Here’s How To Respond To Your Ex’s Text From Out Of The Blue

Let’s say it’s a Saturday afternoon, and you’re having a lovely day minding your own business. You slept in, you grabbed coffee with a friend, and you even ran a couple errands on your to-do list. Now you’re curled up in bed binge-watching Succession and eating Halo Top straight from the container. Then, all of a sudden, your phone flashes with a new message from… No. It can’t be. You ex, whom you haven’t heard from in months?! Mild panic ensues. How should you respond to your ex’s text? Should you even say anything at all?

When you’re not expecting it (or even when you are), a text from your ex can ruin your whole day. Why on earth are they trying to contact you after a long period of silence? No matter how innocuous the text looks — maybe it’s something along the lines of, “How’s it going?” or, “Congrats on the new job!” — it can certainly feel like there’s something deeper going on. Before you rush to respond with something snarky, put your phone down and take a deep breath.

According to clinical psychologist and author Dr. Beth Kurland, receiving a text from an ex can fire up some of the brain chemicals that affected you when you were first in love. Dopamine is responsible for making you feel happy and carefree, and the body releases it during sex, a make-out session, or any particularly happy moments with your partner. And now, even though you’re no longer together, this text can send your brain right back to that place. “When we break up and later get a text from an ex, this can re-trigger and activate that same neural circuitry,” Kurland previously told Elite Daily. “We crave that same pleasure we once experienced with this person, which can help explain why it is so hard to let go of an old relationship and why it can even become an obsession.”

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The text can also remind you of all the pain you experienced when the relationship ended. A 2004 study in the American Journal of Psychiatry showed that remembering your ex can trigger responses in your brain that are typically associated with acute grief. In an instant, you’re transported back to those feelings of heartbreak, wondering if you’d ever be able to interact with your ex in the same way again. No wonder the text hits you hard out of nowhere.

As for how to handle the situation, it really depends on how you feel. Leigh Smith, a researcher at the University of California Davis, previously explained to Elite Daily that your brain could respond to the text in a couple of ways. “When we encounter a stressor — like a text from an ex —there are two primary ways we can react,” she said. “We can either one, believe we have the resources to cope with the demands of the task. Or two, we can feel like the demands of the task outweigh our coping resources.” If you’ve had enough time and space to heal from the breakup, maybe you’re fully confident to respond without freaking out. But if it was a messy split, or if you’re not fully over your ex, you might feel overwhelmed by the mere idea of trying to craft a message to send back.

First thing’s first: prioritize your own health and healing. If you don’t want to respond, you 100% do not need to. Kurland warned against jumping too quickly to engage with your ex again. “Our first impulse might be to follow that pull toward ‘reward’ and become re-entangled with an ex when we know this would not be good for our long term well-being,” she noted. But instead, try being mindful and intentional about what you think is best. Take as long as you need to decide about the next best step — and maybe wait until those chemicals in your brain have calmed down.

If your ex is trying to reconnect with you, and you don’t think it’s a good idea to see them, be straightforward about this over text. Dating coach Diana Dorell previously told Elite Daily that “less is more” is usually a good philosophy. “There’s no need to over-explain, to justify, or defend why you’d not want to see them, it’s really none of their business,” she assured. “What you can do is tell them, ‘I appreciate you reaching out to me, I want to let you know I’ve moved on and I wish you all the best. Take care.’ That really is all you need to say.”

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If they’re asking for a simple favor, or something that’s easy for you to respond to without stressing, you can choose if you’d like to open up conversation with them again. But remember that you do not need to give your ex your time and energy, especially if it could come at the expense of your well-being. Sure, this person was once really central to your life, but that time period is over, and your ex should respect your wishes if you want to cut off communication entirely.

Even if you do want to be friends with your ex again, it’s crucial to talk about boundaries with each other, to avoid any potential confusion or hurt feelings. “I think there is immense pressure to be chill and drama-free,” Dr. Alexandra Solomon, clinical assistant professor and staff therapist at Northwestern University, tells Elite Daily. But she notes that this pressure can keep you from speaking honestly about how you’re feeling. It is completely OK to ask your ex why they’ve reached out, and to try to clarify what they hope to gain from the interaction.

Regardless of whether you choose to respond, you should make that choice based on your needs, rather than a feeling of pressure or obligation to seem “chill” or “over it.” You’re on a forward trajectory, and the last thing you need is to feel pulled unexpectedly back into your past. Craft a response after you’ve had some time to think and determine what’s best for you. Your ex should respect your commitment to your healing — and if not, who cares? You don’t owe them a thing.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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All About Leo: The Good, the Bad, and the Glamorous

They’re famous for being famous.

You already know: Every sign of the zodiac has personality qualities and archetypal traits associated with it. Let’s get into some vibes we often associate with Leo—the good, the bad, and the glamorous—shall we?

(Pause for a quick disclaimer: Before reading on, please remember the first astrological commandment, *thou shalt not astroprofile*, and know that literally any sign can have any personality quality. These are simply the ones most commonly associated with our Leo friends—those born July 22 to August 22. Also, the ways these qualities get expressed vary from person to person. I’m a Leo, so I know.)

LEO AT THE OFFICE

As the Sun-ruled lion of the zodiac, Leo is the ruler of the jungle…and the office. Think about the Sun’s position in the sky—all the planets revolve around it as they receive its light. So it tracks that Leos are famous for…well, being famous. Wherever they are, they *shine*. And when you’re on their team at the office, it can feel like the light of the Sun is right on you when they offer attention. Your Leo coworker is fiercely loyal, always has your back, and is a pro at spotting natural talent—they’re a leader through and through. People naturally look to Leo for direction, energy, and warmth. The dark side of all this sunny generosity? Leo casts a big shadow and sometimes has to be reminded to move over so that others can have their turn in the spotlight.

LEO IN LOVE

Your Leo lover is 🔥🔥🔥. They’re a fixed fire sign, so we’re talking about a slow and steady fire that just keeps going (unlike fellow fire sign Aries, who is more in danger of burning out). For a Leo, romance, passion, and love (Leo rules the heart, BTW) are nonnegotiable. Like the Sun that rules them, Leo is endlessly generous with their love and attention—and expects the same in return. The lion’s kingdom is filled with reverence and adoration. The danger of dating a Leo? They can be easily disappointed when their partners don’t live up to their expectations.

LEO WITH FRIENDS

When a Leo steps into the room, heads turn. Leos are known for their loyalty to those they care about, and your Leo friend will fiercely protect you and your whole crew. At its best, friendship with a Leo can feel like you’re seated on a throne too. Whether at a large group hangout, an intimate dinner party, or a one-on-one coffee date, Leo brings the party. The beauty of a Leo friendship is that you’ll always feel important. Leos love to point out how famous, talented, brilliant, and beautiful their friends are. They’ll compliment you on your successes and support you through your failures. The dark side of a Leo friendship usually has something to do with their notorious stubbornness—it’s Leo’s way or the highway.

LEO BEHIND THE SCENES

Party hard, work hard, play hard, rest hard—Leo famously requires loads of energy. Checking in on a Leo at home can mean getting a glimpse into their need to recharge and relax in luxury. Leo, like the lion, generally does well living in groups as opposed to solo. If they’re not living with their partner, they’ll probably have a slew of roommates. In either situation, their pure Leo energy means they’ll typically take the role of house leader, with everyone in the pack syncing up to the king of the jungle. Even the shyest Leos have a hint of royal energy, and you’ll find bright gold, purple, and red in their decor as they waltz around in an Instagram-ready bathrobe.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

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