It really hurts to go from a relationship where you’re texting every day to one where you’re only texting if something urgent happened. That’s one of the hardest parts of a breakup. Regardless of why you and your ex called it quits, the rules about texting after a breakup are the same. Here are the only times you should be shooting him a message.
- It regards a medical issue. Maybe he’s undergoing a big procedure but you broke up before it actually happened. It’s OK to check in and give him some confidence before going in. When it comes to health, it’s always cool to send a “thinking about you” text to someone, unless you’re begging for them back. In the slim chance that something goes wrong during the surgery, you’ll regret not ending things on a positive, supportive note.
- You keep getting his mail. If you two lived together, you may have some difficulty sorting out the mail. Even if he’s forwarded his mail to another address, it’s possible that there’ll be a little bit of overlap. This is especially important if he receives any important documents or paychecks. Circulars and ads aren’t a valid reason to message since you know they just get tossed anyway.
- You want to wish him a happy birthday. This is OK… with some rules. Don’t text him happy birthday late at night since he will assume that you’re drunk or it’s a booty call. Don’t tack on that you miss him. A simple “Happy Birthday, hope you had an awesome time!” is good enough. It’s nice for him to know you’re thinking of him, but if you’re lonely and reflecting on the good times of the past, you may actually make his birthday awkward, especially if he’s moved on.
- He deserves congratulations on big milestones. If it’s taken him forever to get through school, a proper “congrats!” would be the perfect text to send when he graduated, especially if you witnessed part of the ride with him. If you watched him study for exams for years and put his social life on hold, this is news that would have also affected you if you were still an item. Let him know you’re proud of him, but leave it at that. That shows you’re invested in him as a person and not just as a past boyfriend.
- You have a question about one of his areas of expertise. It has to come from the right place, meaning you can’t make something up as an excuse to shoot him a message. But if something comes up, and you’d consider him an expert on the topic, it’s harmless to ask questions. It’s also a good way to spring a legitimate friendship with him, if that’s the ultimate goal.
- Texts about his family are generally cool. If you two were together for a long time, it’s possible you’re quite familiar with his family and not being able to see them may be making this breakup even harder. But that doesn’t mean you’re no longer allowed to care. If you’ve heard a rumor that his mom has cancer or that his dad had a heart attack, it’s completely OK to message him and send your best wishes. Just remember, he’s likely in a low place right now. Don’t try to take advantage of that and go overboard, since hooking up again for comfort due to a tragedy is a bad idea. Seriously, it’s the best way to make your situation a lot harder.
- You have a job lead (or think he might). If you happen to spot a job he’d be perfect for, it’s completely acceptable to send him a link. Just don’t overdo it — especially if he didn’t tell you he’s in the market for a new job. Unless this guy was a complete jerk who doesn’t deserve your help, it’s always nice to think of others when you witness a really good opportunity.
- You want to apologize. If you think the breakup was your fault, it’s nice to apologize. Sometimes, all it takes is a few weeks out of the relationship to analyze your behavior and realize that you’re a lot guiltier than you thought. An apology isn’t necessarily a bid to get back together, it’s just a way to let them know that you’ve done a lot of thinking. Every relationship will bring us a little more growth, and a heartfelt apology is definitely a step in the right direction.