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Breakup communication

To speak or not to speak.


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in life


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Breakups are generally fairly hellish. Even if you were the one doing the dumping, you’ll likely miss your ex. If you are the dumpee, you may be heartbroken or at the very least have a bad case of wounded pride. So, all in all, it ain’t much fun for anyone.

One of the most pressing issues after a breakup is contact. Should you talk with your ex? If so, how much? When? Is it worth it?

As with everything in life, there are pros and cons to keeping in touch.

Before you consider whether to keep in contact or not, bear the following in mind:

  • Can you figure out WHY you want to retain the friendship? If you had such a firm friendship, why did you break up? If it’s something as simple as a lack of chemistry, then that explains it. However, just because you didn’t feel that ‘spark’ doesn’t mean that your ex is ‘spark’ free. They may want more from you.
  • What about a time out? It’s important to take some time out after the breakup. Even it was a mutual split, you do need to adjust to the move from relationship to friendship and this takes time.
  • Can you keep it under control? If you are still in love with your ex, will you be able to refrain from calling him/her five times a day?
  • What about jealousy? Could you handle it if your ex moves onto someone new? Do you really want to be in a position of hearing all about it and maybe even meeting him/her? Eeeek!
  • What type of contact do you want? Do you want to be best friends or is it more of a case of keeping friendly, yet distant? It’s best to make your wishes on this matter clear.
  • Is there a risk of stalking or obsession? Either on your own behalf or your ex’s behalf? If you can see yourself texting them twenty times a day or crying because they don’t answer on the first ring, it may be a very bad idea to keep in contact. If you worry that you will be the recipient of obsessive contact yourself, it’s probably best to avoid contact too. At least for a while anyway.

Pros

  • You get to keep the friendship. Even if you truly don’t harbour any romantic feelings towards your ex though, it’s probably best to actually take some time apart to grieve the relationship before trying to be friends.
  • It MAY lead to a reconciliation. This is one of the main reasons many people want to keep in contact. It works well in some cases, but not so much in most. If you both wanted a mutual split, maybe it could lead to reconciliation, but usually one person wants it more than the other, which could result in pain and stress, since the reconciliation will likely not happen.
  • You get to still have contact with the person who is probably one of your best friends. Losing friends can be extremely tough and most of us know that true friends are worth their weight in gold.

Cons

  • It delays healing. How are you ever really gonna move on if your phone is constantly beeping with texts from your ex?
  • It could put off other suitors. They may think that you are not really serious about dating others when you are in regular contact with your ex.
  • It can become horribly complicated. If you are the dumpee, you may think you can be friends, but instead wind up hoping that they will come back to you if you spend enough time together as ‘just friends’. If you are the dumper, you may end up the subject of your ex’s obsession, which regular contact will only worsen. In extreme cases, you could even end up stalked.
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Published January 22nd, 2013
Last updated February 14th, 2014
Tags communication breakups relationships stalking obsession
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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