A friend sent me a quote yesterday that said, "Crazy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." The quote had been sent to her by her ex, who was admitting that even though he knew their relationship had failed several times, he couldn't help wanting her back again.
Falling out of love can be a tightrope walk similar to the one you tread when falling in love. The difference is that you're flanked by rational, move-on-and-let-go sensibilities and insane, but-wait-maybe-it-could-work nonsense. And at some point, all of us indulge that crazy side. We may not act on it, but we all consider—if only for a moment—what it would be like to reunite with our ex.
If we are fortunate enough to completely jump off the tightrope and take to bouncing on the rational trampoline below, we still run the risk of being haunted by our exes—especially if they're tangled up in the irrationality safety net. They can't see clearly and the next thing you know, they're calling you, emailing you, writing you poetry and telling you they made a huge mistake and don't want to live without you.
This would be the time to consider the quote noted above. Doing the same science experiment multiple times usually doesn't miraculously yield a new result. Sure, people can change, but often the dynamics between two people stay the same forever.
So if a ghost from Christmas past comes a'texting or a'calling, ask yourself a few simple questions:
1. Why do I think this will be different than it was before?
2. Why did I choose not to be with this person?
3. If things fall apart again, will I be better or worse off than I am now without them?
Then call your best girlfriend and get her read on it. Sometimes we need someone to spot us when we're walking that fine line. A cute little parasol comes in handy too...