This is a tough question because it depends on perspective.
If you’re the one texting your ex, put yourself in the position of your current partner.
Would you voluntarily let them read all those text messages?
If your partner is texting an ex, will they let you read all of them?
If the answer is no, I would be highly suspicious.
Whether you’re fresh off a break-up or looking at her Facebook post three months later, there may be plenty of reasons you’d want to text an ex.
That’s why we came up with a list of when it’s okay to text your ex and when it isn’t.
The Short Answer
It depends. Many of us have felt that urge before. We pick up our phones, see our ex’s photos on Facebook, and want some form of interaction with them.
There are a lot of reasons why someone might want to text an ex. But people interpret texts differently. “Let’s keep in touch” could mean anything from “let’s be friends” to “let’s get back together.”
It gets even more confusing when you’re with another person now. One wrong word could spell the difference between an innocent text and infidelity.
Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Texting Your Ex
Some scenarios are more complicated than others. Here’s what you should ask yourself if you’re thinking about texting your ex:
- Are you currently with someone else?
- What form of communication are you using to interact?
- What are your topics of conversation?
As a general rule, we recommend defining the boundaries between the two of you after the breakup so you don’t cross any lines.
And if you have a new boyfriend or girlfriend, you should be transparent about your intention to text your ex.
When Texting Your Ex Is NOT Okay
Here are just a few examples of times when you should NOT be texting an ex.
If You’re Drunk
Let’s not kid ourselves: drunk texting always leads to disaster. You might feel like you want to get back with your ex when the world is spinning, but you might wake up the next day regretting your choice.
Don’t be that person.
If you’re drinking, do yourself a favor and ask a friend to keep your phone when you’re fresh off a break-up. If you’re sitting in a bar alone, there’s an app for that.
If You’re Sexually Frustrated
If you want to send messages just for a booty call, think twice. If it’s sex you’re after, the emotional bonds you’ve formed with an ex will only complicate things.
If you’re currently with someone else, you might strain your relationship by sending that text. No matter how you look at it, you’re already cheating.
If You’re Vulnerable
Everyone has moments of weakness in their lives, but it’s never good to text your ex when you’re vulnerable.
While it may feel like your ex can heal your loneliness, you could experience positivity bias. You’re remembering all the good times even if your relationship turned sour in the end.
It might be tempting to reconnect, but we recommend you avoid sending a text to your ex in situations of extreme sadness or loss. You’re more prone to bad decisions when you’re weak.
If You Have A New Partner
A relationship is built on communication and trust. That’s why it’s never good to hide the fact that you’re texting your ex in secret.
Secrets are the first sign of something wrong with any relationship. That’s why we recommend telling your current partner about your plans before you pick your phone up.
No matter what the subject of your conversations is, people can easily misinterpret your texts.
And while cheating on your new partner wasn’t your goal, the texts you send each other could suggest something else to your new partner.
Just remember that emotional affairs are another form of infidelity. So matter what you’re texting, make sure you set your boundaries and limit your conversation to strictly platonic matters.
If You Want To Move On
There are many ways to move on from your relationship, but texting your ex boyfriend or girlfriend on their phone is not one of them.
There is no good reason to prolong the agony by texting your ex after a break-up. If you want to move on, then a no-contact policy might speed up the process.
For good measure, we also recommend unfriending or unfollowing your ex from social media. You could also remove any emojis from her contact name. This way, you speed up the moving-on process.
When Texting Your Ex Is Okay
If You Want Closure
Ending relationships can be messy, and sometimes, it happens so quickly that you didn’t even know why it ended. Maybe you want to clear the air between the two of you.
Texting your ex to patch things up isn’t a bad idea. Of course, you’d want to make sure that the conversation happens in person. But you can try texting your ex to schedule your talk.
If You’re Friends to Begin With
Maybe you and your ex realized that you’re better off as friends. If that’s the case, then it wouldn’t hurt to send her messages to greet her on special occasions, or to congratulate her on special milestones.
Make sure you establish boundaries between the two of you. Your friendship is important, but if you’re already with someone else, it might jeopardize your relationship. Worse, it might turn into an affair.
If You Work Together
As long as you’re maintaining a strictly professional relationship with your ex, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t send texts or e-mail messages.
We recommend just keeping it to work. You don’t want to be the subject of office gossip.
If You’re Asking About the Kids
Maybe it’s not a break-up. Maybe it’s a divorce. Either way, if you and your ex have children together, you’ll obviously want to keep in touch.
There’s nothing wrong with and ex husband reading text messages from an ex-wife asking about the children. Even if you and your ex have a custody arrangement, it’s always good to keep an open line of communication.
Our former partners can leave an impact on us. But if you want to move on from heartbreak and open yourself up to new opportunities, then think twice before picking up your phone.