I always recommend taking time away from an ex no matter the situation. If you keep in touch, it will be harder to move on. Learning how to text your ex after no contact may not be something you should do a lot, but when you do it, you want it to be done right.
How do you go about it? What do you say? How do you talk without being too forward? Your ex is someone you were once comfortable talking to about anything, and now just saying hi seems so complicated.
[Read: When your ex texts you out of the blue, what should you do?]
Why did you have no contact?
Before you figure out how to text your ex after no contact, consider why you had no contact in the first place. Were you angry? Were you taking time to cool off before talking? Usually, when you and an ex decide, even nonverbally to have no contact there is a good reason for it. Even if you decided not to talk for six weeks or two months, just because that time is up doesn’t mean you need to reach out.
[Read: The breakup advice you need and the advice that could harm you]
When it feels like you want to reach out to your ex because you saw something on social media or heard something, it doesn’t mean you have to. Really take into account why you broke up and why you haven’t been talking. Refreshing those thoughts in your mind can prevent you from doing something you might regret.
Should you text your ex?
Nine times out of ten, my answer to this question would be no. You broke up for a reason. You don’t need to reach out. Moving on is healthy, and there isn’t much good that can come out of texting your ex after no contact. You may want an ego boost or to see if they’ll respond, but other than temporary excitement, what else will you get?
Reaching out to an ex can seem like you’re just checking in. Maybe you’re wishing them a happy birthday or congratulating them on a promotion you saw on LinkedIn. But, do you have to?
[Read: How to stop obsessing over an ex and free your mind for something new]This person is your ex for a reason. What will reaching out do? Will it confuse both of you? Will it make you want to get back together when you really shouldn’t? In most cases, I would say don’t text your ex if you’re feeling the urge. Missing them or being bored isn’t enough to justify texting them.
Now, if you need to text your ex because you left something important at their place or to sort out accounts or leases, then texting your ex is more of a necessity. In practical cases, I say you should text your ex, but if it’s emotional it usually isn’t worth the fallout.
I for one have never texted an ex or had them text me without it becoming complicated or confusing. When an ex is involved, a simple Happy Birthday text can become so much more.
[Read: Wishing an ex on their birthday – 16 questions to make up your mind for sure]
How to text your ex after no contact
If you decide to text your ex, there are certainly some things you should keep in mind.
#1 Don’t have ulterior motives. Never text your ex after no contact to ask if they’re seeing someone. You are broken up. It is none of your business. You may still harbor feelings for them, but that doesn’t give you the right to know what’s going on in their life. Even if you offered up what’s going on in your life it doesn’t mean they have to do the same. [Read: 14 proven ways to stop thinking of your ex and move on]
#2 Don’t assume you’re friends. Not all exes have to be friends. And if your ex doesn’t want to be friends, it doesn’t make them immature. It is actually more mature to realize that being friends with your ex can be a lot more complicated than it looks on TV.
Don’t claim to be reaching out because you care or want to be friends when you really just want to see if they’re still interested or if they’ve moved on. It isn’t fair or right. [Read: The good and bad of being friends when an ex]
#3 Don’t expect a response. Sometimes cutting an ex out is the healthiest thing you can do. Just because you want to reach out for any reason doesn’t mean they owe you a response. It can sting to not have them even acknowledge your olive branch when your text your ex after no contact. But everyone deals with breakups differently. Respect that they want their space.
#4 Keep it professional. If you are reaching out because you left something important at their house or something else practical, keep it professional. Don’t go in with a monologue about how long it’s been or that you’re sorry for how things ended. That will only open up old wounds.
Keep it brief and straightforward like a work email. It can seem cold, but it’s better to be polite. Text them saying something along the lines of, “Hey. I hope you’re doing well. I was just reaching because I realized I never took my winter coat out of your closet, would it be okay if I picked it up sometime?” This is a good way to keep things calm and handle what needs to be handled. [Read: 14 things to keep in mind when you bump into your ex]
#5 Ease into it. If you are trying to text your ex and be friends after no contact, take your time. You don’t want to spook them or rush into this super intense friendship. This can make things complicated.
Whether you share a group of friends or maybe work together, ease into contact. Text them about a show you both like or a new movie release. Keep the topics neutral. Ask them if they’re going to a mutual friend’s party. This way you have buffers to help you avoid awkward topics and keep the focus on a friendship, not the past.
#6 Forget closure. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, but so many people reach out to an ex after no contact for closure. The thing is, closure is just an idea. If you haven’t talked in weeks or months, it is pretty likely you’re feeling better. The breakup isn’t fresh and you’re doing okay.
Reaching out for closure is an excuse to see where they are. It also usually happens when you’re bored or miss the good times. Instead of getting closure, remind yourself why you broke up in the first place. Those reasons still exist and are closure enough. Trying to text your ex to hash things out once you’ve calmed down usually only makes things worse and stretches out the moving on period. [Read: Unpopular opinion: Why not to seek closure after a breakup]
#7 Stop trying to get back together. I can’t tell you how many people want to reach out to their ex after no contact to get back together. You’ve had some space and time apart, and you miss them. Just because you are sad or miss them doesn’t mean they were right for you. Most breakups happen for a good reason, and sometimes having time away can make you forget those things. But, usually, they are still true.
Texting an ex back after no contact or going back to them is like trying to wear pants that don’t fit you. You know they don’t fit, but you’re trying to make them work because you paid for them. You already put in the effort and if you go back it might be worth it. But trust me, it won’t be.
#8 Ask to catch up. If you want to be cordial and keep your ex in your life on a friend-like basis, getting together to catch up is the most straightforward way to do so. Text your ex after no contact with a clear message like, “I was just watching *something you watched together* and it made me think of you. Would you want to grab coffee and catch up?”
This makes your intention for texting clear. It also urges you to make plans in public. This erases the chances of saying something risky over text or hooking up if you meet in private.
#9 Be honest. If you’re reaching out to them for career advice, let them know that is your angle. Don’t confuse them by making them think you want to get back together when you just want them to look over your resume. Also, be sure to make it clear if you are seeing someone. You don’t need to rub it in their face, but you want them to know you aren’t looking to pick things up.
Be honest right out of the gate when texting an ex after no contact. It is the most respectful way to go about it.
[Read: Being brutally honest and the 13 scenarios when it’s an obligation]
I once had an ex act like he wanted to be friends after a long time without contact. We went for coffee and caught up. And after a week of talking casually, he asked me to do some free work for him. If he had reached out for my help on a work project from the start, I probably would have agreed to some extent. Instead, I thought we were creating an adult friendship and was taken off guard.
Whether you’re reaching out to borrow something, ask for help, or for any other reason, just be honest about it. There is no need for sugar coating things and being overly friendly.
[Read: When you should just stop trying when you see the signs your ex doesn’t really want you back]If you can’t follow these general guidelines on how to text your ex after no contact, you may want to just keep up with the no contact. It could be what’s best for everyone.
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