How Do I Handle Contact With My Ex I See Everyday?

Question: My situation is complicated because my ex and I work for the same company and see each other everyday. I’m just worried that it will affect my chances of getting her back since she can’t miss me. Also she and I were best friends before we became romantic and we are still each other’s best friend. We broke up because things fell into a routine and she said we were more best friends than lovers. She says she still loves me just not IN love with me. We send each other “good morning” and wish each other “good night” just like before. We also send texts throughout the day and hangout two to three times a week. I want her back but I have no idea what to do. Should I go no contact for sometime to give her space?

Yangki’s Answer: It’s okay to contact your ex everyday if he/she is okay with it. I’ve worked with men and women (e.g. those who worked in the same place or lived together after breaking up) and were in daily contact with their ex, and ended up getting back together. I’ve also worked with men and women who had daily contact with their ex and ended up pushing their ex further away. It all depends on how much of their time the other person is willing to give to you, and how close to you they want to be.

The main problem I have seen with everyday contact very early on in the process is that you run the risk of continuing with the old relationship, and falling back into the same pattern/issues that caused the relationship to end in the first place.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the reason she fell out of love is because you transitioned from friends to lovers and nothing really changed. And now that you are broken up, nothing seems to have changed. Familiarity breeds contempt, and in this case boredom too (hence the not feeling IN love).

Two things you can do to help both of you start over.

1. Cut down on the frequency of your texts and time together so that there is a clear BEFORE and AFTER the break-up. Then start gradually building up the number of texts, conversations and time you send together as you get closer again. The frequency should reflect your progress towards getting back together.

The word here is “cut down” or reduce frequency, not cut off or stop initiating contact. You have too good a thing to risk it with “no contact”. Besides, things will get really weird trying to avoid each other.

2. Create some emotional distance between the old relationship and the new one. It’s important to note that ’emotional space’ is not the same as distancing yourself (what many call “giving space”). “Emotionally space” is taking a break from the emotions of the break-up or old relationship by:

  • Not talking about the old relationship or discussing the break-up for some time. You can’t distance yourselves from the old relationship if you are still dragging back all the emotions from the past.
  • Creating new memories to replace the old memories. When you’ve created better memories, you can talk about the old relationship and all it’s problems and it won’t matter because what you have now is so much better.

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4 Comments

  • My situation is similar to the original poster, only difference is is that we don’t work together and my ex thought it’d be a good idea not to talk for a while. We were together for 8 years. I have a tendency to be clingy, and have broken up due to my clingyness before. I’ve initiated all contact lately (it’s been a month since the break up) and have gotten positive responses, but what I’m wondering is how much contact is too much if I tend to be a clingy type? I want to fix me being clingy, and I do not want to push him further away. Thanks for your help!

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    • As the article states: Each situation is different in terms of how much its too much or too little. Some exes are okay with contact everyday, and even several times a day. Others find even one text a week too much contact.

      It all depends on what kind of relationship you had with your ex, how things ended and how much of their time and attention they are willing or able to give you post-break-up. The “warmer” they feel towards you, the more contact they are open to.

      There are many articles here on what exactly is needy in terms of contact with your ex, how not to push your ex further away, and how to get your ex to warm up to you (more emotionally engaged). Spend time reading them.

      You can also sign up for my 4 week course, if you are serious about “fixing” your needy clingy problem.

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  • We didn’t talk for a while but when we started talking again, it was like no time had passed. We both told each other how much we missed the other and agreed to work things out but take it slow. I’m just worried that it’s starting to feel like were getting too comfortable with each other. We act like were together and it’s confusing.

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    • It’s confusing because you fell right back where you ended. Chances of you breaking up again are very high.

      Spend a little bit more time on here and you’ll learn how to start over… afresh.

      View Comment

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