If you’ve ever been through a breakup, you know that it can take time to move on — no matter who ended things. Whether or not the breakup was amicable, you might feel a desire to get back in touch with your ex after you go your separate ways, and honestly, that’s not surprising. The main reason why people get the urge to text their ex is pretty simple, and it mostly comes down to one thing: Routine. After all, an ex might be an ex, but they were still a big part of your life for however long you were together.
"Depending on how long you were together, it is absolutely normal to want to text your ex," Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, tells Elite Daily. "Daily communication with your partner is a primary component of any relationship. Talking with them, texting them, interacting with them becomes a habit. When the relationship is over, even if there are hard feelings, and ill will toward your ex — you still may feel the need to text them." Don’t feel like it’s strange or "wrong" to want to talk to your ex, because as Klapow says, it’s totally totally normal.
If you and your ex ended things on a not-so-great note, the urge to reach out to the might seem super weird, but be kind to yourself. Adjusting to not having a partner to talk to every day like you used to isn’t easy. "You are used to reaching out to them," Klapow says, "and your mind tells you it needs to do that. You can feel amicable toward them or feel like you hate them — but the more you communicated when you were together, the more you’re going to feel the urge to do so after the breakup."
"The transition out of a relationship is psychologically and emotionally taxing," Klapow says. "It is also the transition out of behaviors that were done on a daily basis," he continues. "So after a breakup, we can feel not only the emotional impact. but also the habitual impact." If you were used to getting a good-morning text every day, or a sweet message when they were going to bed or done with a fun night out, not having that can feel weird. Your "routine behaviors are disrupted," and your "daily activities are disrupted, and even if the breakup is what we wanted, we can still feel the pull back toward our old ways," he says. "The urge to text an ex can be driven as much by feelings, sadness, [and] nostalgia as it can by simply longing for the old routine."
It takes time to stop feeling this urge, just like it takes time for you to move on from the relationship. But, Klapow says that new actions, behaviors, and establishing a new routine are all things that can help. So don’t stress if you keep typing out texts to send your ex — it’s just a part of the breakup process.
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