If You Don’t Regret A Breakup But Your Ex Does, Experts Suggest This
Breakups can be super tough, even if you don’t regret them. For one thing, you have to consider that another person might feel differently about the breakup — when you and your partner start a relationship, you’re on the same page, but when you end things, you’re on totally different chapters (don’t worry, I’ll keep this book metaphor going throughout). Let’s say you and your ex broke up, but now they want to get back together, and you’re wondering what to do when you don’t regret a breakup but your ex does. I spoke with experts to get the scoop on how to handle this tricky situation.
Use empathy when speaking to an ex who regrets the breakup. "Don’t be cold," Relationship and etiquette expert April Masini tells Elite Daily. "Don’t be cruel. And, don’t be flip. Just because you’re over it, does not mean your ex is. In fact, your ex may be really stuck because the breakup was such a stumbling block for them. So be kind." You never know where another person is coming from, and just because you’re happy to be done with the relationship, it doesn’t mean your ex feels the same way. Show them the same compassion you’d want yourself if you regretted a breakup. Kindness will help you communicate with an ex who feels differently about the breakup than you do.
Be sure to set boundaries if you and your ex have differing opinions on the breakup. This is particularly relevant if your ex is trying to make plans with you, and you’re not sure how you feel. "If your ex wants to grab dinner sometime, this is going to mean something different for an ex who is holding out for a reunion than for an ex who wants to catch up in a friendly way," Masini says. "Getting together with an ex too soon after a breakup is going to be perceived as a reunion. Five or ten years later, it’s a get-together." There’s nothing wrong with staying friends with exes, but it’s important that the two of you are on the same page if you’ve decided to be friends. Make sure they know what your boundaries are and how to respect them, and the communication will be easier.
It can be helpful to let your ex know that you’ve moved on. You don’t have to be cruel about it, but a light mention of how your life is going can indicate that you’re not holding out for the two of you to get back together. "Talk about your future without them," Masini says. "Mention where you’re spending holidays, so they don’t hold out hope of a reunion. Keep the conversation going and include the positive ways your life has changed, without mentioning your new partner or new dates." You don’t have to make a point of letting them know that your life is better without them, you just have to let them know that your life is continuing without them. If your ex sees that you’ve moved on and you’re happy as a single person, it might be easier for them to move on as well.
You can still be friends with an ex, but it’s important that the two of you be on the same page before trying to make a friendship work. "If one of you is holding out hope for a reunion, it’s not really a friendship," Masini says. "A friendship means you can be honest and root for each other, but if one of you is rooting for a reunion, that’s not friendship." So if your ex wants you to get back together with them instead of meeting someone you’re better-suited for, it might not be a healthy friendship. In time, their feelings could change, and then you can make a friendship work. Of course, you never have to be friends with an ex, so if you choose not to, that’s completely valid.
Breakups are always tough, even if you don’t have regrets. Maybe your ex still has feelings and is holding out hope for a reunion. It’s not your fault that they feel this way, but there are steps you can take to make sure your boundaries are clear but that you respect their feelings. Ultimately, kindness and communication are key, and in time, you and your ex will both find the right person!
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