I have gone on the record more than once that I believe once you break up with someone you need to sever all ties. At least through the healing process. This means no calls, no texts, no emails, not tweets or stalking their Facebook or Insta or Snapchat accounts (I swear each year, some 20-year-old creates another app making it harder for you to remove someone from your life) and hiding all of their gifts and mementos. Or burning them. Or returning them.
And, I have been called many things for this stance: brilliant, cold, monstrous, not-human, cruel; yet, I stand by it. I don’t think you can really start to move on until you have extracted yourself from the dude (or dudette) completely.
I look at it like a scab. If you keep picking at a scab, yes, I guess it will eventually heal. But it will take a lot longer and will leave a nastier scar. Rather, just put some ointment on it and leave it alone.
However, my good friend Claire Kincaid (not her real name, obvs.) has me reconsidering this.
Well, reconsidering is a strong word. How about we say I am now open to hear arguments for why you have to reach out to him or her months after the break-up.
Claire and her ex broke up six or so months ago and since then she has started dating again. However, she was really struggling with opening herself up to someone else. She realized this was because she was still holding on to so much resentment and anger towards her ex and so she sent him an email (the good girl that she is, he is blocked on her phone so she couldn’t just call or text).
He responded immediately, asking to talk. He, too, had recently had a series of revelations and wanted to share them with her.
So she called him.
And as soon as he started talking she started wondering what the fuck she ever saw in this guy.
The call ended with no knots in her stomach or tears in her eyes. Just the feeling of having shed a 180-pound weight off of her shoulders.
While this story has a happy ending, I do warn you readers who hang on my every word because no one gives relationship advise like a woman terrible at relationships: this can just as easily backfire. Claire’s ex is a special level douchebag and having the blissful hormone fog that comes with really good sex cleared from her eyes, she was able to clearly see this.
If your ex isn’t a special level DB or, worse, is an expert level DB, a phone call like this, when your feelings are still uncertain, could have the opposite of your intended affect.
Still. It can happen. You can call your ex after the breakup and actually experience closure.