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“It’s after midnight and she’s on your phone, saying come over cause she’s all alone. I could tell it was your ex by your tone. Why is she calling now after so long . . . What you gonna do when you can’t say no? When the feelings start to show boy I really need to know. How you gonna act, how you gonna handle that? What you gonna do when she wants you back? (Case of the Ex, R&B Song by Mya)

This 1996 R&B hit asks some really good questions about relationships that don’t seem to end, even after both parties have seemingly called it quits. At least, for some period of time. Not every break up is a break off it would seem. But, if you’re in limbo about a past relationship, how do you move forward? What do you do when you’re trying to move forward but your ex pops back into the picture?

For some, the answer is easy; no take backs. Meaning, once the couple has decided to call it quits then that’s it. There is no reconciliation. A decision was made and that is what both parties have agreed to stick to.

For others it can get a little murky. Whether it’s due to having children, mutual friends, or mutual business interests, letting go and moving forward is harder. You begin to think what if? What if all you needed was a break? What if the other party has decided to make the changes that were necessary for the relationship to move forward? What you gonna do?

For some people, they may have even believed that there was no chance of reconciliation. They may still love their ex or have strong feelings, after all, there was an entire friendship and relationship at one point. Then one day the phone rings and it’s the ex telling you they miss you, think they made a mistake, and would like to start over. What you gonna do?

It could be as simple as saying, yeah, let’s try again. That’s easy if you’ve never actually made attempts to move past that relationship. But, what happens when there is someone else involved? A new beau? A new love interest? A new relationship? Do you risk what could be with the new boo to go back and see what could be with the one who called it quits? Do you risk what could have been your “One” for the possibility that your new crush is the really the one? What you gonna do?

What ever you choose will come with risks as well as possible rewards. Maybe being apart will prove to one another how much you each meant to one another. On the other hand, you may just go back to the same old routine because, well, because it’s the routine or “devil you know.” Moving forward into a new relationship brings its own risks. What if this person isn’t as good as your ex? Or, what if they’re worse? Are you ready and willing to take such a chance with your heart when you think you already failed in your last relationship: you ended up breaking up! What you gonna do?

Whatever you decide you have to make sure you are as fair as can be. Fair, not only to yourself, but to your ex, and whoever else who may have been added to the mix since the break up. We’ve seen time after time, from Duane Wade and Gabrielle Union to Ludacris and Eudoxie, that relationships on “breaks” sometime come back together with extra baggage in the form of break babies and baby mommas. I, for one, would hate to have thought my guy and I just needed a little bit of space and when we decide we are meant for one another there’s more drama brought into the relationship than before the break.

The best way to avoid such a scenario is to make certain that you have exhausted all measures before calling it quits. Talk to each other. Explain where you feel your relationship is lacking. Listen to their thoughts on why they think the relationship is failing. Involve a third party professional; whether it’s through couple’s therapy or mediation. This way, you know when you end it, you tried your very best, so it really is over and you’ll know there’s no reason to worry about a case of the ex.

Written by, Dena Reid, Esq., Founder of Code Red Flag.

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