On wishing a ‘Happy Birthday’

It most definitely is not necessary to say “Happy Birthday” to an ex if you no longer speak.

Graphic by Joshua Awolade
Graphic by Joshua Awolade

Is it necessary to say “Happy Birthday” to an ex if you no longer keep in contact with them?

If you have experienced a breakup chances are this question has come up, whether it was serious enough for you to voice it to a friend or whether it remained in your thoughts.

I too have thought about the answer to this question and have asked friends what they thought about it.

It may seem as though there is no clear answer to this question due to the fact that there is always a sense of unpredictability when interacting with one’s ex-partner.

Chances are if the relationship ended badly, many would say no, and if it ended in a good way then they’ll answer, “Why not?” I am definitely no expert on the subject, but because I have gained some experience trying both ends of the spectrum, I have drawn a conclusion on the issue.

It most definitely is not necessary to say “Happy Birthday” to an ex if you no longer speak.

Being an ex, you neither have a responsibility to acknowledge nor celebrate the birthday of a previous partner.

Sending them your best wishes on their birthday will not dramatically alter your life.

I know many of you are thinking, “It depends on the situation, did things end badly? How long did the relationship last? Are they both in new relationships?”

I have taken all these questions into consideration and I still hold to my answer.

Mind you, my conclusion was drawn strictly on the basis that you and this individual no longer speak to one another, meaning there is no friendship involved at all.

I believe firmly that when doors shut in our faces it is for our betterment, even if it feels incredibly painful at the time.

Breakups can be terrible, but they definitely happen for a reason. Sometimes saying something as simple as “Happy Birthday” to a person can reopen a wound, especially if they still care deeply about you.

Although this gesture is a simple one, I am sure we can all agree that sometimes saying something simple to an ex can be completely blown out of proportion.

It could result in weeks of both parties lying in bed wondering why it was said. Happy Birthday could mean “I love you” or, “Let’s try again.”

I understand this individual could have meant so much to you at a particular point in your life that it doesn’t feel right to let their special day pass by without so much as a nod in their direction.

But allowing yourself to disassociate birthdays, anniversaries and even holidays with a relationship you once had is all part of breaking up.

It is always best to just leave things be especially if you have both made the decision to move forward with your lives.

The aim of this article isn’t to ridicule those who still think it’s okay to speak to an ex.

There are people out there who have really good friendships with their ex-partners, so it can be expected that they would send their wishes on those special days.

And for the hopeless romantics: sometimes when breakups occur, there is a possibility that months or years down the road, those individuals could reconnect, get back together and live happily ever after.

But until then, tone down on the “Happy Birthdays.” Focus on yourself and improving your life. The other party will live without the gesture.

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