Talking to an ex-boyfriend can be uncomfortable. It isn’t just a matter of finding the right subject matter, but how you say it and even when can be tricky. You don’t want to re-ignite some anger but you also don’t want to appear too nice or you might send the wrong message. Conversing with an ex-boyfriend can be a downright minefield.
How to talk to your ex-boyfriend
Luckily there are some good ground rules that you should heed:
- Start off by emailing or writing him. It is better not to start off communicating with an ex face to face. You probably want to avoid an ugly confrontation or rejection. You can say everything you want to say in a letter or email without getting the door slammed in your face. If you have to choose, I would recommend an email over a letter. Emails are less personal. Keep the first few notes casual and short. You should ask only general questions and give a few vague details about your life. These first notes serve to say that you just want to be friendly.
- Move on to calling him. Phone calls are a little more personal and unorganized, so only use phones when you feel emotionally ready. You don’t want to get into an argument with your ex, nor do you want to feed an emotional need that your ex has, so keep calls short and superficial. Ask how’s work or school, or how mutual friends are. Try to avoid asking him directly how he is doing, as this could lead to a deeper conversation than you would like.
- Skype. If both of you have access to skype, this is a valuable intermediary step before meeting face to face. You want to appear healthy and friendly. Don’t wear too much makeup, so that you don’t send the message that you want your ex to be attracted to you. At this stage, you may feel comfortable discussing what kind of relationship you want to have with him. If you would like to pursue a lasting friendship or just remain distant associates, be clear with him about how you see the two of you proceeding. If he is uncomfortable with what you want or just reluctant to do so at the time, then be gracious and say you can wait.
- Ask for a meeting. You may text or call your ex and suggest a sit down meeting. Coffee or lunch are pretty standard options. Be on time and come prepared with some talking points. You may even bring a gift, something non-romantic that shows you still care about him in a platonic way. Turn your cell phone off, as it may prove a distraction or a disturbance. Compliment your ex’s appearance; he may look like he is having a hard time with the breakup but you should politely ignore that. Be friendly, but keep the conversation to non-personal topics like work, family or hobbies. If the conversation gets too personal for comfort, have an excuse handy for a quick getaway.
- Be prepared to bump into him. If you live near each other or visit the same places often, have a laundry list of things you can talk to with him. You should be polite and greet him. Don’t try to avoid him or seem too eager to talk. You want to make him as comfortable as possible.
- Invite him to social occasions. If you and your buddies are out on the town, you may consider inviting your ex and some of his friends. Being in a group situation may help relieve some of the tension and get some friendly banter going. You may be able to say some things in a group setting that you couldn’t when you were alone. Avoid becoming drunk though. You may say or do things that could irrevocably damage your friendship with your ex.
- Don’t divulge too much about your relationship or breakup to others. The wrong rumors can ruin any chance of a future relationship with your ex-boyfriend, so be very careful what you say to others. Also be extremely cautious about what you post online; people often feel they need to entertain people with their social media pages. Unfortunately, you can go too far and put up embarrassing or unthoughtful things.