What to Do When Your Ex Emails You After 10 Years
Hey guys, today I am going to bring an email from a woman’s perspective. She asked me how she should react to her old flame contacting her again, and I gave her some easy to follow and concrete advice.
This is the email from Rosalia:
“Hi Alex, just got to the office today and there was an email from out-of-the-blue from my Ex boyfriend who’d dumped me for another woman almost 10 years ago. Didn’t expect to be this shook by this, since I’ve subsequently moved on and am (happily) in a committed, long-term relationship.
I dated this guy; we’ll call him Richard, when I was in my early 20s. He was almost 30. At the time I was very much in love with him; but, I wasn’t ready to commit to a serious long-term relationship (which he wanted me to do) because of the age difference, my being so much younger and less experienced in life than he was. He was pretty much ready to get married but I wanted to take things slower and be more deliberate about my choices, to ensure I was making the right decisions; my mother passed way about 3 years prior and my emotions were all messed up, you see.
Anyway, things seemed to be going along fine as it stood between us – I wasn’t dating anyone else other than Richard, but I also wasn’t willing to “formally commit” – when suddenly (again, out-of-the-blue) he announced that he and “Rebekka” (formerly an unheard-of lady friend) had decided they were going to start a committed, “formal” relationship and it was over between him and I.
I can’t tell you the absolute shock, pain and sheer mental and emotional anguish this put me through at the time. I know I wasn’t ready for a serious committed relationship but he also knew I loved him very much and just needed a little time, having only broken up with my high-school sweetheart & fiancée just 2 years prior (1 year after my Mom died).
So, anyway, sorry for the long story here but I just don’t know what to do. Him emailing me like that re-awakened the old pain. I’d heard he’d gotten married and had kids with her, so I don’t think he wants to get back with me; and frankly I wouldn’t break up with “Jean Francois”, who really is my soul mate and loves me deeply, to get back with “Richard”.
Any insight and advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.”
This is my reply:
“Well, the way I see it, you have two choices: you either respond, or you don’t. Either way, it doesn’t change anything. You’re still with Francois, and Richard won’t be prominent in your life. If you think it would be fun to hear how Richard is doing, by all means, do so. If it bears too much pain, don’t.
At least that’s the way I see it. What do you think?”
The second email from Rosalia:
“Thank you very much for your reply. I appreciate it. That is an excellent, wise answer; cuts right to the point of the matter.
Once the surprise of his very unexpected email cleared away, I could look at it a lot more objectively. And you know, looking at it your way, I realized I don’t really care; how he’s doing and the details of his life are completely irrelevant to me. That said, I felt it would be rude to not reply. I am over it and there’s no harm to briefly replying. So I said, “I’m fine; how are you? Hope things are well.”
Thanks again for taking the time to read my email and respond. It was very nice to get an outside, completely objective perspective.
So yeah, my answer summed it up pretty well. When you boil it all down, you usually only have two options: A or B. Depending on which one you choose, you may have to make several choices after the initial choice, but it always starts with just one. Getting that first one right is crucial to taking the best decision that you can.
In this case, both A and B would lead to almost the same outcome. As I said: Rosalia would still be with Francois, and Richard didn’t have anything to do with that.
When you ask the right questions, you get the right answers. And that’s why my answer helped Rosalia out of her situation – we put it into the right perspective. Often the best questions isn’t “how?”, it’s “why?”. When you can answer that, usually the rest is easy.
If you ever have a question or something you need help with (like getting over an ex-girlfriend), you can contact me through the contact form.
Image by Abdulmajeed.