In 2019, we’re more connected than ever. We’re constantly glued to our phones, addicted to texting and social media. We have a direct line of contact to pretty much anyone we want, anytime we want. This means that, for better or for worse, we have a direct line to contact our ex at our fingertips, 24/7. Let’s be real: Most of the time, texting your ex is not a good idea.
When you’re feeling lonely and constantly thinking about your ex, it’s really hard to resist sending a text. Trust me, I know! We’re creatures of habit, and when you’re so used to talking to someone you care about all the time, it’s hard to break the habit and cut contact. But by continuing to text your ex after your relationship is over, you’re just dragging out drama and prolonging the time it takes to truly get over someone.
Here are some tips for coping with post-breakup loneliness and resisting the urge to text your ex. As someone who has resisted urges to text my exes more than I’ve given into them, these are some tried and true methods for you.
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Mute, unfollow, block
When it comes to trying to get over an ex, I’m a big believer in “out of sight, out of mind.” Not being constantly bombarded by exes’ social media posts can help keep them out of the forefront of your mind, hopefully preventing urges to text them.
Mute or unfollow your ex on all social media platforms. If you still can’t resist typing in their username to stalk, then you might need to block them. Change their name in your phone to something like “DON’T TEXT! YOU’LL REGRET IT!” If you’re feeling brave, you can even delete their number from your phone. Power move, right there.
Don’t be hasty
Don’t text your ex the moment you have the thought or the urge. Instead, go do something else to distract yourself, and see if in 30 minutes you still have the urge to text them. Watch a movie, take a bath, go to a workout class, whatever feels good for you, and leave your phone out of reach.
If you still have the desire to text them even after your distraction, just repeat this cycle over and over for eternity (just kidding…sort of). Instead of acting on impulse, you can learn to feel that impulse and desire, sit with it, and then overcome it. Over time, you’ll learn to control your urges instead of letting your urges control you, and you’ll be proud of yourself for staying strong.
Talk to friends and family
You can ease your loneliness by getting in contact with someone close to you (who isn’t your ex). Build a support network for yourself. Have a go-to list of a few friends who you can chat with, or vent to when you feel like you want to text your ex.
You can be honest and vulnerable with them, telling them that you’re really feeling lonely and having a hard time coping with your breakup. Ask them to hold you accountable and help you resist contacting your ex. Schedule some in-person hang outs, and plan fun things in the near future that you can personally look forward to.
Channel your loneliness into something else
You can use your loneliness as fuel to do something greater than moping around. For example, this is a great chance to channel your emotions into a creative outlet.
One of my personal favorite things to do is journal. Sometimes I’ll write a letter to my ex in my journal, penning all the things I’d want to say to them. Putting the pen to paper can help externalize your feelings and make you feel like you’re getting things off your chest, even though this isn’t a letter your ex will actually be seeing.
You can also write poetry, draw, paint — whatever! You don’t have to worry about creating a masterpiece. Just focus on feeling a release that makes you feel good. Alternatively if you’re not a creative person, you can try getting active. Take that post break-up anger and head out for a long run — or another personal favorite of mine, kickboxing.
Remember: What you’re feeling is normal
Of course, the urge to text your ex is real, normal, and extremely common. Just think about how often you need to discourage your friends from texting their exes. Breakups can bring out the worst in us and make us feel out of control. I
t’s rough, but it’s totally possible to get over a breakup. As time goes by, you’ll heal and become stronger. Then, you won’t have to keep telling yourself to resist texting your ex, because eventually you won’t even have to think about it.
Everyone gets lonely sometimes, and even the most strong, independent people have to fight impulses to text their ex! Self control is a craft, and resisting the urge to text your ex is an art. So stay strong and use your time while single to learn to be comfortable by yourself, focusing on your true number one — you!