Before you send an email or friend request to boy or girlfriends past, consider these 5 tips to guard your heart and your current relationship.
It’s the time of year that people often think about love and relationships. You may even be considering contacting an old sweetheart— perhaps seeking closure or feeling nostalgic or curious about what your ex is doing now. Deciding whether or not to contact an ex can be challenging and there can be pros and cons. The standard advice is, “Just don’t do it,” but depending on the situation it could potentially bring relief and closure. If you or someone you know is contemplating contacting an ex, consider these tips first.
- Ask yourself the tough questions such as: Why am I doing this? What am I hoping to achieve? How will I feel after communicating with this person? Will I be able to accept the outcome even if it doesn’t go the way I hope it will?
- Consider your current mental, emotional and physical state. If you are currently feeling angry, tired, lonely or discouraged about your current life situations delay making contact.
- If you are currently in a relationship, be sure to discuss the situation with your current partner and establish clear boundaries about contact with the opposite sex (and especially exes) that you are both comfortable with. If you do choose to contact your ex, be open and transparent with your partner about any communication that you have with the ex, including text messages or social media messages.
- Even with clear boundaries set, it is important to keep in mind that familiarity can potentially lead to high levels of emotion and it can be hard to not misinterpret the feelings to mean that what you used to have is better than what you have now. Additionally, individuals are also often more open about sharing intimate feelings over social media or text messages which can lead to feeling intense emotions. With that in mind, guard your heart, be careful about what you share, and remember there is a reason he or she is an ex.
- If you do decide to contact your ex, be up front about why you are contacting them, be brief, and don’t try to continue to contact them if they don’t respond. Remember, they may not have the same desire to reconnect or may be respecting the boundaries of their current relationship.
This article was written by Naomi Brower, USU Extension associate professor, Weber County