By Chris Seiter

Published on May 20th, 2024

Post-breakup communications can be a tricky affair, especially when your ex reaches out with the intention of clearing things up.

This situation can stir a myriad of emotions—confusion, hope, anxiety, or even indifference.

For those of you who are in this situation, the stakes can feel particularly high, as this is often a period marked by significant life decisions and transitions.

So, how do you handle your ex reaching out to clear things up? Let’s dive into the various choices you have and explore the nuances of each.

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Choices When Your Ex Reaches Out

When your ex contacts you with the aim of clarifying past misunderstandings or resolving lingering issues, you essentially have three choices:

  1. Ignore the Message
  2. Respond Positively
  3. Set Boundaries and Respond Cautiously

Each option comes with its own set of implications and considerations.

1. Ignoring the Message

Choosing not to respond, particularly if you are in the No Contact Period, is often the recommended approach for several reasons:

  • Emotional Healing: The No Contact Period is crucial for emotional healing. It allows you to gain perspective, rebuild your self-esteem, and process the breakup without external influences.
  • Avoiding Old Patterns: Engaging with your ex prematurely can lead to falling back into old patterns and emotional turbulence.
  • Creating Space: It gives both parties the necessary space to reflect on the relationship and their individual lives.

However, there can be exceptions to this approach. For instance, if there are unresolved issues that are crucial for closure or if the contact is about important practical matters (like shared finances or co-parenting arrangements).

2. Responding Positively

If you are open to having a conversation, it’s important to approach it with a clear mind and a constructive attitude. Here’s how you can handle the situation effectively:

  • Set Clear Intentions: Understand your intentions behind the conversation. Are you seeking closure, reconciliation, or just clarity?
  • Stay Calm and Composed: Maintain a calm and composed demeanor to ensure the conversation remains positive and productive.
  • Active Listening: Practice active listening to truly understand your ex’s perspective without immediately jumping to conclusions or getting defensive.
Examples of Positive Responses:
  • “I appreciate you reaching out. I think it would be good for both of us to clear the air. When would be a good time to talk?”
  • “Thanks for getting in touch. I’m open to discussing things. Let’s meet somewhere neutral and have an honest conversation.”
  • “I’ve had some time to reflect, and I think it could be helpful for us to talk through our past issues. Let’s set a time to chat.”

3. Setting Boundaries and Responding Cautiously

If you are not ready for a relationship-focused conversation but still want to acknowledge their effort, it’s important to set clear boundaries:

  • Be Honest: Clearly communicate your current emotional state and boundaries.
  • Delay the Conversation: If you’re not ready, it’s okay to delay the conversation until you feel more prepared.
Examples of Cautious Responses:
  • “I appreciate you wanting to clear things up, but I’m not ready to have this conversation right now. Maybe in the future.”
  • “Thanks for reaching out. I’m still processing everything, and I need some more time before we can talk about our past.
  • “I’m glad you want to discuss things, but I’m currently focusing on myself. Let’s revisit this conversation after some time.”

What NOT to Say or Do

While it’s essential to know how to respond positively or cautiously, it’s equally important to be aware of what you should avoid saying or doing:

1. Don’t React Emotionally

Avoid responding impulsively or letting your emotions take control. This can lead to saying things you might regret later.

2. Don’t Blame or Accuse

Steer clear of accusatory language or blaming your ex for the breakup. This can escalate tensions and derail any productive conversation.

3. Don’t Rehash Old Arguments

Revisiting past arguments can reignite old wounds and hinder the possibility of a constructive dialogue.

4. Don’t Make It About Getting Back Together

Unless both parties are genuinely interested in reconciliation, avoid turning the conversation into a discussion about getting back together.

5. Don’t Overshare Personal Details

While honesty is important, oversharing personal details about your life post-breakup can be counterproductive and might make you vulnerable.

6. Don’t Manipulate or Guilt-Trip

Avoid using manipulative tactics or guilt-tripping your ex. This can damage any chance of a healthy and respectful interaction.

7. Don’t Neglect Your Well-being

Ensure that your emotional and mental well-being is prioritized. Don’t let the conversation disrupt your healing process.

8. Don’t Rush Decisions

Take your time to think through your responses and decisions. Don’t feel pressured to make immediate commitments or decisions.

The Expert’s Corner – Insights From Chris Seiter

1. Why is my ex reaching out after so long?

Your ex might be reaching out for various reasons—seeking closure, feeling guilty, missing you, or genuinely wanting to clear the air. It’s important to understand their intentions before responding.

2. Should I respond to my ex during the No Contact Period?

Generally, it’s advisable to stick to the No Contact Period to allow for emotional healing. However, exceptions can be made for practical matters or essential closure conversations.

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3. How do I know if my ex is sincere?

Evaluate their actions and the consistency of their words. Sincerity often reflects in genuine remorse and a respectful approach towards the conversation.

4. What if I still have feelings for my ex?

Acknowledge your feelings but approach the conversation with caution. Ensure that your emotions don’t cloud your judgment or lead to impulsive decisions.

5. How can I stay calm during the conversation?

Practice deep breathing, remind yourself of your intentions, and focus on active listening. Staying calm helps maintain a positive and productive dialogue.

6. What if the conversation turns negative?

If the conversation becomes negative or confrontational, calmly suggest taking a break and revisiting the discussion later. Protecting your emotional well-being is paramount.

7. Is it possible to be friends with an ex?

While some people can transition into a platonic friendship, it depends on individual circumstances and emotional readiness. Ensure that both parties are on the same page.

8. How do I handle mixed signals from my ex?

Address mixed signals directly and seek clarity. Ambiguity can lead to confusion and hinder the healing process.

9. What if my ex wants to get back together?

Consider the reasons for the breakup, any changes that have occurred, and your current emotional state. Take your time to make an informed decision rather than rushing into reconciliation.

10. How do I communicate my boundaries effectively?

Be clear and assertive about your boundaries. Use “I” statements to express your needs and ensure that your ex understands and respects them.

11. Should I seek closure from my ex?

Closure can be helpful for emotional healing, but it’s not always necessary. Sometimes, finding closure within yourself is more empowering and beneficial.

12. What if I don’t want any contact with my ex?

It’s perfectly okay to maintain no contact if that’s what you need for your well-being. Communicate your decision respectfully and stick to it.



Disclosure: I am the Author and Creator of this content. My aim is to provide you with original, well structured and authoritative content about this ex recovery topic utilizing my experience and expertise. I have endeavored to produce content that is high quality, relevant, informative, accurate, and reliable. In doing so, I have used an AI tool to some extent to assist me in generating useful content for my readers. This assistance may include topic research, the development of outline structures, phraseology for titles and headings, content curation, narrative expansion, grammar usage, and optimizing readability. All of this is done for the purpose of adding value to the post that I have produced. I personally “proof” every quality post I write for accuracy, completeness, textual flow, fine-tuning purposes, inclusion of relevant media, and inclusion of helpful internal links to further assist the reader. I do not allow for any clutter that would distract from my content or confuse my readers.

Signed By Yours Truly, Chris Seiter, Founder of Ex Boyfriend & Ex Girlfriend Recovery.	

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