We’ve all been there. It’s late, you’ve maybe had a few drinks and you’re thinking of your ex. Before you know it, your fingers are sliding over your smartphone screen composing a text you might (totally) regret in the morning.
Forget being able to fly or read minds, if I could have a superpower, it would be the ability to retract texts sent to exes, erasing them from everyone’s memories in the process. But until I get my wish, the best I can do is ponder the same question we all struggle with: should I text my ex?
Katy Perry recently came out with some great advice re: contacting former loves. While a guest on the podcast Conversations with Delilah, the Candy Queen herself admitted she, too, struggles with the urge to text her exes.
“I’ve been in that cycle before in a relationship and it kind of reignited the relationship. There’s only so many times you can reignite the relationship or want to or should and sometimes you just need to write it and never send it. It’s just that exercise — that cathartic exercise.”
She went on to tell Delilah a bit more about what this process looks like to her.
“I like drafting it and then sleeping on it because, for me, my emotions get very heightened in the evening [and] then in the morning when I wake up, I’m like, ‘Oh, I’m so glad I didn’t send that!’ I can get through another day without this situation.”
Not only has this been “a lesson of self control” for Perry, Buzzfeed also reports that this process inspired the song “Save as Draft” which, if you haven’t heard is all about wanting to reach out to an ex even when you know it’s the worst idea ever.
Regardless of how you feel about Katy Perry, this little nugget of relationship advice is solid gold. I liken it to going into a store, seeing something that seems super awesome/amazing/sparkly, but instead of rushing to the till with your wallet open, you decide to put it on hold so that you can consider whether you really need that rainbow-sequined dress/lifesize poster of David Hasselhoff/amazing Iguana costume.
Still have urge to text your ex? Here are a few circumstances when you should absolutely “save as draft.”
Unfortunately, the time when we most want to text our exes (after a few craft beers or glasses of Moscato) is when we absolutely shouldn’t. Not only are our inhibitions down and we’re more likely to do something we wouldn’t even consider while sober (i.e. confess our feelings to our ex boo), we’re also not at our best writing wise. Confessing your feelings and regretting it in the morning is bad enough without terrible spelling mistakes and incoherent sentence structure.
Or maybe you’re drunk and angry. Either way, no good can come from texting an ex when you’re seeing red. Instead, sleep on it. Write out your words in your note setting or on paper once you’ve let your anger cool a bit (trust, it will) and then compose a message that gets your point across while still taking the high road.
You’re not sure what you’re hoping to gain out of texting them.
Are you hoping to get back together? Are you still mad about that thing you did? Are you just lonely, bored and curious about what they’re up to? Just looking for a hookup and nothing else? Are you prepared for the possibility that they might not respond positively or even at all? If you’re not crystal clear about what you want out of the interaction, pause on sending that text until you’ve figured it out. Reaching out to an ex is like opening up a can of worms, so it’s best to know what you’re hoping to find before you press send.