We're All Human: Sometimes It’s Okay To Text Your Ex

by Caitlin Jill Anders

Before we head out for an inevitably drunk night on the town, our instructions to our friends are usually pretty uniform across the board: Don’t let us text our exes.

This may involve a few confiscated phones and angry words, but as long as our friends aren’t drunker than we are, they’re usually pretty good about following orders.

Remember, ex = excommunicated; that’s just how it goes.

According to your friends, texting your ex is the worst idea ever. Whether things with your ex ended relatively amicably or he or she f*cked you over worse than one of the sadder "Love Actually" plots, your friends are not on board.

A friend’s job is to love you and try to keep you out of harms way, which sometimes, drunk you makes very difficult. They don’t want to see you get hurt again, and texting an ex could very well lead to that, which is why usually, they’re pretty against it.

One of my best friends told me that if I somehow ended up marrying one particular ex of mine, she would potentially threaten him with the wedding cake knife (I surround myself with very protective ladies).

Often though, we can't help but wonder what are exes are up to when we haven't spoken to them in a while.

How are they doing? Where are they? Are they doing everything they always told us they would? Most importantly, are they happy?

Maybe it is sometimes okay to reach out to exes. In fact, I’m telling you it is (sorry friends, I still love you). I'm still friends with the men with whom I was in love and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I know it’s hard to remember, but at one point, you liked your ex. Gasp! I know. Scandalous.

How could you have ever liked someone who hurt you like he or she did? Or maybe, you hurt him or her. It happens. We hurt each other, and when it ended, we thought maybe it was best to step away for a while.

Sometimes we lose touch with the people with whom we were once intimate because we no longer know how to act around them, and it’s hard. There are enough difficult things in this life. For many of us, an ex doesn’t need to be one of them.

Regardless, your ex is still a person about whom you care — somewhere inside of you, at least. Even after you break up, that connection is still there, even if we deny it. We loved and we lost, but he or she is not gone from our lives forever.

Sometimes it just won’t work, but sometimes, for some of us, being friends with an ex is possible. We just need to give it a chance.

I am a firm believer in staying friends with people about whom you once cared so much. You cared about them like that for a reason — even if betrayal or lies or excessive fighting overshadowed that reason.

It was once there, and the reason you once cared should be more important than the reasons why you stopped. This life is short; there is no need to lose people. People are beautiful; keep them in your life.

If you’re curious about how your ex has been, ask him or her. Disregard your friends' advice for now and shoot a text to the person with whom you used to binge-watch Netflix, run errands and be stupid.

There are many memories there, and a lot of them are good. Let those memories guide you into a possible friendship again.

Of course, if you haven’t reached out to your ex in a while, you need to be smart about it. Know yourself, and know your ex.

Don’t do it when you have too much time to dwell over whether he or she answers or not. As in, don’t do it at 3 am, when everyone’s either drunk, asleep or way too contemplative.

Text at a time when you’re distracted enough so that it won’t bother you if you don’t get an answer and level-headed enough to handle a conversation if you do.

Drunk texting your ex is always a bad idea; your friends are right about that one. Let them take your phone from you when you have drunk text cravings.

Nothing good will come from that, and it might mess up any good that could come from a sober text. Take your drunk ass home to bed and reassess in the morning, please.

No matter who broke it off, you will both always feel something for the other person. If it meant anything at all, this will always be true.

You shared too much to not feel a tiny pull to that person, even if you swear now you don’t know why you even liked him or her in the first place. Your ex was important, and your heart remembers that.

If you’re afraid you might fall for him or her again because of that pull, just be careful, but fear should not keep you from someone who means so much to you.

My ex and I recently went out for the first time since we broke up. It was a little weird, and we’re still learning how to be with each other in a new way, but I will never regret keeping him in my life as a friend.

He knows me better than most, and he will always be one of my best friends. If I decided to never speak to him again, I would have lost that.

We need friends in this life, even if one of these friends broke our hearts. Forgive, but forget. Forgive, remember and remain friends.