Why do we still send long messages to our exes in hopes they still care?

For some of us, our exes left us. And for reasons we still can’t wrap our heads around. Maybe they were vague reasons, maybe they were reasons we just couldn’t accept, either way, there’s some denial on our part and we just can’t let go. It’s natural–we seek answers to problems we can’t make sense of. And sometimes we want those answers straight from the source.

I’m here to tell you to stop. Don’t send that long paragraph to your ex. I know you want to. I know you want answers. But what’ll hurt more? Getting ignored or getting the same confusing reasoning again and again? There’s no guarantee they’ll answer in a way that will satisfy you, especially when things are muddled enough as is. The weight of that is so heavy, yes, but don’t try to unload it onto the person who hurt you.

It’ll just hurt again.

squidward sad

I think we try to send these messages, these questions or statements or theories, to our exes because we want to make logical sense of it all when feelings aren’t always logical. And it’s almost like the sunk cost fallacy. Where you’ve invested so much time or money or effort into something, that if you don’t buy it/go to the event/do it, you feel as if you’ve wasted it and you get your money’s worth if you push through. It’s like a concert you’re 50/50 about, you bought the ticket already so you “might as well go” and get your money’s worth.

All the effort and feelings and all the parts of you you poured into this other person makes you ask yourself: Was it worth it? Did I get my effort’s worth? And so if things ended on bad notes or abruptly, we want to still milk the relationship that has passed for what you thought you put into it. You want answers, you want to get what you “invested” into the relationship.

Sometimes some of us give more than the other and that’s okay. But other times it feels so unequal that we crave what we’ve given back. It’s hard but don’t. You gave that love freely, it wasn’t a transaction. It’s difficult to understand and even harder to exercise, but be grateful for the love you gave. Because that’s something incredible that the other person just couldn’t understand. And that’s their loss.

We want to tell them everything we used to tell them, everything that used to be easy to say. Things about our day, things that remind you of them, why you love them. But they’re not that person anymore. We want to believe they are. But they decided to be different, that their feelings had changed even without us knowing. And that’s not on us. Really, the best thing you can do for yourself is to let go and move forward. Delete those paragraphs, they know they hurt you. They know how badly they hurt you. They already know even without you reminding them. But they won’t revisit hurting you again because it’s not a place they want to be. So don’t hand them the hammer again.

Instead, open the door and finally walk away.

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