Calling your ex amid lockdown? Here's all you need to know before rekindling a failed romance
With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world, people are staying home to prevent the virus from spreading and to help flatten the curve. Being on lockdown, especially if you are alone, can take an enormous toll on your emotional health. It also leaves people feeling lonely and this is a huge factor that drives us to look for something comforting. Reports reveal that quarantine and self-isolation have resulted in some people reaching out for something familiar, for instance, a former flame.
The implications of reaching out to an ex-flame can be good or bad, depending on the situation and the relationship one has had with the ex. After all, they do become an 'ex' for a reason.
Relationship expert and author, Elle Hari, spoke to MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) in an exclusively interview and shed some light on this emotional crisis. "The implications are different for everyone’s unique situation and relationship with their ex. Obviously, if your ex was abusive in any way, you risk enduring more abuse as it’s doubtful that your ex has changed," she says.
"If the relationship ended for reasons other than the ex being abusive, it's still important to assess why the relationship ended in the first place," she adds. Elle explained that with an ex-partner there was obviously some boundary that was crossed or not honored on either side.
As a result, returning to such an individual means that "you run the risk of being treated the same way by your ex as you were treated before (the break-up)". The simple act of making a phone call to an ex also has repercussions, depending on the intention with which the person is calling.
"If they are returning to their ex with any kind of expectation that their ex is going to somehow make them feel better, then that is a set up for disappointment," Elle points out. "Expectations are not only unfair, but they are also often referred to as 'premeditated resentments'."
Calling a former partner also raises a question: does it mean that they have power over you? To this Elle says, "The only person we have any power over is ourselves. If you truly want to do something, then do it. You have all the power there. If you truly want to call or text your ex, then do it. Your ex isn't holding a gun to your head or forcing you to do anything. The operative word is 'truly' want."
Elle also suggests that there are other ways to make oneself feel comfortable without going back to an ex, especially in these times of uncertainty. While explaining the true meaning of self-love, she said there is a big difference between self-care and self-love.
Self-care refers to looking after yourself physically (spa days, holidays, parlor days, etc) while self-love looks at taking care of yourself spiritually. "Self-love is knowing that you are everything you need. You are full, whole and complete as you are. You do not need anyone else to try to feel complete. When you love someone, you want to spend time with that person. When you love yourself, you want to spend time with yourself. You actually long for your solitude. You are your favorite person to be with."
She explains how the planet is enveloped in fear right now, which can lead to people feeling lonely if we don't love ourselves. "Loneliness brings feelings of sadness, restlessness, grief, anxiety and despair. Know that these feelings are perfect. They are yours, and they are valid. Rather than looking to someone else outside of you to try in vain to make them go away, accept your feelings. You are in charge of your feelings, remember? And, what you resist persists," she says.
Through this, by becoming one with your feelings, you are accepting yourself with no judgment, which is the very definition of loving yourself. When this begins to happen, the dependency on someone else to make you feel whole reduces.
This also leads to opportunities to meet people we more closely resonate with and such instances then occur more frequently, she says. "We are also able to experience healthy relationships without any co-dependence or ulterior motives because we will no longer bring expectations to the table. We won't be looking to others outside of ourselves for anything as we will realize that we already have everything that we truly desire within ourselves."
Hari is a relationship expert, author, teacher and coach on self-discovery and self-love.