The temptation to text your ex can be overwhelming sometimes. In fact, it can seem like a wonderful idea if you’re not careful. However, it’s important to get honest with yourself and ask some questions before you decide to shoot off that message—it just might save you.
How do you want this to turn out? What result are you looking for? Are you wanting to get back together? Are you wanting them to compliment you? Be mean to you? Ignore you? How exactly do you want things to turn out? It’s important to ask yourself this question because it might give you a better idea of your motives. Plus, you can readjust your expectations so you’re not disappointed if things don’t turn out how you wanted them to.
Are you just looking for validation? Do you miss them telling you how beautiful and successful you are? It’s hard to lose the validation when a partner’s gone, but there are plenty of other ways to get it. You can download a dating app, get it from your friends, or best of all, give validation to yourself. Looking for validation from your ex is a trap. You likely won’t feel better if you get it; in fact, you could feel worse. Plus, there’s a chance they won’t give it to you at all.
Are you just feeling nostalgic? Did a song come on the radio that brought you right back to the days you were with your ex? Music can do that. So can certain locations or foods. Nostalgia can make you miss your ex. Anything really can trigger it, snapping you back to feelings you had when you were with them. It’s tricky because nostalgia makes you feel like you absolutely need to reach out, but really it’s just a passing phase. Be strong!
How recently have you broken up? If you’re fresh off a breakup, it’s probably good to give them (and yourself) space. Even if you do plan on being friends, it’s usually ideal to have a period of time where you’re just taking a break from one another to heal. Going right from relationship to friendship can lead to codependency or some awkward gray area relationship.
Have you been drinking? It doesn’t matter what your status is with your ex—if you’ve been drinking, you should definitely put down the phone. Nothing good comes from drunk dialing or texting. You think you’re full of brilliant ideas but you’ll feel like a total fool in the morning when you realize you said a bunch of things you didn’t mean or didn’t mean to say. Save yourself the trouble.
How would they react? If you know that texting them will totally ruin their day because you’re the one who broke up with them, then maybe don’t do it. If you think you might make them mad, you probably shouldn’t do it then either. You can take a guess at how they’re going to react based on your last interaction and just knowing them.
Will you be OK if they don’t respond? There’s a pretty good chance that your ex just won’t respond to your text at all. Maybe they’re the one with healthy boundaries! You have to be OK with this. Think about how you’ll feel when you’re waiting for a text back but one never comes. If you feel that you may be devastated, it’s probably a good idea to just not text your them in the first place.
Are you looking to get back together? Do you have the motive of wanting to get back together with your ex? Maybe they’re the one who broke up with you and you’re still terribly upset. Even if it was mutual, don’t reach out unless you truly want to make an effort to get back together (and it’s a good idea). If you have a half-hazard desire or a fleeting one you’ll only hurt both of you.
Are you looking for a booty call? It’s a late night, you’re out with your friends, and you’re wishing you had someone to go home with. You were so accustomed to your ex that they pop up in your mind. Are they really the best person to booty call? Couldn’t you reach out to someone else who isn’t so charged or just sit on the urge? It’s not worth it.
Can you truly be just friends with them? If what you’re looking for is to be their friend then you have to be really honest with yourself about whether or not you can handle that. Do you really just want to be friends or do you want something more? If you do just want to have a platonic relationship, you need to ask yourself how your ex is going to fit into your life. What role will they play? Think about that long and hard before you reach for your phone.
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