Breaking up is hard to do. What can be even more difficult than the actual split is the aftermath: getting over the loss and trying to start fresh. Many people can get stuck after a breakup by finding excuses to stay in contact with their former lover.
In her new book, Getting Past Your Breakup, Susan J. Elliot says that a rule of "No Contact" with an ex is necessary to fully heal and grieve after a tough breakup. Although she understands how difficult this notion can be (she has personal experience in the department of contacting exes), she says, "in order to truly get past your breakup, you need to separate emotionally, physically, and psychologically from the relationship, and the primary way to do that is to stop talking to your ex."Read: Stay Together or Break Up? How To Decide Now
In her blog, GettingPastYourPast, Elliot learned from people who struggled with contacting exes. She found seven major excuses that we use in order to rationalize remaining in touch.
1. Why can't we be friends? This sounds nice but in reality an ex does not make a true friend, especially immediately after the breakup.
2. I must have closure. Closure can be difficult to obtain no matter how many conversations one has. The best closure can come from resisting the urge for dialogue and moving on.
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3. I just need to make sense of it all, and I just have one more thing to say before you go. Another version of closure and another reason to stay in contact when in reality this just gives your ex another opportunity to hurt you. Not fun.
4. I want to be available for reconciliation. Wanting to get back together is a fair feeling to have. Even if you do end up reconciling, the relationship will undoubtedly be different. It is still important to take some time without speaking in order to mourn the relationship and contemplate how you really feel.
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5. I just need to give his stuff back. Do it quickly, in the first couple days. After that, use one of our many mail services.
6. I'm just so horny. And your ex is familiar because you know him or her (and it won't increase your "number"). But again, this is just prolonging the inevitable and will keep you stuck in the past. Time to cut off the ex and find someone new (or maybe even just yourself) to get jiggy with.