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Reasons to call your ex just once more

Vicki Clinebell majored in journalism at the University of Colorado, and headed an advertising agency before beginning a long career in broadcasting, spanning production and copywriting to sales and management for an ABC affiliate statio...

The make-or-break phone call

While there are legitimate reasons to call an ex, be careful: The ex-boyfriend phone call can make or break any potential future relationship you may have with him. Timing is half the battle. Here are a few tips on when to call and what to say to your ex.

when to call the ex

Timing

When you call is almost as important as what you say when you do. Don't even think of calling him at work, when he's getting ready for work or just getting home; he'll be rushed in the morning and needs time to unwind when he gets home. Call right after dinner, when his long day is over and he's more relaxed. If he's missing you at all, this is probably the time -- so he'll be more susceptible to lonely feelings and more receptive to your call.

Hopefully, you haven't been phoning, texting, writing or emailing, driving by his home, or conveniently showing up at places where you know he'll be. If you've kept your distance since the breakup, good job; keep your cool on this first call, too.

before you dial

Don't ever phone before you know what you're going to say. If you plan to talk about the breakup or try to get him back, rethink. This is not the time to discuss who each of you is currently dating or to mention a possible reconnection. Stay away from heavy emotional topics. When you do make the call, speak to him with the same confidence you had when the two of you were together. Concentrate on staying calm.

appropriate reasons to call

  1. You celebrated several birthdays as a couple, so calling to wish him a happy birthday is just sweet and friendly.
  2. If he graduated, got a promotion, bought a house or accomplished some other special feat, calling with congratulations is fine.
  3. You could call to ask about a sick relative, or to find out how his sibling is adjusting to college life. If you were together a long time and grew close to his family, checking on their well-being is natural and thoughtful.

Short & light

The most important rule for this call is to keep it short. You've made the connection, but you need to get off the phone after a few minutes. Let him do most of the talking. To end the call, tell him you have to go. You might say that you're running out the door in a few minutes and need to get moving -- no further details. Keeping this conversation short could leave him wanting more.

Don't rationalize reasons to contact your ex immediately following a breakup. Constantly calling, texting, emailing or showing up at his hangouts is a poor strategy. As difficult as it is, you need to give him space and time. The rule is no contact. He can't start missing you if you're not gone.

More on breakups

4 Reasons you can't let go of your ex
Breakup advice
Playlist: Top 10 new breakup songs

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