This is a heavy question—one I’ve pondered too many times to count. When I was in high school, my boyfriend and I made a sport out of breaking up and getting back together. One week, we were a happy, loving couple, and the next we were failing to weather major and minor storms alike. Jealousy issues? Time to break up. You lied to me? I’m leaving you. Broken trust? This marks the end.

This particular relationship was young and immature—we didn’t know how to nurture a healthy one, and we both suffered for it. Fortunately, we finally realized it was never going to work out: even if it did take a few years and more than a few breakups. This, however, isn’t the case for all broken or failed relationships: they can be revived. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if it’s time to throw in the towel or if your relationship is worth another shot. But we’re here to help you make the right decision.

Is It Time to Throw in the Towel?

Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Coach, and relationship expert at Marriage Moji, Michele Moore says getting back with your ex might not be the best idea if it’s signature of your relationship, as it was mine: “One way to know a relationship is doomed is that you’ve already experienced a pattern of breaking up and getting back together. This roller coaster tends to indicate that there are issues that may never be resolved, and you are both attempting to put a square peg in a round hole. This is especially damaging when one party is constantly pressuring the other to reconcile and the latter person continues to give in, only to end the relationship again a short time later.” Additionally, she says it’s probably time to throw in the towel if…

  • The relationship is costing you more than you’re receiving from it.
  • You no longer feel in control of your emotions.
  • You don’t trust your instincts about your partner.
  • You’ve become obsessed with whether or not the relationship will work out.
  • There’s no hope of fixing the issues that drive you apart.

Or Is It Worth Another Shot?

As you can see, it’s not always the best idea to get back with an ex. But sometimes, there is the promising potential of fixing a failed relationship—just know that it probably won’t be easy. I mean you broke up for a reason, right? Now, before you pick up the phone and try to reconcile with your ex, you should make some important considerations. If the following ring true, then you have the green light:

1) You’re both willing to put in some hard work. There isn’t much hope for a failing relationship if both parties aren’t willing to put in the effort to fix it. You both need to admit to your wrongdoings and take proactive measures to rid your relationship of toxicity. If this sounds like something the two of you can do, then that’s a promising sign—and you’re on your way to salvaging your relationship.

2) All trust is not lost. If your breakup was driven by trust issues, getting back with your ex probably isn’t the best idea. But if trust was not a major issue—or if you think you can restore it—then you might be rewarded for giving your relationship another shot.

3) Generally speaking, you get along well. Every couple fights—it’s how you fight and how often you fight that you should consider. If you two broke up because of constant arguing, or abusive behavior (mentally, emotionally, or physically), then you might be better off without each other. If, on the other hand, you get along extraordinarily well, then the relationship might be worth another go.

4) You make each other better. Some people believe their partner completes them—others say their partner merely compliments them. In either case, what’s important is that you make each other better—you bring out the best in them and they bring out the best in you. If this is the case, then it might be worth considering getting back together.

5) The relationship is rooted in respect, support, and love. If nothing else, you must respect, support, and love each other to no end. If any of these areas are lacking, it’s time to accept that the relationship wasn’t the happy, healthy one you both deserve. But, if the two of you undoubtedly respect, endlessly support, and boundlessly love each other, you have a great foundation to build on once more.