May 16, 2013 at 8:37 PM ET
Maybe you need to ask your ex something. Maybe she still has your stuff. Maybe his dad is ill and you want to check in. Before you text an ex, try to honor a month-long "no contact rule" first. When you do send that first text, accept that you may not get a response—or at least not the response you want.
Ten things to never text to your ex:
One-word texts. Don't just text "Hey" or "Yo." If you have something to say or ask, do so in your initial text. Get right to the point. Don't put your ex in an awkward spot of trying to interpret why you're contacting him/her.
Terms of endearment or flirty emoticons. You're no longer a couple. Avoid using pet names or cute phrases that should be reserved for a relationship. You cannot keep the cute stuff post-breakup.
Resentful rants. If you're upset, tell a friend. Do not text hurtful things just because you're tired/lonely/drunk and it's easy to do so. Take the high road into singleness.
"Why didn’t you text me back?" or "Did you get my message?" Send one text. If he/she doesn't respond, accept that contact is likely not welcome yet.
Relationship talk. Don't debrief or reminisce over text. Beyond an initial post-breakup debriefing, which should be done in person, all relationship lessons should be shared with friends and your journal, not the person who broke your heart.
Booty-call requests. Never, ever a good idea.
"Thinking of you." This isn't helpful. It's predictable that recent exes will still be thinking of each other. But once you're no longer in a relationship, your ex should no longer be privy to your thought life.
Sexy pics. See: booty-call requests. Move on.
Desperate apologies and pleading. Do not try to win back your ex by begging over text.
A second text, and then a third. Once you've accomplished what you needed to do—he agreed to give your cat back on Thursday, for example—quit while you're ahead. Be okay with being the one to end the text conversation.
When in doubt, don't text your ex. Ever.
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.