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Should You Text Your Ex Happy Birthday? 20 Yes-or-No Signs & 35 Texts

If you are wondering whether or not you should text your ex on their birthday, you need to consider the pros and the cons. Here’s what to think about.

text your ex on their birthday

Deciding whether or not texting your ex on their birthday is a good idea is up to you. Each and every relationship, breakup, and ex is different.

That’s probably not what you wanted to hear. You wanted a yes or a no, but just like everything with your ex, it is pretty complicated.

Why do you want to text your ex happy birthday?

Will texting your ex at all, even on their birthday, bring up old wounds? Or will they want to hang out? Will they even answer? Why do you want to reach out? Is it out of politeness, or do you want to get back together?

All of these things and more need to be considered before you decide whether or not texting your ex on their birthday is a smart thing for you to do. Also, try not to get drunk on their birthday, chances are you will make the wrong decision.

But, here is some good news… There are things that make texting your ex on their birthday a yes or a no. And they can be figured out pretty easily. [Read: Questions to ask yourself if your ex asks to be friends]

When texting your ex on their birthday is okay

As we said, texting your ex on their birthday is not always a good idea, but here is when it is a totally safe move.

1. You are still friends

If you are still friends, then go for it. There is no reason to avoid each other, especially on their birthday. If you hang out in the same crowd, text on occasion, and everything is totally normal, then by all means, send a birthday cake emoji and funny GIF. [Read: How to be friends with your ex without any complications]

2. You work together

Again, if you see your ex regularly, not saying happy birthday is weirder than saying it. It doesn’t have to be a big paragraph about what they mean to you, but a simple, “I hope you have a great birthday,” is all that is required.

The fact that you reached out and were polite shows your maturity. You already are fine seeing each other regularly, so a simple happy birthday text should be no problem. But, keep it during the day so that you don’t risk texting them while they are out celebrating. [Read: The most common types of exes modern daters have to deal with]

3. You ended things on good terms

If you ended cordially, a birthday text is a nice way to say no hard feelings. It keeps the lines of communication open, but only ajar. It does not insinuate feelings, just politeness.

4. There is no drama

Even if you rarely talk, you can reach out for their birthday. Maybe you had a bad breakup, but you both moved on. Saying happy birthday should not stir the pot. But do make sure there isn’t something underlying it.

5. You do not have an ulterior motive

If you have no feelings but appreciation and friendship, then a birthday text to your ex is totally and completely fine. If you saw it was their birthday on Facebook or an old photo popped up, it is no big deal.

Just keep it light and polite, like wishing a happy birthday to your boss. No need to reminisce. [Read: 25 signs your ex wants you back and just can’t stop thinking about you]

6. They texted you for your birthday

If your ex texted you for your birthday and all went well, go for it. You already know you are handling things well. A simple birthday text won’t risk the peace you have going on.

7. You have kids together

When you are divorced and have children together, it’s always a nice thing to wish your ex happy birthday. After all, they are your children’s other parent.

It’s also important to show your kids that you are still friendly with your ex. This is setting a good example for them and you’re being a good role model.

When texting your ex on their birthday is not okay

So, it is pretty clear that texting your ex on their birthday is on the table if all is good and the air is clear. But, there are definitely times when texting your ex on their birthday is bad news.

1. You still have feelings for them

Just say no. If the feelings are fresh and you are trying to move on, just don’t even go there. If you need to, go out with a friend or do something to keep your mind off of your ex until the day is done.

If you have even the slightest emotion for them, any text, even one as innocent as a happy birthday can lead to drama and pain. [Read: All the reasons why the no contact rule always works]

2. You’re angry at them

Even couples that end on good terms have a touch of anger or bitterness. Whether someone reached out to someone’s new partner or tried to hit on the other’s BFF, do not risk opening old wounds.

If there is any fresh bitterness between you, even slightly, just let it pass. They won’t be waiting for a text for you or expecting it. And if they are, then they have not moved on, and even a birthday text to your ex can cause drama.

3. You miss them

We all have moments when we miss our ex. It happens. You focus on the good memories and want to reach out to reminisce or just show them you are thinking of them. That is a bad idea.

If you miss them, a birthday text can go from simple to loaded real quick. So just cool it. You do not need to text them. No one will think you are mean or heartless. All not texting them says is that you have moved on. If you really miss them, it will pass with time. [Read: Do you think of your ex all the time? Here’s what you need to know]

4. You closed that chapter

If you have moved on, good for you. If you haven’t thought about your ex at all or spoken to them in months, great. But, you just saw on your calendar or online that it is their birthday, so what?

You don’t think about them any other time of the year or text them whenever they post something online. So just move on. No need to reach out. In all likelihood, they aren’t thinking about you texting them either. So just let a sleeping dog lie. Keep that chapter closed.

5. You just broke up

It doesn’t matter whether or not you broke up last week, last month, or yesterday. If that wound is fresh, even a like on Instagram pulls at heartstrings. So, a full-on birthday text just prevents the moving no process.

Sure, at this point, they might be offended you didn’t reach out, but so what? It is not your responsibility to make your ex feel good or feel like you still care. Yes, that sounds harsh, but it is true. [Read: How to know if someone misses you – 17 signs they still do]

6. You had a bad breakup

Even if you broke up ages ago, if the last time you spoke was negative, included fighting, screaming, or was traumatic, there is zero need to text your ex on their birthday. There is a good chance that neither one of you has had closure from that, even if it was a while ago.

And on their birthday is not the time to settle old scores.

7. You are hoping to get back together

If you secretly want to get back together or are just feeling lonely, again, your ex’s birthday is not the time to chance it. Saying happy birthday is one thing, but if you are hoping for something more than a thank you, you will just leave them with a bad taste in their mouth.

You will likely get upset, and they will likely be annoyed. So, find companionship elsewhere. It is their birthday, let them celebrate it without you; not even a text from you. [Read: 16 signs your ex wants you back in their life]

8. They are in a relationship, and you are single

Jealousy is a sour feeling. You can swallow it down all you want and pretend you are genuinely happy for them, but if you are not in a relationship, it is likely you are just a little bit bitter.

Do not text your ex on their birthday if this is your situation. You may think you are being innocent but just don’t. Not only could this risk your ex’s current relationship, but it is not necessary. The most innocent thing you can do for them is not text.

No matter how much you think you are just being nice, and of course, a part of you is, it is best to keep your distance. [Read: The strongest ways to resist the urge to call your ex]

9. You’ve been stalking their social media

You knew their birthday was on the rise. You have been scoping out their Instagram Story and Facebook statuses. We all do it from time to time, but if you are doing that, you are more invested in them than is called for.

Sure, you could wish them a happy birthday publicly on social media so that there is no real need to respond with more than a like, but why bother? You are already driving yourself a little bit crazy investigating each of their photos, why put yourself through text-analyzing torture too?

10. You think it will make them miss you

If you want your ex back, or just to make them feel bad for dumping you, then wishing them happy birthday isn’t a good idea for you. It probably won’t make them miss you, especially if they wanted to break up. [Read: Still attached to your ex? 26 signs, why it happens, and how to break free]

If they broke up with you, then hearing from you won’t make them feel sentimental or miss you at all. In fact, they might just be annoyed to hear from you. So, it’s best to avoid it.

11. You’re afraid they will reject you

If things between the two of you are still tense, you might think that sending them a happy birthday text might be a way to smooth things over. In your mind, you might be hoping to get back together or at least let the tension go between you guys.

But you might just get the cold shoulder from them. It will hurt you if you reach out and you either don’t get a response, or you get a negative one like you being told to stop contacting them.

So, if you fear getting rejected by them, then don’t do it. They might just lose some respect for you if you do. [Read: My ex hates me – why your ex hates you and 19 ways to get past the rage]

12. You’re doing no contact

If you’re doing no contact, then that means no contact. You decided to do that for a reason. And that reason is probably that it’s the best for both of you. And just because it’s your ex’s birthday doesn’t mean you should break the no-contact rule.

If you do break the no contact rule on their birthday, it could escalate the conversation, and then you’ll break the rule. Or, you just might get a neutral response like “Thanks.” Remember, you’re not together anymore.

13. Any reason other than wishing them a happy birthday

If even the smallest part of you wants to reach out for any reason other than saying happy birthday, do not do it. If you are expecting a response or small talk after your initial text, just do not even go there. [Read: 25 signs your ex wants you back and just can’t stop thinking of you]

They may respond thank you or not at all, and that is their choice. They are your ex and you are theirs, you do not owe each other anything, not even a text on their birthday.

How to text your ex happy birthday

Now that you know when you should and shouldn’t text your ex on their birthday, you are probably wondering what you would say if you did. Here are some examples you can try.

1. Cheers to another year around the sun! I hope you have a great birthday!

2. Sending you a birthday hug! Enjoy your special day.

3. Happy birthday to one of my favorite exes!

4. Happy birthday! Make it all about YOU today!

5. Happy birthday! Party like a rock star and have fun today!

6. I hope your birthday is full of fun! HBD, John/Jane *their name*.

7. This is a great day to be born! Happy birthday!

[Read: How to text your ex after no contact and not make the same mistakes]

8. I hope your day today is better than the other, less important 364 days of the year. Happy birthday!

9. Cheers to you on this special day. I hope it’s a great one. 

10. Just wanted to wish you a happy birthday, John/Jane. Have fun!

11. Sending you good thoughts on your birthday! Have a great day!

12. Happy birthday! I hope it’s epic.

13. I hope you’re doing something special today! Happy birthday.

14. You’re not getting older, you’re getting better! Happy birthday!

15. Thinking of you on your birthday. I hope you have an amazing day! 

16. Today is the start of a new year for you! Happy birthday. 

17. Hi, John/Jane! Happy Birthday!

18. Happy birthday, John/Jane. I hope you have an awesome day.

19. I hope this is the best year yet! Happy birthday!

20. I just wanted to wish you a very happy birthday. You deserve it!

21. Happy birthday, John/Jane! I hope all your wishes come true.

[Read: 24 honest and sneaky reasons why your ex still texts and stays in touch]

How to respond when your ex texts you a happy birthday

Maybe the roles are reversed, and it’s your ex who texts you on your birthday. What are you supposed to do then? How do you respond? Here are some ways you can do it.

1. Thanks so much! I hope you’re doing well.

2. How nice of you to think of me! Thank you.

3. Awww, you’re so sweet. Thank you!

4. Thanks! I’m looking forward to partying tonight.

5. Thanks, John/Jane! I can’t believe I’m this old lol

6. Hey John/Jane – thank you! How have you been?

7. Thank you! It’s been a long time. What’s new with you?

[Read: 34 subtle signs your ex wants you back and misses you but won’t admit it]

8. Wow, I can’t believe you remembered! Thanks for thinking of me.

9. Whoa – a blast from the past! Thanks so much.

10. Thanks, John/Jane! Where have the years gone?

11. Oh wow, thanks so much! I’ve already started partying Lol

12. Great to hear from you, John/Jane! And thank you. What have you been up to?

13. Thanks! I can’t believe I’m this old. I still feel like a kid!

Dealing with exes and texts

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not you should text your ex on their birthday, only you can decide what is best. Just go with you gut.

You can try to imagine how your ex would feel when they see your message. If you think that they will be happy about it, then go for it! 

[Read: All the reasons why staying friends with an ex just doesn’t work]

Texting your ex on their birthday can be completely innocent and kind, but it can also open old wounds, cause drama, or just make things weird. So, what did you decide?

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...