I’ve been analyzing breakup text messages since 2012 and I’m pretty confident I have a handle on when you should and shouldn’t text your ex after a breakup. So today, I’d like to specifically look at the three core reasons when you should be texting your ex and the three core reasons for when you shouldn’t be texting your ex.
- After you’ve completed a no contact rule and outgrown them
- If you’ve gotten into the pattern of building strong rapport
- If they reach out to you first in a positive way (Post No Contact)
- The day after a breakup
- In the middle of a no contact rule
- Immediately after they reject you (Post No Contact)
Let’s get started.
The Three Core Situations Where You Should Be Texting Your Ex
Now, before we really get started I want to point out that every piece of advice that I give out here runs through our tried and true value ladder.
Specifically we’re going to be looking at this part right here,
And with that in mind let’s get to our first situation in which it’s ok for you to text your ex after a breakup.
Situation #1: You’ve Completed A No Contact Rule And Outgrown Them
I’ve written hundreds of articles on the no contact rule before but one thing that always seems to get lost in the equation is the core reason for why we recommend the no contact. What started first as a purely selfish manipulation tactic to make your ex miss you has evolved into a transformational time in which you can completely reshape the way you view the world.
So, what is the no contact rule for the uninitiated?
The no contact rule refers to a period of time where you cut off all conceivable communication with an ex after a breakup. The intent of this tactic should NOT be used to make your ex miss you but instead should be used to rebuild your own life so that you outgrow your ex. By doing this, the no contact rule can have the added benefit of making an ex miss you
When interviewing success stories I noticed one really interesting pattern develop. Many of the most successful clients we’ve had tend to get to this point emotionally where they aren’t quite sure if they want their ex back. They usually do that during the no contact rule.
And I think the key component that gets overlooked here is the fact that if you are at this place emotionally where you kind of are ok if you don’t get your ex back anymore or you just aren’t bothered by the breakup it affords you a certain amount of leverage and that shows through in your texting.
No longer are you sitting back and hyper analyzing things like,
- How quickly your ex responds
- If they respond
- If they’re interested when they respond
You’re just kind of ok if they don’t. You’ve gotten so much internal confidence from that period of no contact that your heart is callused. So, that’s the first piece of advice I’d give you. Don’t text your ex until you’re sure you’re close to that place emotionally where you’ve outgrown them.
Situation #2: You’ve Gotten Into The Pattern Of Building Strong Rapport Back And Forth
Momentum is a very real thing that often is glossed past when you’re looking at text messaging. Often when you look at texting most of our attention goes to those initial barriers for entry, the first contact text message.
Not enough time goes into teaching you how to keep the fire going. In fact, a few years ago a member of our private facebook support group pointed this out,
To quote their exact question,
How do you transition from first contact messages to rapport building texts? Does anyone have examples of good rapport texts?
Getting to that rapport building phase during text messages is incredibly difficult. Luckily, over 65 people answered the question with some pretty good suggestions. I’m particularly partial to this one,
Notice how all of the examples this client gives aren’t actual conversations but rather their conversation starters based around the exes interest. The goal with rapport building is comically simple, have a memorable conversation.
Of course, once you have one memorable conversation your next goal is simple, string together a lot of them and it goes without saying that if you find yourself in the midst of a good rapport building moment and your ex reaches out to you then you can absolutely respond.
Situation #3: If They Reach Out To You First In A Positive Way (Post No Contact)
The keyword here is that it’s “Post NC.” That means we aren’t looking at a situation where it’s ok to respond to an ex during no contact if they reach out to you. We’re looking at a situation where they reach out to you positively AFTER no contact.
Honestly there’s not too much more to add here so I’d rather move on to more important situations.
Specifically the fun stuff, when you should not be texting your ex.
The Three Core Situations Where You Shouldn’t Be Texting Your Ex
I’m going to be honest with you. Probably 90% of my time is spent talking to clients and explaining to them why they shouldn’t be texting their ex in the following situations. Once again, I feel it’s important to point out that as a general rule of thumb you shouldn’t be texting your ex at any point throughout the value ladder other than this point right here.
The one exception to that is if you are forced to do a limited version of the no contact rule but if you don’t fall within that category then it’s best to stick to the general rule of thumb.
Ok, lets talk about the situations.
Situation #1: The Day After The Breakup
We know based on experience that on average our clients tend to have one type of attachment style.
Anxious Attachment Style: This person typically requires a lot of attention and affection. They really like to feel close to their partners, it’s not uncommon for them to want to spend every single day with them. The core wound of them is that they have a fear of abandonment and being alone and so that’s what usually triggers their anxious behaviors in relationships.
Here’s the thing about anxious people who get broken up with. They tend to react in pretty desperate ways and it’s understandable.
Their entire world revolves around the relationship and often so much of their identity is wrapped up in it.
Anxious people at their core tend to be problem solvers as Coach Tyler elegantly puts in this video here,
And the thing about problem solvers is that when they notice a problem they believe they need to do everything possible to solve that problem but the problem (pun intended) with this is that immediately after a breakup is the worst time to try to solve a problem.
More often than not we’ve found our clients exes tend to be avoidant while our clients are anxious (as I pointed out above.) Do you know what annoys an avoidant more than anything?
A lack of space.
Read into that what you will.
Situation #2: In The Middle Of A No Contact Rule
The no contact rule is supposed to be a no contact rule for a reason.
And yet close to 80% of our clients will fail it at least one time.
Well, lets say you’re doing a no contact rule on your ex and they text you this,
(By the way, this is a real text message sent to one of our clients during a no contact rule.)
It’s super tempting to see a text like that and want to respond in some way but the no contact rule isn’t supposed to be about rehashing your relationship with your ex. It’s supposed to be about your own personal growth.
It may seem cruel to some but I think those people that look at it that way have the wrong mindset.
If your ex loves you like you hope they do they can wait for you a bit. Right now all of your focus needs to be focused on healing and evolving as a human being.
Situation #3: Immediately After They Reject You (Post No Contact)
And now we come to perhaps the most common situation in which our clients make mistakes in texting their ex.
Let’s say you’ve done everything I’ve recommended. You’ve completed a no contact rule successfully.
You’ve sent your initial text and got a positive response,
You’ve even had some modest progress in the texting phase,
But somewhere along the way you’ve overstepped and your ex becomes standoffish or even negative in interactions with you. We know from experience that avoidant exes are very likely to do this at some point and we’ve found when that happens the worst thing you can do is continue pushing.
Instead, we want you to live by this mantra.
When they pull back, I pull back
It probably goes against every fiber of your being but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this approach work on fearful avoidants.
So, just to recap, if your ex becomes cold during conversations when they were previously warm all you need to do is pull back and let them come to you.