Your ex-partner may be long gone from your life and hundreds of miles away. Or, maybe they’re still living on your couch. Either way, an ex can sometimes be just a text away from instigating emotional chaos. Before picking up the phone stop and think “should I text my ex?”
Studies published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science Journal indicated that people go back to their ex for several reasons including hoping that their partner will change, emotional investment, family responsibilities, and fear of the unknown. In fact, an Associated Press poll determined that over 40% of people got back together with their ex after a breakup. Whether you’re married with children, or single and looking to move on with your life, at some point you will probably face the dilemma of responding to an intrusive ex. Is this exchange harmless, or are you flirting with disaster? Before you reply to that flirtatious text, consider a few things and ask yourself, should I text my ex?
1. What’s the point?
Before mindlessly participating in flirtation, ask yourself if there is any real purpose to the exchange. If your ex recently lost a loved one and is simply looking for virtual support, then maybe a reply is appropriate. But if they’re texting “I miss you” at 1 a.m? Delete.
2. Is your life more manageable without them?
If your ex was a source of arguments, misery, and pain you need to remind yourself of this. The passing of time has a way of highlighting the good days, but when it comes to exes, chances are there were plenty of bad days too.
3. If sex is off the table, would you even bother?
Face it…sometimes really good sex can cloud your judgment. Oftentimes people stay with or go back to their exes because of physical attraction and chemistry. Ask yourself, if your ex was physically unable to have sex, would you put up with them? If the answer is no, then they are probably not worth the trouble.
4. Would you be comfortable telling your friends and family?
Your personal life isn’t anyone’s business, but life is nevertheless meant to be shared with loved ones. If you don’t think you’d be comfortable telling those closest to you about having your ex back in your life, there’s probably a reason.
5. Does your ex fit into your life?
Many years may have gone by between the initial breakup and your most recent contact with an ex. In those years in between, you may have gotten married, had kids, or totally changed your lifestyle. If your dreamy ex from 2010 wants to meet for Wednesday night drinks at a club but you have to get a babysitter first, there may not be much of a point.
6. Would you hide it from your current partner?
If you find yourself innocently texting with an ex, ask yourself if you would be OK with letting your current partner know. If the answer is no, then your motives may not be entirely innocent. And unless you’re prepared to cheat and deal with those consequences, it might be wise to stop texting.
If you do decide to reply to a text from an ex, no judgment! Letting go of the past is hard, and it’s perfectly okay to think about the people who have had an impact on your life. It can be tempting to relive the past, or believe that people can change. No matter what you decide, be prepared to live with the consequences of your reply. Just remember, the future is worth more than the past.
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Sources: Dallas News