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Texting Your Ex on Their Birthday: 16 Clues to Make Up Your Mind

Everyone has wondered if texting your ex on their birthday is a good or bad move. And the confusing news is… it can be both.

texting your ex on their birthday

Deciding whether or not texting your ex on their birthday is a good idea is up to you. Each and every relationship, breakup, and ex is different.

I know that’s probably is not what you wanted to hear. You wanted a yes or a no, but just like everything with your ex, it is pretty complicated.

Should you be texting your ex on their birthday?

Will texting your ex at all, even on their birthday, bring up old wounds? Will they want to hang out? Will they even answer? Why do you want to reach out? Is it out of politeness or do you want to get back together?

All of these things and more need to be considered before you decide whether or not texting your ex on their birthday is a smart thing for you to do. Also, try not to get drunk on their birthday, chances are you will make the wrong decision.

But, here is some good news… There are things that make texting your ex on their birthday a yes or a no. And they can be figured out pretty easily. [Read: Questions to ask yourself if you ex asks to be friends]

When texting your ex on their birthday is okay

Like I said, texting your ex on their birthday is not always a good idea, but here is when it is a totally safe move.

#1 You are still friends. If you are still friends then go for it. There is no reason to avoid each other, especially on their birthday. If you hang out in the same crowd, text on occasion, and everything is totally normal then, by all means, send a birthday cake emoji and funny GIF. [Read: How to be friends with your ex without any complications]

#2 You work together. Again, if you see your ex regularly, not saying happy birthday is weirder than saying it. It doesn’t have to be a big paragraph about what they mean to you, but a simple, “I hope you have a great birthday,” is all that is required.

The fact that you reached out and were polite shows your maturity. You already are fine seeing each other regularly, so a simple happy birthday text should be no problem. But, keep it during the day so that you don’t risk texting them while they are out celebrating. [Read: The most common types of exes modern daters have to deal with]

#3 You ended things on good terms. If you ended cordially, a birthday text is a nice way to say no hard feelings. It keeps the lines of communication open, but only ajar. It does not insinuate feelings, just politeness.

#4 There is no drama. Even if you rarely talk, you can reach out for their birthday. Maybe you had a bad breakup but you both moved on. Saying happy birthday should not stir the pot.

But do make sure there isn’t something underlying it.

#5 You do not have an ulterior motive. If you have no feelings but appreciation and friendship then a birthday text to your ex is totally and completely fine. If you saw it was their birthday on Facebook or an old photo popped up, it is no big deal.

Just keep it light and polite like wishing a happy birthday to your boss. No need to reminisce.

#6 They texted you for your birthday. If your ex texted you for your birthday and all went well go for it. You already know you are handling things well. A simple birthday text won’t risk the peace you have going on.

When texting your ex on their birthday is not okay

So, it is pretty clear that texting your ex on their birthday is on the table if all is good and the air is clear. But, there are definitely times when texting your ex on their birthday is bad news.

#1 You still have feelings for them. Just say no. If the feelings are fresh and you are trying to move on, just don’t even go there. If you need to, go out with a friend or do something to keep your mind off of your ex until the day is done.

If you have even the slightest emotion for them, any text, even one as innocent as a happy birthday can lead to drama and pain. [Read: 12 reasons why the no contact rule always works]

#2 You’re angry at them. Even couples that end on good terms have a touch of anger or bitterness. Whether someone reached out to someone’s new partner or tried to hit on the other’s BFF, do not risk opening old wounds.

If there is any fresh bitterness between you, even slightly, just let it pass. They won’t be waiting for a text for you or expecting it. And if they are, then they have not moved on and even a birthday text to your ex can cause drama.

#3 You miss them. We all have moments when we miss our ex. It happens. You focus in on the good memories and want to reach out to reminisce or just show them you are thinking of them. That is a bad idea.

If you miss them, a birthday text can go from simple to loaded real quick. So just cool it. You do not need to text them. No one will think you are mean or heartless. All not texting them says is that you have moved on. If you really miss them, it will pass with time. [Read: Do you think of your ex all the time? Here’s what you need to know]

#4 You closed that chapter. If you have moved on, good for you. If you haven’t thought about your ex at all or spoke to them in months, great. But, you just saw on your calendar or online that it is their birthday, so what?

You don’t think about them any other time of the year or text them whenever they post something online. So just move on. No need to reach out. In all likelihood, they aren’t thinking about you texting them either. So just let a sleeping dog lie. Keep that chapter closed.

#5 You just broke up. I do not care if you broke up last week, last month, or yesterday if that wound is fresh even a like on Instagram pulls at heartstrings. So, a full-on birthday text just prevents the moving no process.

Sure, at this point they might be offended you didn’t reach out, but so what? It is not your responsibility to make your ex feel good or feel like you still care. I know that sounds harsh, but it is true. [Read: How to know if someone misses you – 17 signs they still do]

#6 You had a bad breakup. Even if you broke up ages ago, if the last time you spoke was negative, included fighting, screaming, or was traumatic, there is zero need to text your ex on their birthday. There is a good chance that neither one of you have had closure from that, even if it was a while ago.

And on their birthday is not the time to settle old scores.

#7 You are hoping to get back together. If you secretly want to get back together or are just feeling lonely, again, your ex’s birthday is not the time to chance it. Saying happy birthday is one thing, but if you are hoping for something more than a thank you, you will just leave them with a bad taste in their mouth.

You will likely get upset and they will likely be annoyed. So, find companionship elsewhere. It is their birthday, let them celebrate it without you; not even a text from you. [Read: 16 signs your ex wants you back in their life]

#8 They are in a relationship, and you are single. Jealousy is a sour feeling. You can swallow it down all you want and pretend you are genuinely happy for them, but if you are not in a relationship, it is likely you are just a little bit bitter.

Do not text your ex on their birthday if this is your situation. You may think you are being innocent but just don’t. Not only could this risk your ex’s current relationship, but it is not necessary. The most innocent thing you can do for them is not text.

No matter how much you think you are just being nice, and I am sure a part of you is, it is best to keep your distance. [Read: 7 ways to resist the urge to call your ex]

#9 You’ve been stalking their social media. You knew their birthday was on the rise. You have been scoping out their Instagram Story and Facebook statuses. We all do it from time to time, but if you are doing that, you are more invested in them than is called for.

Sure, you could wish them a happy birthday publicly on social media so that there is no real need to respond with more than a like, but why bother? You are already driving yourself a little bit crazy investigating each of their photos, why put yourself through text-analyzing torture too?

#10 Any reason other than wishing them a happy birthday. If even the smallest part of you wants to reach out for any reason other than saying happy birthday do not do it. If you are expecting a response or small talk after your initial text, just do not even go there.

They may respond thank you or not at all and that is their choice. They are your ex and you are theirs, you do not owe each other anything, not even a text on their birthday.

[Read: 7 reasons why staying friends with an ex just doesn’t work]

Texting your ex on their birthday can be completely innocent and kind, but it can also open old wounds, cause drama, or just make things weird. So, what did you decide?

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Samantha Ann
My name is Samantha Ann. I am 28 years old. It was always my dream to become an advice columnist, so after years of off and online dating and eventually finding...