Let’s be honest with ourselves, whether it’s been hours, weeks or years, meeting an ex for coffee will always mean something more than just a simple catch-up (even if we convince ourselves that’s all it really is). It’s a chance to see how things have progressed, where life is taking them and how we will react to their presence.
But beneath this curious facade there is a chance at something greater, something that can improve our emotional well-being should we give it an honest chance. Which is why I am going to argue that meeting an ex for coffee is usually a good idea — regardless of your intention.
Confronting Our Fears
Let’s consider the question implied in the title of the article itself. If you’re debating whether you should meet your ex for coffee or not, it means that there is a potentially scarring aspect to this meeting. What is it?
Are you afraid they have moved onto greener pastures? Are you terrified they may use this as a way to attempt to boldly reconcile? Is it the potential for confrontation, anger, resentment or indifference that gives you the jitters? Whatever your worst case scenario is, I would argue that this may be exactly what you need.
Here’s an example. Imagine that your greatest fear is being given a play-by-play account of how well they are doing with their new significant other. If you were toying with the fantasy of reconciliation, this can be a devastating blow to your still tender emotional resolve, and admittedly you may down your coffee and walk away wondering why the hell you did this to yourself. Your healing may feel jeopardized, reset and thrown unceremoniously back to square one. Argh!
On the flip-side, however, and it may not be obvious at the get-go, you heard what you needed to hear. My question then, is this: Would you rather have idealized and fantasized about a scenario with little to no potential of ever actually occurring, or instead would you prefer knowing the brutal (yet clean and honest) truth about what your chances actually are? Is ignorance really bliss? Not in my book.
The Truth Will Set You Free
Confronting our fears in this way, if it all goes down the tubes, may seem like a somewhat masochistic approach to matters of the heart. However, I feel it is also the cleanest way to shore up insecurity and move forward with our lives without being plagued by the anxiety of “what-if” scenarios. It may hurt, but it will usher in acceptance of the present and allow us to take stock of reality. This method of reasoning can be applied to pretty much any meet-up scenario, from the curious and casual, to the emotionally charged “fuster-cluck”.
This is your worst case scenario. The good news is that it isn’t a given, and the same courage that propelled you to confront you fear, may also lead to something amazing — that would never have happened had you not had the cojones to give it a chance. In short, it’s a win-win scenario.
Should I meet My Ex For Coffee?
My approach and reasoning is entirely my own, and obviously there will be scenarios and conditions that may justifiably preclude a meeting. Here are a few reasons I would be hesitant to meet for a coffee:
- They were/are notoriously manipulative or abusive (you want the truth).
- I am certain that their expectation is irreparably different from mine.
- I don’t want to go (never let guilt, or a sense of misplaced “duty” coerce you into a meet-up when you don’t want to go).
Other than this trinity of negativity I would undoubtedly brave my jitters and reap the advantages of a face-to-face meeting (body language anyone?). At the end of the day it really is just a coffee. Even if I would almost assuredly make it a decaf!