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Is Talking to Your Ex While in a Relationship Cheating?

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Sadie loves to help others get through the ups and downs of relationships.


You might be tempted to reach out to your ex or respond to their messages they send to check in on you. But is this appropriate if you’re in a new relationship? Could it even be considered cheating?

While purely talking to your ex isn’t exactly cheating, it can easily lead to microcheating or emotional cheating. You’ll need to examine the situation carefully to determine what’s appropriate and what isn’t.

Let’s take a look at how to determine the intention behind talking with your ex, questions you should ask, and when it is and isn’t okay to communicate with your ex while in a relationship.

Is Talking to an Ex Considered Cheating?

Talking to your ex while you’re in a relationship is not considered cheating. However, if not done carefully, it can be considered microcheating or emotional cheating.

Simply checking in with your ex who is now just a friend isn’t cheating. But, if you are talking to them while maintaining romantic feelings or hoping they will want you back, this is a different story.

Determining the Intention Behind Communicating With Your Ex

Determining the intentions behind talking to your ex is key in deciding whether it’s appropriate or not. You know how you feel and probably can tell for yourself if what you’re doing is wrong or not. However, you might not be able to tell if you’re crossing a line.

You may also be here because you’re wondering if you should be worried about the fact that your significant other is talking to their ex. You can use the questions below in either scenario to determine whether the communication is appropriate or detrimental to your current relationship.

Questions to Ask

Answer the following questions to be able to tell whether talking with your ex is okay or not. You can answer these queries about your own relationship with your ex or your partner’s relationship with theirs.

Questions you should ask when talking to your ex.

Questions you should ask when talking to your ex.

Why are you talking with your ex?

What is the reason for the communication with the ex? Is it for a specific reason or is there some type of relationship there?

How serious was your relationship?

Was the relationship with this ex serious? Or was it casual and you decided you were better off as friends?

Have you maintained a friendship with this ex?

Were you friends all along? Or has this ex just popped back up and into your life?

Does your current partner know you talk to your ex?

Are you transparent about the conversations with your ex? Does your partner know when you talk to them and what you talk about?

Is your significant other comfortable with you talking to your ex?

If your partner does know about the communication, are they comfortable with it? Or is this something that makes them uneasy?

Do you still have feelings for your ex?

Do you still have romantic feelings for your ex? Is there a part of you that misses them or your old relationship?

Does your ex still have feelings for you?

Does the ex you’re talking to still have romantic feelings for you? Do they say or do things that make you think they’re still into you?

When Is It Okay to Talk to Your Ex While You’re in a Relationship?

Although it’s rare to truly stay friends after a breakup, it can happen. This can be messy for your future relationships. Just the fact that you’re talking to an ex might bother your current significant other.

In order to keep things fair and honest, you need to make sure that you are respecting your current partner and that you don’t cross any lines. Here are some things that should be happening if you’re talking to an ex while in a relationship:

  • Your current significant other should know that you’re talking to your ex.
  • You should be transparent about the conversations you have with your ex.
  • The conversation between you and your ex should be strictly platonic.
  • There shouldn’t be any lingering feelings from you or your ex.
  • You and your ex shouldn’t have any plans or hopes to get back together.

To summarize, your partner should be on board with you keeping a talking relationship with your ex. They need to know about it and be comfortable with the fact that you keep in contact with your ex. You should have reasons other than lingering feelings for wanting to keep the lines of communication open with someone from your past.

When Talking to Your Ex is Wrong While You’re in a Relationship

If you are wondering if it’s appropriate to talk to your ex while you’re in a relationship, it’s safest to default to “No”. Although intentions could be innocent, this can create an unnecessary, messy situation.

There are many reasons that talking to your ex could be wrong. Aside from making your current significant other uncomfortable, you are opening the door to emotional cheating and more. Things like this can lead to a slippery slope for infidelity.

Here are some signs that talking to an ex while being in a relationship could be a deal-breaker for your new partner:

  • You are secretive about talking to your ex.
  • You still have feelings for your ex.
  • Your ex still has feelings for you.
  • Your significant other is uncomfortable about the fact that you still talk to your ex.
  • There is a possibility you could get back together with your ex in the future.
  • You aren’t interested in just being friends with your ex.
  • The conversation between you and your ex gets inappropriate and doesn’t stay platonic.

Examining Scenarios of Talking With Your Ex

Here are a few common examples of situations where someone is talking to their ex while in a new relationship. We’ll take a look at the scenarios and determine whether or not they are appropriate.

Scenario One

A guy has been dating a girl for a while and they decide to move from dating to being in a relationship. They have only been in the relationship for two months and the girl discovers that the guy talks to his ex frequently.

He had been in a relationship with this ex shortly before he started dating his current girlfriend. He never disclosed that he still talks to his ex and had been keeping the conversations private.

This scenario is inappropriate.

While there isn’t any physical cheating in this example, the man talking to his ex is still inappropriate. First of all, it sounds like the guy might be using his current girlfriend as a rebound. He had just broken up with his ex when they started dating.

Since this relationship is newer than three months, they haven’t made it through the initial rough patches and the relationship is fragile. The fact that he’s still talking to his ex seems like he’s still into her. The biggest red flag here is that he wasn’t transparent about the situation.

Scenario Two

A married woman gets a friend request on Facebook from an old high school boyfriend. She accepts and starts talking to him. They reminisce and update each other on all the things that have happened in their lives since they last saw each other.

The woman tells her husband about the request and the conversation with her ex-boyfriend. Her ex is now married too. Her husband says he doesn’t mind that they carry on a friendship.

This scenario is appropriate.

The relationship between the woman and her ex was never very serious and ended in highschool. Any romantic feelings she had are gone and are replaced by fond memories.

She’s happy to reconnect and update her ex on everything she’s done with her life since they last saw each other. She’s also happy for him and the life he’s built.

The woman let her husband know promptly of her conversation and made sure he was comfortable with it. Any communication going forward would be out in the open and strictly platonic.


As you can see, staying in contact with an ex while you’re in a new relationship can be messy. It’s usually best to avoid it. While it’s not exactly cheating, it can lead to things like microcheating or physical cheating.

Because of the risks involved, you should be cautious when keeping communication open with your ex. The biggest things to remember are to be transparent with your current partner and make sure that no lines are being crossed.

If you have doubts about whether your relationship with your ex or your partner’s relationship with their ex is inappropriate, go back to the questions above and assess the situation.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.