Gena Kaufman, Glamour magazine
Pot, kettle, black, etc. Yes you guys, I confess: I'm still in contact with my ex-boyfriend more often that I care to admit. But here's why I'm trying to pull back, and you should, too.
Those of you who've had amicable breakups in which both parties can honestly and truly remain friends in a healthy, functional way while continuing to move on with their lives, you can disregard this article. Also, shut up, you're making me feel inferior and immature.
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For the rest of you, with the predictably messy breakups, hurt feelings, ups and downs of recovery, and lure of breakup sex, listen up. My ex and I are notoriously bad at letting each other go. We've had a long cycle of trying and failing, getting back together, and then crashing and burning again. It generally starts because we can't stand not to talk to each other, so one of us will send a text with a funny story or an "I miss you." We still do it now, even though we're clearly over for real this time. Once in a while, these conversations are light-hearted and fine. More often, it ends in a disastrous argument and/or incredible sadness that makes me want to eat my feelings.
As a result, here are some reasons why you and I both should work on letting go:
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1. Nostalgia is only nice in small doses. Once you graduate high school, it's OK to go back for the occasional alumni game or reunion, but if you hang around every weekend, you're the creepy old lady who can't let go of the past. The same applies to your ex-relationship.
2. You're holding yourself back. Maybe you're not looking to jump into a new relationship, but if you want to find one eventually, please know that you're never really going to be open to new possibilities while you're clinging to conversations with your ex.
3. Crying makes your eyes look puffy and feel dry. People will notice and it takes a toll on your skin. And my non-scientific observation is that talking to an ex results in tears about 73 percent of the time.
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4. You need to accept that you're not getting back together (or if you do, it will be a mistake). Especially if you were the dumpee, it can be tempting to keep talking to your ex in hopes that he'll come around. And yeah, there's that one couple that broke up and got back together and now they're married and have five babies and the perfect house with a porch swing. But to paraphrase He's Just Not That Into You, that's the exception to the rule, and you are the rule. Breakups are pretty permanent, and when they're not, it's likely to end badly again.
6. You could end up on Twitter. Embarrassing.
6. You deserve to surround yourself with people who make you happy. If your ex broke up with you and hurt you, talking to him will only remind you of that. And even if it were the other way around, there was a reason you thought he didn't work in your life. Focus on hanging out with people who give you a boost.
7. Speaking of which, you already have plenty of friends. Of course you still care about this guy. But friends talk about each other's relationships and go to each other's weddings someday. Do you really want that with your ex?
8. You need to stop torturing yourself. Once, I burnt myself with a curling iron trying to make the perfect "natural" beachy waves. The scab took weeks to heal and hurt like hell. You know what I didn't do in the meantime? Burn myself again just to see if it would still hurt.
Do you still talk to your ex? Did I miss any good reasons for cutting the cord? If you are pals with your ex, can you tell me your secrets? Thanks!
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