Knowing how to deal with exes at any point during the year is difficult enough. But knowing how to deal with exes during the holidays can be a bit more challenging. For instance, should you reach out and send that text? What happens if they say something to your first? Should you rekindle things with an ex if you've been missing them? Or, what happens if your partner’s ex suddenly comes back into the picture during the holiday season? Exes can cause all kinds of dilemmas during this time of year. So, how should you really deal with exes during the holiday season?
“The holidays exaggerate whatever you’re feeling — loneliness, regret, desire, nostalgia. It’s almost impossible not to start thinking about an ex,” Emily Listfield, the co-founder of Jyst, the crowd-sourced, anonymous dating and relationship advice app tells Bustle. “We see a real uptick on questions on Jyst about whether it’s a good time to reach out, what it means if [they] connect with you, and what to do if you catch your S.O. texting [their] ex.”
It can get pretty confusing. So using a relationship advice app like Jyst, that’s completely anonymous, can help get your questions answered with crowdsourced advice from other women. “It’s especially helpful with exes because chances are good your friends know [them] and have strong opinions (or are a little, well, tired of hearing about it),” LIstfield says. “We all need objective, non-snarky advice when it comes to dating — especially this time of year.”
So if you’re currently struggling with an ex issue over the holidays, here are some common questions and advice from the community of users at Jyst and relationship expert, Laurie Davis Edwards, the founder of eFlirt and author of Love @ First Click:
1. How To Deal When Your Partner Is Suddenly In Touch With Their Ex Over The Holidays
When a partner starts talking to their ex, some of us may jump to conclusions. Many may even wonder, "What does this MEAN?" That of course can easily spiral into worrying about the ”what ifs” and feeling insecure about your relationship. “But what's important to remember is that it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with you or your relationship together,” Davis tells Bustle. “Everyone reconnects for different reasons. Instead, get curious about their new discussions. You may find it's fueled by something like family obligations, and not an actual desire to reconnect.”
2. How To Deal If You Want To Reach Out To Your Ex
“During the holidays, everyone is a bit more open and vulnerable,” Davis says. So before you reach out ask yourself why you want to — where is that tug to contact your ex coming from? If you're considering it because you're lonely and miss him or her, it's probably not the right move. But if you're hoping to get closure or to share something that's been on your mind, then it might be worth it to you.
But if you do reach out, be prepared for multiple responses as your ex may be happy to hear from you or they may not be. “If you don't get the response you were looking for, remember Michelle Obama's wise words: ‘When they go low, we go high.’ And if you're not okay with all of the many ways your ex may respond, it's best not to initiate communication,” Davis says.
3. How To Deal When Your Ex Is Suddenly Back In Touch
Again, many people feel a little more sentimental during this time of year. Maybe you're surprised to hear from your ex, or maybe you're not. Either way, how you respond is completely within your control. “It's easy to get so stunned by receiving a message that you feel the need to hit reply. But you can choose to engage, or not. Text, or not. Meet in person, or not,” Davis says. “You are not obliged to reply. If you do engage in any of these ways, make sure you honor your emotions and speak from your heart. Then you'll have #NoRegrets.”
I've reached out to an ex or two over the holidays before. One with the definite intention of seeing whether things could possibly start up again (it didn’t), and others just to wish them a happy holidays. I do agree with the advice that it is a “loaded” time of the year, but if you feel like reaching out, do it. Or if you don’t want to respond, don’t. As like Edwards says, if you follow your heart, you’ll end up doing the right thing for you.