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When Your Ex Texts You Out of the Blue, What Should You Do?

When your ex texts you out of the blue there are a few ways you can respond. But, which is the best way to protect your heart?

When Your Ex Texts You

If you have just been sitting around and minding your own business—DING—when your ex texts you out of the blue, you are not alone. It seems that a text from your ex is never expected. It takes you off guard and confuses you. So, how do you respond? Do you respond?

That is a good question. Luckily, I have got some good answers.

What to do when your ex texts you

So, what is your first response when your ex texts you? You probably text a friend and say, “OH MY GOD! You’ll never guess who just texted me!” And then they ask you if you’re going to say anything, but will you?

Well, before deciding that, just take a second. Your initial reaction is probably one of shock, confusion, or even annoyance. And if you miss them it may be a good surprise. But before answering, take a second to think.

Are they asking for their sweatshirt back or do they need you to stop using their Netflix password? Are they reaching out just to say what’s up? Or do they miss you romantically?

Before deciding what to say, think about what you want. Depending on the outcome you want there are multiple ways to handle the conversation when your ex texts you. [Read: 12 reasons why the no contact rule always works]

Should you answer when your ex texts you?

Now that you have decided what you want from this conversation or lack thereof, you can figure out what to do.

For example, if you want to cut your ex out of your life for whatever reason, don’t respond. I know it can feel mean or cruel. It isn’t ghosting if you already broke up. If you don’t want them in your life then don’t let them in.

If they are clearly just reaching out for one question or to pick up something they may have left with you, answer if you really believe that is all it is. And if you have both moved on, then you should be able to cordially deal with things like this. [Read: 15 reasons why your ex stills texts you and stays in touch]

If you know you don’t want to have a friendship with your ex, then when your ex texts you keep that at the forefront of your mind. Try not to let the conversation wander off topic. Complete this task and keep moving forward.

But remember, you do not owe them anything, especially if they didn’t treat you right. So unless you ended on good terms or don’t mind dealing with something circumstantial, don’t answer when your ex texts you.

Go ahead and gossip to your friends about how weird and random it is. Then delete it and move on to greener pastures. [Read: How to let go of someone you love by hating them]

What to say when your ex texts you?

If you were happy when your ex texted you, you’ll want to take a different method when it comes to responding. If you want to carry out a conversation or try to be friends, there are some things you’ll want to say and others you’ll want to avoid.

#1 Be friendly. Whether you still hold bitterness from whatever happened when you broke up or not, keep your exchanges cordial and polite. There is no need to be petty.

If you’re interested in getting back together you can totally tease and flirt. Don’t to push buttons or bring up anything that caused a rift in your relationship. [Read: Are you still in love with your ex?]

#2 Don’t go back to how things were. It can be very tempting to pick up from where you left off. If they say they miss you, it can be so easy to say it back and fall back into old patterns. But, remember there is a reason you broke up.

If you do want to get back together, make sure you talk about what caused your breakup in the first place and work through it so that it doesn’t become a problem once again.

#3 Be cautious. A lot of the time an ex will reach out just to test the waters. They want to see if you’ll answer, if they still have a shot, and if you’re still open to them. They may have no intention of meeting up or getting back together. And they may want to cause drama for you or just remind you of their presence.

Even if you have hope things can work out, be prepared for them to disappear soon. [Read: Is my ex thinking of me? A guide to pick all the right signs]

#4 Be honest. Do not lead them on or lie about your feelings for them or you. If they say they miss you and you don’t want to get back together, don’t say you miss them too and then give an excuse. There is no use in sugarcoating it now.

Tell them you miss their company and friendship but aren’t romantically interested in them. And if you do want to get back together and are afraid they don’t, be honest. Let them know you still have feelings for them but won’t be able to move on if they keep texting you.

#5 Ask for their intentions. If you are unsure what they want, ask. If they haven’t asked you a specific question or made it clear why they texted you, ask them straight up. Say something like, “It is nice to hear from you, but it is also sort of random. Is there a reason you texted?”

They should come out with it and let you know if they miss you, if they want to ask you something, or if they just want to talk. [Read: 15 revealing questions to know if you should even be talking to your ex]

#6 Do not fight. It can be easy to pick up where you left off when your ex texts you. If the last time you spoke was when you broke up, you don’t want to fall back into a fight with your ex. You’re no longer together. There is no need for it.

Keep things civil if you are going to respond.

#7 Talk about your family, friends, and work. If you are talking as friends and hoping you can salvage that part of your relationship, catch up. Talk up your latest work project, friends, and how your parents are doing.

Catch up on the stuff you would talk about with any other friend you haven’t heard from in a while. [Read: Texting your ex on their birthday – 16 clues to make up your mind]

#8 Don’t talk about your dating life. As much as you want to catch up and it is nice to do so, try not to bring up your dating life. Sure, if you keep talking or feel like they have feelings for you, you will have to let them know if you’re seeing someone. But don’t vent about dating or talk intimately about it.

Eventually, you may be able to share dating stories or even offer each other advice due to your history. Don’t rub it in if you’re just talking briefly.

#9 Meet up in public. If you want to be friends or are considering getting back together, texting may not be the best route. Not only are misunderstandings more likely to occur via text, but you can’t really see if your feelings have changed unless you meet up.

The reason I say you should meet up in public is to prevent anything from happening that you may regret later. It is easy to fall back into old patterns with an ex. If you meet publicly you can focus on talking. [Read: The things you need to hear before you sleep with an ex you still love]

#10 Do not meet up in private. I really want to drill this point home. Whether you want to get back together or not, meeting up is the best way to talk about both of your intentions without distractions.

If you meet up at one of your places, old feelings can rise to the surface and lead to a hookup that you may wish didn’t happen later on. Sure, you may want that. Try to talk things out first, not after.

[Read: The signs your ex isn’t completely over you yet]

No matter what the situation is, now know what to do when your ex texts you. So the next time you hear from your ex, give this a serious thought and take the next step.

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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...