Should I Text My Ex? A Complete Guide To Help You Decide

Break up And Loss | | , Writer & Editor
Updated On: March 11, 2024
Should I text my ex

Should I text my ex? This question keeps bothering me a lot these days. I often find myself reaching for my phone, but something holds me back. You see, I was one of those females who was so confident in her relationship. If you had said that my partner would move on to someone else, I would have laughed. The thought that this was not a long-term relationship never crossed my mind.  

But the universe has a way of teaching us tough lessons. What I thought was a small disagreement snowballed into a huge issue. And my ex-boyfriend is now in the arms of someone else. I am so deeply hurt by what I see as an act of betrayal. So, is it a good idea to text your ex in situations like these? I have tried jotting down what I found out after some soul-searching and some research, along with some advice from a dating coach. So, read on…

When Is It Okay To Text Your Ex?

Is texting after a breakup ever a good idea? Yes and no, as it depends on a number of factors. For instance, are you emotionally ready to talk to your ex? Will you be able to respect the boundaries of being friends with an ex? Also, consider the timing. Has enough time passed after the breakup to allow both parties to heal? Remember, start by recognizing your intentions and what you plan on achieving. Before you hit ‘send’ on that text, ask yourself, “Why?” Do not do it if it can set either of you back emotionally.

Related Reading: 20 Simple Ways to Make a Guy Miss You

1. After a period of no-contact

When is texting after a breakup okay? I learned that it’s okay to text your ex even when you both feel you have moved on. If reaching out to an ex-partner causes many complicated emotions, you are not ready to send that text. 

For my own good, I had to initiate the no-contact rule. I learned that this period could be any amount of time you think you both need to let the longing, pain, anger, or hurt subside. The no-contact rule will allow you to be more objective with your feelings before you have the first talk after the breakup. And there should be no reason for contact, not even a special occasion (No ‘happy birthday’ message, please).

So, as an ex-girlfriend, how do you go about texting your ex after no contact? Well, keep your conversation straight, formal, and to the point. Digressing from the topic of conversation is the perfect example of a bad idea. 

Related Reading: 5 Signs The No-Contact Rule Is Working

2. When there is hope for closure

Are you asking yourself, “Should I text my ex for closure?” Yes, it’s okay to text your ex if you have something to say to them to ensure you get closure and help you move on. Always have context on whatever you are trying to achieve. It could be apologizing for something you did, instead of seeking an apology or explanation from them. 

It is difficult to move on without closure. Yet, My ex refused to give me closure when I reached out to him. I quickly realized it was a ‘control’ thing for him. Clearly, he was not ready to move on. And so, I had to step back and let him be. That was the right decision for me. If not, it would have hampered any progress on my part. 

3. When you want to get back together

Here’s the thing: I did not entirely discount getting back with my ex. At some point, he seemed to be quite interested in reconciling with me. He was doing all the right things and showing a willingness to amend things with me. So I struggled with “Should I text my ex who dumped me?”

Well, I learned from my experience that you should only text your ex if you feel your relationship is worth the trouble and drama/trauma you went through. But be careful, you may overdo it, and the next question in your mind may be “Will I look desperate if I text my ex?” A barrage of text messages from you can come across as you being desperate. But wait, are you now wondering what to do when you want to text your ex? I would say, keep a trusted friend, family member, or counselor in the loop.

should it text my ex for closure
Seek support through counseling when wanting to approach your ex

4. If you are looking for friendship

Have you ever come across a scenario where you’ve said to yourself: “I want to text my ex who broke up with me because I believe we can be good friends”? I understand the unspoken boundaries of being friends with an ex, including being able to maintain a healthy and platonic relationship

A Reddit user responding to whether it is okay to reach out to an ex after a year has this to say: “If you had a particularly nasty separation, it’s probably not a good idea because their most recent memories of you are fights and arguments. But, if you both agreed it wasn’t working out, but you’re still on good terms, texting isn’t bad.” 

5.  How long should I wait to text my ex? When you can respect boundaries

Are you still asking yourself, “I want to text my ex who broke up with me, but how long should I wait?” Well, only when enough time has elapsed and no emotions are involved. When you rush things, it will be hard to respect boundaries. Well, in my case, If I had insisted on texting, I might have pushed my agenda without caring that my ex was not ready for friendship.  

Related Reading: Expert Weighs In On Dangers of Reconnecting With An Ex While Married 

6. Should I text my ex who dumped me? When there’s mutual consent

As an ex-girlfriend, texting after a breakup requires that you have both reached a mutual agreement to remain friends or maintain contact. For instance, you can text to say you are returning his things. Both parties must be comfortable with either one initiating the texting. And it can take a few months before that happens. Be okay with that. You both have a shared responsibility to heal before reconnecting.  

7. When there’s no intent to manipulate

Are you still asking yourself, “Should I text my ex?” The answer is ‘yes’, but only if there is no intent of emotional manipulation. I’ll share what happened in my case. Sometimes, I felt so desperate for his attention that I would text under some pretext. I hate to admit, but I even once feigned illness to get him to come see me. It took some time for me to realize that I had to be honest and seek some emotional maturity before I pursued further communication with him. I learned that reaching out to an ex, intending to control them, is a recipe for disaster.  

Should I Text My Ex? Quiz

When Is It Not Okay To Text Your Ex?

He’s gone, you are hurting like crazy, and no communication from him hurts even more. Well, that’s normal, if you ask me. In fact, that’s how I felt in the first few days of no contact. Not being able to talk to him was slowly killing me. But the saner part of me knew I was just feeling sorry for myself. So, before I gave in and ended up hitting ‘send’ on the text, I decided to find out when it’s not okay to text your ex. Well, here are a few instances when you shouldn’t be texting an ex:

1. It’s too soon after the breakup

Are you asking yourself, “As an ex-girlfriend, how long should I wait to text my ex after the breakup?” Well, as long as it takes to heal emotionally and mentally. The first talk after a breakup can be tough, and so can texting your ex after no contact. You must both be ready to accept the relationship is no more and can be around each other without being in your feelings. Even if it takes years, don’t rush the process. 

2. You may feel terrible after texting 

It always feels terrible to look needy and desperate. If your ex was not a very good partner, you don’t want your insecurities and fears of being alone forever to feed their ego and make you look bad. No good ever came from devaluing yourself. So, if you’re still wondering what to do when you want to text your ex, here’s what you can try: no phone calls, text messages, or any type of communication! 

A Reddit user is emphatic about not messaging your ex: “You’re feeling anxious, and miss the comfort your ex brought. Sure, texting will ease your emotions for a moment, but they’ll come back worse. No, you don’t need that, no matter how much you want it. Build a better and happier life for yourself.”

Related Reading: 11 Ways to Tell a Narcissist Is Finished With You

3.  It will over-complicate things

So, here you are, grappling with the thought, “Should I text my ex, I miss him?” But, before making any decision, always ask yourself what you hope to achieve by doing so. I’ll share my experience. I gave in to the urge to text my ex and almost spiraled out of control. His response, when it came, was lackluster and did nothing to make me feel better. Waiting for his reply sent me into texting anxiety, and I would sit for hours obsessing over every little detail. Did I send the wrong message or use the right words? Was my word phrasing polite? So, next time, when the urge to text after a breakup hits you, ask yourself, “Is it worth it?” 

More on ex

4. They might be in a relationship

Is it bad to text your ex? Well, yes, especially if they (or you) have moved on to a new relationship. No good will come of it. Your new beau may see the text and hightail out of your life. Their new partner may stumble across your text, thus hurting his chances with her. At some point, consider the other people in the equation and come to terms with the end of the relationship. 

5. You deserve better

At some point, you will be struggling with the question, “Should I text my ex?” That is because you thought he was the Moon, the stars, and the Sun combined in one shiny package. But time has shown you he wasn’t. So why do you want to get stuck there? Do yourself a favor, delete and block that number, and move on. Give Cupid a chance to do his work. If he doesn’t deliver, try one of these international dating sites to find love. Instead of “Should I text my ex?”, ask yourself, “Don’t I want someone better?”

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Can you be friends with an ex?

6.  It ended for a reason

Mixed emotions are signs you regret breaking up with your ex. You are probably clinging to memories of that special day or occasion he treated you right. But you need to focus on why it did not work out in the first place. More harm than good will come from insisting on communicating with your ex in such cases. 

7. If there are one-sided feelings

My girlfriend recently broke up with her boyfriend. One morning she called me asking, “Will I look desperate if I text my ex?” Interestingly, she almost ended up in the hospital because of his violent nature. After she left, he never once bothered to reach out to her. You would think that would be a completely valid reason to end a relationship. Instead, she tried to convince me about how loving he was. No, dear sister, he was not a good man at all. So, to answer your question, yes, you will look desperate.

Related Reading: 8 Tips on What to Say to End a Relationship

Dos and Don’ts Of Texting Your Ex

It can be tempting to want to reach out to your ex after a breakup. The lingering hope for reconciliation can have you reaching for your phone, even when you shouldn’t. Well, if you give in to the temptation, it helps to learn what to do and what not to do. The table below summarizes the salient pointers to have in mind.

DosDon’ts

1. To answer the question, “Should I text my ex?”, you need to think about your reasons for texting them. Avoid it if it will set you back in your emotional progress. This will also help you be realistic with your expectations.
1. Don’t text impulsively or when drunk or at odd hours. Think before you pick up that phone. Make sure you have an appropriate reason and that it is an appropriate time to text.
2. Keep your text to the point. Be upfront and clear about what you want. Avoid getting sucked into unhealthy small talk, aka flirting, or worse, regurgitating the past and old resentments.2. Don’t keep texting if your ex ignores your first text. You also want to respect their boundaries. They might not be willing to contact you for their own reasons. Don’t take it personally.
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. Allow them a longer period of no contact.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. Allow them a longer period of no contact.

Key Pointers

  • Texting an ex requires careful consideration because you may not get the outcome you want
  • The answer to “Is it a good idea to text your ex?” requires careful consideration. So, yes, if you have both healed emotionally, go ahead
  • You should not text your ex if they have stated they want no contact or if there are unresolved emotional issues

If you’re still asking yourself, “Why do I keep texting my ex?”, well, you are the best judge of the intensity of your emotions and how you deal with the loneliness after breakup. Or perhaps, your self-esteem has taken a nosedive, and you don’t think you deserve better. Make concerted efforts to move on and let them find their peace as well. Focus on something else instead of sitting with your feelings of loss or loneliness and sulking over the past.

FAQs

1. Should I wait for my ex to contact me first?

That depends on many factors. You should be clear about why you want to contact them again. It also helps to understand the risks of contacting your ex after a breakup. Finally, if your reasons for contacting your ex are straightforward and uncomplicated, then go ahead and contact them first. 

2. Should you tell your ex you miss them?

No! Don’t tell your ex you miss them. Maybe they have moved on, or you are better off without digging up old feelings. Consider it a moment of weakness that will soon pass. Sometimes, the power of silence is the best remedy after a breakup. On the other hand, if you both want to give your relationship another chance, it’s alright to tell your ex you miss them.

3. Should I text my ex after no contact?

Initiating contact will depend on many things, the most important being, “Why?” Figure out your intention behind wanting to initiate contact. If you ended things 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 miss them and feel pressing ‘send’ on that text might ease your pain, you might consider increasing your period of ‘no-contact’. You clearly haven’t moved on and might need more time.

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