Should you reach out to an ex years later?


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You’re alone, you’ve had a string of bad breakups or your dating life isn’t going well and it makes you feel nostalgic about the past. Your mind goes back to a time when you were happy and your ex was around. Which begs the questions, should you reach out to an ex years later? 

Reaching out to an ex years later can play out in one of two ways, you either connect with each other again or nothing good comes of it. It really depends on a number of circumstances such as the cause of your breakup, whether your ex has moved on completely or not, if your ex hates you or has no bad feelings towards you. 

All of these factors can have a profound effect on whether or not your ex is receptive to you or not. 

What I can tell you, with certainty, is that things will never be the same. 

Everyone changes. The person you are now is no longer the same as you were a few years ago. 

Similarly, your ex would have been through some experiences that have changed the way they think, talk, feel and behave. 

It may be subtle but there will be a difference.

So, if your goal is to rekindle exactly what you had in the past, I’m sorry but that is impossible.

The change could be a good thing or it could be bad.

You may hit it off more than you did before or you may feel completely disconnected from the person your ex has become. 

Before reaching out to them, think about whether you’re prepared for this change. 

Additionally, I would caution you against reaching out to an ex just because you’re sad, depressed and lonely. 

Not only could it be detrimental to your well-being if he or she rejects you or does something to hurt you, but it would also be awful to re-attract your ex who is a good person only to use them for comfort.

Put simply, if your intentions are not pure or good, it’s best to stay away from an ex because your actions could really affect their life in a bad way. 

Here’s a list of questions and things to consider before reaching out to an ex years later.

Related post: Should I block my ex on social media?

Why did you break up?

Some breakups are fairly amicable and the reasoning for a split had nothing to do with deceit, abuse or cheating

These are usually permanent deal-breakers that are hard to recover from, even years later.

As long as the trust was never broken in the past, there’s a strong chance that your ex will not be cold, harsh or rude to you after reaching out. 

But, if you both broke up due to the above mentioned reasons, be prepared for the worst reaction possible, if any reaction at all. 

Related post: How being cheated on changes you

Has your ex moved on?

We have to be realistic, everyone tries to move on at some point or the other.

It’s been years, your ex has probably dated other people, got married or is completely content with being single.

It might not be appropriate for you to contact him or her so don’t expect a reply but if your ex is wildly single with far too many failed dates, they could turn out to be receptive and excited to talk to an old fling.

A quick Facebook or Instagram search could give you an idea of whether they’re married or in a serious relationship. 

Related post: Will my ex come back after dating someone else

Does your ex hate you?

Depending on the cause of your breakup, the breakup itself or events that ensued after splitting up, your ex may resent and hate you to the point of wanting nothing to do with you.

It’s really hard to gage whether this is the case unless you can recall exactly how they felt when breaking up. 

I would still go ahead and reach out to an ex years later if this was the only concern I had. What do you have to lose?

What should you say to your ex?

I would keep it short and sweet.

Don’t profess any feelings and don’t bring up something overly romantic.

I’ve heard of people sending flowers to their ex or writing romantic letters and it’s actually weird, especially if you shared a very short-lived romance with him or her. 

What you can do is message him or her about something you both experienced or liked together.

You don’t want to send a close-ended statement or question.

This doesn’t pique your ex’s interest at all nor does it excite them.

Bringing up a fond memory, experience or mutual liking to something could really open up great dialogue.

It also maintains an air of mystery to you. They won’t know if you’re texting because you want to flirt and rekindle the romance with them or to just catch up casually. 

This can ignite anticipation, excitement and sexual tension.

Also, if your ex has moved on or got married, you can easily play it off as a friendly text to catch up with no romantic connotations to it. This will help you avoid turning the encounter into something very awkward. 

In Conclusion

In life, you have to take some risks. These risks can pay off in a big way and the times that they do often make up for the times that they don’t. 

My advice to you would be this – if your intentions are noble and neither of you hates each other because of past indiscretions that shattered the trust between the two of you, then reaching out to an ex after years isn’t such a bad idea.

Just taper your expectations and you’ll be okay. 

With that being said, I hope you enjoyed this article whether or not you should reach out to an ex after years. Feel free to leave your thoughts or questions in the comment section below.

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