I want another chance

Send your own relationship questions (or "I don't have a relationship" questions) to [email protected] Stay warm this weekend.


I saw your Instagram story about contacting exes after someone put it in their story (someone related to my ex).

I split up with my ex pre-corona. Ten years of our lives together. Formative ones, as well (25-35). We had the most amazing of times and journeys together. We grew, we laughed, we loved, and most of all, we learned. My problems and past traumas coupled with my coping mechanisms were a big part of the collapse of our relationship. We actually split pretty amicably.

Recently, because of revelations about myself and my behavior, I have been wanting to:

A.) Seek a professional therapist to help with my past traumas.

B.) Reach out to apologize for ignoring my own coping mechanisms – for, in essence, throwing away the past 10 years.

You are a random stranger and this is as truthful as I have been with anyone besides myself. I think the fact that you are a complete stranger is allowing me to send this email. I miss her right now, more than ever. We never gave it a second shot; didn't want to hate each other. Probably my most adult decision. Still it pains me, and I yearn for that second chance (well, to be honest, she gave me a lot of chances) to prove I can change myself.

I really want to text her; emailed y’all instead.

– One random self-searching stranger

Congrats on taking time to reflect on your past actions. Good for you for figuring out some important stuff during a difficult time.

Based on A, your great plan to "seek a professional therapist to help with past traumas," I think you should refrain from reaching out to your ex in any way. Why? You haven't been to therapy yet. You're at the beginning of a process; you want to apologize, but you haven't figured out the specifics of why. To text her now, telling her you're about to do some emotional work, would be like calling someone to say, "I'm going to bake you a cake ... at some point!" Better to be able to say, "Here, if you'd like, take a look at this cake!"

Please know that in therapy and over time, you might decide you don't want to bake her a cake at all. It's possible you'll want to let go and start fresh. It's hard to tell whether your feelings of longing are about wanting her, or about shame, in general. You have know idea whether she's the best parter for you when you're at your best, in the present.

Start your journey (or whatever you want to call it) and make notes. Writing it all down – exactly like you did here – can be more productive than reaching out before you've figured out what you need to say.

– Meredith

Readers? What do you do with that urge to reach out?