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No, it's not a good idea to text your ex during the coronavirus pandemic. Here's how to stop

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 24-04-2020 Rasha Ali,

If you're reading this, it's not too late – put the phone down, walk away slowly and don't text your ex...... or call, or DM, or send a letter by carrier pigeon. 

a man in a white shirt: Resist the urge to text your ex, experts say. © Mattia Pelizzari, Westend61 / AP Images Resist the urge to text your ex, experts say.

The emotional toll the coronavirus pandemic has taken on most of us, coupled with quarantine or self-isolation, is pushing some to extremes like reaching out to a past fling or packing up and quarantining with your ex like Bruce Willis and Demi Moore.

The uncertainty of when things will return to "normal" can easily lead you to think your love life is stagnant, especially when you're not outside meeting new people. So the ex starts to look a little more appealing; It's the devil you know, says  Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking.

"There's that feeling of 'Oh my God, I don't want to die alone,'" Trombetti says. "When you're tired, you're depressed, you're lonely, you're scared, whatever it is, you go back to a bad habit, and let's face it – most of us have toxic exes, so you go back to that toxic place."

If you haven't done it already, we know you've at least thought about it. Maybe even written out the text and hovered over the "send" button for a couple hours. While there are a few valid reasons to check in on your old bae, the consensus is don't.

Nicole Moore, a love coach and host of the "Love Works with Nicole Moore" podcast, says your ex is your ex for a reason, and the only exception to this rule is if one of you has changed (so essentially you'd be reconnecting with a "new" person).

Also watch: 6 ways to help your relationship survive during quarantine (Video by Health.com)
 

While Moore doesn't recommend perusing your ex's social media page regularly, it's OK to do so if you're considering reaching out to them. For example, if you broke up because your ex was drinking all the time, are they still sharing videos of them taking shots or memes about downing wine during quarantine? 

You're taking a gamble because it's impossible to tell if they've changed without talking to them, but you can discreetly reach out to a mutual friend and gather some intel so you have some information to make your decision, Moore says.

"I don't think it's a good idea to ever reach out to an ex unless you have done personal inner growth work and/or they have too. Because if not, you're just going to repeat the same thing," Moore says.

Unless you and your former partner had a healthy relationship with lots of positives and broke up because of distance or a life-altering event that wasn't necessarily a deal breaker, avoid further contact, Trombetti says.

In pics: 20 ways to stay sane while self-isolating (Slideshow provided by Espresso)


We get it, you're sitting alone, bored, and you've cleaned all your cabinets, done your yoga and watched enough Netflix and Hulu, so what else is left besides stirring up a little exciting drama by texting your ex?

How about  dropping a line to a friend instead? 

 "Text your friend and say 'Listen, I am in danger of reaching out to my ex,'" Moore advises. Say, "'Remember that ex I used to complain to you about? I'm feeling lonely, please just text me five things you think are amazing about me, send me one compliment, tell me not to do it.' Use your friends as backup."

If you're still feeling tempted to press send, hear us out: Remember that annoying little habit that made you want to throw a chair at them? Moore suggests a "negative emotional stack," which means listing all of your former partner's qualities you don't like.

"You're going to sit there and think about all the bad things about your ex, all the annoying habits, all the ways they disappointed you, all the fights you can remember, all the birthday gifts they didn't get you, every way they didn't measure up," Moore says.

That will lead you to be "repelled" by them and you'll remember they weren't that great, anyway.

Once you've done that, Moore wants you to remember one thing: "The best you have had thus far is not necessarily the best that is available." Start focusing on your "love vision": If you knew for certain you could have a better relationship than the one you had with your ex, what would that look like? 

Take time to write out and envision the love you want, and that should distract you from reaching out to the ex that got you sneakers for your birthday when you've never worn sneakers in your life (No, I'm not speaking from personal experience, why do you ask?)

Now that you know what you want from a relationship, it's time to (virtually) put yourself out there and meet new people online.

Trombetti says that, especially during a pandemic  people are slowing down and starting to appreciate the more important things in life, like having a companion.  

"Get out there on the apps, have virtual dates. People are more than willing to date at this time," she says. "You can have a ton of virtual dates at this point. The person for you is out there and the good news is, at least for the time being, they're giving you air time." 

Don't let loneliness be your motivation for reconnecting with an ex who wasn't good for you. Unless you truly believe your old partner was "the one that got away" or your relationship fizzled over something you've now come to realize is insignificant, then please leave your ex alone.

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