You spent months or even years of your lives together, and now that he’s gone, you miss him and think about texting him again. It’s only natural, but it’s also possibly the worst idea you’ve ever had. Don’t do it! Put your phone down, back away slowly, and read this before you reach out to your ex. Chances are, you’ll realize it’s not the right decision by the time you get to the end of the article.
- You need to remove the obvious emotional triggers. Look, we’ve all been there — hearing a song you used to listen to together or seeing one of your favorite movies can trigger a meltdown. One second you’re going to have for dinner and the next you’re sobbing because you remember how much your ex hates Chinese food. The only thing you can do is remove any obvious triggers of your nostalgia and distract yourself with other things — read a book, go shopping, take a Pilates class. Do LITERALLY anything that keeps you from taking a walk down memory lane.
- Know that you can do much better. Think about it — was your ex the nicest guy you’ve ever dated? No. Was he the best looking? No. Was he even the greatest sex you’ve ever had? Hell no! And yet for some reason, he’s the guy you keep going back to. The only reason he has a hold on you is that he knows how to play you so that you keep coming back for more. Remember that it’s psychological — the only reason you want to text him is that your brain is tricking you into thinking you miss him.
- Remember that he broke your heart. You guys broke up for a reason, and if he initiated it, you were likely left with a pretty battered and broken heart. Why would you want to talk to someone who dumped you? If you were the one who ended it, there must’ve been a good reason and it still probably hurt like hell. Force yourself to accurately remember the relationship — don’t forget the bad times because you’re too fixated on remembering the good times.
- Be strong. You’ve been doing so well so far! Weeks or months have gone by without you texting him and you’ve barely even thought of him — don’t break now. Trust me, you’ll feel horrible if you do. The second you hit send, a wave of regret and will hit you HARD, so don’t even go there. You’re a confident alpha woman and you have to stay strong — don’t let your misguided nostalgia force you to do something reckless!
Why you shouldn’t reach out to your ex
- Admit that there are a few possible outcomes but none of them are good. What’s the plan? Do you even have one? If you reach out to your ex, there are only three possible outcomes: he’ll confess his undying love for you, he’ll respond nonchalantly, or he won’t reply at all. The first option seems positive on the surface, but there’s a reason you broke up and it’s probably a good one. As for the latter two, they’ll only make you feel worse than you did before you started. Really think about why you want to text him — odds are, you’ll be able to talk yourself out of it.
- Recognize that life’s way too short to waste on a guy who’s not right for you. You only live once, so why waste your time thinking about a guy who probably isn’t giving you a single thought? There are other fish in the sea just waiting for a girl like you to swim by. There’s no reason to love a guy who doesn’t love you back. I know we can’t help who we fall in love with, but we can control whether or not we pursue that love. You pursued it once and it didn’t work out — it’s time to be real with yourself and accept that the relationship is over.
- If he wanted to talk to you, he would. If a guy wants to do something, he’ll do it — it’s important that you remember that! It’s easy to make excuses for why he hasn’t reached out to you. Maybe he’s busy with work or too prideful to admit he misses you, right? Nope. In all likelihood, he’s not talking to you because he doesn’t want to! He’s moved on from the relationship and now it’s your turn.
- Reminding him of your existence won’t change how he feels. Reaching out to your ex won’t make you feel any better and it probably won’t make him feel anything at all. You might be hopeful that sending him a reminder of your existence would be enough to trigger some latent feeling he has for you, but that’s not likely to happen. Anything you send him will be a waste of time. Your words have no effect on him because he doesn’t truly care what you’re saying — he’s a loser and deep down you know that.
- You’re setting back your own healing time. While the decision to reach out to your ex may seem like a difficult one, it becomes a lot easier when you realize that in doing so, you’re completely undoing all the progress you’ve made so far to move on from them. If you’re a few weeks or even a few months out, you really don’t want to take 10 steps back by rehashing what should be left well alone.
Don’t reach out to your ex — do this instead
You might feel like you’re going to go absolutely crazy if you don’t send them a message, but you won’t. All you need to do is get your mind off the idea and distract yourself with other things. Instead of texting them, try this instead.
- Fight the feeling by sending the message to yourself instead. It sounds silly but it works. He doesn’t need to read your lengthy prose on love and heartbreak. It’s about getting your emotions out rather than keeping them bottled up. Once you write down what you want to say, you can decide what to do with it. Chances are, once you’ve got it out of your system, it’ll be much easier to resist contacting him.
- Go do a workout. Whether you want to hit up the gym or just go for a run outside, getting those healthy endorphins flowing by getting your heart rate up and getting sweaty will do your body and your mind so much good. Besides, you can’t actually text or call your ex when you’re nearly falling over from hitting a PR on your running or cycling speed, right?
- Take a break from your phone. You’d be surprised what a positive effect simply walking away from your phone for a while can have on your mental state and your ability to make more logical decisions. When it’s in your presence, of course you’re going to keep staring at your phone, thinking how easy it would be to reach out. Put your phone in another room or lock it in a cupboard for a while or something. When you come back to it, you’ll probably be in a much better place.
- Talk to a friend. Don’t think that your friends won’t want to hear about your feelings or that you’re burdening them by speaking out about how much you’re struggling. This is what friends are for and to be honest, they’ll be so much happier that they’re the ones listening to your rant rather than having you go back down a toxic, unhealthy road with your ex. Plus, getting it out of your system by voicing your feelings out loud (just not to your former partner) can really help you get rid of them.
- Try meditation. This is a great piece of advice for any trying time in life. Meditation is very hard and it’s a practice that it takes a very long time to master, which is all the more reason to get started now. Regular meditation has incredible benefits for the mind and body and can leave you feeling less stressed and much more balanced than you otherwise would.
- Run yourself a long, hot bath. Is there anything better than a bit of self-care? Pretend your house is a spa and treat yourself to a night (or hey, an afternoon works too) of pure pampering. Run yourself a steamy, bubbly bath and climb in with no time limits or agenda in sight. Light a candle, put your laptop on the toilet seat and watch some Netflix, listen to some music, whatever. After you get out, luxuriate in putting on some body lotion and painting your toenails or something. Whatever says self-care to you, do that. This is about you, not about your ex.
- Cook yourself an extravagant meal. Or, if not extravagant, at least delicious and nourishing. What’s a recipe you love but don’t make often because it’s time-consuming or requires too many ingredients? Make that today. When it’s done, sit down and really take your time eating it, appreciating the time and energy it took to make and all the goodness you’re doing your body by making fresh, wholesome food. Don’t forget dessert either!
Deciding to reach out to your ex sounds great in theory but the reality rarely lives up to how it’s built up in your head. Not only will you probably not get the answers or comfort you’re seeking, but you might really mess up your progress of healing and set yourself back a few weeks or months. Wait until later – if you’re meant to have a chat, it’ll happen.
For more on why you shouldn’t reach out to your ex, watch the video below: