things you can do:
- Go on date nights
- Spend quality time with each other
- Use words of affirmation to remind them that you love them, no matter what
6. Practice compathy
Compassion and empathy are your best friends when you start over with someone you love. The problem with clearing problems and misunderstandings in a relationship is that people sometimes focus more on who was more wrong and how to hold it against them.
Nobody can go back in time to change what happened. Accept and embrace the impact of the hurt and, slowly, let go of it. You’ll need to stop replaying the old story at one point and focus on writing a new one with compassion, empathy, forgiveness, compromise, and positivity.
Related Reading: 7 Things To Do When You Fall Out Of Love With Your Husband
7. Appreciate the little things they do for you
Why is it that when some think of rekindling love, they think about grand gestures and expensive gifts? This is where they go wrong when starting from scratch in a relationship. Those grand occasions are undoubtedly exciting and fun. However, this doesn’t keep two people together in the long run. Love always lies in the little things. Remember your partner’s meaningful small gestures for you over the years.
Even research backs this theory. In a survey that included over 5,000 participants, it was found that small acts of kindness were greatly valued. Those simple acts were as trivial as making a cup of tea for one’s partner. Gifts like flowers and chocolates were considered less important than the thoughtfulness behind the gesture. The survey also found that simply saying “I love you” helped provide affirming feelings and reassurance that made couples feel more loved and wanted.
8. Set boundaries with your partner
If you want to know how to start over in a broken relationship, then try setting boundaries. Many people assume that setting boundaries is unhealthy but it actually helps you love each other better. Setting boundaries is the best course to find happiness in a relationship again.
Here are some examples on what healthy boundaries look like when you start talking again with the intention of getting back together with your partner:
- Spending time with friends and family, or even time by yourself, without your significant other
- Not texting/calling/snapchatting/etc. each other every waking minute of the day
- Not going through their phone/diary/emails/belongings/etc. Especially when there’s no good reason to be suspicious
- Talking to them about major life decisions that impact both of you (i.e. taking a job that would involve relocating, having a child or more children, or marriage)
- Giving each other space when needed, to deal with problems and bad moods
9. Don’t involve others in your relationship
If you let other people inside, you will only weaken the foundations of your relationship. It will also break your partner’s trust when you tell your private affairs to the world.
A relationship is about two people only. Avoid talking about your relationship drama with others who have nothing to do with your relationship, except when you need guidance from a trusted friend/family member on a recurring issue. However, it’s important to note that you should get help immediately when your romantic relationship is physically or mentally abusive.
10. Keep your demands on the table
Here is how to start over in a relationship — be precise about your wants and needs. You can’t expect your partner to be a mind reader. Let it all out. Talk about your negative thoughts and the things you are expecting from them when you are trying to revive a relationship.
Do you want more time and attention from your partner? State it clearly. Do you want them to stop criticizing you constantly? Let them know that these criticisms hurt you and your self-esteem. Do you want your partner to join support groups for their alcoholism? Tell them that you can’t see them suffering and that it’s affecting your bond severely. Demand what you want, gently.
11. Support each other in achieving goals
Ever heard of the phrase “grow together and glow together”? That’s exactly what you need to do when you are trying to start over with someone you love. Many couples fail to support their loved ones and try to undermine their goals and ambitions. Don’t be that person.
Their goals and dreams may not be relatable to you but they mean a great deal to them. It’s what gives their life a purpose and meaning. Stand by them and even if you can’t do anything to help them achieve their dreams, just use some positive words of affirmation and encourage them throughout their journey.
12. Express appreciation when they change for the better
When you have decided to move forward and let the conflicts stay in the past, then you need to acknowledge their new changes. If you sense them changing even a little bit for the better, then appreciate that. You can even thank them for trying to become a more understanding partner and for growing along with you in the relationship.
According to research, expressing appreciation toward one another increases mutual regard and comfort in voicing relationship concerns. This helps both parties express their thoughts and perspectives freely in a comfortable setting.
13. Follow the three C’s for a healthy relationship
The three C’s of every healthy relationships are:
When you are trying to find out how to start over a turbulent relationship, inculcate these three C’s in your dynamic. Communication will help you and your partner avoid misunderstandings. Compromise will build the relationship stronger and will help you value each other. Commitment is all about letting your partner know that you will be there for them in sickness and health, and through thick and thin.
- Starting over in a relationship means letting go of the feelings of mistrust, negativity, and resentment
- You can try starting a relationship over as friends where the two of you can spend quality time together and go on date nights
- Don’t start over a relationship just because you can’t see them with anyone else, or for the fear of being alone, or because you are jealous that they will move on before you
- You can start a relationship over by having healthy communication and by learning how to trust without inhibitions
A state of happiness is important in a relationship. If you aren’t happy with them, it’s time to find out how to start over in a relationship or to let go of them. Both of you should be willing to compromise, communicate, and be willing to accept that no relationship or human is perfect. It’s all about finding peace in each other’s chaos.
It’s absolutely okay to start over in a relationship if you genuinely love them and can’t stand the thought of being without them. If you know in your soul that they make you a better person and that the two of you are perfect for one another, then go ahead and try to find contentment in a relationship again.
It can only work when both the partners are willing to do their share of the work. You can’t be the only one putting in your all or vice-versa. This is a major red flag and soon you will realize you are sacrificing a lot to keep this person in your life. Relationships, especially starting over in one, should be 50-50.
Yes, you can. You can start over if you genuinely see a happy future with them. If you believe you are meant to be, then try to let go of the past. However, don’t start a relationship if you think you won’t find anyone better than them.