By Mollie Krupp, BounceBack Editorial Staff
We often hear of the struggles a person has with letting go when they have been dumped, especially when the breakup comes unexpectedly. But what about when the one who dumped you won't let you go? When an ex tries to hang on to you after they've broken up with you, it can make the process of bouncing back even more challenging.
Related: Things Your Ex Should Not Ask of You
Your ex may feel bad about the pain they've caused you or maybe they like the idea of keeping you as an option in the future, if something else doesn't work out for them. Maybe keeping you in their life makes them feel less guilty. Regardless of their intentions, it is your responsibility to decide whether or not you are capable of staying in contact with your ex. You may like the satisfaction and the attention that this connection brings you, but you have to ask yourself how healthy it is to be talking to the person that broke your heart. Often we lie to ourselves, saying we're "ready" or perfectly capable of being "friends" with these people, even if it's not true - because we want to be closer to them.
If your ex left you and yet they are trying to keep you in their life, ask yourself what is best for you. Are you hanging on to some sort of hope that the two of you will rekindle something in the future? Or, are you entertaining the idea because you like getting the ego boost from the person that bruised it to begin with? Does talking to that person give you mixed signals and leave your mind constantly analyzing the situation in front of you? Take a step back and realize what this person has done to you and what they are doing to you now. If you are still hurting from the breakup and still trying to bounce your life back to normal, you may need to walk away.
We must be honest with ourselves about the way we feel. We often try to act stronger than we are, putting on a front not only to the world, but to ourselves. If your ex is making your letting-go process more difficult by trying to keep you in his or her life, you need to take a few steps back and re-evaluate the situation. The truth is, that person did hurt you and may only be hurting you more by sticking around; that person will probably hurt you for as long as you let them. So take a stand for yourself; be honest about the way you feel and why you're letting this person continue to influence your life, especially after hurting you.
Let yourself heal and bounce back - and then worry about where you stand with your ex. If that person is genuine in wanting to remain in contact with you post-breakup, they will understand and respect your space and be waiting when you're ready to be friends. It is never easy to turn away from someone that you love, but bouncing back is about you and what is best for you. Stay strong and remember, in this process, you always come first.
Mollie Krupp is an in-house proofreader by day and a dream chaser by night. She lives for her cats, Red Wings hockey, and turning ink into words. She's a free spirit if you've ever met one and quickly becoming an expert at the business of bouncing back.
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