I wanted to write a post on this because I’ve recently received a few questions around exes reaching out and how it can completely throw us!
Whilst it’s often incredibly tough to refrain from contacting an ex in the throes of heartbreak, it can also leave us utterly bewildered when we do stop all contact and an ex reaches out to us - particularly when we’re the ones who have been broken up with!
We followed all the ‘rules’, let them be to get on with their lives, got on with ours and then a ‘hey, how are you’ text pops up out of the blue. What gives??!!
First of all, just know that although it can feel mighty satisfying in some ways when this happens, it can also propel us right back into the heartbreak we’ve worked so hard to wade through and leave us confused and upset. Whatever you feel, try not to judge your emotions around it. It’s bound to have some kind of effect on you because regardless of how the breakup happened, there are still going to be feelings triggered when any form of contact happens.
Heartbreak is an emotional rollercoaster and sometimes, we just can’t predict how we’re going to react. What’s important to keep at the forefront of your mind, is that an ex reaching out does not change anything. The breakup happened and your only focus right now should still be yourself and your own healing. That text, email or social media message is bound to throw you off-track, of course. But don’t let it deter you from how far you've come. A message is so easy to send and can’t undo what caused the breakup to happen in the first place.
I often get asked why exes do reach out and although I don’t have the ability to go inside someone’s mind and get a glimpse of the motivation behind their actions (I wish ha!), what I do know is this; in a weaker moment of their own they’re looking for some form of connection with you. They’re going through their own breakup journey too and even if they're the ones doing the breaking up, that still comes with its triggers and urges.
It doesn’t make it right and it can be selfish - especially when they’ve explicitly told you they don’t want to see or hear from you. But the contact is a reflection of that piece of them needing some kind of connection or familiarity. Try not to look too much into it as what it definitely doesn’t necessarily mean is that they have changed, that they want to get back together or that all will be well if you did get back together.
It could have been sent after a drink or when they’re craving some kind of validation and need a quick fix or a replay in the now of an old memory. I’m aware that can seem a little harsh or make you feel disposable and I really don’t mean it in that way. Breakups can cause us to do all kinds of odd things that we can’t anticipate and it’s likely not your ex’s intention to make you feel bad. They’re in their own heads and the contact is most probably their way of fulfilling a need in that moment. This is why it’s important to not read too much into it.
What I would definitely suggest is to avoid continuing the conversation. You don’t have to respond. No response is a response in itself and in many cases, your ex will see that they have overstepped the boundary and hold off messaging any further. You need to not see this as a big deal and continue to hold your head high and stay on track. Take time to honour your feelings about it but don’t dwell on them. You’re still doing amazing and nothing can change that! 😀
Remember, we can’t ever change other people’s actions but we can choose how we react or in this case, don’t react.
I hope you found this helpful and if you'd like to work with me 1:1, email on firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you.