It’s almost midnight. You’re finishing up a research paper that’s due tomorrow. Your phone lights up and there on the screen is a name you haven’t seen in a while—a name you may have never wanted to see again.
The text says: “I miss you.” It’s your ex.
What do you do?
Every breakup has different circumstances, but some things are universal. Whether you broke up with your boyfriend or he broke up with you, the pursuit of “closure” is often a façade for attention. Before you respond to that “I miss you” text, take time to do these four things.
1. Stay rooted in reality.
Remind yourself of the truth. What were the REAL circumstances of the breakup? It’s easy to romanticize the past and make bad situations seem much less traumatic than they were. Don’t rewrite history; stay rooted in reality. Just because he wants you back doesn’t mean he has changed.
If you did the breaking up, don’t let guilt motivate a speedy answer. You need wisdom for situations like these.
2. Ask the Lord for wisdom.
Wisdom is “knowledge applied.” Before responding to your ex, take the time to pray. Don’t let urgency tempt you to say things in haste that you may later regret. You can take several days to respond and pray over what to say, if anything. Ask God to give you wisdom.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5)
You need God’s long-term view to answer this situation appropriately. Don’t think you can figure this out on your own!
3. Delay your response.
As previously mentioned, don’t be afraid to take some time before responding. You do not owe an immediate response to your ex. You don’t owe that to anyone. Before technology, people waited hours, days or weeks to hear from one another. You need time to process this and respond in a God-honoring, wisdom-based way. Whether that means taking a few hours or taking a few days, do what is necessary to respond well.
4. Talk to a mentor.
Finally, it’s understandable if you immediately text your bestie that your ex reached out—but find someone older and wiser to talk to as well. Ideally, you have a mentor in your life who is discipling you (if not, begin looking for one!). Talk to her about your situation, asking for advice and wisdom. Her perspective will help you make a decision that both honors God and honors others.
Is it tough to hold off on responding right away? Definitely! We all crave drama at least a little. But just as we need to honor God in our dating relationships and friendships, we must continue to uphold that honor even when a relationship ends. “I miss you” may have been sent on impulse, but you can respond with wisdom and grace.