Help! Should I Text My Ex Happy Birthday?

“Should I text my ex happy birthday?” In 90% of cases, the answer would be “no”—meanwhile, in the remaining 10%, the answer could be “yes.”

So, in your case, is it OK to text an ex Happy Birthday? Which category does your situation fall under? Let’s break it all down in this article.

When is it OK to Text Your Ex Happy Birthday?

Should I Text My Ex Happy Birthday?

Why is it OK to text your ex happy birthday only in 10% of situations? Why such a small percentage?

Simple—because these are the special cases where the ex-couples end up becoming good friends after breaking up. They may have a history, but they ended on good terms, and the pain is overshadowed by the friendship they now share.

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This is your situation when all the following are true with your ex:

  • There’s no bitterness between you anymore. You both don’t deny you shared some bad times, but you’ve matured enough to be able to look back on them and smile.
  • You don’t talk about your past relationship anymore.
  • You interact with each other at least once a week.

When this is your current relationship with your ex, then a “Happy Birthday” text will sound quite normal. It wouldn’t sound suspicious, insidious, or out-of-place.

And just a bit of trivia: this kind of post-breakup friendship rarely happens. Most times, a couple stops talking with each other cold turkey after breaking up. They drift apart and never interact with each other again.

Meanwhile, if you and your ex are friendly with each other now, then yes—it’s okay to text him happy birthday.

What if You Haven’t Talked to Each Other in Years?

Let’s say you and your ex haven’t spoken for, say, 5-7 years. In this rare case, it’s okay to text him a happy birthday. It’ll be out of the blue, and—since he’s had more than enough time to get over you—it may even come as a welcome surprise.

Now, you might wonder: Won’t he find it weird? Won’t it make him wonder whether I’ve gotten over him yet?

The answer is: he might, if you’re also still on his mind after all this time. That said, the chances of him still thinking of you after 5-7 years is quite low. A lot can change in one year, let alone five.

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Also, you can give the time-and-tested excuse: “Facebook reminded me.” And so, your “Happy Birthday” text will come off as harmless well-wishing, and there’s nothing wrong or malicious to be taken from it.

The Common Denominator in 10% of Breakups

All in all, it’s okay to text your ex a happy birthday if there are no hard feelings between you. On your side, you just want to greet an old friend on his birthday—on his side, he won’t wonder if there’s any ill intent in you reaching out.

So, if there’s no emotional baggage between you—or if there is, but it’s mostly healed by time and replacement—then there’s no harm in texting him out of the blue. He’s likely going to appreciate it.


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When is it NOT OK to Send Your Ex a Happy Birthday Message?

When is it NOT OK to Send Your Ex a Happy Birthday Message?

Meanwhile, in 90% of breakups, saying Happy Birthday to an ex is not quite that simple. Studies have shown that any form of digital communication after a breakup tends to have negative results.

For instance, you may still be fresh off the breakup, and you’re in the middle of the No Contact phase. And now, his birthday is coming up. It’s time to decide.

So, if you’re asking: “Should I wish my ex happy birthday during No Contact?”, the answer is a simple “No.” After all, that’s the point of No Contact—zero contact for a whole month or so.

And if you text him a happy birthday in the middle of it, well—you’ve failed the No Contact Phase, and you’ll be in a worse position than you were before.

Why the No Contact Rule Must Be Followed

Let’s face it: you want to text your ex because you miss him. You probably ache for him so much that you’re willing to break the No Contact Rule. And if you want to get him back, breaking the Rule is a death sentence to your chances.

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Think of it this way. The No Contact Rule is meant to help you and your ex get over each other. You completely disengage from each other for one full month. This allows the hurt feelings to fade, and it’ll be like you’re starting on a clean slate.

That way, two things can happen:

  • You either start missing each other enough that you get back together;
  • Or you both heal from the trauma of the past relationship and properly move on without each other.

The catch? You got to stick to the Rule for at least 3-4 weeks.

So, what do you think happens when you text him “Happy Birthday” in the middle of the No Contact Rule? It’ll be jarring and unwelcome, that’s what. And one of two bad things can happen:

  1. He’ll think you’re needy—you miss him so much couldn’t help but reach out to him too soon after the breakup. As a result, he’ll think the breakup was the right decision to make.
  2. He’ll say “Thanks,” and that’s it. Was it a cold thanks? A warm one? Is he open to talk again? Is he just being polite? There’s no way of knowing, right?

Simply put, breaking the No Contact Rule—even just to greet him a happy birthday—adds more questions than answers. So, take my advice: follow the Rule no matter what.

Another Reason to Not Greet Him

Here’s another situation where you should not send your ex a “Happy Birthday” text: when you haven’t talked for several months or years. When you suddenly greet him out of nowhere, what do you think he’ll think?

He’ll wonder: “Hmm. She hasn’t talked to me in over two years. Now she suddenly remembers my birthday. What’s she up to?” You’ll make him feel tense and confused—not exactly the feelings you want to give a birthday boy, right?

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Of course, he can also just say “Thanks,” but again, that just adds more questions than answers. Overall, it’s a bad idea.

That’s why I recommend you only ever greet an ex a “Happy Birthday” when you’re friends and on good speaking terms. Only then will your text not come off as weird, needy, or insidious.

The Bottom Line

In the end, you got to ask yourself: why do you want to text him “Happy Birthday”? If it’s because you want to get him back, then here’s the deal: it’s not quite that simple.

That said, it’s not impossible to get him back. Here’s why…

Should You Text Your Ex for Their Birthday if You Want Them Back?

Should You Text Your Ex for Their Birthday if You Want Them Back?

Now, let’s say you do want him back. You’ve successfully passed the No Contact phase, and now it’s a little over a month since the last time you interacted with him. And now, his birthday is coming up in a few days.

Should you text him “Happy Birthday”? That depends…


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The Answer is “No” if…

…it was he who initiated the breakup.

You should not greet him “Happy Birthday,” even if you’ve just passed the No Contact phase. The reason is simple: he broke up with you, and yet here you are trying to have a conversation with him. What you want is quite obvious to him.

And sad to say, he’ll see it as a needy and desperate behavior—extremely unattractive in dating.

It might be heartbreaking to hear this advice. After all, you miss him, and just maybe, texting him will make him miss you, too. Unfortunately, it won’t work that way when the breakup was his idea.

All you’ll do is make him think: “Yup, I was right to break up with her.” And unless he has a change of heart and comes to you first, the relationship is well and truly over.

The Answer is “Yes” if…

On the other hand, what if it was you who initiated the breakup? If that’s the case, then yes, it’s okay to text your ex “Happy Birthday” when you’re fresh off the No Contact phase.

There’s a catch, though. You absolutely must follow the tips in the last section of this article—otherwise, your text will end up souring your relationship even further.

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We’ll get to that in the bit. For now, here are some final important tips about the post-breakup phase…

The Answer is “Maybe” if…

Now, assuming it was you who initiated the breakup, is it okay to text him “Happy Birthday” before the No Contact Phase is over?

The answer is “No.” Again, respect the No Contact Rule at all costs. Wait for the 4-week mark, and then text him a belated greeting.

What exactly should you text him? We’ll cover that in the last section of this article, as well.

Meanwhile, what if you initiated the breakup, the No Contact Phase is over, and his birthday is coming up? Will it be okay to text him “Happy Birthday” then?

Yes, it would. And if you want him back, then your text should lead into a conversation that, in turn, leads to a date.

And it’s that date that will rekindle the relationship and make it better than ever before.


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What Should I Text My Ex on His Birthday?

Remember: All the advice in this section only applies if:

  1. You were the one who initiated the breakup, and not him; and
  2. If the No Contact phase is over, and today is his birthday (or if it happened a few days ago)

So, what should you text him on his birthday?

Step #1: Text as a Friend

You’ll want to text him like you’re texting a dear old friend you’d love to see again. Your Happy Birthday message can go:

“Hey, happy birthday! How have you been? We should meet up sometime soon.”

A bright, happy text like this will maximize your chances of getting a positive reply from him. After all, the breakup wasn’t his idea, and he probably misses you by now. And he’ll jump on the opportunity to give your relationship a second shot.

Step #2: Have a Fun Date with Him

The second step is to have a fun “new first date” with him. You’re not going as a couple, mind you—you’re two old friends catching up. You go places, you do stuff, and you talk about fun things.

Whatever you do, though, do not mention your past relationship. Avoid the topic as much as you can, and instead, just focus on having a good time with him.

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Why shouldn’t you mention the relationship? It’s all about being in control. If he feels any bitterness over you breaking up with him, he’s going to take offense if you talk about getting back together, right? You don’t want things to spiral out of control before you’ve had a chance.

Instead, it’s best if he brings up the topic. If he steers the conversation topic to dating, your past relationship, or getting back together, that’s a good sign. It’s a clear indication he wants to get back together. And that means things just got 10 times easier for you.

And that brings us to our third step:

Step #3: Getting Back Together

Now that you’re talking about trying again, it’s the best time to lay out your new “terms and conditions” for the new relationship. Over the No Contact phase, you’ve likely realized what you’ve been doing wrong as a couple. And now, with the gift of hindsight, you can try again—a little smarter this time.

And there you have it—you’ve successfully gotten your relationship back together. And it all started with a well-planned “Happy Birthday” text at the exact right moment.

I hope this article has answered all your questions about texting your ex on his birthday. Again, it’s best not to get your hopes up on your chances to get him back. Still, if the conditions are right and the window of opportunity is open, you now know exactly what to do. Good luck!

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Last Updated on March 8, 2022 by Alexander Burgemeester

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Alexander Burgemeester

Alexander Burgemeester has a Master in Neuropsychology. He studied at the University of Amsterdam and has a bachelor's in Clinical Psychology. Want to know more?

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