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What is your ex doing right now?
Are they crying and thinking about you, or are they out there partying with someone new?
You want to know what they are up to, and you have many more questions like these. But should you reach out to them?
The need to check up on your ex after a breakup is perfectly normal and common. However, it doesn’t mean that you should go through with it. Most of the time, it’s better to leave your ex alone and focus on healing and moving on.
Are they thinking about you? Do they miss you? Would they like to get back together? It’s understandable that you have these questions, but you likely already know the answers to them.
Your ex probably thinks about you too, but before jumping to the conclusion that they want you back, you must ask yourself, would getting back together even be a good idea?
Don’t lie to yourself that you just want to see how they’re doing. Would you really let them go if they responded by saying that they’re fine or not doing so great? Again, probably not.
Breakups are complicated, and they cause intense feelings. It’s never a good idea to check up on your ex soon after the breakup when you’re both still healing. You both need to find closure and move on, and getting in touch could just make that more difficult. It could even harm your or your ex’s mental health and prevent healing.
In some cases, it might be fine to contact an ex long after the breakup, but even that’s questionable. So, keep reading to learn what you must consider before reaching out to your ex.
These things should help you realize that contacting your ex isn’t the best idea. They could also show you if you’re one of the rare cases where it might be okay. So, make sure to spend some time thinking about everything before deciding on what’s the right thing to do.
Consider these factors before checking up on your ex after a breakup:
1. The way the relationship ended.
Did you both agree with the breakup? Did you end things on friendly terms? If this is the case, it might be okay to reach out to your ex, but you should give them plenty of time to heal.
Staying out of touch helps you grieve, process your feelings, and gain perspective, which you can’t do if you keep talking to each other. So, it’s always recommended that you avoid checking up on your ex soon after the breakup, but more on that later.
Right now, you should know that if you didn’t end things on good terms and the breakup wasn’t a mutual decision, you probably shouldn’t reach out to your ex, even after some time has passed.
2. How long it’s been since the breakup.
Regardless of the way you ended things, reaching out to an ex soon after the breakup usually ends badly. What if they don’t love you anymore? What if they do? These are not the questions that you should be asking yourself. Your ex probably doesn’t know the answers to them just yet either.
You both need time and distance to process your feelings and figure out what you want. Even if you did get back together soon after the breakup, you would most likely end up in the same relationship that you had a reason to end in the first place.
That reason is not going to disappear quickly. So, even if you want your ex back, and there’s a chance that they want you back too, give it some time before concluding that that would be a good idea.
After several months have gone by, it might be okay to get back in touch, but even then, it depends on all the other factors listed here.
3. Your reason for reaching out.
Do you want to reach out to your ex because you still love them? If you’re the one who initiated the breakup and you regretted your decision, this might make sense.
However, if they ended things with you, getting back in touch could significantly prolong the healing process.
Your ex might reject you again, and even if they don’t, they might give you false hope that could just keep you hung up on them longer. So, restrain yourself from checking up on an ex who broke up with you.
If you broke up with them, consider other things before deciding to reach out. Will you just make moving on harder for them, or do you really think that breaking up with them was a mistake?
If you just want to make sure that they’re doing fine, resist the urge to check in. They’ll get over the breakup sooner if they don’t hear from you.
4. Your goal.
What do you want to achieve by reaching out to your ex? Do you want to talk about what went wrong, start a fight, get back together, or get closure?
Your ex is not obliged to give you any of these things, so consider their response before you decide to contact them.
Would getting back in touch with them cause you both pain? Maybe they don’t want to talk about what went wrong and give you closure. Maybe you’re preventing them from finding closure by reaching out to them.
5. Your feelings.
Do you want to contact your ex because you are in a bad place right now? If you are vulnerable, it’s a much better idea to call a friend or family member instead of your ex.
You can decide to get in touch with your ex once you’re in a good place again, if you still want to do so. However, don’t call them when you’re overwhelmed with feelings or have a dark cloud over your head.
If you need help getting through the breakup, turn to a therapist. When you feel better, you’ll probably be grateful that you didn’t contact your ex during your moment of weakness. Even if you don’t, consider other things from this list before reaching out.
6. Your ex’s feelings.
How would your ex feel about you trying to get in touch with them again? Maybe they are mad at you, and they’ll be rude to you and start a fight. Maybe they’re still in love with you and trying to move on, but your call will make that harder for them.
In the end, your ex might already have feelings for someone else. If you’re mad at your ex, that’s understandable, but if you try to hurt them, you’ll hurt yourself in the process too.
So, consider whether your ex is currently in a place where they’d want to talk to you in a friendly manner. If not, it’s better not to talk at all.
7. Your exposure to your ex.
By now, you already know that you probably shouldn’t check up on your ex. However, this doesn’t apply only to texts and calls. You shouldn’t “accidentally” run into them either. In fact, you should try to avoid the places where you are likely to see them.
When a relationship ends, a lot of routines need to change. It can be tempting to continue with those routines because you’re used to them, but embrace the change.
You can’t text and call your ex anymore, and that’s difficult after being in touch with them all the time. However, this is what you both need right now, and distance will bring clarity. The right thing to do immediately after a breakup is to cut off all contact and avoid seeing each other.
8. What your ex will think.
If you do decide to reach out to your ex, what will they think about it? Most likely, they will assume you need something from them or that you want to get back together. Even if that’s not really the case, they are likely to think that it is regardless of the conversation you end up having.
If your goal is something entirely different, it’s probably not worth giving them the wrong impression. It could hurt them and prolong their healing.
If you do want to get back together, do you really want them to know that right now? Is getting back together a good idea, and would they be up for it? Do you know whether they have been thinking about you, or would the text catch them by surprise?
9. Your ex’s new relationship.
Your ex might already be in a new relationship, and if that is so, you should be respectful. What if they receive your text while they’re with their new partner? They are highly unlikely to be thrilled about it. If your ex has already moved on, leave them be, and don’t interfere in their new relationship.
Maybe you are aware that they’re happy with someone else, and maybe you even want them back just because you now know that you can’t have them. They’ve moved on, and there’s no need to check up on them, so let them be. You will find happiness in a new relationship too.
10. Where it would lead.
If you did contact your ex, where would it lead? Always consider the results of your actions before taking them. Just because you want your ex back doesn’t mean they would be receptive to the idea.
Maybe they’re the ones who ended things with you, and you’re not even sure that they’d want to talk to you. If that is the case, why bother calling them? What if they want to get back together too? Would that be a good idea, or would you face the same problems that caused you to break up?
Consider these things because you should never contact your ex impulsively. If you just postpone it for a while, you probably won’t have such a big need to get in touch with them again.
11. How you would look.
Contacting your ex might make you look desperate. As already mentioned, they will probably assume that you want them back. Whether they react to that positively or negatively, they are going to think that it’s a bit desperate.
In addition to prolonging the healing process, their rejection can negatively affect your self-esteem. In addition, your ex, or anyone else, is more likely to want you if you are happy with yourself and your life. Being desperate is not attractive.
12. Whether you want to get back together.
Will they be right when they assume that you want them back? You might say that you are worried about them, you just wanted to make sure that they’re fine, or you simply wanted to say hi, but is that true?
You might be lying to yourself about your motives. Are your reasons really valid, or are they just excuses? Don’t forget that you only need to answer this to yourself, so be honest.
13. Getting rejected.
Obviously, you must consider the possibility of being rejected. If you want your ex back, you’re giving them a chance to tell you that they don’t want to reconnect. This would just hurt you, so consider whether there’s really a chance that the two of you could make it work again.
Even if your ex still thinks about you and cares about you, they might not want to be in a relationship with you again. They might even purposely hurt you by rejecting you in a rude and mean way. This could make you think that you’re unlovable or doubt your worth. It will certainly make you depressed and make it harder to heal.
14. What the likely outcome is of getting back together.
Don’t text or call your ex impulsively. What if it does lead to the two of you getting back together? Even if you want this, would it really be good for you? Would it instead lead to another, more painful breakup after facing the same issues?
Most likely, you know that you and your ex shouldn’t get back together. So, when you get the urge to contact them out of nowhere, wait for a bit before you do. You might very quickly realize that it’s not good for you in the long run, and you won’t need it so badly.
15. How your ex will see it.
Maybe you just want to be nice. You don’t want your ex back, you just want to check up on them because it’s the nice thing to do. That’s fine, but there’s no chance in the world that your ex is going to interpret it as just being nice.
What you want is not the only thing that matters, how your ex will see it matters a lot too. Since they are going to assume that you want them, there are only two options. Either they will get super psyched about hooking up again, or they will think that you’re desperate and turn you down.
16. Whether you have moved on.
Have you moved on? If not, you need time and space in order to do so. That means time and space away from your ex.
You and your ex might eventually reach the stage where you can talk like friends again. However, this comes after—even long after—you have moved on. So, try to move on and make it as painless as possible by avoiding your ex.
17. Whether it can wait.
There’s a simple way to stop yourself from contacting your ex during moments of weakness. Think about what you would like to say to them. Can it wait a bit? Is it necessary for them to hear it right now?
Unless it’s an emergency, the message you want to send can probably wait for a while. After a few days, you might conclude that it’s better not to send it at all. Remember, impulsive decisions of the heart are usually bad decisions.
18. Whether you’re being realistic.
When you try to assume how your ex will react, make sure that you’re being realistic. Maybe you’re convinced that you and your ex can and will get back together. Is there a real chance of that happening though, or are your feelings clouding your judgment?
Maybe you think that your ex would be thrilled to hear from you and welcome you into their arms. Maybe you expect them to be kind and polite or friendly. Are your expectations realistic though?
Perhaps you need some answers that your ex isn’t willing to give you. There’s a chance that your ex won’t want to talk to you at all, or they might react rudely. By contacting them, you’re not getting closure, you’re preventing yourself from finding closure. Don’t expect to get it from them, even if your breakup wasn’t messy and hostile.
19. Whether it would be helpful.
Check up on your ex only if it’s going to be positive for both of you. Will your communication help both of you heal and grow? Maybe you want to apologize to your ex or tell them how they’ve hurt you so that they can learn from it.
However, ask yourself whether your ex would accept your apology and if it would make them think you want them back. Decide whether they could learn from the things you tell them or if they would keep up with the same behavior despite anything you say. If your ex is unlikely to change, don’t try to change them.
20. Getting help.
Breakups are difficult and so is getting over an ex. You know that you should move on, but you can’t. If you are in this situation, talk to someone who can help you.
Turn to friends and family members, but don’t hesitate to talk to a relationship expert as well. Talk to a therapist and let them help you move on and resist the urge to contact your ex.
Still not sure whether you should check up on your ex? It’s not an easy situation to be in, and it might be all the more difficult if you don’t have anyone to talk to about it. Talking to someone is a great way to get your thoughts and your worries out of your head so you can work through them.
Speak to an experienced relationship expert about it. Why? Because they are trained to help people in situations like yours. They can listen to you and offer tailored advice to help you move on from the relationship rather than contacting your ex.
Relationship Hero is a website where you can connect with a relationship counselor via phone, video, or instant message.
While you can try to work through this situation yourself, it may be a bigger issue than self-help can fix. And if it is affecting your mental well-being, it is a significant thing that needs to be resolved.
Too many people try to muddle through and do their best to solve problems that they never really get to grips with. If it’s at all possible in your circumstances, speaking to a relationship expert is 100% the best way forward.
Click here if you’d like to learn more about the service Relationship Hero provide and the process of getting started.
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