Listen Up, Justin & Hailey: These Real People Got Back with Their Exes, Too — and Here's What They Learned
We scoured Reddit for real people who gave their exes another shot, with the purpose of giving our newly engaged celebrity lovebirds advice
It may be hard to belieb, especially if you’re a die-hard Jelena fan, but it’s true: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are engaged! The couple rekindled their romance this year after splitting in 2016, and they look pretty freakin’ ecstatic now that they’re one step closer to tying the knot.
But it turns out the seemingly random reconciliation wasn’t totally out of left field. The “Sorry” singer always had a hunch about the model “being the girl I’m going to marry,” sharing his eerily accurate feelings in a GQ interview more than Two. Years. Ago. And for right now, newly engaged life seems to be going well for the pair, who spend their time together giggling on the beach and fraternizing with paparazzi.
It’s true what people — and Bieber — say: Never say never. Because things could work out wonderfully the second time around … or blow up in your face like a rigorously shaken bottle of soda. Life is fun!
We scoured Reddit for real people who gave their exes another shot, with the purpose of giving our 20-something lovebirds some serious advice. Here’s what they learned from those experiences:
Time Apart Can Really Make the Heart Grow Fonder
“I learned I didn’t want to be with anyone else. Was single for four months after being together for two years. It sucked. I missed her so much. But I waited until I thought I would be over her if it wasn’t for real before I got back together with her. Now we’re married and I legit think we’re one of the happiest couples.”
‘Be with Someone Who Shares the Same Values as You’
“Got back together with someone I was with for four years. We did long distance for the last year, and it was a rollercoaster relationship with some big issues. I was in university, and I loved him a lot — we genuinely enjoyed hanging out but we couldn’t communicate and it destroyed us … We broke up for all the right reasons. We dated other people, we missed each other, and then we got back together about a year and a bit later. The same issues as before came up, but it was even more disappointing and hurt way more than the first time because of the ‘How did this happen again?’ factor. It was the hardest time in my life. This was the biggest lesson I learned: The same things will come up if you get back together in a short amount of time (under three years). Be with someone who shares the same values as you, not necessarily the same hobbies and interests as you.”
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Second Time Is Not Always the Charm
“The first time he wasn’t that into me. Over time he seemed to realize that maybe he was. We got back together and it turned out he had a drug problem I couldn’t get behind. We remained friends and he cleaned up. Honestly, if I hadn’t got together with my current S.O., we probably would have got back together.”
Sometimes People Don’t Change …
“I married my first boyfriend but youth and inexperience drove us to figure out who we were without one another. When we attempted to rekindle things over a decade later, he had another marriage, two kids and a vasectomy under his belt. Needless to say, I knew it would never be what it was. It worked out for the best, though. I’m happily married to someone else now.”
… but Sometimes Hitting Rock Bottom Is What You Need
“We got together in 2007 and it wasn’t even a full year before we broke up. I was on a self-destructive path and for some reason I decided to break up with him rather than burn the bridge and move on. Still, broke his heart. I went through a few years of maturing, hitting rock bottom and climbing my way back up. Called him one day out of the blue and asked if he could talk. Yep. Let loose everything that I’d been through, learned, forgiven myself for, forgiven others for. We hung out for a few months before he asked me to be his girlfriend again. May 27, 2011.
“May 27, 2016, we were married! He is my absolute best friend for life. I am eternally grateful he gave me another chance.”
It Takes Two Mature People to Make It Work
“Dated long-distance during college. Halfway through sophomore year, we broke up due to immaturity on both sides. Summer between junior and senior year, we ran into each other, realized how much missed each other and how much we both had grown up. So we gave it another whirl. This was 16 years ago. We’ve been married for 10 and have a wonderful family. I fall in love with her more every day. Did it suck breaking up? Of course. Was it a bit scary getting back together? Yup. Am I glad it all worked out the way it did? Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. We both matured a lot on our own, and needed that time.”
Live Your Own Lives First Before Committing to Each Other
“Turned out wonderfully. We were together for a year about 30 years ago and remained platonic friends until about two years ago. We got married four months ago and life has never been better. In 30 years everything happened. Grew up. Relationships. Work. Friendships. In and out of each other’s lives and circles. Everything.”
All Reddit entries have been edited for length and clarity.