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Should I Text My Ex? 9 Golden Rules When To Text (And When NOT To)

Should I Text My Ex? 9 Golden Rules When To Text (And When NOT To)

You’re looking at your phone, your heart is beating faster than normal, you’re thinking about a million possible case scenarios while asking yourself: Should I text my ex (or not)?

I wish there was a virtual robot that could decide such things for us and (preferably) predict the future but the only person who can give you the right answer to this question is YOU (with the help of my assistance, of course).

Texting your ex boyfriend or ex girlfriend on impulse is by far the worst thing you could do (speaking from experience) and it’s good that you decided to seek virtual advice first.

Thoughtful young girl texting on her phone while sitting on a table

So, what should you do when the desire to text your ex boyfriend or ex girlfriend becomes strong within you, aka unbearable?

First of all, you should take a deep breath, put your phone away for the time being and carefully read the following golden rules that will help you decide whether texting your ex is something you should do (or rather not).

Before we dive into all that, let’s first talk about the background of this strong urge of texting your ex!

Why do we feel this strong urge to text an ex?

Sad young girl with long hair texting on her phone in a natural landscape

After a break-up, we enter a new phase which is known as post-break-up.

This phase includes coping with the break-up in our own unique ways, which often includes repeatedly checking out the pictures that we have with our ex, thinking about why we broke up in the first place, stalking them on social media (if we still have them on our friends list), eating tons of ice cream while rewatching the same TV shows; you fill in the rest.

The main reason why we would ever think about texting our ex is that they’re no longer here, right?

It’s because we got used to spending time with them, we got used to their closeness, way of thinking, habits… And now, when all that is gone, we’re left with this void in our heart and we feel like something’s missing.

The biggest motivators of texting an ex are the feelings of loneliness, neediness, boredom, nostalgia for old times, etc.

sad girl with hands on a table and head on her hands looking at a phone on the table

All these feelings contribute to making us want our ex girlfriend /ex boyfriend back and we get convinced that only one phone call or one text message will change everything, erase our suffering and make us feel better.

The post-break-up phase is a confusing phase where we’re not ready for meeting new people or jumping into a new relationship, aka a rebound relationship, yet and we’re also not ready to let go of the previous one.

In such a situation, it’s easy to get lost and do things on impulse, which is often followed by regret and awkwardness.

So, the question of Should I text my ex girlfriend/boyfriend? can only be answered by the following golden rules that will tell us when it is okay to text and when it is not!

When Is It Okay To Text Your Ex?

1. It’s okay to text your ex after the no contact period

Asian young girl texting a message on her phone while walking in nature

One of the biggest mistakes many of us make or are guilty of making in the past is texting your ex right after a break-up.

This is a big no-no because it will only prolong your suffering and make you both even more confused. After every break-up, time and the no contact rule become our best friends.

Why? Because both you and your ex partner need time to heal, to think about everything that happened, to detox from everything and to relax.

So, rushing to text your ex right after you broke up or after a week is definitely not a good idea.

Sad beautiful woman looking at a mobile phone while lying in bed

It’s advisable that you first stick with the no contact period for a few weeks and after that, if you still have the urge to text your ex, you should do so.

And even then there’s no guarantee that they will text you back but still, the chances are certainly much higher.

When texting your ex, remember to keep it light-hearted because texting for the first time should be relaxed and as less awkward as possible.

And don’t overdo it with emojis because less is always more (especially when it comes to ex texts).

See also: 8 Reasons Why It’s Important To Follow The No Contact Rule

2. On special occasions (if you ended on good terms)

woman's hand on a smartphone with colorful happy birthday message on the screen

Another occasion when it is okay to text your ex is on special occasions like Christmas, Easter, their birthday and similar. But the emphasis is on the sentence: ‘if you ended on good terms’.

Not every break-up is the same. Some break-ups happen because of cheating, lying or a form of abusive behavior where two people end their relationship abruptly and without any wish to continue further communication.

If that’s what happened between the two of you, then you should definitely not text your ex on special occasions because it would be totally weird, right? Just think about it.

Woman with scarf on her head sitting on a bench and texting on her phone

For example, let’s say that the last message from them or from you was I don’t want to see you ever again and now after some time you ask yourself: Should I text my ex a happy birthday?

And then you do so, out of the blue—you text them Happy birthday. The transition wouldn’t be really smooth but instead rather awkward and confusing.

However, if you ended on good terms, then you should text your ex on special occasions (if that’s what you desire) but keep in mind to do so thoughtfully.

Don’t send the same message on all social networks from WhatsApp to Facebook, but instead just choose one.

3. When you’re concerned about them

Girl with long hair texting in a blurred natural background

Has something happened to your ex recently, do you worry about their health, their toxic habits or similar?

Do you feel like you would get huge relief after you text them and see what’s going on in their life and that they’re okay?

This is called a post-break-up check-in. After some time, many people get to the point where they are simply worried about their ex partner for some reason and this feeling of constant worry becomes present in their everyday life.

Don’t worry, if you’re feeling like this, know that it’s totally normal.

sad woman holding cellphone

It just shows that you’re a human being made up of flesh and blood, that you’re empathetic and that you care about other people, no matter whether they’re your ex or someone else.

In that case, it’s totally okay to text your ex because if you don’t, this chronic concern will haunt you and make you feel even more restless.

When texting them, it’s important to mention that element of you being concerned about them, so that they don’t get the wrong idea and think you’re only interested in getting back together (or similar).

You need to let them know that the main reason why you’re reaching out to them is you being concerned about them and not something else.

And I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to text you back and reassure you that everything’s all right.

4. When you feel regret

Young woman in red dress texting on a phone

As already said, every break-up experience is unique. Some partners break up due to the cheating history of one partner or both, because they’re no longer in love with each other, because they’re feeling stuck in the relationship… you name it.

Some partners come to a mutual agreement that going their separate ways is best for them and some end it in a more aggressive way (yelling, arguing, etc.).

If for some reason, you feel like there’s a burden on your chest due to all the harsh words you said or due to something you did, then it’s totally okay to text your ex.

When we know that we hurt someone in one way or another, our subconscious will not leave us alone that easily.

We will always be reminded of what we did because all these words and actions are buried deep inside us.

Sad girl siting on a couch holding smartphone in one hand

So, the only way to deal with it is by apologizing for it and seeking forgiveness.

Given that there’s no precise time when you’ll start feeling that way, you shouldn’t strictly wait to text them after the no contact period.

You should do it when it comes to you but you should do only that.

Don’t turn texting you’re sorry into something else, like convincing them to get back with you.

Just say that you are sorry, wait for their response and then continue with the no contact period and text them after it again (if you still feel like it).

When You Shouldn’t Text Your Ex

1. You should never text your ex immediately after the break-up

Young woman crying with her head on the sopha and phone in her hand

Texting your ex immediately after the break-up is like jumping into a pool that is filled with confusion, pain and awkwardness instead of water.

As already said, the post-break-up time is about taking some time for yourself, healing, finding new hobbies and doing the things you used to enjoy.

The post-break-up period is definitely not about punishing yourself for what happened, overthinking, changing your mind, or texting your ex too soon.

Instead, I will repeat again that you should wait for a few weeks to do so.

To help you understand it better, I’ll tell you what happened to one of my best friends when she decided to contact her ex immediately after the break-up.

sad woman sitting with her hand in her palm in front of table with a smarthone on it

So, my friend texted him and she didn’t get a text back. She was convinced that she’d never get a text back, so she started calling her ex, too. And do you know what he did? He blocked her on all social media networks. Yup.

Needless to say, she was mad and disappointed because her intentions were in the right place.

She just wanted to check how he was doing, how he was handling this whole break-up thing, and instead of getting a positive answer, she ended up getting blocked.

So, to prevent this from happening, stay away from texting your ex too soon (and consider hiding your phone from yourself for the time being, if needed).

2. When you feel lonely and/or horny

Lonely girl sitting on a chair by the window

Many people forget that it’s totally normal to feel lonely after you have broken up with someone because you probably spent lots of time together and now when all that is gone, you feel like something’s missing.

You feel like no other person can make you feel better and that only their presence is crucial for your happiness.

When you start thinking like that, you need to remind yourself of the fact that everything is in your head.

It’s important not to confuse the feeling of loneliness with love.

Feeling lonely is an isolated feeling that appears as a consequence of breaking up with someone you used to spend the majority of your time with.

And this feeling usually passes after some time. So, TIME is crucial here!

Sad woman laying in bed and looking at phone

You shouldn’t text your ex just because you’re feeling lonely because there are many things you could do to distract yourself and to try to exterminate that feeling of loneliness.

Also, you shouldn’t text your ex if you’re feeling horny because initiating physical contact after you just broke up is a huge no-no.

Why? Because physical contact would interfere with your emotional state and when combined, this would create an emotional roller coaster and prolong your healing period.

So, when you’re feeling lonely and/or horny, distract yourself with other things, go for a drink with your friends, spend time with your family or cuddle your pet.

Do whatever but DO NOT text your ex because if you do, you might regret it.

3. When you feel nostalgic

Sad asian girl with red hair

The feeling of nostalgia is closely related to feeling lonely and these two terms often come together.

Nostalgia is usually evoked when thinking about your past relationship and its good days (and bad days), when stalking your ex on social media, when some items or gifts in your house remind you of them, when you see all the pictures you took together and so on.

Now you’re asking yourself where it all went and why it had to end.

You even start convincing yourself that maybe there is still hope for the two of you and if you only send that one text message, everything will change.

NO! Don’t text him.

Sad girt sititng with phone in one hand outdoors during daytime

It’s important to understand that you’re feeling nostalgic because you’re thinking about what you could have become if things were different and you’re driven by the idea of you two getting together again (even if deep down in your heart you know this is probably not a good idea).

You’re feeling nostalgic because you can’t get over what you had and instead focus on the present.

Nostalgia is a tricky thing; it has the power to make us feel good again just by thinking about that one special kiss but you shouldn’t fall for it!

Whenever you’re feeling like that, tell nostalgia to fuck off away from you and focus on something else.

Find some riveting TV show, hit the gym, go for a walk, boost your endorphins and spend some time in the fresh air!

Trust me, after a certain period of time, your nostalgia/heartbroken phase (or whatever phase you’re in) will end, your self-awareness will kick in and you will feel renewed!

See also: Decoding A Guy’s Behavior After A Break-Up (7 Signs He’s Hurting)

4. When your ex is angry at you

Sad woman in black clothes

I think this one is self-explanatory but we’ll still explain everything in detail.

So, if your ex is angry at you, there must be a reason for it and perhaps you know it (or perhaps you don’t).

All in all, texting your ex when you know they’re angry at you is definitely not a good idea.

Why? Because you could make things even worse than they initially were.

You shouldn’t use text messages as a means of figuring out why they’re mad at you or to make them less angry because you will not succeed in it.

Sad woman sitting near window with cellphone in one hand

Only they know why they’re mad in the first place and how to deal with it. Only they can help themselves, so there’s no need to make this harder than it already is.

There’s no need to create additional complications. In this case, you shouldn’t even try to get your ex back either.

Instead, you should patiently wait and perhaps contact them after the no contact period.

After all, then you’ll have higher chances of them texting you back.

5. If the relationship was abusive

Sad blonde woman with long hair sitting by a woody wall

In these times of modern dating, there are more and more toxic people out there who become abusive partners.

Now, I am not only referring to physical abuse but emotional abuse as well (which often leaves far more serious consequences).

So, if your relationship was abusive, meaning if your partner abused you in one way or another (yelled at you, treated you like shit, had jealousy outbursts, hit you or similar), then you should definitely not even think about texting them.

Instead, you should ask yourself why you would want to text them when you know what they did to you and how they made you feel.

Do you think that texting them will make them feel sorry for doing that and that it will motivate them to apologize to you?

Sad woman with head on knees sitting against wall

Or do you think that they have changed and you should check it out so that you know for sure? If yes, think again.

Remember that abusers don’t change overnight. Their abusive personality often stems from their childhood and dealing with it is a serious process that involves lots of time and patience.

So, no, there’s no need to text them if you know they treated you like shit because they most definitely haven’t changed and if they were sorry for it, they would have texted you first instead of waiting for you to do so.

Instead of texting them, you need to learn how to be single after an abusive relationship.

Final Thoughts

Young woman texting while drinking coffee in a coffee shop

After you’ve checked out the above golden rules about texting, if your answer to the question Should I text my ex? is yes, then go for it! If your texting reasons are valid, you shouldn’t think too much about it and just do it (as Nike would say).

However, if your answer to the question of whether you should text your ex or not is no, then you should refrain from doing so.

If you still decide to do so, you might feel even more heartbroken and confused if you don’t get a positive response.

Also, you should respect your ex’s answer or lack of answer because whatever they answered you or not, that’s obviously what your ex wants and perhaps that’s exactly how it should be at the moment!

See also: 6 Texts You’ll Regret Sending Him After The Break-Up

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