Once upon a time, breakups meant saying goodbye and storing away your old love letters, but today's technology makes it almost impossible to completely part ways. Typical distractions like vacations, dance classes or even new love interests can't keep you from regretfully browsing your ex's Facebook profile.
With that in mind, we've launched our Break Up With Your Ex campaign to encourage people to digitally disconnect from their ex by February 13, National Break Up With Your Ex Day. Announcing The First Annual Break Up With Your Ex Day
Sure, it's time-consuming and awkward to unfriend your ex on Facebook, remove him from your chat list, or to tell him to stop contacting you. But if those things are keeping you from recovering, what's a half-hour of deleting and a couple weeks of awkwardness compared to months of perpetuated angst? Is electronically blocking someone so much worse than finding out via his Facebook newsfeed that he has a new girlfriend?
To find out why cutting digital ties is necessary to heal and move on, we turned to the YourTango Experts. Here, then, are eight reasons you need to break up with your ex.
1. To grieve.
Sadness, anger and regret are natural components of the grieving process, but it's hard to get past those feelings if you're fixated on your ex. "The main benefit of breaking up with an ex is to get rid of the emotional hold they may have on us," says dating coach and YourTango Expert Mick Lolekonda. "Avoiding staying in touch during the healing phase is the best way to get them out of our heads and move on."
2. To emotionally reconnect with yourself.
Once your ex is completely out of your life, you'll find that he'll start receding from the forefront of your mind. The emotional clarity will help you decide what to do next. Lolokonda says that keeping in touch "can slow down the healing process, which includes reacquainting oneself with our deepest relationship need, as well as becoming more centered and healthy for the next relationship."
Relationship coach and YourTango expert Jennifer Tardy agrees: "If you are not focusing on yourself, how will you ever know what you need in order to heal?"
3. To avoid idealizing your ex or the relationship.
When you're feeling the pain of a failed relationship it's easy to remember the good times and overlook your ex's imperfections. "If you hold onto the past, you might put your ex on a pedestal that they don't deserve to be on," says YourTango expert and dating coach Julie Spira. "As a result, you're not completely open to a healthy new relationship when you haven't completely closed the door on the past."
Not only do we tend to idealize an ex once they're gone, but we also overemphasize the importance of that relationship. Just because something was meaningful doesn't mean it has to be permanent; loving each other doesn't mean you're right for each other.
4. To avoid ex sex.
Sex with an ex is familiar and easy, but according to YourTango Expert and therapist Mary Jo Rapini, "If your reasons [for having sex] are more about soothing your loneliness or feeling like a couple again, the chances are high that this is temporary filler."
In the same way that new relationships have a honeymoon stage, many reinvigorated relationships begin on a doomed high. "The couple usually gets along better at this time than they did when they were married or together," says Rapini. "The relationship has a heightened sense of energy and sexuality. The lust and excitement you feel during this phase will soon fade as all of the old issues begin to surface again."
Tardy agrees: "When you take your ex back, you also risk taking back the pain, frustration and other emotions you've suffered previously. This is a high risk, especially if you've already made it to the point where you can go without crying over them." 10 Celebrities Who Need to Break Up With Their Exes
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