It’s okay to take a break from your ex if you feel feel emotionally exhausted and drained from trying to attract them back. You’re not giving up on getting back your ex, just stepping back.
My job as a love coach is to show people how to make love work and to encourage them not to give up on love. But when a client is emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted, tired and worn out from trying to make love work. When they are losing interest in their job, friends and hobbies, and their will to live is slowly fading away; “maybe you should take a break from your ex and take care of you” is the best advice I can give.
It’s not advice I am comfortable giving and not the advice some clients want to hear. They want to keep trying and what they hear me say is “your ex does not love you”; or “it’s not going to work”. Of course, that’s not what I am saying but I understand when they are disappointed that the same person who is telling everyone “don’t ever give up on love”; is also telling them to take a break from actively trying to make love work. Put in their shoes, I’d probably feel the same way.
Thankfully, it’s not often than I have to give this kind of advice. By the time I tell a client “maybe you should take a break from trying to get your ex back and take care of you”; most of them have arrived (on their own) to the conclusion that they need break from trying to get back with their ex.
Trying to get back together with an ex back is emotionally draining
I’ll say this again and again. Trying to attract back an ex is one of the most trying experiences most people will ever have in their lifetime. It’s an experience that not only tests our emotional spine; but also stretches our emotional resources to the limits. And that’s just for any ‘healthy’ relationship.
But when a relationship is one-sided, unhealthy, dysfunctional or toxic:
- Brings out the worst in each other
- Is codependent
- Has so many lies, arguments and fights
- One partner’s self-destructive behaviours e.g. alcohol, drug use or gambling spills over to the other partner
- You are hurting each other more than you are making each other happy
- Your ex is so insecure that they think playing hot-and-cold and pull-and-push mind games makes them more attractive
- You have an ex who thrives on non-stop drama and creates emotional stress day after day.
It doesn’t matter how much you love and want your ex back, you will experience “relationship fatigue” or “ex fatigue”.
“Relationship fatigue” or “ex fatigue” means different things to different people. The short of it is that one is emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted, tired and worn out from trying to make the relationship work; or trying to get back together with an ex.
It looks very much like ‘giving up” on your ex; or giving up on your relationship; but it is not. It’s more of an introspective look at oneself and an acknowledgment of one’s own limitations.
For some of my clients, “relationship fatigue” is finally taking the blinds off
They are tired of:
- Making excuses for their ex’s behaviours and character flaws
- Justifying and making excuses for why things are the way they are
- Ignoring major red flags that existed in the relationship and still exist
- Sacrificing their needs, wants and even value and dreams
- Pretending that this is the relationship they want etc.
So when a client comes to me and says, “Yangki, I am emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted, tired and worn out, help me out”, it makes sense that they are. Most of us will agree that such an introspective look at oneself and acknowledgment of one’s own limitations deserves respect.
Taking a step back from your ex doesn’t mean you give up on getting your ex back
It doesn’t mean you stopped loving your ex or that they don’t want them back. It means that for right now, you no longer have the mental will or emotional strength to keep going on. You’re emotionally exhausted and drained.
This is different from someone who is forced to walk away because trying their ex has made it clear there is no chance of ever getting back together, or one who is frustrated that their ex is not making it easy to attract them back.
One puts all the responsibility for the failed attempt at getting back together on their ex; and the other is looking inside. Taking inventory of your own emotional resources and acknowledging that you don’t have the necessary skills; or emotional strength to keep trying to attract back an ex does not mean giving up on getting back together..
1. It’s normal to feel emotionally exhausted and mentally tired and physically worn out from trying to get back with your ex. Relationship fatigue or ex fatigue is real.
2. It’s okay to take a break from actively trying to get back together and take care of you. The keyword here is “actively”. It doesn’t mean that you should stop trying to get back together, it means that it’s okay to step back and only reach out to keep the lines of likes open.
3. It’s wise to keep the lines of communication open. If your self-awareness is leading you towards wanting to become more emotionally secure; “cutting off all contact” is repeating your insecure attachment style’s pattern of distancing when you should be getting closer.
4. It’s absolutely necessary that you redirect the time and energy. You’ve been putting towards attracting back your ex to making yourself more attractive (including becoming less needy, more comfortable with uncertainty, improving your relationship skills set and/or experience).