Should You Still Call Your Ex?

Find out if (and when) you should delete your ex from your contact list AND your life.

Matinee idol John Lloyd Cruz was recently under fire for allegedly still calling rumored ex-flame Ruffa Gutierrez while he was already in a relationship with Shaina Magdayao. The two said they were just trying to stay friends, but even that won't put the rumors to rest. Soon, Lloydie decided to just stay away from her altogether. Is staying friends with an ex really a bad thing? Or is it even possible to do so--no strings or drama attached? Celebrity or not, how are people supposed to deal with their exes?

Admit it, it can be quite tempting--not to mention convenient--to contact an ex-boyfriend for one reason or another. But before you drunk dial his number to ask him for a ride home, or "poke" him on FB when you're feeling "lonely" on a weekend, ask yourself: Is he really doing you any good?


“To keep your life moving in a healthy direction, you need to determine exactly where an ex fits into your life or he’ll continue to affect you and your future relationships,”
says Janice Levine, PhD, author of Why Do Fools Fall in Love?

In other words: You want to take charge of the situation. To figure out if an ex-boyfriend should be a friend, a fling, or forgotten forever, read the following descriptions. If you check off three boxes in one category, you’ll have found a previous partner’s proper place.


A. Hold On To Him As A Pal If…

  • The carnal chemistry is d-e-a-d. After a night of drinking, you still wouldn’t sleep with him.
  • Even when you were together, the relationship always felt more brother-and-sister than it did hot-and-heavy.
  • You have no problem hearing about his new girlfriends and would consider setting him up with one of your friends.
  • He’s a great pal to everybody in his life. You know you can talk about anything with him.

It is possible to be “just friends” with an ex, especially if the relationship was mostly platonic anyway. “Even if a romance loses its spark, you can still enjoy each other’s company,” says Patricia Farrell, PhD, author of How to Be Your Own Therapist. Plus, he knows your best points and can give you an ego boost when you need it.

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One caveat:
“If you’re both still single, you may not bother to meet other men because you’re so comfortable with the same safe guy,” says Elena Michaels, PhD, a marriage and family therapist in Santa Clarita, California. Make sure you’re not shutting out any prospects who pop up.

B. Booty-Call Him For A Sporadic Shag If…

  • The sex is fantastic, but your feelings don’t run deep.
  • You don’t want to go to dinner or do anything social with him.
  • The day after a booty call, you feel just as good about yourself as you did the night before.
  • If he told you tomorrow that he couldn’t sleep with you anymore, you’d be okay with it.

Hey, a single girl has needs! And recycling a stud from the past can feel a lot cozier (and safer) than picking up a random dude in a bar. As long as you’re just in it for the fun, sex with an ex can be a positive. “[You’re] already comfortable with this person sexually [and] there’s little at stake since the relationship aspect is over,” says Tina Tessina, PhD, author of The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again.


But ex sex is tricky. “Even if you don’t want to date him, you may wonder why he’s not into you, which may ultimately hurt your self-esteem,” warns Levine.

C. Keep Him In Your Cell For Quarterly ­Updates If…

  • You care enough to keep in touch, but you don’t need to hear about his daily life.
  • He has something to offer like stock tips, career connections, or cool friends that you’d rather not lose forever.
  • You don't feel an emotional pull toward him, nor do you have any urge to sleep with him.
  • You get an occasional pang of regret about the breakup, but after seeing him, it’s clear why he was Mr. Not Quite Right.

Relationships rarely end well, but when they end amicably, you can afford to keep your ex in your life in a semi-detached way. This way, “you start to see him as a person, rather than an ex who only inspires heartache,” says Levine.


Think of him as a remote reminder of what you want and don’t want,
which will enable you to home in on the qualities you need in a new guy. At the very least, you can keep in touch with your friendly ex without experiencing any emotional damage.


D. Cut Him Off Cold ­Turkey If...


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  • Just the thought of him with someone else can bring you to tears. Actually, the thought of him alone can, too.
  • You lie to your friends about seeing him or even thinking about him because you know they won’t approve.
  • You spend so much time obsessing over him that it’s getting in the way of your job, your friendships, and even your current relationship.
  • You’ve broken up and gotten back together more than twice or have been on and off for years.

Some exes serve just one purpose: to torture you. If any of the above scenarios sound familiar, get rid of your bad boy ex. Trouble is, destructive habits are usually the hardest to break. “Certain people can become like a drug to you, literally,” explains Levine. “They can elicit a chemical reaction in the brain, releasing endorphins, adrenaline, and oxytocin. You become addicted to them.”


What makes the relationship even more seductive is the inconsistency. He may call you three times a day for a week, and then nada. Thus, you wind up wanting him even more.


Also, in some cases, the toxic ex just won’t go away because seeing you cling makes him feel oh-so-macho. He gets off on the fact that you can’t seem to get over him. For tips on disentangling yourself from a destructive ex, read the tips below.

CUT-THE-CORD TRICKS


Sometimes an ex can become an addiction, no matter how wrong he is for you. To kick the habit, crib these tips.


1. Snap Out Of It


Your first step is to quit obsessing. When he pops into your brain, say stop to yourself and don’t even allow yourself only 30 seconds of being senti. If that doesn’t work, wear a rubber band on your wrist and snap it. The ouch factor will serve as negative reinforcement.


2. Trick Yourself


For those horny or alcohol-fueled moments, try this: Leave his name in your cell, but reprogram the number so that when you speed-dial him, you get your best friend instead. Also, block all of his phone numbers and email addresses so he can’t reach you, either.


3. Have A Reality Checklist 


Jot down five of his most irritating qualities and keep the list in your wallet in case of an emergency (i.e. a stranger walks by wearing the same blue t-shirt you bought him). As soon as the first missing-him pang strikes, whip out your handy list to remind yourself how much he sucks.

Photo source (phone cord)

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