Ending a relationship can be complicated, and no matter who calls things off, one or both of you might find yourselves wanting to reach back out to each other. Maybe you just want to check in and form a friendly relationship, or perhaps you're interested in getting back together. Whatever the case, if you still want to talk to your ex after a breakup ,don't freak out: It's totally normal. First and foremost, it all "depends on the timing and the intentions," intimacy and sexuality coach Irene Fehr tells Elite Daily.
"If you have just broken up and had been together for an extended period of time or lived together, it is absolutely normal to want to talk to your ex," Fehr explains. "First, if you've had a habit of being around your partner — talking about your day, being involved in daily life together, going to bed together at night — you will feel lonely and it'll be natural to want to talk to them. In such situations, it's normal to want to continue to involve an ex in your life and vice versa by habit."
It's normal, but does that mean you should?
According to Fehr, it's important to think about what you want from talking to your ex. "There may be idealization of and a hanging onto 'what could be' with an ex and a belief that if you continue to talk, you might be able to work things out or they might come back, whatever the situation," she says. "Here, it's important to understand your own motivations and underlying desires." If that's what you want, then be honest with yourself, as Fehr says, and remember that talking to them could prohibit you "from truly moving on and becoming emotionally available to others."
If the relationship ended badly, or you both wanted different things, and you know deep down that you shouldn't get back together, then Fehr says it might be best to not reach out. Sure, that desire to talk is still normal, but that doesn't mean you should act on it, she emphasizes. "If you truly want to move on with your life and close the door on [the] relationship, you should not talk to your ex," says Fehr. "Many couples continue the relationship and the emotional involvement past the formal relationship status by staying in touch with each other and being engaged in each other's lives — often taking the space of a partner but without a label." If you're in contact with your ex, it could make it harder to move on and be with someone new, so keep that in mind before you hit "send" on that text.
Since wanting to talk to your ex is totally normal, Fehr suggests some alternatives to help you move on. "Breaking up is like breaking an addiction — and wanting to dip back for more is a natural part of breaking it," she explains. "That is why you have to not only cut yourself off the source, but also seek support of friends, community or a therapist or coach who can remind you of what you truly want and to resist temptation to fall back."
If you do end up talking to your ex even though you probably know it's not the best idea, Fehr says to "be kind to yourself and resolve to not do that again." If you're feeling the urge creep up on you, she recommends writing out a letter to them, letting it all out, and never sending it. That way, you can express your emotions without involving your ex.
Remember: There's nothing wrong with wanting to talk to your ex, and it's completely OK to want to reach out to them. But as Fehr says, it might not be the best idea in the long run. At the end of the day, remember that you're awesome, and that you deserve to be happy. Do what feels best for you. Only you know what that is.