Once the relationship is over, often, there’s only one thing you think about – and it’s your ex-partner. At this point, all you want to figure out is the answer to “Should I text my ex, and am I even allowed to do that?”
One part of you will immediately reply with no. But the other will try to find an excuse why texting your ex isn’t the worst thing in the world.
And just like that, you’ll be torn in two, desperately trying to figure out the right thing to do.
Even though it seems like a fairly simple question, it’s actually not that easy to answer it. Sometimes, you need to consult others in order to know what you should do.
That’s probably why you’ve been constantly asking your friends for advice, hoping they’re able to help you with making that final decision.
“Hey, Sarah! What do you think – should I text my ex? It’s just a harmless text message to see how he’s doing, but I’m not sure if it’s the right thing to do. PLEASE HELP!”
If your conversation with your bestie has been looking like this for the past few days, then you should keep reading this article. I’m sure it will help you get a better understanding of all of the practicalities before deciding on your next move.
Should I text my ex? The infamous question!
You’re currently in the post-breakup phase, which is never an easy thing to go through.
Maybe you’ve been looking at old pictures of the two of you. Maybe you’ve been wondering why you broke up in the first place.
Perhaps you’ve even been stalking your ex on social media, or simply been eating tons of ice cream in front of the TV.
We all have our ways of coping with failed relationships, but the truth is that most of us feel the need to text our ex. Even a simple hello coming from their side sounds like the perfect medicine for a wounded soul.
In those moments of reflecting on your broken relationship, you often get this need to exchange few words with your ex.
And that’s precisely when you start to ask yourself that one dangerous question. “Should I text my ex or is that a huge mistake?”
We’ve all been there, so don’t feel like no one can understand your pain. But remember that time heals all wounds, and yours are still fresh, or maybe you’re unable to stop picking at them.
You’ve got used to being around your ex. Now that he’s gone, you feel like something’s missing.
Right now, you feel that his presence would make everything better. You convince yourself that a simple text has the power to change everything.
This is a confusing phase. You’re not ready to let go of your past relationship, and at the same time, you’re not ready for a new relationship either. You might not even be ready to get out there and meet new people.
You feel lost, which then makes you act impulsively. But what you don’t realize is those impulsive decisions can later cause awkwardness and regret.
So, in short, you shouldn’t let yourself text your ex right now.
A better choice would be to apply the no-contact rule and wait some time until all of the emotions settle down. That way, you’ll be sure that you have made the right decision and won’t regret it the moment you see it through.
So, the bottom line is: If you’re fresh out of a relationship and you’re thinking about texting your ex, the best choice would be to wait some time. Once the wounds heal over, then you can think of your next move.
Now that you know the best route to take, there are still some things you should be aware of when your mind is trying to whether or not you should text your ex.
This following part will help you understand better all of the emotions behind your wish to stay in touch with your ex.
Why are you thinking about texting your ex?
A lot of time, there’s an actual reason why you’re thinking about sending a message to your ex. Sometimes, you pretend that you simply want to know how he’s doing, but more than often, there’s a hidden intention behind your actions.
Here are all of the possible explanations for why you feel the need to reach out to your ex even though there’s nothing holding you close.
1. You’re lonely
It’s perfectly fine to feel lonely after the relationship. The person who used to be there for you all the time is now gone and you’re trying to make sense of your life without him.
But it’s wrong to text your ex only because you’re lonely. It doesn’t help your well-being. If anything, it only postpones the period of healing and moving on successfully.
So, if you’re thinking about texting your ex, you should first ask yourself why you’re doing it.
If the main reason is simply that you’re lonely and you need the presence of the person you’re used to, then it will be best to stop yourself from hitting that send button. The sad reality is that it won’t bring anything good to you.
2. You’re nostalgic about your history with them
It’s normal to miss people who used to be an important part of your life. That’s why our body knows how to recognize the emotion of nostalgia.
But just because you feel this urge to send a text to your ex-boyfriend, it doesn’t mean that he wants to receive the one from his ex-girlfriend.
Also, no one can guarantee you that you’ll feel better once you have a chat with your ex.
To be honest, that conversation will no doubt make you even more depressed as you’ll keep wishing that things never ended between you in the first place.
And if your ex isn’t on the same page as you, you’ll end up crushed and devastated, and maybe even in a worse state than you were to begin with.
3. You’re seeking closure
If you’re seeking closure, then that could be why you’re trying to figure out if you should text your ex. Maybe you feel like he’s the only one who can help you to end this long story between the two of you.
But the problem arises when your ex doesn’t want to talk to you and help you find the answers you’re looking for. In that case, you’ll feel like you’ve wasted your time and hit yet another dead end.
If you want to text your ex because you need closure, then maybe you can think about giving it to yourself, without anyone’s help.
That way you won’t end up heartbroken one more time when you hear your ex telling you that he’s not interested in helping you close the chapter.
Those words always hurt the same, no matter how much time has passed.
4. You’re now aware of the mistakes you’ve made
Maybe you finally see all of the mistakes you’ve made during the relationship. Maybe you realize your faults and you desperately want to tell your ex that you’re sorry for hurting him.
In that case, you’ll probably be thinking about texting him since that seems like a reasonable way to reach out to your ex-partner.
A phone call doesn’t seem appropriate for your current status, but an innocent message won’t hurt anyone, right? At any point, your ex can decide to ignore it, not to reply to it, and end the conversation that way.
5. You’re concerned about your ex
Maybe you heard stories that your ex is going through a rough time and you’re genuinely concerned about him. This guy used to be your whole world and you want to know how and if he’s coping.
This is a slippery ground, and your decision to text him definitely depends upon the way you ended things.
If you ended on good terms and said you would remain friends yet life pulled you away from each other, then, by all means, go ahead and text your ex to see how he’s doing.
But if the breakup was messy and there were a lot of harsh words exchanged, then you might not want to send that message. The chances are that it won’t go as planned, and you’ll end up even more heartbroken, no matter how well you prepared yourself for the worst.
6. You want to get back together
In most cases, this is the main reason for thinking about texting your ex. All of the emotions have stirred up inside of you and you feel this need to get your ex back.
To be honest, you’re probably praying to God that your ex wants the same as you.
But even though you feel that this is the right thing to do, you should second guess this decision.
You’re still hurting and the moment of healing isn’t even close. That could be the reason why you’re contemplating sending that “I was thinking about us” message.
Maybe the better choice would be to wait a bit longer and then see what will happen.
Dos and don’ts of texting your ex!
When you’re thinking about if you should text your ex, you’ve always got to keep certain things in mind. There are some steps that are completely unnecessary and will only make things more complicated than they currently are. And there are some rules you need to follow if you do decide to go ahead and send that first message.
Here’s what you should pay attention to.
1. Don’t text him right after the breakup
The first few days after the breakup are the hardest and require a huge amount of patience and understanding of your own emotions. It feels like you’re trying to build your life from scratch, starting all over again.
That’s exactly why you’re longing for your ex because you know that he can easily fill the void in your heart.
But, once again, I have to try to convince you not to text your ex right after the breakup.
You want to avoid any more awkwardness, confusion, and pain that could happen as a result. You’re in the post-breakup period, and it’s this time where you need to take care of yourself.
You need to heal, pick up a new hobby, and do all the things you used to love doing. This is not the time for you to be overthinking, punishing yourself, changing your mind, or sending a text you’ll regret.
Give yourself a few weeks before making any decisions. If you need to, hide your phone from yourself.
Do whatever it takes if it will help you not do something that you’ll regret in the future. After all, you might not want to text him by then, and you’ll thank yourself for not doing so.
2. Don’t text him if you know he’s mad at you
This one speaks for itself, but don’t mind me reminding you that you shouldn’t text your ex if he’s still angry at you.
There’s a reason for him being mad, whether you know it or not. So, it’s definitely not a good idea to send that message right away as his emotions are still going crazy.
You’ll just make things even worse by texting him, so the best decision is to stay silent for a while.
Besides, you won’t be able to figure out why he’s mad at you through a message, no matter how great your text is. He knows why he’s angry at you, and you have to let him deal with it on his own.
Wait patiently, and maybe after the no-contact period, you two will be able to talk to each other. You’ll surely have higher odds of him texting back if you give him some time to cool off.
3. Don’t text him if you were in an abusive relationship
Toxic people turn into abusive partners, and unfortunately, there are many of them out there. I’m not talking only about physical abuse, but about emotional abuse too.
Has your partner ever hit you? Yelled at you? Treated you badly? Had jealous outbursts?
If your relationship was in any way abusive, you should definitely not text your ex.
Why do you want to text him after what he did to you? Ask yourself that, and remind yourself of how you felt back then.
Maybe you believe that he will apologize. The truth is, he won’t. Maybe you want to check if he’s changed. The truth is, he hasn’t.
Abusers don’t change so easily. It dates back to when they were just kids, so them changing is a serious process that takes a lot of time.
If he made you feel like you weren’t good enough at any point in your relationship, don’t text him. He would have said he was sorry if he was, so don’t expect him to do so now.
4. Don’t send your ex “good morning” or “good night” messages
Texting your ex isn’t only about what to say to him. It’s also about knowing when to send that message.
Which part of the day makes it clear that you’re only being friendly and you’re not trying to get anything more out of it?
Usually, it’s not a good idea to text your ex first thing in the morning or late at night. These parts of the day suggest that you have a meaningful relationship. It certainly speaks that you’re more than friends.
Striking up a conversation in between those time periods means that you actually want to keep things platonic. Your goal is to stay on good terms with your ex, and that’s about it. There are no hidden intentions.
5. Don’t text him on impulse
A lot of people decide to text their exes, but they often don’t know the real reason they’re doing it. They also have no idea what they’re trying to achieve by it.
The moment their ex appears in their memory, they feel the need to send a message to them, without thinking about their next step.
To make sure that you don’t find yourself in the same boat, don’t ever text your ex impulsively. Instead, first determine the answers to the following questions.
What’s your goal of reaching out to your ex? What do you expect from the conversation? Will this step make it harder for both of you to move on?
If you realize that it’s not actually a good thing to do, you’ll save yourself a lot of unnecessary pain. You’ll also allow yourself to heal faster.
6. Don’t text him if it’s not going to be helpful for both parties
The rules of texting your ex are simple. If it doesn’t benefit both of you, then there’s really no point in starting the conversation.
If you know that your ex won’t be thrilled when he sees your name on the screen, then you shouldn’t really think about texting him.
Sending a message can evoke a lot of unnecessary feelings, which will make it harder for both of you to move on. Also, blaming each other for all of the things that went wrong won’t help you heal any faster.
If anything, it will only keep you stuck in the past for longer than it should.
So, if you realize there’s no point in reaching out to your ex since one of you will certainly end up feeling attacked, that’s the time to abort the mission.
It’s always better to part in silence than suffer for longer than necessary.
7. Don’t keep reaching out to him if he doesn’t respond at first
“Should I text my ex again if he doesn’t reply to my first message?”
It’s plainly obvious that there’s only one answer to this question. NO, you shouldn’t double text!
Your ex clearly saw your message and made the decision to ignore it. That’s the only answer you need.
It’s time for you to give up on the idea to keep in touch with your ex-partner since that’s clearly not what the other side wants. And when it comes to staying friends with your ex, both of you need to be on the same page.
Also, don’t take this personally as your ex isn’t obliged to reply to your messages. Your relationship ended and that’s where your chapter closes.
Right now, there’s no actual reason for him to reply to you since you’re not together anymore. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
8. Be clear about your intentions
When you decide to text your ex, be clear in your intentions. That way, you’ll allow your ex-partner to express if he wants the same as you.
If you’re trying to get back together, you can always suggest that through a message. Let him know that you would love to talk to him over a coffee.
If he’s not willing to go down that road, then you need to accept his decision and move on.
Maybe you want to text your ex because you’re looking for closure and feel that he’s the only one who can give you the answers you’re looking for. In this case, simply say what needs to be said and ask for the answers that are bugging you.
After you get what you wanted, keep on moving forward and stop reaching out to your ex.
9. Be realistic about how your ex will respond
If you know that your ex isn’t able to give you what you’re looking for, then you should reconsider reaching out to him.
“Should I text my ex even though I know that he won’t be willing to help me?”
In this case, you’ve already answered yourself and there’s nothing more to wonder about.
When you know that reaching out to someone won’t help you, do you really want to do something that doesn’t benefit you? Isn’t it easier to give up on him and look for the solution within yourself?
10. Be respectful of his relationship status
If you noticed that your ex is in a new relationship that seems to make him happy, be considerate when trying to reach out.
Even if your goal is to get back together, that’s no excuse to send a message that could jeopardize his current romantic relationship.
But if you’re desperately looking for closure or feel the need to apologize, you can reach out to him. Just first make sure that your ex won’t be mad at you for doing that.
11. Ask to meet in person, if appropriate
Some conversations are better held in person, and that’s why you should consider meeting face-to-face if you know that will be best for you.
Then again, if your ex has moved on and is dating someone else, then it’s completely inappropriate for you to suggest meeting in person.
In that case, the best decision would be to learn how to let go and heal after someone you loved. It’s the only right option you have.
When should you text your ex?
“Should I text my ex if the situation calls for it, and is there a time when texting him is appropriate?”
These are some of the questions we all face once a relationship falls apart. And sometimes, you need some help with figuring out the answers.
Here are the moments when it’s appropriate to text your ex.
1. After some time has passed
A lot of us have made the mistake of texting our ex right after the breakup. We now know that this is a mistake that prolongs our suffering and makes everything even more confusing.
The no-contact rule is your best ally after your relationship ends as both of you need time to process everything. You need time to heal and reflect.
It’s not a good idea to text your ex right after the breakup or a mere week later. The no-contact period should last at least a few weeks, which will give you enough time to get your feelings in order.
After that, if you still want to text your ex, you can. You’ll be grateful that you waited a while before doing so.
Who knows whether you’ll get a reply, but the odds are much better after the no-contact period than during it.
Keep things lighthearted when you text him because you don’t want it to be awkward. Also, don’t overdo it with the emojis. Less is more in this case.
2. On special occasions
This only applies if you ended your relationship on good terms. In that case, feel free to text your ex on his birthday or at Christmas (but not on your ex-anniversary!)
Breakups are different for everyone and happen for various reasons. Some couples break up because of infidelity or even abuse and those exes never want to talk to each other again.
If something similar happened in your past relationship, texting your ex on a special occasion would be weird.
Just imagine your last message to them being, “I never want to talk to you again,” and then you text them, “Happy birthday.” It would only make things confusing and awkward.
However, if you and your ex ended things on good terms, it’s okay to text them on important days. Just keep it short and tactful – one simple text to congratulate them and wish them the best.
3. When you’re really worried about them
Is there a reason you should be concerned about your ex? Whether he has health issues or a toxic habit, you feel like it would be a relief to find out that he’s okay.
So, you wish to text him to know what’s happening with them.
We call that a post-breakup check-in, and it’s for those who get worried about their exes. It’s perfectly normal when this happens since this person meant a lot to you. Or maybe even still does.
You are an empathetic creature who cares about the well-being of others, no matter who they are. And there’s no reason why you shouldn’t care about your ex – he’s still human, after all.
It’s okay to send them a message in this case. Besides, you’ll not stop worrying about him until you finally find out if he’s alright.
When you text him, mention that you’re concerned so it’s clear why you’re reaching out. He needs to know that your reasons are innocent.
Once he reassures you that everything’s fine, you’ll be able to sleep peacefully again. As long as it’s clear that you’re not trying to get back together, there’s nothing wrong with this kind of message.
4. If you feel the need to apologize
Every breakup is a story of its own. Some couples end things because one partner was cheating and others simply fall out of love. Some come to a mutual understanding to end it, while others yell and scream at each other.
Maybe you wish that you could take back some nasty things you said to your ex, or you regret something you did. Either way, in this case, it’s okay to text your ex.
You realize that you hurt him and you can’t rest because of it. It’s eating you up inside and you have to apologize.
Saying that you’re sorry and asking for forgiveness seems to be the only way to stop torturing yourself. If you feel that way during the no-contact period, you can still text your ex to say you’ve realized your mistakes.
Do it whenever you feel such regret, but don’t turn this opportunity into an attempt to get them back.
Say you’re sorry, but after you get their response, text no more. The only point of texting him is to make yourself feel better.
Things to keep in mind when thinking about texting your ex!
Besides asking yourself, “Should I text my ex?” you should also try to figure out what could happen if you actually send that text message. How will your ex feel about it, what kind of emotions will it evoke in him, and how will he see you after that?
Here are all of the possible outcomes of sending him a post-breakup message.
1. It gives your ex the satisfaction of knowing you’re still not over him
Maybe you ended things on bad terms and you haven’t talked since your relationship fell apart.
Then, you text him after not hearing from each other for a long time and the first thing your ex thinks is that you’re still not over the breakup.
He may assume that you’re constantly thinking about him, even though the reason you wanted to reach out to him was completely friendly and you have no intention of getting back together.
Still, from his point of view, it looks like you’re not over him and you’re trying to win his heart one more time.
2. It often comes off as desperate
When you text your ex, the first thing he’ll think is that you want to get back together. To him, your message sounds like an invitation to give your relationship one more chance.
In that case, you end up looking desperate and as if you’re craving his attention. And I’m guessing that’s not something you want to achieve.
3. It gives your ex an ego boost
When you break up with your partner and don’t communicate at all after that, your ex might start wondering if you’re happy with someone else. That you’ve found someone better and you’re feeling the best you’ve ever felt.
But then you send him a message and all of those thoughts vanish.
With one simple act, you make your ex feel like he’s the best thing that ever happened to you. This boosts his ego and he thinks you’re trying to chase after him.
Even if that’s not all your intention, the sheer fact that you reached out first makes him feel like he still holds a special place in your life.
4. It’ll drive you crazy if he doesn’t help you with finding closure
When you text your ex looking for closure and he fails to give you that, at moments, you’ll feel like you’re losing your mind.
You only wanted one thing from him and he still wasn’t able to give that to you. This then makes you feel that reaching out to him was wrong on so many levels and you wish you’d never done it.
But the damage is already done and you can’t take the text back. You’ll have to live with your decision, even though it ended up being completely wrong.
5. It delays the time you need to get over him
Every time you ask yourself, “Should I text my ex?” you’re actually making it harder for yourself to move on. And then when you go a step further and send that message, you make matters even more complicated.
As long as you keep thinking about your ex, it will be almost impossible to let go of him and continue with your life.
But the moment you set him aside and make yourself a priority, things will start to move in the right direction.
If you still decide to text your ex, here’s what you can say to them
Maybe you’ve successfully gone through the no-contact period, and you’ve realized that you should text your ex for the sake of your happiness. But you have no idea how to start the conversation.
What’s the right thing to say to not mess everything up?
1. Mention a big interest of his
“Hey, what’s up?” is a boring message that no one looks forward to. Such messages lack purpose and don’t make the recipient feel anything at all.
Send him something that instead has actual value and makes him feel great. For example:
“Hey, just heard Eminem is coming to town in August… I know how much you like his stuff. Hope you’re doing fine.”
Messages like this one work because they have a clear purpose as to why you are texting him.
You’re not getting angry, begging, or pleading. You are simply letting him know that something made you think of him, and you just wanted to see how he’s doing.
It’s important to end it with, “Hope you’re doing fine,” because then you aren’t forcing the conversation.
He may well ignore it, but if you do it right, you’ll get a positive response.
2. Remind him of the good time you had
Yes, you can remind your ex of some positive memory you had together without it coming off as weird or awkward. Try something like this:
“Hey, remember that delicious dinner we had when you got promoted? I can’t for the life of me remember the name of that restaurant, what was it again? I’d like to take a friend there.”
This type of message can do wonders. You’re reminding your ex of a positive experience you shared together – in this case, a dinner – and it will make him remember it and think of you.
The great thing about this text is that it calls for a little jealousy because it seems slightly mysterious. Who are you taking there to dinner, and why?
Be careful, though, because this message can backfire if your ex is still irritated with you or annoyed to hear from you. Otherwise, it works like a charm.
3. Tell him something that made you think of him and smile
This option is only for those who have handled the breakup properly. So, if you got angry, begged, or screamed at each other, it won’t work.
Otherwise, it’s great to mention something that made you think of him fondly. Here’s an example:
“I stumbled upon my Lord of the Rings books just a moment ago, and it made me think of you for the first time in a while… I started laughing uncontrollably remembering how much fun we had re-enacting the scenes!”
Once again, this is a message that has a purpose. You’re reeling him in with something interesting and positive. You’re not trying to create drama, just reconnecting.
4. Look for a reason to meet up with him
If you’ve been successfully texting each other, it might be time to send him a text that will get him to meet up with you.
In that case, it’s great to have an excuse ready, so you’re not simply inviting him on a date. Try something like this:
“I’m considering buying a new car and could use a few pointers. You know I know absolutely zero about what specs to look for, so I was wondering if you could offer some advice. How about a quick coffee?”
Or mention that you’re planning a trip to a place that you know he’s visited and ask him for advice. Arrange a get-together to talk about it, and you’ll end up talking about much more, without it being obvious that’s what you wanted.
Hopefully, this article was helpful and you got some good pointers that you’ll be able to use if you decide to text your ex.
If texting your ex was a bad decision from the start, then I hope that you’ve now realized that and that you’ll give up on the idea.