How to Start Contacting Your Ex

Plan out what you want to say before you send it.
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After months or even years of being together, it isn't easy to simply forget about your ex. Whether you want to rekindle your romance with a former flame or start a platonic friendship, the first step is kicking off the communication. While contacting your ex may seem nerve-wracking, with some careful planning you can start talking to her with confidence.

1 Casual Communication

Even if you think that your ex somehow expects you to start contacting him post-breakup, your initial communication may still come as a shock or surprise. Instead of startling him with a lengthy email or overly emotional text, keep your first contact short and sweet, suggests Nancy Kalish, professor emeritus of psychology at California State in her article "7 Do's and Don't's of Lost Love Etiquette" on Psychology Today. For example, send a text saying, "What's up?" or a brief message that reads, "I'd like to get together and talk."

2 Initial Apology

The first contact that you have with your ex should also include some type of apology -- provided you're the one at fault. Chances are that you've already apologized during or immediately after the breakup. If this is the case, kick off your conversation with a brief, yet sincere, "I'm truly sorry." If you haven't apologized at all, use this as an opportunity to acknowledge what you've done wrong or take responsibility for your actions. This doesn't mean that you need to write a lengthy email detailing everything that went wrong. You can save the full explanation for later, after you get your ex's attention. For example, try something such as, "I was wrong to lie," or "I'm sorry I hurt you."

3 Slow Down

While it's tempting to pick up the phone and leave voice mail after voice mail or text on top of text, you need to stop yourself and take a step back. When you first start contacting your ex, don't frighten her off by coming on too strong with dozens of messages at once. Send one message, or call one time. Leave the ball in her court when it comes to getting back to you. If and when she does contact you, there is no need to reply immediately. If she texts or emails you, take some time to think about what she said back to you before you make a hasty response. For example, if she texts, "I'll think about getting together with you," that means that she needs time to actually think about it. Texting her two minutes later doesn't give her enough space to consider what she wants to do.

4 First-Hand Conversations

Contact your ex yourself. Avoid putting a mutual friend in the middle and asking him to do your dirty work. Even though it's stressful to come face-to-face -- or voice-to-voice -- with your ex, asking a friend to make the first contact may complicate matters. Involving someone else in your relationship drama may end up in mixed messages that aren't what you or your ex ever intended. For example, you tell your friend John to tell your ex Jill that you're ready to talk to her again. Jill says she's not ready right now, but will talk to you in a few weeks when she's better able to handle her emotions. John tells you she said "no." While she said no for right now, she does want to talk to you again -- which is something John neglected to say.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.