‘Could this be a Miley Cyrus relationship?’

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Getting back with my ex for the third or fourth time? I cant even keep track anymore. In 2015, I met this wonderful man. The most respectful man I have ever met. This was the longest relationship I've ever had. I believe it was because we actually took the right steps – friendship, dating, then relationship, which lead to commitment and discussions about moving in together. We broke up for two to three months before we got to our first anniversary, but we missed each other. We got back together and broke up two years later, but got back together again. He considers us never broken up – just a break – so really he believes we were together for a whole three years. It always started with us going on dates while being broken up ... strange, but it worked. They were always nice dates, too.

It has been a year now since we have officially broken up. I have gone on several trips and dates with him here and there. They've been months apart, but he has been asking to see me a lot more and showing me off again to his family and friends. Now he has been asking me if I would ever consider getting back with him. He is telling me how much I mean to him and how much he loves me. Every time he thinks of me, he just remembers love. I am scared because I practiced a lot of self-care in order to heal. I did a lot of growing, self-recognition and self-regulation. I have grown as a person. However, during my personal journey, when I was alone, he didn't grow with me. For some reason I feel happy but very uneasy about this. Could this be right this time? Could this be a Miley Cyrus relationship where she was with the love of her life, got broken up with, and later on in life, as she grew, ended back up with her love and got married? They seem to have what looks familiar to me.

I know it's true love and I want to be with him again too, but it is so scary. During our year broken up, toward the middle of the year, I did try to go on a date and speak with other people, but all I could think about was my ex. He has introduced me to your podcast about breakups. I thought this would interest you and that you might give me your opinion.

– Try Again?

Well, I can't tell you whether this is a Miley Cyrus kind of love. All I know about that particular relationship is that I like the song "Malibu" very much, and that I think she wrote it about her ex, who is also her husband. The lyrics are very sweet.

But let's focus on you. You do want to get back together with your ex. That's why you continued to see him – and travel with him. Your hope was to reunite when it made more sense. Now, for whatever reason, it does.

The issue here is that you don't want to go through another temporary breakup. You need to know that if there are problems in the future, the two of you will be able to work through them, as opposed to taking so much space that you have to force yourself to move on. It sounds like the breaks/breakups have worked out well – that they have given you space to grow and then get back together. But those ups and downs have been exhausting. You want to be done with that kind of separation, and that's perfectly reasonable.

Talk to him about how the two of you will face problems together this time around. Does he understand why you're scared? Is he? You say he hasn't grown with you, but it’s possible he's taken his own path to arrive at the same place. Ask him how you can avoid more breakups – unless it's a real one. Having that kind of difficult conversation is a good way to take a next step together.

– Meredith

Readers? Try again?