Writing the first text after you’ve given space to your ex post break-up can be very difficult. You’ve given them time, you’ve taken accountability for the mistakes that have been made in the relationship and you’ve been putting in the effort to work on yourself moving forward for the past few weeks or months. Finally, the day comes when you feel ready to reach back out but, even after all of this anticipation, you find you don’t know where to begin.
It feels as though all of the changes and improvements and revelations that have taken place all boils down to one text.
There are probably thousands of different things you want to say to this person flooding through your head and it feels impossible to simplify the passionate emotions of a break up into text bubble.
Here are some tips to help get you out of your head and onto the path towards the re-engagement you’ve been hoping for.
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Going from spending almost every day with your ex and sharing the intimate details of what keeps you awake at night or gets you out of bed in the morning to the radio silence of a break up can be a tough adjustment. Now that it’s time to reach out again, it can feel tempting to make some grandiose gesture or a bold statement of affection when approaching the re-engagement.
It’s very important to approach this casually, without being overly emotional or putting pressure on your ex. While you may have been looking forward to this day for some time, your ex doesn’t need to know that. This message should feel spontaneous, be short, and be easy to respond to. You don’t want to seem in a hurry to get back together or mention the relationship, you simply want to reopen the doors to communication in a laid back and friendly way and see how they respond.
Does it feel like this tactic is not how you would have approached the situation in the past with your ex? That’s a good thing, it’s designed this way because this is how an improved version of yourself would handle it.
There are a few different methods you can use when reaching back out to your ex. Notice all still maintain a casual, friendly, and upbeat tone but, depending on the dynamic between you and your ex, one may feel more natural to you than others. Regardless of the method you pick, it’s best to end the text with a simple question about their life to encourage conversation.
This message should reference something you just experienced that reminded you of a positive memory you shared during your relationship. It shouldn’t be too serious of a memory, and a humorous one is more likely to get a positive reaction. That said, if you’ve had a particularly messy or difficult break-up you may opt for a more sentimental memory.
I was driving past Joe’s Pub last night and thought of that night we had 1 (or 3) too many margaritas and you somehow convinced me to sing karaoke. Made me smile. How’ve you been? Is Love Shack still your karaoke go-to?
Asking for advice can be a low-pressure way to re-engage your ex without any mention of the relationship. If there is a certain skill set or area of expertise that sticks out about them, you can reach out on behalf of yourself or a friend for their guidance. People typically feel honored when they are sought out for advice, and it’s an indirect way of getting them to open up to you.
I’m trying to get back into reading and looking for recommendations. You were the first person to pop into my mind, you always had the best taste. Been reading anything good lately?
This method is a good one if you know your ex was preparing to be going through a significant change in their life. It could be a promotion, a new job, or moving houses or cities.
I know you started with the new job last week. I have no doubt in my mind you’re absolutely killing it, but wanted to check in. How is it?
Send the message at a time you can safely assume your ex won’t be doing anything. During the week, after dinner and before going to sleep is usually your best bet. They won’t be distracted by the responsibilities and hectic nature of the workday, it’s normally not a time people make plans and it’s not too late that you will risk them thinking you’ve been out and/or drinking.
Once your ex responds, focus on maintaining the same casual tone and continuing to elicit positive memories and reactions. The ultimate goal of the conversation is to re-ignite that spark and move towards meeting up in person, but be careful not to rush things or get too excited too quickly. Imagine you're trying to arrange a first date. Be patient and accept the fact that this is a journey, and be proud of yourself for taking a step in the right direction.