A very common question I get and see discussed is whether you should message or talk to someone after a breakup. Usually this is because the other person has done the breaking up, but sometimes you may be doubting your decision to breakup with someone else. In this post, I will discuss when and why you should consider talking to an ex after a breakup.
I will break this post into two parts. First, if you get broken up with, and second, if you do the breaking up. Keep in mind that I am of the opinion that contact should be cut after a breakup. Maybe I will write a future post on exactly why, but from my experiences and talks with other people, the healthiest way to move on from a relationship is to cut communication completely. That being said, there are exceptions.
Note: when I say “never speak to an ex again”, I mean for a significant amount of time so you can heal on your own. I don’t mean ignore that person forever. Perhaps down the road you can catch up here and there, wish each other happy birthday, and maybe be friends down the road, but this won’t be discussed in this post. Without further adieu…
1) If they breakup with you
Fact: getting broken up with sucks, but it does happen. What’s even worse is if you don’t understand or agree with the other person’s decision to end things. This can leave you confused, sad, angry or many other feelings. I’m going to explain part 1 with a real-life personal example:
My first relationship ended after 3 years when I was broken up with out of the blue. Didn’t see it coming and it didn’t make sense to me. It was a classic first-time heartbreak and left me in shambles. I messaged her multiple times to talk things over, get her reasons for the decision and try to understand everything.
However, I will never forget the day I finally started to “get better”. We had a talk after about 2 weeks over the phone, where I asked “is there any chance of us getting back together?” I still thank god to this day that she said no. Not that she wasn’t a good girlfriend, but by giving me that certainty, I was able to finally accept my situation and work on moving forward with my own life (side note: she regretted it soon after 😉 ).
Therefore, if you’re unsure as to whether you should continue to or try to talk to an ex that has broken up with you, you need to ask yourself two things. First, do you truly think that trying to get back together would be a good idea for you and could lead to a healthy relationship? If not, then cut contact for good. If you answered yes, then you need to ask the other person “is there any chance of us getting back together?” If their answer is no, then you cut contact and move on.
I understand that it’s easier said than done to “cut contact and move on”, but the best ways to try and move on have been covered a lot online so I may or may not make my own post (let me know in the comments if you’d like a post on the topic).
In my own example, I never really considered the first question. I was young, naïve and had just been broken up with for the first time. All I knew was that I was sad, and having her back would make me “better.” If I would have considered the situation and whether it would have been a good idea to get back together, I may have realized that it might not be the best idea.
However, if the other person says there is a chance of getting back together, I would still advise being very careful. The only reason to contact an ex should be if you really think there is a chance at starting another healthy, happy relationship. If not, or if after trying things out again, or even after a few days of chatting, you don’t see that as an outcome, then get out. Usually relationships end for a reason, and while you may not see the reason clearly at that very moment, go with your gut.
You’re better off learning from the experience and moving on than dragging on something that is destined to fail.
To summarize, if you know that getting back together would be a bad idea, or the other person has made it clear that they don’t want to get back together, do NOT contact them. At all. Period. Focus on yourself and getting better. If you think there is real potential for the relationship and so do they, you can give it a try, although I would be very careful.
2) When you breakup with someone
When you do the breaking up, I’m assuming it was for at least a half decent reason and you are confident in that decision. Hopefully you had a talk, gave the person some/all of your reasons for ending things, and made it clear that things were over for good.
Whether you should ever talk to your ex in the near future depends on whether you are 100% sure it is over. If you know you made the right choice, you should NOT talk to them for a significant amount of time. Don’t text them, don’t call, don’t try and make them feel better. Both sides need their space, and in order to fully heal, their needs to be time apart.
In this situation, the key is to distinguish between real doubt and natural doubt. If you broke up with them but legitimately have real doubt about it, and are confident that you could still have a healthy relationship if you gave it a try, that can be classified as real doubt. If you know deep down that you made the right decision, but doubt starts to creep in as you begin to mourn and miss having that person in your life, that is natural doubt. We’ve all had it, and it’s happening because you spent a lot of time with and cared about this person, and naturally you will be hurting and doubting yourself once it is over.
Natural doubt means don’t contact them at all. Treat it like the situation above where either you know it isn’t going to work, or the other person says they won’t take you back. Cut ties. I know what if feels like going through natural doubt- it sucks, and can be so convincing that you made the wrong decision. But stick to your gut and message family/friends for support instead of your ex.
Real doubt means you need to have a long thought about what you want to do. Really evaluate things and think them over. If you are unsure or not answering yes to a lot of the following, then I would cut ties:
- Do you still see a healthy future with this person?
- Could you see yourself marrying them?
- Do you think you could overcome the breakup as a couple?
- Would both of you be able to overlook the breakup moving forward?
Figure this out for yourself, and only if you are very confident should you consider reaching out and trying to reconcile things.
As I mentioned above, a breakup usually happens for a reason. If you get broken up with, odds are it is over for good and these can often be easier situations to move on from. If you do the breaking up, make sure it’s what you want and stick to it, no matter how much natural doubt might creep into your mind.
Moving on is a whole other discussion for another post. I hope this helped, and please comment or email with any questions, comments or concerns.
Thanks for reading!