“Should I Text My Ex?” Answered

Defining your intentions upfront will help you avoid unrealistic expectations.

Reviewed by Joy Nwokoro, Relationship Coach Joy Nwokoro Joy NwokoroRelationship Coach facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature), Certified Relationship Coach Shivani Chandel MA (English Literature), Certified Relationship Coach Experience: 4 years
Edited by , BSc Shatabdi Bhattacharya BSc Experience: 2.5 years
Fact-checked by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years

Trust us when we say this: “Should I text my ex?” is one of the most common questions people going through their breakup phase ask themselves. Well, the reasons behind wanting to reach out to your ex could be many, but knowing if it is acceptable to text is essential. Because, as you know well, once you slip into your ex’s DM, there’s no coming back. So, before you make this move, let me provide you with that most sought-after guide that will ward off all your doubts surrounding the whole idea of communication or messaging your former partner! Read on to find out.

Why Do We Feel The Urge To Text An Ex?

Lonely woman texting her ex
Image: IStock

Remember we said that the reasons for texting an ex could be many? We are going to have a look at some of those now. The points below will answer your “Should I send my ex a text?” dilemma! So, what are you waiting for? Scroll down and read ahead!

  • To Have A Closure: Having closure is so much more important after you separate from your love interest or, in fact, anyone close to you. Some breakups can be abrupt. No explanation, no contemplation, and no planning. This can leave you with endless questions. “What just went wrong?” or “Can we patch up?” are some of the questions you would constantly trouble yourself with. Seeking answers, you end up texting them.
  • Seeking Comfort: Unable to bear the excruciating pain of losing someone close to you in a breakup ultimately forces you to scour for comfort. Yes, your friends and family will shower you with immense love and support, but at times, all you look for are those “I love you too, bae” messages to calm yourself down. This eventually leads you to question yourself, “Should I send my ex a text?”
  • To Fill The Void: Now, can we ever deny that you miss your ex’s presence, their smile, their romantic gestures, even their annoying jokes? Sure, you want them all back. You want to go out on the perfect adventurous date with them, or just relax on the couch with them, watching Netflix on that carefree Sunday afternoon. You miss them all, and to fill their void, you go ahead and text them, hoping to relive all the good times and memories of the past with them in the present.
Broken-hearted man unable to move on
Image: IStock
  • Unable To Move On: Moving on is a task. A super cumbersome one. No matter how toxic the relationship probably was, not having that person around suddenly is a difficult situation to deal with, beyond the shadow of a doubt. You’re definitely not used to waking up without your ex’s “Rise and shine, beautiful” message in the morning or window shopping without holding their hands. This is when you come across that urge to text them.
  • To Stay Friends: Well, sometimes a romantic relationship might fail, but you can still continue to stay friends with your ex. Of course, it takes some necessary planning and definitely a set of guidelines you both would adhere to in the future. But with all those in place, the friendship between you two has a fair chance of flourishing. Seeking this friendship, you end up messaging that ex of yours.

protip_icon Quick Tip
If you know that texting your ex will only open the floodgates of all the negative emotions, control the urge by distracting yourself. You can learn to bake, visit the salon, make a career to-do list, go hiking with friends, or indulge in other activities.

When Should I Text My Ex?

Bothered by questions like, “How long should I wait to text my ex back?” or “How often should I text my ex?” and so on? Well, to be very honest, deciding on this time clearly depends on what page you both are on at the moment. Texting them because you are unable to move on or because you’re addicted to their presence is not really ideal. You both are going through an intense transition and, therefore, need to accept the breakup and settle down first. Make sure you have no ulterior motives or hold no grudge against your ex before grabbing the cell phone to message them. Post-breakup, both of you need to be on the same page regarding how you want to take things forward. You have got to be strong and not at all vulnerable. Like real mature peeps, you both need to understand that you have a history together, and you are capable of handling the consequences of the breakup before you begin to text each other.

Also, look for certain positive signs – signs of growth, signs of maturity. When you feel that you no longer are going to go all “You said this”, “You said that,” then you are definitely good to go. See if you both are genuinely sorry for hurting each other. Because if not, then even though the first phase of texting might display signs of good bonding, eventually, you both will end up playing that same blame game and then lose touch with each other all over again! Take full responsibility for all the hurtful things you both might have said to each other and promise never to repeat them. Once you both are at a healthy stage in your relationship, rekindling as good friends or acquaintances is possible!

Oh, and if “How often should I text my ex after no contact?” is a question you are finding difficulties in answering, then know that you both should be comfortable with chatting again. Given that you are no longer in a relationship do not hope that you both are going to share that same intimacy that you did as a romantic couple. Things will change now for you. So do not bother your ex with a lot of texts at one go. Maintain the distance and have boundaries. Texting them once in a while with the intent to know how they are doing in their lives is fine.

Marisa Krause, a fiction writer and blogger, shared her experience of getting a text message from her ex-boyfriend. Her ex-boyfriend realized his mistake and apologized for his behavior after a long time. She recounts in one of her blogs, “Ultimately, I just ended up responding to him by saying that I accepted his apology and had no hard feelings about the past (it was high school, after all) (i).”

Do’s & Don’ts Of Reaching Out To An Ex

Man in deep contemplation over texting his ex
Image: IStock

By now, I am sure you have a good idea about all the dos and don’ts of texting an ex. But let me make it easier for you. Below are some of the points you must keep in mind before sending that one first text to the ex after a breakup. These points will further help you to clear your ‘Should I text back my ex?” doubt!


  • Make sure you know why you are texting your ex. You need to have an acceptable reason behind trying to text them.
  • Make your intention crystal clear to them while you text them. Let them know that you do not want to cause them any distress; you just want to have a healthy conversation with them.
  • Be respectful. Whatever the reasons behind that chaotic separation, leave them all behind and offer genuine respect to the ex. This is also an answer to your “How should I text my ex?” query.
  • Text them if you both agree with being friends. And if you want to patch up too, make sure you both are perfectly okay with it and have gotten rid of all the grudges you held against each other. Starting afresh is the key!
  • If they are in a relationship with someone else now, make sure you respect their relationship status. You should not come across as someone trying to invade their privacy because now there are definitely other people involved too. Your one message should not be the cause for problems in your ex’s current relationship.
  • And if you are struggling to find answers to your “Should I send an apology text to my ex?” then let us tell you, you have to make sure you are genuinely sorry. If you have been at fault for the separation, know your mistake and apologize without any hesitation.


Do not text your ex if you still hold a grudge against them
Image: Shutterstock
  • Don’t let your impulse push you to text your ex. Will your text hurt your ex more? Will it bring any benefits to you both? Will it help you both move on? When you have the answers to the questions like these, you will know if it is your impulsiveness that is leading you to text your ex, or is it because you just want to be connected to them through a healthy friendship.
  • Don’t text them if they don’t respond to you. Well, you can wait and see if they are ignoring your text on purpose or unable to reply because they are swamped somewhere else. Once you realize that they are not okay with chatting with you, try to refrain from texting them again.
  • Don’t text them because you want to make them feel guilty or miss you. If the separation has happened, then it has happened for a reason. You cannot force someone to want to have you back. If rekindling is on the cards, give it some time. Heal and let your ex heal too. Time will tell if you both need reconciliation and should really get back together.
protip_icon Quick Tip
When you feel the urge to text your ex, distract yourself. Go for a walk to keep your phone aside. Instead of acting on impulse, try to overcome it. Over time you’ll learn to control your desire.
Let some time pass before you text an ex
Image: IStock

So dear folks, I know the breakup has been challenging, and moving on has been more complex. But I am also sure that the aforementioned advice and suggestions will help and will totally answer that “Should I send a text to my ex?” question of yours. You can now stop worrying, for you can take your inspo from this piece and make your moves carefully whenever in doubt. But above anything else, make sure you are happy and healing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my ex still has feelings for me?

If your ex has feelings for you, they will make their way through their gestures and behavior towards you. If they do not love you as such, you will be confused all the time which can be mentally draining.

Is it worth risking or potentially damaging your relationship with your ex by texting them?

If they are your ex, there might already be a rough patch between you two. If it has been a toxic relationship, it is best to resist the temptation. If you feel like you have that forgiveness and feel that you would be understood, you may take the leap of faith and text them and give it a second chance.

Is there anything I can say or do to make my ex feel better?

After you have parted ways in the past, you two should be left to your own devices. Trying to win their validation may feel rewarding, but it can be a complicated way downhill.

What has your ex done to indicate that they want to remain friends?

If your ex wants to stay friends with you they will:

  • start spending more time with you
  • share social media posts with you, indicating that they think of you often
  • start sharing their plans with you
  • be interested in knowing what you are up to

This could mean that they still value and respect the relationship and are unwilling to lose the good friend they see in you.

What are your expectations if you do decide to text your ex?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that texting your ex leads to instant happiness but is soon met with deep regret if the feelings are unrequited. Every relationship dynamic is different, and responses depend on how mutually open both parties have been. Think it over before texting them: is it the sudden urge to validate your self-worth or do you genuinely miss them? If they have moved on, or are with someone else, chances are that your text might be met with disdain.

Key Takeaways

  • Reflection on why you want to message your ex before taking the leap can help you avoid unrealistic expectations.
  • Sometimes, loneliness or nostalgia causes the urge to text your ex.
  • Baking, visiting a salon and making a to-do list can help you control the urge to text your ex and keep negative emotions at bay.
  • Being honest and clear about your intentions and feelings about your decision to text your ex can make things easier for both of you.
  • Respect is the bedrock of all relationships, and it should be the guiding principle when you text your ex.

Wondering if you should text your ex? Watch this video to get advice on how to handle this tricky situation or how to get rid of this dilemma.

Personal Experience: Source

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Joy Nwokoro

Joy NwokoroRelationship Coach

Joy Nwokoro is a Christian relationship and marriage speaker, counselor, and coach. Although she studied English and Literature at the Abia State University in Nigeria, she was called over a decade ago to help singles and married people build and nurture healthy relationships and marriages that will make them feel fulfilled and satisfied. With 10 years of experience, she has...read full bio

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