It’s your ex’s birthday, and you’re wondering whether you should text them. In fact, you’ve already drafted the message, and are about to hit send, when you stop and start to second-guess yourself. Maybe it’s not the best idea?
“Deciding whether to text your ex ‘happy birthday’ can be hard because of two things,” says Callisto Adams, a dating and relationship expert. “The first thing is the reason behind doing so, and the expectation of certain results. The second is wondering how they’ll perceive this text. Whether it might make them happy or angry; will you seem confident or clingy and needy?”
Generally speaking, though, Adams says if the relationship ended on good terms and you’re still in contact, then a ‘happy birthday’ text is fine. On the other hand, if you were dumped, then doing it could make you seem like you still want their attention, she says.
But what if you fall into the grey area? You weren’t dumped, your breakup was mutual, but still, you’re not on the greatest of terms. What then? Ahead, Adams shares five factors to consider to help you answer for yourself: should you wish your ex ‘happy birthday’?.
How Much Time Has Passed
Firstly, think about: how much time has it been since your breakup? If you haven’t spoken for about a year then your ex might not have the same mindset as you, and might not feel the same way about you (assuming you’re wanting something more).
Again, though, if you’re on good terms, it’s fine to wish them that ‘happy birthday’.
“You’ll just be showing your empathy and that you’re thinking nicely about them,” says Adams.
Whether or Not You Got Closure
Next, think about how the relationship ended. If they were the one who ended it and this is the first time you’re initiating a conversation with them since, there is a good chance you might seem needy, says Adams.
If you never got closure, though, this could actually be a great opportunity for it as texting them will let you know their stance towards you, she says.
“They will either text you back or not,” she says. “Just be careful to craft a simple text, and not add melancholic and emotional words.”
If You’re Romanticising the Relationship
If you’re already romanticising the relationship — in other words, thinking of it in a far better light than what actually played out — you might have false expectations, says Adams.
“If you’re texting your ex ‘happy birthday’ just to get their attention, this could leave you heartbroken, not to mention send the wrong signals to your ex, too,” she says.
Ask Yourself If You’re Completely Over Them
Finally, if you’re reading this article and spending much time deliberating about whether or not you should text your ex, chances are you’re not over them. If that’s the case, don’t be hard on yourself. Know that there is no right or wrong answer.
“A simple birthday message wouldn’t impact negatively you or them,” says Adams. “Just be sure you really don’t have any expectations.”