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Should I Wish My Ex A Happy Birthday?

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It’s that dreaded time of the year. It’s your ex’s birthday. You’re nostalgic, you miss them and now you can’t stop thinking about them. This begs the question, should I wish my ex a happy birthday?

No, you should not wish your ex a happy birthday because they are no longer a part of your life and you need to focus on moving on. Additionally, if you’re doing no contact to get your ex back, wishing your ex a happy birthday will break no contact and sabotage all the progress you’ve made. 

It might be tempting to do something nice and considerate, especially when you’ve spent many years celebrating your ex’s birthday.

But, you have to consider the negative consequences and effects on your life before making a decision.

Even though a birthday wish seems so inconsequential, it can actually open a can of worms you are not prepared to deal with.

From coaching many clients after a breakup, I notice a lot of commonality between them.

Questions such as should I wish my ex a happy birthday, often pop up when someone is trying to clutch at straws.

They are subconsciously hoping to get a foot in the door by reaching out and breaking no contact.

My answer is almost always the same because I know that this is just a symptom of separation anxiety and the fear of loss.

Be that as it may, I want to share the most crucial reasons why you should not wish your ex a happy birthday as well as reasons why you should so that you can make an informed decision that doesn’t set you up for pain or suffering.

Related post: Should you send your ex holiday greetings?

Reasons why you should not wish your ex a happy birthday

Let’s take a close look at all the reasons why you should not wish your ex a happy birthday.

This list will help you to avoid mistakes that could ruin your emotional well-being or your chance of moving on or getting your ex back.

1. It breaks no contact

I’ll be the first to admit that no contact is hard, especially when you still care about someone and think about them often.

But, no contact is a crucial step in moving on after a breakup or getting your ex back.

If you would like a step-by-step explanation on how to get an ex back or to re-attract someone who lost interest, grab a copy of my ebook called Reconcile. I put this guide together for serious students of the game who want to cut through the fluff and get results in their love life. Click Here To Check It Out! 

It not only projects strength but also provides space and distance for wounds to heal.

Additionally, the time apart can overwrite negative emotions towards each other and remind you both of the good memories. This can stimulate feelings of desire and longing for each other.

This is why the no-contact rule is so effective and a great tool for making someone miss you.

Unfortunately, it requires a lot of emotional self-control and mental fortitude to resist the temptation of reaching out to an ex.

You might consider a birthday wish to be an exception to the rule but it isn’t.

If anything, it could be the feather that breaks the camel’s back.

It starts with a birthday wish and then it turns into good morning messages. 

Before long, you’re blowing up your ex’s phone and undoing all the effort of going no contact.

Related post: What is the indefinite no contact rule?

2. You may get ignored

Just because you’re nostalgic about the past and hold your ex in a good light doesn’t mean that they feel the same way.

People react differently to breakups and separation.

You might find yourself shocked when you wish your ex a happy birthday and get ignored.

This will be so upsetting and confusing that it pushes you down a negative slope of emotions.

Now, not only do you have to deal with the emotions of a breakup but the aftermath as well.

Getting ignored by someone you still consider important to you will hurt. 

It’s not worth the effort unless you are on good terms and completely agree to be friends. 

3. You could get hurt if your ex has already moved on

Breakups are difficult and quite painful for both the dumper and dumpee. Some people prefer to be alone for a while before moving on which is usually the correct thing to do.

Other people can’t handle the loneliness and pain so they resort to rebounding and dating immediately.

Before you consider wishing your ex a happy birthday, please consider the possibility that your ex falls into the latter category of people.

If learning about their dating life may upset you or cause unnecessary pain and suffering, I would strongly advise you against contacting your ex for their birthday at all.

The sad thing about this is that it’s really pointless wishing your ex a happy birthday if they have indeed moved on.

Related post: Will my ex come back after dating someone else?

4. You might mistake politeness for interest

This is a mistake I see far too often and it’s disheartening because it tends to result in further rejection. 

Your ex may be fond of you but have absolutely no interest whatsoever in having any kind of romantic relationship with you.

But, because you still care about them and have an active interest in a romantic relationship, you may mistake their kindness or politeness for something more meaningful.

Rather than move on with your life after wishing them for their birthday, you end up trying to rekindle a dead relationship.

Your ex may engage you politely for a while but this will just feed your misunderstanding of the situation.

With a renewed but false sense of hope, you may start chasing after your ex and making moves that don’t really serve you well.

You may start mistaking rejection for playing hard to get. This will encourage you to pursue your ex with more ferociousness.

Before long, they end up rejecting you again.

Now, you’re left feeling completely disappointed, embarrassed and heartbroken all over again.

All of this could have been avoided if you just chose not to wish your ex a happy birthday. 

5. It shows that you care

When you have been dumped and you are trying to undo the mistake of being overly desperate or needy, reaching out to an ex on every special occasion will not help your case.

This is especially true when you have been discarded even though you have tried to be the best partner.

When someone devalues your worth and ends a relationship, you don’t earn back that worth by chasing them or showing them how much you care about their opinion.

On the contrary, you direct all of your attention and focus on the people who see your worth.


Because someone who considers themselves to be worthy of respect and love will not chase after it from someone who isn’t willing to give it or see it in you.

And if you’re trying to get your ex back, this is definitely another reason why you don’t want to wish them a happy birthday because it discards or removes any mystery and uncertainty from the situation.

Those two elements serve as a means of creating interest and attraction.

It would be counterproductive to reach out to an ex if this is your goal.

Related post: What to do when you’re still in love with your ex

Reasons why you should wish your ex a Happy Birthday

There are some instances when it’s okay to wish your ex happy birthday and we’ll discuss them below in detail.

If you don’t fall into any of these categories, you should just stick with not wishing them.

1. You are just friends and want nothing more

When two people who used to date have completely moved on from each other and have no problems being friends, then there isn’t a reason not to wish each other a happy birthday.

It won’t lead to anything more. Whether they are dating someone else won’t bother you.

Nothing from that interaction will affect your emotional or mental wellbeing so it’s okay to wish them for their birthday.

Some people are capable of being friends with their ex.

If you are one of those people, then go for it.

2. You’re both rekindling the romance

Let’s say that after some time apart, your ex got in contact with you or you contacted them.

Things are going well and the two of you feel a strong bond towards each other.

In such an event, wishing your ex a happy birthday may be beneficial and appropriate, especially since there’s a legit and real reconciliation on the cards.

3. It’s an old habit

Perhaps the two of you have been separated for many years, don’t really keep in touch but tend to shoot each other a message every year for your respective birthdays.

There’s no motive behind these texts, it doesn’t get in the way of your life and it’s strictly platonic in nature.

The only reason you wish each other is because it’s a nice gesture and nothing more.

I wouldn’t be against this unless of course you are dating someone who isn’t necessarily comfortable with you talking to an ex.

In conclusion

So, should you wish your ex a happy birthday? 

Most of the time, no, you should not because it breaks no contact, you might mistake their politeness for interest, you might get ignored by your ex which will hurt your feelings or it might reveal how much you still care about them.

The only instances when it’s okay to wish your ex a happy birthday is if you both have moved on, you both have an intention of rekindling the romance or it’s just an old habit.

With that being said, I hope you found the answer you were looking for in this article. Feel free to leave your thoughts or questions in the comment section below.

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