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Right now with it being the festive season – you know the one of goodwill and forgiveness – if you’ve cut contact with an ex or are still reeling from a break up, you’ll be tempted to make contact because at the moment that you do it, you’re convinced that you feel much better if you do so, that he’ll respond with pleasure at hearing from you and be a changed person, and that you’ll fast forward and make Christmas plans. Maybe you think he’ll be remorseful, eager to talk, keen to explain, keen to agree to do whatever it takes.
So you send a text… ‘Just wanted to say Happy Christmas. Hope you’re OK. Chat soon?’
You’ve probably spent days agonising over keying in a smattering of words. You’ll probably spend even more time agonising if you don’t hear back, or you do, but it’s not what you wanted to hear
Maybe you’ll call. It might be his voicemail which secretly you feel a little relieved by.
‘Hey…it’s me…just thought I’d check in. You know…we haven’t talked for a while. Hope you’re enjoying your Christmas/holidays…I…I…miss you…’ No doubt you’ll try to sound upbeat but that misery will probably break through your voice. You’ll probably spend the next hours or even days wondering about what you said, how you said it, what he thought when you called, and fantasising over what might happen.
Maybe you get through.
‘Oh..er…hey! Yeah…I’m good…well…you know…I’m OK…What? You’re going away/Got back with your ex/Hanging with the guys…oh…er…’
Maybe you’ll doll yourself up to the nines and turn up at the bar where you know that he’s likely to be and pretend to accidentally on purpose bump into him and there’ll either be a scene if he’s with someone else, you’ll leave upset, or you’ll get it together for old times sake and then find yourself back to square one in the morning.
Whatever happens, these are just some broad examples of how you might find yourself throwing caution to the wind and using Christmas as an excuse to make contact. Tempting as it may be, making contact is loaded with expectations that more often than not get disappointed. Maybe not this minute, maybe not this hour, maybe not even today…but soon.
Christmas only lasts for a few days or a few weeks if you take into account the festivities, but the repercussions from making contact are likely to last a lot longer.
This will impact on your sense of self and no doubt sour your memories of a time of year that is really for spending around people who actually give a damn about you and are not just out to get what they want whilst detracting from you.
If you make contact, it’s because you’re being reactive and getting caught up in the illusions of what you think will happen if you get in touch.
You might think it seems mean not to be speaking at Christmas - The reality is that it’s not mean not to be engaging with someone who doesn’t have your interests at heart.
You might think that because it’s Christmas, it’ll bring out a kinder side in him and he will suddenly see you and the relationship in a different light – I know we like to think Christmas is about miracles but I think you’re pushing your luck and expecting too much. Your perception of what Christmas means and does is different to what his perception is.
If someone didn’t act with due love, care, respect, and trust in the relationship, why do you expect them to suddenly act like this not only when they’re out of the relationship, but when it’s Christmas?
This is a tricky time of year and particularly if you’ve been focused on your guy and built a lot of things around him, you may feel like you can’t function without him or may even feel isolated from those around you as they won’t understand or you think they’ve lost patience with you, or you may have just distanced yourself inadvertently through your involvement.
The very source of your misery will seem like a beacon of light that appears to be your only source of joy because you’re validating yourself off him and deriving all of your happiness from him. I.e winning his attention and hopefully winning him over is the only way you see yourself happy.
But always when you think about going back, ask yourself if you can truly say that you have a reason to think that things would be different. Or are just hoping they’ll be different without any real basis?
Be careful of ‘reacting’ to your fears and the short term pain because it’s one thing chasing them up because you think you love them but have you considered the fact that they may not feel the same way (if it’s ended up at no contact it’s likely that they don’t)?
You deserve someone who wants to put both of his feet in that you don’t have to drag like a horse to water to force him to drink. Yes, it would be nice to be with someone, but right now it’s actually better to be with you and stand by your decision to step back and cut contact.
Remember that the fact that you are in pain shouldn’t be mistaken for correlating with the amount of love you feel for him.
The likelihood is that if you’re contemplating making contact with your ex, you’ve become nostalgic about the relationship, created illusions and become distanced from the reality of why you broke up/cut contact and what your relationship (or lack of it) was actually like.
You’ll end up convincing yourself that you’re OK with what’s on offer and then find yourself going through the horrors as you realise that not only are you not ok with it, but that you feel like you’ve gone back to square one.
Remember when I’ve spoken about relationship insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result? Going back to your ex is the same thing. You can’t just will it and want it to be different – there needs to be genuine reasons on both sides to go back – not just one of you trying to make a pigs ear into a silk purse.
If they don’t understand why it ended then they can’t understand what caused the problems or your pain which means that the potential still exists for you to end up in the same situation again.
If you’ve broken up with someone, particularly via the route of ‘no contact’ and you’re finding yourself tempted to make contact, it suggests that whilst you’re not ‘physically’ making contact, mentally you’re still very much embroiled in what you think you both had and you’re still focusing on him rather than on you.
We can only learn from experience – you can do what I call Suck It and See, and go ahead and make contact, if you’re prepared to be real and realise should things not meet your expectations that you now have all the evidence you need to focus on you and move on. That said, there’s also something to be said for already having plenty of evidence to indicate what is likely to happen.
You may feel you have history with an ex that gives you reason to keep going back, but this doesn’t mean you should repeat history and the quality of the history goes a long way. Use the history of the relationship to draw strength from the fact that you tried, you’ve made a decision and stand by you and be confident in your decision.
There will be pain ahead, particularly if you feel drawn like a moth to a flame, but with time and a refocus on you and the other people in your life, comes freedom. Better to give yourself the gift of freedom this Christmas rather than the gift of a pain in the bum…
My ebook, Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl is my guide to understanding the dynamic between emotionally unavailable men and the women that love them and is available to buy and download.
For personal advice or analysis of your relationship/situation, check out my consultation service. Don’t forget, you can now use the forum and social network to chat with other readers. Follow Baggage Reclaim on Twitter too.
Natalie Lue is the founder and writer of Baggage Reclaim and author of the books Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl, The Dreamer and the Fantasy Relationship and more. Learn more about her here and you can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter – @baggagereclaim .
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