This is the ultimate guide on how to respond to an ex that you want back.
So if you want to learn how to:
- Understand when to respond to your ex.
- Learn exactly what to say.
- Highlight some of the most difficult real life texts from an ex.
Then you definitely came to the right place.
How To Respond To An Ex Boyfriend
I thought that perhaps the best way to tackle such a broad subject was to actually go to our clients on our private facebook support group. If you aren’t familiar with what that is my breakup business basically has this gigantic facebook group that we let all our paying clients into.
As of the date of this article there are 5,800 members all going through breakups and asking questions about their exes.
I thought a smart thing to do would be to take some of the most difficult text messages their exes are sending to them that we’ve seen in the group and explain how I would respond to them.
After searching for the most difficult types of text messages I could find I ultimately settled on 15 different types.
- He texts you something related to missing you
- He texts you something related to him being bored
- He texts you something related to checking up on you
- He texts you worried about you.
- He texts you to reassert your current status together
- He texts you for a booty call
- He texts you rejecting you.
- He responds to a text you sent after no contact poorly
- He texts you about a health problem
- He texts you about work problems
- He texts you about finances during no contact
- He texts you asking you out on a date
- He texts you for an item exchange
- He fishes around to see if you have a boyfriend
- He texts you about his new girlfriend
Remember that every text message type that I refer to above are taken from a real life text message that one of our clients asked about in our private facebook group.
Let’s just cut right to the chase and start answering how to respond to these difficult texts.
He Texts You Something Related To Missing You
This type of text message usually isn’t obvious.
I think the big mistake a lot of people make when they look at a “missing” type of text like this is that it’s asked in a linear fashion. The truth is a lot more complicated.
The one I found in the group that best fit the missing criteria was,
“Do you ever think about us?”
So, what is the best way to respond to this?
The goal with respond to a text like this is usually to do a little bit of light flirting but also reframe your ex boyfriends paradigm.
What I mean by that is your ex boyfriend is really asking a question that he believes he already knows the answer to.
He believe that you do think about him.
So, you play along by saying,
“I do… but it really depends on the day haha.”
This almost makes it seem like you’re flirting but you also don’t obsess about him.
I also think it’s important to note that WHEN your ex sends this text will determine your response.
If your ex is sending you this text during a no contact rule then you are supposed to ignore because it’s no contact.
Let’s move on to a more common text we see.
He Texts You Something Related To Him Being Bored
Usually this one is the most common thing an ex will text you.
Though if I’m being honest I’m not sure they are necessarily “bored” when they reach out to you. Rather, they just don’t know what to say so they say this,
“Hi how are you?”
Now, things get incredibly interesting when you consider how you should respond to this.
Again, I want to reiterate that if you are in the middle of a no contact rule and your ex texts you this you aren’t supposed to respond. However, if you are out of a no contact rule then you really have two options in my opinion.
I like this response personally because it accomplishes two things.
It’s something that’s unique to say to such a basic question like “how are you?” but it also has a test embedded within it.
By simply answering the question with “excellent enough” you don’t really respond with an open ended question. Now, usually we don’t recommend this type of thing to our clients but in this case I think it could be beneficial for determining how much your ex really wants to talk to you.
The big fear most women have when their ex boyfriends text them is that their ex is just doing it to be nice.
This will force them to jump through a hoop and ask an open ended question of you themselves. If they do that you know that they really want to talk.
Your next potential response to this if you want to take an open ended approach yourself is a witty response.
“Why? what have you heard 😉 “
This is clearly meant to be a joke as evidenced by that wink face on the end there.
I would have put the emoji wink face,
But my little text creator didn’t give me the option.
I like the witty joke approach because of two reasons,
- It’s playful
- It’s open ended which invites a conversation to unfold
As stated above though, you need to feel your ex boyfriend out to determine what the best response here is.
He Texts You Something Related To Checking Up On You
This one is usually only going to happen after you have gotten back in contact with your ex.
In other words, you’ve completed a no contact rule and have started the texting phase of the value ladder.
Now, the natural question most people have is why?
Why is my ex boyfriend texting me checking up on me?
Drawing from my own personal experience I think it has more to do with finding a specific reason to want to talk to you.
In our private facebook support group we had one client whose ex boyfriend texting her asking her how her try outs went.
“How did try outs go?”
What he’s really saying is;
“I want to talk to you but I don’t really know how to break the ice so I’m going to ask you about something that makes me look like I’m paying attention.”
How do you respond to this?
This one is super easy.
Make him work for it by simply answering his question and forcing him to ask what he really wants to ask about.
“Thanks so much for asking! They went really well”
He Texts You Worried About You
Sometimes you can get lucky in that your ex boyfriend will reach out to you because they are worried about you.
As I’ve stated every single “response” that I’m talking about in this article is meant to be taken from our private facebook group. Well, a few months ago there was a woman who made a post in the group about how she lost her dog.
But that’s not the important thing we are studying here.
Her ex boyfriend reached out to her asking,
“Are you ok?”
Now, the often overlooked factor of her ex boyfriend reaching out is the fact that she didn’t directly contact him.
She made a post on Facebook about losing her dog and he happened to see it and reached out as a result.
The question that now remains is how should she respond?
So, the first thing you have to understand is that it truly depends on if you are in a period of no contact or not.
If you aren’t then the response should be,
“I’m ok but (dog name) is missing.”
And then you directly answer your own question by saying.
“I’m doing fine now though. Thank you”
This is kind of rare, isn’t it?
I don’t often recommend sending two texts back to back and that second text is kind of cold but this is by design. You don’t want your ex to think that you’re ok. You want him to tap into his hero complex.
When we talk about texting you’ll often see us discuss the damsel in distress text message.
In a weird way this is the ultimate damsel in distress moment for you. By indicating that “You’re fine… but not really.” You test to see just how much of a hero complex he has.
He Texts You Trying To Re-Assert Your Status Together
Let’s talk about one of your worst nightmares.
Is it weird that I get giddy talking about this? I think too often we avoid bad thoughts or conflict like this. I say let’s bring it out and talk about that puppy.
So, what does this look like.
Well, this usually happens in the midst of a conversation where he says something like “We’re where we are supposed to be” insinuating he’s happy with the breakup.
Usually that conversation is misinterpreted in some way as you trying to get back together with them.
I’m going to be honest with you.
Most of the time you’ll get a response like this from your ex when you are rushing things a little too fast.
This is the very reason we have our value ladder concept.
It’s designed to keep things at a pace that isn’t going to yield responses from an ex like the one above.
Nevertheless, if you go too fast and your ex gives you the heartbreaking, “we’re where we are supposed to be” line then you’re going to want to do respond in this specific way.
Have you ever heard of a concept called a paradigm shift?
“Oh, I thought it was already assumed we were just friends?”
The beauty of this approach is that you completely shift the paradigm so that your ex realizes that he’s not good enough for you.
I mean, that’s the inherent underlying assumption your ex is having, right?
They think that you want them back. Why else would they text you that the two of you are where you’re supposed to be?
So, by responding in this way you basically tell them that they are wrong and make them rethink the entire situation.
He Texts You For A Booty Call
There are a dozen different ways an ex can text you for a booty call but if I’m being honest I had a really difficult time finding any in our private group.
In fact, out of all the “responses” I had to compile for this article this was by far the hardest to find.
I did find it though.
Technically it’s not a booty call but it does deal with an ex insinuating they want to sleep with you which checked off enough boxes in my eyes to include it here.
“Just got out of the shower. It was kind of lonely in there.”
In my opinion there’s only one true way to respond to this.
We have one rule here on exboyfriend.com and it’s a little like Fight Club.
YOU DO NOT SLEEP WITH AN EX UNTIL YOU GET THEM BACK!
So, in situations you want to reject your ex but you don’t want to do it in a rude way. Making matters more complicated you want to do it in a way to leaves the door open for a potential hook up in the future.
Not an easy task.
“Oh, I only do that with people I’m actually in a relationship with 😉 .”
Basically you’re flirting with your ex here.
You’re saying no… but in a way that indicates it’s not a hard no.
It’s amazing what a simple wink face can do.
He Texts You Rejecting You
This is essentially a variation of the re-asserting your status together text from your ex above but worse.
Why is it worse?
Because it’ s a flat out rejection.
Usually your ex boyfriend will say something like, “I need some space”
So, how do you respond?
Well, the first thing you need to do is understand why your ex said this to you.
Having them say, “I need space” is never a good thing. It usually means that you pushed too fast too soon.
Remember that value ladder concept I mentioned above?
What my team and I have found is that if you skip the ladder you tend to freak exes out.
So, what’s the best approach if this happens?
Usually the best approach here is to go into another no contact rule.
This is never an easy pill to swallow but our research with avoidant exes indicates that sometimes more time is needed to get the results you crave.
He Responds To A Text You Sent After No Contact Poorly
I know I’ve literally posted this graphic three times already in this article but I’m going to do it again because it’s essential to illustrate this type of response from your ex boyfriend.
So, you’re familiar with the value ladder already,
It’s essentially the “game plan” that we constantly talk about on this site when someone tells us they want to get their exes back.
But let’s zoom in a bit on it.
Often when I talk about “the value ladder” I’m referring to the strategy of what occurs after no contact.
Usually that strategy kicks off with what we call “the first contact text.”
This is such a popular thing to talk about that I’ve filmed entire podcast episodes on my podcast about it,
Often times people spend their entire no contact rules planning for this one text they are going to send to their ex after their time period is complete.
Sometimes it doesn’t go well.
Take one of our clients from our Private Facebook Support Group who texted her ex to ask a question but got this response from the ex,
“You can’t not talk to me for a month and then expect me to be all happy”
Having an ex text you something like this will tell you two things.
- The no contact rule was extremely effective.
- They are still upset about it
This begs the question.
How do you respond to this?
It’s important that you don’t ignore their anger.
It’s also important that you defend your actions.
That’s why I personally like this response.
“I was taking time for myself…” (then ask the question.)
So, this is basic PR strategy here.
Briefly acknowledge your exes anger by giving him some type of an excuse,
“You were taking time for yourself”
And then continue on with the original reason you reached out to him.
He Texts You About An Emergency Health Problem
This one is pretty self explanatory.
You are going about your day minding your merry business when all of a sudden your ex texts you this.
“Fu&*, I’m in the hospital”
So, what’s your exes angle?
Well, this is where it gets interesting.
I think your ex boyfriends angle for texting you depends entirely on why he’s in the hospital. We’ve seen situations where exes can text you because them being in the hospital or doctor relates to you. Read between the lines there.
(Hint Hint: they may have tested positive for something not so nice.)
We’ve also seen authentic reactions from exes who are suddenly rushed to the hospital for a crazy reason.
They may be texting you because they want your support.
They may be texting you for sympathy.
Either way it doesn’t matter because your response should be the same.
It’s pretty simple.
Just ask them to elaborate.
An ex will only text you something like this if they want to elaborate so let them elaborate.
One quick note though.
Allowing them to elaborate isn’t the same thing as providing emotional support. You aren’t their girlfriend anymore therefore they lose that privilege.
Right now you are just a friendly acquaintance so act like it.
He Texts You About Work Problems
This is an almost identical situation to the one listed above.
You are going about your merry day and then suddenly out of the blue your ex texts you this.
“I’m about to be fired”
Again it’s no shocker why they are texting you.
They probably remember how supportive of a girlfriend you were and want more of that during this difficult time.
Either way your response is pretty easy.
This situation was close enough to the one above so as you may have guessed it required an identical response.
Remember, you are his acquaintance now, not his girlfriend.
He Texts You About Finances During No Contact
A part of me wants to make another fight club joke.
We are pretty strict about no contact and it’s rules.
It takes a lot for us to “ok” a break in the no contact.
But what happens if you are on day 8 of a 30 day no contact rule and your ex texts you this?
“You owe me money. I expect it to be paid by the end of the week”
Remember each one of the text messages I am featuring comes directly from women in our private facebook support group.
That means the text you see above was actually send to one of my clients on, you guessed it, day 8 of a 30 day no contact rule.
So, how did I advise her to respond?
In a little bit we are going to talk about what to do when your ex texts you about an item exchange. I kind of view this situation a little like that.
What would make your situation even worse is ignoring an ex when you actually do owe money to him.
If you don’t owe money to your ex and it looks like your situation might get contentious I would advise you to seek out legal counsel.
Otherwise our approach is simple.
Pay him and jump back into the no contact rule
A part of me really wants to say don’t even inform him that he has been paid.
Just do it and go back into no contact so you don’t technically have to break it but that might a couple of negative things to him.
- You are too scared to talk to him
- You are being rude
You are neither of those things.
So, your best approach is to say something like.
And then jump back into no contact.
He Texts You And Asks You Out On A Date
Now we are getting to the fun stuff.
Usually an ex will text you asking you out on a date if things are going well. This usually happens after no contact is complete but since I’ve been doing this for a decade and I know most people will look for any loophole to get around no contact I feel it’s important to mention that if your ex asks you out on a date during no contact you need to make sure they also hit other criteria outlined in this article for you to break no contact and accept.
(I know it’s from another website I created but that sucker is maybe the best article I’ve ever written.)
However, I wouldn’t accept the date but more on that on a second.
Here’s what this type of thing actually looks like.
Hey, we should get dinner sometime next week? I’m free Wed and Thurs.
This guy sounds so confident doesn’t he?
His text reads to me like he already expects the girl to accept his offer.
But he’s got another thing coming.
You won’t accept his offer on his terms.
Instead, you’ll see if you can get him to accept the offer on your terms.
I believe we call this “bittersweet.”
He gets what he wants, a date with you, but at a cost.
In other words see if he’ll do it on a different date.
That would probably look like this,
“That sounds good but I can’t do Wed or Thursday. I can do that Monday afterwards though the 23rd.”
Never has punctuation been so important in a text.
I can’t stress to you how important it is that you do not use a question mark.
A question mark indicates that you are unsure and are worried if he’ll accept your offer. You need to be confident and have the, “I don’t care if you don’t accept” attitude.
He Texts You For An Item Exchange
Remember above when I said we’d be talking about the item exchange?
Well, here it is.
Most of the time this happens when you are in the middle of no contact.
Here’s a real life version of what that looks like.
“Hey, I still have some of your things at my house and wanted to know a good time I could come and drop them off?”
I’ve literally seen some women freeze up and not respond at all.
Want to know how that worked out for them?
Their ex boyfriends basically dropped off all the items on the front porch.
So, what are you supposed to do.?
You don’t want to ignore the fact that they reached out wanting to return their items.
However, you do want to exert some leverage so that you dictate when the item exchange takes place and with luck you can do it so that it’s after your no contact rule.
Luckily, the text message above gives you a direct way of answering this.
“Let’s shoot for the 25th about a week and a half from now I’ll have some free time for that.”
This does a couple of things.
It allows you to complete your no contact rule and forces him to wait.
But it’s not the type of wait where he’ll forget you.
He’ll start thinking about the item exchange over and over and over again.
It’s kind of like this open loop that is never closed and it just bugs the heck out of him.
He Fishes Around To See If You Have A New Boyfriend
Making your ex boyfriend jealous is always fun.
However, how are you supposed to handle a situation where your ex directly texts this to you?
“I noticed you got a comment from a guy on your latest instagram post. ;)”
Notice how this ex boyfriend is playing it off like a joke but there’s an underlying insecurity bubbling to the surface.
He’s worried you are moving on to someone new.
This is often how our success stories have gotten their exes to take action.
You want him to stew on this for a while and he showed a sign of weakness by texting you about his insecurity.
I say use it against him by poking fun at it.
And you can mirror that wink face directly with something like this.
“How about that ;)”
It’s as simple as that.
He Texts You For Advice About His New Girlfriend
This is always heartbreaking.
You’re usually in a situation where your ex boyfriend has moved on to a new girlfriend and you’ve instituted “the being there method.”
Maybe things are going well.
And then one day you get this,
“I just got these flowers for (insert other woman name). What do you think?”
We have perhaps the greatest response in the history of mankind for this one though.
Reply with the laughing, tears of joy emoji.
The beauty is in how difficult it is to decipher what you mean by sending the emoji.
Are you laughing so hard because of the flowers he got her?
Are you laughing so hard because you are the wrong person to ask about this?
The mystery will make him think about you more.