One of the hardest parts about dealing with a breakup is oftentimes the dreaded moment when you find out your ex has started seeing someone else. If you're wondering what the proper etiquette is when it comes to texting an ex to tell them you’re dating someone new, the truth is that every breakup is different, so typically, there's no one-size fits all answer. Chances are, there are probably going to be several factors you'll need to consider before making the decision to reach out.
I spoke to Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent Los Angeles dating and relationship therapist, and asked him to weigh in on whether or not letting your ex know you're seeing someone else is a good idea. According to Dr. Brown, it's important to first consider if you still have lingering feelings for your ex.
"If they ended it, and you are still upset, you have to ask yourself if your motivation in telling them is more out of revenge," Dr. Brown tells Elite Daily. "You don't have any obligation to tell them. This is especially true if it ended badly, there are still hard feelings on either side, or one or both of you did not take it well. Sometimes it's better to set a boundary and not have any contact."
However, if your ex is still a part of your life, blindsiding them with a new partner could be hurtful, not to mention painfully awkward. This is especially true if you still move in the same circle or still consider them to be a good friend. "You have to look at the timing to determine if or when you tell your ex," says Dr. Brown. "If you recently broke up, are on good terms, or are still friends, I think you need to let your ex know."
Brown notes it's also important to remember the role social media plays in making a new relationship public knowledge. If you think your ex could still be a bit emotionally invested, then it might be considerate to let them know before you start posting lovey-dovey pics with someone else. "It might be painful for them to find out you are now with someone else if they discover this on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat," warns Dr. Brown.
Of course, if you're no longer speaking, then protecting their feelings isn't necessarily your responsibility, but if you still care about them, it could save them a bit of discomfort. "In most cases, it's much kinder to let them know first before you go public — this prepares them for the reality that you have moved on and saves them the possible humiliation of finding out in a public forum," explains Dr. Brown.
If you're still not sure if bringing up a new relationship to your ex is the right move, it never hurts to put yourself in their position. "Ask yourself if you were on the receiving end, how would you want to find out," suggests Dr. Brown.
In the end, it's totally up to you to decide what the best move is. If you think it would be less upsetting for them to hear it from you, or if you're sure that you've both moved on and just want to let them know what's going on in your life as you would with any other close friend, then go for it. However, Dr. Brown emphasizes that these types of conversations are best had in person or over the phone, as nuances in meaning can be easily lost via text. On the other hand, if you're telling them with the hopes that they'll be jealous, then it might be best to refrain and re-evaluate your own feelings. You might not be as ready to move on with someone new as you think.