Thinking of calling your ex? Not so fast!
It's been days, weeks, or even months since you and your ex called it quits. And you're fine. You're convinced everything happens for a reason, and you'll be better off with someone else someday. You rarely even think of him.
Until you do.
And then you want to call him. You want to call him like a diver wants to come up for air after awhile. You want to call him like a crash dieter wants to cheat with a cookie... or an entire bag of cookies.
I know, because I've been there. Anyone who's ever endured a breakup probably has. But for the love of all that is moving on, don't pick up the phone! YourTango Experts have given us five emergency techniques, from mental exercises to getting your nails done, to turn to instead.
1. Identify the Ex Factor—and avoid it.
Let's start with triggers. Something made you want to call your ex. YourTango Expert and Relationship Coach Charly Emery calls it your "Ex Factor" (which is not to be confused with the TV show).
Perhaps you've passed a relationship landmark, like the site of an early date. Or you hear a song that reminds you of your former flame. Or you're wearing his old t-shirt and hanging around his neighborhood, hunting for his rebound. (Don't do that.)
Whatever the case, you've got to do everything you can to identify and eliminate triggers. Sure, your ex could pop into your head at any moment, wherever you are. But don't tempt fate by exposing yourself to reminders. If one finds its way to you, do what you can to turn away. Get dinner somewhere else, change the song on your iPod, pack away anything your ex physically left behind and erase your digital connections online (unfriend on Facebook, unfollow on Twitter, delete from your IM list, etc.). Break Up With Your Ex 2012: A User's Guide
2. What's the point of calling?
Seriously. Ask yourself why you want to call. It's got nothing to do with, "I'll just tell him this one thing…" Most likely, you're looking to learn something. Does he miss you? Is he dating again? Would he be up for some post-breakup sex?
"When the call doesn't go well, you will kick yourself and wish that you could be like Superman and spin the Earth to turn back time," warns YourTango Expert and Dating Coach Marla Martenson. And—chances are—the call won't go well. Your ex isn't Mr. Right; he's just inaccessible, which makes him more attractive. Why Is It So Hard To Get Over An Ex?
YourTango Expert Anila Manning urges you to drop the rationalization of why you want to call and think about what's really going on.
"Ask yourself, 'What do I really want?" she says. "'What do I expect my ex to do for me on the other end of the phone?' Then sit down for a moment and listen to your answers. Don't get up until you have the courage to tell yourself the whole truth."
It might help to record it in ink, too. That's what YourTango Expert and Relationshp Coach Susan Sheppard would do. You'll know better than to call, once you answer these three questions in writing:
1. Why did the relationship end?
2. What will it cost me to call and compromise my integrity?
3. Does my ex deserve to have any part of me?
3. Schedule an intervention.
The temptation to call an ex is so common that no would be surprised if you slipped up. So make preemptive plans for an intervention. Ask at least one close friend to be on your emergency "Call Instead" list.
If you're comfortable enough with your friend, you can share everything you wish you could say to your ex. Your friend doesn't have to role-play, or say much of anything. Just getting feelings out of your head and into someone else's ears will make a difference.
And back up your back-up. There's a chance that one day your "Call Instead" contact won't be available when needed. Don't call your ex. Call someone else, or simply turn off your phone. 5 Steps To Breaking Up With Your Ex
4. Let your fingers do the… anything else.
One surefire way to squash regrettable phone calls: Do something that isn't compatible with using the phone. Like taking a yoga class, getting a manicure, or meeting friends for dinner or drinks.
The urge to communicate with your ex is usually temporary. If you've done your homework, you know it won't accomplish anything productive. So get out of the space—mental, emotional, and physical—where you first had the urge to call. Do something fun instead.
5. Lose his number.
This one's fail-safe. You can't easily call your ex if you've deleted his number and cut off digital ties. Our Breakup Wasn't Complete Until He Unfriended Me On Facebook
If you absolutely must keep your ex's number saved in your phone, replace his name with a message of support, such as, "YouCanDoSoMuchBetter."
I still have an ex-boyfriend saved under a highly descriptive and vulgar nickname. It kept me from calling him at vulnerable times after we broke up. When he eventually called me, I didn't pick up. Instead, I laughed.
What do you do to keep from calling your ex?
Need to break up with your ex? Tell us about it and you could win one of 10 prizes, from a $250 gift card to Bliss spa to a pair of Hyde Yoga's bestselling yoga pants: Contest: Tell Us Why You Need To Break Up With Your Ex—And Win!
Get more tips on breaking ties with an ex at breakupwithyourex.com.