Okay I’m going to level with you here, guys. Relationships are hard. Love is hard. And therefore it stands to reason, breakups are hard. Arguably, they’re harder. Because you acclimatise to all that your partner offered you and the more you realise what you are missing, the more you will miss it. Obviously. However, things aren’t all doom and gloom forever – as always – there are lessons to be learned. I don’t mean this in the dramatic sense that all suffering is always worthwhile because we can learn from it. It insists upon us having a break down to know what we’re made of. I think there are plenty of realisations we can – indeed, have to – come to alone.

Our ex will always come back to haunt us in some way.

It just depends whether we listen to them or not. And what, in fact, it means or says about us when we do keep in touch.

Yes, at the moment we’re spooning an ungodly amount of salty comfort food into our mouths while we gratuitously rewatch old episodes of Friends, but it won’t always be like that. Comforts like that exist for a reason – to make us feel better. There’s nothing to be ashamed of in engaging with them, but once they are no longer consoling us, we need to try and reflect and move on. Love that journey for us!

Talking with your ex isn’t necessarily bad, we are all different after all, but don’t be surprised if your current partner isn’t over the moon about it. It probably means you’re still hung up on them, and it’s worth communicating this to your partner, because it probably means that you aren’t totally invested in your current relationship. Not if you are still under the sway of your ex.

Therefore, I humbly escort your attention to this article. We can try to think of constructive ways in which we are improved or bettered by our experiences, no matter how positive or negative they may be. Sometimes we learn things not to do or discover things we should have offered. Heartbreak is not a deterrent against falling in love but it is something that you should listen to. Just like when you have an injury in sports or need a mental health day. You have to listen to what your body and heart and mind is telling you.

Sometimes, you need a break from socialising and relationships.

Or to be kept busy. Maybe you just want a rogue night or unexpected fling to get something – or someone – out of your system. All modes of dealing with the trauma of a breakup are valid. You just have to start trying a few out!

There are two ways that any discussion of your ex can go.

This is predicated on the understanding that the reason you broke up was the reason that any relationship dissolves. Either communication works, or it doesn’t and you go your separate ways. Therefore, on those terms, it can be acknowledged that on the one hand – there were very much reasons why you broke up. And the decision to do so at the time was by no means incorrect, or not what you needed at the time. 

However, times change and so do people.

Maybe even your ex has finally learned how to reply to your texts in a timely manner and be honest about where he was last night. Maybe…

We would do well to remember that more often in our life. Mistakes need to be made so that we can learn from them. Who’s to say that we can’t learn from them with the same person. The key difference is that while it is the same human that you’re talking to again, it’s very unlikely to be the same relationship. You owe it to yourself to put yourself out there and take some risks. Otherwise you won’t end up doing anything,

If you aren’t using your heart or opening yourself to new things – or even old things – then you can’t hope to reap the benefits of a relationship. This can also offer some much needed closure. Even if it doesn’t work out with the ex again – even the second time around – at least you know. No relationship is a waste or not worth your time. You learn so much from each other, and about yourself.

Remember that the reason you broke up might have even been your fault.

Ask yourself: have I changed? Will this work?

If you are still in touch with your ex and still compelled by their conversation, bounce this information off your friends. See what they think, as an outsider opinion. It isn’t always a bad thing to talk to your ex, but make sure that you aren’t just backsliding, or just bored. Only start talking to your ex if you want closure – but even then, be careful about boundaries – or if you want to try a relationship again. Otherwise, why are you talking? It’s just a waste of time, digging up old emotions.

Think about your ex. The relationship. Who you were back then. Who you are now. Are those people compatible?

Not the other person. Therefore, after a certain period of time has passed or we feel more ready for a relationship, who’s to say that it isn’t worth giving it another go?

There was clearly a reason you were together in the first place.