Six Tips for Resisting the Urge to Reach out to Your Ex

As the song goes, “Breaking up Is Hard to Do.” Sadly, the struggle doesn’t usually end at the point where we have mustered up the strength to get out of a relationship that is not working for us.

We could be feeling strong one minute, but an instant later, something as minor as a song on the radio could trigger the emotional part of our brain (or heart, as we often say) to take over and derail our resolve. Whatever you do, DON’T LISTEN to it!

Reconnecting with an ex will only reset the clock on emotional pain. In ending the relationship, we have already yanked off the band aid, thereby allowing ourselves to begin to heal. We must bring our logical brain back to the helm before our heart sabotages all of our hard work and progress. While it’s not easy to do, here are some tips and strategies to help you fight back your impulse to contact your ex.

1. Recognize to stop and think

The first step in fighting the temptation to reconnect with an ex is recognizing that you are having it. Alarms should sound loudly anytime you find yourself thinking that something might be a sign that you should get back together. Do not get swept away and attach major significance to your feelings. While they are perfectly normal, they cannot always be trusted in these painful moments. Acknowledge the temptation and make yourself stop to think things through.

2. Don’t trust the memories

Another dirty trick of our heart is to spoon-feed us sweet memories and lead us to question whether we have made a big mistake. Keep in mind that if this were accurate, you wouldn’t be in the situation you are in today. Remind yourself of why you made the painful decision to end things in the first place. Ideally, keep a list of those reasons somewhere handy like your cell phone so you can refresh your recollection.

3. Call your friend

Most people need someone to talk to when they are in a bad relationship, so hopefully you have at least that one friend who you turned to when you were having problems with your ex. Take it from someone who has been that friend a LOT, they will be all too happy to give you a dose of reality! They will remember exactly what was wrong in your relationship and all of the painful things you may have temporarily forgotten. They will gladly remind you of how miserable you were and will probably threaten to kill you if you even think of reconciling.

4. Give yourself a quiz

Forcing the logical center of your brain to light up and do a little work might be just the ammunition it needs to take back control. Ask yourself the following questions:

What was the biggest issue in the relationship?
What would have to change to fix that problem?
How likely is that to happen?

Chances are, you will realize that the odds are very low of anything material changing because you have already tried everything under the sun before you broke things off.

5. Be your own fortune-teller

We are more intuitive than we think. You have already tried to use your head, so now it’s time to trust your gut. Take out a piece of paper and write your prediction of what would happen if you gave your relationship another chance. Silly as it might seem, take a little time and really try to forecast the future for the two of you if you were to get back together.

6. Give yourself a cooling off period

If after following all of these steps, you still believe that it is a good idea to reach out to your ex, commit to doing nothing for 24 hours. After all it took for you to break things off, don’t you owe it to yourself to see whether the feeling passes over the next day? Give yourself this time to be sure before you set yourself up for a setback –it’s only one day after all.