5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Wishing Your Ex A Happy Birthday On Facebook, Because Sometimes It's Best To Let Birthdays Be Bygones

Facebook has made our lives easier in countless ways, adding new addicting features as it evolved from a digital yearbook to the social identity layer of our Internet lives. One of main features that has stuck since Facebook first launched in 2004, however, is the birthday notifications. Facebook is now like a personal assistant, reminding us of all of our friends' most special day. But what's the proper etiquette to wishing someone a happy birthday, especially someone we could best describe our relationship as "it's complicated"? So, should you wish your ex a happy birthday?

Every breakup is different, and therefore a relationship with an ex can work in many different levels after an uncoupling. A recent study revealed that 96 percent of young people remain Facebook friends with a former flame. Furthermore, 8 percent continued a friendly relationship on Facebook: commenting on photos and posting on their profile. So even though we may have cut romantic ties with someone, they may still show up on our Facebook feed and in our birthday notifications.

Wishing someone a happy birthday on Facebook is a convenient (bordering on insignificant) way to let someone know you care. And wishing an ex a happy birthday on Facebook can be innocent enough—unless there are ulterior motives involved. So before wishing your ex a Facebook happy birthday, ask yourself these questions to make sure your intentions are justified.

1. Are you trying to get back together?

If you feel there are unresolved feelings, then a happy birthday on Facebook may be the start of a longer conversation about whether you and your ex should have another go at it. But tread carefully, and be 100 percent sure that getting back together is what you really want. Just remember, you broke up for a reason.

2. Are you boasting about your new life?

After going through a breakup and seriously considering wrecking my ex's apartment, a friend told me, "the best revenge is to live well." Which certainly was the best free therapy advice I could've gotten. But that doesn't meant that you should be rubbing your well-lived life on your ex's Facebook every chance you get. If your "happy birthday" includes a phrase about how you and your new bae just got back from a fabulous trip, then step away from the keyboard.

3. Are you hoping to establish a friendship?

After a breakup, it's normal to have a lingering feeling of wanting your ex to remain in your life — even in a purely platonic sense. Separation anxiety is hard to get over. If a true friendship is what you want, it's going to take more than a drive-by Facebook post on the one day when he'll be flooded by FB greetings. Text him to wish him/her a happy birthday (way more personal) and invite him/her for coffee. Just be clear and honest about your friends-only motivation.

4. Will it seem passive aggressive?

If things ended badly between you two, it will be hard to come off sincere and caring. Even if you have moved on and only wish the best on their birthday, the post will be a source of confusion, not only for them but for all their friends who see it. It may be best to let birthdays be bygones.

5. Are you just trying to be genuinely nice?

If your ex wished you a happy birthday on Facebook, then it's only polite to return the well-wishes. However, keep it short and to the point. You wouldn't want him to misconstrue your Facebook happy birthday as having any of the ulterior motivates mentioned above.

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