Birthdays are one of the most special days in everyone’s lives. There is never any hesitation when wishing someone a happy day. However, it’s different with a former flame. “Should I text my ex happy birthday?” is one of the predicaments that puts you in a state of anxiety and unrest.

Don’t worry, and hear us out. We will tell you all about ex etiquette and whether sending birthday wishes to your ex is a good or bad idea. 

Let’s not kid ourselves and accept the fact that birthdays are sort of an excuse to get in touch with your ex. Well.. the heart wants what it wants.

So, you want to do small talks and find out if they have moved on or not. You type a text message, hoping you would get a reply. But is it healthy? Is it called for? Would it help you heal or cause a lot of pain? All these questions need to be answered before you send a happy birthday text to your ex.

Consider The Nature Of Your Relationship

Breakups are never harmonious, irrespective of whether they are mutual or not. You go through the same amount of pain and distress in every separation. However, as the time passes by, you seek closure. Here are some things that happen after a breakup:

  • You become wiser and understand that whatever happened was meant to happen
  • You finally reach that acceptance phase
  • You will start respecting your ex again 
  • You will begin to share a cordial relationship with them.

Now, sending birthday messages when the above-mentioned things have happened after a breakup is completely alright. You can wish your ex on their birthday if the two of you don’t harbor any hatred, resentment, or hostility. It shows that you respect the person who once played a very special role in your life. 

“Do it. Not for any hidden agenda or anything like that. Further down the road if you guys are still saying happy birthday you guys will become more chill. My ex and I still say Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas to each other. Just a sign of respect for what was once important between us”, writes a Reddit user when asked whether one should be sending birthday greetings for your ex. 

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Remember The Reason For The Breakup 

What was the reason for your separation? 

  • Did either of you tiptoe to the other side hallucinating greener grass? 
  • Were one of you manipulative and abusive? 
  • Did you cheat on your partner or were you at the receiving end of infidelity? 
  • Did they deceive you financially? 

It’s best to back off in such cases because wishing them would only worsen their mental health if you were in the wrong. Similarly, it will trigger you if they cheated on you. It’s simply a bad idea.

On the other hand, if you broke up because of other reasons like incompatibility, inability to handle a long-distance relationship, and different principles and values, then you can take a look at your emotional state before typing that message. This little act of wishing them on their birthday could also pave the way for reconciliation. 

Another Reddit user shares a thought-provoking response, “If you’re the one that ended it, no. Don’t wish. My ex ended it with me and it would be a bit of a piss take if he then wished me happy birthday.”

There you have it. If you dumped them, then don’t wish them. It will only hurt them more. 

should I text my ex happy birthday
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Assess Your Emotional State Before Texting 

Before reaching out to an ex, it is crucial to engage in self-reflection by taking a moment to understand your own feelings and motivations behind wanting to reconnect. Ask yourself whether you are:

  • Seeking closure
  • Hoping for reconciliation
  • Aiming aiming to revive a friendship?

Or do you just genuinely want to wish them on a special day without any ulterior motives? Be clear about your intentions as it will help you in navigating how to communicate and manage expectations while you are talking to them. 

At the same time, you need to assess your emotional state. Have you completely healed after the relationship ended? Do you still hate your ex? Or are you doing this because your friends are forcing you to do so?

Text them only if you are in a stable and positive place in your life. Otherwise, reconnecting with an ex will stir up past emotions. It will only complicate things for you.

Also, avoid calling them when you are drunk. Based on a study, drunk-dialing has been found to be a confession of hidden emotions. You call them because you love or miss them. One more notice describes your desire to have sex with them. Neither of these excuses make you look good. 

So, ensure that you are emotionally prepared for the potential responses and outcomes. If you find that you are still grappling with unresolved feelings or emotional turmoil, it might be wise to delay reaching out until you are in a more balanced state.

Remind yourself about the potential impact on both parties involved. Assess whether your ex is likely to welcome communication or if it might reopen old wounds.

Put yourself in their shoes to gain a better understanding of how your message might be received. This empathy can set the tone and content of your communication. It will make it more respectful, empathetic, and amiable.

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Are There Any Boundaries Set By Your Ex? 

Let’s say the two of you were following a strict no-contact rule but they broke that rule long back for various reasons. The ice has already been broken but at no point will it not be awkward for two former lovers to communicate.

There will be a lot of tension in the air even though you are miles apart. You will be able to sense the tension in the text messages. 

On the contrary, if your ex reached out right after the breakup to initiate boundaries, then it’s best to not send that message. This signifies their need for space and they definitely aren’t expecting a message from you. They are trying to limit your presence in their life and don’t want to keep picking on old wounds.

They could have also established these acquaintance/friendship boundaries for various reasons, such as emotional healing, personal growth, or maintaining a sense of independence. 

During such times, respecting these boundaries is the most sensible thing to do. It’s important that you acknowledge and honor their decision. Don’t feel bad about it but if you have questions or concerns about these boundaries, consider having an open and honest conversation to gain clarity and understand their perspective. 

Assess your intentions before texting your ex

What Are Your Intentions By Texting Your Ex? 

Many dating coaches and relationship coaches say that when a person decides to text their ex, their intentions can be influenced by a range of emotions and circumstances. Similarly, if you want to send a happy birthday message to your ex-partner, you need to first sit down and find out which feeling or intention is influencing your thoughts. Here are four common intentions:

  1. The first common motive is a genuine desire to reconnect on a friendly level. You want to establish a friendship because you miss them and think the two of you were always compatible. You understood each other on a deeper level. You wish to rekindle this emotional intimacy, especially if the breakup was mutual or if there were positive aspects to the past connection like one partner moving to a different city or one of you battling a mental health problem or addiction. 
  2. Another intention could be the need for closure. Texting might be a way to address unresolved issues, seek answers, or provide finality to the relationship. It will allow you to express your feelings and gain a sense of understanding. If that’s what you want, then go ahead and wish them a happy birthday. 
  1. In some cases, people text their ex with the intention of apologizing. They may have reflected on past actions, realized their mistakes, and felt the need to make amends. They have realized that they screwed up big time and it’s time to come clean. If this is the intention behind wishing your ex on their special day, then it’s a mature and positive step toward personal growth and healing. But have it known that this doesn’t mean that you will try and see if starting fresh will help in reconciliation. 
  1. On the other hand, texting an ex on their birthday might be extremely impulsive. Are you driven by loneliness? Do you think you will remain single forever and will never find anyone else? Do you want to get revenge by being mean to them and ruining their birthday? If these are your intentions, it’s best to kiss goodbye to the thoughts of texting your ex. 

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Texting Birthday Wishes To Your Ex – 5 Etiquette To Follow

Whether you are wishing your ex-wife happy birthday or your ex-husband, here are some basic rules to keep in mind while doing so:

  • Keep it brief: When you text ex at midnight, maintain a brief and casual tone. They shouldn’t think that this is a booty call and they shouldn’t think that you have drunk-texted them
  • Be genuine: When you are texting your ex happy birthday, be genuine with your wishes. Avoid any insincere sentiments or hidden agendas. A simple “Hey. Just wanted to wish you on this special occasion. I hope you have a great birthday” is usually appropriate and avoids unnecessary complications
  • Respect their response: Or a lack thereof, meaning, respect them even if you don’t get a response. Relationship experts say that your ex could have varying reactions to your message. They might respond positively or they might give you a cold shoulder and choose not to respond at all. Respect their boundaries and response, and don’t force them to reply to you by texting them constantly
  • Don’t talk about the past: Refrain from bringing up past memories or inside jokes that are specific to your relationship. Keep the focus on the present and the celebration of their birthday rather than rehashing the past but if they are just pretending to be over you, then they will give you a strong hint. Take the hint and then proceed how you wish to
  • Consider their relationship status: Be mindful of any new relationships your ex might be in. Your birthday wishes should be respectful and considerate of their current circumstances. Avoid messages that could be misinterpreted by their current partner. Don’t send them any kind of message that could create discomfort in their current relationship 

Key Takeaways 

  • Whether or not you should wish your ex a happy birthday is always a controversial debate. It can benefit you or it may land you in trouble 
  • You can wish them if you are on friendly terms and have no resentment toward one another 
  • It’s best to stay away if the breakup was ugly and your intention behind texting is to spoil their special day

Remember, the goal is to be considerate, respectful, and maintain a positive and friendly tone in your birthday wishes. Keep it simple, and be prepared to respect whatever response you get from them. Here is one last advice: Never sound desperate in your messages and never force them to cross the boundaries that they’ve drawn. If they don’t want to have any kind of communication with you, then that’s their decision. You ought to respect it.