Should you stay in touch with an Ex?
This question has come up a couple of times in the past few days. There are two answers and it depends on your situation. I’ll get to this in a minute.
I think a large majority of singles would like to remain on friendly terms with their Ex whether it’s an Ex-spouse or Ex-love assuming it wasn’t an abusive relationship.
Most of you want to be able to say hi, have a conversation, or maybe even get together once in a while just to catch up.
This is all well and good to a point, but where do you draw the line? Here are some things to think about.
In general, one of the problems with staying connected to an Ex is that you maintain an emotional connection to your past relationship. This can be a hindrance to future relationships.
Why? Because you had a strong emotional attachment to them at one point and even minimal contact maintains that emotional connection and prevents a total commitment to your new love.
Staying connected to an Ex can also keep you from seriously looking for your next great relationship. By having someone to fall back on, there’s no great sense of need to find your soul mate.
When should you stay in contact with your Ex?
There are two primary reasons to stay in contact. One is because you have children together.
When you have children together, especially young children, you need to communicate about a variety of things that pertain to their welfare.
Shared custody arrangements, discipline, birthdays, holidays, school activities, graduation, and eventually, weddings are just some of the reasons to talk to each other.
Dealing with these topics doesn’t mean you have to have long drawn out conversations that include any other topic. Don’t let an Ex draw you into conversations about other aspects of your past relationship together.
If your Ex is manipulative or abusive, they can very easily draw you into conversations that allow them to continue their verbal and mental abuse.
Discuss what you need to and then end the conversation.
The second reason to stay in contact is that you have financial dealings that need to be undone before you can move on. Commonly you may have assets such as a house that need to be liquidated after a divorce or the end of a long-term relationship.
This can take some time depending on the type of asset and the market conditions at the time.
As with the previous example, don’t let your Ex draw you into conversations about anything else other than what needs to be discussed.
When it’s over, it’s over!
When you end a relationship, end it. I know…sometimes this is easier said than done.
It seems like a mature adult thing to want to part on good terms and it’s nice to reconnect every once in a while. Don’t do it!
I had a woman reach out to me and ask how honest she should be with her current boyfriend. She told me that her boyfriend of about a year was upset with her for calling and checking on her Ex-husband whom she hadn’t seen or talked to in about 4 years.
She then asked if she should tell him that she had recently spent an innocent evening with an Ex-boyfriend instead of being out shopping with a friend like she said she was.
She said they get together about once a year or so just to catch up on things that have happened in their lives over the past year.
My advice was to not throw fuel on an already smoldering fire. The more important question was why she felt the need to stay connected to her Ex’s if she had a relationship she really didn’t want to lose?
Do you feel the need to put your current or future relationships in jeopardy by staying connected to your past?
Breaking up is hard to do. No one wants to do it, but sometimes it has to be done. Staying overly connected to your past will complicate any future relationship.
Your Ex should not be a fallback relationship or a sounding board for your current relationship.
Think about your past relationships in these terms. Do you want to date someone that maintains connections to their Ex’s?
How secure are you going to feel in this relationship when they spend time on the phone or an evening with and Ex? My guess is that you’re not going to feel too secure. That’s just the way you can expect your current love to feel, so don’t do it. Don’t do things that are going to intentionally hurt your love no matter how innocent your intentions might be.
I hope I’ve given you some food for thought to help you make healthier relationship decisions.
To learn more about how to focus on what you want, enhance your communication skills, and recognizing important signs of bad relationship, pick up a copy of my book, Dating Backward: A practical guide to dating and finding your soul mate. It’s available at RickSoetebier.com/resources or on Amazon.com.
For more personal guidance tailored to your specific needs, send me an email at Rick@RickSoetebier.com to schedule a free 30 minute consultation.
Have a great and blessed day!