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What Your Ex’s Texts REALLY Mean

Texting an ex can be a confusing process because they never say what they mean and for good reason.

Your ex has every incentive to hide their true intentions from you so you need to dig deeper to find out what they’re really saying.

I’ll share 3 common types of text message your ex will likely send you after breaking up and explain why your ex likely sent each of these texts, what their true intentions are, and how to respond in order to maximize your chances of getting them back.

I’ve been a breakup coach for over 13 years now, and during that time I’ve helped tens of thousands of clients get back together with their ex… so I’ve seen again and again what types of messages exes typically send their ex, and I’ve learned what they really mean and how to best reply.

Chances are, if your ex hasn’t already sent you one of these 3 types of text message, they will soon. So, let’s dive into common text #1…

Text #1: The Validation-Seeking Trap Message

“Why are you ignoring me?”

“Why are you acting so weird lately?”

“So do you not want to talk to me anymore or what?”

OK, text number one is what I call the “validation-seeking trap” text message… basically this means any text message where your ex is asking things like, “Why are you acting weird?” or “Why are you ignoring me?” or “So are we not ever going to talk anymore or what?”… something along those lines.

if you’ve already started applying my No Contact rule, then there’s a good chance you’ve already got a message like this from your ex. If not, don’t panic, that doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong or that there’s no hope left. But if you have received a text like this, it’s an excellent sign that No Contact is having the intended effect. Even if you’re not currently in a period of No Contact, and your ex sends you something like this, it’s usually a positive sign that suggests they’re missing you.

So, how should you handle this type of message? Well, first of all, did you notice how I used the word TRAP to describe this message? That’s because it is somewhat of a trap, even though that may not be your ex’s intention. But it IS a potential trap, because it can easily lead to you getting drawn into a conversation, or to respond in a way that’s going to reveal your true emotions, expose your underlying motivations, and very possibly do a lot of damage to your chances of getting back together.

So, don’t fall for this trap… recognize this message for what it is when you receive it, and DO NOT respond immediately, regardless of how badly you may want to. It doesn’t matter if you feel terrible for ignoring your ex, and you’re desperate to respond… it’s very, very unlikely that waiting 6 or 8 hours before responding will cause any negative repercussions. So please, do NOT reply to this kind of message immediately… take at least a few hours to clear your head and make a well-thought-out decision as to how to respond.

Unfortunately, this is one of those times where I simply can’t give you a simple sentence or message to use in response. That’s because I don’t know your ex personally, and I don’t know all the details of your breakup…. Sorry, if you want advice that’s tailored to your specific situation, then you’ll have to sign up for my 1-on-1 coaching program… but, here are 2 tips to help you handle this kind of text.

First, the ideal response would usually be to simply ignore this message altogether. I know that sounds harsh, and in some certain cases it may actually do more damage than good, but really if you can safely ignore this type of message completely, that’s going to send the strongest message and really make your ex worry that you’ve moved on. That, believe it or not, is exactly what you want… especially during the early stages when you haven’t yet started to re-build attraction or allowed your ex to let go of some negative memories and feelings towards you.

Now, sometimes not responding at all can be dangerous because it might cause unnecessary conflict or make your ex downright angry. So if you are worried that your ex is going to take offence if you ignore their message entirely, then you can send a brief reply after a few hours to make the issue go away without falling victim to your ex’s trap.

The best thing to say in response is pretty simple…. Just reply with something like,

“Sorry, I’m not trying to be rude, I’ve just been super busy lately, and I need a bit of space to get over the breakup”

You don’t need to go into any more detail than that. There’s nothing wrong with taking some time and space to yourself after a breakup, and your ex doesn’t have a right to an immediate reply now that you’re not together anymore.

Don’t go over the top with any apologies, and don’t feel guilty. Once you’ve explained things with a super quick reply like that, you can safely go back to No Contact and ignore any further replies from your ex.

If you’re NOT in No Contact when you get this message, my advice is usually going to be the same… but if you’re facing some kind of weird circumstances, please sign up for 1-on-1 coaching and then I’ll be able to take the time to learn about your situation and give you some better advice on how to handle things.

Text #2: The “Check-In” Text Message


“hey, how’s it going?”

“what are you up to?”

“How are you doing?”

Alright, let’s move on to the pointless text or as I like to call it, the “check-in” text. Maybe you’ve already received this type of message from your ex. They might’ve just said “hey” or “hi” or maybe “hey, what’s new?” but really, I’d consider any meaningless text like this where your ex is just asking something really generic like “what are you up to” to be a “check-in” text.

This is your ex’s way of gauging your current feelings, and usually stems from the fact that they’re missing you and thinking about you, but still feel that breaking up was probably the right decision.

How do you reply? Well, for this particular message, it’s a lot easier to give you some clear advice.

If you’re currently employing No Contact, if it’s only been a week or two since the breakup, or if you’ve spoken to your ex fairly recently…. don’t reply at all. There’s no need, and it’s almost always going to do more harm than good if you reply. So, just ignore this kind of message altogether. That’s probably going to be the best way for 90% of you to deal with this sort of “Check-in” text.

When might you need to reply? Well, you should probably reply to this type of message when you’ve been trying to talk with your ex for some time but haven’t had much luck.

For instance, maybe you employed No Contact but haven’t been able to re-establish any kind of communication with your ex since then… that’s a rare situation to be in if you’ve followed my advice up to this point, but in that kind of scenario you will want to reply and take advantage of your ex reaching out.

Don’t be too eager though. Always wait a while before replying, no matter what and keep any response really brief, simple, and positive. If you can, make your ex laugh when he or she reads your reply.

Otherwise, quite frankly there’s not really any other reason to reply at all… assuming that the text your ex sends you really does qualify as “pointless”, anyway. It’s not a “pointless” text if your ex asks you something specific like, “are you going to pay the phone bill this month?” or “what time are we meeting again tonight?”….

Those aren’t pointless, although they might not always deserve a reply either. But if you get any kind of text saying things like “hey” or “whats up”, that’s a pointless text for sure and it absolutely does not justify a response. Remember: you want your ex to wonder what you’re up to and worry that you’re starting to move on. This will inject a sense of urgency to the situation, and can often be enough on its own to convince your ex to change their mind about breaking up.

And finally, the third common message your ex will send you…

Text #3: The “Temptation” Text

“I miss you”

“I think about you a lot”

“I really miss doing ____ with you”

“I wish you were here right now”

I’m calling this the “Temptation” text, but basically here I’m referring to any kind of message where your ex is saying things like, “I miss you” or “I wish you were here”…. Anything like that would qualify. If your ex sends you a text and your heart skips a beat when you read it — and I mean, skips a beat with excitement — then that’s a good sign that you’ve just received one of these ‘temptation’ texts.

Look, I won’t lie…. This kind of text message can be really difficult to receive from your ex. That’s because it’s exciting to hear this kind of thing from your ex, and you’re going to want to respond.

In fact, I guarantee that a lot of you have already received this kind of message from your ex probably did exactly that.. You got excited, you saw a glimmer of hope, and you took the bait. Don’t beat yourself up, that’s exactly what every person in your shoes would do if they hadn’t been told otherwise.

As I’ll explain in a second, it’s not always wise to ignore this kind of message from your ex, but DO NOT allow yourself to just give in to temptation and gush about how much you still love your ex, how badly you miss them, etc… that’s never going to be a good idea, at least not until you’re already truly officially back together.

Depending on your current situation, how you handle this message will change

If you’re still employing No Contact, then you don’t want to reply to this kind of Temptation text. . You can feel good knowing your ex still has these feelings, but don’t get too excited and definitely do not respond if you’re still in the No Contact phase.

Not responding is going to send a really powerful message to your ex. It’s basic human psychology to want what you can’t have, and not responding at all is a ridiculously effective way to ‘shock’ your ex into recognizing what they’ve lost. Trust me, if you don’t reply, you’re going to help your cause a lot.

And what if you’re not employing No Contact? Hopefully that means you’ve already finished the full 30 days. So if you do get this type of message from your ex, and you’re well past No Contact, then you CAN usually safely reply after waiting a few hours.

No matter what, you should never just jump right into a love-fest and start showering your ex with emotional, affectionate comments. For example, never reply by saying something like, “oh my god I’m so glad you said that, I’ve been missing you so badly and I just can’t take it anymore, I love you so much.” That’s way over the top.

If you do reply, it should be because you want to use this to set up further contact and set the stage for flirting, re-building attraction, and meeting in person.

So, for instance, a good response might be something like: “Yeah, I’ve been missing you lately too, but the breakup has actually motivated me to make some changes to my life, which has been great. I’m about to head out with some friends but I’ll talk to you again soon and we can catch up a bit.”

Or that’s even pretty long, so you could just say, “Yeah, I miss you too, breakups suck. Hope you’re doing well.”

Again, the key is to avoid getting too excited and showing too much interest. Yes, receiving this kind of text from your ex is a promising sign for your chances…. And if you’ve already completed a period of No Contact, you can use this text to establish a bit of fun back-and-forth conversation and hopefully set up an in-person meet up. But again, take it slow, don’t show too much eagerness, and avoid replying or taking the bait if you’re still engaged in No Contact right now.