We’ve all been there. Now more than ever, our old friend called loneliness has a bad habit of showing up uninvited and talking us into doing things we know we shouldn’t do—like texting our exes. Over the past few months, dating has been more difficult than ever, so it only feels natural to cling to companionship that’s familiar and easy in a time when we’re all seeking human connection. Before you pick up the phone, it’s important to remember why these relationships ended in the first place. Ask yourself a few key questions to put down the phone and pick up a book, the remote, or anything less destructive.
Did your ex make you a better person?
Some relationships simply don’t work out. It doesn’t mean someone in the relationship was an evil monster, but it’s important to take an objective look at the relationship and really ask yourself if your partner lifted you up, supported you, and helped you grow. If the answer is no, or anything other than a resounding yes, then why are you considering bringing them back into your life? There’s enough going on right now—only people contributing good to your life need apply.
Was there any abuse in the relationship?
Whether that means physical, mental, verbal or emotional abuse, this is a hard no. There’s no way to justify bringing pain back into your life. Be proud of being able to walk away from a previous abuser. Take comfort from your strength and know that you are worth more, no matter how bad the loneliness gets.
Did your friends like him/her?
Honestly, this may seem silly, but if you’re thinking about bringing someone back into your life, you’re going to tell your friends—and they are going to give you their opinion whether you want it or not. Your good friends will always want the best for you. If they think someone is not worthy of your time or effort, they’ll let you know. If your friends think he/she is worth your time, that’s usually a good sign that your ex cared enough to show interest in the people important to you and made an impact.
Are you still feeling unresolved?
You may be looking for closure more than anything else, and it’s important to distinguish those feelings from wanting to reconnect. Are you looking to rekindle the relationship, just hookup, or talk out some feelings you’re having post breakup? Whatever the reason is, you need to confront yourself before you confront anyone else, or things could get even messier than they were when the breakup initially happened.
Are you just bored?
We all do things out of the norm because of boredom. Don’t invite someone back into your life that you know isn’t the one simply because you want to turn Netflix alone into Netflix and chill. Save yourself the hassle, don’t text.