When I went through a difficult breakup, I learned the hard way why it's not a good idea to call your ex.
Should I Call My Ex?
Some years ago, I went through a difficult breakup. When my relationship came to an end, one of the most difficult things for me was deciding whether or not to call him.
I have to come clean and admit I did call him, many times (sigh). Unfortunately, these phone calls never went the way I wished. We were an on-again, off-again couple as though it were our job—we went back and forth for months. I knew deep down that the relationship was making me miserable, yet I wanted to “fix” it because no one wants to be miserable and alone, right?
So should you call your ex? Don’t call him/her, babe. Here are ten reasons why you shouldn't:
- You know it will make you feel worse in the long run
- You're not in a good frame of mind
- You're opening a can of worms
- You're trying to resuscitate a dead thing
- You might end up in bed
- It's just a moment of weakness
- Your relationship wasn't so great
- There's someone better for you out there
- You're not taking advantage of your time alone
- You don't need him/her
Why You Shouldn't Call or Text Your Ex
Here's a list of the most important reasons to consider before picking up your phone and calling or texting your ex.
1. You Know It Will Make You Feel Worse in the Long Run
I’m guessing that if you’re reading an article about why not to call your ex, it’s not because you’re feeling like an energized, gorgeous, popular, and desired person. You feel rejected, and you want that feeling to go away, so you think about calling your ex back and smoothing things over. Instead of helping you feel desired and confident, calling will inevitably make you feel worse.
2. You're Not in a Good Frame of Mind
Are you feeling angry right now? Are you feeling vulnerable and lonely? It's not a great idea to take action when you're emotionally out of control. You might blow up or end up crying and begging your ex to take you back. Either way, it's is not a good situation (I am speaking from personal experience here, unfortunately). Do you really want to convince someone to be with you? Argue them into taking you back? Plead yourself back into this relationship? Why should you have to convince anyone to be with you? You’ve forgotten how amazing you are!
3. You're Opening a Can of Worms
What if he doesn’t answer? He might not be so hot about hearing your voice. But now you've opened a whole slew of doubts. Are you going to call back in five minutes? In an hour? Tomorrow? Are you going to leave a message? What if he doesn’t text you back? You’ll be sitting there like I did, doubting yourself.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll be frantically looking at your phone every 10 minutes to see if you have any missed messages. Here’s an idea: Turn the phone off. You can do it. When you turn off your phone, you are taking back control of your life. Free yourself from the phone and decide that for now, you have better things to do than sit waiting for him to respond.
4. You're Trying to Resuscitate a Dead Thing
What if he answers? All the reasons you broke up will still be there, and they'll still be unfixable. Even if the conversation goes well, he’s not likely to cry out: “Oh baby, I’m sorry I dumped you, let’s get back together!” and you’ll be hanging up sad, disappointed, or angry.
5. You Might End Up in Bed
If your ex does want to see you after a breakup, they might just want sex. That may feel nice for you as well (because let’s face it, our exes are our most intimate partners and also the easiest people to sleep with), but it won't feel nice for long. You might feel connected for a short while, but honey, this person dumped you (cheated on you, didn’t want to get married to you, didn’t listen to you, didn’t spend enough time with you, didn’t make you feel like your best self, deceived you...) so why are you still having sex? Although you are a hot tamale, your lover should want a lot more from a relationship than just the physical.
6. It's Just a Moment of Weakness
If your ex wanted to get you back and was madly in love with you, they would make it happen: They would cross all bridges and climb all mountains to get to you. So let them call you and prove to you that he/she deserves to be with a hotty such as yourself. Be strong. Don’t give in. Think highly of yourself. Don’t sell yourself cheaply. And don’t call them back. Let your ex do what they need to do to get you back if that is what’s in the cards, but don't give in to the moment and call them.
7. Your Relationship Wasn't So Great
You're probably feeling nostalgic, latching on to a few good things and forgetting all the things that didn't work in your relationship. Was she/he that great anyway? Even though she/he might have been very nice, she/he wasn’t perfect either, right? I mean, they dumped you, so there’s obviously is something wrong with them!
8. There’s Someone Better for You Out There
You know this is true (I hope). Right now it just feels like you might be alone forever. You might get caught up in the false belief that all good ones are taken, but those thoughts will only make you feel desperate. Well, no. I’m not having it. There are plenty of really good ones (good looking ones, too!) out there who would be happy find you.
Imagine what your perfect relationship would feel like. Now multiply that by 10, and that’s what’s out there waiting for you right now. So put down your phone, get out there in the world, and open yourself up to new possibilities. Go out—to the supermarket, to a coffee shop, to the pet store, anywhere—and smile at people. Just smile. Smile at men, smile at women, smile at kids, smile at the elderly. People will smile back at you. Now, how good does that feel? Get out of your sweatpants, go out, smile at people, and start to feel it is true: There is someone better for you out there.
9. You’re Not Taking Advantage of Your Time Alone
When relationships end, we are left with a whole lot of extra free time. Time that used to be spent doing activities together, sharing meals, and talking. But wait! You are still a fun-loving, interesting person! Take advantage of this time to get to know yourself, heal your vulnerable heart, and love yourself.
Do some of the things you like. Call an old friend. Schedule lots of fun things for yourself. If you fill your time, you’re not going to feel so obsessed with calling your ex. This breakup is an opportunity to re-evaluate your life, take care of yourself, and pursue your interests.
10. You Don't Need Him/Her
You don’t need to wait around for another person to give you what you need. Only you can give yourself what you need. As a friend once told me, bees are naturally attracted to sugar. Sugar doesn’t have to do anything except be its sweet self, and all the bees will want to be around it. So go ahead, honey, make yourself feel well, beautiful, and happy, that’s really all you have to do to attract to you the perfect partner and a wonderful, happy life.
When You Shouldn't Call Your Ex
Definitely put the phone down if any of the following are true.
- If you're drunk. If you're old enough to drink, you're old enough to know better than to drink AND text your ex. It's always a dumb combination and only leads to regret.
- If you're upset. Maybe you just heard an outrageous rumor about your ex. Maybe you just had a rough day, and you need a little emotional support. Whatever your reasons are, don't attempt to get your feelings fixed by your ex. It's an old habit, and it's time for you to find other options.
- If you're lonely. I know, I know, it's hard to break old habits, but breaking up usually involves a little loneliness at first. Calling your ex because you're lonely is like eating an entire cake because you're sad. It's just the wrong solution.
- If you've already phoned or texted. Don't be that pitiful, needy, desperate person. Just. Don't. Do. It.
- If it's really late at night. We all know where that path leads... and it's not forward.
- If you don't really have anything to say. Sure, if there's some unfinished business you have to deal with, call them, but if you're just looking for emotional validation, connection, or an ego boost, don't call your ex.
What to Do Instead of Calling Your Ex
- Turn off your phone. Back away from the phone. Get out there in the world and open yourself up to new possibilities.
- Use this time to improve yourself and your life. Do all the things you used to like to do. Call those old friends you haven't seen in a while. Read books, exercise, travel if you can. This breakup is your chance to make things better.
- Ask yourself some hard questions:
- If things did get patched up between the two of you, would you be sitting right back where you started in six months? In a year?
- Why did you want to be with a partner like this one, one who left you for reasons you don’t really understand, who doesn’t accept and love everything about you and wants you to change, a partner whom you want to change? Why were you willing to put up with that?
- Ask yourself why you are clinging to this old relationship. Is it because you want to have children? Is it because you’re afraid of being alone? Is it just easier to go back than to move forward? Look within to figure it out.
- What do you really want and need in a partner. . . and how are you going to get it? Make a list, make a plan, and stick to it.
Other Questions About Contacting an Ex After a Breakup
- Should I call my ex for closure? No, you shouldn't. If you don't have closure, you won't get it from your ex.
- Why shouldn't I call my ex? What are the benefits of not calling? Read "7 Powerful Benefits of the No-Contact Rule After a Breakup" to learn more about why going no contact is usually the smartest way to deal with a breakup.
- Why can't I stop calling my ex? If you're having a hard time getting over it, read "Why Can't I Get Over My Ex? 7 Reasons Why You Might Still Be Hung up on Your Ex-Partner" and "10 Most Effective Tips to Forget an Ex."
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2011 Road to harmony