Sex & Relationships

18 Texts To Send An Ex You Still Have To See

"I'm happy to talk as friends, but also can give you space."

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If you have to run into your ex, running into them on the Billboard Top 100 isn't the worst way to go it. Of course, if you aren't a Disney channel star turned TikTok sensation turned record-breaking pop icon, consider these texts to send an ex you still have to see your version of Olivia Rodrigo's "Drivers License." 18 messages to state your piece, to be sent precisely after dramatically driving through the suburbs or waiting in line at the DMV.

In a perfect world, every breakup would end with your ex deleting their Instagram, moving to Paraguay, and never factoring into your social or emotional life ever again. However, in the real world, you might have to see them again — at work, a friend's party, or the one Trader Joe's in town that always has free samples.

"In some cases, it might be necessary to be 'friendly' after a breakup," Shula Melamed, MA, MPH, and relationship coach, tells Bustle. "Responsibilities don't go away just because the relationship ends."

According to Melamed, getting over a breakup takes patience and a mutual willingness to heal. And if you're looking to establish boundaries and start the moving on process, these 18 texts are a great place to start.


"Running into each other will probably be awkward, but I hope we can try to be cool about it."

As Trina Leckie, host of the Breakup BOOST podcast, tells Bustle that addressing the awkwardness can give you and your ex room to be uncomfortable.


"I promise I won't hide behind the bulk nuts when we see each other at Whole Foods."

Using humor can ease the tension and let your ex know you're ready to start moving on.


"I'm sorry for my part in our breakup. I care about you and hope we can be warm to each other moving forward."

Per Melamed, healing from a breakup means learning from the past and understanding both you and your ex's part in the relationship ending.


"I know we talked about giving each other space, but I hate feeling like I can't say hello if I see you. Would you be open to being more conversational?"

Boundaries need to be respected, but they can also be consensually adjusted. If you're ready to be more friendly, ask your ex where they stand.


"I know we're both in a lot of pain, and I don't expect us to be over it right away, but I hope we can at least be cordial."

Let your ex know that there's no rush for either of you to feel OK again but that you can be mature as you heal.


"I know that you aren’t my biggest fan at the moment, but I hope that if we bump into each other, we can keep things friendly."

If the relationship ended due to infidelity or you two were always fighting, your ex may still feel sensitive. Leckie suggests addressing their feelings while still encouraging you both to be mature.


"I’m going to be at John's party and I heard you might be going, just wanted to let you know."

If you get word that your ex will be at a dinner party or on a Zoom call with other friends, giving them a heads up may nix any potential awkwardness.


"It hurts to see you, and I'm not ready to be talking regularly. I hope you can respect my space when we have to see each other."

In the words of Olivia Rodrigo, if you still f*cking love your ex and you're crying in your car about it, you don't have to lie or hide your feelings.


"I'm not sure what level of communication feels good, but we don't have to figure it out right now. I'm happy to be respectful and take things day by day."

Maybe you'll be ready to be friends in a month. Maybe you'll never really be friends, but you're open to being friendly. "Leaving the door open creates less expectation of being friends immediately," Melamed says.


"Hey, PJ invited me to their art show. I know they were your friend first, and I don't want to make you uncomfortable."

You're too old to call "dibs" on certain friends, but you're also entitled to feel awkward about your ex rolling into your best friend's party. Checking in with them before an event lets you get on the same page.


"There's no weirdness or hard feelings on my end. I wish you the best and I'm happy to chat when I see you."

If you're ready to forgive and forget, let them know.


"I'm happy to talk as friends, but also can give you space. I'll let you take the lead."

If you were the dumper, let them decide how friendly they want to be with you.


"I know we're going to be in a group chat together for the group project, but I'm not comfortable communicating outside of that."

While it may be impossible to get literal distance, you can establish emotional distance by establishing strong boundaries.


"We're going to be seeing each other a lot, and I'm happy to figure out what level of communication feels comfortable for both of us."

Lets them know you're willing to find a balance for you both.


"I'm not dodging you or trying to be cold, I'm not over the breakup and I'm not ready to be friends."

Leckie says that you don't need to feel pressure to be friendly, but letting your ex know where you're at can stop any wrong assumptions in their tracks.


"Seeing each other isn't ideal for either of us, but I'm hoping we can be adults about it."

Let them know you want to be mature, not mates.


"It's too painful for me to be your friend right now, but I hope we can be polite to each other when we do have to see each other."

"Let's be friends" is often thrown around at the end of a relationship. "Check yourself to see if you are really up for it," Melamed says. If you're not ready to be friends (or even friendly), you can say so.


"I am not trying to get back together, but when we do cross paths, there doesn’t have to be an air of negativity between us."

Leckie and Melamed agree on the importance of clearing up any residual feelings. You don't want your message to be misconstrued as wanting to get back together.


Shula Melamed, MA, MPH, and relationship coach

Trina Leckie,host of 'Breakup BOOST' podcast