The Breakup Habit That Changed My Life: No More Emotional Texts

Breakups are tough, aren’t they? They’re like a storm that leaves us feeling battered and bruised, emotionally drained. We all have our ways of dealing with the emotional turmoil that follows. Some of us might dive into work, others might find comfort in the company of friends, and some might even take the route of self-isolation. My personal journey of self-discovery, however, led me to confront a habit that was more destructive than therapeutic—sending lengthy, emotional text messages to my exes. Over time, I realised that this was a futile exercise, only serving to heighten my distress.

At first, these long messages seemed like a lifeline, a way to let out the whirlwind of thoughts and feelings that were tearing at my heart. They were my canvas, where I painted my emotions in words, hoping to find some semblance of peace. I hoped my exes would engage in a conversation that could provide closure, a conversation that could help me understand where things went wrong, and perhaps, how I could avoid making the same mistakes in the future. But more often than not, I was met with indifference, a dismissive response, or worse, silence. Each non-response, each cold shoulder, only deepened the wound and intensified my anxiety. It was like shouting into a void, hoping for an echo, but being met with a deafening silence instead. It took me a while to understand that I wasn’t initiating a dialogue but was instead trying to offload feelings onto someone who couldn’t, or didn’t want to, process them.

Recognising the problem is the first step towards change. Once I saw the destructive cycle I was in, I began to understand the root of the issue. My texts weren’t meant to be an effective means of communication, but rather an emotional outlet, a catharsis. They were a desperate plea for understanding from men who, either through incapacity or indifference, were unable to provide the support I sought. This was a manifestation of my anxious attachment style, a pattern of behaviour where I sought reassurance and validation from others, particularly my romantic partners, to alleviate my own insecurities and fears.

It was a tough pill to swallow, realising that those long, emotional texts were largely ineffective. Why? Because communication is a two-way street. It requires an invested listener, a receptive mindset, and a level of empathy that might be absent or diminished in the post-breakup environment.

Addressing this habit required both a change in mindset and an improvement in communication skills. I had to learn how to manage my emotions effectively and express my feelings with intention and clarity, even in the most challenging circumstances. This was a journey of self-discovery and growth, where I had to confront my anxious attachment style and learn healthier ways of dealing with my emotions and communicating my needs.

Here are some tips on how to better manage emotions after a breakup:

  • Understand that it’s normal to feel strong emotions during a breakup, but how you manage and express those emotions can greatly affect your well-being. It’s okay to feel hurt, and it’s okay to grieve, but it’s also important to remember that these feelings are temporary and that you will heal over time.

  • View breakups not as failures or personal shortcomings but as lessons and opportunities for growth. Each relationship, each breakup, teaches us something about ourselves and helps us grow and evolve as individuals. It’s important to take these lessons to heart and use them to foster personal growth and self-improvement.

  • Remember that your self-worth isn’t defined by the ending of a relationship. You are a whole, complete individual in your own right, and your value does not depend on whether you’re in a relationship or not. It’s crucial to internalise this and cultivate a sense of self-love and self-respect.

  • Find ways to connect with yourself and be present. Mindfulness, journalling, working out, spending time in nature, or learning new things are all great ways to help you strengthen your sense of self and start healing from the breakup.

  • Be patient with yourself. We often have an image in our minds of how we should handle a breakup – with grace, calm, and a swift recovery. But the reality is, breakups are messy and healing takes time. It’s not a linear process, and it’s okay to have good days and bad days. With time and experience, you’ll learn more about yourself and know what will happen if you send emotional texts, which will help you make a more informed decision.

  • Be intentional about your healing process. This might involve setting boundaries with your ex, taking care of your physical health, or dedicating time each day to self-care.

  • Don’t hesitate to lean on friends and family, or consider seeking support from a therapist or support group. Engaging in hobbies you love can also be a great way to cope. Whether it’s painting, hiking, reading, or cooking, hobbies can provide a much-needed break from negative thoughts and help you find joy and fulfillment outside of relationships.

Texting mistakes to avoid post-breakup:

  • Avoid unleashing a torrent of feelings. Instead, articulate specific thoughts or concerns. It’s important to express your feelings, but it’s equally important to do so in a way that is clear, concise, and respectful. Bombarding your ex with a flood of emotions might feel cathartic, but it’s unlikely to lead to productive communication.

  • Consider the timing and medium of communication. Text messages can be impersonal and misinterpreted due to a lack of tone and body language. If possible, opt for face-to-face conversations or phone calls where sincere emotions and meanings can be conveyed more effectively. However, it’s also important to respect the other person’s boundaries and to give them space if they need it.

  • If the other party is not receptive, respect their space. They may be dealing with the breakup in their own way. It’s important to understand that everyone has their own way of coping with breakups, and what might work for you might not work for them. It’s crucial to respect their boundaries and to give them the space they need to heal.

  • Understand that closure isn’t always attained through dialogue with your ex-partner. More often than not, closure comes from self-acceptance and acknowledging the end of the relationship. It comes from understanding that the relationship has ended, accepting it, and moving on. It’s about finding peace within yourself, rather than seeking it from someone else.

Remember that someone who isn’t here with you or doesn’t actively try to be a positive, valuable part of your life is not worth pouring your heart out to—Save it for someone who actually wants to hear from you and deserves your presence. Exes are old news.

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