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Article written by Sam Machado

Your ex has a birthday coming up and you might be squandering if it’s alright to send him a simple ‘Happy Birthday’ text. It can leave a lot of anxiety and frustration as you decide if this is a good idea or not. Here’s the thing: if you feel anxious over the idea of wishing your ex a happy birthday...then it’s not a good idea.

Obviously, the decision to do this is entirely up to you. But if you’re stumped, maybe ask yourself some questions first:

Do You Have a Hidden Agenda?

Do you want to text ‘Happy Birthday’ because you’re hoping he’ll say ‘Thanks!’ and then you’ll say ‘You’re welcome. How’ve you been?’ Are you planning to creep back into his life by sending this message? Are you using his birthday as a way of trying to pick up where you left off? If your answer is yes to these questions, then here’s a short answer for you- do NOT text him ‘Happy Birthday.’ It’s not fair to either of you to take advantage of his day so you can make it about the past. It’s his birthday and he’s going to want to celebrate without unnecessary drama.

Do You ‘Really’ Want Him to Have a ‘Happy Birthday?’

When you say ‘Happy Birthday! Hope you have a wonderful day!!’ are you secretly saying, ‘I hope your day sucks and you can rot in Hell!’? If behind those kind words is just resentment, then let him be. If you think your ex is a jerk, then there’s really no use in pretending everything is fine just so you can unleash your anger later. And it wouldn’t be nice of you to use his birthday to do that.

How Would You Feel About a Painful Response?

Depending on how you two broke it off, he might respond to your message in a way that will hurt you. He might give a basic ‘Thanks.’ He might say ‘I don’t want to hear from you anymore.’ Maybe he'll say 'Who is this?' He might not respond at all. And all of this could be painful. Is sending him this one little message really worth that pain? If it’s not, then stay away. There is no use in hurting yourself over something so small.

Is a Positive Response Even Worth It?

There may be a chance he’ll respond to that ‘Happy Birthday’ message with ‘Thanks so much! Hope all is well!’ But even that could lead to mixed emotions. A positive response could still drive your brain crazy into thinking about what to do next. Just know that if it takes a ‘Happy Birthday’ message for him to say something nice to you, then this was not a relationship worth salvaging. Relationships take a lot more than someone’s birthday to make a positive connection.

Is it ‘Ever’ Okay to Say ‘Happy Birthday’ to an Ex?

In some situations...maybe. If the two of you still talk all the time- not just give each other an occasional Facebook like, but actually talk- ‘maybe’ that’s something. If you two are on good terms and you have ZERO resentment towards each other, ‘maybe’ it’s worth considering. Maybe...
Would you not care if he saw your message and didn’t respond? Would a basic ‘Thanks’ response from him make you feel indifferent? Would you be able to easily go on about your day no matter how he responds? If your answer is yes, then it might be okay to send the message. If your answer is no, then the answer is even more obvious. This is not a good idea!

Now, here’s something else to consider (very delicately): life is full of risks and only you can decide which ones are worth taking. So, if this is something you feel really strongly about, just remember that the worst may come, and you gotta be prepared.

Ultimately though, sending a ‘Happy Birthday’ message to an ex is not worth it, especially if you’re still raw. If you’re feeling stir crazy over this, then just don’t send the damn text. Not worth the pain, not worth the trouble, not worth your time. Besides, it’s his day and he should celebrate on his own. So, put your phone down, let him enjoy his day, and go enjoy yours!

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