Don’t Text Your Ex! Why Lockdown Is Causing An Expandemic
In the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, most of us are following the advice of staying at home and avoiding social contact. This dramatic change in routine for many is causing a great deal of anxiety and giving people a lot of time to reflect on their current situation. For example, in China, divorce rates are rocketing as people are coming out of isolation with their partner. For others, there has been a huge increase in getting back in touch with ex-partners. So, why does the urge to text your ex feel so strong right now?
Welcome To The Expandemic
This new trend of getting in touch with ex-partners during the COVID-19 lockdown even has its own name, the Expandemic. For those spending a lot of time at home, this lockdown has given way to much more thinking time. Time spent thinking about past lovers and relationships.
Furthermore, the anxiety, disruption and loneliness that can occur during lockdown make us crave comfort, reassurance and familiar faces. For this to happen, it needs to be with someone you feel comfortable displaying your vulnerability with. More often than not, in this scenario, it will be your ex that comes to mind.
Should I Text My Ex?
It is entirely normal to check in on people you are close to. It is also totally understandable that this reflection time has made you think about people in your past.
During a crisis such as this, it is completely understandable to be sentimental and wear rose-tinted glasses about the past. This could be of how much fun you had going out before we were told to stay at home. Perhaps you’re thinking of how nice curling up watching Netflix with your ex was when you are now sat there alone.
However, texting your ex can have serious repercussions.
For a start, how will you feel if they do not reply or reciprocate your feelings? What if they do want to rekindle the romance? Are they flirting because they’re bored at home and this is an ego boost? Will you be getting back into a relationship that potential wasn’t healthy or functional? After all, there is a reason why you are not together anymore.
If you have a healthy friendship with your ex and texting regularly is part of that friendship, then there is no reason not to resume that friendship. If, however, messaging your ex would be unusual, or has an ulterior motive, it is wise to steer clear.
Why Am I Thinking About My Ex?
During a lockdown, it is likely that you will experience anxiety, boredom and loneliness. All of these emotions can lead us longing for a vice to self-soothe with. This vice could be another glass of wine, an extra slice of cake, a cigarette or two, a booty call or a cheeky sext with an ex.
All of these vices (and any others that you may have) help to activate the brain’s reward system. Even if they are not good for you, these vices still release the feel-good neurochemicals of dopamine and oxytocin. It replicates the feeling of falling in love. And it’s super-addictive.
What’s more, when you experience emotions such as anxiety, stress or loneliness, these feelings overwhelm your brain, meaning the rational part of the brain struggles to take control and make the right decisions for you. Your decision-making is overloaded with emotion, meaning you’ll choose the option that feels good over the prospect that does good.
For example, if you are hungry, lonely or tired, then you’re more likely to order that unhealthy takeaway rather than prepare a healthy meal at home. Similarly, a bottle of wine and Netflix will sound more tempting than a workout. Furthermore, that text conversation with your ex will be more appealing than a night with just your own company.
Want To Text Your Ex? Here’s What You Should Do Instead
In most cases, an ex is an ex for a reason, and while it may feel good to get back in touch now, it may not be beneficial for you in the long run. If you struggled to get over your ex when you first broke up, putting yourself in that same position again probably isn’t worth the pain.
It is important to remember that this lockdown won’t last forever. This time in lockdown should be a chance to look after the future-you. This means using this time to take a break, take stock and reevaluate your priorities. It also means focusing on those things you’ve always wanted to achieve and giving yourself some long overdue, or neglected self-care.
It can help to have the question in your mind of; ‘when I’m out of lockdown, will I be proud of how I spent my time?‘ If texting your ex is likely to be a regret, then stay well clear.
Willpower Isn’t Enough
It is not enough to simply tell yourself you’ll remain strong. As soon as negative emotions appear, your resolve will diminish, and you’ll want to self-soothe. So, have some actions in place to prevent you making a mistake that you may regret
Review Your Break-Up
Every time there is the temptation to text, journal all of the reasons why your relationship didn’t work out the first time around. You can also write a list of pros and cons of texting them, which can help you make a decision.
Write Your Text Elsewhere
If you have something you want to get off your chest, then you don’t need your partner to read it to take the load off your mind. You can write your ex a letter you’ll never send, someone has even set up a spreadsheet of Ex Texts which you can add yours too, so that it is out there, without you having to send it.
Avoid The Expandemic
If this lockdown period is causing you to address any issues such as past relationships, unhealthy behaviours and addictions, then online therapy can help. I am available over Skype, Zoom and Whatsapp to deliver bespoke, personal therapy plans in the comfort of your own home. If you want to find out more about my virtual therapy and how I can help you, then email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your free 15-minute consultation.