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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

4 Ways to Handle an Unexpected Text from an Ex

We’ve all been there. Getting that unexpected text from your former significant other is always a rollercoaster of emotions. The worst part? It seems as though they always shoot the text right when you’re feeling your mightiest. If you’re anything like us, you want your ex to feel like you’re doing better off without them. Don’t know where to start? That’s what we are here for. If you’re not sure how to react from that surprise text, here are three ways you can handle the situation:

1. Be mature

Nothing says, “I’m over it” better than having a simple, civil conversation with your former lover. The best thing to do when speaking to an ex is to be the bigger person. However, be cautious about being too friendly, as it might come off as flirty to your former beau.

Emmilyne Thomas, a freshman at the University of Texas, couldn’t agree more. “The best thing to do when getting a text from an ex is to make it clear that nothing is going to start up again,” she says. “My ex would always try to invite me to parties when I knew he was dating someone else. I would always make things clear by constantly asking how she was doing in order to make it known that nothing was going to happen.” What a smart girl!

Arguably the worst thing that you could do is to lash out. Replying in a sassy or salty manner may bring back bad memories or feelings that you may have had with this ex. Furthermore, that may be the exact reaction they were looking for. A bad reaction may give the idea that you still have deep emotions for them, which in turn could make them feel as if they have the upper hand.

2. Keep it short and sweet

Another great way to handle this difficult situation is to keep it simple. Responding with very surface level and friendly responses will definitely catch them off guard. It’s important to find the perfect balance of being friendly but also distant. You want to send the message (LOL, literally) that there are no hard feelings, but also be clear that there are no lingering romantic feelings. The best-case scenario would stay the two of you could become friends. If you have no intentions of getting back together, the best way is to make it clear that you have moved on. By speaking in a mature, normal way, you’ll be able to convince not only him but also you that this is nothing more than two friends talking. If they are looking for a little fun, they’ll soon get the message that this is not the place they’ll find it.

Julia Le, a junior at the University of Texas at Dallas, says the best way to respond is to let the conversation die on its own. “I feel like no one really like small talk,” she says. “So when you are constantly just asking how a person is or what they’re up to, someone will get bored and the conversation will fade on its own.”

This is the perfect way to let the situation solve itself. Sometimes there’s no need for a dramatic scene, people just start to “get the message”.

3. Have a little fun

Getting a text from an ex doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. If you’re completely over the situation, there’s no reason you can’t have a little fun­­ ­– especially if their intentions are anything other than just being civil. There are endless song lyrics, comebacks and simply witty comments that you could use to send replies to that dreaded text.

Reese Hardin, a freshman from the University of Texas at Austin, shared some of her best experiences with this. “If I can tell that they’re just trying to mess with my emotions, I like to have a little fun with it,” she explains. “My favorite thing to do is to send song lyrics from a Justin Bieber song.” Now that’s funny. Sometimes adding some humor to the situation makes things better. It will make sure that you won’t get hurt and it’ll be clear to them that nothing serious could come from this situation.

4. Don’t respond

In the end, the best thing to do may be to not respond. If there are some feelings that aren’t completely resolved yet, it’s never a good idea to keep in contact with someone that is not good for you. The best way to get over someone is to cut him or her out of your life completely. A senior from Florida International University, Kayleen Parra-Padron, has a great tactic for this. “I’ve never gotten a text from an ex mainly because I block them from all forms of media after the break up,” she says. “There’s no use in having them contact you when they’re out of your life! And even if you don’t block them, ignoring them is a close second.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

The most effective way to handle a text from an ex is to not even give them the satisfaction of a response. Ever heard of read receipts? We’re pretty sure that they only reason they exist is to let your ex know that they’ve lost… and a couple other things. A text from an ex may lead to them trying to convince you for a second chance  and honey, you don’t want to get into that mess!

Related Article: 7 Reasons You’re Not Over Your Ex

Nothing good could really ever come from a text from a former bae especially if the breakup was recent and bad. However, sometimes we can’t seem to help ourselves from wanting to send some sort of message to the heartbreaker. In the end, it’s always best to have a positive mindset in mind before doing anything too rash. Make it known to yourself that you’re better off without them, once you have that confidence in place, the world is at your fingertips, literally.

Dajin Kim is a Junior Advertising major at the University of Texas at Austin who was born and raised in Plano, Texas. In addition to being a feature writer for HerCampus, she enjoys chick flicks, meeting new people, long naps, and bowling. Dajin is a dedicated Dallas Mavericks fan and her favorite artists are the Chainsmokers and Black Bear. You can find her at the trendiest coffee shops in Austin brainstorming for new ideas or studying. By writing for HerCampus, she hopes that her passion for writing will allow her to connect with new people nationwide. Her instagram is @dajinkimm and her twitter is @dajin_kim