Dani Pinkus

All things feminism, funny, and fabulous.

Grapevine: 4 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Reaching Out to an Ex

Originally published on CUIndependent.com on Aug. 26 2016

Ahh exes. You were the one who ditched him in the first place, or he unreasonably broke your heart, and yet, you find yourself retracing the steps. It can be a song that comes on that the two of you used to sing down the highway, a question your mom asks that you know he’d have the answer to or the major review of your life choices while in the shower that can inspire the need to reach out again. But before you do, check yourself.

  1. If it’s really over, what’s the harm?

The biggest loss at the end of a relationship can often be the friendship. Sometimes you just want your pal back. It’s totally understandable to miss that. But the reality of the situation is that your friendship was impeded upon by a thicker relationship, a deeper plunge, and you can’t ignore that just because it’s over.

Sometimes a check-in is something you need. A simple text to satisfy your own curiosity. But let’s be real, it’s impossible to promise yourself that a one-time check-in won’t become a weekly conversation, or worse, that it really doesn’t end up being a one-time thing and your feelings become vulnerable to be hurt again.  

  1. Where is he now?

If this was prompted by his latest Instagram post with the new gal, turn around and run home. You broke up and he is entitled to move on. You threw out the happy meal, no need to go back for scraps. At the very least, he is someone else’s problem now.

Or are you referring to the post about his new promotion? Also not your problem. Maybe you feel like you’re the reason he pushed himself, or maybe you’re feeling resentful for his laziness when he was with you. Does he really deserve to hear your praises after all?

  1. Where are you now?

Whether you’re out killin’ the game or silently suffering, he used to be the one to share the load with. It’s easy to think back to when he could lift you higher or commiserate alongside you. But there is a reason, or a few, that he isn’t that person for you anymore. Reaching out now could be a step back.

It is okay to miss him. It is inevitable to think back on it all. But it does not mean he gets to celebrate you or lend you his hanky. He lost the privilege when he lost you.

  1. What are you really missing?

It’s easy to get caught in a moment. To reminisce about the good, and all the reasons you were together in the first place. But that’s probably not why it ended. So what are you really missing?

Living your life without him in the passenger seat beside you can get lonely. But is he really the person you still want filling it? Is he the opinion you’re still craving? The answer you still want? Or has the position not been filled by someone who suits it better? More so, have you not filled the void by yourself?

Inviting him back into your life does not have to be the answer. Sometimes it’s best to let bygones be bygones. Why? Because eventually you have to be more important than your past relationship.

Consider putting yourself before him, because you are the half of the relationship you have to keep. It is okay to look back, to reminisce and to miss. But just because those feelings can remind you of what once was, does not mean you have to push your heart back into that place.

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