Updated: September, 2019
One of the questions I get asked a lot is, “Should I talk to my ex?” No matter what stage of the breakup and recovery process you’re going through, the idea to reach out to your ex constantly resurfaces.
I don’t blame you.
It’s natural to feel this way. You just lost someone who was a big part of your life and knew every detail of how you live your life. Your ex also knows your secrets. He was someone who you felt secure with, and your life revolved around each other.
And now he’s out of the picture, is it okay to talk to him?
I’ll go into detail about the circumstances of talking with your ex after breaking up, and the best approach to get a positive response. But keep in mind that talking to your ex after months apart can be an awkward experience. You only get one shot to get things going in the right direction. One easy slip up can send you down the wrong memory lane (I’m referring to your fights and breakup).
Therefore, I must fire this warning shot to you: if you are not physically and mentally ready to talk to your ex, don’t.
Just wait till the time is right.
There’s no need to stay on his radar and be afraid that he’s completely over you. His memories of you two being together will keep him intact with his feelings for you. For example, if your favorite food is spaghetti, imagine who comes to mind when your ex sees this dish? You!
So be patient and prepare yourself to make contact with your ex. If you want to talk to your ex with the intention to get him back, make sure to read to the bottom of this article.
In this article, my goal is to guide you through the decision-making process of reaching out to your ex.
- Should I talk to my ex?
- Questions to ask yourself if you’re ready
- Reasons why you shouldn’t reach out to your ex
- When it’s OK to talk to your ex
- Should I talk to my ex if I want him back?
Should I Talk To My Ex After Breaking Up?
Answer: it depends
There are a lot of factors to consider here before you decide to reach out to your ex-boyfriend. For example, how bad was your breakup? If it was a nasty fight, then it’s best to let emotions cool for a few months before your first contact.
There are a million questions you can ask yourself and over analyze this. Don’t do that; it’ll just drive you nuts. Instead, you only need to focus on the five questions which I’ll discuss below to help you get in the right mindset. If you’re able to answer these questions honestly, then it should be clear whether you should talk to your ex or not.
Bottom line, you need to be considerate and check if it’s appropriate to reach out to your ex. If it’s not the right time, it could hurt your chances of getting back together.
Ultimately, it comes down to two factors: timing and intentions. Let’s dive in a little deeper.
Why Timing Is Crucial If You Want To Reach Out
Timing is everything, even when it comes to talking to your ex after a breakup. You need to pick a moment where both of you are in the right mindset to talk casually with each other.
Think for a second about contacting your ex when he’s still angry about the breakup. Wouldn’t he want to rip your head off for breaking his heart or putting him on an emotional roller coaster?
Yes, timing is everything.
So how long should you wait to contact your ex?
I would establish at least three checkpoints to decide if the timing is right.
Make sure you’ve gone at least 30 days of no contact to get in the right headspace. This is recovery time for both you and your ex to get over the emotional pain. Your ex needs time for himself like you do to recoup back to a normal life.
Have you regained your self-confidence? It’s important that you have matured and moved past your breakup. There’s no point in talking to your ex if you’re not ready. Your confidence will be a key factor in how well your ex responds. So if you’re emotionally unstable, take the time to heal and get sassy and classy. There’s no way to mask the pain and fake confidence, especially when your ex has known you for years!
Is your ex ready? This requires a little detective work, but it’s best to know how your ex is doing before you contact him. Has he moved on? Is he happy? You want to check if he can behave like an adult when you contact him.
Again, timing is everything. This is your first after a breakup.
The key is not to rush things, especially if your goal is to get your ex-boyfriend back. Take the time to prepare yourself for your first post-relationship meet up and have a game plan. Like I said earlier, it could be an awkward encounter.
You’ll also need to prepare a few talking points in case things start to go south.
What Are Your Intentions To Talk To Him?
What are your underlying desires? Is it to get him back? If so, it’s not the right motive for your first encounter with your ex.
Winning him back is your end goal.
For your first “talk,” you need to be specific about WHY you want to talk to your ex. Define what your purpose is and focus on the itinerary for that encounter. That’s it! Anything that goes beyond what you planned will take you off script and increase the risk of messing up.
Not just for you, but one slip of the tongue can make your ex feel awkward and so uneasy that he’ll get up and leave. The last thing you want is for your ex to regret meeting you and knowing it was a bad idea in the first place.
It’s important to be transparent and honest about your intentions to talk to your ex. Therefore, you should prepare a script for that encounter. Play it through your mind about every possible question and how the conversation should flow. When the conversation is finished, it’s best to go your separate ways than trying to make the meeting last. I prefer to coach my clients this way because you’ve already accomplished a significant milestone by talking to your ex again and shouldn’t get greedy for additional time.
Take it as a win and go home and celebrate this new beginning.
Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Talk To Your Ex
Like I said earlier, there are a million questions you can ask yourself and over-analyze. Don’t drive yourself crazy, girl! Just have some common sense and try not to give yourself pressure to rush into things.
Here are five questions that will help you pinpoint what your intentions are and whether you’re talking to your ex for the right reasons.
1. Why Do You Want To Talk To Your Ex?
Is it because you miss him? Or do you think you’re about to lose him for good? Either way, these are not the best reasons to reach out to your ex. It creates an unreal urgency that just leads to a disastrous encounter. Instead, find a more specific purpose that’s neutral and un-harmful. Something that your ex is the only person you can think of that can help or be interested in.
This will get him talking and take the conversations a lot further. Once he knows you are genuinely asking him for help, he’ll let down his guards and be more open and comfortable with your presence.
Your ex might think it’s a deceptive excuse to talk again. Perhaps it is. But if he’s able to be mature and friendly about it, then that’s a win-win situation for both of you.
2. What Should I Talk About With My Ex-Boyfriend?
Continuing with the point above, what are you going to talk to your ex about? Relationships? Closure? Getting back together?
None of the above. Don’t even try to hint anything close to it.
It’s worth repeating it, but don’t use this opportunity to talk about the most sensitive topics that will make this opportunity go down the drain.
“Should I ask my ex for closure?”
Some of my clients ask me why not talk about closure. Some experts and therapists would argue that it’s healthy to gain closure so you can close a chapter of your life. There’s a beginning and an end.
For me, I’ve learned that closure happens within yourself and there’s no need for your ex or anyone to explain and give their reasons. It just opens up old wounds!
Even if you don’t know the real reason why you two broke up, it’s okay! The fact is that something went wrong, and it ended the relationship. Look for the problems from your side of the relationship and move forward from there. Because if you think about it, even if it’s a problem from your ex-boyfriend, the cause of it could be coming from you.
For example, if your ex-boyfriend complained that he doesn’t get enough time for him and his buddies, do you think he’s selfish? Can you see how you played a role in this problem? It’s easy. You didn’t give him enough freedom and personal space to let him enjoy his old self. You might have demanded that every attention and energy be saved for you. But for your former flame, that could be a little suffocating.
On a side note, do you think your ex will tell you the real reason why he wanted to break up? You might have a better chance of knowing why by looking in the mirror.
Sorry for the rant there. But avoid relationship-related topics when you talk to your ex.
Stick to topics that interest your ex but make sure you can hold the conversation. I like to pick topics where I know my ex-boo wants to talk about or areas where he is willing to offer his advice.
That being said, your first encounter with your ex-boyfriend should be short. The goal is merely to break no contact in a positive and healthy way.
If you aren’t sure about how to talk to your ex, I’ve written an article on just how to do it in a classy way.
READ: How To Talk To Your Ex The Classy Way
3. Do You Think It’s Appropriate To Reach Out To Him?
You have to be honest with yourself here. Do you think it’s the right time to contact your ex? Do you need to reach out to him, or are you just missing his voice?
The reason why this is an important factor is because it comes back to us discussing the right timing. If you only have one shot at making things right, will you take your chances now?
I prefer that you take a calculated decision than an impulsive one that your ex can call BS on.
And trust me, the longer you wait to talk to him, it could be easier to settle the awkwardness.
4. Should I Talk To My Ex If He’s Mad At Me?
You need to take into consideration your ex’s well-being. Is he doing well at the moment, or is he going through hard times? Has he recovered from the breakup?
Do a little detective work and see if your ex is open to talking with you. Perhaps you can ask a mutual friend or acquaintance to mention your name and see your ex’s reaction. Seeing how he responds will give you a good indication if he’s ready to talk with you or not.
Just a quick heads up, if you try this method it’s possible that your ex will reach out to you first. So be prepared if he contacts you!
Should I Contact My Ex Who Dumped Me?
Now if you were the one dumped, then I would wait at least 3 months before I consider reaching out to your ex. At least this gives your ex-boyfriend time and space to get over the reason why he wanted to break up with you.
Read: Does he still love me?
5. Are You Ready To Talk To Him?
Let’s be real honest here again. Are you really prepared to talk with your ex?
Let’s do a quick check. Answer this question right off your head: what if you see your ex with a girl when you two meet? What is your first reaction?
Or, if you called him and you hear a woman’s voice in the background? How will you react? If you can’t keep your cool, then it’s best to take some time and get your confidence back.
If you can’t stand the idea of your ex being with another woman, then you need some more time to get over the fact that your old relationship is over. I know it’s hurt to accept a thought like that. But it’s a scenario that’s every likely to happen, and you need to be cool with it.
The less it bothers you, the stronger your case will be.
Another option is to use text messages which will eliminate any distractions that will rattle you. Texting also allows you to think and choose your words carefully. It also takes away the awkwardness.
The only downside is that your ex won’t be able to see how amazing you are now. Which is his loss.
So if you can keep your composure through the worst scenario, then perhaps you are mentally ready to talk to your ex-boyfriend.
5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Reach Out To Your Ex
Okay ladies, let me draw a line here for you. Here is a list of reasons that you shouldn’t talk to your ex yet. In fact, if you fall in any of these points, you are nowhere near ready to make your first move.
Unless you want to mess up your chances of getting back together.
Be honest with yourself and don’t brush off your intention. You’ll just be lying and setting yourself up for failure. It’s much more empowering (and a relief) to acknowledge these flaws and work to prevent these attitudes.
1. If You Want To Gloat
You’re single, got a new car, and a promotion. You’re fulfilling your potential, and you want to show it off (or rub it) in your ex’es face. Is it necessary?
Of course not! In fact, your ex will back away more, knowing that you are better off without him. Regardless of how bad your relationship went, don’t spend any energy on trying to make someone else’s life miserable. It just doesn’t get you anywhere.
There are other ways to make your ex jealous.
2. If You’re Jealous
Okay, let’s reverse the scenario. This time, you’re the one miserable, and your ex is living his life like he’s always pictured. He’s even got a new girlfriend that looks like version 2.0 of you.
You’re furious and jealous and want to tell him to F-off.
Please don’t go low when you’re feeling jealous. Take the high road and let yourself know that you can achieve the same. Any ugly comments you make to your ex will only eat you up inside because you’re the one jealous and missing out on living to your potential.
Trust me, those words are going to hurt you more simply because you’re the one bothered with the situation. Don’t let your ex-boyfriend get in your head.
3. If Neither One Of You Are Ready To Talk
If you’re not ready to talk to your ex, then don’t rush it. How do you know if you’re ready or not? This is a tough one that only you can answer.
From my personal experience and coaching my clients, the time is usually when they have completely moved past their old relationship and turned to focus on their personal development.
If you think you are still emotionally attached to your ex, then you need more time to let go of your past relationship.
4. If You Have Nothing Genuine To Say
Getting in touch with your ex again is hard because you are trying to make a second first impression. Your ex already has an idea of what you’ll like, and the last time you two met was probably in an argument.
So how do you make a good impression off of that?
Be genuine and sassy. That’s right, this is the perfect combination that will throw your ex off (in a good way).
But you must have something genuine to talk with your ex. If not, you risk being exposed of trying to get back together.
Remember, the first time you talk with your ex should be something short and sweet. Your goal is to initiate contact with your ex only and leave behind a new impression.
5. If You’re Drunk And Looking For Trouble
I had this client once who told me her story of calling her ex one time when she was drunk. The reason she called him was not to beg for a second chance or seek an explanation, but she called to continue their breakup fight. She called it “round two” of their breakup, and she just wanted to finish what’s on her mind.
Bottom line, don’t every drunk dial, period.
6. When You’re Looking For Closure
I mentioned this earlier. I’m not a big fan of seeking your ex to find closure. It’s just unnecessary burden both mentally and physically on your part to try to push an answer out of someone. When your ex isn’t interested in speaking with you, what makes you think he waste any more time to thoroughly explaining why he broke with you?
If you’re looking to find closure, you already have the answers. You just need to learn how to find them on your own. I’ve taught our clients exercises on how to find closure within themselves that are far more effective than hearing what their ex has to say.
You don’t need closure approval from your ex. You need to accept that your old relationship is dead, and the next step is to move on.
When It’s OK To Talk To Your Ex
Okay, let’s move on to when it’s appropriate to reach out to your ex-boyfriend. Most of these signs indicate that you’ve matured and moved on from the breakup. Some of my clients that have reached this point in their lives tell me that they only want to reach out to their ex is because he is a genuine guy that they still want in their lives. Some do end up together again while others remain friends.
So here are the signs that show you’re ready to talk to an ex.
When You’ve Genuinely Moved On
I can’t stress this enough. Many women I’ve worked with and exchanged emails think they’ve moved past their old relationship. They feel great, but the first thing on their mind is still to get back with their ex.
If that’s you, then you haven’t really moved on.
You need to be in a position where you put yourself first. Not a man or a career. You.
When You’re Not Obsessed About Your Ex
If you catch yourself mentioning your ex’es name or something that reminds you of him, then you are just not ready yet.
Usually after separation, we build this intense level of obsession of our ex. We lost him, and now we want him bad. That obsession diverts into anger, jealousy, and desperation. But the fact is that you still love him.
You need to neutralize this obsession. Even though you still love him, this obsession will backfire when your emotions betray you. If you’re not ready to talk to your ex, he will smell desperation and anger right away and distance himself even further.
If obsession is controlling your mind and behavior, then you haven’t gained control of yourself. Your confidence is low, and you are only hoping things will get better without making any effort.
When You’re Perfectly OK With Your Ex Dating
I am always proud of our clients when they tell me they can easily brush off the news that their ex is dating someone else.
Sure, it might bother them a little bit, but they realize that there are bigger and more important things in their lives that matter more. They’re just happy to hear that their ex has recovered and moved past their breakup.
That’s what really matters – both of you able to be happy again.
Once you can become the bigger person, you’ll learn to neutralize your feelings and talk with your ex in a platonic way.
When You’ve Cleared It With Your Therapist And Friends
Get a second opinion from your friends and therapist and see if they feel that you’re in the right mindset to reach out to your ex. I’m sure they will ask you a lot of questions I’ve listed above. So if you’ve taken the time to think of these points, you will pass with flying colors and be prepared for your initial contact.
Don’t be discouraged if someone doesn’t think you should talk to your ex. Learn why they disagree and try to overcome it if it is a weakness you need to fix.
Every advice you get is an opportunity to make you a stronger and better person.
When You’ve Matured
What constitutes as being mature when you’re an adult who just ended a seven-year relationship?
In terms, being mature means you’ve accepted the breakup and grow out of that part of your life. You’ve learned to close that chapter of your life and start a new one. You’ve learned to forgive and let go of any grudges and pain your ex has caused on you.
Everything in your past relationship is water under the bridge.
Most importantly, you acknowledge your faults and flaws in your past relationship and strive to better yourself.
When Your Messages Mean The Best For Both Of You
I mentioned earlier that your first contact with your ex needs to be something specific and meaningful. While your goal is to get on his radar again and showcase Version 2.0 of you, you need to mastermind the perfect topic that will interest your ex.
Most of the time, you want to find a reason that intrigues your ex that he feels is harmless and not a big deal.
I usually recommend sending a text message first to test the waters. Calling or meeting in person increases the chances of feeling awkward and brings back the emotions (and pain).
Sending your ex a text message gives both you and your ex some comfort and time to control the communication.
Is It Good To Talk To Your Ex?
This is one question where you will get mixed answers from different people. Everyone’s answer is mostly based on their own experience or someone they know.
Most breakups are ugly. It’s crazy to imagine that one big fight that probably lasts an hour can end a relationship that took years to build.
All that love, trust, and friendship just going down the drain.
From my years of experience, it’s never a good idea to completely burn off a bridge. I think it’s best always to maintain a neutral with your ex-boyfriend.
So yes, it is good that you talk to your ex, even after months or years of radio silence. There’s no need to hold a grudge forever, especially with someone that’s been a big part of your life and helped you grow. Think ten years down the road, and you’ll be laughing at it with your friends!
Should I Talk To My Ex If I Want To Get Him Back?
This sounds like a silly question, but I get asked this a lot. After many years of coaching and emails, my approach to getting an ex back would be the same as mentioned above in this article.
If you want to talk to your ex, you need to be mentally and physically ready to break down a barrier. It might sound like I’m exaggerating, but the outcome of your first encounter with your ex can either be a significant relief or a major blow to your self-esteem.
Just imagine a boy asking a girl out for the first time. What is his reaction when the girl accepts or rejects? Regardless of how much you’ve moved on, getting a good vibe from talking to your ex (after many months) can lift a lot of weight off your shoulders.
So if you are planning to get your ex-boyfriend back, focus on the points mentioned above before you make a move. Regain your confidence as soon as possible.
Again, you can’t fake it. Your ex will sense it miles away.
Read Next: How To Talk To Your Ex