It can be difficult to encounter people from your past. Whether it’s an old friend, an old flame or an old enemy, when it happens, it can certainly catch you off guard. The trick, though, is to embrace it, understand it and take all that you’ve learned into account so you don’t disrupt your current good karma.

Say you’re in a new, trusting, adventurous, happy relationship with someone … the two of you get along great and you can both see potential in one another and in your future. Well, after years of being apart from someone you had a long-time, very close relationship with, he or she appears out of nowhere trying to gain your attention again. He or she may be doing so just in a friendly manner, but because of your history, you know what it could lead to.

Old feelings arise. You start thinking of the what-ifs and the potential of rekindling what you once had and of course, it’s exciting. You start planning, thinking things could be so much better than before … but, you’re committed to someone new. Well, while you’re fantasizing about the what-ifs, and maybe forgetting about your current reality, it’s crucial for you to consider a few things. Keep in mind, with every new level comes a new devil—that’s just the way our life works. "Too good to be true" or "too much of a good thing" are just phrases we tell ourselves so that we can allow for some room to slip up. Stop that and consider the following:

 

Number 1: Why did your relationship end the first time?

If it ended because of circumstances, something like distance, then it may be something worth pursuing again. However, if it was real love the first time, why did distance keep it from evolving? Distance should be a non-factor if you’re with the right person. If both or either one of you gave up the first time, what was the reason for it?

Timing can always be an issue, but another thing to consider with timing is what you both did during the time you spent apart. Did you each better yourself so that when you had the opportunity to meet again, you’d be perfect for one another? Or did you, instead, rebuild what the two of you dreamt of with someone else? Did he or she give all that you deserved to receive to someone else? If so, why? Why was it so easy to give up what you had and go and build it with another man or woman? That is betrayal, isn’t it? It’s going against your word ... going against your efforts ... an insult at the very least.

If all that you wanted and needed with that person has been taken from you, what makes you so sure the “new” relationship with him or with her will be so rewarding? Now, you have to share all of what he or she created with the person who stole your thunder. Is that fair? Don’t sacrifice your dreams and ambitions to settle for someone who didn’t have your back the first time around. You deserve more.

Number 2: How was the romance in the relationship the first time?

Was it cute and cuddly, deep and emotional, young and fierce? Maybe chaotic and argumentative? Consider this thoroughly. If it was fun and loving and just fizzled out, maybe it was better than you remember … maybe the good outweighed the bad. But if more of your time was spent crying, questioning, and yearning and feeling alone, is it worth going through again?

Think about this person as a life partner. Do you want someone who is fun-loving and can cheer you up on a bad day, or someone who is constantly bickering and accusing? Someone who is level-headed and loyal, or someone who is weak and gives up easily? If the person from your past has more good qualities than bad, it’s surely worth trying. But don’t confuse the few good times with the long and dreary lonely nights you may have spent hurting. The one you’re meant to be with won’t ever make you feel like you're ordinary and won’t ever give you ultimatums.

Number 3: What makes you think it’s going to be better this time around?

Rarely ever do people change. It takes something quite extensive to make someone change and even then, it’s questionable. If you’re a doubter of that, consider how hard it is for you to personally break your bad habits … and you think someone else can at the cost of another person’s well-being? Zebras don’t change their stripes.

We are selfish. As much as we may try to be selfless, it’s difficult. We tend to do things that we want rather than what we need. Sometimes timing can be off. Sometimes we need to go through other experiences to help mold us into the person we’re meant to be so when we meet again, we can be better for each other. But, what you must consider above all others, is why it didn’t work the first time. If you were down and out, why wasn’t she there through the hard times? If you were loyal and true, why did he give that up and try to build it with someone who wasn’t worthy?

If they threw in the towel the first time, how can you be so sure it won’t happen again? Maybe that’s the beauty in second chances … getting another opportunity with love … but maybe your second chance is meant to be with someone else … someone who meshes well with you, has more good qualities than bad, is good to you and is right in your realm wanting to build with you.

How much do you value yourself? How much faith do you have? Should the man or woman who hasn’t hurt you, given up on you or betrayed you get left in the wind because your old flame is now ready? That’s not very fair, is it? What does that say about your character and value if you drop all good things at the blink of an eye because he or she is finally ready to commit and be the person you’ve always needed him or her to be?

 “Time waits for no man” … one of the wisest sayings to live by. People think they can go through life disrespecting one another. They think their actions won’t be reprimanded. Well, the unfortunate truth is that what you reap, you must sow and what you put out into the world, comes back … tenfold.

We all have needs and desires and sometimes, only certain people can fulfill those. But don’t forget to consider yourself and what you deserve when those who didn’t consider you and don’t deserve you start sniffing around again. Memories are great and past relationships always trigger certain special memories, but they tend to trigger some bad ones, too, and those are the ones you must consider when attempting to rekindle an old flame. Is it worth it?

I have learned from experience that when your past calls, don’t answer. More often than not, it has nothing new to say.