How do I tell her to leave me alone?

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My ex broke up with me in August of 2020. We had been living together for a year and dating for four and a half years by that point. Initially we had to communicate in order to deal with the logistics of moving out and switching over payments of the utilities (etc.) but now, almost six months later, she texts me occasionally. Sometimes it's just a casual "Happy [insert holiday]!," but other times it's more of a direct question or even an attempt to start a conversation.

I've responded when absolutely necessary but refrained from responding when I don't need to. I made it clear during the breakup (though maybe not as clear as I should have) that I was going to need space. I believe that I should re-clarify this point but I don't know what to say without being rude. It is genuinely upsetting to see her text me and I just wish that she would stop trying to reconnect, even in a casual or friendly way. What's the most concise and courteous way to ask her to leave me alone?

– We Broke Up


Just be honest.

Don’t worry about courteousness. You don't have to try to make her feel better. All you need to do is say, "I hope this doesn't upset you, but I'd rather not hear from you, even sporadically. I need to get over this in a healthy way, which requires time and space. Even a small text disrupts that. I'll let you know if that ever changes. If there's ever a practical question concerning logistics that we forgot to answer months ago, use my email. No texts, please." (Write your own version of whatever you need to say. That's just my version of a draft.)

There's nothing rude, cruel, or weak about saying, "Hey, we broke up. No go away." Dumpers (the breaker uppers) often hate feeling like the bad guy, but they have to learn to sit with discomfort and realize that often, they're not really the bad guy until they start sending "Happy St. Patrick's Day!" texts for no good reason.

You ask about being concise. I did my best with that, and I think you can pull this off in four sentences. Also, after you've sent the message, block the number. That might seem extreme, but I swear it's allowed. It's what the block button is for. At the moment, she's an emotional spam call.

If you can't deal with any of this advice, at least rename her in your phone. Now, when I get a text from someone named “Holy S*&#,” my first instinct is to laugh. But ... that took time. I wish I had blocked first.

– Meredith

Readers? Thoughts on being polite about contact after a breakup?