You're happily in love, or maybe you're slowly falling. You've finally found someone you can be yourself with, someone who loves you and someone who takes you to brunch.
You're on cloud nine, and all is well. You're truly excited to start building your future together.
You endlessly stare at your adoring text messages, dreamy Instagram photos and passionate Snapchats.
And, just as you're blushing about that romantic moment you guys met on Tinder, you're smile fades. Why? Because your ex just texted you. Of course he did.
You and your ex haven't spoken in months since the breakup. What could he possibly want now? And, why does this make you feel a million different ways all at once?
Here's the lowdown: Basically, your ex has a little monkey that sits on his right shoulder.
And, whenever you finally reach your moment of true happiness, true love or just pure focus elsewhere, that little monkey starts tapping him on the shoulder uncontrollably.
This is primate talk for, “Text her! Call her! Interrupt her life!”
Of course, there's not actually a monkey, but as common as this scenario is, there probably should be.
Now you're angry, irritated and want to say a thousand different things, but where do you begin?
And, why is it that in all the frustration, you still want to keep your manners and be polite?
It has nothing to do with you still having feelings for him. You just don't want to hurt your ex's feelings, especially now, when you are truly happy on your own.
However, the problem arises when you are not completely honest and clear with your ex because you still care about his well-being.
It's common for people in this situation to not set a hard boundary when their exes just pop up.
This is a person who meant a lot to you at one point, so maybe you don't give a hard-line “no” to his request.
It's also possible you downplay how serious your new relationship is and just hope your ex disappears.
Unfortunately, your ex isn't biodegradable, and this situation needs to be handled, not ignored.
These are five reasons you need to be clear and honest with your ex:
1. Your ex will continue to linger.
This is a promise from yours truly. Not being extremely clear with your ex will allow him to believe there is wiggle room for him to slide back into the picture.
An ex who comes back and wants you to give him another chance (or rather, give “the new him” a chance) is nothing more than a ticking time bomb in your new relationship.
Your ex believes it is best for both of you to give things another try, and if you are not 100 percent clear there is no chance or desire for that to happen, he will not give up.
If you do not give an absolute “no,” he will believe there is some possibility for a “yes” given your history with one another.
You need to be transparent and tell him you have moved on and are very happy now.
Although there should be no hard feelings, there is zero chance of getting back together.
2. You aren't putting yourself first.
Sometimes we think it's easier to not say what we truly want to say to someone because we don't want to deal with any of the possible negative backlash. But, that's not fair to you.
By not being clear with your ex, you are allowing him to linger. That just leads to you hurting yourself.
It is absolutely necessary for you to let go of the past so you can move forward, love freely and truly receive all that you deserve.
You prevent yourself from progress by allowing the past to keep affecting the future.
Your ex is an ex for a reason. It's okay to cherish the memories, but it's important to keep the past where it belongs.
3. You're hurting your partner.
Every time your ex comes around, it puts a ton of unnecessary stress on your current relationship.
Your ex popping in is damaging what you share with your new partner.
You are happy with someone new, but it is nearly impossible to build a foundation for the future using bricks made of the past.
Your exe's lingering will strain your new bond, as it will place an extreme disconnect between the two of you.
It will also probably create a lot of anger and unnecessary fighting in your current relationship. Why risk all of that for someone you don't even want in your life?
4. You're not actually helping the situation.
Although you may believe you are protecting your ex's feelings by being nice, you are actually just hurting him more.
Allowing him to live in a world where he believes there is a possibility to reconnect with you isn't doing anyone any favors.
By not being clear and completely honest, you are simply just delaying hurting him, and in the end, you will actually wound him more.
Or, if he is popping up simply because he doesn't want anyone else to have you, you will just fall into his trap by not being truthful. That isn't fair to you anymore than it is to him.
5. You need to get real.
It's likely you aren't telling the complete truth out of fear of confrontation. You'll need to solve that eventually, so why not start now?
It also isn't a coincidence that exes always come back when you're the happiest. It happens this way because they have yet to find their own true happiness.
When they see you have found it, they assume reconnecting with you can do the same for them.
I'm not suggesting to go all Dr.Phil on them, but by being open and honest, it will force them to focus on the true cause of their unhappiness.
Like I said, you need to get real with yourself and with your ex.
All in all, an ex poking around is rarely ever a good thing.
You are so happy in your new relationship or in life in general, and that is why it is absolutely imperative you respond correctly when an ex reaches out.
Be clear, be honest, be nice and be real. It may not be comfortable, but it is certainly the best thing for you, your ex and your new relationship.