Photo: Oleggg (Shutterstock)
The holiday season is filled with nostalgia, so it’s no surprise that you’ll receive a message from a curious ex during this time. An innocent text is one thing, but if an ex strolls back into your life eager to rekindle things as soon as the nights get a little colder, you might be on the receiving end of the latest dating trend called “winter coat”.
“Winter coating is when an old partner or lover from your past tries to rekindle your romance during the winter months to try to avoid loneliness and other difficult feelings,” says Minaa B., one of the harmony relationship experts.
Think of it this way: grab your trusty parka when it starts to get chilly outside; however, the moment it starts to heat up, you throw it away because you no longer need it. Nice, isn’t it? While the winter coat follows other cringe-worthy dating trends like cuffs and snow globethe reappearance of an ex during the holidays does make sense.
“Breakups are hard, and that’s why remembering your old partner, even if you’re the one who initiated the breakup, is normal,” says B.. “During the holidays, that strong push to rekindle a relationship with an ex can be because the holidays are a time for love, family and connection, and if you spent the previous holidays with your ex, not having them around during this new season can feel difficult to as you adjust to not having them around and you may have to explain to your family why your ex isn’t around this year.”
Factor in the emotionally intense season and seasonal affective disorder, and it makes sense why people tend to feel lonelier in the winter. The familiarity of an ex also feels more welcoming to most, especially if you’re feeling blue. However, this also does not mean that you should immediately get back to your ex. If your ex is coming back all hot and fuzzy this winter, here’s what to consider before answering that text.
Be clear about your intentions
No matter who you’re dating, whether it’s an ex or a new partner, B. says it’s important to date with clear intentions, “and when you break up with someone, there’s a reason you made such a difficult decision.”
If an ex reappears and tries to rekindle a connection, she recommends asking yourself: What has changed? What will be different now compared to before? Is the reason you broke up still an active issue and has his behavior changed?
Another important thing to ask yourself, according to B., is, “‘Am I reconnecting with my ex because that’s the easiest way to manage my sadness instead of facing my sadness? ‘ “Breakups are hard on the heart, and when they happen, it’s natural for people to look for quick ways to fix their pain, and assume that getting back together with their ex is the solution they need when they really need to mourn their pain. loss, manage the grief of the end of your relationship and move on.”
What to do if you decide to answer the text/call
So your ex texted you and wants to connect with you more. Before you get carried away with your feelings and visions of approaching the fire, B. recommends asking them the following questions:
What will be different this time? Do you understand why we broke up and what needs to change for us to try again? Why should we try to get this working again? What are your intentions? What changes have you made that will help us move forward?
By asking these questions, you’ll both be on the same page from the jump and know exactly where you stand and what to expect from the reconnection.
Signs that your ex is “winterizing” you.
Even if you ask all the right questions and have the best of intentions, your ex could still be “winterizing” you, perhaps without even being fully aware of it. To be sure of the legitimacy of their reconnection, B. says to pay attention to the distance in time. “If you and your ex broke up in January and haven’t had any contact all year, they show up again the week before Thanksgiving to ask how you’re doing and how you plan to spend the holidays, that may be a clear sign of his motive. It may be dealing with his holiday loneliness rather than truly reconnecting with you,” she explains.
She also advises paying attention to exes who show up during the holidays and making referrals about gifts they hope to receive or share with you. “It’s likely that they’ll be looking for you to buy them something under the guise of getting back together. Other signs to watch out for are your ex asking you to show up at family gatherings even though you’re no longer together or only make dating references during the holidays, but not on New Year’s.”
Decide what you want
While B. says that it is possible for things to work out the second time around with an ex, this also means that something has changed that will allow you and your ex to work. “The issue that caused your breakup in the first place needs to be addressed and resolved in order to feel like it’s possible to move forward,” she says. “You also want to make sure your ex intends to stick around even after the holidays to make sure it’s not just a winter situation.” So when your ex comes back, she recommends being firm with your boundaries and deciding what you’re willing to participate in and what you’re not.
“Also, be brave enough to seek clarity and ask the questions you need to make sure this reconnection is due to genuine interest and wanting to get back together,” she says. “If you decide to take off your winter coat and leave the relationship once and for all, reconnect with yourself and understand what you need and want before dating again.”
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