While it would be nice if relationship endings were easy, cut-and-dried propositions, they rarely are. It is often quite difficult for parties in a loving relationship to end their union and sever their emotional connection. If you find yourself in the unenviable position of receiving a profession of love from someone you consider an ex, you may struggle with how to respond. To ensure that your response is both productive and appropriate, you must carefully consider your future plans as well as your past with the lovelorn ex.
Letting Go: Men vs. Women
While women may seem more likely to hold on to romantic feelings, the website for "Cosmopolitan Magazine" reports that the opposite is actually true. As many as 50 percent of men admit to still harboring feelings for a past partner; only 27 percent of women say that they still feel a romantic link to an ex-beau. This means that–as a woman–you are statistically more likely to receive an awkward call in which your ex professes his continued love for you. Instead of being caught off guard when this call occurs, prepare in advance for this potentially uncomfortable situation.
Consider His Motives
Before you go running back into your ex’s arms, take some time to consider why he might suddenly be announcing his undying love. It is possible that he is a kind man who has always cared for you. Conversely, he may have ulterior motives. Be as logical and critical as possible when considering the motivation behind his emotions to ensure that you don’t get burned twice by the same tricky guy.
Consider Why You Broke Up
If you still maintain even an inkling of emotional attachment to your ex, his profession of love may leave you wanting to jump right back into your relationship. Before you do this, take time to think about the circumstances that separated you in the first place. It is likely that these prior problems will rear up again; reentry into the relationship without reconsidering those previous problems is masochistic at best.
Avoidance is a Temporary Fix
If your lovelorn ex is not someone you are interested in dating again, you may be tempted to make yourself scarce and hope that his emotions fizzle. While this is certainly the easiest thing to do as it prevents you from really having to deal with the situation, it is not effective. Despite your best efforts, you will eventually run into your ex again. Instead of avoiding him, talk to him candidly and make your feelings clear.
Honesty is the Best Policy
While you likely don’t want to hurt the feelings of an ex you once cared for deeply, you also don’t want to lead him on. After taking some time to consider his feelings, share your feelings with him. If you don’t love him and don’t want to re-enter the relationship, make it clear. Drawing out the issue and trying to avoid taking a real stance will only make it more difficult for both of you in the long run.