By Nikhita Mahtani

Why are your exes texting you during quarantine? Wondering what they (really) want? My interview with Shape Magazine shows you how to know for sure:

Whether you’re the sender or are on the receiving end, don’t panic—just follow these steps to figure out exactly how and why (!) this happened.More

Isolation is difficult. Whether you live and are now quarantining alone, or you’re just stuck looking at the same roommate’s face (even if it’s your mom’s) day in and day out, the loneliness can be palpable. Like most others, you were probably used to getting your social fix from going out with your friends and interacting with your coworkers. But overnight, that’s suddenly been taken away. This can lead to a lot of uncomfortable emotions that you can’t easily ignore. So, for better or worse, for some, the first instinct is to find any way to escape them.

Respond appropriately (or not).

First, know that you do not have to engage with someone just because they reach out. This doesn’t necessarily mean ghosting their “How’s quarantine-life treating you?” text, though.

“Communication is often the easiest way to fix things, but it’s the most underrated tool in relationships, or even potential relationships,” says relationship expert Susan Winter. “If this person triggers you and you don’t want to speak to them, this is the best time to be honest!” says Winter. “You can explain that they hurt you and you don’t want to speak to them again.” Conversely, “if it’s a neutral ex, be civil and end the conversation and if it’s someone you want to rekindle a relationship with, go slow and be friendly.” Going slow and managing post-quarantine expectations is critical, as you’ll find out below…

“I think right now, people need the familiar, which is why they start going back to unhealthy habits that they may have been moving away from pre-pandemic, whether that’s smoking, drinking, binge-eating, or even going back to an old relationship,” says psychotherapist Matt Lundquist. “I’m seeing a lot of people receiving texts from exes and reaching out to exes, particularly because there’s such a shortage of intimacy right now, and so there’s a craving for that. We also have so much time to ruminate that reaching out to your most recent partner for some semblance of redemption can happen fairly often.”


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