Ask Stef: I Hooked up with My Ex + Haven't Heard from Them. Now What?


Stefanie Marshall

Dear Stef,

I made a big mistake. I hooked up with my ex last month, after a fun evening we had together. We hadn’t seen each other in 7 months (mostly because of me – I needed space to heal because they were “going through a lot of things and couldn’t be in a relationship” – yeah, super vague) and we went to dinner. Everything felt so good and we really missed each other. We didn’t talk about our relationship or our break up at all. Dinner led to a bar which led to…my bed.

The next day, they hurried out with the excuse that they had so much to do (it was a Saturday morning) and I immediately felt sick to my stomach. I know that I was in control of the situation, and I was the one who organized the dinner, and I was the one who invited them over…but I feel like I’m totally OUT of control. I haven’t heard from them. And I’m just really sad. I feel like I blew it – like I said something I shouldn’t have. I don’t really know what to do next…whether I reach out and see what’s going on or if I just try to forget anything happened (which hasn’t really been working). Sigh. Oldest sob story in the books right?

Sick to My Stomach

Dear Sick to My Stomach,

You’re right. You are definitely not the first person in history to make this mistake. And for that reason, I encourage you not to beat yourself up over this. It takes two to tango and all that jazz. Plus, “everyone” making the same mistake doesn’t make it any easier to deal with the repercussions. But it does allow you to take a little comfort and not feel completely defeated.

Next order of business: alcohol and exes never mix. Inhibitions go away. Emotions take over. And our bodies start responding to chemistry instead of reason. So yes, perhaps you made a mistake, but you lived to tell the tale, and while you may feel out of control and set back, mending is still within your reach.

I know this is driving you crazy. I know you are filled with thoughts and questions. You feel like you NEED answers, like you DESERVE them. You want to know what they are thinking and why they are thinking that and also what they had for breakfast and when you can see them again. Unfortunately, I think their silence is so much more telling than any answer you would get if you reached out.

Sometimes these things happen, and sometimes they mean something. But sometimes they don’t. It’s hard, and you might momentarily feel like you’re back at square one, but keep moving forward. You said you had stayed strong for seven months, and I’m sure you have made lots of progress in that time. Find that. Take it back. This is your life, and you own it no matter what happened that night with this person. Perhaps they will reach out. Perhaps they already have. The two of you can go from there. But if they haven’t, I hope you’ll stop holding your breath. I hope you’ll stop punishing yourself for this hiccup.

Take deep breaths and remember: you moved past this once, and you can absolutely do it again.


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