“Should I text my ex?” you wonder. We have all been there! I mean, all of us who have gone through a breakup. The feeling catches you off-guard. Everything is going all right. You are hanging out with your friends who are helping you cope with the loss of a new breakup. Work friends are kinder. You don’t miss out on the parties. You might have even started dating again.
But that feeling catches you off-guard in a moment of weakness and vulnerability. Drunk in the bathroom, hungover in the morning, a fight with your bestie, a loss in your family, a terrible day at work, a date that ends in a disaster. It is often these moments when that feeling strikes you the first time, “Should I text my ex?”
Should you? You might have been struggling with the desire of texting after a breakup just to get something off your chest. These feelings might have risen in you because you left some things unsaid. Some sort of closure that you need. Maybe you seek an apology or even want to give one. You might be wondering how they are doing. Or, if they are happy without you, while secretly wishing they are not.
There are several things you might want from texting your ex after a breakup. Possibly, even to make your ex want you back. But should you? Let us explore if texting your ex is a good idea or a can of worms.
When Is It Okay To Text Your Ex?
Is texting your ex after breakup ever a good idea? Let us check this one off the list first before we get into all the reasons why you should avoid texting your ex after a breakup and save yourself, and maybe a few other people who are into the mix, from a lot of hurt.
Yes, there are several scenarios when texting your ex can be a good thing or at least a harmless thing. But the basis of each one of them is recognizing your intentions and what you plan on achieving. Before you pick up your phone to text your ex ask yourself, “Why?” Do not do it if it is going to set either of you back emotionally.
1. After a period of no contact – Texting after breakup
It is completely okay to text your ex when you feel both of you have moved on and are in a comparatively comfortable place right now. If you think, “Should I text my ex?”, without it causing a plethora of complicated emotions in you, it might be all right to drop them a text. This is usually possible after an initial period of no contact is mutually adhered to.
This period of no contact could be 30 or 60 days or any amount of time that you think you both need to let the initial longing, pain, anger or hurt subside. No contact rule will allow you to be more objective with your feelings before you have the first talk after the breakup.
Try to keep your conversation straight and formal and to the point. Express what you intended to achieve from this but avoid getting sucked into the whirlwind of emotions that might arise in your heart on talking to your ex.
Related Reading: 5 Signs The No-Contact Rule Is Working
2. When there is scope for a clean closure
Similarly, it is not such a bad idea to text your ex if you have something to say to them that will ensure you closure and will help you move on. But remember ‘closure’ as the keyword when you find yourself considering the lethal question, “Should I text my ex?”. Keep this scenario limited to things in your control, for example, apologizing for something that you did, instead of seeking an apology or explanation from them.
Getting in touch to seek something is never a good idea because it puts the control in the hands of your ex. If they refuse to give you what you were seeking, it might put you several steps back in your progress toward a life free from their haunting memories.
3. When you want to get back together (Only after trusting their sincerity!)
It would also not be such a bad idea to text your ex if after considerable consideration and thought you do want to get back together with them. But do this only if they have shown sincere remorse for their actions and a genuine willingness to amend things with you, and if you trust their maturity.
If you feel your relationship with them is worth all the trouble you had to go through, and you feel you have truly forgiven them, it might not be a terrible idea to text your ex after a breakup. Although we sincerely advise you to keep a trusted friend or a family member or, better still, a counselor in the loop when trying to get back together with an ex so that you have someone to cushion your fall if things don’t go as expected.
Surviving hurt and disappointment caused by the same person the second time around could be even harsher, so tread with caution! When you find yourself thinking, “Should I text my ex?”, because you want to get back with your ex, seek counseling from a skilled professional first. If it’s help you’re looking for to make up your mind about whether or not getting back together with an ex would be a good idea, Bonobology’s panel of counselors is here for you.
Reasons You Shouldn’t Text Your Ex
Despite what we have said earlier, there are always more reasons to not text your ex. The reasons why you want to in the first place could help throw some light on it. Humans relationships are interdependent. We are inclined to look for connections and support.
When you break up with someone, most often than not that someone cared for you once and you cared for them. That older connection always makes this ex be your easiest and quickest connection to finding love and support to fill the void that is created.
That is why you are taken over by the impulse to drop your ex a message every time something goes wrong and you are filled with despair. It’s the quickest possibility to soothe your wounds. It is merely a self-preservation technique. But now that you know, every time you find yourself asking, “Should I text my ex?”, remind yourself of these reasons why you should not, and keep your fingers away from your phone:
1. You will feel terrible after texting ex after breakup
Instead of dwelling over the question, “Should I text my ex?”, dwell on these questions first. What if they respond? Or worse, what if they don’t? What if they are still the same old jerk they were, which most probably they are because people don’t usually change?
Take it from the collective wisdom of everyone who has texted their ex and regretted it later, it always feels terrible to look needy and desperate. If your ex was a jerk, you don’t want your insecurities and fears of being alone forever to feed their ego and make yourself look bad. No good ever came from devaluing yourself.
2. You will over-complicate things for yourself after texting ex after breakup
You will take away from yourself the chance to heal by texting your ex after a breakup. Do you really want to undo all the progress you made moving on from that relationship which wasn’t great in the first place? Moreover, should you text your ex, you don’t even know if they will text back and when and say what?
Until they reply, you will struggle with texting anxiety, sitting and obsessing over every little detail. You will fret over your choice of words, your punctuation and emojis. You will make up countless reasons for the delay in their response.
And when they do respond, you will tear apart each word of that first talk after breakup trying to extract meaning in what is possibly nothing. Should I text my ex, you ask? Ask instead, “Do I really want to put myself through all this anxiety when I have made such good progress?”
3. They might be in a relationship – Consider this before thinking should I contact my ex
It is possible that your ex is in a relationship or seeing someone even if you don’t know about it. You might hurt their chances at a good life. You might also end up indirectly causing hurt to their new partner, this person who is possibly with your ex with the assumption that their past is the past.
If you are in a relationship, you are ruining your chances with the person you are currently dating. You owe your sincere efforts at an honest relationship to this person and you might end up hurting them too. Every time you find yourself thinking, “Should I text my ex?”, think of all the lives that are now connected to the answer to this question.
4. You deserve better – Believe in it every time you think, “Should I message my ex?”
Yes, as distant or even unimaginable this possibility looks right now, there is someone better for you waiting out there. With every text, you take several steps back on your road toward finding love and companionship. By being stuck at a point, or to someone, you are ruining your chances at finding someone better and you are keeping yourself from moving on.
You must trust that this will all be in the past. Time is the biggest healer and you will soon reach a point where your ex will not be the first person who comes to your mind five drinks down. When the impulse to text your ex after breakup strikes, when you find yourself in the pages of the internet, googling “Should I text my ex?”, ask yourself, “Don’t I want someone better?”
5. It ended for a reason, don’t forget!
Do not forget that it ended for a reason. In moments of weakness, we tend to only think of things that soothe us. Which is why you probably start seeing signs you regret breaking up with your ex and only remember the good times when you are staring at your ex’s name in your contacts.
Every time you find yourself thinking, “Should I text my ex?”, give yourself a quick refresher course on why things didn’t work out in the first place. Remind yourself of the reasons for the breakup and why you, your partner or both felt your relationship was not worth your effort. Most probably nothing has changed since then, which means you are trying to drive yourself into the same trap again. Please don’t!
Dos and Don’ts To Text Your Ex
Completely knowledgeable about the situation at hand, your emotions and your fate both in your control, it looks like you have decided that you, in fact, should text your ex. Follow these simple dos and don’ts if your answer to “should I message my ex?” is a yes.
1. Think about your reasons for texting them: Think why do you want to get in touch with them again. If it will set you or them back in your emotional progress, avoid it. This will also help you be realistic with your expectations.
|1. Don’t text impulsively: Or when you are drunk. Or at odd hours. Think before you pick up that phone. Make sure how have an appropriate reason, as well as that it is an appropriate time to knock their doors, even if digitally.|
|2. Keep your text to the point: Be upfront with what you want. Ask or express clearly what you are looking for. Avoid getting sucked into unhealthy small talk aka flirting, or worse, talking about the past and old resentments.||2. Don’t keep texting if your ex ignores your first text: That explains itself. You do want to respect their boundaries too. They might not be willing to get in touch with you for their own reasons. Don’t take it personally.|
|3. Ensure no-contact before texting: Make sure you are picking up the phone to text your ex only after maintaining a significant period of no contact to allow yourself as well as them to heal from the breakup.||3. Don’t text an ex who is not over you: If you know that your ex is struggling with the breakup, you might end up playing with their feelings with a text. They might be in need of a longer period of no-contact.|
You are the best judge of the intensity of your emotions and how you are dealing with the loneliness after breakup. You know best the reasons that have led you to wonder, “Should I text my ex?” Sort out your reasons for wanting to text your ex, keep in mind the dos and don’ts, seek help and support when needed, and you should be able to tread these troubled waters with ease and clarity. We are rooting for you!
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That depends on many factors. If you understand and are willing to follow all the dos and don’ts and feel sure about your reasons for wanting to make contact again with your ex after a breakup. If you think you understand the risks of getting in touch with your ex after a breakup. If you think your reasons to contact your ex are straightforward and uncomplicated, then there is no reason for you to wait for your ex to contact you first. There is clearly something that you want to convey and not them. Should I contact my ex first? You sure can!
No! Don’t tell your ex you miss them. Maybe they have moved on. Maybe you too are better off without digging up old feelings. Most probably it is a moment of weakness when you feel the urge to tell them you miss them. It too shall pass! Sometimes the power of silence is the best remedy after a breakup. Unless you are sure you would like to give your relationship another chance, and your ex has also given the indication that they too are willing to, there is no reason why you should tell your ex you miss them.
Initiating contact after a no-contact period will depend on many things, the most important of them being, “Why?” Figure out your intention behind wanting to initiate contact. If you ended terms with them amicably and would like to stay friends, it is not such a terrible idea to text your ex after no contact. But if you think you are doing it because you miss them and pressing send will ease your pain, increase your period of “no contact.” You clearly haven’t moved on and maybe need more time.
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