When someone you loved leaves your life, it can be hard to get used to their absence. And after breakups, most people wonder if reaching out to an ex after months of no contact is a good remedy for their broken heart. To be frank – often, reconnection is completely counterproductive. Yet sometimes, the pros weigh out the cons, and seeing them again brings merit to both of your lives. In this article, we’ll explain the difference between the two.
Why Do We Feel the Need to Reach Out to an Ex?
Maybe you weren’t a fan of Greek mythology, but you might know Plato’s story about soulmates. It goes something like this: when the World came to be, humans were created with four arms, four legs, and one head with two faces. The God of sky, Zeus, feared their power and so decided to separate the human body in two halves. Since then, humans have been condemned to spend their entire lives searching for their other halves– their soulmates.
Whether this is just a myth or not is irrelevant because either way, as a society, we’ve been invested in stories about romantic relationships for so long that we can’t help but look for our other half anywhere we go. And the truth is, once you find someone you believe to be your other half, it’s not simple to let them or the idea of a shared future go, no matter if you know that the relationship isn’t clicking. After all, once somebody you spend days and nights with leaves, there is a hole in the shape of that person in your life and heart. And filling it up is never as easy as we would like.
Missing Your Former Partner Is Normal, But It’s Not Always a Reason Enough to Reach Out
Being in love is an amazing thing and one that can take up a lot of your emotional and mental headspace, not to mention time and effort. However, love can also be fleeting. Once the initial infatuation perishes, we find ourselves tied and connected to someone who might not share our views on the world, interests, or habits.
Any of these can be deal-breakers, as we are all well aware – but knowing something with your mind is not the same as feeling it with your heart. So, it is completely normal to miss an ex – even if you are sure you should no longer be together, but missing someone is not always a reason enough to spur up confusion in your mind and heart.
Sometimes, leaving a former lover behind is the best thing you can do for you both
Don’t Initiate Contact Without a Clear Idea of Why You’re Reaching Out to an Ex Years Later
If you’re unsure of whether it’s okay to initiate communication after a breakup, the chances may be that you’re actually unsure of why you’re doing it. So, before you pick up the phone, sit down with yourself and thoroughly consider this urge to initiate contact. Here are a few questions to consider before any decision is made:
What are you hoping to gain by contacting this person? Do you want to get back together, or are you ready to start a friendship?
How do you think your ex might react? Are you emotionally prepared for them not to want the same as you?
Are you considering your ex’s feelings? Is this something only you will benefit from? Will this make it harder for them (or you) to get over the breakup and move on?
What Are Some Good Reasons to Talk to a Former Lover?
Just like every partnership has its own specific reason for falling through, reasons for reconnecting will be extremely individual. Yet, there are some cases in which it is completely valid to communicate with them. However, the list is rather short. Here are a few all counselors for women would agree on:
Someone close or important to them is seriously or terminally ill or has passed away.
Someone close to you, whom your former partner cares for is seriously or terminally ill or has passed away, and you think they should be aware of this information.
They’ve achieved a success or a life milestone you want to honestly congratulate them on.
You have a question only your former lover can give you an answer to.
An item of great importance has been left with the other person, and you need it back or want to give them back their important item.
Therapy for Women of Color Might Be the Missing Component to Help Figure Out What You’re Feeling
If you can’t figure out your feelings on your own, it may be a good idea to research “women’s therapy near me.” There is a reason why so many people see therapists, and that is because therapy does work. And when you are feeling lost after a breakup, researching “therapist near me” might get you on the right path to starting collective workshops or beginning individual women’s counseling.
If you can’t shed light on the dusty corners of your emotional world alone, a licensed therapist of color could provide you with a new perspective. As an outsider whose sight isn’t blinded by emotion, they could help you answer the question: is it OK to reach out to an ex much better than your friends, too.
Figuring out the complex emotions after a failed love starts with research "counseling for women near me."
The Chances Are Your Ex Might Not Be on the Same Page as You, Even if a Significant Amount of Time Has Passed
Whether your reason is a reconciliation of the relationship, the strive to form a friendship, or the tendency to get some closure, you have to be prepared that your former partner may not have the same things in mind. After all, you too, probably had an ex come back into your life when you didn’t necessarily want them there. So, just make sure you’re ready for the worst-case scenario, and don’t contact them until you’re sure an unwanted response won’t shatter your heart – you’ve had enough of that already.
Take Both Your and Their Current Relationship Status Into Consideration Prior to Reconnecting
Maybe you’ve blocked your ex on social media because seeing them move on breaks your heart. Maybe it’s been months or years since you’ve talked to them, and you don’t really know what their current relationship status is. Whatever the case may be, get ready to hear some news you might not like.
It is important to take your ex’s current partnership seriously and consider how you reaching out to them may impact this contemporary situation. It’s never easy seeing an ex move on, but if you ever truly cared for them, you shouldn’t halt their recovery. Likewise, it’s good to communicate to your current partner about your plans so that they don’t get a wrong impression after finding out the situation from a third party.
Seeing them again could impact your healing journey, so be sure you're actually emotionally ready for the worst-case scenario
If You’re Considering Getting Back Together, First Remember the Reason Why You Broke Up
After a breakup, people tend to experience feelings of loneliness more frequently – and that’s okay. However, these feelings can cloud your judgment and make you think that the best way to feel at ease and calm down after experiencing sorrow or even the onset of anxiety symptoms is by getting back with your former partner. But when a partnership ends, there is always a reason why someone walked away from a relationship. Keep those reasons in mind, and think them through thoroughly.
When Does It Make Sense to Get Back With an Ex?
Sometimes, after a relationship ends, people jump into the dating world. However, trying to fill out the void of an ex with a new person before you’re ready could have you miss your ex, even if the reasons for the breakup are still relevant. Or, you may be struggling with dating as an unvaxxed person in a COVID-19 world and need a safe haven. Whatever the case may be if the sole reason for hitting them up is loneliness and the wish to get back to your comfort zone – step away from the phone.
However, if the circumstances changed, and the reasons that ended the partnership are no longer relevant, that may be a good case to get back together. For example, if you broke up a long-distance relationship because of the distance, but now the two of you live in the same city, you should call them up. Just make sure to weigh out the pros and cons thoroughly before you do. For more thoughts on the subject of getting back together, check out the following video.
Think Thoroughly About What You’ll Say or Text Them the First Time You Reach Out
If you decide you desire to rehash a connection, you’ll have to figure out what to say to reach out to an ex? You don’t want to impulsively reach out to your ex after no contact but rather have a clear idea of what you will say to them. Directly state the reason for reconnecting with them, and give them a chance to weigh out the pros and cons of reconnecting with you as well.
Additionally, try not to talk about things that would prolong either your or their suffering, and avoid bringing up past arguments and mistakes. The thing is, somebody’s feelings probably got hurt, so it can be difficult to be mature and considerate of the other’s feelings – but it is important to try. Check yourself, and use a pleasant and confident tone in communication.
Consider What the Best Medium for Your Message Is
Sometimes what you need to say can be said over a text message, sometimes it takes a phone call, and at times, a coffee conversation could work too. For example, getting back together would require a coffee, but informing them they left their keys at your place could be done over text. If you decide to meet in person, make sure enough time has passed, so the meeting doesn’t open up old wounds.
What do you text when reaching out to your ex is an important thing to consider before you rehash a severed connection.
If They Don’t Respond or ar Not Interested in Seeing You, Don’t Continue Contacting Them
Staying friends with someone you used to have a relationship with is hard. And if your former partner doesn’t have a wish to stay in contact with you, you should try to understand their position. As stated, you may not be on the same page, or they may not feel ready to see you. It may so happen that because of such spurred-up feelings, they ghost you or send a vague answer your way.
But, reconnecting should be a joyous meeting for you both, so if that doesn’t seem to be the case, it may be best to turn to a counselor for women in your pursuit for answers, rather than trying to connect with someone who obviously doesn’t want to provide you with an answer.
WOC Reflections features weekly interviews and wellness tips delivered to your inbox.