About a month ago, a friend called me in tears because her ex-boyfriend posted photos of of him and his buddies on Instagram at the restaurant they used to visit as a couple. He had cheated on her and acted like a general idiot, but she still had feelings. Seeing their old haunt on social media brought back a flood of feelings. Even though she resisted the urge that night, she desperately wanted to text her ex.
You’d be shocked at how many people, even in new relationships, think about texting an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. It’s so common that I get asked about it each time I answer questions at my public speaking events. Just a couple of weeks ago, a guy pulled me aside and told me how he regretted breaking up with his ex-girlfriend. He thought the single life would be better and asked me bluntly, “should I text my ex?”
He’s not alone. If you have an ex and still have a little feeling, you’ll have moments when you’re wondering, should you text your ex?
Why You Want To Text Your Ex
First, I want to address the complicated feelings surrounding exes. If you’re reading this, either you or someone you know is thinking about reconnecting with a past lover, husband, wife, or crush.
It’s a normal feeling. Falling in love is a brain chemistry process related to pleasure chemicals. You never quite lose the bond with someone you used to love. So, even if your ex was a loser, you still might focus on your good memories and previous attraction.
Of course, just because there are good memories and you have the desire to contact your ex-lover, doesn’t mean you should text him or her. Here is how to navigate those feelings.
Why You Should Not Text An Ex
In most cases, messaging an ex is going to be a bad idea. You’re exes for a reason and, although your emotions say text!!!, your logical brain might need to say (hell) no!!!
Loneliness and Desperation
Humans are wired to be in relationships. We prefer to pair up rather than just have sex and move on. So, it’s natural that, especially on lonely nights or when depressed, anxious, stressed, drunk, or struggling, that you’d want human companionship. And, we typically default to our past experiences. So, we think of exes.
But, no one makes the best decisions when in these negative states. So, if you’re tempted to text one of your exes, resist. Sleep on it, take a walk, or sober up.
A girl I know was stuck on an ex-boyfriend for the longest time. She stalked him on social media and was fine as long as they both were single. But, as soon as he got into a new relationship, she got mad and began to text him again. They weren’t pretty either, but needy and desperate texts.
No one wants to watch an ex move on and find love again. But, that’s no reason to try to message an ex. Jealousy can overtake your senses and you can make bad choices. Rather than trying to break up your ex’s new relationship, put that effort and energy into finding a new person to date.
He or She Is Toxic
People are sometimes attracted to jerks, bad boys, and crazy women. And, they can be strong feelings of attraction. But, do you really want to be texting a toxic ex? The answer should be hell no!
If you find yourself wanting to text someone who is violent, abusive, a drug addict or who has any other jerk quality, just say no! If you’re being tempted, logically recall all of the abuse, headaches, drama, and toxicity that comes from that person.
When You Should Text An Ex
Generally speaking, you shouldn’t be texting an ex. But, there are times when it’s not only acceptable, but also appropriate. Here are those times.
Friends With Your Ex
Some relationships end in a way that both partners can at least be acquaintances or friends. In a few cases, even an ex-husband and ex-wife can remain on friendly terms. If you’re friends with your ex, then of course you can text that person.
However, if there is even a small spark or you still have feelings, just be aware that regular texting might make the relationship more complicated, especially if your ex doesn’t feel that same way.
If You Have Children Together
If you and your ex have a child or multiple children together, then texting is a good way to keep in contact. Asking should you text your ex is a logical, rational question for the good of the children.
It’s very acceptable to message an ex when organizing a kid’s schedule, whether it’s for school, sports, babysitting, or a social event. If you don’t get along with your ex, texting is even better in this scenario because you don’t actually have to talk on the phone and you can minimize your contact with the child’s father or mother!
If You Want To Reconnect
Before I answer, I want to say a couple of things. First, rarely do recycled relationships work. If you broke up the first time, unless you’ve both grown up or a lot has changed, the odds of it working out a second time will be very small. Also, if your ex doesn’t feel the same way, it will turn very awkward.
But, if you still want to text your ex to try to recapture the spark, then there’s no harm in trying. In fact, texting is a good way to break the ice and slowly rekindle a relationship with him or her. I’d advise you to start slowly and make small talk. Ask “how have you been?” or something similar and go from there.
If you’re feeling a spark and a connection, then you can move further, maybe even suggesting you talk on the phone and meet. The key is to move slowly and rebuild trust and rapport over time (especially if you were the cause of the breakup).
Just remember that you might never get back with your ex even if you get along as friends. However, if you can do that, see it as a victory. You have one more friend and one less person you can’t stand.
Should I Text My Ex?
Bottom line is this: you have to look at your own experiences and situation. What is toxic and inappropriate for one person could be acceptable for someone else. Ultimately, you have to do what you think is right and makes you happiest.
However, always do what is right based on your values and when thinking clearly. Don’t be driven by the old feelings that can lead you astray.