Going “no contact” after a breakup can be one of the best ways to heal from heartbreak, but also one of the most painful. You go from talking to your partner every day to zero communication, all in an effort to sit in your feelings and accept your new reality: Your relationship is over. It can be incredibly tough to go no contact, whether you decide to do it for a week or a year. But when you finally feel ready to establish a friendship, you might be faced with another challenge: deciding what to text your ex after no contact. Knowing how to text your ex in any situation is a slippery slope, but texts to send your ex after no contact should be more cautious than any other random, “Hey!”
Before you start typing away, consider whether texting them is even a good idea in the first place. Ask yourself: How did the relationship end? Some breakups are so brutal, you can never really come back from them. And since time has a way of making bad memories fade, you might want to think carefully about reaching out. “As human beings, we're heavily wired to connect to others. Therefore, we may start to look back on the relationship with rose-tinted spectacles,” Rachel Wall, a wellness coach and narcissistic abuse recovery expert, previously told Elite Daily. “We may become overwhelmed with our minds giving us reasons as to why we should reconnect with the ex. This can be particularly dangerous if reconnecting with an abuser or someone who's particularly jealous or controlling." So if your relationship was toxic or you’re just generally way better off without your ex in your life, you do not need to be friends.
Also, consider time. How long has it been since you called it quits? If it’s only been a couple of weeks, it might feel like too soon to reach out. But a few months might feel like enough time for all the hard feelings — and any residual longing— to fade so that a platonic relationship can be more realistic.
Ultimately, it's all about where you are emotionally, as Chris Armstrong, founder of the relationship coaching company Maze of Love, previously told Elite Daily. “I would never recommend putting time parameters on when to re-engage contact. Instead, re-engage contact when you feel safe from potential regress that may occur because you've not fully healed. Or when you feel safe from harassment that your ex may engage in because they're not fully healed,” he advised.
Last but not least, ask yourself: How much did I actually like them in the first place? Not how much you were attracted to them or infatuated with them, but how much did you legitimately enjoy their company? Has their absence left a friendship void in your life? Make sure they're worth any emotional work that might come with getting back in communication.
Once you've thought all this through and your texting fingers are itching to get typing (after all, the sooner you hit send, the sooner your friendship can commence), it’s time to decide what to text your ex. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Remind Them Of A Good Memory
Even though your last interaction was likely not great, there were probably plenty of good times in your relationship. When considering what to text your ex, think of a memory — something nice, funny, or sweet you think they may actually get a kick out of remembering. Nothing romantic, or you may risk sending mixed signals, but something that might put a smile on their face. Hopefully, that will soften them up enough to consider your offer of friendship.
2. Take Their Temperature
If you’ve spent the time since you ended things totally incommunicado, you probably have no idea how to text your ex or where they are emotionally over the breakup. They could be totally cool and ready to move on, or still salty AF. In this case, you may just want to dip a toe in the water and take their temperature, which might be a little scary since you're going in blind, but it’s the only real way to know where they stand. Just keep it light and don’t take it personally if they’re not ready. If you’re determined to turn your ex into your BFF, check in periodically — but not too regularly. You need to respect their boundaries, and if they don’t want to be your friend, there’s not much you can legitimately do about that.
3. Let Them Know You’re Thinking Of Them
Do you ever wonder if your ex still thinks of you? No one would blame you. Even if you don’t want to get back together with them, you may not necessarily want them to forget you exist, either. That’s why this approach is warm and reassuring. You’ve both gone about your life, but this lets them know they're still in your thoughts. Just keep your message super friendly and platonic so they don’t misunderstand your intentions.
4. Send Them Something Funny
Are you always seeing memes, pics, or stories you know they’d find hilarious? Well, if you’re thinking about trying to be friends again, send something funny their way. If you can open with a laugh, you might increase the chances they'll be open to having you back in their life. It’s a reminder that you two did have fun together, and who couldn’t use a few more laughs?
5. Don’t Be A Weirdo
Just want to cut to the chase? That’s OK, too; just don’t be weird about it. Keep the tone light and friendly, like you would with anyone you don't want to see naked any time soon. If you feel like there may be lingering hard feelings, apologize — but don’t make it a big deal. Take it super easy-breezy.
Putting yourself out there is scary, but you might just be rewarded for your vulnerability. Worst case scenario: They leave you on-read and you move on with your life. But if the best case scenario leaves you with a lifelong friend, reaching out will be well worth it.
Chris Armstrong, founder of the relationship coaching company Maze of Love
Rachel Wall, a wellness coach and narcissistic abuse recovery expert
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