In high school, I had an annual partner. Basically, for two weeks every year, we would get back together over Christmas break, but by about New Years, the relationship would sour and we’d split up again. Every year. I thought it was a strange tradition until I realized that there really is just something about the cold winter months that brings out that desire for something safe, comfortable, and maybe even a little romantic. If that’s something you can identify with, then dropping temperatures may have you wondering: Should you text your ex during the holidays?
Well, if my cycle of holiday makeups and breakups are anything to go by, I would say, "Uh, no. Don’t do it." Even though it seemed like a good idea in the moment, it always ended the same way: In heartbreak. Still, I am curious on whether or not relationship experts would agree. Maybe texting an ex is something to consider over the holidays, and I just had really bad luck. I reached out to Chris Armstrong, the founder of relationship coaching company Maze of Love, and Clarissa Silva, a behavioral scientist, relationship coach, and creator of the Your Happiness Hypothesis Method, to get their take on whether or not it’s a good idea to reach out and wish them a happy holiday. Here’s what they advise.
Do: If you are both in the friend zone.
As it turns out, there is a scenario in which texting your ex-boo over the holidays is totally fine. “There is nothing wrong with texting an ex that you have a strictly platonic friendship with, when there are no desires on either side to rekindle the relationship,” Armstrong tells Elite Daily. In fact, it may even help to heal any lingering hurt from the breakup. “Friendships are good and the more two people can communicate in a friendship zone, the more any scars or hurt from the past relationship will disappear.”
Don’t: If either of you still have feelings.
Here is where things get tricky. If (like me) you are reaching out because you still have unresolved feelings, or suspect they do, Armstrong says to put down the phone. “[If] there are still feelings on either side, texting is dangerous and unadvised. We are already lonely during the holidays and a text and response can easily put us in a vulnerable position to open ourselves up to the other person, only to be hurt in the end.” Well, that sounds familiar.
Definitely Don’t: If you secretly want to get back together.
There really is something about the holiday season that makes you want to be cuffed up, and that can make you do things that you wouldn’t normally consider — like text an ex. So, if you’re reaching out to casually wish them happy holidays, but you’re secretly hoping that it’s going to open the door to a romantic reunion, Silva says don’t do it — although she is sympathetic about your desire to do so.
“For many, the holidays are times to celebrate family, life, love, and personal goals. However, when you’re single, it can be a time of anxiety. It’s a reminder that you are single — either because you are around family or because your family reminds you of the fact. So, what do most people do? Try to fill that void by entertaining the idea of getting back with an ex.” She warns, however, that trying to get back together is a recipe for heartbreak. “It only stagnates your growth because it occupies your brain with thoughts about your ex’s activities and whereabouts. Instead of mentally preparing yourself for a better relationship and a more realized version of yourself.”
With the holidays fast approaching, you may start thinking about texting your ex. Both the experts agree that the first step is to stop and consider why you want to reach out. If it’s platonic and the feeling is mutual, then hit that speed dial. However, if you have an ulterior motive or hopes for a reunion, you’re better off just deleting their number from your phone.
My suggestion? Instead of texting an ex, give your dating app profiles a quick polish and see if you can’t get yourself a new boo for the holidays instead.
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