When is an ending not an ending? When are relationships worth rekindling?

Jelena is back! Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are officially back together. This is an instance when what was once old and finished can become new again. Rekindling a relationship in this way can sometimes mean a couple was never really over the feelings they shared for each other the first time around, or that with the passage of time they are simply ready to give it another try.

Sometimes extenuating circumstances such as illness can play a role and help people realize what is truly important. With this in mind, an end is not always really an end, and you might have an opportunity one day to reconnect with an old love if they’re single too.

If that happens, it may give you both a chance to deal with unfinished business, and to move forward the way you may have always hoped you would. How, then, can you get from Point A—a breakup—to Point B—a revived romance?

So many things can bring a relationship to a grinding halt despite the fact that two people still feel love for each other. Career opportunities that force people to live in different places, or one person wanting one thing—such as marriage or a family—when the other isn’t quite ready. Negative parental pressure can also tear two people apart even if they don’t really want to say goodbye. In these cases it isn’t the feelings people have for each other that threaten the relationship, it is the life/work balance and other outside forces. This can become especially hard to cope with if one or the other jumps into a new relationship quickly to get over the hurt and disappointment of the loss. Even considering that, there still might be feelings of hope that someday they will find their way back to each other and their connection will resume.

Sometimes this can occur with simple good luck—two people find themselves living in the same city again. It can also happen more dramatically, such as when someone becomes ill, as Selena has been with lupus which required a kidney transplant earlier this year. That sort of event can change your perspective and make you question your priorities, turning the small issues that once seemed so important in the past into meaningless details in the present. It may make you more willing to compromise over differences that previously you might have stood your ground on. It might also make you realize that you don’t want to waste any more time hoping and waiting, and one or the other might reach out. When one does that, if the other person is receptive and welcomes the contact, it can leave room to pick up where you left off, rebuild, or even lay down new tracks.

If you have been in a relationship that ended, and find yourself suddenly single and thinking about a former love, if they are also single, it might be a chance to call or write to them. If that person is sick, you can reach out in the name of friendship and offer caring support in those hard times. By doing so you open the door, which might lead to something bountiful for both of you and give new life to the connection you once shared and cherished.

Whatever happens going forward, it seems clear that Selena and Justin indeed have a bond together that has endured.