Should you wish your ex a happy birthday?
OK, ladies, I am going to be brutally honest with you on this one. Every time I hear this question, all I want to say is – why won’t people leave their exes alone? No, seriously, why not leave them alone?
Can you imagine if all of your exes were texting you ‘Happy Birthday’? Wouldn’t that be creepy? And now, to take one step further, let’s not forget that our calendars are full of other important dates – Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving… Should you send them your ‘best wishes’ on these days too?
To wish or not to wish is a highly ‘circumstantial’ question, and before we move forward let me ask you this first: WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO YOU? What do you expect to gain? And here is even a better one - Why namely HIM and not some other ex? Can you answer these questions honestly to yourself? If you do, then you WILL know 1) what stands behind the desire to wish them a happy birthday and 2) whether you should do it or not.
Listed below are some of the wrong reasons we want to wish our ex a Happy Birthday (a Happy New Year, Merry Christmas, etc) but should not:
~ you are not over them and wishing them a happy birthday is an attempt to initiate contact
~ if you had a big fight and then broke up, then wishing them a happy birthday is like saying ‘I am not mad anymore’ and ‘here is my olive branch, can you meet me half-way?’
~ you are nursing hope that you will be back together
~ you want to come across as ‘loyal’, ‘devoted’, ‘loving’ and ‘thoughtful’ hoping they would reconsider the breakup
In essence, wishing your ex a happy birthday is the same as trying to manipulate their opinion about you. It’s like they are not capable of seeing things clearly and your sudden text will change that. As soon as it happens, they will suddenly realize what they have lost.
But will they??
~ they may have a new girlfriend already. Can you imagine how ridiculous your ‘happy birthday’ would look like? ‘Gee, it’s my ex, we broke up XXX months ago and she still remembers’
~ they may have changed their phone number. If you are still not over them, then their ‘ignoring’ you will crush you emotionally. Do not tell me you are OK with them not responding. No, you will NOT be OK!
~ if they did not change their number, then their ignoring you will set you off big time
~ if you are broken up, then they do not expect you to honor their birthday. Really? Yes, really!
~ if you do send them the wish and nothing develops after it (as you secretly hoped) then you will be in pain
~ wishing them a happy birthday without much of feedback on their part (whatever your expectations were) will make you feel rejected.
As you can see now, contacting someone we are broken up with – for whatever reason – is a very bad idea. It is like letting them know you still want them. Do you think if they wanted you too, things would have been different? I think so…
I understand that their birthday is like a reminder of what you had together and now you don’t. These could be very powerful and strong memories. Many people get too sentimental and do contact their exes on this day. Unless we truly do not care and have zero expectations, then and only then is it OK to send them the wish. If, however, they are still in your system I would strongly suggest not to.
"I initially thought that I would let it (his birthday day) pass by. I knew we had no future together and I was OK with it. Later that day I felt like I could still send him my ‘Happy Birthday’ wishes on the premise ‘why not?’ I waited till 11pm. I did not want to ruin his day (in case he still hates me). The minute I hit that ‘send’ button my anxiety went off. Did I do something stupid? Is he with someone else? Will he respond?... He was the kind of a guy who would text back quickly. It was close to midnight when I knew that nothing was going to happen… It was a sleepless night… He never sent anything back. Did I make a fool of myself?’ - Emily from Seattle
It is not about being a fool; it is about being protective of your own emotional well being. See what I am saying here?
But what if there is a chance?
If you think that there is a chance and your wishing them a Happy Birthday will make it happen, then why not be honest and upfront instead? Just tell them you have second thoughts and ask if they feel the same. Heck, you do not even need to hide
behind their birthday to say that! Just state your case and see what happens.
One beautiful day, when you have a romantic dinner with your new caring and loving boyfriend, you will suddenly realize that your current ex became just like the rest of them - you won’t think about him as much and won’t worry about his birthday. Gee, you may even FORGET WHEN HIS BIRTHDAY IS BY THAT TIME!
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Articles - Breakup boundaries, Will he be back? or my empowering and compassionate eBook When you are DESPERATE FOR HIS LOVE how to leave your bad relationship without feeling like you are going against yourself