9 Text Messages You Should Never, Ever Send Your Ex

If you're tempted to reach out, avoid all of these.

By Elizabeth Stone

Breakups cause a kind of temporary insanity that people don’t usually realize or snap out of until it’s too late.

Either they’ve already totally alienated themselves from their ex or they’ve made themselves look so pathetic that they can never come back from it.

That’s why texting your ex is a tricky minefield.

Here are nine text messages to never send your ex:

  1. How devastated you are by the breakup
    You must absolutely never look heartbroken in text messages to your ex. Expect that your text messages will not remain private.

Also when you go on a “why??” rip, realize that it’s awkward for them.

How are they supposed to respond?

“Because you’re terrible and I really wanted to date Brad, my tennis instructor?” or “OMG you’re right???” (which never, ever happens by the way).

You have to accept their feelings right now. Do not initiate this conversation like you’re looking for constructive criticism, because are you really?

Or are you trying to express how heartbroken you are? I’m willing to bet it’s the latter.

  1. Something ‘seemingly’ casual … when you know it’s really not
    Hi … what?

Do you want them back? Are you just wondering what they’re up to? Are you bored?

What’s the plan here?

Whether your ex wants to hear from you or not, just sending out a “hi” with nothing else makes you look weak and like you’re not sure where you’re going with this.

I get it — most people send the random “hi” because they miss their ex, but that doesn’t make it any less confusing or frustrating for the recipient of your message.

  1. An uncalled-for ‘miss you’ text
    If you truly want them back, “I miss you” is something you need to show them with your actions over a period of time. Just saying “I miss you” is the fleshed-out version of “hi.”

If they’re not in an emotional headspace to deal with the fact that you miss them or they don’t share your sentiment, you’re throwing all of your cards on the table with this one.

If you really want them back, you need to revive the good feelings between the two of you first.

If you don’t want them back, why are you messing with their emotions?

Don’t stir up drama!

Either way, I miss you comes off like a cry for help that isn’t usually successful.

  1. Jealousy over their new flame
    If you find out they’re dating someone new, you should never, ever bring it up.

This includes, but is not limited to saying things like:

“Oh, you’ve moved on pretty darn quick …”
“I hope you’re oh, so happy with Tonya.”
“Tonya’s a total slut by the way.”
“How dare you date my high school history teacher.”
“You’ll never be as happy with him as you were with me.”
Those look bitter, unhinged, and inappropriate when I type them out, right?

If you find out your ex is dating someone new, do yourself and them a favor and leave it alone. It might or might not be a rebound, but nothing you say is going to push it in either direction.​

  1. An unsolicited advertisement about how well you’re doing
    This is a cousin to trying to make them jealous and it’s not slick.

It’s obvious what you’re trying to do here — and even if you think you’re being covert somehow, it comes off as the opposite.

If you didn’t care what they were doing, or what they think, you wouldn’t feel the need to tell them about how great you are … right?

  1. Anything over a 1:1 ratio of your texts to their responses
    This is the worst.

Make sure that if you do decide to text your ex, you let them respond. And never make accusations — even if they don’t respond.

It makes you look desperate and honestly, less is more when it comes to the ex.

  1. Grief about them not responding to you on time
    Whether they’re currently talking to you or not — giving them a hard time about anything about the way they communicate with you will not make them want to do more.

Frankly, after a breakup, they don’t owe you anything. This is true whether they were the ones to break up with you or not.

That’s why when you’re communicating with them, you’ve got to think of “positive reinforcement” because if you give them a hard time about anything, they’re going to keep associating you with negative feelings.

  1. Trying to make them jealous
    This includes, but is not limited to, making statements where you’re trying to make them feel jealous, guilty, ashamed — really anything where you’re attempting to make them feel a certain way.

Keep in mind that trying to make them feel worse about your breakup (and by extension, you) doesn’t make them more likely to respond to you next time.

Feelings of guilt and shame aren’t all that attractive.

  1. Anything else you wouldn’t want to see on the cover of the New York Times
    If you would look pathetic and irrational in public, don’t text it in private.

Certainly, some things between two people are meant to stay private, but after a breakup, all bets are off.

If you’re in doubt, don’t send it out!

Elizabeth Stone is an author, dating coach, and personal development coach who helps women restore themselves in order to improve their relationships

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