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Reader: What are your thoughts on getting back together with an ex?

Ogonna: Exes are tricky.

I know what you’re telling yourself — you were with your ex-flame for a reason, right? You’re thinking there must be something the two of you can do to rekindle that fire.

As easy as it is to think that way, think of the contrary idea. You also broke up with your ex for a reason, so what’s to say that reason isn’t going to break you up again?

You have to first examine your relationship. Before you start to outweigh the negatives with the positives, ask yourself why you broke up. If it was for something so detrimental you had to physically separate yourself from your ex, then why are you running back now?

After you analyze this, ask yourself why you want to get back together. Is the timing right? Is it impossible to foresee a future without that person in it? Is it a mutual feeling to want to try and rebuild the relationship? If so, maybe, just maybe, it’s worth another shot.

Now, ask yourself who is it that wants to get back together with whom? Are you initiating this reconnection? Is there solid evidence that you can entertain the possibility of starting again and staying together? If not, you might just be setting a trap for yourself. But if your ex is the one throwing rocks at your window late at night, it might be a good idea to just keep that window shut.

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that some people can change and see the error of their ways. But sometimes, forgiving others of their wrongs doesn’t mean you have to accept them back into the same role they filled in your life.

Now, if getting back together with an ex to you means “hooking up” with your ex, then that’s an entirely different ball game.

I suppose it’s all about the intention of hooking up and the relationship you currently hold with your ex. Say you two are friendly to the point where you still hang out in groups and it’s not weird. You might think hooking up with your ex could be fun (or funny) with no hurt feelings. But as we’ve all seen in ”No Strings Attached,” (that’s the one with Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman, easily mixed up with “Friends with Benefits” starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis) even the bravest attempts to be physically intimate without feeling some type of emotional connection might backfire.

Some might try and use the excuse that hooking up with an ex is good for closure, and that just begs me to ask the question, are you kidding yourself? I still hold that hooking up with an ex-lover, whether that’s a simple kiss or a whole lot more, is a dangerous field to be playing in. That fire I mentioned earlier — that one of you might want to rekindle — could burn out in a second after the night is over.

It’s always hard to recognize whether someone has truly changed or if that’s just the change you want to see, but there will always be signs. Remember, you’re not going in for battle or playing defense, so if you have to put up a fight to get the respect you want, it’s probably not worth it. In my opinion, second chances are valuable. But remember, three strikes and you’re out.