Maya Jama and Stormzy put the world in a frenzy last Sunday as they confirmed their relationship was back on after four years of separation.
The couple was spotted hand-in-hand as they ventured out into the Greek island of Hydra – their first public appearance together since their 2019 split.
But the sight of two lovebirds has raised an age-old question: should you ever get back with your ex?
While rekindling romance has worked out for the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, others such as Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez show it’s not always a success.
So, what does it take to relight love after heartache? MailOnline spoke with a psychologist to find out.
Stormzy and Maya Jama were spotted hand-in-hand at the Greek island of Hydra
What should you consider before getting back with an ex-partner?
Stormzy and Maya called it a day in 2019 amid rumors that the rapper had cheated on her with singer Jorja Smith.
THE FOUR ATTACHMENT STYLES
- Anxious: Fear of abandonment
- Avoidant: Fear of intimacy
- Secure: Solid foundation of trust and intimacy with a healthy level of dependence
- Fearful avoidant: A combination of anxiousness and avoidance with a fear of abandonment and intimacy
While Stormzy has always denied infidelity, Maya claimed that he had learned some hard lessons about his ‘disrespectful’ behaviour.
Without knowing the ins and outs, it is difficult to make a complete judgement on the pair’s rekindled relationship.
But generally, psychologist Dr Louise Goddard-Crawley claims there are a few things to consider before getting back with an ex-partner.
‘There is a general way to consider the question of should you ever get back with an ex by considering things like our attachment styles and dynamics, the way we communicate and handle conflict, our motivations for reuniting, personal growth, external influences, long-term goals, trust in the relationship, the ability to forgive, resilience, coping mechanisms, and how we prioritise self-care,’ she said.
‘An exploration of these patterns on both sides of the relationship would help shed light on the psychological aspects of whether a decision to get back together is a healthy one.’
Dr Crawley claims there are four attachment styles to be aware of which include the ‘secure’, ‘anxious’, ‘avoidant’ and ‘fearful avoidant’ types.
‘Secure’ attachment is the ultimate goal of any couple, referring to an ability to form loving relationships bound by trust, acceptance and intimacy.
Maya Jama and Stormzy put the world in a frenzy on Sunday, after confirming their relationship was back after four years
The couple dated for four years before parting ways in 2019, with the rapper publicly declaring he has ‘never loved anyone how I’ve loved her’
But the three others are brimming with problems, with ‘anxious’ attachment linked to abandonment fears, ‘avoidance’ connected to intimacy issues and ‘fearful avoidant’ a mixture of both.
While nobody’s perfect, Dr Crawley believes an awareness of our own Achilles heel can bring a helpful, fresh perspective when planning to repair past relationships.
‘Our attachment styles play a significant role in shaping how individuals behave and interact within romantic relationships, Dr Crawley continued.
‘These styles are rooted in early life experiences with caregivers and influence emotional intimacy, communication, conflict resolution, and overall relationship dynamics. If we only ever do one piece of work around ourselves and relationships; this is the one.’
Will you break up for the same reason as before?
Following their 2019 split, Stormzy made a grand apology to Maya in his chart hit ‘Lessons’.
In heartfelt lyrics, the rapper says: ‘I knew a woman more wonderful than a Disney one. I lost my heart, I just wondered if you could give me one?’
He later adds: ‘My nephew’s still asking for his Aunty Maya. Guess this is the karma for what I done to Maya.’
Following their 2019 split, Stormzy made a grand apology to Maya in his chart hit ‘Lessons’
Dr Crawley claims this type of self awareness is key to avoid repeating history with ex-partners.
While this encompasses an awareness of your attachment style and Achilles heel, couples can go a lot further by reflecting on their personal boundaries.
‘A mutually congruent understanding of the motivation for getting back together is key,’ Dr Crawley said.
‘Is the driver a genuine desire to work on the relationship and grow together, or are external factors influencing a decision?
‘We may also think about what the individuals have been working on since the break.
‘Personal growth as a single entity can hugely positively impact a relationship by enhancing awareness, relational triggers and emotional maturity.’
Do you love your ex-partner or are you just lonely?
Distinguishing between love and loneliness can be a tough call to make.
But making note of your personal values and what you hope for in a partner can help to clarify whether a relationship is right for you.
‘Loneliness can often trigger strong emotions, making it challenging to think rationally about potential partners,’ Dr Crawley said.
‘A genuine desire to be with someone tends to be more consistent and stable, rather than solely based on fluctuating emotional states.’
‘On a personal level I was delighted to see the reconciliation between Maya Jama and Stormzy,’ Dr Crawley summarised
Dr Crawley explains that loneliness can often drive people to seek external validation and relief from emotional discomfort which isn’t the right way to restart a relationship.
‘We see that loneliness can lead to idealising potential partners and imagining relationships that may not align with reality,’ she added.
‘A genuine desire to be with someone often comes from a place of emotional maturity and the ability to contribute positively to a relationship.’
So, should you get back with your ex?
Despite efforts to self-reflect, getting back with an ex-partner continues to be a tricky decision to make.
Dr Crawley believes your final answer really should depend on personal circumstances and growth.
‘On a personal level I was delighted to see the reconciliation between Maya Jama and Stormzy,’ Dr Crawley summarised.
‘I love how they reflect the complex nature of human relationships and our potential for personal growth and change.
‘We separate in relationships for various reasons, and when we choose to reunite, it can indicate a willingness to address our underlying issues and work toward mutual understanding and resolution.
‘Psychologically, reunification could signify a desire for emotional connection and the importance of shared history and positive memories.
‘It could also reflect the power of forgiveness and the capacity for us to evolve, mature, and learn from past mistakes.’
SEVEN QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE GETTING BACK WITH AN EX-PARTNER
Psychologist Anna Sergent has revealed seven other questions you should ask yourself before getting back together with an ex-partner:
- Why did you break up? Examine whether this was an impulsive decision or something you thought through.
- Why would you want to get back together? Consider whether the problem is repairable and whether the mistakes made can be forgiven on both ends.
- Will you put equal effort into rebuilding this relationship? Rekindling romance takes work – is this something you are willing to put consistent effort into?
- Is this a healthy decision? Determine whether you and your partner are in the right state of mind to reenter this relationship. This can include identifying the relationship’s current attachment style.
- Do your plans and future align? Run through your shared interests and differences to evaluate whether it’s worth pursuing.
- Can you set boundaries and identify your triggers? Communicate with your partner and establish what troubles you within the relationship. How can these issues be addressed?
- Do you trust each other? Healthy communication and a foundation of trust is key to working through past issues.
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