Just because a relationship ended, doesn't mean it's ended for good. Plenty of people break up and get back together (Kate Middleton and Prince William even did it!), so it's not always a bad idea to reconnect with your ex if the possibility of getting back together seems realistic for you. Depending on how things ended, you might even feel comfortable shooting your ex a text sometime... as long as you’re comfortable with the possibility they may not reply. If you ever find yourself wondering, “Why has my ex ignored my text?” and even more importantly, “What do I do now?” then I’ve got you covered.
"Any communication with your ex will ultimately be based on how the relationship ended and the last communication you two had," The Professional Wingman founder Thomas Edwards tells Elite Daily. "Was it a big blowout and they blocked you from all of their social media? If so, that might be a clear message to stay away. If it was more amicable and time has passed, then sending something will likely not stir anything up." If you felt confident texting your ex and you aren’t sure why they didn’t reply, then here’s how you should proceed, based on the situation.
If You’re On Good Terms With Your Ex
While everyone's texting style varies, Edwards says that — if things really did end amicably between you two — you shouldn’t give up just because they don’t respond to your first text, especially if you feel you two have unfinished business or could be friends again. "I've always been a 'three strikes' guy," he explains. "If it's that important you connect with them, then it’s worth a few shots. Of course, you want to spread out the texts to make sure you’re not being pushy or needy. If the first text doesn’t get a response, then sending one a day or two later will be fine."
Relationship expert Dr. Darcy Sterling agreed, pointing out that a read receipt does not mean your ex actually read your text. Perhaps they opened the text, got distracted, and simply forgot to reply. Dr. Sterling suggested waiting a full 24 hours before you send a follow-up text. “It’ll be interpreted as you having an independent life, as well as being someone with emotional health [and] self-discipline,” she previously told Elite Daily. You want to give your ex adequate time to respond on their own, after all.
If Things Ended Poorly With You Ex
If your first text was ignored and you realized that maybe things didn't end as smoothly as you had thought, then it might be best to just let it go. "Most people are glued to their phones, so if you’ve sent a first text and haven’t gotten a response, you can be sure your ex noticed your text, and wasn’t ready to respond immediately, or at all," Julie Spira, online dating expert and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert, tells Elite Daily. "For that reason, don’t send a second text.”
After a bad breakup, it’s possible your ex doesn’t want to get back into a texting exchange. It’s also possible they need more time to decide whether they want you in their life. If you don’t hear back, it could mean they’ve decided that going “no contact” — which typically lasts for about 30 days — is the best way to move on. Spira suggests waiting those full 30 days before sending a follow-up text if the breakup was bad or recent. Depending on how your breakup went down, your ex might not ever want to talk to you again, so it’s important to respect their space, just as you would want them to respect yours.
If Your Follow-Up Text Doesn’t Get A Reply
Whether you and your ex ended things on good terms or not, Spira says to quit while you're ahead if your follow-up text also gets left on read. "It's time to respect their wishes to not be in contact, and move on with your life," she advises. "You're getting a clear message that your ex isn't interested in communicating with you now, or possibly ever at all. Try to avoid staring at your phone and obsessing about if and when you’ll get a reply, and go and spend time on yourself and cultivating new relationships."
Still feeling bothered by that ignored message? Then consider why it is you want to talk to you ex in the first place. As Christie Federico, a relationship and sexual empowerment coach, told Elite Daily, reaching out to an ex may just make it more difficult to get over them. “Often it's harder to detach from a partner when we're still in touch with them,” she explained. “If the communication remains the same, it can feel as if nothing has changed and it can leave us hopeful of a chance at getting back together, which may not be a healthy idea.” And if your ex doesn’t end up replying, then you just end up unnecessarily hurt.
If you’ve reached out to your ex a few times without any luck, then it's probably best to move on. It might feel awkward or uncomfortable, but at least now you know where you stand with your ex, and you can delete their number without any regrets.
Thomas Edwards, found of The Professional Wingman
Dr. Darcy Sterling, relationship expert
Julie Spira, online dating expert and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert
Christie Federico, relationship and sexual empowerment coach
Editor's Note: This story has been updated by Elite Daily Staff.
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