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If you find yourself wondering, “Why does my ex keep texting me?” but you keep responding to them, this one’s for you. There are plenty of reasons that people cling to exes and old relationships that aren’t serving them, like feeling lonely or remembering the lingering sense of comfort with that person.
Becoming aware of the cycle means that you’re one step closer to cutting them off and freeing up that headspace. You don’t need to keep giving a toxic relationship your time and energy.
But sometimes even knowing what’s good for you won’t force you to stick to your guns when you’re feeling particularly vulnerable. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a few techniques in store so you can keep saying no and feeling free.
If you haven’t already, removing the person in question from your social media feed completely can cut visual ties and help you feel more liberated. Many experts recommend completely cutting off contact as the best way to get over someone.
Unfollowing someone on all social media sometimes reads as a harsh move, but you need to prioritize your emotional well being over the possibility of offending your ex. You deserve to put your needs first.
In the same vein as unfollowing the ex in question, blocking their number cuts the line of contact so that you don’t have to look at what they’re sending you. Again, people often see blocking numbers as harsh or mean, but it’s important to find a different mentality.
By blocking their number, you are protecting yourself and setting the boundaries you need. You’re no longer allowing them to distress or bother you, and you’re removing that temptation from your line of sight. If your goal is to avoid responding to them anyway, why should you stress yourself out by looking at their calls and texts?
While it’s not right for everyone, a great way to keep yourself from going back to that one toxic ex is to date around a little bit to show yourself that there are people who will give you good experiences and treat you with the respect you deserve. Especially if you’re a social person, getting out and interacting with new faces can be healing.
Keep in mind, using other people as a distraction or being dishonest about your intentions isn’t right to you or them. However, it can be beneficial to date around casually, connect with new people and share experiences with those who you don’t know well. It can bring you happiness and remind you that dating should be a positive experience.
One of the best ways to get through any rough patch is to lean on the support and company of your friends. If you feel yourself slipping or getting the urge to reach out to your ex, an easy way to squash it quickly is to reach out to a friend who you can focus your energy on instead.
Be intentional about spending more quality time with your friends so you can load your schedule with good experiences and have someone to talk things out with. While it’s best to get that one-on-one connection, a phone call or FaceTime session will often do in a pinch.
Replacing bad habits with healthy ones can be harder than it sounds, but it’s also well worth it. Often, when you feel the urge to engage in destructive behavior like reaching out to a toxic ex, relaxing and soothing techniques don’t work as well because you feel the urge to be active.
Finding a coping mechanism that’s active and expends energy can be a great solution. In addition to allowing you to accomplish something productive for yourself, it alleviates some of the urge to be self-destructive. Going for a run, doing your makeup, baking or working on an art project are all great ways to pass the time.
Cutting off anyone toxic is hard, even though it’s good for you. But recognizing that you need to make a change in order to show yourself the care and respect you deserve is the first step in moving forward and living your best life without that toxic relationship to tear you down.