What to do when your ex keeps texting you

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Break-ups are hard. Closing the door to a past love is difficult enough, but staying friends with an ex is incredibly difficult. Time apart is necessary. Healing must take place on both sides and it’s the only way to get a truly objective perspective on everything. Receiving a text from an ex can be really confusing.

It’s hard to assess their actions clearly and what might seem an innocent action on the surface can be emotionally damaging. When the texts become intense and frequent, you must take action.


Remain objective and consider why an ex might be sending texts. It can really help to think back over the circumstances of the break-up. An ex who chose to end the relationship really shouldn’t be sending texts. Having made the decision to end the relationship, he or she should be taking the initiative to ensure both parties can move on and build new lives separate from each other. An ex who didn’t want the relationship to end, but who continues to send texts, is also acting dangerously. It’s possible that this ex is looking to recapture the spark. It’s impossible for both parties to move on with their lives while they remain in constant contact. During the first few weeks, there may be matters to settle, such as exchanging possessions that were once shared. Talking things through to some extent and helping each other come to terms with the huge change of circumstances might be necessary. However, when texting continues beyond the first month after the separation, you must put limits in place.

Polite response

The first method to try is to respond politely via text message, clearly asking the ex to not send any more text messages of any kind for any reason. If an ex sends a message which really does require a response such as, “Can I get my keys from you tomorrow?” then writing back is necessary and justified. However, if an ex continues to send messages such as, “Hello,” “How are you?” or “What are you doing?” there’s no reason to respond and it’s best not to in the long run.

Face to face

If the polite text message request doesn’t work, calling an ex or meeting him in person to tell him face to face to stop sending texts might work. Sometimes, the only thing needed to get the message across loud and clear is a definite tone of voice or a serious look. Don't fall into the trap of calling more than once or meeting up with an ex more than once too. This would simply replace the constant text messaging for the constant phone call or constant face to face meeting. One call or one coffee date is all it should take.

No contact

If an ex continues to send texts, even after being told face to face or via the telephone to stop, the only choice of action to take is to avoid all kinds of contact whatsoever. The only way of dealing with a persistent ex is to ignore her. All text messages and calls and emails must be avoided. A really persistent ex might go through a period of desperation and try to make contact using all forms of communication possible. An ex might become verbally abusive, she might lash out through words in anger, she might turn up in person as a last resort and this might continue for a number of months. Sometimes an ex might stop texting for a while and then suddenly start up again. However long it takes to work, the important thing is to remain constant. Having made the decision to shut an ex out completely and have no contact -- which is in the best interests of everyone involved -- the worst mistake possible is to cave in and break the silence. Enforcing the no contact rule is much harder the second time around.

Changing details

When the no contact rule doesn’t work, consider getting a new telephone number. In severe cases, the only way to move forward might be to block an ex from all possible forms of communication. It may seem a drastic position to take, but changing the house phone number and blocking all contacts via Facebook and email, is sometimes the only successful way of dealing with a persistent ex. In very severe cases, you may need to contact the police and take out an injunction order. Break-ups can be very difficult. The calmest boyfriend or girlfriend can turn into a very obsessive ex when feeling emotionally vulnerable.