Just because you have the ability to do something doesn’t mean you should do it. Just because you can send a message immediately doesn’t mean you deserve an immediate response. You need to know when not to text at all.
Electronic communication has changed relationships—and not for the better. For people with abandonment issues, and especially for those who struggle with anxiety, the ability to immediately communicate your feelings is a bad thing. Good communication is the foundation of a happy relationship. But bombarding your lover with every emotional thought that runs through your head can be disastrous. Too many very smart people succumb to the self-defeating act of texting or e-mailing their partner in a moment of emotional insecurity, frequently when they are tipsy or drunk, forgoing any rational judgment. The lure to instantly deliver your deepest feelings—positive or negative—may feel satisfying in the moment, but the consequences of pressing the send button are rarely beneficial.
If your partner has told you it’s over and you feel you’re never going to see him or her again, then he or she definitely doesn’t need to know how you feel. Maintain your power. If you pour your heart out to him in an e-mail, you’ll just squash any positive feelings he may still have. Both men and women have told me that they think jilted lovers are crazy when they send e-mails pleading their case about why the relationship works when they have been told it doesn’t.
You have to respect an ex’s boundaries. If you genuinely think you might be able to work it out, then you need to do that face-to-face, or at the very least on the phone. It needs to be a two-way conversation so you can be sure your feelings are acknowledged. E-mails will leave you vulnerable because no response is required. If your ex is not willing to talk about it further, then he or she is not worth any more of your precious time.
Read more about how to communicate effectively to create a healthy relationship in my book Giving Up Junk-Food Relationships