Breakups feel like the worst thing to ever happen to us at the time, but after a while, we come to appreciate what the relationship was and move on. But what happens to your ex? You’ve spent all that time getting to know someone, having them listen to all your own secrets, that can’t just go to waste, can it?
So the question is do you still talk to your ex after a breakup or have a clean slate?
1. No Contact
A lot of people swear by the 30-day No Contact Rule, but it depends on what’s best for you.
If the breakup was quite messy, or the relationship was abusive then I would definitely recommend no contact between the two of you, you need the space to heal and find who you are again without the relationship.
By having no contact you give yourself time to gain perspective on the relationship and wallow in self-pity for a while which if you were still in contact wouldn’t happen. It also gives you time to create healthy boundaries, analyse your relationship for what it was and learn what not to do again.
It’s called the 30-day No Contact Rule because people will resume contact after those 30 days, this depends on how you are feeling about it all. If you did great in that month then carry it on, why put yourself through further emotional torment and reintroduce them into your life.
But if you had an amicable breakup and you are over them, there are no more feelings then there isn’t anything stopping you from staying in contact. But we do suggest that you still have this month period away from your ex as like a buffer to get you out of the relationship mind frame.
2. Texting Your Ex
There are two types of texting your ex, you could be texting them to try and get back together or you are texting them in purely a platonic fashion. I am referring to texting your ex in a platonic fashion in this article, trying to get your ex back is a different article.
To be friends with your ex requires certain rules to make sure it stays platonic and friendly.
One is that you don’t include any abuse in your messages. A lot of people will carry on texting their ex to have a go at them for what they did wrong in the relationship, holding it against them still. Friendship can never happen if neither of you moves past your relationship. So if you are wanting to still text them then you need to keep it friendly and light.
Two is that you don’t spam them. You can’t be clingy after a breakup, you have to keep a distance. They are no longer your best friend that you can text all day, every day about everything. Your ex is more of an acquaintance now, to be messaged sporadically.
This rule has the second part in that you need to wait to respond and keep your replies brief. You know the rules at the beginning when you started dating that you couldn’t look too keen, you had to play it cool and aloof. Well, it’s like that again, you can’t look eager.
So keep your responses short and sweet and make him wait for them, no responding in two seconds flat.
3. Trial Period
Like with the 30-day No Contact Rule, you should have a trial period while texting your ex to see if you can handle it or not. A lot of people think they can, they’re over it, it’s all good blah blah blah. But when they are chatting feelings start creeping back up or they still get angry over the relationship. The feelings don’t always have to be positive.
So have a trial period, see if you can text them and it stay friendly. If you are successful in this time period then you are more likely to be able to move on to seeing them in person and having a friendship.
4. Seeing Them
Similar rules apply to seeing them as they did in text. No abuse, keep it casual, but also no flirting. It’s easy to flirt with someone you know so well, its familiar. But you have to keep a professional distance, so nothing that could get you accused of sexual harassment. No touching them or saying anything inappropriate.
While the breakup is still fresh perhaps see them in a group setting first, it may not be the best idea to meet them one-on-one. You don’t know what it would be like seeing them again for the first time after a breakup. So a group setting gives you a bit more space to compose yourself if you feel out of your depth.
The main communication rule to take away after a breakup is just to do what you feel is right for you. And normally you won’t know what is right for you until you do it, like trial and error. If you try texting them and find out it’s not going to work then you can move on and know you did what you could.
I personally find the No Contact Rule the best option after a breakup, but maybe you are more mature and can handle an ex-lover as a friend. In which case just remember the rules where you need to keep it casual and drama free. No flirting and no abuse. You want to be friends, so act like it just that.