Why are you calling your Ex!
Stop The Bleeding And Start The Healing.
If you are still thinking about calling your ex, first ask yourself if you are emotionally satisfied, your self-esteem is solid and you have read 3 Essentials to Create a Balanced Life.
You and your ex broke up and you still have these wild over how it ended, should it have ended, and you never quite got all of your questions answered so the tape that plays in your head is on overdrive. The romantic idea that you want to be, or are going to be friends is a moonshot. Simply said, it is never going to happen. It is like physics and gravity, and you cannot fight the reality of that which you cannot change. Let’s discuss the 8 best reasons calling your ex is a bad idea.
Many people talk about being friends after a break up, but be real. Unless there was no emotional investment by either party, it might be possible, as long as there was no intimacy involved prior to the breakup. If there was intimacy, then all bets are off. It is not going to happen so don’t waste each others time for the next six months pretending that you are capable of being long term friends. Besides, even if by some miracle you are both able to create some type of friendship after you break up, that is all going to end when your next relationship starts. You won’t have time with your new relationship duties, the new significant other doesn’t want an ex any where near the two of you, and realistically, if you haven’t severed all emotional ties, you probably weren’t ready to get into a new relationship anyway.
In her post in Psychology Today, Juliana Breines Ph.D., suggested that some are able to manage this transition successfully despite the fact that research suggests that on average former relationships tend to have lower-quality friendships than opposite-sex friends who were never romantically involved. They are less emotionally supportive, less helpful, less trusting, and less concerned about the other person’s happiness. This is especially true, not surprisingly, for former partners who were dissatisfied with the romantic relationship, and in cases when the break-up was not mutual.
She goes on to say that “the probability that a friendship with an ex will be a positive rather than painful experience depends in part on your motives, including those you’d rather not openly acknowledge.” To suggest that the success is motive dependent is myopic at best. At best, honest motives for staying in the “friendship zone” is a recipe for disaster, including ongoing pain, resentment and the episodic periods of craziness that accompanies a serious breakup. At worst, less-than-honest motives will be the beginning of a double-life: the first is one that is true to yourself, and the second is one that is largely a lie, based in some fantasy that contemplates “the day that you finally realize that you both love each other too much to live without each other.”
End it now before you waste another minute of your life on someone who will never love you the way you should be loved. Any decision other than the former is a lesson in self-loathing and highlights an inadequacy that should be delt with immediately. Busboom, et al, reports that “lack of family or friends’ support, involvement in a new romantic relationship, and the use of neglect as a disengagement strategy were all found to be barriers to friendship quality.” Please highlight item number 2.
Dr. Breines proposes 10 reasons that calling your ex can get you into trouble because it suggests that your motives are not in order:
1. One of you is still in love
You may be hoping they will fall back in love, or they made a mistake, but the two of you broke up a reason. If the other person broke it off, trying in vain to reconnect will only make you feel bad and create friction between the two of you. Enjoy time with those who appreciate you. You will feel better and it will do wonders for your self esteem.
2. The other person will change
The odds that someone is going to change and suddenly see the light are slim. People can change, but it is usually in small deviations from their normal routine. If you are not part of that wish list, you are asking for heartbreak. We should gravitate toward people who we don’t have to fix. If you are a fixer, perhaps it is time to reevaluate your priorities and take a careful at how you value self.
3. They try to bully you back into a relationship
Do not ever go back to a relationship because you are bullied or made to feel guilty about leaving the relationship. Stalking has become commonplace after a break up, but it is never acceptable. One study on stalking notes that approximately 40% of people engaged in at least one stalking behavior following a break-up. Be cautious if your ex exhibits stalking behavior, including, anger, jealousy, and unannounced visits. Stalking can turn violent. Just because you shared something memorable at one time, the party is over and it is time for them to go home alone, and leave you alone.
4. They are a backup… just in case
Have the courage to let the relationship have a graceful ending. If your ego demands that you keep some on the backburner, put that aside for a moment and think about the other person. You enjoyed your time in the relationship and it ended. You both owe it to each other to help each other move on. The relationship did not work out for the two of you, but both deserve a chance to find love with someone else. Holding on is selfish and weak.
5. You are lonely
It is natural to be lonely after a break up. You miss the companionship and intimacy that you once enjoyed. Life as a newly single person is full of extra time but don’t spend it lost in the memories of good times with the ex. Explore new people and places while you go through the initial surge of emotions. Create new habits and routines. It may seem like an avoidance maneuver, but that is acceptable behavior for a period of time as you adjust to life without your ex. Don’t let any feeling of separation or loneliness draw you back into the recycling mode. Let your ex stay your ex. Provided you have a healthy life balance, find new interests and new objects of affection.
6. You want to keep “track” of them
If you feel like you want to call your ex just to “keep track of them,” there is probably something bigger to the picture. You are feeling lonely, want to fill the void, are still in love, think that you can change them, or any one of the other reasons listed here. The chances that your attempt to “keep track of them” will be perceived as an annoyance, or even stalking, is high. Don’t do it.
7. You feel badly for them
Breakups are difficult for everyone. You shared something wonderful for a while and it is over. Let me say that again. It is over. If you cared at all for the other person and the relationship, you will feel badly for a variety of reasons: the other person is hurting, you miss the good times, you no longer have your “routine”, and a dozen other reasons that are all relevant. It is natural to empathize with the pain that someone feels, especially if they enjoyed an elevated position in your life. Empathy is no reason to back and rekindle a failed relationship.
8. You share mutual friends, or some other lame excuse
If you think that mutual friends is a reason to call you ex, you are grasping for straws. If this is the motivation to pick up the phone, you probably have other post breakup issues that haunt you. Quit searching for reasons to call your ex and move on. The other person is living a normal, productive life without you. It may hurt to emotionally process this, especially if the relationship ended on their terms, but you can’t find a reason to hang on to the past. Obsessive behavior like this will gradually creep into stalking. If you have any prayer of keeping a friendly relationship, don’t look for reasons to reconnect.
Stick a fork in it. There is no point in staying friends.
Dr. Brienes opines “Are there any good reasons to stay friends with your ex? Sure. If neither of you has ulterior motives like the ones listed above, and if your friendship doesn’t interfere with your current relationships—a good litmus test is whether you’re comfortable hanging out with your current partner and your ex together, and whether your ex’s partner is comfortable with you—it could very well work.” I think this is grasping at straws and I disagree.
One does not need a controlled, blinded study of 300 adults to know that this scenario will never work for dozens of reasons that are intuitive and in plain sight. If I need to elaborate on this topic, please be sure to comment and I will give you my definitive bullet point list on why it will never work.
Dr. Brienes makes effort to redeem her untenable premise that ex’s can be friends is the following: ulterior motives can be sneaky, though—our minds have ways of disguising them as more innocent aims. So make sure you are being honest with yourself about what your true intentions are.”
Let’s be honest. Ex’s cannot be friends, for at least a period of time that I suggest is at least half as long as the period that you dated. This, of course is dependent largely on the new relationship and how vested you are in making this work. Have the courage and dignity to start your healing today. You will thank yourself in time.
The last relationship didn’t work out for whatever reason. Take the lessons learned, embrace the highlights, and consider it part of your distant memory. If you are still thinking about calling your ex again, re-read this post and sure you didn’t miss anything. Without a definitive physical and emotional end to the past, you will never define your present and future with the grace and attention that it deserves.
Have you ever tried to be friends with your ex and did it ever really work out?
Are you still stuck in the rut of calling your ex from time to time?