Perhaps it happened due to stress, perhaps they did the unforgivable, or perhaps you simply underestimated what your emotional reaction would be. Whatever the case may be, they are now gone — and they have taken your peace of mind with them.
Don’t Trust Trauma
No matter how unhealthy a relationship was, the act of tearing apart a cemented routine will almost always lead to a degree of separation pain. It is going to hurt. But it doesn’t mean the breakup was a bad idea.
Before we even begin to look at how to bridge the divide with our exs, it always pays to ask ourselves what is fueling our breakup pain. Is it loneliness or genuine loss? Do we need them or want them? Are we in the grip of panic and trauma, or is our decision objective? If the answer to any of these questions revolves predominantly around fear or insecurity, attempting reconciliation will probably lead to a case of history repeating, because while trauma will pass, the reasons that led to the breakup remain.
Bear in mind that panic quite literally changes the way we think. During trauma, the subconscious mind is hellbent on resurrecting the past, because even though it may not have been a particularly fulfilling routine, it was nevertheless relatively comfortable and safe compared to braving a new, great unknown. Your conscious mind may wish to move on, but your subconscious mind won’t allow it.
Before you lunge for the phone, ask yourself what your underlying motivaton is. If it is primarily a way of reducing loneliness or insecurity, I would urge giving it more time. Ideally until objectivity has settled in, allowing you to make better long-term decisions.
Fear Of Reaching Out
If you’re sure that you genuinely miss him (and aren’t simply looking for an ego-driven upper), you’re going to want to contact him at some point in order to quell the painful “what-ifs” that might otherwise plague you (although as far as I’m concerned closure itself is a fallacy). The honesty policy is painful, in that you risk rejection or backlash, but it will ease stress and improve your chances in the long-term.
But contacting out of the blue can be tricky, and cause more resentment and grief than necessary. If you’re going to contact, make sure you avoid mistakes that will hurt your chances of establishing the lines of communication:
- Avoid sending mixed signals in order to gauge his intent without risking rejection. Be transparent instead.
- Don’t play emotional tit-for-tat and avoid confrontation. Focus instead on rekindling camaraderie. Become a positive association, not an enduring painful trigger.
- Use an impersonal medium of communication first (such as a text). It will reduce tension and promote objectivity.
- Be prepared to deal with pride, resentment and insecurity. You will probably have to weather a few bumps.
- Silence is an answer, don’t insist.
The most important thing to realize is that he will be very wary of exposing himself to further emotional hurt.Trust will be low, even if he desperately wishes to reconcile. Draw the communication out, and take all the time you need. Do not allow the fear of him moving on to cause you to dive head-first into a terminal downward spiral of resentment.
Don’t Forget Your Needs
If you were the dumper, it is natural to feel a little indebted toward the dumpee. After-all, you may feel guilty that you caused needless grief.
If the reasons that propelled you to break up with him were legitimate, you have nothing to apologize for (unless of course you really, really did screw up). Apologizing is understandable, but you should never feel compelled to compromise your needs in order to make amends or demonstrate good will.
Reconciling should promote a better life for everyone involved. If trust and respect have been terminally compromised the relationship may not be salvageable. Or at least not yet.
Consider your own well-being as critically and objectively as possible before sending that text. Pain and loneliness are part and parcel of any breakup, and as such will pass. But throwing yourself headlong into the emotional fray once more, only as a way to quell the pain of the present, is a surefire way to have to go through it all again and again and again.