Don’t text the ex. Picture: Jay Town
Don’t text the ex. Picture: Jay Town

Don’t ‘text the ex’ during lockdown

Lockdown might be an excuse to have an extra doughnut or three sugars in your coffee, but it is no reason to text the ex.

Relationship expert Any Chan says people locked away at home with too much time on their hands might suddenly start to have second thoughts about that relationship that turned sour.

"Everyone has on corona-tinted glasses," New Yorker Amy Chan says of feelings many people may experience during a prolonged lockdown.

"Your brain is going to rationalise anything that you want to during this time. You'll eat that extra slice of cake or have another shot of tequila."

Fight the urge to text the ex. Picture: Supplied
Fight the urge to text the ex. Picture: Supplied

Ms Chan, who founded Renew break-up Bootcamp for the newly single, told the New York Post that the impulse was understandable. It's normal to wonder how someone you were once close with is faring in isolation or to crave comfort from a familiar face.

But it's the wrong move.

"When we feel anxiety, boredom and loneliness, we reach for a vice to self-soothe," she says.

Text-regret could be a major condition during lockdown. Picture: iStock
Text-regret could be a major condition during lockdown. Picture: iStock

"Your ex is like a drug dealer, and you're fiending for a fix."

There's even some science behind that: When we give into a temptation - such as texting an old fling - it can activate the brain's reward system, releasing feel-good chemicals, such as oxytocin and dopamine.

"It's possible you can get hooked" on the rush, says Chan.

An I love you text message ... think twice before sending. Picture: iStock
An I love you text message ... think twice before sending. Picture: iStock

Unfortunately, not all things that feel good are good for you. So she urges singles to come up with other ways to feel connected and to put up barriers between themselves and their exes.

Willpower alone isn't enough, and it will run out fast, she says. Instead, "turn to an accountability buddy" - a trusted friend who will take your call when you're considering contacting an old flame. Hopefully, talking it out will scratch the itch and help you feel less alone.

Think before you text, people in lockdown have been warned. Picture: Getty
Think before you text, people in lockdown have been warned. Picture: Getty

If you feel like you've been talking people's ears off, keeping a diary can help, too.

"Write down all the reasons it didn't work out," she says. A page of stark facts is hard to ignore, and it will refocus your feelings and energy.

Her biggest piece of advice? Remember that lockdown won't last forever - and you need to be taking care of future-you.

"Think: Post-quarantine, are you going to be proud of what you did right now?" she says.



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