If you are thinking about your ex or missing them, you may feel a sudden urge to text them. But something inside you told you to think things through before texting them. And somehow you landed on this page.
Texting an ex isn’t a bad idea in some scenarios. But it can be a terrible idea in a lot of situations. In this page, we are going to break it down in a simple way so you can make an educated and rational decision about texting your ex. And yes, this comes from 13 years of experience of helping people with breakups.
Should I Text My Ex?
Here’s a summary of when you should and shouldn’t text your ex.
1. You can text your ex if you are not doing it out of desperation to win them back. For example, it’s okay to text your ex if it’s been a while since the breakup and you just want to see how they are.
2. If you want your ex back, it’s only okay to text them after you’ve healed from the breakup. Preferably, after following the no contact rule for at least a month. Texting your ex can help you get them back if you’ve taken the time to learn from your mistakes, grow as a person and heal from the breakup. I recommend my clients to only text their ex from a place of confidence and understanding rather than a place of desperation and neediness.
3. It’s okay to text your ex on special occasions (such as birthdays, national holidays) if you have an amicable relationship with your ex. However, it’s not recommended to text them if the special occasion is in close vicinity of the breakup. For example, you don’t want to wish your ex a happy valentine’s day if you just broke up a week ago.
4. It’s okay to text your ex if you want to apologize for something that happened during the relationship or during the breakup. A lot of people realize their mistakes or unhealthy patterns after a breakup. It’s okay to text your ex acknowledging those mistakes or unhealthy patterns and apologize for it as long as it is a genuine apology. (You can get some templates here).
5. It’s okay to text your ex about something that you both share a responsibility for. For example, it’s okay to text your ex about your children, a pet, a business, a social activity, or an event that you both are responsible for.
6. It’s also okay to text your ex about exchanging belongings after a breakup. However, it’s important that you don’t use this as an excuse to try to convince them to get back together (because that will be seen as manipulation or desperation by your ex and will push them further away).
7. I don’t recommend that you text your ex
- out of desperation
- If you are feeling extremely sad
- If you miss your ex badly
- If you are afraid that your ex will move on
- If you are afraid that your ex will forget about you
- If you think you can convince your ex to come back to you.
- If your ex has told you that they want to move on.
- If you’ve realized that you should move on from the breakup.
8. I strongly don’t recommend you text your ex
- out of anger
- or if you want to try any kind of manipulation.
- If you’ve realized that your previous relationship was unhealthy or toxic.
- If there was any kind of abuse in your previous relationship.
Okay, so that’s the gist of it. The above points should give you a good idea of whether or not texting your ex is a good idea for you. But there is a lot more to unpack here.
Below, we will talk about these points in detail to help you get a much better idea of when to text your ex and the best way to go about it.
Don’t Text Your Ex Out of Desperation to Win Them Back
The golden rule about texting an ex is to make sure you are not texting your ex out of desperation or neediness. This desperation or neediness is usually a result of wanting to get them back or being afraid of losing them forever.
How to determine if you are desperate or needy at this moment?
A lot of people confuse their desperation after a breakup with love. It’s important to learn to distinguish between the two.
Love is a positive feeling of strong attachment and affection, while desperation is a feeling of hopelessness and despair.
In a healthy relationship, love is based on mutual respect, trust, and support. In contrast, desperation is often characterized by an intense neediness and a fear of being alone.
Love is about wanting the best for the other person and being willing to work through challenges together, while desperation is about needing the other person to fill a void or to make you feel complete.
Ultimately, love is about connection and partnership, while desperation is about fear and insecurity.
And studies have shown that most people find insecurity and desperation unattractive. By texting your ex out of insecure and desperation, you are indirectly telling your ex that you don’t feel worthy of being with them and they would be doing you a favor if they take you back.
Here are some signs that mean you are desperate to get your ex back and you should avoid texting them at all cost –
- You have been constantly texting your ex since the breakup and they have not been reciprocating.
- If you don’t speak to your ex for extended period of time, you get extremely anxious.
- You stalk them on social media constantly. You obsess over what they post online.
- You are terrified of your ex dating someone else. The thought of them being with someone else makes you feel extremely jealous and hopeless.
- The thought of losing your ex forever makes you feel terrible and you try your best to block that thought and shift your focus on trying to get them back.
- The thought of getting your ex back makes you feel comfortable but whenever you feel like it’s not going to happen, you start feeling anxious and fearful.
- You have begged your ex to get back together. You may have done or said things to your ex to make them believe that you will be miserable without your ex.
- You have apologized repeatedly for your mistakes in an attempt to stop the breakup or reverse it.
If you can relate to the above, then you should not text your ex. Instead, you should focus on healing from the breakup by doing no contact. If you want your ex back, you should take this quiz to analyse your chances and subscribe to our email course that helps you heal and get your ex back using honesty and a healthy mindset.
In summary, it’s never okay to text your ex out of desperation, neediness, insecurity or fear.
Don’t Text Your Ex If They Need Space (Or They’ve Asked For Space)
As a general rule, if someone doesn’t want you to text them, then you should respect their wishes and give them space and time.
If your ex has told you to stop contacting them, then you should not text them at all.
Moreover, if you and your ex just broke up, then your ex probably needs some space and time to process the breakup, go through grief and heal. And so do you.
Respect your ex’s need for space and their wishes and don’t text your ex.
A lot of people who want their ex back feel that if they don’t text their ex, their ex will move on and they won’t have any chance of getting them back. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
If you keep texting your ex when they need space, you will only come off as needy or desperate and push them away.
But by giving them space and respecting their wishes, you show maturity. And you also give yourself a chance to heal from the breakup and work on your confidence and self-esteem.
Healing from the breakup does not necessarily ruin your chances of getting your ex back. In most cases, giving your ex space and time, and focusing on healing and self-improvement yourself dramatically increases your chances of getting your ex back.
In fact, one study conducted by us proved that self-improvement is the number one reason people cite for getting their ex back in a long term healthy relationship.
In summary, don’t text your ex immediately after a breakup or if they have explicitly told you not to contact them.
Should I Text My Ex If They Want To Move On?
No, you should not text your ex if they’ve explicitly stated that they want to move on. Texting your ex is not going to stop them from moving on from the relationship. It’s only going to push them away and leave them no choice but to block your number. If your ex wishes to move on, you should respect their space and not contact them in any way. Even if you miss your ex terribly, you should try your best to focus on healing from the breakup.
Note that a lot of couples still get back together even if they were initially focused on moving from each other. It can take a month, six months or even several years for that to happen. But if you and your ex are right for each other, then there is a chance you will get back together in the future. (You can take this quiz to figure out your chances of getting your ex back. It’s quite accurate and will give you a lot of insights into your situation.)
Should I Text My Ex If They’ve Moved On To a New Relationship?
If your ex has moved on to a new relationship, you should probably not text them or try to contact them. However, if you have taken the time to do no contact, healed from the breakup and you want to say something meaningful to your ex (such as an apology or just appreciation), then it’s okay to text them.
Don’t Text Your Ex Just To Feel Better (It’ NOT a Replacement for Therapy)
A lot of time, you just really miss your ex and want to text them. You crave to have a conversation with them.
After all, you were used to speaking to your ex boyfriend or ex girlfriend every day. You were used to sharing everything that happened in your life.
You used to watch movies together, finish TV series together, have at least one meal together, sleep together, laugh together and even cry together.
When the breakup happened, all of that was gone from your life. Even if you saw the breakup coming, even if the breakup was amicable and even if you were the one who initiated the breakup, you can’t possibly prepare yourself for the sense of emptiness you feel in your life after the breakup of a serious long term relationship.
And the easiest solution to deal with the emptiness, the loneliness and that terrible feeling of missing your ex may seem to be to just text your ex and speak to them.
This feeling of loneliness and craving for your ex can also pop up months or years after the breakup. Such as what happened during the quarantine.
“What harm could it do? I’ll just ask him how he is doing and maybe have a short chat.”; you say to yourself in an attempt to convince yourself that it’s harmless to text your ex.
But if you are texting your ex because you know speaking to them will ease the breakup pain or the anxiety, you are actually setting yourself and your ex for more pain.
If you were the one who broke up with your ex (and you don’t intend to get back together), then texting your ex may send them mixed signals and they may misinterpret it as a sign that you want to get back together. While a simple text conversation seems harmless to you, it gives a lot of false hope to your ex.
If your ex replies, it makes you feel better momentarily. But at the same time, you are setting yourself up for an unhealthy pattern in which you text your ex whenever you feel anxious/sad/depressed to feel better. For instance, if your ex decides to move on and apply the no contact rule, you may be left unable to deal with the breakup pain or the anxiety you feel when you miss your ex.
In addition, you are also being unfair to your ex if you use them just to feel better whenever you feel down by texting them. You are using your ex for emotional support while your ex may be interpreting your text as a thread of hope for getting back together. When you eventually move on and stop texting your ex, they are going to be even more devastated if they feel that you strung them along for so long only to leave them alone in the end.
In short, even if you were the one who broke up with your ex and you have no intention of getting bak together, you should not text your ex just to make yourself feel better emotionally or mentally. You should not text your ex if you are feeling sad, lonely or anxious as it may send false signals and create unhealthy patterns between you and your ex.
Instead, consider focusing on healing from the breakup. Focusing on personal growth and applying the no contact rule is a good way to start. If it feels too hard, I highly recommend you get therapy or speak to a relationship or breakup coach.
Should You Text Your Ex If You Miss Them Or If You Just Want To Catch Up After A Long Time?
In the previous sections, we spoke about texting your ex out of desperation (to win them back) and texting them just because the breakup pain is too much (even if you don’t intend to get back together).
But what about when you just miss your ex?
What if it has been a while since the breakup and you just miss your ex the way you miss your best friend when you remember the times you used to kick the can after school?
What if you truly just miss them and want to catch up with no ulterior motive?
If that’s the case, then it’s okay to text your ex. But before you casually text your ex to catch up, you should ask yourself these questions..
- Do you feel any kind of desperation or neediness towards getting your ex back?
- Are you honest with yourself about your intentions for texting your ex?
- If you reach out to your ex and they don’t respond, would that make you feel terrible?
- Has enough time passed since the breakup? In most cases, I’d say two months is enough time for both exes to heal and process the breakup.
If you feel certain that enough time has passed and you are not acting out of neediness or an underlying desire to win them back, then it’s okay to text your ex.
Here’s a sample text to catch up with your ex after a few months of no contact with your ex.
“Hey, it’s been a while since we talked. I just walked past the restaurant where we celebrated Jimmy’s Birthday and it reminded me of you. How have you been?”
If your ex has also healed, then they will probably reply with a warm message and they may be open to a conversation to catch up.
But be wary, there is a chance your ex may not be receptive of your message. They may be cold in their reply or they may just not reply at all. If that happens, it’s best to just leave it at that and not text your ex anymore.
Should You Text Your Ex On Special Occasions?
In most cases, it’s okay to text your ex on special occasions. To be more precise, it depends on the situation, your current relationship with your ex, and the type of special occasion.
If your ex has not blocked you, and they have not explicitly asked you to stop contacting them, then it’s okay to text your ex on the following special occasions.
- Your ex’s birthday
- Any special event related to your ex’s family that may be important to your ex. Such as parent’s anniversary, birthday of a sibling etc.
- A big event in their life related to their career or studies. For example, a big exam, a promotion, a big presentation.
- Annual holidays that you know your ex celebrates. For example, Christmas, New Year’s, Hanukah, Labor day, Eid, Diwali, or 4th of July etc.
It’s not okay to text your ex on the following special events
- Your and your ex’s anniversary
- Any event related to your dating history. For example, anniversary of the first time you met or the first kiss.
- Valentine’s day
How To Text Your Ex On Special Events?
If enough time has passed since the breakup and you feel you have both healed from the breakup, then you can just text your ex to wish them the way you would normally do with a friend. For example,
“Happy birthday. Hope you have a great day.”
If the breakup is fresh and you feel the situation is important to your ex, then a good way of texting your ex is to acknowledge that you know the day is important.
“Hey, I know this day is very important for you and I just wanted to wish you best of luck. You have great work ethics and I know you will ace this test.”
Guidelines for Texting Your Ex For Shared Responsibilities
When you and your ex share responsibilities such as kids, pets, business, events, hobby groups or some social activities; then you may have to occasionally text your ex.
It’s okay to text your ex when the text is related to a shared responsibility.
Here are some guidelines to help you stay on track when texting your ex –
- Keep the text strictly related to shared responsibility.
- Try to keep the conversation as short as possible.
- Try your best to avoid any emotional talk during the texts.
- If possible, use email for these conversations as it can be more formal and leaves less room for deviating from the topic.
- If your ex tries to speak to you about the breakup, or your personal life after the breakup; consider telling that you need more space and time and that you are not ready to speak to them as friends right now.
Texting Your Ex to Exchange Belongings
You may need to take some of your things from your ex’s house. Or your ex may have their stuff in your house that they need to take.
Is it okay to text your ex if you want to exchange belongings?
Of course. It’s definitely okay to text your ex if you want your belongings back or if you want them take their belongings back from your house.
It’s best to just keep the text straight to the point. Ask them when you can take your stuff from their house. To avoid any unnecessary interactions with your ex, try to send a friend to take your stuff. If you have to meet your ex to take your stuff, be amicable but don’t engage in an emotional conversation. Keep the meeting short.
It’s better if you exchange your belongings before you start the no contact period with your ex. This way, you won’t have an excuse to reach out to your ex and neither will your ex.
Is It Okay To Reply To A Sudden Text From Your Ex?
A lot of times, you may receive a text from your ex asking how you are and you may be tempted to text them back. In most cases, it’s okay to reply to a simple text from your ex. But it’s important to know where you are emotionally and how a conversation with your ex may affect you.
For example, you may be grieving the breakup and doing no contact to try to heal from it. A conversation with your ex may throw you off. If that’s the case, it’s best to reply to your ex letting them know that you are not ready to speak yet and that you need some space and time.
If you receive a text from your ex, I recommend you read my article that explains when and how you should respond to your ex texting you.
It’s Okay To Text Your Ex To Apologize For Your Mistakes, If The Apology Is Genuine
A lot of people tend to realize their mistakes in the relationship after a few days or weeks of the breakup. Sometimes, people realize that the way they acted during or after the breakup was disrespectful and maybe even offensive.
And when you realize that, you may be tempted to text your ex and apologize for your mistakes or wrongdoings.
Should you text your ex if you want to apologize?
It’s okay to text your ex if you genuinely want to apologize for your mistakes. But before you do that, you must think things through to make sure your apology is genuine and it’s delivered at the right time to minimize any negative effect of the apology. Here are some guidelines to follow.
1. Make sure you have taken enough time after the breakup to process everything that happened. You may feel like apologizing immediately after the breakup but that apology is probably driven by a desire to convince your ex to come back to you.
2. Make sure that you have actually thought things through and actually processed the breakup before apologizing. A lot of times, we don’t realize the mistakes we made until we actually get help from a professional (such as a therapist or a relationship coach) and discuss the relationship in detail. Sometimes, it takes a lot of soul searching and self-improvement work to realize your mistakes (such as reading books on psychology, or taking courses that help you heal and get some perspective).
3. An apology means nothing if you haven’t learnt anything from your mistakes and if you are not taking action to make sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes again. Your apology will be more genuine if you include the lessons you’ve learnt (such as “I have the tendency to act insecure in a relationship”) and the actions you are taking to improve (such as “getting therapy” or “learning to not try to control everything.”).
4. An apology feels insincere if it comes with conditions or a demand. For example, don’t ask your ex to “Give you another chance because you will not repeat the same mistakes again.” Or that you “deserve another chance after all the work you’ve done.”
5. Understand that despite your best intentions, your ex may not be receptive to your apology and there is a chance they may react negatively or just ignore you. In some cases, your ex may not reply to you for many days after receiving the apology text. If that happens, you should try your best to not obsess over it and let your ex go. If you apologize, it shouldn’t be to get your ex to forgive you or start speaking to you. Your aim should be to just say what you have to say and get it off your chest.
6. If your ex was extremely hurt because of your actions (such as betrayal or infidelity), then your apology may trigger a lot of negative feelings and open closed wounds. Before apologizing, consider the potential negative effects of your apology and only do it if you are sure it’s worth it.
7. You can read more about the best way to text your ex to apologize in our article on texting your ex. In addition, you can also download some sample texts (that are very effective) by clicking here.
Sometimes, It’s Okay To Text Your Ex To Reconnect
A lot of people want to reconnect with your ex after an extended period of no contact. They may want to try to get back together or just start speaking to their ex as a friend.
It makes sense to do if you still appreciate and respect your ex as a person even after you’ve been in no contact for more than a month.
It’s okay to text your ex if you want to reconnect with them provided you are doing it for the right reasons.
– Even if you want to get back together with your ex, you should not be needy or desperate to do so. You should have taken enough time to heal from the breakup. I recommend most people to do no contact for at least a month before they try to reconnect with their ex.
– If your breakup ended on bad terms, or if you were disrespectful to your ex after the breakup, it may be a good idea to apologize to your ex before asking to reconnect via text.
– If you’ve already apologized or if your breakup was relatively amicable, then you can just send a simple text asking them how they are. I’ve already mentioned this in the section about catching up with your ex. It’s a good way to start the conversation with your ex and if they are up to it, you may both end up meeting to reconnect.
– If your ex is cold in replying to your text or confused about why you are texting them, you should just be honest about your intentions. Just say that you want to reconnect because you still value them as a person and would love to have them in your life. You can find some examples in this article and this downloadable pdf.
Reconnecting with your ex via text doesn’t have to be hard. Just keep things simple and be honest. The hard part actually comes before that. The hard part is facing the grief, working on your issues, doing no contact, focusing on self-improvement and becoming a confident person again before you text your ex to reconnect.
If you are not sure where to begin, then I highly recommend you take this quiz to subscribe to our EBP Basics Email Course. It’s an amazing e-course that helps you regain your confidence after a breakup and shift your focus from getting your ex back through manipulation to getting your ex back through healing, honesty and self-improvement.
Should I Text My Ex If I Want To Get Back Together?
Texting your ex can help you get back together if you do it at the right time, with the right mindset. Understand that text messages are only a tool and they won’t work for you unless you use them with the right strategy and the right goals.
When it comes to relationships and getting an ex back, the right goal to aim for is always a healthy, long term relationship that helps both partner grow and thrive in life.
And the right strategy to achieve that goal is to focus on self-improvement, be honest, respect your ex’s space, and be confident.
If you are thinking about texting your ex to try to get them back, here are a few points you should keep in mind.
- Don’t text your ex out of desperation. Texting them out of desperation in an attempt to make them come back is only going to make you look needy and push your ex away.
- Give your ex some space and time before texting them. Give yourself some space and time before texting your ex. I recommend you follow the no contact rule before texting your ex. Doing so gives you a lot of time to heal from the breakup and focus on self-improvement that is critical if you want to get back in a healthy relationship.
- Whenever you are thinking about getting your ex back, think about whether or not it’s possible to get them back in a long and healthy relationship. Focus on getting your ex back permanently and not on getting your ex back quickly.
- The first time you text your ex after no contact, you can use a mix of an apology text or a casual text. I speak more about it in my article on what to do after no contact and my article on texting your ex to get them back.
- Try to think of texts as a doorway to phone calls or meeting your ex. Texts are great to stay in touch and some light banter but it’s hard to have a real conversation over them. Getting back with an ex requires you both to have important conversations to understand if it’s the right decision for both of you.
- Don’t use texts to ask your ex to get back together. You should only do that when you meet your ex.
- Before you ask your ex to officially get back together, make sure that you have created enough attraction, connection and trust between the both of you. Also try to address the issues that lead to the initial breakup.
The above points summarize a lot about the mindset, the strategy and the goals you should have when trying to get back with your ex boyfriend or ex girlfriend. However, there is a lot more to unpack. If you are interested, I recommend you read these articles.
And if you want to learn more about how to use texts in the process of getting your ex back, check out this guide on texting your ex to get them back.