We’ve all been there.
Yep — all of us. We all want to reach out to our ex to see if they still care, or if they’re hurting as much as we are.
God knows I’ve done that a lot in the past. Can I help myself? Only after repeated times did I start to use my fool-proof strategy, which I explain later in this article. Hang tight cause it’s about to get so good.
We know the truth about how these (not-exactly-sober) conversations go. Either they provide:
a) a short burst of relief because he says he misses you, followed by a “wait, you’re hurting, yet you still don’t want to get back together? [Insert angry realization].”
b) a feeling of embarrassment or despair as he tells you that you two shouldn’t be talking right now and he needs some space (maybe he even throws in that you shouldn’t be drinking that much)
c) utter and absolute anger because he decides not to text you back (or does 10h+ later) to which you respond by repeatedly texting or calling with angry messages
d) your happily ever after because a magical fairy comes out of nowhere and waves her magical wand and grants you one wish, and you use it to get back together with your ex. Then, you live happily together and it’s like you two never broke up in the first place
Well, if I got your hopes up with option “d,” then I’m sorry. The only fairy that actually exists is the tooth-fairy.
In all seriousness, texting your ex after you two have come to a conclusion that you’re better off apart can make things even more painful than the initial breakup itself. Rarely do these text exchanges result in a happily ever after.
However, if you commit to being apart (and I mean really believe you are broken up), your grief roadmap becomes so much clearer. At least, that’s what happened to me. But of course, the bargaining stage of grief during a breakup will have you considering all options for you two to land back in each other’s arms, as you’ve decided that you can make the relationship work again. (If it ever did at all.)
So, when you want to text your ex after a breakup, what should you do instead?
Appoint a designated breakup accountability buddy.
It’s that simple.
I’m not just talking about having a friend you talk to, but an actual plan for when those emotions start to creep in. What you want to do is let your friend know that every time you get the urge to text or call him, you’re going to call/text her. Preferably call, as it’s more immediate.
I implemented this breakup strategy almost 9 years ago. I inducted one of my closest friends to be my breakup accountability buddy and it made a WORLD of difference.
Whether I wanted to text him, or he did text me, I ignored the calls/texts and I called her and talked to her for 5 mins instead. She’d just ask me how I’m feeling, where I was when it happened, what I’d want to respond with if I were to text back. And getting those thoughts and feelings out in a safe way kept me at bay and reminded me that I am a strong person who doesn’t need to cave just because I’m mourning the loss of a beautiful relationship.
And I know what you’re thinking. You’re all, “Nancy, if I texted my friend every time those feelings came up, I’d never get off the phone.”
Yes, you think that in theory, but the simple act of knowing that you’ve got someone, actually provides a lot of relief from those lonely feelings. In the first few days, this person will be your saviour, and you’ll notice you don’t need them as much as you thought. Give it a try—you won’t be disappointed.
So, here’s the step-by-step process for absolute clarity:
a) induct your closest friend as your breakup accountability buddy (who would be happy to be there for you who also has the ability to pick up the phone at work)
b) let her know that she is always “on shift” for the next 3 (or more) days (within reason…3am is for sleeping only)
c) explain that whenever you get the “craving” to talk to him or respond back, you’re going to call her instead
d) ask her to specifically ask you these questions: where are you? What were you just doing? How are you feeling about [texting him/his text to you]? What would you want to say to him if you did respond?
e) then have her explain to you how strong you really are — you need to hear this
f) hang up after 5ish minutes - and thank her just before
g) notice your anger, sadness, confusion decrease by virtually 85%
h) repeat as necessary
This is a whole process that only takes 5 or so minutes, and yet it saves you the heartache that you would otherwise be faced with if you decided to reach out to him.
I know how hard this is. I have been where you are. Give this method a try and be sure to shoot me a comment below!
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