One in five people admit to reaching out to an ex during isolation

“Hi!” they message, as if it’s a totally normal thing to do after weeks, months, or even years of prickly silence. Gallery: 12 Tips for Couples Who've Become Long Distance in Quarantine (Best Life) When asked about their motivations for reaching out, most people said they just wanted to check on their former partners, wrote Justin Lehmiller, PhD, lead author of the study: “Specifically, they usually wanted to ensure that their ex was safe and healthy, or to see how they were coping emotionally.” A smaller number of ex texters admitted they were testing thewaters for a potential hookup, or wanted to see if their ex was dating someone new. “I think the first thing to remember is just because you receive one of these texts doesn’t mean you have any obligation to respond,” says Moraya Seeger DeGeare, MA, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the co-owner of BFF Therapy in Beacon, NY. “You can completely have a boundary here, and that might be the safest thing to do.” Ashley*, 36, has heard from two exes in the past couple of months. “He hit me up over Instagram with ‘Hope you are doing well with everything going on and Charlie [my dog] is hanging on too.’ I responded because he was truly sweet man, and just seemed a little lost,” Ashley said. “I also wasn’t super burned by him or the ending ofour romance, so I knew I wouldn’t be putting myself at emotional risk.”