Before You Answer That Text: Four Value Propositions You Must Consider

Hand on neon background holding a message icon, bubble talk notification sign in his hands. Chat icon, sms icon, comments icon, speech bubbles.

by Katie Tahay-Martinez

That text came in, right? The one you’d hoped to receive two weeks after the breakup. You told your inner circle that if only they had said “I’m sorry” or “Let’s make this work,” you would have taken them back. But it’s 2 a.m., and they thought about you because it’s Valentine’s Day.

Now, you can respond, and maybe it’ll be a casual talk about life, or they may want to work things out. Either way, it’s been weeks, maybe even months, since you last spoke to them, and now they want to connect. Just think about that for a moment.

What had to happen to them to realize you were who they wanted to communicate with on Valentine’s Day?

I’ve had that text or call come in at 2 a.m., and I’ve never stared at the cursor for so long. I’d write a “Hey,” and then I would delete it, never sure if I should send it. I sent it one time, and I went into an emotional spiral because I wondered if he would text again. When was he going to think about me once more? I became emotionally unstable after I answered that text. I swore to never answer another text or call, but it wasn’t easy because I still loved him. I still hung on to the hope that one day he would choose me.

My ex reached out every three to six months. The goal was to throw me off the balance beam I was on. So I went into the no-contact phase. Every time he reached out, I pulled out my journal and a pen and I wrote because I had to release my emotions somehow. I knew that talking to him wouldn’t settle the void I felt in my stomach. I wrote angry and sad. I told my journal how much I disliked that he would come back when I was so close to moving on. I spent months asking myself the question you might be asking yourself today: Why do they come back?

If you’re asking yourself the same thing, I advise taking it out on a piece of paper or a journal. Licensed marriage and family therapist Jacqueline Mendez states, “Journaling for heartbreak entails writing down all the things you wish your former partner would say to you and say them to yourself.”

Through writing, you can express all the good and bad things that happened in your relationship. She continues:

“Journaling for heartbreak can help you identify what is important to you in your relationship.”

When you take the time to reflect, you realize whether you’re settling for the bare minimum, or not. What are you truly looking for in a significant other? Writing about this can help you figure that out.

“But, I don’t enjoy writing,” may be your reaction.  You can find a different way to express what you’re feeling. It can be turning to a friend or someone you trust. Go for lunch and share how you’ve been feeling. Even though some of us may think that bottling our feelings will work, one day your feelings will surface to the top and you will feel everything at once.

Your ex probably reached out because it’s Valentine’s Day. They remembered the person they loved and wanted to see if you’re still available. If you’ve given yourself the time to feel and share, whether it’s on paper or with a friend, you will view this behavior differently.

Valentine’s Day isn’t just a holiday that is meant to be celebrated with a significant other. Go and celebrate with your friends or family. Make heart-shaped pizzas and take pictures with heart-shaped balloons. Valentine’s Day is to celebrate with those you love most, not the person who broke your heart. Feel the void, the anger, the sadness, and the unknown. Then remember there will come a time when you won’t feel this anymore. This is all part of the healing process.

If you answer that text message, it will become a bad habit, and bad habits are difficult to break. You must give yourself time to heal and to know yourself better. It will not happen by going back to the person who broke your heart. Go and find new dreams to chase or another adventure to follow and discover what you truly want in a significant other.

 

 

Consider these questions before answering a call or text from your ex:

1. Does this person add value to my life? Am I willing to go through the emotional pain again?
2. Am I answering to talk about my feelings or for closure? Don’t answer the text to talk about how you’ve been feeling emotionally since they’ve been gone.
3. Are children involved in your relationship? Maybe there is some co-parenting that needs to be figured out.
4. Was the relationship toxic? If so, block them.

 

 

Katie Tahay-Martinez is a Senior at Union College in Lincoln, NE. She is majoring in Language Arts Secondary Education to teach high school students.

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