The "Ex Text": I Had To Stop Bringing My Exes To Bed With Me

by Keila Dumas
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It always happens: You’re enjoying the heck out of your life, loving your new beau, or your newfound singleness, and a text comes in. 


Sometimes you don’t even have to look down at your phone, you just get that feeling of “Oh god, what now?” You unlock your screen and it ironically opens straight into the message that you wanted to hesitate opening.

2:30pm
Hey u

*cringes*

You pray that they don’t have their read receipts on. You think about what this person could possibly want. It’s been weeks, months, sometimes even years and that random text just brings a rush of “ughhhh.” I am guilty of it. I open the text. I read it, and I think. I go through all of the (e)motions/emojis that can assist me with a witty response.

3:38pm
Hey. 

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Then the conversation goes nowhere. You do the usual catch-up, and it concludes. Now what? I cannot speak for everyone, but for me, that “now what” lingered. When I was single, that “text from my ex” left an imaginary door open like the closet in Monster’s Inc. Sometimes, the loneliness would tempt me to shoot a “You up?” knowing good and well that these were battlegrounds that I no longer needed to cross. But you know what they say, “idle mind, devil’s workshop.” Now, relationship me is a different story. In a post like this, transparency is essential, so let me be real. I am very guilty of responding to an “Ex Text.” I’m not really sure why. It could possibly be because I was just bored and I had already responded back to everyone in my phone except that person.

Or, it could be that I subconsciously wanted them to know that I am happily moved on. I still haven’t decided on my reasoning for entertainment. However, growth is important. And eventually, that same imaginary door that was previously mentioned, stayed open a little bit longer than it should have.

Me engaging in text conversations with my past “whatevers” provided them a skeleton key into my bed. Figuratively of course. 

About 70 percent of phone users sleep with their phone near their beds. I made up that statistic, but I’m pretty sure the percentage is higher. Our phones are either under our pillow, on the nightstand, or somewhere in immediate reach. Stay with me, now. The door and skeleton key analogy was to get you to understand that continuous engagement with your exes and the “innocent” lols gives them permission to invade your inbox. You could potentially have made them comfortable with sliding into your DMs at all hours of the night. And it’s not okay. The first and last night I received a late night “You up” text I almost died. I was happily boo’ed up and my phone was in plain sight. That struck up a dialogue between my boyfriend and I that I was ill-prepared for, but the conversation needed to be had. That night I went to sleep and had to reflect. I also had to clean up shop.

Then my iPhone and I threw a #BlockParty. We deleted and blocked and moved forward. 
During the reflection, I came to understand that while it is possible to be cordial with my ex beaus, it is not necessary to be friends. Stop checking on their social media, and stop circulating that energy in your direction. Things get cut off for a reason. If you are single, and find those lonely nights to be tempting, create. Come up with a new idea, do yoga, dance, try a new recipe, something!

You are totally not lonely, you are avoiding the fact that you have to get to know yourself on a more personal basis.

The rebuilding process after a relationship is hard. The continuation of building yourself within a relationship is even harder. You are worth that hard work. 

For me, I had to make sure that I acknowledged that there was nothing else that I needed from my past. I had to also take responsibility for my actions as well. I didn’t need the inside jokes, all of my guilt trip bags were unpacked, and I had peace and closure. Was it easy? Absolutely not. Is the temptation to entertain conversation (because they ALWAYS find a way to reach out) still there? Sure is. (Remember, this is me being transparent.) Coming to terms with being happy with where I am, who I may or may not be with, and just being receptive to new grounds of euphoria. Cutting ties creates a better velocity when moving forward either alone or with someone else.

Kindly express to your ex that you wish them the best, but their friendship is no longer needed in your progression. 
Of course, everything is always easier said than done, but everything is doable. If you even have to go as far as burning sage around your phone, do it. Cleanse your energy and rid it of potential toxicity. Leave the past in the past. Continue to embrace the now, and never look back. Put your phone away, and engage with your new reality. You can do it, I believe in you.

For more advice on how to move forward from your past, check out this article from Psychology Today.

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