Is it okay to reach out to your ex and wish them a happy birthday?
Texting your ex is a bad idea, in general. But many people still ask, “Should I wish my ex a happy birthday?”
It’s time to put this issue to bed once and for all. No, you should not wish your ex a happy birthday.
What does a simple “Happy birthday!” do for your chances of moving on or getting your ex back?
To start off, this advice is primarily for those who want their ex back or are trying to move on. If you’ve been broken up for years and they’re still a part of your life, this advice does not apply.
For the rest of you, whether or not you’re employing the “no contact method” (you should be), wishing your ex a happy birthday is a mistake.
Here are 4 reasons why texting your ex on their birthday is a terrible idea.
1. You’re pretending you’re still together.
This is a big mistake, whether or not you want your ex back. By falling back into familiar habits and old patterns, you rob yourself and your ex of the chance to move on.
This isn’t to say a quick “happy birthday” text will completely erase any progress you’ve made, but the attitude behind it definitely could.
You’ll never be able to fully move on from your ex if they’re still a part of your life. This means every day, including special occasions.
- It won’t make them miss you.
If you want your ex back (or just want to make them regret dumping you), wishing them a happy birthday isn’t in your best interests.
You see, part of getting your ex back is influencing their emotional state. This isn’t gaslighting or manipulation.
In fact, it’s giving them exactly what they asked for when they broke up with you: You out of their life.
You can either slowly fade away — reaching out to them occasionally to check in and allowing them to get used to the idea of you two being separated.
Or you can make them go cold turkey from day one — letting them really feel your absence and face the reality of life without you.
The latter is the approach that has the most success, trust me. If you want your ex back, you shouldn’t reach out for any reason, even to wish them a happy birthday.
- You’re giving them an opportunity to reject you.
Things between you and your ex are probably really tense right now, and you may think a “happy birthday” message is a chance to smooth things over and get back on track.
You’re hoping for reconciliation — or at least, a lowering of tensions.
What you may get instead is a cold shoulder. Nothing hurts more than reaching out to your ex and being told, “Don’t contact me again,” or even just dead silence.
Not only does this hurt but every time they reject you, their heart gets a little harder and their respect for you gets a little lower.
- You’re treating them like a friend.
This doesn’t mean that you should stop acting friendly with your ex. Take caution when you’re treating them the same way you would a friend if you want them back.
If you want your ex back, you’re actually competing with every other person out there who’s interested in them. This may seem daunting — and it is — but you actually have a huge advantage over these people: You were both already in a relationship.
You know their likes and dislikes. They know you and they trust you. While your relationship has a lot of baggage, it also contains a lot of positive feelings and memories. You’re comfortable.
When you treat your ex as a friend, you’re throwing out all the good with the bad and essentially going back to square one.
Starting fresh should be your goal when you’re trying to win your ex’s heart, but you need to keep in mind how you’re starting things off.
If you approach them as a friend and not as someone you love, you’re telling them that this is what you want and how you want to be treated.
So, is it any wonder that someone who is friends with their ex remains friends with their ex, rather than winning them back?
Brad Browning is a relationship coach and breakup expert from Vancouver, Canada. He has 10 years of experience working with couples to repair and improve relationships.