Getting an unexpected text from an ex can be awkward as hell, especially if you’re dating someone new. Whether you haven’t heard from them in months, or you see them every day because they’re still in your friend group, knowing how (or if) to respond can be tricky. But should you tell your partner if your ex texted you? It depends on your relationship, but experts agree it’s usually better to be up-front about it.
Every relationship is different. If yours is the kind where you and your partner tell each other everything, maybe a text from an ex is something you want to disclose. But if you and your partner haven’t defined your communication boundaries, then how much you tell them is really your call. "Since there’s no one-size-fits-all recommendation, the bottom line is, will your partner feel uncomfortable knowing there’s a digital sidebar going on with your ex?" Julie Spira, online dating expert and CEO at Cyber-Dating Expert, tells Elite Daily. "If so, you need to let them know you’ve been in touch, and that it’s not a big deal."
Honesty and communication are essential to a healthy relationship, so if you and your current partner always tell each other everything, then they might feel a violation of trust if you don’t tell them your ex texted you. Nevertheless, it’s important to measure (to the best of your abilities) the tone your ex set in the text they sent you, and what you think their intentions could be. "The issue here is one of intention," life and love mentor Susan Winter tells Elite Daily. "Current partners have valid reason to be suspicious of exes. What’s their motive for reaching out? Jealousy is natural here when boundaries are being broken."
If your ex’s message was outwardly flirty and sexual, telling your partner about it might be the right move. If it was a standard, run-of-the-mill question like "What’s the name of the restaurant we went to that one time?" you and your partner probably have less reason to worry.
If you decide to tell your partner, it’s important to be honest and clear about what your ex said. "When it’s time to tell your partner that you heard from your ex, try to do it in person," Spira adds. "A text message is the wrong way to go because your SO can’t look into your eyes and see any emotions, nor can they hear the tone of your voice."
"I recommend saying, ‘Oh, by the way, I got a text from my ex asking if I’m going to Jimmy’s birthday party, and I said I wasn’t’." says Spira. "The more matter-of-fact you can be in the tone of your voice and the short amount of time spent on telling them, the better off it is for your relationship."
Getting a text from your ex doesn’t have to be a big deal when handled maturely and honestly. "Some people stay friends with exes, and if both parties have moved on, it’s not a big issue," Spira explains. "If you’re confident in the romantic health of your relationship, your current partner shouldn’t be bothered by a random text."
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