Phoning the Ex, Butterflies-Free
It isn't easy breaking the telephone bread with an ex-boyfriend. It doesn't matter if the break-up was on your side or his, the fear you feel at that first phone call is very real. What if he doesn't pick up? What if he does? What will you say? What if it doesn't go well? Why bother? Most people get in touch with their ex's for one of two reasons: you want to get back together, or you want to retain a friendship. You miss him being in your life. But first you have to get the dreaded first call out of the way. The main key to calm phoning: preparation, preparation, preparation. You're going to make a list.
Take a pen and a piece of paper out. The most important thing you need to do is evaluate yourself, where you're at emotionally. If the break-up was just a short time ago, you probably shouldn't call. Having space, some down-time, gives you both reasons for missing the other person, maybe even enough to try again. Which means no contact after the break-up. No manic texts, tear-filled voice-mails or surprise visits. It smacks of desperation and you'll be choking on his dust, he'll run so fast.
List all of the positive things you've done or are doing for yourself. The list is for you, to build your confidence. Look at and think about the changes you've gone through without him. I call this list the 'goddess' list. It should include everything you embrace about yourself. What you're proud of.
Think of which ice-breaker you're going to use, as a conversation starter. Find something natural that you feel comfortable with. A few examples: 'Howdy, stranger,' 'I had the weirdest dream about you last night and had to call,' or 'I just wanted to see how you are.' Avoid using pet names or terms of endearment, like 'Hi, Pooksie/Baby/Sweetheart.' It's simply a reminder of your past relationship, not your hopeful future one.
So you've survived the first ten seconds, now what? Choose a few safe topics. Hobbies, family, friends, work- but nothing too personal. Absolutely don't ask him if or who he's dating. Stay light, topical and upbeat. You should be positive, letting him talk and listening to him. You are the one calling him, after all, which means you should sound happy and interested. Don't go into monologues of what you've been doing or who you've been seeing in hopes of making him jealous. The less you reveal, the more he'll want to know. It's like a telephone strip-tease.
You may decide to be friends or to try it again. Take it slowly. Very slowly. If you rush back in as friends, you might find yourself surprisingly hurt when he's out on a date or wants to talk to you about another woman. Start with calling and emails, and then work your way up. If you're getting back together, you still need to take it slowly. For whatever reason, last time didn't go too well. For it to succeed this time, you'll both need to avoid making the same mistakes and getting back in the routines you used to have. The first step is the first phone call, though, so get out your pens and paper and get to work.
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at MetroSexual LA