How to Break the Ice with Your Ex
Breaking the ice with an ex and opening up lines of communication can range from fairly easy to out right hair raising! Depending on how long someone has been your ex, and how the relationship ended will largely factor in to how easy it will be able to break the ice. While the old saying 'time heals all wounds' may indeed be true, wounded people have long memories and you may need to do a bit of tip-toeing.
Before you even think about getting in touch with an ex to break the ice, you need to be very honest with yourself about your need to communicate. If a divorce has recently occured and you need to communicate about mutual children or pets, securing the services of a licensed Mediator or Life Coach may be extremely beneficial. They can help you set up communication schedules, stop any negative self talk patterns you may have, or even assist you with conflict resolution skills and anger management. These can all work wonders if you need to retain contact with an ex for an extended period of time.
More often that not however; are reasons for wanting to get in touch with an ex are less well defined; nostalgia, loneliness, or even unresolved anger can build up inside us until we are ready to explode! We just have to contact them and resolve this...or do we?
I recently had an ex seek to break the ice with me because he had finally reached Step 8 in his AA meetings. Funnily enough, I was remarking to a friend via email just the other day how I kept waitin' on one particular ex (a different one) to do just this! What I have learned about breakthrough communication with an ex is that it is usually one person who wants the contact more than the other; but if you do feel you must have contact with an ex, here are some guidelines.
Don't confront them in public
Irregardless of how long you have been apart, whether you still live in the same town/city/state/province, confronting someone at their place of work or at a hangout you once both worshipped never works! Too many people have an immediate opportunity to offer their two cents about the 'two of you again' scenario, even if your motives were pure, and it probably won't endear you to your ex. Instead, try a brief telephone call saying you would like to meet for fifteen minutes at a neutral spot. Never get into 'what are you up to' routines, and keep the 'how are you's' to an absolute minimum. Men especially, don't like to be questioned about their physical or emotional well being, especially by an ex!
Keep the in person contact brief
When you do meet in a neutral place, don't dress over the top; women no CFM shoes, and thigh high skirts, and men don't go stinking of cologne. Simple attire will keep communication focused, even if you do really want them back. Maintain eye contact while talking, and never go down memory lane. Keep the discussion focused on what it is you want to accomplish. If you really do want someone to consider giving the relationship a second chance then say just that! Women especially have a way of over-selling themselves. Never list for a man the benefits of coming back to you, if they don't see them that is their loss. Do however; give them chance to think about it, (and let the man think it was his idea of coming back to you, you'll earn big points this way.) For men, never suggest friends with benefits, it almost always alienates us ladies, instead keep your words simple and honest.
Don't pressure for further contact
Many of us need a longer cool down period than others, so if the first initial meeting with an ex didn't seem to completely break the ice you may have to wait them out a bit. Never post alluring messages all over their Facebook or MySpace pages, and don't engage in text message terrorism. Never leave the first meeting with a deadline on when something has to be accomplished it will only backfire! Instead get on with your own life; both men and women are far more attracted to someone who has their own identity and interests. If however; two weeks or a month goes by with no contact, simply try again for a second meeting. Odds are your ex will be beginning to thaw!
Opening lines of communication with an ex is never easy and can initially be painful. One party may indeed be waiting and needing an apology or an explanation before they can even consider seeing you again! If you find that the meeting with your ex gives them considerable pain you may need to wait far longer than two weeks to a month before trying again, if at all. In my case, I was more than ready to here an apology, and slowly we are beginning to be friends although we have both agreed we could not be romantically involved again.
Sure glad he contacted me though! He listened to my anger, sat there through my tears, and took the words I had to say like a gentleman. Initially I wanted to say 'hell no' to meeting him but I'm so glad I did as it has helped close old wounds. His apology was heart felt and I know we will be good friends!