A sudden text from an ex can really through you off.

You were doing your own thing, being yourself, recovering from the breakup, learning to live without them and then suddenly your ex text you something like..

Hey, how are you


I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but I miss you.

And you think to yourself, what way am I supposed to take that?

Things are weird with an ex after a breakup. At one point of time, you both loved each other, spent all day together, shared everything together and now you are supposed to be …… separate.

When an ex texts you, you may have this sudden urge to just act like the breakup didn’t happen. Just reply to them and talk like you are both still together. You may have the sudden urge to say something like,

I miss you too. Wanna get a pizza and watch Netflix tonight?

But deep down you know that’s not the right thing to do. After all, you were confused about replying to your ex and that lead you on a journey on the internet which eventually made you land on this article.

And in this article, my aim is to help you see clearly, remove the confusion and figure out how to respond to your ex in a way that not only helps you, it also helps your ex in the long run.

My aim with writing this article is to give you the strength, the courage, and the clarity you need to make the healthy choice for yourself and not do something you may regret later. And to do that, we need to start with a basic question

What Do You Want Out of Life? (And Out of Your Ex?)

A text message, like every other thing in life, can have a butterfly effect that may determine the course of your life.

Depending on how you reply to this text may be the difference between you curing world hunger or you living alone in a basement with nothing but regrets.

Okay, that might be an exaggeration. No, that’s definitely an exaggeration. But there’s still some truth to that.

An innocent text message from your ex may just start a chain of events that may end up with you regretting your decisions and wasting a lot of your time. Time you could have used to be productive and maybe find someone who really loves you.

So, it’s better to have some clarity about what you want… out of your life and out of your ex.

  • Do you still want them back?
  • Do you think you had an amazing relationship and the breakup was a mistake?
  • Do you think you make an amazing team and you help each other grow?
  • Could both of you together make this world a better place? (And cure world hunger?)

It’s okay to not have definite answers to these questions. But it’s important to have some idea of what you want in the future. And a good place to start is by reading this article.

If you don’t want to read that article and you don’t want to do the painstaking mental exercises to figure out what you want out of your life and out of your ex, here’s something that I think most people should want out of their life (and their ex).

You should want a healthy relationship that lasts a long time and that helps you grow as a person and ……

You can, fill in the blanks at the end and add something that you really want out of life like

….. And Make this world a better place

….. And have a wonderful and loving family

….. And that could be great parents for your kids (or future kids)

….. And supports you through thick and thin of life


You get the general idea. You want a relationship that makes you better and helps you move forward in life.

Where does my ex fit in that picture?

You tell me.

Does your ex fit in that picture?

In most cases, you may still be confused. Sure, your relationship had problems, but they can be fixed.

Maybe if you can fix those problems, you and your ex can finally be in perfect harmony and you can have the perfect family you always wanted.

Maybe not. Maybe you and your ex are just not compatible and not matter what you do, you will always breakup.

Maybe both of you just want different things in life.

But what does that have to do with responding to the text message from your ex?


If your ex texts you, and you are not thinking clearly about what you want out of life and out of them, your mind will just start panicking and you may end up saying things you will regret later on.

Our minds have a tendency of panicking after a breakup. And when you receive a text from your ex, our minds automatically see it as a sign that they want you back. As a result, a lot of us end up doing something needy or desperate when we receive a text from an ex.

But if you have some clarity about what you want from a romantic relationship and from your ex, you are less likely to panic and do something needy.

Shouldn’t I try to figure out why my ex is texting me?

You should. And we will. But try to understand that you can never be 100% sure about the intentions of your ex. But you can be sure about your intentions and your own mental well-being.

So, before everything else, you should take a deep breath and try to figure out what you want and where you are emotionally and mentally about this breakup and your ex.

If you think about it, you could fall into one of three categories.

  1. You are sure you want your ex back and you are ready to start speaking to them
  2. You are not sure if getting back with them is a good idea and you are not yet ready to start speaking to them
  3. You are sure you don’t want to get back with them

We are going to go through each of these categories and figure out the best way to respond to the text from your ex and what it means.

Category 1: You are not sure if getting back with your ex is a good idea or you are not yet ready to start speaking to them.

If you are not sure where you stand on the whole getting back with your ex idea, then you are probably not ready to start speaking to them yet.

Most people reading this article will fall into this situation. If you feel you are still needy or desperate, you are not ready to speak to your ex.

If your breakup was a mess, you shouldn’t be too sure about getting them back. If you had an abusive relationship, you shouldn’t be too sure about getting back with them.

If you have not yet done no contact, and you are still panicking about losing your ex forever, you fall in this situation.

And the best way to respond to a text from your ex would be to just tell them politely you need some space and time to heal.

Here’s an example,

Hey, it’s been a while. how have you been?

Hey, I appreciate you checking in on me. I am well. I am still healing from the breakup and I am not yet ready to speak with you yet. I hope you can give me some space and time.

Why is this the best approach?

  1. You are politely telling them that you need some space and time. You are not being rude to them or playing mind games by ignoring them.
  2. You are being honest about your feelings. You are not pretending something you are not. You are not pretending to be over them. By being honest, you are encouraging honesty and vulnerability between the both of you. And that may help you in the future if you want them back or if you want to move on.
  3. You are putting yourself first. By telling them you are not ready to speak to them, you are showing them that you have learned to put your own well-being above everything else. They will respect you more because of it. You are no longer picking up any bone your ex throws at you. You are not always waiting for a text from them to make your day. You are doing your own thing and you are strong enough to resist the urge to speak to them and be honest about it.

Once you have sent them the text, you should try to forget that this texting incident ever happened and focus on yourself. You should continue doing no contact, heal from the breakup and grow as a person. Here are a few articles that will help you do that.

Category 2: You don’t want your ex back and you want to move on.

You may have already decided that you don’t want to get back with your ex. That you want to move on from the breakup and eventually start dating someone again.

But the text from your ex makes you a bit confused. After all, your ex knows you very well. They may say just the right thing to make you feel all those feelings you have been trying to avoid for so long.

And your mind always tries to find the easy way out. You start wondering if it’s just a better idea to get back with them instead of moving on and try to start something new.

Now, I am not going to tell you that you shouldn’t listen to your instinct. That you should continue your resolve to move on and block your ex.

I am also not going to tell you to give your ex another chance.

You are the only one who knows truly knows your situation. And you should try to figure out what will be the best decision for you.

I just want to remind you of what we did in the first part of the article. We figured out what you want out of life (and out of your ex). And it was something like this

You want a healthy relationship that lasts a long time and that helps you grow as a person and ……..

And if you have already decided that the above is not possible with your ex, then you should avoid getting into a conversation with them.

The best way to respond to your ex in this situation would be to politely shut them down and don’t give them anything to work with.

For example,

Hey, I miss all the late-night cuddles. What have you been up to?

Hey, I appreciate you reaching out. But I don’t think it’s a good idea for us to talk. I am trying to move on from the breakup and speaking to you does not help. I hope you understand.

If your ex still keeps texting you after this, ignore them.

Category 3: You are sure you want your ex back and you are ready to speak to them.

The final situation is when you want to try to get your ex back and you are ready to speak to them. This means that,

  1. You are quite certain that you can have a healthy and amazing relationship with your ex.
  2. That whatever was broken in the relationship can be fixed.
  3. That you have done no contact, have healed from the breakup and you have grown as a person and become a better version of yourself.
  4. You are sure you are no longer needy or desperate.


If you feel you are ready to speak with your ex, and they text you all of a sudden, then the best way to reply is to just be yourself and let the conversation flow naturally.

Just because your ex texted you, it doesn’t mean they want to get back together. They may have just texted you because they genuinely want something.

For example, they may genuinely want some advice on something you are an expert at. Or they may be using it as an excuse to see how you respond and whether or not you are still needy or desperate.

The most important thing here is to not be desperate.

If you want your ex back, you should respond to them in a way that’s ..

  1. Polite
  2. Confident
  3. Leaves Room for More


The idea is to not push your ex but give them enough to continue the conversation if they are interested in you.

Here’s an example,

Hey, my nephew is looking for piano classes to join. Which ones do you recommend?

I recommend the XYZ school at 123 street. They are the best. Hands down.

Thanks. How have you been?

Not too shabby. I’ve started that poetry class I always talked about.

You give them something to continue without actually asking them a question. You are confident but you leave room for more if your ex is still interested in talking.

If they are interested in you, they will probably jump at the opportunity.

That’s great. Is it everything you hoped for?

Umm. I’m not sure. I expected more glamour. But so far, we have just been reading Dante’s Inferno. I am not complaining though. There’s something sexy about hell and fire. 😛

Haha. I missed your weird sense of humor.

Haha. How have you been?

But if they are not interested in continuing the conversation, they will most likely end it. And you should end it too.


Not too shabby. I’ve started that poetry class I always talked about.

That’s good to know.

Hope you are doing well too. Talk later.

What to do after this?

Texting can be used effectively to rebuild attraction and connection with your ex. And when you are both texting regularly, you should move on to phone calls and eventually a date. Do understand how to do that, I recommend you read my in-depth guide on texting an ex back by clicking the link below [It’s free].

How To Text Your Ex [With 53 Examples]

If you want your ex back but you don’t have a clear picture about getting them back or you are still desperate to get them back, I recommend you read this article if you want your ex-boyfriend back or this article if you want your ex-girlfriend back. Both the articles are free and extremely detailed. They will give you a clear picture of what you need to get your ex back and how texting fits in the picture.


About Kevin Thompson

Kevin Thompson is a breakup expert and coach with more than 11 years of experience of helping people recover from a breakup and get back in a healthy relationship.

Read Full Profile.

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4 comments ...add one
  • Nicki

    Me and my ex went out 10 years ago recently we tried to hook back up but we are both so different now he says he still loves me after all this time but I don't feel the same I tell him this and now he's texting me telling me what a mistake I have made since he is the greatest man on Earth and I'm better off with him than anybody else I don't really know what to say to his text but he just won't stop what do I do

    • Kevin Thompson

      Hey Nicki,

      Just tell him once to stop contacting you and that you are not interested. And if he still doesn't stop, block him from everywhere.

      From the looks of it, it seems like he doesn't take rejection well and isn't very mature.

  • Adam


    Ive read on every advice form/website that nearly everyone supports NC for 30 days. The majority of the coaches that recommend NC for 30 days is because immediately after the break up the dumpee becomes needy and clinges onto the relationship making the dumpee seem unattractive.

    Would there be a problem with maintaining contact if the neediness and begging never happened? What if the dumper asked to end the relationship and the dumpee allowed her to be free without any resistance?

    My ex fiance of a two year LDR ended the relationship nearly 6 weeks ago. My ex has maintained contact via email expressing how my she cares about my and how much I've helped her grow. Basically giving breadcrumb hints that are mixed.

    I also respond positively to her emails telling her how I am doing and how I have progressed and spent time on myself and my soul.

    I find people that are in this situation no one speaks about NC. Is there an issue with contact if it's nothing but mutual respect throughout the entire breakup and throughout post breakup?

    • Kathlyn

      Hi! How did it work out now? I think somehow she just feels guilty of leaving you and of course, your ex still cares for your well-being to some extent that's why she is trying to maintain contact.

      How did it go now?

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