Breakups can be messy, but it can turn even more complicated when your ex can’t seem to grasp the idea of you two finally calling it quits. He keeps contacting you, messaging you, and even “accidentally” being in the same place you are. Creepy, right?

According to psychotherapist and Harvard lecturer Holly Parker, Ph.D., wanting to stay away from your ex is totally acceptable—especially if you think that it’s not healthy to still have ties with a former flame. So how do you handle an overbearing and delusional ex-boyfriend who won’t stop bothering you? You have to set boundaries. Whether that’s physical or behavioral boundaries, you have to make it clear to him that you’re dead serious about wanting him to stop intruding in your life.

Start off by telling him you don’t want any kind of relationship with him. Marriage and family therapist Marni Feuerman suggests you do this over the phone; if he’s still being stubborn about it, just hang up. You don’t owe him any explanations for your decisions. Be firm and don’t let him bother you and the life that you’re trying to live happily without him.

Having problems with an ex? Here are some good reads:

10 Best Responses to an Ex-Boyfriend's “Hello”
We've all had an ex-boyfriend or two reappear just after we've moved on, and although it seems fine and harmless to reopen the lines of communication, there are special situations when we'd rather not.

Would You Consider Being Friends With Your Ex?
Whether you’ve had a good breakup or a bad one, one question still lingers after you part ways with your ex: Should you maintain constant contact with a former love and stay as friends?

Is It Okay to Stay Friends With Your Ex on Facebook?

Although you may not see him in person anymore, you still might get a glimpse of his life whenever his name pops up on your newsfeed.


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