The ABCs of Ex Etiquette

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The ABCs of Ex Etiquette

Think you can stay friends with your ex and still move on after a breakup?  Think again. Most people who try to stay friends with their ex are just doing so in hopes of either rekindling the relationship or using the other person as a crutch until someone better comes along. What happens when it’s the other person who moves on first? Ouch!

As hard as it may be to accept, your relationship is over. It’s now time to EXtract your ex from your life, give yourself time to heal, and create the space to move on. Of course, there are certain circumstances in which you can’t avoid maintaining a relationship with your ex, but for now, the following is a cheat sheet on appropriate ways of communicating with your ex after the Big Breakup:

By Phone
The reasons for talking to your ex on the phone are...wait. There are none. Delete his number from your cell phone. And if he calls and leaves you a message, have a friend listen to it in case it’s important. Then delete, delete, delete!

Via Email, IM, Text Messaging, Social Networking Sites
After you’ve arranged to return each other’s stuff, delete your ex from your email address book, your Facebook and Twitter friends, and your instant messaging contacts. That way when you’re having a fragile moment at three A.M., you’re not tempted to contact him (the repercussions the following day can be both embarrassing and costly to your recovery). And if you were hoping to keep tabs on your ex by tracking his every online move or possible new dating adventures? Don’t do it. It’ll just make you wonder who he’s talking to (or obsess about those hotties who keep posting comments on your ex’s Facebook page), and you don’t need that.

In Person
And because there are just too many emotions swirling around in your post-breakup head, you should avoid seeing your ex in person at all costs. If you see your ex too soon, you run the risk of suffering potentially bad consequences, including any or all of the following:

  1. Losing face by crying hysterical
  2. Waking up beside your ex the next morning and realizing you just had sex with your ex
  3. Getting arrested for assault and battery

Let’s face it. None of these situations are ideal. So if you can, avoid seeing your ex until your emotions are more stable. Only you can determine when that will be (and it’s okay to say never!).

To kick start your healing process, be sure to pick up my books It's A Breakup Not A Breakdown: Get over the big one and change your life - for good! and It's a Breakup, Not a Breakdown Workbook: A 21-Day Action Plan to Plot Your Revenge, Spoil Yourself, and Find Out How Good Your Life Is Without Him.

Got a question about how to get over your ex? Email ask@lisasteadman.com.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Lisa Steadman

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Lisa Steadman

Location: Los Angeles, CA
Credentials: Other
Specialties: Dating/Being Single Support, Life Management
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