Relationships come to an end, and it can be difficult to move on. So what do you do when, after you’ve finally managed to move on, they hit you up with what seems to be an innocuous text? Or even worse, if your ex contacts you while you’re still not over them?
How to respond to an ex asking how you are, and should you even bother? To find the answer to this question, you have to take a good look at some things about yourself and your relationship with your ex and think carefully about what it is you really want.
Here’s how to do it step-by-step.
How To Respond To An Ex Asking How You Are
When it comes to relationships, things get complicated before you know it. Choosing how to respond to an ex asking how you are is one of these complicated things. There isn’t really one correct answer to this dilemma because it depends on many factors, such as:
1. Before you can decide if you should even reply, you should start by remembering why you broke up in the first place.
2. Next, consider your emotional state. How are you feeling about your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend at the moment? Are you over them? Do you still have feelings for them?
3. Then, think about what you want your relationship with your ex to be. Do you want to get back together? Does the reason you broke up still exist? What could your ex be after?
If the answers to all of these questions boil down to the fact that you’re over your ex and want to get on with your life, there’s a great way to respond: don’t ignore the text, but treat it like it’s not a big deal. Text back and mention something casual you’ve done recently and ask them how they are.
When your ex asks, “How are you?” you can reply with something like one of these:
•“Work has been crazy, but I’m good. You?”
•“Good! Just came home from a run. What about you?“
•“About to go check out that new pizza place near my work. How are you?“
All of these responses show that you’re fine and that you’ve moved on, but that you’re not trying hard to let them know. Some people think that when you’re trying to seem too over your ex, it might come off as an act.
You don’t want to give your ex the satisfaction of thinking you’re still hung up on them. Instead, approach the text like you’re replying to a friend you’re not particularly close to. Basically, your ex isn’t very important in your life, but you’re polite enough to reply to a text.
Now the ball is in their court. If your breakup was amicable, and you actually think you might be able to be friends at this point in time, their response might point you in the direction of the best way to do it.
That’s it for the short reply when you’re over your ex. On the other hand, keep reading if you’re considering getting back together or are simply in the mood to over-analyze their text.
Why Did You Break Up?
Some reasons for breaking up hurt more than others. Sometimes the worst pain comes when you break up because of circumstances even though the both of you still love each other. Even leaving an abusive relationship can hurt because of the emotional damage left by the abuse.
You never break up just because, so if you’re thinking about getting back together, there will be no good outcome if the reason for your breakup still exists.
Breakups that can’t be overcome.
• Your values are different.
If you couldn’t agree on certain big things, such as marriage, having kids, or money, there was never much chance of a long-term relationship.
Making a compromise is nearly impossible and guaranteed to leave one or both of you feeling bitter. Deep-seated convictions rarely change, so a break up was probably the best choice.
• They did something you can’t forgive.
Some people are capable of forgiving things others aren’t. It’s okay if you can’t get over something your ex has done, such as cheating on you. Your feelings are valid, and you should accept them without feeling guilty.
Trying to forgive and stay in a relationship when it’s impossible will result in nothing but resentment and unhappiness.
• The relationship was unhealthy
You shouldn’t even think about returning to a toxic or abusive relationship. A toxic relationship might have its exciting moments, but it comes crashing down sooner or later.
Looking for excuses for an abusive relationship will only result in more abuse. It’s highly unlikely that someone abusive the first time around will change.
Even if they’ve been working on their behavior extensively, you should still avoid placing your mental and physical well-being in danger and protect yourself from abuse.
• You had given up on the relationship
When you were together, you simply stopped making an effort. You weren’t happy, and you weren’t trying to fix it. Your arguments weren’t didn’t solve any of your issues but only made you angry at each other.
Thinking about returning to this kind of relationship would just be out of habit, not because you think it would be good.
Breakups where there’s still a chance.
• You weren’t ready to break up.
For example, if you were unhappy with something in the relationship and wanted to change it, you might have misinterpreted it as your partner not being right for you. You might have misunderstood each other’s intentions.
Sometimes, you’re just not in the right place mentally, and your breakup had nothing to do with the relationship.
• The reason for your breakup no longer exists.
If the reason you broke up was out of your control, there still might be a chance of working things out. You weren’t ready to end your relationship, and now the circumstances that led to it have changed or may be resolved.
For example, if you broke up because you were long-distance, and you live close now. Or you broke up because of something you don’t even remember anymore.
If you’re regretting breaking up, and the reason it happened was external, it might be possible to get your ex back.
• There’s no bad blood.
If you broke up without hurting each other, especially if there was no ‘dumper’ or ‘dumpee,’ a reconciliation might be possible. When the cause of your hurt was the end of your relationship and not the other person, there’s probably no resentment.
Going back to this kind of relationship is easy if there’s a willingness on both sides.
Do You Want To Get Back Together?
Ask yourself and give honest answers:
• How do you feel about your ex?
• Is there still a connection between the two of you?
• Are you still attracted to them?
• Do you trust them?
• Are you prepared to work on your relationship?
If the answer to these questions is yes, think about what you want to do.
Another important thing to consider before anything else is to make sure that your ex is still single and that they show you signs that they still want you. If there’s already a new girl or a new guy in your ex’s life, you’re setting yourself up for heartache.
If you’ve already moved on and aren’t single, think about whether you really want to mess up the new relationship you have with your new partner.
If You Want To Get Back Together
Take your time to think about your breakup and feelings before responding to your ex’s text. Don’t think, “My ex texted me. Let’s get back together.” Force of habit might make you believe you still want your ex when you really don’t.
Think carefully before taking this big step. When you’re calm and sure about what you want, send a casual text but show a willingness to talk. A simple response is the best, without intense feelings and explanations.
So when your ex sends a text saying, “How are you?” you can reply with something that’s a variation of “I’m good, how about you?”
And then it’s their turn. What you want now is for your ex to show the same kind of desire to get back together but also a willingness to work on whatever the reason was for your breakup.
If your ex says they want to reconcile, ask them what has changed compared to before.
When your ex is in the same place as you, they’re not going to pretend not to know or play games. Your goal right now is to find a way to go back to the relationship and solve the problems that made it fail in the first place.
If they continue the conversation and you’re happy with it, arrange to meet up for coffee. When you see each other, communicate openly and discuss your feelings and issues. Make sure your ex wants you for the right reasons and not out of habit.
Keep your feelings under control, and remember: honest communication comes first!
If You Don’t Want To Get Back Together
When you’ve been working on moving on by following the no contact rule, your ex getting in touch can ruin all your hard work. For that reason, it’s best to block them everywhere from the moment you decide that you’re done with them.
Block and delete their phone number and block and unfollow them on social media. The less chance you have of getting in touch with them, the less chance you’ll do it in a moment of weakness.
So if you’re committed to getting over them, reply with something like, “I’m good, but I think it’s best if we both move on. Please don’t contact me anymore.” It’s going to feel great when you realize you really don’t care about them.
At this point, it’s best if you immediately block them without waiting to see if they’ll reply. By going no contact, you’re giving yourself the best chance to heal without the temptations of texts or phone calls.
Those might lead to ideas of staying friends or becoming friends with benefits, but neither would work if you’re still hurting. Stay away until you have moved on in your new life, and even then, don’t think about trying to be best friends with your ex.
Why Would Your Ex Ask You How You’re Doing?
When your ex reaches out via text, you might be really happy about it if you want to get back together, but you need to be careful.
Depending on how your relationship ended, your ex might not have good intentions. Even if they do, you still need to put yourself and your feelings first.
• Your ex wants to get back together.
Just because your ex misses you doesn’t mean you have to talk to them. If you’re in a good place, healing from the breakup, and finally getting your love life back on track, a text message from an ex can cause chaos.
If you’re not interested in getting back together, especially if this person has hurt you, take the advice above and reply curtly, then block them. You don’t owe them anything or to listen to what they have to say if you’ve made your decision.
• Your ex wants to try being friends.
Depending on where you are emotionally, this might be possible if you both want it. Maybe you broke up because even though you liked each other, a relationship between you just didn’t work.
If you’re not hurting and don’t have hopes of getting back together, if your feelings for them are no longer romantic, and both you and your ex think that you can be friends, you can give it a try.
Just make sure that both of you are clear about your feelings, boundaries, and expectations.
• Your ex wants to keep you on the hook.
Your ex might contact you to make sure they still have power over you. They want to see whether a text or a call can shake you up and make you weak to their influence. Your ex is only seeking validation and doesn’t actually care about your feelings.
Your ex is contacting you to see if you’re single or willing to have a casual relationship. They want to make sure you won’t stop thinking about them if they even want something from you.
They might be trying to keep the possibility of a hook-up open and are simply making sure they’re still desirable.
Don’t try to catch up with your ex if they show signs they’re trying to play games. Don’t succumb to “I miss you,” and don’t let them see that they’re affecting you. Block them and move on. It’s going to be hard, but it’s the only way to get on with your life.
Should You Respond At All If You’re Done With Your Ex?
Some people might think that even in this type of situation, it’s best to be polite and reply, but I think that when your feelings are at stake, you should always do what’s best for you.
If this person has hurt you, if your breakup was painful and difficult, if you’re still trying to move on, go ahead and ignore the message. You don’t owe them anything.
You know your ex best, and you’re the best judge of what they might be up to. Their reason for sending this text could be to hurt you more by showing you they’ve moved on or to look for confirmation that they could still have you if they wanted.
On the other hand, your ex might not be a bad person, and they could be genuinely interested in whether or not you’re okay.
This might be even worse if you’re in the process of trying to pick yourself up. Someone who’s bad to you is easier to get over than a good person.
Either way, at this point, the no contact rule is the way to go. It’s the only effective way to keep your ex off your mind and let you get over them. Later on, you can think about whether or not you can go to being friends with your ex and if they’re someone you want in your life.
How To Respond If You Want To Be Petty
If things ended badly, you might be tempted to reply to their message with an emotionally charged response and show that you’re still mad.
I would recommend against it, but I know that in times of heartbreak, it’s hard to keep a cool head, and sometimes you just want to push back.
Keep in mind that the effect this has on your ex might be the opposite of what you’re hoping for – instead of putting them down, your display of angry feelings might give them the satisfaction of knowing you’re still not over them.
It’s better if you block and ignore, but if you really want to respond in this way, proceed with caution.
• Leave them on seen.
This is a response in itself and has a particular power. It shows you saw their message but didn’t care enough to reply. Don’t go back on it after you’ve opened their text, though, and reply later.
Your ex might think that you needed time to think about what to say, which isn’t the result you want to achieve. If you want time to reply but don’t want them to know you’re thinking about it, read their message from the notification bar without opening it.
• Send a meme.
But make it a choice one. Look for something funny that shows you’re unbothered and living your best life without your ex. Find a meme that says they’re ridiculous for even trying to talk to you. You don’t have to rush to reply,
• Reply with a single emoji or make a hit combo
You can choose from the select petty emojis below, or if you’re an expert emoji user, pick the combination from your frequently used ones that best shows your feelings.
• lol / ?? / ok?
This response might be especially appropriate if their text was something like, “‘sup” or “wyd?”
• Why?/None of your business/Is there a problem?
These sound a bit confrontational, so you might get a reaction if you send one. If that’s what you’re looking for, then this is what you want. Remember that the most powerful move is if you ignore the next message your ex sends.
• Already done with your rebound relationship?
You’re clearly showing that you still pay attention to them, that you know they’ve moved on, and that you’re mad about it with a response like this. If you’re trying to provoke them, it’s a great move, but to keep an upper hand, don’t engage at all when they reply.
• This is a nice surprise!/I’m great, thanks for asking! ❤️️
A response like this is clearly sarcastic and making fun of your ex. If they don’t get what you mean, they might get confused and try to go on with the conversation.
If you want to continue replying, keep your tone nice and sweet, and sit back and watch them try to figure out what’s going on.
Trying to figure out how to respond to an ex asking how you are is a challenge because it’s hard to think rationally when your feelings are in turmoil. It’s best to avoid responding to it right away. Give yourself time to think about how you feel and what you want.
Remember the reasons you broke up. Consider why they might be contacting you. Examine your feelings and try to figure out what it is that you want.
Think about whether it’s worth the hassle even replying to your ex. If you choose to do so, put yourself and your feelings first. There’s no place to worry about hurting your ex’s feelings when they’ve hurt you already.
Above all, protect your feelings.