Dr. Jennifer Hartstein was featured in the article below as Yahoo Life Mental Health contributor and practicing psychologist.
Hearing from friends and family have brought many comfort during the coronavirus crisis, but some are finding themselves on the receiving end of calls and texts from a somewhat surprising source: an ex.
Jen Hartstein, Yahoo Life Mental Health contributor and practicing psychologist, reveals that feeling stressed or conflicted after hearing from an ex is perfectly normal.
“We’re reaching out to old flames and exes because we want to go back to that old comfy sweater — it’s the thing we know,” says Hartstein.
“If you’re contacted by somebody that you’re not really sure you want to connect with, be direct,” she advises. “You can say, ‘Hey, I so appreciate you reaching out. I hope you’re well, I’m not really interested in having a conversation,’ and just shut it down,” she adds.
Hartstein says this may also be a good time to use that “ignore” button.
“‘Ignore’ is fair. This isn’t a person you’ve necessarily had much contact with anyway, so just ignoring the outreach is OK,” she says.
If you’re the person considering reaching out to an ex, Hartstein says you might want to stop and think before hitting “send” on that text message.
“We can ask ourselves if this is a good time to reach out to old flames and the answer is: ‘Who knows?’ You’ve gotta be ready to know what the motivation is and you’ve also gotta be ready for an outcome that might not be what you wanted,” warns Hartstein.
She continues, “If you’re not sure how you’re going to be received, can you handle that disappointment at a time when you are in quarantine? And if you feel, ‘No big deal, nothing to lose,’ then go for it.”