Psychology Today July/August 2020 pp18-19 “When Holding Back Beats Reaching Out”. “Times of crisis add allure to old flames. Resisting the urge to reconnect can save your emotional well-being-and your current relationship” By Michelle Drouin, Ph.D.
“In good times and bad, reminiscence has its appeal. It helps each of us draw a through line from past to present and grants insight into how, over time, we became who we are”.
The author points out that “while musing carries little risk-as long as it acknowledges the biases inherent in memory-taking action poses dangers”. Our memory can play tricks causing us, at moments, to believe the “past was better than it really was”. Our brain has a positivity bias and a “cognitive kink known as the ‘fading affect bias’, upbeat emotions tide to the past linger longer than bad ones”.
There is some suggestion that even connecting on FB with an ex is associated with more anxiety and depression. Correlated but unclear if a cause. It is even suggested that “sadness spiked each day contact occurred”. Reportedly, those often-making contact are less likely over the past relationship. Meanwhile in a new relationship, this reaching back or back burner activity may reduce ones “satisfaction with the new partner”.
While there could be positives in communicating with an ex, “Reaching out to friends instead of an ex comes with significantly less emotional risk”.