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The Ex Pop Up In Quarantine Times

It’s a complicated topic, but I know a lot of people are grappling with it these days: The Ex Pop Up.

There are many adjustments to life during quarantine or shelter at home, and one of the challenges for me has been hearing from people from my past. Most specifically, guys I used to date. Usually when I break up I am done and move on without any contact, however, now things are different and relationship lines have shifted due to the pandemic. It’s almost like when someone is on their death bed or terminally ill all bets are off and you find people coming out of the wood work to say goodbye. I often wondered why it has to take someone almost dying or being sick for others to come forth and reconnect, but that seems to be how things tend to go under dire circumstances.

Sheltering at home is not dying, but it has a similar response by some people. I haven’t heard from any of my ex boyfriends till this pandemic. Then all of a sudden I get a call from someone I haven’t spoken with in years, and they want to know how I am doing. Are they using the pandemic as an excuse to contact me, or are they genuinely concerned? It’s an odd situation and hard to figure out how to respond cause a whole slew of emotions surface and trying to navigate through your response can be challenging. One day you are free and fine and they next thing you know, you are trapped in your mind dissecting the situation to the extreme and not sure what’s what, how to respond, should you respond, and what move to make. It’s exhausting.

Are they calling me to try and get back in my life and using the situation to open that door? Are they contacting me cause they are concerned for my health? Are the emailing me to see if the email will bounce back? Are they texting me instead of calling me so I can decide if I want to respond? If they call me and I try and call them back will I be blocked? If I don’t respond at all will they show up at my door? And then what….

It is a total nightmare. Here I was so happy to have done all the work to create boundaries, go through therapy, work on myself, and now I am faced with all these scenarios that present themselves due to my current living environment.  It’s almost as if I am back where I started when I first broke up with some of these guys. It is fresh and those feelings resurface and it’s confusing. Am I considering having them back into my life cause I am lonely? Or cause these are unique circumstances? Maybe things will be different now. Maybe we have both grown and evolved into better people that can manage a cordial relationship. Maybe I’ll get sucked back into the drama that was the reason I left to begin with so why even go there. The number of possibilities  are relentless.

I think for me the hardest part is knowing deep down inside that I’m better off keeping my distance, but going through this time alone is a true challenge. I can’t let the fear of the unknown and having to stand alone during these times be an excuse to open a door that was closed for a reason. I can’t go back and forth in my mind on how to act or respond or not respond. If anything I hope this will allow me to grow and at the end of all this I will have strength beyond what I attained before all this happened.

The Ex Pop Up In Quarantine Times

Erica Loberg

Erica Loberg was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She attended Columbia University in New York and graduated with a BA in English. She is a published poet and author of Inside the Insane, Screaming at the Void, What Men Should Know About Women, What Women Should Know About Men, Diamonds From The Rough , Undressed, and I'm Not Playing.

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APA Reference
Loberg, E. (2020). The Ex Pop Up In Quarantine Times. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 8, 2020, from


Last updated: 27 May 2020
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