Have you ever texted your ex after breaking up, but have heavily regretted it the moment you pressed ‘send’? Believe it or not, many people do this, and end up experiencing feelings of regret and embarrassment.
Texting your ex after you’ve been broken up for a while can often feel embarrassing, sad, low—or whatever other uncomfortable emotion you’re feeling. Sometimes it’s a whole gamut of emotions in a large cluster of, “omg I can’t believe I did that. I am a total mess.”
I’ve got good news for you: everyone has been there.
I’ve got more good news for you: if you didn’t text your ex (and I’m sure you tried to refrain from doing so), chances are that you’d still be ruminating on the idea of still texting them. But luckily, you made the leap and did it.
And now you’re here.
In this place where you think he or she holds the power in the breakup, and you’re moving on slower than you thought. It doesn’t feel good. Like I said, I get it.
As a breakup coach, I help men and women process their breakups in a healthy, conscious way. As such, let me remind you that moving on from your ex doesn’t mean following a bunch of steps to getting over them. It’s not meant to be a methodical process, sadly. I know, you’re looking for a strategy, but today I’m going to give you something better.
But first, breakups are about feeling into what happens each day, and not blowing up a small instant to mean more than it actually does. I know—easier said than done. But I’ll explain here.
So, if today, you don’t feel like texting your ex—great. If tomorrow you feel the urge and decide to—great. Either are great because, in both circumstances, you’re learning about yourself. You can choose to turn on the switch that reveals more about your thinking than you’re used to noticing. Breakups are so good at showing us the way we think about ourselves. If done with good intention, we can learn a lot.
So, I Should Have Texted Them? Even If I Felt Embarrassed?
Sometimes constantly exercising willpower can be exhausting; more than that, holding yourself against what feels right vs what your friends think is “right” is adding a little too much pressure for anyone to live up to. I’m sure people have been telling you to “let it go” and “just stop texting them!” These are things you’ll figure out in your own time.
I’m not here suggesting that you should text your ex, or you shouldn’t; I’m simply saying that the pressure you put on yourself to “do” the breakup “perfectly” isn’t actually a thing.
I know it can feel like your friends are offering good advice, but you don’t need any. You’ve already got all the answers within you. It’s just a matter of allowing yourself to feel what you feel. If you decided to do that, I bet you would discover that you don’t want to text your ex after all. I venture to guess on some level you texted your ex to alleviate the pain/hurt/confusion that you were feeling. But maybe I’m hella wrong.
Maybe if you had given yourself enough time to let the emotion flow through you, and pass—it would have.
But Don’t They Think I’m Totally Not Over Them Because I Texted Them?
They might think that for a second, but chances are they kind of liked getting a little love from you, and then they hurt a little to learn you’re not together anymore. My guess is that they’d thought about doing the exact same thing, but were too afraid that their feelings would not be met if they had.
Either way, they haven’t changed their perception about you just because you did that. Although I don’t know you or your ex, I do know the many conversations I’ve had with people regarding their unique breakup journeys. Many people have told me they cut off communication but still hurt. Several have told me that the texts they receive post-breakup remind them of their love.
Okay, So If I Didn’t Embarrass Myself In Front Of Them, Then Why Do I Still Feel This Way?
Let me ask you this: is it possible instead of worrying about their judgment of you, that you’re actually just judging yourself? Maybe you thought your fear was that they saw you as [weak, needy, etc], but could it be that you’re just experiencing a lot of fear from the breakup—and it’s about you?
I’d love for you to write down these fears that sound like they’re about your ex. You might discover that a lot of what you feel and think might have less to do with them than it has to do with yourself.
Maybe you’re afraid of being without them, not because they’re a great person, but because you’re terrified of being lonely. Maybe you’ve struggled with this longer than you have known your ex.
The subject is loneliness, not your partner. Maybe you’re worried they’ll find someone better than you. Maybe this has been a theme in all your relationships. The subject is your insecurity about your worth, not your ex.
See where I’m going with this?
This article’s title is about what to do when you feel regret after sending a late-night text, so if you haven’t gathered where I’m going with this, let me be clear: it’s less about what you do after, but more about how you think about what you did. It’s about the story you’re holding onto in this experience.
The truth is, you don’t have to do anything, including texting again to apologize for the initial text. You just need to look inside of yourself and genuinely ask yourself with full honesty, why you sent that text in the first place. It’s likely more than just loving them.
Give yourself some compassion—it takes work to look at our insecurities and fear. After all, they’re what make all of us human. Look at it long enough to know that you are not your insecurities and that you simply see that some insecurities exist, and have innocently been guiding your behaviors. It doesn’t say anything about you.
Written By Nancy Ruth Deen Originally Appeared On Hello Breakup