By Chris Seiter

Updated on April 6th, 2021

Today we’re going to be talking about one of the most important things for you to know, learning exactly what to text an ex for the first time after a breakup.

This article is going to teach you three main things.

  1. How the no contact rule interacts with your first contact text message
  2. What your goal should be in your first texting interaction with your ex
  3. Texting with the HIDE method

Let’s begin.

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Where Does The No Contact Rule Fit In? 

We teach a particular strategy at Ex Boyfriend Recovery and over on my YouTube channel.

It’s called the no contact rule.

Stop me if you’ve heard this or seen this before,

For the uninitiated the no contact rule is defined as a period of time where you deny your ex any contact at all.

But how does that fit into texting?

Well, the mistake I see most people making after a breakup is that they immediately want to fix things.

In other words, they text their ex the very first opportunity they get which causes quite a few issues and more often than not you dig yourself into a hole when it comes to re-attraction.

So, rather than just texting your ex after a breakup and hoping to win him over, we recommend a period of No Contact where you’re basically ignoring your ex on purpose for anywhere between 21, 30 or 45 days.

If you’re curious as to why that is the timeframe I recommend I recorded an entire podcast episode about it here,

What this all means is that you are not going to be texting your ex at all until that No Contact period is over.

This might sound counterintuitive or even a bit mean…but it’s a proven strategy.

If you want to know more about the No Contact Rule and how and why it works, I have lots of articles here on the site and lots of videos covering it on my YouTube channel.

Don’t even think about texting your ex until you’ve successfully completed your No Contact period!

So, how do you text an ex once that No Contact period is over?

What are you supposed to say?

Well, the first thing you should always do is first set a goal.

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The Goal Of Texting Your Ex After A Breakup

What is your goal?

Well, that’s what this video is going to teach you,

A lot of people like to make a little too much out of the goal here and say “I want to win my ex back”.

That’s your overall main goal, but you’re probably not going to achieve it with one text message.

I like to keep it simple.

Your goal is nothing more than to have a positive interaction with your ex.

Sounds easy, right? You’ve had multiple positive interactions in the relationship, after all.

But it’s a little more difficult in these circumstances, especially if you’ve implemented a No Contact Rule and ignored them for those 21 to 45 days. They tend to be a little sore about that fact!

So how do you handle the interaction?

What do you say?

Well, that’s where we really get to the meat of this article.

You’re going to be using a special method, the HIDE method.

If you follow this to a T, you’re going to have the best chance of having that positive interaction after the No Contact Rule.

Let’s dissect the HIDE method.

What Is The HIDE Method? 


The hide method is an acronym I came up with after being asked by clients what the best type of text message to send an ex after a breakup was.

Simply put it stands for,

  • H- The Hook
  • I- Interests
  • D- Develop
  • E- End

If you’re not confused I’d be shocked.

But don’t worry, that’s why I’m here to help you.

H – The Hook

One of the more difficult aspects that women tend to struggle with when texting an ex is figuring out what to say.

Oftentimes they’ll use a generic ‘Hey’ or ‘What’s up?’. Something like that doesn’t tend to get an ex’s attention, especially if you’ve used the No Contact rule. You need something much more juicy.

It’s all about hooking their interest and you’re going to do that with a concept we call the pattern interrupt.

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A pattern interrupt is anything that interrupts a normal pattern.

Your ex is almost expecting you to reach out and say ‘hey what’s up’ eventually.

You’re not going to do that. You’re going to interrupt the norm.

Your goal is to send a text message to your ex and have him look at the message and do a double-take, because it’s so interesting he just has to respond.

How do you do that?

You need to say something interesting and shocking at the same time.

Here are a few examples which clients have successfully used to get responses from their exes:

  • “You’re not going to believe what just happened to me.”
  • “I have a confession to make.”
  • “I have a problem and only trust you to help me solve it.”

Or if you’re more of a “text format” type of person.

These are all great examples of hooks where you’re catching someone’s attention. Your ex will feel more curious and more motivated to respond if you spark their interest like this.

The last one is a great example because as well as inciting curiosity, it paints you as a ‘damsel in distress’ – this appeals to an ex’s male pride, as if he is the only one who can help.

But there’s more to having a positive interaction with your ex than simply getting a response with a great hook.

What are you going to say next?

This is where the I comes into play.

I – Cultivate Your Ex’s Interests

If you’ve watched my YouTube channel then you’ve probably heard me say what I’m about to say a million times.

One of the biggest issues I see with people when they start texting again is that they tend to send messages about something they are interested in, and not things that their ex has any interest in.

There’s nothing that can kill a conversation faster than talking to an ex about something he doesn’t care about.

Remember, your goal is to have a positive interaction with your ex for the first time after the No Contact Rule, and one of the best ways to do that is by cultivating an interest of his and working it into your hook.

So, make a list of the things he’s interested in – hobbies, projects, his work, what he likes to watch TV and film-wise. Where he likes to go, where he wants to travel, what music he’s into – anything and everything you can think of.

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Once you’ve finished your No Contact Rule period, you can check out his social media feeds and see what he’s been posting about or sharing. The environment? Sport? Funny memes? Family stuff? Work-related stuff?

Whatever it is, take note of it. He’s interested in it – so you could use it.

Try to think about ranking these interests. You were in a relationship with him, so you should have some idea of what’s most important to him.

Then think about how you could talk about these interests. What questions could you ask him? What can he help you with?

Be aware that you should be asking for his opinions and for information you can’t get from a Google search.

It should also feel fairly natural to text him about whatever it is. If he knows that you straight-up hate the TV show Friends, why would you suddenly text him about it, even if it’s his favorite thing in the world?

So something where you might conceivably be a little bit interested is the best to choose.

Note that this is not the time to talk about your previous relationship with him. Don’t say ‘Remember when we did this/planned this/saw this together’. You can mention places you went together, or something you watched together like a TV series, but don’t explicitly remind your ex of ‘the good times’ (or the bad!).

We call these ‘memory texts’ and they come later in the process, when you have built a good rapport. For now, just keep it simple.

There’s a nice synergy to the HIDE method. Everything is supposed to interconnect to help you get that positive interaction.

Let’s say your ex is obsessed with a certain author and the books this author writes. Let’s also say you didn’t generally care about this author at all, but now you’ve read some of their work, because you were curious about why your ex was so into them. (Or, okay, just so that you would have something to talk to him about!)

Or it’s a musician, or a brand, or product. Whatever it is, you can use this example as a starter.

You use the “I have a confession to make” message.

Your ex responds, “What is it?” Or similar.

You reply, “I finally got around to reading a book by X [your ex’s favorite author]. It was amazing!”

Now you’ve got your ex hooked into a conversation that interests him. So what are you supposed to do next?

Technically speaking, it’s not been a really positive interaction until your ex feels satisfied with the conversation. So how do we make that happen?

Well, that’s where the D comes into play.

D – Develop the Conversation


So you’ve just texted your ex about their favorite author and the fact you’ve read something by them.

Hopefully he’s replied and maybe asked you which book you’ve read, or why you decided to read that author.

Now it’s time to bond over your shared experience.

You talk about moments in the book, moments you just can’t get out of your head, characters you loved or hated, how amazing that description of such-and-such a place was. (Hope you paid attention in English class!)

Even if you just read the book because your ex liked it, and you didn’t enjoy it that much, you can find something to talk about.

The point is, you need to seem enthusiastic. For a positive interaction, he needs to match that excitement, which he can only do if you’re creating a satisfying, interesting conversation.

One of the things I would recommend you do, especially if you are struggling to decide what to talk about with this book (or music, or whatever it is) is to use your trusty friend Google to see what others are saying about whatever topic you have chosen to talk about.

Check out Reddit as well. Reddit has areas created by fans of almost everything. Look at how rabid the fan base is when they talk about specific moments in a book. GoodReads is another great site for all things book-related.

People who bother to post their opinions on the internet are generally passionate about what they are discussing (whether positive or negative).

If you can bond with your ex like real fans bond over the book, or whatever else you want to bond over, it’s going to develop the conversation into something your ex is going to remember and really enjoy.

Mission accomplished.

But all good things must come to an end.

One big issue we see with clients is that when they get this far into the HIDE method and get that positive interaction…they have a tendency to overstay their welcome.

They are so happy to talk to their ex, they keep the conversation going beyond that point of satisfaction.

That’s where the E part of HIDE comes into play.

E – End The Conversation.

You must end the conversation at the point where you are having a positive, satisfying exchange.

Leave him wanting more.

There is such a thing as the Peak-End Rule.

Psychologists discovered some time ago that people remember experiences based on two points – the peak or the best part of the experience, and the end.

Don’t believe me?

So by ending the conversation at the peak or the highest point of interest, you’re going to gain the maximum benefit.

But what is the peak of the conversation?

It’s the best part of the conversation, when you think, yes! He’s enjoying this, and so am I!

The descent from the peak comes when you start to have to search for something to say. So far you’re all tingles about how great it’s going. He’s engaging with you and the conversation is fun, or at least interesting.

But when you start to have to think about it too much (although of course this whole process is nerve-wracking!) that’s a sign.

And if he doesn’t respond in his usual timeframe, that’s another really good sign that his interest is waning.

You might still have things to say, but you can save them.

If the conversation thus far has been a good one, quit while you’re ahead.

And even if it’s not been as amazing as you’d like, you need to recognize where that peak in the conversation is for him, not you, and exit.

Note that for the first text, you don’t want to have a long conversation, and you should stick to one topic. This is all part of leaving him wanting more, and making sure you don’t outstay your welcome.

But what’s a great way to end the conversation?

Should you just abruptly end it and stop responding? Well, that’s one way to do it, but it’s probably better if you employ a more mature approach.

Have something happen that gives you a way to end the conversation.

You could say, “Oh, I forgot, I’ve got something in the oven! I’ll have to go.” Or, “My gym buddy is here, got to go now!”

It’s best to make this something interesting as well – telling him you’re going to the gym is more impressive than, “Oh, I have to go do my laundry.”

Telling him you’re going to the gym with a buddy is even better, because he’s going to wonder who that buddy is…

You can even use something work-related which makes you sound busy and important: “I’m being called back into a meeting, I need to go.”

Those ways of ending a conversation are a bit less abrupt than just cutting it off, but if you do want to go all out, just end the conversation by not responding.

This might be an option if the conversation hasn’t gone as well as you wanted and he’s been a bit less than positive, especially towards the end.

So that’s what to text your ex for the first time.

But the HIDE method also works well for subsequent conversations.

It really is one of my favorite approaches to that all-important first interaction with your ex after No Contact, but also as you continue to message and build rapport.

Always remember to hook him in, talk about his interests not yours, develop the conversation into something satisfying, then end the exchange before that satisfaction level drops.

If you continue to do this, your ex will enjoy talking to you again, and he might even start initiating the conversations.

You will be one step closer to getting him back.

Thanks for getting to the end of this article! I hope you enjoyed reading about the HIDE method.

There are loads more articles on the site to help you with every step of the process of getting your ex back, and don’t forget my YouTube channel as well.

If you need clarification on anything, just leave me a comment here – it’s really important to me that I know more so I can help you, and I try to answer as many comments as I can.

And remember, if you want to figure out your chances of getting your ex back, take the free and simple quiz here on the Ex Boyfriend Recovery site.

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17 thoughts on “Texting An Ex For The First Time”

  1. Jake

    November 20, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    Hi there, after reading this amazing paragraph i am as well delighted to share
    my familiarity here with mates.

  2. Shirley

    June 24, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    i was dating my ex for about 3 months and then he wanted to end things because he failed his exams
    did a month of no contact and then texted him happy birthday to which he replied positively
    then i started 2 months of no contact
    and just have texted him a first message with an hook – you will not believe what happened to me – havent got an answer to my hook
    how to continue from here ?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      June 27, 2020 at 8:51 pm

      Hey Shirley, give it some time if he does not reply within 72 hours then consider this as a NR then you wait 5-10 days and try a different approach

  3. Dawn

    March 26, 2020 at 5:20 am

    So i am only a few days away from being done with no contact and it has been TOUGH. I haven’t reached out or talked to him what so ever. the first week or two i was pretty obsessed with his social media and just wanting him back. At this point i do still want him back but i have realized that I’m okay. I haven’t cried in over a week! And yes i still have hopes that he will give me another chance but i also know that if he doesn’t i will be able to move on even though it will hurt a bit. At this point i am really just trying to figure out what my first text to him should be…(he has not reached out at all but he is also a person who usually wouldn’t do so… for example when we had fights i would always have to be the first one to initiate contact and then he would apologize… just a very stubborn guy). I was also a more clingy person in the relationship and he seemed to have grown to appreciate constant texting and stuff like that so I’m still kind of surprised that me not contacting him at all hasn’t gotten him to crack and just contact me (we have been together for over 3 years) With this in mind I am still scared to text and i don’t know which first text option would be best? He loves game of thrones (we used to watch together but he absolutely loves it), he plays guitar, he LOVES the gym and he is also very into star wars. Are any of these good topics and if so how would you go about writing that first text? I have read basically every single article on here but i still need some clarification for my own personal situation. Thanks for everything and hopefully you can help me out!:)

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      March 28, 2020 at 9:35 pm

      Hi Dawn you can find help with how to plan your first text by watching Chris videos and reading the texting articles. Good Luck 🙂

  4. Tammy

    December 26, 2019 at 6:17 am

    Sooo I was in a casual dating situation (fell in love of course)… he had just started his residency so time and attention was limited after he got into the heart of things. I just got back into school and I’m also a flight attendant so I’d only get to see him once a week or so… 4 months in he breaks things off because he couldn’t give me what he thought I needed (we never discussed it but I think he was just going off of actions and vibes.)
    I never pleaded with him but we had our closure talk and then he asked me to dinner whenever I get back. I text him 3 days later for medical advice only but cut the conversation short when he tried to make it into a full blown conversation and I also never followed up with dinner. Went on a full blown NC for 45 days. Day 30 he started liking every picture I posted… Day 35 he blocked me on Instagram but kept me on Facebook and Snapchat only ever watching my snaps but no indication he has monitored my Facebook. Day 48 I send him the dreadful Merry Christmas text. He responds of course in a positive way, I tell him it was great to hear from him and we should talk soon. No response…. Help!

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      December 29, 2019 at 11:07 pm

      Hey Tammy, think of it this way he responded to the Merry Christmas positively…. so you can reach out after New Years and attempt a friendly conversation. Short but positive.

  5. Delilah

    December 10, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    Hello I did the no contact for s tough 2 months! Then he contacted me which was very exciting. I left it a few hours and texted back he texted me again, immediately. Then I shut the conversation down. But he replied – and I didn’t for two days, and now I think I have hurt him as he hasn’t responded at all for over 24 hours. It feels a bit mind gamey which is doing my head in tbh. I can’t believe I left him waiting for two days, the stress I am experiencing from him not responding is awful!

    Any guidance

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      December 15, 2019 at 12:12 am

      Hey Delilah you do not need to feel stress for not replying to him this is about you learning how to control your emotions and how to take control of the situation. Do not think of this as mind games this is about how to re attract him, how to get him wanting more and eventually reach out to you first

  6. Hannah

    November 12, 2019 at 1:53 am

    I casually dated a guy for 1 year (we both had gotten out of long relationships when we met and wanted to move slowly) we have a great time together, similar likes and interests, supportive of one another, and just feel good in each others company, and spent 3-4 nights a week with one another (basically dating in my eyes). I’m potentially leaving in 6 months (looking at job options) and I asked where this was going/what he wanted and told him I wanted more (a relationship). He said he didn’t know and never thought about it because he always thought I would take a job somewhere else. I haven’t heard from him in a week. What should I do?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      November 12, 2019 at 8:07 pm

      Keep to your NC for around 30 days and in that time make sure you are posting to social media etc. But if you both agreed to a friends with benefits with situation then he maybe has avoided getting emotional with you. It will be difficult for you to get him to commit to a relationship starting with LDR unless you are close enough to see each other regularly. Hopefully he will miss you in this NC point to make him want to commit

  7. Emma

    November 11, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    Hi there,
    After reading your blog I completed the no contact rule for 34 days and then texted my ex the three first contact messages and got positive responses. On Friday 11/8/19 I sent him a text proposing we meet up next week, I got a positive reaction but this was before I purchased the Texting bible on 11/10/19. How do I get back on track? I want to continue the texting bible protocol and building rapport instead of meeting up with him so soon. Thanks!

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      November 12, 2019 at 8:13 pm

      Hi Emma, so I am wondering if you did the meet up? If you havent yet then make sure it is short, positive and that you leave first so it makes him want to see you again. Follow the texting bible as much as you can as it is really useful to get your ex to reach a point where he is asking you to meet him

  8. Elle

    November 2, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    I’ve been with my bf for almost a year. Our relationship was based on good communication with clear expectations and boundaries from each other. My bf and I we communicated with each other daily through texts, morning calls before and after work. Before he went on vacation we promised to stay in touch. He’s on a vacation for 6 weeks, for 2 weeks of the vacation we were still in touch through text and him calling. But in the 3rd week suddenly my texts are being ignored and he didn’t get in touch for 2 days, so I kept on texting and calling for 2 days. I gave in and stopped calling and texting. Then, when he got in touch with me he’s response started to get cold and suddenly he mentioned about thinking to breakup, because he thinks of me being annoying and insecure for what I did. However he said we’ll have a talk when he gets back and ended the call with I love you. I gave him space for a week to cool down, and I texted to apologize for my bad behavior and that I might have ruined his vacation, and wished him to enjoy his rest of vacation. He replied that he’s doing ok. Now it’s been a week he didn’t get in touch with me. He’ll be back from his vacation by next week. We’ve never been in a situation where we’d argue and not get in touch for weeks. Usually we’d apologize and get in touch within a day. He still watches my social media. I hope there’s a way to save our relationship

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      November 9, 2019 at 1:07 am

      Hi Elle, let him come home from holiday before you reach out to him again give him some time. The fact he is still watching your social media is a good thing. Make sure it shows you are out doing things with your friends and not sat at home waiting for him to come home

  9. Em

    November 1, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Hi my ex broke up with me 5 weeks ago. We’ve spoke 3 times – each time he text first. The conversation was positive but then he stopped replying. We now haven’t spoken ina week and a half. What do I do? We’ve been broken up over 30days. If I start no contact now for another 30days he will just move on and forget? he has no social media. I bought ex recovery pro but can’t see any info on this situation. Please help xx

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      November 1, 2019 at 11:07 pm

      Hi Em, so the issue you have is you havent started NC at all so yes start now for 30 days from when you last spoke with him. Working on yourself in that time. As mentioned in the book you need to work on becoming Ungettable. He is not going to forget you in 30 days of not speaking. Focus on you short term and then reach out to him with a text like he pro suggests