Catching up with your EX

So you're broken up, it's over. Well anyway, that's your story and you're sticking to it. So you've lasted a few weeks, you haven't seen him. Then curiosity gets the better of either you or him, and it starts with the first phone call. "Hi........" silence. "Oh, it's you......" large pause "so how are you?" Normally the biggest question on both of your minds is 'have you met anyone?' or 'have you been with anyone?'

What comes next is up to the individual. If one of you has been with someone you will either lie, half lie (and that means "oh, I've kind of met this girl /guy that seems alright, but nothing's really happened" (when it has). Or if you can't lie, you or he may just say "yes" which is something no one wants to hear. Regardless of what comes next, usually if there are unresolved feelings between the two of you; you will both be dying to catch up. However, neither of you will let the other know how much you've been wanting to see each other.

There are variations of this scenario, but it usually falls pretty close to this version. Of course in this type of relationship break-up, both of you pretty much knew it wasn't going to work, and that you both needed to move on. But that's the problem, moving on. Moving on, means letting go of that past, those lustful (or 'loving' feelings), the comfort, and the memories. It is a lot to ask from anyone. So really, should you catch up, knowing deep down that you kind of hope 'something' might happen (even when you know it's not a good idea to get back together).

Now I have pretty strong beliefs about this kind of situation. Breaking up with a partner is usually hard enough, and seeing them within the first, say month, can be pretty disrupting to the way you both want things to go. In the first month, much of the time can be spent in denial, and that's ok, but as long as you know that the denial is not going to last. Denial can be a good thing; it can lessen the impact of the pain. But if it remains for more than a few weeks you may have to rethink about the reality of the situation. If you can deal with it that's great, and positive, but actually catching up with your ex early on in the break-up is normally not a wise idea. Any conflicts you may think you need to resolve; you most likely will not remember what they were months down the track. And if you still feel this way months later, it's about you, not him.

It's during the first few weeks of a break-up, when your brain is still grieving for the loss of a person whom you have shared intimate moments with, and it is important to go through this phase alone, or with your friends; just not him. You need to do this part separately. Catching up with the person you still have feelings about, whilst grieving can potentially be damaging to your 'healthy break-up.' It's during this time where it is good to reflect on your feelings and think about your own needs, and not your ex's. It is normal to wonder what they are doing, and whom they might be seeing. But honestly, you are better off not asking, and not knowing. This is the time you should be focusing on yourself.

Catching up with your ex in the early days of a break-up usually leads to one thing - trouble! Both of you are most likely still missing each other, and that's normal. But if you choose to catch up, you may rock the boat in your neat 'anger free' break up. I can almost guarantee that if you do get together, one of you is bound to become emotional about the relationship ending. You may even get back together, if only for a few days. But if it wasn't working then, it probably won't work now.

Catching up early on, when emotions need to settle, can often delay the enviable; along with causing a traumatic ending of something that didn't need to be traumatic. It can put both you and your ex in a compromising position, which can only be resolved by a decent time apart. Once you have moved through your healing period, which will differ from person to person, you may then be able to catch up. But sometimes things are best left as 'good memories.'

- Louise Ganey