My Ex Texted Me - Should I Ignore It?

Updated May 4, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

No matter how long you've been separated, receiving a text message from your ex, especially when you least expect it, can be unnerving, frustrating, and emotionally upsetting. In many cases, disregarding it and going about your own business is the best course of action, especially if you're trying to move on; but should you always ignore these texts from an ex? This article will help you make that decision for yourself by encouraging you to ask yourself some questions and consider the potential outcomes of whatever you decide.

What Will Answering The Text Accomplish?

A Text From Your Ex Can Bring Up Intense Emotions

People who have recently experienced a breakup often face challenges regarding answering their ex's texts, calls, emails, or other forms of communication.

These individuals may be unsure whether they should respond and may want to reply as a way to vent their anger or sadness or reconnect with someone they were once close to. Other times, they aren't ready to feel disconnected from their ex just yet. They may think that they will feel some satisfaction from responding – and this may be true for a short time – but usually, afterward, they may end up feeling worse, which can potentially cast a shadow over the entire day or set them back from recovering from the breakup.

If you do decide to answer that message, ask yourself what you plan to get out of doing so. If it's any of the reasons mentioned above, you may want to consider ignoring texts on purpose and looking for other ways to cope with the breakup.

However, if you both have mutual kids or assets and they are contacting you about that, it may be necessary to respond, though it’s important to try to be brief, civil, and refrain from discussing your relationship while maintaining and respecting each of your individual boundaries.

Remember that some conversations, like small-talk or asking how you are, might seem genuine and friendly at first, but they can go in an entirely different direction as they progress. Many people may choose to avoid these kinds of attempts for this reason alone. If you decide to talk to your ex when under a certain impression, but it goes on a different path that turns into an argument or makes you feel upset, it may be time to end the conversation and refrain from answering further messages in the future.

Did The Break-Up End Poorly?

Depending on the separation's circumstances, for example if it was a toxic relationship, ignoring your ex might be the right thing to do for your emotional peace and personal wellbeing. However, if it was an amicable separation, answering their message may not be an issue. Not all break-ups end badly, and some ex-partners are still able to remain as friends and keep in contact regularly.

Even if things did end in a less-than-ideal manner, you could still respond, especially if an apology or candid heart-to-heart was involved. This could provide you with closure, but if you're still upset over the breakup, it's perfectly acceptable to ignore it.

For break-ups that have caused a lot of emotional distress, avoiding contact with your ex may be best to give you time to move on. Keeping your ex around in any capacity in these situations may end up slowing down the healing process for you. Instead, it may be helpful to focus on the present and the future. It’s important to understand that if you are upset over the breakup, grief is a normal process people will go through, and it will get better with time. It’s possible after you have both fully healed from the breakup to potentially forge a new relationship in terms of a friendship. However, it’s important to give things time, and not bank on this happening.

Are You In A Relationship Right Now?

If you are currently seeing someone new, out of respect for your new partner and for the sake of closing old chapters in your life, it may be best to ignore forms of communication with your ex in most cases, unless your relationship is amicable and respectful to each other and your new partner.

If your breakup was recent, it may reopen old wounds, and by your ex reinserting themselves back into your life, it may make it harder to move on. This could affect your current relationship.

If you respond to your ex’s message, it may potentially take your focus off of your new partner. Your current partner may wonder whether you still have feelings for your ex and question whether they are a rebound. If you aren’t honest with your new partner that you’re communicating with your ex and they find out, that could potentially damage your new relationship.

Therefore, it's best to give your current partner and yourself the respect that you both deserve by keeping communication with your ex to a minimum if that is a boundary communicated between you and your current partner. There are some exceptions, such as you have kids with your ex and the reason for them contacting you involves them.

Does Your Ex Text You Constantly?

Some exes may try to do everything in their power to get through to you; this may mean that they'll spam your phone with text messages or voicemails until you respond.

Texting constantly may get the other person's attention, but most likely not in a positive way. It may upset the individual receiving the text messages, having the opposite impact of what they expect or hope for.

Perhaps this seems familiar to you, and you've already told your ex to stop texting you. Unfortunately, responding to these messages may encourage them to keep writing or trying to call you, even if you’re responding to ask that they stop.

If you're in the "my ex keeps texting me" dilemma, your ex may be having a hard time letting go of the relationship. They may be trying to bait an emotional reaction from you or receive comfort from you due to having difficulty coping with the end of the relationship.

This doesn't justify their actions or make it okay for them to constantly text you, nor does it mean that you need to respond. If it is causing you emotional distress, and you've already told them to stop contacting you yet they continue, it may be time to block them or seek support from a trusted family or friend, or seek legal action in extreme situations.

Do You Want To Reconcile?

It’s natural that couples have disagreements, and conflict is a normal part of any relationship. While it's entirely up to the individual whether something is worth breaking up over, there are times when some people may let their emotions get the better of them and break up when that isn’t what they necessarily wanted. Sometimes couples need time apart to decide what it is they want and need and if they would like to continue the relationship in the future.

Not all break-ups are permanent. If you are in a "my ex wants me back" situation and your ex texts you wanting to patch things up and you are open to it, answering their message may get you on the right track to rekindling your relationship. Open and honest communication is important in any relationship, especially if there are concerns that you would like to resolve.


A Text From Your Ex Can Bring Up Intense Emotions

When it comes to responding to any texts from your ex, it's not always black and white, and it depends entirely on the context of your relationship, why you broke up, and the nature of their message. In some situations, especially if you're doing your best to move on, it may be best to create distance and ignore text messages for your ex. In other cases, you may need to respond due to certain assets, shared children, pets, etc. It’s ultimately up to you if you think you should respond to their text message or not.

Regardless of which route you choose, help is available whenever you need it. At ReGain, a licensed mental health professional is available online to guide you whenever and wherever you need support. If you're having a difficult time moving forward or coping with your breakup, a licensed therapist may be able to teach you healthy ways to cope.

Alternatively, if you decide to contact your ex and you end up agreeing to get back together, couples counseling may be helpful to provide you both with the communication skills to work things out more effectively and to create mutual understanding. This may help to improve your relationship and overcome any challenges you may have had.

Online counseling has been found to be comparable to in-person therapy for a variety of mental health issues, relationship concerns, and life events. The American Psychological Association reviewed a multitude of studies and found that internet-based therapy increases access to mental healthcare, and is just as effective as face-to-face therapy for a variety of issues, including relationships, depression, eating disorders, PTSD, and more.

Continue reading below for reviews of ReGain therapists from people experiencing similar circumstances.

“Lakesha was absolutely amazing! She helped me find myself and realize my self worth in such a short period! I highly recommend her services she is FRESH and has amazing insight!”

“I don’t know what I would have done without Harry. I was in a super low place and I was not sure what my problems were or how to solve them, but he was able to help me get to the bottom of my problems and work through them. Today I am happy and feeling like myself again. He was so easy to talk to and worked with me whenever I needed him. Even on vacation he took time to call me and talk through whatever I was going through. I would highly recommend him.”

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