An ex is an ex for a reason.
Yet, how often do we forget that? How often do we break up with someone only to think about all the positives after they’re gone? How often do we warm up to the idea of getting back together (even though we know that would be a terrible idea)?
Here’s the cold, honest truth: Your toxic ex keeps crawling back because you’re letting him or her.
Don’t believe me?
Here’s 4 reasons exactly why they’re still a part of your life (even though you swear you’ve moved on):
1. You haven’t shut the door.
Maybe you’ve *officially* broken up, but you haven’t truly moved on. Whether you still follow him or her on Instagram, watch the Snapchat stories, or send arbitrary texts here and there, you haven’t fully shut the door.
There’s some small part of you that misses the connection, regardless of how toxic he or she was. And as much as you hate to admit it, you’re not willing or ready to truly leave that behind.
2. You’re keeping communication open.
You know the truth: you’re still talking.
Whether over direct message, a phone call every month, etc. you’re still in communication with this person. And don’t get me wrong, it’s understandable—you loved one another and had something real for a while—but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
If you want to know the real reason neither of you have moved on?
You never actually walked away.
3. You haven’t been clear about what you want and feel.
Your toxic ex keeps crawling back because you’re just not straight up with him or her about what you want. Maybe you know, in your heart, that the relationship is wrong. But have you had the courage to really tell him/her that? Have you really spoken your mind, even though it’s scary?
You’re going to have moments where you change your mind, where you feel strongly but get pulled back in, or when your heart plays tricks on your mind. But if you know you’re not in a healthy relationship, you have to have the courage to say goodbye. Once and for all.
4. You’re scared of being without him or her.
This is the hardest to hear, but you have to read and recognize it within yourself. Perhaps your toxic ex keeps crawling back because you’re allowing yourself to get tangled with him or her again and again.
There are moments where you can turn away without a second thought…and then there are nights when you’re alone and missing him/her is painful.
Letting go is difficult, but it’s necessary if you want the healing you deserve. You might be scared of being alone, or maybe even scared of living without this person because of how long you were together or what you built. But you must.
You deserve a clean slate and a relationship that honors and builds you. So please, shut that door.
A version of this post was previously published on The Mind’s Journal and is republished here with permission from the author.
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