Whether it was a two-week fling, or a mutual breakup, or if it’s that ex who had ghosted you and has re-surfaced for closure, getting contacted by your ex years later will take some time to settle in. While you carefully manipulate not to tap on the notification (so that you don’t leave him on ‘seen’), it can throw your whole mojo off-balance. If it was a nasty breakup, with cheating thrown in between, if you still have some dislike towards this person, you will have to fight off the urge not to use the newest abuse words you have learnt.If you have been ghosted and in need of some closure from the ex, you will generally think a lot before replying.
Have you been stalking your ex?
But before you type out on an elaborate text asking for an explanation, pause and think about your life right now. Your ex is an ex for a reason and giving them enough attention when your present life is as fulfilling as it can get is like living in Chennai during winter months: sad and soggy. When an ex contacts you years later, you need to focus on why he or she is your ex first.
8 Things To Do When Your Ex Contacts You Years Later
Pro tip: Keep your mind open and your heart closed. Your heart might start beating faster the moment you get a text from the ex but take a few minutes off to think of the consequences if you end up meeting the ex again.
Here are 8 points to ponder on before you decide reply to that text. Remember, when an ex contacts you, you need to be answerable to yourself.
1. Think of yourself first
Think of your life right now. Do you like how your life looks without your ex? If your ex and you had a very on and off and then on-again kind of a relationship, do you think bringing that back into your life is a healthy decision? Your obligation towards your ex has ended and it is alright to think of yourself first. If your relationship ending with your ex has left you in a therapist’s room with a bandaged wrist, it is wiser to leave the ex in the past.
Ignore the attempt to contact you. But if you guys ended mutually but have somehow not kept in touch for these years, having a quick convo over Instagram is not a bad idea. Talking to an ex can haunt you with memories, so buckle up. Bit again: think of yourself first. Your mental peace certainly comes before his ranting to you about his work load and unmet marital fulfillment.
2. Don’t have to reply instantly
No matter how you guys ended things, try not to jump in to respond to the text immediately, even if it’s a lazy Saturday afternoon and your only entertainment is your cat licking her own fur.
Instant replies hint at either interest or joblessness – and even though you might be both, don’t let your ex pick up on the hint. This is not about playing games, it’s about knowing if you really want to restart a conversation with a person who you have dated in the past. You might be the kind of person who does not “stay friends” with their exes and the sudden texting might throw you off guard. So, before you slam a sarcastic emoji their way, grab a chai or slow cook mutton. Just take your time.
Related reading: 15 signs you are still not over your ex
3. Don’t overthink
Don’t rush into anything when an ex contacts you. Don’t overindulge. The 3 D’s of getting contacted by an ex. If she has written, “Hey! Been a long time. How have you been?” Don’t overthink and conclude by yourself that the nasty text she sent to you while breaking up meant nothing and that she wants to get back together.
It’s easy to overindulge in their little time passes probably because you still have lingering feeling towards your ex. Don’t rush into setting a date for a catch up over coffee.
4. Talk to someone about it
Your mother is likely the best person to talk to about this but no one ever listens to their mother. So, find someone, who will be unbiased, unprejudiced towards your situation, to talk to. Perhaps your sister or your best friend or someone who has been there for you before.
If you have a close guardian or someone who knows your history with your ex, spill the beans about the text and ask for advice. Tell them that your ex is trying to reach you. Getting an outside opinion from someone who has more experience than you, is nothing short of maintaining the blissful life you have been having.
Related reading: 15 Clever Ways to Turn Down An Ex Who Wants To Be Friends
5. If you have a partner, think of them as well
Your current partner might be aware of what went down between you and your ex. And if you are in a serious relationship, it is always better to loop your partner in on the little development on the ex front.
If you are in a monogamous relationship and your ex texting you is making your heart throb in your stomach, you need to spill it to your partner. If you still have feelings for this ex of yours and is considering the prospect of getting back with the ex, don’t just jump into it.
Your ex has been in your life for five minutes now and it is not okay to hold a conversation with him when your partner sitting next to you. So, be a good human being and talk about it to your partner. That way even if you break up with your partner and get back together with your ex, at least you gave them a heads up.
6. What do you expect out of this renewed relationship?
Three words: Manage your expectation. Your ex might be a changed person – more decency, less infidelity. You might know this from what you have heard from your mutual friends and also he tells you that he is a changed man.
But how are you supposed to know that for sure? Before going down a path you have already gone down, voice what you want from this renewed relationship – be it any kind. Do you want to be Friends With Benefits because even though she was a terrible girlfriend but was a good lover? Do you want a full-blown relationship?
Or do you want to be friends till you can decide? Let your ex know. Be open about what are your expectations from this.
Related reading: 15 reasons why being friends with your ex doesn’t work
7. Don’t go looking for closure
If your only reason to respond to the text is to find some closure, it’s better to leave the text on seen.
Closure should come from within. If you are looking for an explanation, ask for it. But that should not be the only reason. Closure takes time and sometimes wounds won’t heal with an explanation. Making your ex feel bad is also a big no-no. That way you lose your mental peace as well.
8. Learn from your mistakes
If you have seen this behavior before from your ex, don’t dive in head first. Does your ex normally ghost you for many months and then contact you like the good old days? That usually means nothing serious and your ex is looking for some companionship.
If this companionship usually hurts you when he ghosts you again, it’s better not to indulge in it. When an ex contacts you, you need to weigh the pros and cons practically.
Every relationship ends differently and there is no strict rulebook to follow when it comes to dealing with an ex contacting you years later. Each relationship has its own unique heartbreaking conclusion. So depending on that, choose if you want any contact with your ex.
Maybe your ex has actually stopped being an emotionally abusive person (but does it really happen?) And if everything else fails, go with your gut feeling when an ex contacts you suddenly.