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Should I Text My Ex or Talk to Them? 44 Truths & Signs to Read Your Feelings

After a breakup, it’s common to think “Should I talk to or text my ex?” These are the signs and tips to consider whether or not to reach out to them.

should i talk to my ex or text my ex

“Should I talk to or text my ex?” is a common question that will no doubt eventually cross your mind after a breakup. Whether you were the one to call the shots, or you were the receiving end of the breakup, breakups suck. It’s not easy to cut someone off, especially when they were such a big part of your life.

It’s only natural that you miss them and want to reach out to talk to them.

But you also don’t want to maintain the relationship you had. After all, there is a reason you broke up in the first place. [Read: 24 honest & sneaky reasons why your ex still texts & stays in touch]

So, is it beneficial to talk to or text your ex? Is it worth the trouble? Will it be a positive addition to your life, or will it make things harder for you? These are just some of the things to consider when you ask yourself, “should I talk to my ex?” [Read: Why does my ex want to be friends? 25 Qs & reasons to be able to read their mind]

The psychology behind wanting to text/talk to your ex

Before you start to beat yourself up, remember that the urge to talk to or text your ex is normal. It might be days, months, or even years since you split up with your previous partner, but eventually, you might want to reach out to them.

If you want to text or talk to your ex, the first thing you should do is evaluate your psychological state. Are you lonely? Are you feeling scared or sad? Or are you angry, and looking to vent some of your frustrations at whoever broke your heart?

These feelings are natural and normal. They are also, unfortunately, your problem to deal with. No matter how badly the breakup may have gone, you have to pull yourself back together and manage your emotions. Yes, it is wildly unfair, especially if you did not want the breakup. 

But you cannot reach out to your ex in hopes of solace. You are more likely to feel worse when they don’t talk, or ask you to stop drunkenly texting them. You need to find healthy outlets for these emotions, and reaching out to your ex just isn’t that healthy outlet.

Should you speak to your ex?

First things first, you do not need to make this decision right now. Whether you just broke up or it has been a while, you can think about it.

Whatever the catalyst for the breakup, it is very difficult to go back once you have started down that path of trying to speak to your ex. And that’s because the damage has been done already. Speaking with your ex again won’t undo how the breakup has made you feel.

You do not need to respond to a text or decide to start up a conversation right now. As we said, you have a lot to consider here, so take your time.

If you rush this decision, one way or another, it is not easy to back out later.

How long should you wait until you talk to or text your ex

You should consider many things before talking to or texting your ex. The number one question is how long should you wait.

This depends on the complications of your breakup, as each relationship ends differently. Luckily, we have a few guides for you to go by.

1. Wait at least 30 days after a typical breakup

Healing takes time. For a typical breakup with no major blow-ups or harsh feelings, you should wait at least 30 days before trying to reach out to your ex and kindle a friendship. This is because the 30 days prior is the no-contact period.

If you were together for a very long time, this can be extended to 6 weeks. This gives you both time to see what life looks like without the other person. If by chance you bump into your ex during the no contact period, try to avoid long and emotional conversations, but don’t be rude.

2. Wait at least 6 months after a messy breakup

Did you have a nasty breakup with your ex? Maybe one that involved cheating, screaming matches, and/or dragging your friends into it? Then really, there is no need to talk to or text your ex at all.

But if you must, wait at least 6 months to let the dust settle on the situation.

3. If you passed the typical contact period, wait until you have a reason to

If a long time has passed, and you still want to talk to or text your ex, don’t spring on them out of the blue. Instead, wait until you have a reason to reach out, such as a birthday or a special occasion.

This will show you are thinking about them, but not enough to cause alarm. [Read: Still attached to your ex? 26 signs, why it happens & how to break free]

Questions to ask yourself before talking to or texting your ex

Now that it has come time for you to consider whether or not to talk to or text your ex, before you do anything, you should balance the pros and cons. Think about what talking to them would add to your life *if anything*.

Did you break up mutually and you’re on good terms? Or do you still hold resentment towards each other? Read on to help yourself answer the question, “Should I talk to my ex?”

1. Did you just break up?

If you and your ex just recently ended things, it is best to take a break for a while. Sure, you need to talk if you intend to move out or get your stuff back. But otherwise, taking time away from each other will help you move on.

Remember the 30 days rule and stick to it. If you talk too soon after a breakup, you won’t get that ending. You don’t get to feel that loss or mourn the relationship. You need some time to not see them or talk to them before considering talking again. [Read: 42 rules to forget someone you cared for and get over them ASAP]

2. Do you share friends?

This is a big one. If not talking to your ex messes with your friends, it may be best to swallow any resentment or bitterness and be cordial.

This doesn’t mean you need to text each other or keep up with the latest, but it does mean you will probably need to be okay with sharing small talk with the group.

Again, you don’t need to force yourself to do this if it makes you uncomfortable. But if you can put aside the residual relationship problems while you’re with friends, everyone will be better off. [Read: 49 proven secrets to stop thinking about your ex & forget them for good]

3. Do you work together?

Working together is just as important as sharing friends, if not more so. Neither one of you wants to put your job at risk because you ended your outside relationship. So, don’t.

If you can work together on the most professional level, wonderful. Walking past their desk or bumping into them in the copy room should be a piece of cake.

But, if you work closely together or one of you is the other’s superior, you may need to go to human resources to make things easier for both you and anyone else affected. [Read: How to be friends with your ex without any complications]

4. Is this for closure?

If you aren’t considering talking to your ex in the long run, but need to hurdle the end of your relationship, then by all means, do it. The wise thing to do is be upfront about what you want out of that talk.

If you are meeting with your ex, don’t be misleading about it. When making the plan, let them know you need to get closure and talk out anything you may not have before the breakup.

You can both be mature and calm about it. It may not seem that way, but you can. [Read: How to say goodbye to someone you love & find closure and happiness]

5. Does one of you want to get back together?

If either you or your ex is looking to start things up again, talking may not be the best idea. Sure, you can talk to let them know you’re not interested in that, but try to hold back on deep conversations.

These sorts of talks with your ex may seem polite and friendly at first but can get messy very quickly if you are not careful. [Read: 25 signs your ex wants you back & just can’t stop thinking about you]

6. Do you get along?

You may think that you get along because you dated them for so many months or years but really think about this. Many relationships thrive off of passion rather than friendship or communication.

If you don’t get along in the most basic of situations, talking to or texting your ex is not going to go over well.

For example, you may have an ex you never talk to. You run into each other once after the breakup. It’s clear you just don’t get one another outside of the walls of a relationship.

But, you may have another ex with whom you can bond over tons of topics. You can sit and talk about anything, just as friends.

Keep reminding yourself that you do not want to talk to an ex that will make the talking hard for you. [Read: 15 signs your ex is pretending to be over you & what to do next]

7. Are they respectful of you moving on?

Whether you need to move on from your ex or move on with someone else, talking to your ex is only worth it if they can be respectful of your privacy. If they feel the need to know your current dating situation or feel the need to judge you for it, it is just not worth it.

It may seem rude to cut your ex out of your life, but if they don’t add to it, why bother with them? And remember, the same goes for you. You may want to talk to your ex, but if you know that you’ll have a hard time dealing with them moving on, just don’t. [Read: Does my ex miss me? 23 signs your ex is clearly not over you yet]

8. Do you want to be friends?

Oftentimes, people talk with their ex for many reasons that do not include actually wanting to be friends with them. They want to be nice or cordial or mature, but none of that is really necessary.

If you do not want to be friends with your ex, you do not have to be, it is as simple as that.

9. Is this only for a special occasion?

If you ended on good terms *and that is a big if* then it is probably fine to text them on special occasions. Don’t draw the conversation out, but sending a simple happy birthday text or something similar is fine.

[Read: How to deal with the hurt when your ex moved on quickly]

10. Is this only a special request or concern?

If you want your sweater back or need their help dividing your belongings, there is no reason you cannot send your ex a text about it. Just keep the conversation civil and on-topic. 

11. Is this for them or for you?

No matter how long your relationship was or how it ended, only talk to your ex if it is beneficial to you and your life. You may feel bad that you hurt them, so you want to make things easier for them by talking regularly.

You may like their family or just want to gradually slow things down. The thing is, any reason for talking to your ex that isn’t for you and your well-being or happiness will make things harder for you than they have to be. [Read: Relationship is making you depressed – is it time to move on?]

12. Do you trust them?

If you are just talking in passing hallways, trust isn’t that big of a deal. But, if you are considering talking to your ex regularly, about anything more important than the weather, you need to trust them.

Talking to a liar or someone you cannot trust not only lessens the friendship but also makes you lose trust in yourself. No matter who your ex is to you now, having someone in your life that you do not trust is toxic. [Read: Toxic relationship: What it is, 107 signs, causes & types of love that hurt you]

13. Are you worried about them?

This is a bit of a touchy issue. If you are concerned about how your ex is handling the breakup, reaching out to them to ask how they are doing may come across as tone-deaf, even gloating.

If they are acting erratically because of the breakup, it is best to leave your ex alone. You can’t very well fix the problem you helped create. But if there is something else that concerns you, it is fine to reach out and ask them how they are doing. Especially if a lot of time has passed.

14. Is this because you feel regret?

If you are the one who ended the relationship and you are now feeling regret, it may be okay to reach out to your ex and say so.

Just be prepared for the fact that they may not be receptive to this. Your ex may be angry at you for dumping them. Depending on how much time has passed, they may have moved on.

So you are welcome to talk to or text your ex if you are feeling regretful, but don’t expect any miracles. [Read: 42 mistakes to avoid & healthy ways to get your ex back if you’ve messed up]

15. Is it worth the potential drama?

Is your ex stable? During your relationship, were your fights calm and collected? Or did they lose it?

If this person was fine with yelling at you, losing their temper, or talking to people in your life behind your back before, they will continue to do so.

Is that drama and headache worth it? Is your friendship with your ex really so important that you will continue to put up with the stuff you probably ended the relationship for? [Read: How to be more positive – 24 steps to a happy & dramatic life shift]

16. Is there already drama?

Think about what your situation with your ex is like right now. Are you considering talking to your ex because they are reaching out? Are they claiming you are mean, cruel, or cold-hearted because you won’t respond to them?

You may think it would be easier just to answer, but in fact, that is what they want. They want a rise out of you. If someone is already harassing you and you aren’t entertaining them, things will only get worse if you do. [Read: How to turn down an ex who wants to be “friends”]

17. Why did you break up?

Did you break up because you grew apart? Did one of you take a job offer far away? Or did one of you cheat? Think about the true reason things ended. If it was mutual and you would both benefit from continuing to talk, then go for it.

But, if things ended because your relationship was dysfunctional or poisonous to your mental, physical, or emotional health, do not talk to or text your ex. [Read: 59 signs it’s time to break up & give up instead of trying to fix a relationship]

18. Were you friends before you dated?

If you started as friends before they became your partner *and then your ex*, you may be able to get back to that state now. You can bond over what you did before things got romantic. Just remember, you have a history now. And if you can’t overcome that, things will likely get messy.

Having access to your ex regularly almost always ends badly or regrettably, but if you can find common platonic groups to focus on, talking to your ex could actually be nice. [Read: Staying friends after a breakup – Can you actually make it work?]

19. Why do you need to talk?

Ask yourself why you are even considering talking to your ex. Do you miss them and need closure? Do you want your favorite DVD back? Think about the reason why you ask yourself this question. Is it reasonable and rational for you to talk to your ex, or is it something else?

20. Are you completely over them?

Sometimes we think we’re over an ex, but that’s just us lying to ourselves so we have an excuse to talk to them. Even if you believe there’s a chance that you two can get back together in the future, try not to reach out if you’re not completely over them yet.

You two ended for a reason, and the wound is still too fresh, so just leave it alone. It’s not healthy for you to come back to them knowing exactly where it’s going. Stay strong and take time to work on yourself.

If it’s meant to be, it will be. [Read: The strong signs your ex is over you & it’s time for you to move on]

When to refrain from talking to or texting your ex

People always talk about “giving the relationship a go” or “working hard at the relationship,” but no one ever discusses putting that same kind of energy into a breakup.

Giving your breakup a go and committing to being happy while single is probably the healthiest thing you can do. Doing so involves not talking to your ex for a while, including texting.

You may be sure that you should talk to your ex, but all your friends and family members may tell you not to. Well, they do actually have a point. Here’s why you shouldn’t talk to your ex and should instead commit to your breakup. [Read: Kissed your ex or made out with them? What it means & what to do next]

1. Right after the breakup

Time heals all wounds, and it’s what you both need right now. When you are used to reaching out to one person to talk about your feelings, it can be tempting to go to your ex for comfort right after the breakup.

But this is a major mistake. You’ve already done the hard part of going through the end of the relationship. Now you need to take a step back and put work into your breakup by not texting your ex.

2. You haven’t completely healed

If you keep touching an open wound to see how it is, it’s never going to heal. It’ll get infected, and you’ll be even more in pain. Treat your breakup just like a wound. You have to give yourself time to reflect on it, to work on yourself, to forgive them, or do whatever you have to do.

Once the wound is completely healed, you can reach out to your ex and maybe try again. But don’t think about that now. [Read: 20 wild steps to get over a broken heart & heal like you don’t care]

3. You’re not in a good state of mind

Are you struggling with anxiety, stress, and depression? If the answer is yes, it’s not a good idea to reach out to your ex.

What you need is rest and a lot of work on yourself, not distracting yourself from your own problems by talking to your ex. It’s even worse when they were the one who put you in the bad mental state that you are now.

4. The situation can end up being worse

As we said before, unless you are 100% sure that you’ll get nothing but closure out of this situation and that it’ll bring you peace, do not reach out to them. If the conversation doesn’t go anywhere, you’ll ruin every chance there is for you two to try again in the future.

5. The relationship was toxic and miserable

You’ve finally wriggled out from under a toxic, miserable relationship. Why dive right back in? Commit to your breakup with the person who made you so unhappy, and don’t reach out to them.

It is time to move on! [Read: New relationship doubts – 22 toxic & normal signs to read what you feel]

6. When your ex starts dating again

Maybe you are scrolling through social media or you are out with friends when suddenly you receive the news: your ex has moved on and started dating again.

Whether you are shocked, angry, or even happy for them, do not reach out to your ex to talk about this. For starters, it makes it look like you are stalking them. But this is especially true if your reaction is negative.

Blowing up at your ex is just going to make you look bitter, petty, and pathetic. Instead, write it out in your journal, tell a friend who is not a mutual friend of your ex, and do whatever you have to do. Just don’t talk to or text your ex. [Read: Why it’s normal to feel strange when your ex dates someone new]

7. After 8 pm

Do not call or text your ex late at night. Why? Because they will probably think it’s a booty call, or that you are drunk and want to yell at them. Either way, they are unlikely to answer. Best to wait until the daytime to try to text your ex.

8. When you feel lonely and horny

You can dress it up all you want, but when you text your ex because you are lonely and horny, they will know. No one likes to be treated like a last resort or disposable option.

Your ex won’t appreciate you texting them when you are lonely and horny, and it will make you come off as a slimeball. It’s a zero-sum game, so don’t do it.

9. You’ll feel worse after

If the conversation doesn’t go the way you hope, you’ll feel worse after. It’s never a good idea to try to change the ending. [Read: My ex hates me – why your ex hates you & 19 ways to get past the rage]

10. You think there’s not a better person out there for you

You may think you won’t find someone like them again, but that cannot be more wrong. There are 8 billion people in this world, so there’s always a better person out there for you. Just work on yourself, and when you’re ready, they’ll come. [Read: How to know if someone is right for you – 23 signs you found the one]

Signs you are ready to talk to or text your ex

You’re the only one who really knows how important having a good relationship with your ex is.

Whatever your reasoning is, you may feel like it’s important for you to get along with your ex. You can talk to or text your ex, but only when you are ready. Reflect on these signs that you are ready to talk to or text your ex again to decide if you’re there yet.

[Read: Can you be friends with an ex after a breakup?]

1. Neither of you has hard feelings

Breakups are rough, even amicable ones. There is no feelings-free way to say that you do not want to be with someone anymore. But over time those feelings can fade, and if neither you nor your ex has hard feelings, then maybe you can be friends.

2. You aren’t feeling lonely and desperate

If you want to talk to or text your ex because you are feeling lonely and desperate, try to find out why you feel that way before you start a conversation with your ex. Try to remember that you and your ex broke up for a reason—a reason that could not be resolved.

If you are lonely and desperate, reaching out to your ex is just as likely to make you feel worse as it is to make you feel better. [Read: Do you want a partner or are you just feeling more lonely?]

3. You have a good reason

You can always talk to or text your ex if you have a good reason. It’s determining what counts as a “good reason” that is tricky. If you want to text your ex because you are drunk, horny, or sad, then this is not a good reason.

But if you want to tell them that the cat you had together passed, or if you want to coordinate the return of items, that is a good reason to talk to or text your ex.

4. You are ready to apologize

Do you think you owe your ex an apology? Then it is okay to talk to them or text them—so long as your motivations are truly just to apologize.

Sometimes, people act like they are apologizing when really they are trying to shirk blame or excuse their actions. If your apology starts with something like “I’m sorry, but…” then it’s not an apology.

However, if you are truly sorry, you can text your ex to apologize. Just remember this: an apology, no matter how sincere, is not an immediate pass for forgiveness. Your ex might still not want to talk to you, and you need to respect that. [Read: 43 must-knows to deal with a breakup & move on from your ex]

How to reach out to an ex

Some people think it’s best to just send their ex a message. Others believe a phone call is the way to go. Some even show up at their ex’s doorstep *which rarely ends well, to be honest*.

So, how should you go about contacting your ex?

1. Send a text

It’s no secret that texting is the most common way to reach out to your ex. With a text, you have more time to prepare your message. You have plenty of time to draft and edit it before sending it.

If you’re going to text them, don’t just send them a “hey” because they may not respond. Instead, try starting the conversation with a specific question or a story, anything to grab their attention and give them no choice but to respond to find out what you want to say. [Read: How to text your ex after no contact & not make the same mistakes]

2. Phone call

Phone calls are easier than texting in a way because you can hear the person’s voice and guess their emotions. It’ll save you a heart attack after being left on read. However, many people struggle with calling their ex because they don’t know what to say.

The best way to do this is to have several stories in your head before the call. You can even write them down just in case you forget. If you run out of things to say, you can just switch to a different story and keep the conversation going. [Read: How to get over a long-term relationship, move on & feel whole again]

Choose whatever method you’re most comfortable with. If you feel like you’re better at writing your emotions down, you can send them a message or a letter. But if you’re impatient and don’t want to wait, just pick up your phone and dial their number.

The do’s and don’ts of talking to or texting your ex

If you’ve decided that you simply must talk to or text your ex, there are some simple rules to follow:

1. Do ask to meet in person

Texting is a notoriously terrible method of communication. If you want to talk to your ex, either to ask to get back together or just to try to kindle a friendship, you should ask to meet in person somewhere public. After all, there is too much room for misinterpretation and hurt feelings.

So, when it’s appropriate, text your ex and ask to meet in person. If they say yes you can talk then. If they say no, then you have your answer. [Read: 82 secrets & signs to get your ex back and get them to love you again]

2. Don’t text impulsively *or drunk*

Drunk-texting your ex is never a wise move unless it’s 3 AM and you are stranded outside your apartment and they are the only person with a spare key *expect your ex to be very unimpressed with you if this is the case*.

But if there’s no reason to, then don’t do it. You’ll only say something you’ll later regret, and you’ll practically destroy any chance of getting back together again in the future.

3. Do be realistic about how your ex will respond

Think about how you will feel if your ex doesn’t reply, or if they reply saying they don’t want to talk to you. You need to prepare yourself for this possibility.

And if you are going to do it, do it when you know you are busy, or leave your phone and go out for the day. The painful wait will just leave you feeling worse. [Read: No-contact rule – What it is, how to use it & why it works so well]

4. Don’t reach out if it’s not going to be helpful

If you want to talk to or text your ex, make sure you understand why. If the reasons are motivated by jealousy/resentment/wanting to hook up or get back together, then it’s probably not a good idea.

Remember that talking to or texting your ex is just as likely to make you feel worse than it is to make you feel better.

5. Do be respectful of their current relationship status

If your ex has moved on, keep that in mind when talking to or texting them. Remember that they will probably show your text to their new partner. If you have any hopes of remaining friends, you need to be respectful of their relationship. [Read: The resolute ways to resist the urge to call your ex]

6. Don’t text often

Even if you and your ex are friends, it is best to keep the texting to a minimum. Texting all day long is reserved for people who are in romantic relationships.

If you are texting your ex all the time, how are you supposed to move on and find someone new? [Read: Moving on! Upbeat songs to get over your lost love]

7. Do speak to your current partner before talking to or texting your ex

This is a tough one. If you’re seeing someone new, they might not be okay with you texting your ex, even if you are just friends. And if your ex doesn’t know you’ve moved on, they might be angry, asking why you are texting them if you are in a relationship with someone else.

If you and your ex really are done, the occasional text shouldn’t be an issue. Just make sure you talk to your partner about it first.

8. Don’t always text first

Does your ex text you back, but never first? It sounds harsh, but this situation is likely due to the fact that your ex doesn’t really think about you until you pop up on their phone.

If you wonder if your ex still likes you, do this experiment: stop texting them and see if they reach out to you first. If they do reach out first, you may still have a chance of reconciliation. And if they don’t, they probably don’t have feelings for you, romantic or platonic.

What to do when your ex texts you first

When your ex texts you first, take note of how you initially respond. Are you happy to hear from them, or are you horrified? Do you wish they would just go away? Does hearing from your ex make you angry and reopen old wounds?

Trust your gut. If your ex texting you first makes you happy, go ahead and text them back. But if hearing from your ex sends you into a spiral of anxiety and sadness, you should block them and move on with your life.

What to do if you text your ex and get left on read

So you drum up the courage to text your ex, and they leave you on read. What now?

As disappointing as it may be, your ex’s silence is their answer. They have decided that they do not want to talk to you, and frankly, nothing you can text them will change their mind. If you text your ex and get left on read, you need to accept that they are not interested in talking to you and move on.

Whatever you do, don’t send them an angry text demanding to know why they are ignoring you. This is only going to confirm your ex’s belief that talking to you is a bad idea.

Why reaching out to your ex is more likely to hurt you than fix your relationship

If you want to talk to or text your ex, it’s because you miss them. This is a natural feeling that will only start to pass if you DON’T reach out to your ex.

You can tell yourself that it’s just to see how they are doing or that there is a specific, urgent question that only your ex would know the answer to. But really, it doesn’t matter. You have broken up and the relationship is over, so why talk to or text them?

The truth is that if you are reaching for your phone in a moment of weakness, you probably shouldn’t be texting your ex at all. It will reopen old wounds, and destroy your chances to heal.

Being truthful to yourself is the only way you can really know the answer to the question “Should I talk to or text my ex?”—but if you slip up and do it anyway, at least you can be safe in the knowledge that you won’t be the only one!

Considering all of these possibilities, is it worth it for you to talk to or text your ex? In almost every case when you have to ask yourself, “Should I talk to or text my ex?”, the answer is no.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...