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Post-Breakup Contact - Why is Your Ex Still Texting you?

Updated on April 15, 2013

Taken By Surprise

Text messages are a common and regular part of life in the modern, technologically advanced age. They're everywhere. You text your friends to find out where to meet up at your favorite amusement park. If you get separated from the crowd at the beach, a simple text can point towards where you want to be. It's easy to take texts for granted since they fly through the ether quicker than any phone call or email ever could. If you don't believe that you rely on them for common, ever-day use, try to go without them for a day. In the current climate, it's practically impossible. People are more tied to their cell phones than ever before, and text messages are the quickest and easiest ways to keep in touch no matter where you are or what you're doing.

You and your ex send each other hundreds (if not thousands) of text messages while the two of you were dating. Naturally, though, you expected that communication to come to a dead stop once the breakup took place. There should be no need for the two of you to keep in touch once the breakup happened. You're no longer together, and that's usually an indication that both parties are each going to go their own separate ways. You prepared for that reality even if it seemed difficult to conceive of. That's why receiving a text from your ex (or several) post-breakup caught you so off guard to begin with.

If your ex is still texting you after breaking up with you, it can leave you scratching your head and wondering what's really going on. Is your ex trying to be polite and nothing more? Are they still interested in you? Are they already thinking about getting back together with you? How do you know which of your thoughts are nothing more than wishful thinking and which ones may be based more in reality?


Recognize Your Ex's Hidden Intentions

While it's certainly true that hearing from an ex is a clear indication that there's some agenda at foot, it's not safe to assume that your ex is ready to jump back into a relationship with you over a few simple text messages. There's something more at play here, and since your ex is probably unlikely to come clean and confess what they're up to, it's up to you to examine the situation as a whole and reach your own, reasoned conclusions.

While a renewed relationship may be off of the table (at least at first) you need to recognize that your ex is finding it more difficult than they originally imagined to let go. They're holding onto communication with you for a reason, and you need to uncover what that reason is in order to know how (and when) to proceed. Your ex may even be prepared in advance with patented excuses for their continued contact. The "friend" excuse is often a go-to answer if you question them on their continued contact. They may even feign interest in your mental and emotional well-being. Both of these reasons don't even come close to scratching the surface of their reasons for getting in touch with you again and you should take them at face-value and nothing more.

If you've been harboring dreams of rebuilding your relationship, getting a few texts is an incredibly good sign, but it doesn't mean that your breakup is automatically at a stand-still. You still have a lot of work to do, and it's going to be a long and difficult process to face. You can reasonable determine two key facts here, however, even if your ex is not eager to admit them to you immediately off the bat.

First, it's incredibly safe to realize that your ex misses you after the breakup. This may come as a surprise to you. It probably came as a surprise to them as well. If they expected that all residual feelings and attachments would end at the exact moment that the breakup took place, they were sorely mistaken. Bonds are not as easily broken as relationships are, and they often linger on far past the breakup itself. Secondly, it's safe to say that you've been a key figure in your ex's thoughts. Your ex isn't likely to text you the first time you cross their minds. They have to think about you relatively regularly before feeling compelled to reach out and establish contact all over again. These can be uplifting and positive realizations if you're hoping to piece your relationship back together all over again and rebuild a positive relationship from the ruins of the old.


What Moves Should You Make?

It's easy to fall back into old patterns of texting back and forth with an ex when you're hoping to get back together. After all, the two of you used to text each other all of the time, and you feel justified in responding because your ex reached out and messaged you first. This is not necessarily the case in this specific scenario. You need to think before jumping into action, and you need to be aware of how your responses are going to be portrayed. If you respond within seconds of receiving a message, your ex may get the wrong impression. They may think that you've been sitting there, eagerly awaiting a message ever since the breakup happened and peg you as needy, desperate or clingy. None of those images is going to help you win them back. In fact, they're going to frighten them off and make any progress that's been made up till now practically meaningless.

Your best option is to simply take your time. Don't respond within a given time-frame. Let your ex wonder about you again, like they did before you began dating. Once you've reclaimed your former air of mystery, your ex's interest is only going to grow and they'll be far more likely to pursue you just like they did the first time. The key thing is to take your time, be aware of your options and know when and how to act at the appropriate times in order to make your plan come to fruition.

Have you ever received unexpected texts from an ex after your breakup?

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    • profile image

      ES 9 days ago

      My boyfriend wants me to take a break from him and he proposed for both of us to go separate ways and I should focus on my myself and my goals. (Beacuse supposedly he is overwhelmed and stressed with things like work, school and his child.) He also mentioned that he would keep in contact cause he wants to know that I'm going good. Literally after he broke things with me he texted me right after and I ignored him for a couple of days then I finally texted him but being short w/ him and also in a way texting him wanting to clarify what he said and so on. It's been about 2 weeks and he randomly texted me "Hi baby, How was work?" ... I am absolutly confused in what this guys view on a "break in a relationship" is. I think it's best for me to see him in person and clarify some things but before I do that I wanted to see if anyone has gone through something similar or if I could get any advice/tips on this type of situation. Thank you

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      LDR Ex-fiance 2 months ago

      I was in an LDR. My ex fianc─Ś broke up with me about a month and a half ago. He said he wanted to concentrate on his job. About 5 days after, he posts on FB that he's in a relationship with another girl (and that he's getting married to her soon, i was told).

      Anyway, at first, i kept on messaging him bec it hurt real bad and i had tons of questions running thru my head (we were all fine and dandy saying our i love you's and i miss you's the day before he broke up with me). I know thats against the 30 day rule that i didnt know about 30 days after the break up.

      A few days after the breakup, he called me and we had a conversation over the phone. He said he didn't want to lose his bestfriend (me). But i told him, when he broke up with me, he also lost his bestfriend. Then i asked, "what about your new girl?" He responded "its hard for me talking to her the way i talk to you".

      I guess thats just sad.

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      lifecrisis101 3 months ago

      well, my ex broke up with me saying "i dont see us getting married" and "we dont have similar hobbies", and that "we should still be friends and hangout", he was the one who said that i am the first girl he ever loved, does love fade away? why is it so hard for me then? it wasnt even that hard until i recieved a text from him 23days later asking how i was doing. i really dont know if he cares how i am doing, i just wanna stop seeing him and stop thinking about him, i still stalk his profile, this didnot emotionally damaged me but also, damaged my ego, idk whats right here, i dont hate him, but i cant be friends with him for sure. God i feel so pathetic.

    • profile image

      woodx041 4 months ago

      Wow! This article was spot-on and in my business! I could have written it verbatim. Thanks for confirming my course of action.

    • profile image

      jill 4 months ago


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      Giid 5 months ago

      What if the breakup was mutual?

    • profile image

      Stephanie 6 months ago

      My ex Jeremy keeps texting me and I don't understand why. I'm trying to make a clean break and he's texting me as if we are still together but our breakup wasn't over anything small. He wants a child now and I want a child later, so it's over. He isn't asking to see me so he can't miss me that much. I honestly believe it's all mind games.

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      Ginny 7 months ago


      But i broke up with my ex and he wants me back what do i do?

    • profile image

      Missy 9 months ago

      No contact except each night he still says goodnight and I love you! I say it back and feel like that may be a mistake but I feel if I don't I'm just acting on ego and pride ?? So hard!

    • profile image

      Trady 11 months ago

      They say it never pays to break up with someone knowing that you still love and want to be with them. As you can see, this is the outcome....

    • profile image

      Trady 11 months ago

      I broke up with my girlfriend two days ago. After the break up half hour later she shoots me a 8 thread text. I did not respond to it because in my mind it didn't require a response for she was only making statements. Then she text me the next morning saying good morning.

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      Mk 11 months ago

      Me and my bf broke up yesterday as he said he don't see us having a future together. He gave me a massive hug and a kiss good bye. He also told me if I ever need anything don't hesitate to call him. I woke up to a message from him today saying hugs. Plus he liked and commented on some of my stuff on fb. How does he expect me to move on if he keeps doing this to me?.

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      D. Brenner 13 months ago

      He messaged me morning and night every day since left. Claims to just want to be friends but is messing with my head since I want to be with him. Now he wants me to be best friends with his wife since she has no friends. Not sure how sane this all is. Want / need to break it off completely

    • profile image

      er 15 months ago

      what about him saying Did you need ur stuff u left in my place or no?

    • profile image

      Kyler 15 months ago

      My ex keeps texting my mom asking to talk to me sconce I blocked her. I MEAN WT HECK

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      mil-mil 15 months ago

      Thanks to this article

      Love it.

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 20 months ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Interesting article. Thanks for writing.


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      Pharmd230 3 years ago

      Very nice site!

    • profile image

      Johna5 3 years ago

      Very good blog post.Really thank you! Fantastic. decdkbcdbbda