How to Respond to an Ex Asking How You Are?

You have already forgotten about him or her, and suddenly this person reappears with “How are you?”. What shall you do and how to answer? Read on to learn!

Written by Kate Holmsy. Updated on What to Say When Your Ex Asks How You Are

Many of us have been through this, and some even more than once: you split up with your boyfriend (or a girlfriend, if you are a guy), you start your life from the very beginning trying to get that person out of your mind, and then – all of a sudden! – he or she appears again with an innocent “How are you?” question! What the heck?!

We bet that most of you would feel over excited and even worried not knowing how to answer correctly and what to say to still sound with dignity. And we can perfectly understand what you are feeling at that very moment!

Thoughts are roaming around in your head: why did he/she appear right now? What does he/she want? Is it a bad joke? Is it an attempt to manipulate? Was this message sent to me by mistake?

It is quite natural to feel embarrassed and frustrated when you unexpectedly get this message. And this is why quite many women (well, and men too!) do the same mistake and engage too deeply into the conversation.

Like this, they often end up being hooked up by their ex who doesn’t want to restart their relationship in fact, but just needs some extra attention – maybe, because his current love crush is not much into him.

So in this article, we will tell you how to respond to such text messages that may arrive from your ex, and what to say when your ex asks how you are.

In addition, we will also explain why your ex partners might want or try to reconnect with you after quite a long breakup! And finally, as a bonus, you will learn how not to respond in order not to get down this endless rabbit hole.

What to Say When Your Ex Asks How You Are?

My ex texted me “how are you doing?”. What shall I text back if I shall at all? These questions are quite natural if your ex partner vanished long ago and how he suddenly appeared out of the blue with that message!

It does not matter whether your ex girlfriend or a boyfriend asks how you are, what matters is how you react to that message.

So the major thing that you must keep in your mind is that you should behave and carry yourself with dignity and self-respect. Even when answering your ex’s message, be classy!

This is why you should never reply with anger or reproach or insult your ex! Instead, check out what alternative answers exist – you will definitely find at least one that appeals to you more than others!

What to Say When Your Ex Asks How You Are
Credits: pixelfit, via

Send An Emotion

This is the easiest way how to respond to an ex. It can be an emoji, a GIF, or a meme – anything that shows you are doing well but you have nothing to say to your ex except for that.

As for what emotion exactly to send…You decide. At least, you realize better what you feel about that person.

Send An Emotion
Credits: webphotographeer, via

Related: 22 Ideas How to Respond to What’s Good?


This is the best reply to your ex in case you broke up in the ugliest way. Asking him why he is bothering you right now is a legit response! After all, with the horrible things the two of you said to each other in the end, why would he even be messing with you like this?!

Let him think up a clever way to respond to that question (especially if he was the one who broke your heart)!

Making him think of another text message to send you to get you to respond appropriately will take some work on his part. It never hurts to put a guy through a little bit of pain if he caused you some, right?

And even if he does not reply back, your answer will clearly show how you treat this person.

Credits: artpipi, via

Related: How to Respond to Hey?

Is Anything Wrong?

If you have been dating for quite a long time, you could already meet your ex’s family members and friends. In this case, a message from him or her might mean that something happened to one of those whom you both know.

There could always be the circumstances where someone you both know is ill, has passed away or is in some kind of trouble.

It never hurts to find out the truth with a response like this from text messages from your ex.

6 Texts Your Ex Will Send And How To Respond6 Texts Your Ex Will Send And How To Respond

Related: How to Respond When He Finally Texts You Back?

Block Your Ex

If you don’t want to hear back from him ever again, block his number. For now, it’s probably best to just get him off your phone altogether.

This way, getting another text won’t be an issue.

Block Your Ex
Credits: Kerkez, via

Just Say Nothing

Yep, that may sound rude, but if you both split up really badly, with arguments and fights, and then you suddenly receive that “How are you?” message from him after a long long time, you have the right to just ignore that dude.

Especially if you have no plans or intention to reunite with him one day.

Don’t say a word to him, do not send an emoji, and do not call him to catch up. You broke up for a reason.

There is no point in opening up old wounds by “catching up.” See, talking to an ex can bring up pain, prevent you from healing, make you relive mistakes, cause you to live in a fantasy that was never there, and prevent you from letting new energies in.

Do you really want to go through all that?

Just Say Nothing
Credits: rafafernandezphotos, via

Hey There! I’m Going Great!

This is the right way to reply if you want to let your ex know that, in fact, he or she was the very last person on your mind to think about, but since he/she showed up, well, you will be so kind to answer!

Besides, the “hey there” part sells the casual elements of the message, leaving him to wonder if you are excited to hear him or if you just remembered who the heck he was!

Hey There! I’m Going Great!
Credits: Dean Drobot, via

I’m/I’ve [insert]. How About You?

This is a super polite and responsive text message to send to your ex as a reply to that “How are you?” stuff. Just write about something you are currently doing or you have recently done, and ask back about what he is doing or has just done.

If you need an exact example, this may sound like: “I’ve just been to that new Thai restaurant nearby. How about you?” or “Just pitched to a new client! How about you?”. See, what these texts show? Right, they show that you are being active and you are moving forward, yet your replies are still polite, but not too personal.

It also gives him something to reply back with if he chooses to continue the conversation. Lastly, you ask him how he’s doing. You reciprocate what he asked to show that you care and throw the conversation back to him. Now it’s up to him to respond.

These are obviously the optimal answers to your ex’s message asking how you are doing. They are both polite and responsive on the one hand, and a bit cold on the other so that your ex partner does not think that you are spending days and nights deep in sad thoughts about him or her.

I’mI’ve [insert]. How About You
Credits: kasto, via

How Not to Respond to Your Ex When He Or She Is Asking How You Are

Now that you are aware of the best ways of answering your ex’s sudden messages, it is time to learn how not to reply to an ex.

Yes, there are certain “forbidden phrases” that you should not make use of unless you want to show yourself as a vulnerable, hurt, and suffering person.

So here is the wrong approach that you need to avoid by all means when answering your ex in text messages.

  • First of all, don’t react to his message with any negativity. If anger, hate, or jealousy gets into your emotions when you see a message from your ex partner, you need to take some time to calm down.
  • Another huge mistake is to overthink that message. Don’t try to read into it too much! It’s just a polite “how are you” from someone you know from the past. That’s how you should see it: it’s a welcome message from an old friend.
  • If your reply is along the lines of “what do you want” or “go to hell,” then you’re not in the right mindset for anything as well.

If you use any of such messages to reply to your ex, you will first of all show yourself to be still hurt and vulnerable. And second, answering like that is simply impolite and even humiliating for yourself because the tone of the message shows you are still thinking about him (or her) and you have not gotten over it.

How Not to Respond to Your Ex When He Or She Is Asking How You Are
Credits: Pressmaster, via

What Makes Your Ex Message You With “How Are You?” After Being Out Of Reach?

All right, you may say, you told me what to reply and what not to reply. But why did my ex text me asking how I am? What is the point of this message? We haven’t been in touch for weeks (or months, depending on your particular situation). Why would he or she want to show up again?

That’s a good question, in fact. The worst possible scenario is that your ex is a manipulator and he or she wants to keep you hooked up emotionally to be able to “feed” on your attention and energy.

Such people tend to vanish regularly and then appear all of a sudden like nothing happened – often with a message like “How are you?”.

What Makes Your Ex Message You With “How Are You” After Being Out Of Reach
Credits: lkostudio, via

But if you are absolutely sure that this is not your case, consider thinking about a few other options why your ex could appear in your life again:

  • The person simply wants to know what emotional state you are in and what you think of him or her.
  • Your ex might think it is just polite to start a conversation with “how are you” and then proceed to the things he or she is really concerned or interested about.
  • The “how are you” might be merely a mean of getting on your good side before your ex starts talking about more important matters. Important to him or her, of course.
  • Your ex might get curious about you! He or she saw that you’re focusing on yourself and wanted to say hello to you to find out more about your new life.
  • It is also possible that your ex could have a hidden agenda or your ex could genuinely be concerned about you. You’ll see what your ex’s objective is when you see what he or she does after the “how are you.”

The best thing you can do in this situation is that you wait a bit and see what your ex will talk about after that greeting phrase. Like that, you will get a clearer understanding of what made this person to show up after a long time absence.

Well, now you know in detail how to reply to a greeting message from your ex correctly and politely even if your heart wounds have not healed yet.

With that in mind you will be able to lead the conversation and not let your ex manipulate you if that’s what made him reappear in your life again.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Is it possible to stay friends with my ex?

It’s possible but it rarely happens. In most cases, for your ex it’s a hidden way of keeping you by his side.

⭐ Shall I try to get my ex back?

You decide. But why would you need that? Such relationships usually end pretty quickly.

⭐ How do I know if my ex still wants to restore our relationships?

Look at his actions and attitude. If he cares, if he shows true interest in you and your life, if he’s ready to help when you need it - then maybe there’s a chance.

Written by
Kate worked in "The Fashion Magazine" for four years as a freelance writer and loved to consult and help people with their style. How to create your own style, how to look beautiful, and select trendy colors for your hair - these are just a few of many issues Kate will happily explain in Beezzly Beauty blogs!
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.
5 Common Texts Your Ex Will Send (And How To Reply!)5 Common Texts Your Ex Will Send (And How To Reply!)