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You Asked: Should I Pass on Praise to My Ex?

Dear Sugar,

My boyfriend of five years and I broke up (rather awkwardly) last October and it completely shattered my heart. While we were civil and polite immediately after, we haven't spoken much or seen each other for about a year. I've since moved on, and I am confident he has too. Although I'm curious to know how he is, I hadn't really considered any contact until I heard a really nice compliment to him. I was at the local dog park a few days ago and some of the other women there were discussing the math programs at their kids' schools. One woman mentioned what a difference a certain teacher made for her son, and the particular school as well as the way she described him makes me 100 percent confident that she was talking about my ex-beau.

I know how much he loves teaching and acting as a role model to his students so should I write him an email to relay the praise? I want to respect his space and privacy, and my heart, so is this a can of worms I should avoid opening or should I just do it? — Do Good Greta

To see DearSugar's answer

Dear Do Good Greta,

I think it's very sweet that you're considering relaying this praise on to your ex, but I just want to make sure you're doing it for the right reasons. If you want to use this as an excuse to get back in touch with him, I highly suggest you weigh the pros and cons before doing so. Ask yourself if you'd be upset if he wasn't happy to hear from you, if he didn't want to rekindle your friendship, and be prepared to have all those sad feelings around your breakup resurface again.

If you wholeheartedly just want to pass along the compliment with no strings attached, do it, I'm sure he'd love to hear it, but if you have an ulterior motive, make sure you think through every angle — you don't want to set yourself up for failure or hurt.


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