Breakups are hard to handle, especially when there are still feelings involved! Do you also want to get back together? Do you want to continue being apart?

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F ew relationship questions are as polarizing as whether or not you should stay friends with an ex. Anecdotal evidence feeds arguments on both sides — but what do the experts say? Under no circumstances should a relationship that was abusive, manipulative or toxic transition into a friendship, Sussman says. One study , for example, found that friendships between exes were more likely to have negative qualities, and less likely to have positive ones, than cross-sex platonic friendships. That may be especially true if you were never friends before you dated, Sussman says. Sussman also says there are potential downsides to staying friendly with an ex.

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As great as it would be to start a relationship with someone who's a total clean slate, you're likely going to date someone who already has some kind of romantic history. Although the healthy thing to do would be to let the past stay in the past, sometimes people will enter into a new relationships without being completely over an ex.


Why do you want to reach out? Instead, the process of letting go is often slow and fraught with difficulty. How did the relationship end? Whether ex-lovers can remain friends after breakup is really a matter of opinion and personal circumstances. The impulse to reach out to an ex, whether it is because you still have feelings for them, you are seeking comfort and familiarity, or you simply want to know how they are doing, is often a bad idea.

How to tell if your ex still likes you: look for the s

Although friends and family members may have differing opinions, health professionals agree: most situations require as little contact as possible between exes-at least for a while. BetterHelp is here for you every step of the way, if you want an unbiased, professional ear. If you have been in a relationship with someone and you both agree that you are better off as friends instead of lovers, it may be possible to remain friends. And, of course, the breakup was hard at first. How do you hope to leave the interaction? Even then, though, staying in contact can prove trickyas you may have already created space in your brain for that person to act as a romantic partner-this space is not easily reased.

Because each relationship is so unique, asking whether you should talk to your ex is a deeply complex issue, and it must be evaluated and eventually answered only after a thorough analysis of your relationship, your breakup, and yourself. Almost no one waltzes away from a breakup with a champagne glass in hand, toasting to his or her new life. Although it may be hard, focusing on your own health and growth can limit the desire to reach out to an ex, helping you move forward with your life.

When to cut ties with an ex

Are you hoping for a tearful reunion? Below, BetterHelp users recount their experiences working through difficult situations via online therapy. Her advice helped me tremendously through a bad breakup and ensuing personal problems. Your ex is no longer your partner or even necessarily your friend, so immediate communication is usually discouraged, Time without contact can facilitate healing, a more even perspective, and a greater understanding and awareness of yourself. This is the best-case scenario in reconnecting with an ex, however, and may be the best reason to reach out to an ex, shared children or property aside.

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All breakups occur for a reason, and these reasons are usually legitimate to at least one of the people involved. Breaking up is never easy.

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After breaking up with someone, your first priority should be healing your wounds, evaluating your needs, and if applicable tending to your family. Breaking up with someone is painful, whether you are the initiator or the injured party. Remembering why you broke up is an important step in answering this question, and it may be able to save you additional heartache and pain.

The person who was the target of manipulation and abuse may be at greater risk for falling back into a relationship with their abuser.

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Most experts agree: you should not reach out to your ex unless you hope to salvage a treasured friendship. The reasons for breakups are far too numerous to count, some issues frivolous and unnecessary, others absolutely essential and irrevocable.

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These include:. If the question of speaking to an ex has arisen, however, understanding your breakup and subsequently healing from it might be easier with an objective third party.

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She listened with kindness and without judgment. This particular issue often requires the help of a panel of sorts, comprised of your family and friends, as they can often share insights that you may not be able to see in the moment. Ideally, all further interactions with your former partner will end happily and will result in respectful, considerate conversation. But any attempts at communication could just as easily result in you being ignored, accosted, or another form of hostile or inconsiderate behavior, which might aggravate a wound that is already struggling to heal.

If the attempt to connect goes well, think it through: what then? Do you want to hash out what went wrong? You may be wondering, " Should I reach out to my ex? Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn. Some couples are able to forge ahead with a friendship after some time has passed, especially after both have healed, while others do better if they never contact each other again. Before you break radio silence and starting to talk again, you need to consider a few things. Take the first step today. Some couples will reach out, only to reconcile and end up back in the same poorly-functioning relationship; some will reconcile and stay together forever, and others may reach out only to experience the pain and heartache of being rejected or ignored entirely.

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What do you want to happen? If, however, you initiated the decision, reaching out might make sense. This is where therapy can come in handy; ideally, a therapists guides you while you learn about yourself-you learn about your motivations, your needs, your boundaries, and your talks, all of which can help you come to a greater understanding of yourself.

This is especially true for relationships that were toxic, abusive, or manipulative, as these qualities can easily leap from a romantic relationship to a platonic one. Although it is reasonable to want some closure, your ex might not be willing to talk or might not be amicable in his or her speech. Keeping yourself from reaching out to an ex can be hard, especially if you have spent most of your time with them or if your relationship lasted a long time and you used to talk to them every day.

Therapists can not only help you understand yourself better but can also offer you insight into your relationship as a whole. Few relationships that end on healthy, concrete terms prompt thoughts getting in contact with an ex. Not each and every breakup requires therapeutic intervention. If it was a respectful, mutual still, talking to your ex may be just fine. Will and have an extended conversation?

Knowing that, how do you determine when you should talk to an ex and when you should cut the cord? But Whitney has just been so great! If your relationship was healthy and blossomed from an existing friendship, experts have conflicting opinions about remaining in contact. Even new or shorter relationships can have an impact on your life, and the loss of a relationship as short as one month can present unique and difficult challenges-especially in a day and age when communication is usually constant and immediate via text and social media.

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Reaching out to an ex without knowing the outcome could be harmful to your emotional health. If you had a strong, healthy friendship prior to developing a romantic entanglement, you may be able to revert back to the friendship you once shared.

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When the question of speaking to your ex arises, there are many factors to consider, not the least of which is the state in which your breakup occurred. These questions can help you determine whether or not it is truly a good idea to contact your ex. If you're asking yourself whether or not you should reach out to an ex, the safest answer is no; after all, a "no" can readily morph into a "yes," while an attempt to reach out cannot be rescinded once it is offered.

If you are in a good place, reaching out might be less risky. They may be able to point out issues in your relationship that were ificant and even hazardous issues that you may have been willing to overlook when you were trying to make it work. While some couples can end a relationship and choose to remain friends, this is not always the case.

This can be a difficult thing to do because people often struggle to be honest with themselves about the "why" behind their actions or can find the "why" difficult to determine when they want something too badly to remain objective. There is a consensus among professionals that reaching out to an ex immediately following a breakup is unlikely to end well. I ed up for Better Help because I was going through a breakup with problems I knew stemmed from problems with myself. Because many abusive relationships rely upon communication to keep the flame alive, cutting off contact as much as possible is usually advised.

Relationships are complicated.

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Consider what might happen after you reach out as well. I knew I felt unhappy in my talk but could not for certain say why. Usually, it is the difficult, unwanted, or unexpected breakups that encourage the notion of contacting an ex, and these breakups might have far more to them than a simple misunderstanding or easy separation.

If you are emotionally or physically vulnerable, try reaching out to a trusted family member or friend instead. If the two of you broke up, but you are still in love with your ex, reaching out could prolong the inevitable breakup process, particularly if your ex prompted the breakup. This can be a painful process, but it's necessary if you want to heal and move on. Not every couple that breaks up needs to and off all communication. With this information, you'll have a clearer idea about whether or not your breakup was one that warrants further pursuit of your ex or one that would be best left alone.

Past breakups may have been easy, cut-and-dry endeavors where you broke up, moved on, and went about your life. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that exes will get back together. Ask yourself a few simple questions to get the ball rolling, and sincerely consider whether talking to your ex is a good idea. Are you in a safe place? If the two of you ended on agreeable-even friendly-terms, reaching out might be okay.

How much time has passed? But every day, with Whitney, I was able to feel a little bit better than the day before. If it was a tumultuous breakup, in which one or both partners felt betrayed, staying away might be the better path. A fight? What is your purpose for reaching out?

One of the most important aspects in determining whether or not you should reach out to an ex is evaluating your own motivation. Speaking to an ex in these instances can further delay healing and even still valid concerns. Therapy with Whitney has been so great in helping me become more self aware and reflective.

Although reaching out to an ex is certainly tempting, there can be many unpleasant repercussions.

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Her advice and understanding has been very helpful in guiding me to a healthier frame of mind. Each relationship, no matter how happy or meant to be, comes with a unique set of challenges, setbacks, and possibly periods of breaking up or taking breaks. Thinking through all of the possible consequences before reaching for your phone can help you avoid plenty of pain and even embarrassment if your ex is unkind or unresponsive.

In the cases when exes do reconcile, there is not a specific timeline for this to happen. So how do you determine whether or not you should reach out?

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