Our exes can reach out to us for a number of reasons, bringing up emotions and feelings at the ping of a text. Below are some common scenarios and how to deal with them.
1. If they had a gut feeling you’ve slept with someone else:
Our relationships leave their mark not just in our heads and hearts… our bodies and intuition remember our lovers too. In the same way that you ‘know’ someone is lying to you or that feeling that you’re going to get the perfect parking spot, sometimes our former partners can ‘know’ this too and want confirmation.
Recommendation: Be honest but be kind. It’s easy to get caught up in the trap of the ego and want to be ‘the one who moved on first’ and hurt your former partner, particularly if they hurt you. That said, it’s wise to remember in these instances that ‘an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’. Nobody wins when we weaponize our pain.
2. If someone from their family died or has taken seriously ill:
When you’ve spent a significant amount of time with someone romantically, you are also in one way or another at the very least aware of their family lives and communities as well. You may have even spent time with the people they claim as their own and as such have been granted an opportunity to connect on a deeper, more human level too. When it comes to life-changing things like death, illness, and tragedies—all moments that undeniably force us to re-think our priorities and leave pettiness behind, it is not uncommon for us to look for support in those who already know what or who we’re talking about. It makes us feel seen and understood.
Recommendation: Rise above. Be the bigger person and realize that before this was your former partner, they were your partner and that you chose them for a reason. They can’t be all bad. Remember that they are human and that they are likely hurting. Express your condolences and proceed in whatever way feels natural without violating your own boundaries or need for space if you need it.
3. They had a moment where they’ve realized they made a mistake either in breaking up with you or in the way they handled the breakup:
The end of a relationship oftentimes leads to some form of personal self-inquiry. Relationships can be huge catalysts for our individual growth if we allow them to be. Sometimes a break up is just what the doctor ordered for us to take a look under our own hoods and to see what we notice about ourselves. If we do, now that we have a little distance, we’ll likely find a thing or two that we’d like to change or something that we would’ve or could’ve done differently. It isn’t uncommon for us to then want to atone for our bad behavior or apologize for having hurt someone who at one point meant a lot to us and likely still does.
Recommendation: If you feel the effort on your ex’s part is genuine, understand that this is an opportunity for you to practice grace and potential forgiveness. Use it. There’s no need to perpetuate more hurt, particularly when another person is acknowledging they were wrong. Remember, forgiveness is something you do for you too. Carrying the burden of anger and resentment has a negative impact on your health. If it doesn’t feel genuine though, don’t respond if you don’t want to. If you don’t feel ready to engage yet, don’t. Wait until you are, then respond. Remember, your needs come first. Especially now.
4. They’re seeing someone new:
This is one of those instances that a lot of us dread but that can be quite healing if you allow it to be. Why? How? Oftentimes by letting you know that they’ve moved on, your ex is communicating that your relationship is most definitely over so if you’re holding on to hope for a reconciliation, they’re saying that it’s time to let go and move on. This is a clear form of closure…whether we like it or not.
Recommendation: Take them at their word and let them go. If it feels appropriate, thank them for letting you know and leave it there. What they go on to do with their lives is none of your business and can potentially turn into a source of unnecessary anguish for you. Resist the urge to find out who it is and under no circumstances try to find them online. Use this as an opportunity to once and for all come back to you… Radically.
We learn the art of relationships by being in a relationship.
There are no courses or seminars, no quick fixes, and no templates to follow when we’re born. This is a whole ‘learn as you go’ experience full of influencing factors that you oftentimes have no control over and as such, any expectations of perfection should realistically go out the window. Your job? To figure out what your patterns are and adjust accordingly.
Instead of chasing perfection, why not view your relationships as mirrors of yourself?
As indicators of the fact that we attract what we are and not necessarily what we want? If you find yourself in a position where you’re attracting the wrong types of people or on the receiving end of most of your breakups, life is trying to tell you to pay closer attention to yourself. Who are you being and how is that affecting the decisions that you make and the people who are coming into your life?
About Mona Green
Mona Green is a Celebrity Life and Love Coach who has worked with everyone from Chrissy Teigen, to Olympic Athletes, as well as clients that are newly divorced, in same-sex partnerships and single men and women. Visit online at namasme.com