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Should I Say Happy Birthday to My Ex? (21 Things to Consider)

My boyfriend and I just broke up. We decided not to talk for a period of time. Should I say happy birthday to my ex?

Maybe you are going through a similar situation with your ex. You might wonder if it’s a bad idea to send a happy birthday message when the two of you are not speaking or ended things badly.

Texting your ex a happy birthday message can be a good idea in some situations, but if you are hoping that this simple message will create a new desire in the relationship, do not rely on a happy birthday text to fix all your problems!

Likewise, if you and your ex have decided to go cold turkey when it comes to contacting one another, you need to keep your distance. Knowing whether it’s a big deal to wish your ex a happy birthday takes experience and time. Read on to learn more on this topic.

Why Do You Want to Text Your Ex Happy Birthday?

Your motives are rather important when it comes to deciding if you should say happy birthday to your ex. If you want to just be kind and move on, it’s not a big deal. However, if you hope he or she will boost your self-esteem by saying it was a big mistake to end the relationship, you might need to rethink things.

It’s okay to have small talk with your ex, but if you want to spend time with them - quality time, you might have ulterior motives that make it not a good idea to say to your ex, “happy birthday!” 

If you wish things were different in your relationships or want to re-open channels of communication that weren’t there before their special day, think about what you’re doing.

So, Should I Say Happy Birthday to My Ex?

Texting your ex happy birthday can be okay if you are not holding on to the hurt from the relationship that you hope will be resolved. If you left things on good terms, texting your ex happy birthday can be a sweet thing to do. Let’s look at the times when you should or should not wish your ex a happy birthday. 

Cases You Should Wish Your Ex a Happy Birthday

cases you should wish your ex a happy birthday

Texting your ex happy birthday could be a good thing if you did not recently break up. You could text your ex that you were thinking of them on this day. Birthdays are great times to reconnect with people, but keep in mind that they might not respond to your text. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to forget about your ex, but other times, it’s nice to keep in touch.

1. The two of you are still good friends

If your relationship has withstood many worse situations, and the two of you are best friends, you are probably already texting them on a regular basis. In this case, be sure to let them know that you are completely happy for them on this day!

You might even wish to let them have a birthday party - one that you even threw for them. Wouldn’t that be exciting?!? Of course, only contemplate doing something like this if the two of you are best friends, and this would not be a weird thing to do.

2. You still “hook up” with your ex from time to time

Maybe you see your ex on a regular basis for one reason or another. In this situation, it’s smart to be completely sweet on their birthday. Speaking is normal if you two are already hooking up, even if your relationship is unconventional.

3. You still meet because you share children

Of course, if the two of you are still in touch over children, you are already speaking regularly. If the divorce lawyers do the talking, know that the best thing is to stay clear. Maybe you are thinking it’s not a problem but try to resist the urge.

If you have children together, usually, that means that the two of you are friends or at least not resentful towards each other. Your children might want to do something special for their mommy or daddy on their birthday. If you believe that to be the case, be sure to take your child shopping for gifts.

4. The two of you are still friends on social media

I often text my ex happy birthday - depending on the ex, of course! When I do text my ex, I make sure to keep it civil and to only address their birthday. I text my ex on his birthday only because I know that the two of us broke up for a reason.

On social media, it is quite a common excuse to talk to someone by wishing them happy birthday on their profile or wall. If you are just missing your ex, try to not do anything rash. Just let them know that you want them to have a great birthday.

5. You ended things positively

Maybe the end of your relationship was positive. If your relationship ended peacefully, you could tell your ex happy birthday. Just do not get carried away and think that their birthday is a reason for the two of you to rekindle your relationship if it’s not meant to be.

6. You share a working environment

you share a working environment

Co-workers often wish one another a happy birthday. In fact, at many offices, there is a happy birthday celebration when someone has a birthday. That means cake and sometimes presents. If your ex is a co-worker, it’s only civil to say happy birthday.

They will likely wish you a happy birthday if you do the same for them. When working together, you share a certain dynamic that is often not found in other relationships. In fact, he or she might be your boss now.

Stranger things happen when two people end things. If your ex is a boss to you, you can and probably should wish them a happy birthday! Maybe the dynamic is the opposite, and they work for you; give them a figurative pat on the back, too.

7. Your ex wished you happy birthday

It’s nice to reciprocate a happy birthday if they gave you one. You might send a happy birthday text to your ex, wishing that all their dreams come true today! If you have a new relationship, be careful not to upset your boyfriend or girlfriend by doing this.

Perhaps they expressed a birthday greeting to you on social media and you want to pay back this kindness. In that case, just let them know that you wish their day to be special. Do not feel obligated to do more than that on social media. Don’t talk about your bond.

If you speak about your relationship online and say how you miss them, you’ll likely make their day very strange. They will wonder what you meant by something that you said - whether you meant what they are thinking or not.

8. You truly mean it

If you want to send a birthday text to your ex, that is probably okay, but think about why you want to do this. I only text my ex if there is an emergency or a holiday. So, I did text my ex when it was his birthday. I also did text my ex when my car broke down.

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Honesty is always the smart way to go when congratulating someone about something. Usually, when communicating, people can tell when others are not being genuine about their affectionate words.

9. You have ulterior motives

As we have discussed, wishing an ex happy birthday can be okay in certain cases. If your breakup happened a long time ago and you’re still in touch, send a happy birthday text to him or her. If you broke up recently and in a bad way, steer clear from doing this.

Maybe your desire is to lure them into a conversation on their birthday. Perhaps you hope the two of you will rekindle what you once had, or maybe you just want all your DVDs back from them. It’s just not a good idea to try to ruin their day this way.

One thing you can do to determine if this is a good idea or not is to evaluate your options. Are you doing this because it will benefit you in some way? Are you feeling devious? Do you actually want to ruin their day? How would you feel in this case?

Cases You Should Not Wish Your Ex a Happy Birthday

cases you should not wish your ex a happy birthday

If you are used to texting your ex happy birthday, you might ultimately think it’s alright to text your ex any moment you feel the urge. However, this might be the wrong decision if they treat you poorly and did forget your birthday this year. Do not text your ex because you think it’s an excuse for him or her to write you back, ultimately forgive you for any wrong, and forget it all.

1. Your ex is now married

Once, when I was not in a relationship and was really missing my ex, I looked him up online to see his relationship status. I found out he was married. Therefore, I did not text my ex happy birthday. I also did not text my ex that I wanted him back, even though I did!

Be smart about this if your ex is now married. You don’t want to be the cause of the breakup of his marriage, do you? Rather, realize that your breakup was real and the two of you were just not meant to be. Texting him or her will only cause pain.

2. Your ex has a new boyfriend or girlfriend

Likewise, if your ex has a new boyfriend or girlfriend, do not wish your ex happy birthday. You will be interfering in their special bond. Remember, your breakup happened for a reason. 

3. Your ex asked you never to speak to him or her again

If your ex has made his boundaries clear and does not want to speak to you again, do not wish your ex happy birthday. You are violating their boundaries. Maybe you think that you can change their mind, but do not assume this. Honor their wishes!

4. They have a restraining order out against you

When it comes to the law, be sure to follow it! It’s never a good idea to wish an ex happy birthday if they have a restraining order out on you. That means that they really never want to hear from you or see you again. Try to follow the law as closely as you can.

5. They cheated on you

If your ex harmed you by cheating on you, maybe they do not deserve a birthday text from you. Think about it; they violated your bond. You made promises to one another when you entered a relationship together. They decided not to honor that. Why celebrate them?

If you are upset because of your ex cheating, you’ll likely not be kind when you talk to them. Often, the most prudent decision is to just keep your distance. 

6. You have moved on or moved past this relationship

If your breakup was difficult for you, be sure to think about what your ex put you through. They hurt you. Always remember that. If you tell your ex happy birthday, they will not run back into your arms. In fact, this action could cause more pain for you. 

7. Your breakup was recent

your breakup was recent

Maybe the two of you split up recently. Maybe you were as close as two people could be. Is it really a good idea to get involved again? Granted, it’s just a happy birthday, but you are still contacting someone you are probably trying to get over. 

Think about your heart before sending that social media message or text. Maybe it’s not such a great idea to open up channels of communication right now. If you still have tears in your eyes or are struggling not to think about him or her, meditate on this decision!

8. You asked your ex to have no contact

If you wish your now-ex a happy birthday when you already said that you wanted nothing to do with them for a period of time, you are opening the floodgates. Think about this before you carry it out. You might wish the two of you could talk again.

Maybe you think that this will bring you back together. Really, this is not a reasonable expectation. Many people do not even respond to birthday texts. In fact, some people believe that it just means the other person was trying to be sort of sweet.

What I want to convey here is that a birthday text or message does not guarantee action on your ex’s part. This is especially true if the two of you are going through a period of no contact. Be sure to acknowledge the status of your relationship before texting.

9. You are still angry about something your ex did

While you might intend to only say happy birthday, you could easily say something totally not like you. If you are feeling anger and resentment toward the birthday boy or girl, do not reach out. Too often, we say things we do not mean when we are angry.

10. You are only trying to get their attention.

If your motives are not good, don’t even think about wishing your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend a happy birthday. You are essentially only wanting attention for yourself, right? Is it ever a good idea to do something with very selfish motives?

11. You have a new partner

Your new partner might not appreciate you contacting your ex. You could always ask them whether they believe it’s okay to do this small act of kindness. Maybe your ex told you happy birthday on your birthday, and you now feel obligated to say it back.

Talk to your partner! Ask them if it is okay with them. Will it hurt their feelings? Do they wish you to not contact them ever again because of something they did to you? Maybe your partner doesn’t like you having friendships with exes. If so, is that okay with you?

If you are looking to keep your partner and have a healthy relationship, be sure to talk to them about their feelings on the subject. Once you’ve done this, it’s a wise idea to weigh the pros and cons on the subject to see if this is the right move for your new partner.

12. You are now married to someone else

If married, you likely said vows. In those vows, you make promises, which usually include that you will only be with the person you have now married. Because of this, many spouses prefer you to cease contact with ex-lovers. Keep that in mind.

Before even asking your husband or wife permission to do this, think about how you would feel. Do you want your spouse to wish his or her ex a good birthday? Is it a big deal? Would it damage your feelings if they did this? What was their ex even like?

If you truly think about being in your spouse’s shoes, you’ll likely know whether or not it is a good idea to contact your ex on their birthday. If you are all good friends, you might be able to have a celebration that includes your current spouse! Just be kind!!

How to Tell Your Ex Happy Birthday

how to tell your ex happy birthday

Do you long to tell your ex that his or her birthday is special to you? Is it okay to wish an ex happy birthday? Should I wish MY ex a happy birthday? These are valid questions we’ve covered in this article, but what about actually doing this? How does that work, and what should you say?

Wishing your ex happy birthday can be a tricky thing, but normally, you can just send them a brief text or message on social media. Again, if you are hurt from the end of your relationship or things did not end on good terms, you might rethink texting your ex. You might be hoping for something that is not there. So, make sure your motives are right before texting your ex.

If you’ve established that it is a good idea to wish your ex a happy birthday, decide on how you will do this. Do you want to text your ex or post something on their social media profile? Would you like to keep the celebration of this special day a secret or make it public knowledge? If your relationship is on uncertain terms, you might want to keep things between the two of you.


What will happen if I don't wish my ex a happy birthday?

If you decide that texting your ex happy birthday is a bad idea, I’m sure your reasons are valid, so be confident in your choice. If they were hoping to hear from you, remember that you are broken up and do not owe them anything.

How should I tell my ex happy birthday?

Relationships are difficult; building a friendship with an ex is never easy. If he or she decided to break up with you, you do not owe them a happy birthday. Talking to them could be detrimental. Only text your ex happy birthday if you feel the friendship can handle that.

When is it a bad idea to tell my ex happy birthday?

Texting your ex happy birthday is never a great idea if they decided to break up with you in a harmful way. You might miss talking to them since your breakup, but the two of you are broken up. You do not need to text your ex anything if they broke up with you.

What does it mean when your ex wishes you a happy birthday?

It could mean that your ex does miss you and regrets the breakup. However, usually, they are just hoping to make your day special. Maybe they feel like talking to you on birthdays is the right decision, but this is not always the case with exes.

Why didn’t my ex wish me a happy birthday?

Your ex might have thought that you would miss them if they wished you a happy birthday. Maybe they wanted to clarify that the two of you have broken up. They might miss you and want to keep their distance for their heart’s sake.


So, what’s your verdict? Is it a good idea to start texting your ex happy birthday each year or should they celebrate that date by themselves? In most cases, it is a thing of respect to wish happy birthday to an ex after a breakup. Leave a comment to share your thoughts and experience, and share it with a friend who might need this article.

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Whether you're married or just started dating someone, infidelity rates have risen by over 40% in the past 20 years, so your concerns are justified.

Do you want to find out if he's texting other women behind your back? Or if he has an active Tinder or dating profile? Or even worse, if he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool can help by uncovering hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more, potentially putting your doubts to rest.


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