It's the nuclear option of sending your ex an actual Valentine's Day gift! Picture: Pickpik
It's the nuclear option of sending your ex an actual Valentine's Day gift! Picture: Pickpik

Should you contact your ex on Valentine's Day?

By Lee Wilson Time of article published Feb 5, 2020

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Valentine's Day brings a perplexing situation to people who want to get back together with the one who dumped them. If the breakup wasn't mutual and you are the one who has been trying to figure out how to get your ex back, your strategy can certainly blur when the second month of the new year rolls around.

If you are like many of my clients, the idea of contacting your ex with a simple, "Happy Valentine's Day," text is tempting because, for all you know, it could trigger warmth, memories, and/or them possibly wanting to meet up. You hope it could rattle their cage a bit, causing them to feel a connection between the two of you again and for your ex to turn their focus back toward you. 

Those are some of the thoughts and feelings of clients I speak to who are opportunistically seeing Valentine's Day approaching. 

Then there are others who share the thought that they should contact their ex on Valentine's Day, but the reason is different. The reason is that by contacting their ex on that day with a "Happy Valentine's Day" text, they believe they will prevent their ex from drifting even further away. 

The concern is that if they don't reach out with the socially-expected "Happy Valentine's Day" wish, they will not meet the expectations of their estranged partner. Not meeting this expectation, so the concern goes, will cause anger, hurt, or for this person to do what they dread most - move on. 

Some people put the two projections together and convince themselves to reach out because of the double-edged sword theory of being a positive move and a cautious one at the same time.

Finally, we have a third idea inserted into the mix and this one seems to come from a similar idea of hoping that it's a double-edged sword in place of Cupid's arrow. It's the nuclear option of sending your ex an actual Valentine's Day gift! 

I've heard some amazing reasoning and justification for this one, but it comes down to thinking that giving an ex a gift will cause them to feel or recognize your love which will, in turn, resurrect theirs.

It almost amounts to a bribe. Though the person proposing this idea would never think of it that way, it's a bribe to try to buy back this person's love. 

I've spoken with people who truly believe that if they can find the perfect gift that communicates their love, the uniqueness of the relationship that the two of them had, and/or that reminds their ex of the relationship when they look at it, that maybe such an expression will endear them to their ex to the point that the ex realizes he/she still loves them and wants them.

What if I told you that those theories are almost always incorrect? Based on two decades in the relationship-recovery service and thousands of cases, I can tell you that the odds are that the best response you'll get from your ex is a returned, "Happy Valentine's Day," text or a "Thank you for the gift," text at best. I estimate that about half will receive that single response only without any additional conversation.

There are three other potential responses that I'll cover briefly: 

Your ex does not respond to you at all (and/or ships the gift back to you)

Imagine how that would feel and how unclear the future would seem if your ex did nothing after you contacted them or sent them a gift for that day. In your effort to get them back after that, do you contact them again, making it twice in a row for you because of their lack of response? You likely see the problem there, especially if you are familiar with the no contact rule. It puts you in a place of fewer options. More on that later.

Your ex becomes angry by you reaching out or sending the gift

This is one of the more confusing responses for most people. I explain why this is a possible response in my YouTube video, "Stages Your Ex Goes Through During No Contact," but the simple explanation is that your ex can be in a stage, depending on the timing and circumstances of the breakup, where they want relief. Your ex got the breakup over with and doesn't want to have to deal with it at the moment. 

Your ex responds to your message or gift and the two of you end up getting back together

This is the one you are wanting if you want your ex back. This is the dream and sounds like everything would be complete in your life if it would happen. Again, I'm estimating, but one tends to learn a lot in twenty years in a field and I'll say that this happens in less than ten percent of cases. 

That means that 90 percent of the time your ex will either send back a bland response or ignore you completely.

Does it hurt your chances? 

What do you have to lose, right? So what if your ex responds with something bland or ignores you, at least you tried and no ground was lost, right? 


Remember about breaking the no contact rule? Is that really such a bad thing?

Lee Wilson is a relationship coach who helps people get their ex back after a breakup and to save a marriage in danger of divorce. His website is

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