When An Ex Says Don't Be A Stranger - Magnet of Success (2023)

When an ex says don’t be a stranger, your ex intends to be nice to you and encourage you to reach out. Your ex wants you to know that it’s safe and okay to initiate conversation and talk about non-relationship things. But whether your ex means that or said it purely out of guilt and sympathy is anyone’s guess. One way or another, you’ll soon discover how sincere your ex was.

That’s because your ex will either reach out and try “not to be a stranger” or prove that or she was merely being surface-level kind. Surface-level kindness means that your ex was trying to avoid making you feel abandoned, sad, and unworthy and didn’t want you to react strongly to the breakup.

So don’t be confused by your ex’s kind gesture. “Don’t be a stranger” is merely an invitation to friendship (or acquaintanceship) and won’t lead back into a relationship no matter when and how you reach out. The man or woman who said this to you just wants things to be okay between you two so you don’t suffer alone and that he or she doesn’t feel guilty for causing you pain.

The don’t be a stranger line essentially means that your ex still respects you, that he/she is concerned about you, and that you’re welcome to reach out and communicate at times. It doesn’t, however, mean that you should accept your ex’s offer and see it as a means of getting back together with your ex. Just because you can reach out and be friends, doesn’t mean that you should and that it will bring your ex back.

Once you’re stuck in the friend zone with your ex-partner, you’ll see that your life has become much more difficult and that agreeing to communicate was a big mistake.

Sure, if you have questions and need closure, you could find out that your ex is willing to talk about the relationship and help you. But if your ex isn’t proud of his/her behavior and is like most dumpers, your ex won’t like talking about the past and feeling pressured. Your ex will think that you’re being too inquisitive and that you need to respect his or her boundaries.

You see, dumpers typically don’t want reminders of the past. Reminders trigger their repressed feelings and make them feel smothered, guilty, or angry. Oftentimes, they make them feel a mixture of all these emotions as they consider themselves victims and feel determined to stay broken up and date other people.

That’s why you should be careful about who you reach out to. When an ex says “don’t be a stranger,” your ex says it to suggest staying in touch and pretending like you never dated. But if you play your ex’s game, you’ll soon discover that you’re not ready to talk and that it’s better to be a stranger than a friend.

It’s better to be nobody to your ex than a person who doesn’t know where he or she stands.

Right now, you may not see it that way because you want your ex close to you. You want to stop hurting and feel the way you felt when your ex loved you and made you feel secure. But if you reach out (and keep reaching out), you’ll get used to speaking with your ex and stay hooked on your ex. Communication will make it impossible for you to pull away, lose hope, and get over your ex as you’ll constantly rely on your ex for healing.

That’s why I suggest that instead of getting close to your ex, that you focus on creating some distance. Your ex might be ready for friendship, but that’s because he or she detached before the breakup even happened. You, on the other hand, haven’t. You still pine for your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend and need him or her to validate you and make you feel appreciated.

So as long as you and your ex are in two different (opposite) emotional states, being anything other than a stranger to your ex is a huge mistake. Keeping your ex close to you will create more pain, anxiety, and uncertainty which is not what you need. What you need is to cut your ex off, show strength, pursue your goals, and self-prioritize.

This article is for dumpees who wonder what it means when an ex says “Don’t be a stranger.” We’ll analyze this popular line and explain how you can respond to it appropriately.

When An Ex Says Don't Be A Stranger - Magnet of Success (1)

When an ex says don’t be a stranger

“Don’t be a stranger” may sound polite, but the indisputable truth is that it doesn’t help at all. It may give you hope, but it doesn’t make you feel better long-term because it doesn’t fix the problems between you and your ex. All this hope-instilling line does is that it makes you think your ex still has a special place for you in his or her heart.

Your ex wouldn’t treat you so well and permit you to reach out if you were unimportant to your ex, right?

Well, not exactly. There’s a big difference between what your ex says and what your ex does and wants. How many times have people smiled at you and complimented you and then talked badly behind your back or avoided you? How many times did they tell you one thing and then did something completely different?

Maybe it didn’t happen hundreds of times (or you just forgot it did), but you’ve probably already learned that people can be two-faced. They can be chameleons who flip on you when it’s convenient for them.

So bear in mind that people will often tell you things you want to hear and avoid telling you things you need to hear. They will pretend they like you, want the best for you, and that everything’s okay when in reality, they can’t wait to get away from you and focus on themselves and others.

This is often the case with exes who dumped you. They will say things like “don’t be a stranger, feel free to reach out, I still love you, I hope we can be friends,” but do absolutely nothing to match their words with their actions.

Because of this, they will confuse you more than anything and make you think that you can win their trust and love back if you just do your best to impress them. What will actually happen, though, is that you’ll take them up on their offer, get hungrier for their validation, and see them run away from you and feel rejected again.

Deep inside, you already know how rejection pain feels, so you don’t want to experience it again. One rejection was more than enough.

So keep in mind that your ex’s “don’t be a stranger” line is very harmful to you. Even if your ex is completely fine with being your friend and plans to keep you in his or her life as just a friend, it’s toxic because it messes with your head and makes you want to communicate with your ex.

It makes you crazy on days when you’re struggling emotionally and wish to rely on your ex for happiness and healing. That’s when you could think to yourself, “Hmm, my ex told me not to be a stranger. Maybe I can reach out and feel less lonely, abandoned, and worthless. Or maybe, my ex is ready to get back together and just needs a little push.”

Such thoughts could cause you to make breakup mistakes and push your ex away.

How your ex will respond if you reach out and/or pester your ex depends on how you act and how your ex perceives you. If your ex feels trapped and needs a lot of space and time, your ex likely won’t respond in lovingly. Your ex will probably say or do something you aren’t ready for and wound you badly.

But if your ex is ready to communicate and you respect your ex’s boundaries, then you could have a somewhat decent friendship. A friendship that prolongs your detachment, of course.

Anyway, here’s why an ex would say not to be a stranger soon or right after the breakup.

When An Ex Says Don't Be A Stranger - Magnet of Success (2)

What to do when an ex says don’t be a stranger?

When your ex says not to be a stranger, you should use that opportunity to tell your ex you’d prefer to be a stranger. Of course, don’t say it like that, but do say that you’ll be needing some time to process things and that you’ll reach out if you have any questions about the relationship or if you want to talk.

If you don’t reach out, your ex should interpret that as a lack of interest and should avoid reaching out to you at all costs. I know you want your ex to reach out and talk to you as before, but you have to understand that you want your ex in your life only as a romantic partner. Your ex provides no value to you as a friend or an occasional texting buddy.

Not while you’re broken-hearted and emotionally dependent on your ex.

We could say that your ex would only make things worse as you’d get anxious and overanalyze your worth and your ex’s words and actions.

The perfect time for you to convey you need space to an ex who dumped you is to say it the moment your ex asks for friendship or hints at it. That’s when you should set some personal boundaries and focus on getting over the breakup rather than staying attached and hopeful.

Your ex might try to change your mind or even get angry with you, but you mustn’t go back on your word because of it. You must remember that an ex who downplays the breakup and wants to stay in touch is just looking after himself or herself and doesn’t understand or care about what’s best for you.

It’s you who needs to do what’s best as you are the one responsible for your happiness and the lack of it.

So what to do when your ex says “Don’t be a stranger?” You say something like, “Thanks, but right now, I need a lot of space and time to figure things out. I’d like you to let me focus just on myself (don’t reach out or like my posts) and I might eventually contact you if I’m ready. I don’t know if I will, but right now, I just need some space. I hope you understand.”

Most dumpers will understand where you’re coming from and won’t resist your desire to heal. Only the most immature and inexperienced dumpers will object to your decision and perhaps even ridicule it.

No matter what your ex says and wants, it’s not about your ex anymore. Now that you’re exes, you need to put yourself first and show your ex that you’re not going to settle for less than you deserve.

Your ex wouldn’t say that if he/she wanted you back

It’s obvious that an ex who wants you back will never say something like that. He or she won’t say it because your ex will be in pain and will want you back right away. Waiting for you to reach out would be self-torture as it’d make your ex wonder how you feel about him or her.

So get rid of any hope you received from this line. Get rid of it by remembering that you’re closer to being a stranger than you are to being your ex’s romantic partner.

Once you comprehend that your ex was just trying to be friendly (wanted to remain on good terms), you’ll also understand that you need to stay far away from your ex. The farther away you stay and the less you know about your ex, the quicker you’ll heal and move on with your ex.

This is something the indefinite no contact rule will help you with. Make sure to follow it no matter how tempted you are to reach out to your ex and see if your ex has changed his or her mind.

Did your ex tell you not to be a stranger? What was the most confusing thing your ex has said to you? Share your breakup experience below the post.

And if you’d rather discuss it with us, visit our coaching page for more info.

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Author: Kelle Weber

Last Updated: 03/02/2023

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