ex communication

Reader A. B. asks:

My ex-girlfriend and I kept up communication after we broke up, mostly over IM. Last week I noticed that her name never popped up as “online” on my buddy list, and I haven’t heard from her via text, so I have a sneaking suspicion she’s blocked me from her chat list or something. I can’t decide if I should text her to see what’s up or just let it be. What do you think?

Dear A.B.:

As always, I’m going to recommend you consider your own feelings here, rather than those of your ex, because frankly, you’ll never know what she’s really thinking.

So how do you feel about not talking to her?

I think you’re probably being a bit paranoid. Maybe she’s just been on vacation or something and hasn’t turned her IMs on.


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If you are genuinely concerned that she may be in the hospital or kidnapped or something, by all means, send her a text to check in. But keep in mind that this kind of genuine concern could communicate more to her than you mean to, namely that you’re still interested in her. She may take it as a sign that you want to hang out again. She may think you’re interested in rekindling things. If you’re not totally opposed to that awkwardness coming up, then go for it.

But if you’re not looking to respark a flame, you might hold back a bit. If your concern is actually just curiosity, remember: that shit kills cats. As her ex, it is actually your duty NOT to be all up in her business all the time. I know, being exes can be complicated, and it’s hard to just let go of someone that you’ve really cared about, especially if it was for a long period of time and the break up was amicable. But checking in on her is not always the right thing to do, especially if you’re trying to let go of something that was pretty serious.

Of course, calling her out on the lack of communication will put your mind at ease, regardless of what the reason is. If she doesn’t want to talk to you anymore, she’ll tell you, so you can forgo all the worrying about it being a fluke or an emergency. Or you’ll feel like an idiot when she tells you she just moved and doesn’t have internet access for the time being.

Another good way to get around this is to check with a mutual friend, if you have any. It’s a sly workaround, but it works. You have to trust the friend, of course, because if they go running to the ex telling her you’re asking about her, it’ll ruin the workaround entirely. But a good friend may know what’s up, or if she’s been saying she doesn’t want to talk to you anymore, or if she’s in the hospital.

I say if you really want to keep her in your life, talking to you, man up, and ask her what’s up. If she’s really, seriously hell bent on ignoring you, she won’t tell you anyway. Then you’ll know for sure it’s over, too. Which is, in my mind, the bigger question here.


1 Response to “ex communication”

  1. 1 Brian
    October 18, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Even with ex’s that end amicably, I will need some space to heal and move on. I don’t want to de-friend them. But I don’t want to really see them all happy and moving either. So I tend to block them. Your ex probably found someone or needed space. I would just let it be. They will come back when they are ready.

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