Responses to an EX Asking “How You Are” : 30+ Flirty, Witty and Savage Responses

Have you ever gotten a message out of the blue from an ex asking “Hey, how have you been?” and not known how to respond? I’ve been there too.

Just last month, I got a text from my ex Mark after not speaking for over a year. Seeing his name pop up gave me major anxiety.

My mind raced trying to decipher what his agenda was. Did he want to rekindle things? Was he just bored? Or was it just an innocent check-in from an ex?

I sat there over-analyzing the message for way too long trying to craft the perfect response.

Should I send something flirty to test the waters? Or go with a more savage response to show him I’ve moved on? Or keep it light and witty showing I’m doing fine without him?

With so many ways to respond, it was overwhelming trying to figure out the right thing to say.

Well after tons of trial and error responding to exes over the years, I put together this list of 30 responses for nearly any agenda your ex may have for popping up out of nowhere to ask how you’ve been.

30 Ways to Respond to “How Have You Been” from an Ex

Here are 30 responses for when your ex asks “how are you” out of the blue:

Also Read: How to Respond When He Finally Texts You Back: 30+ Flirty, Witty And Savage Responses

When to Use These Snarky Comebacks

Before sending a savage response, consider your ex’s intentions first.

If it seems innocent small talk, take the high road with a neutral response. Responding salty right off the bat could start drama.

However if they’re clearly fishing to get back together, feel free to unleash your sass and slay!

When to UseWhen to Avoid
They ask follow up questions getting personalIf it seems innocent small talk
They proposition meeting up one-on-oneYou secretly want them back
They reminisce about past memories togetherThere’s potential for a friendship
They flirt firstYou’ve fully moved on

Funny Responses

We all know laughter is the best medicine, so why not break the ice with an ex with some funny comebacks?

Poking a bit of light-hearted fun shows you’ve moved on and have zero intention of rekindling an old flame.

Here are 12 funny ways to respond when an ex pops up out of nowhere:

Funny Comebacks To Make Them Laugh

  1. New phone, who dis? 😂
  2. I got abducted by aliens but otherwise can’t complain wbu?
  3. Living my best hoe era tbh
  4. Out with my new bae looking hot AF, but what’s good with you? 😜
  5. Working on not attracting f***boys like yourself
  6. Sorry, my dog ate my last f*** to give about you
  7. Netflixin’ and chillin’ solo dolo as per usual
  8. Getting my beauty rest now that I’m back on the market! 😴
  9. Drinking away the memories of ever meeting you 🍸
  10. Who are you again? 🤔 Oh right, we dated for 5 mins in high school…
  11. Leave a message after the beep… BEEP
  12. ✨Ignoring toxic exes✨

When to Laugh it Off

Lighten the mood with some humor when:

  • You’ve fully moved on from the relationship
  • You want to seem unfazed
  • There’s zero interest in reconnecting romantically
  • You’re over the drama and ended on decent terms

Savage Responses

But if your ex betrayed your trust or did you dirty, it’s open season to be savage and throw some shade! 😈

Unleash your sassy side with these biting comebacks:

SassyResponses When You’re Still Salty

  1. Who’s this? Oh the cheater who doesn’t deserve love! Got it.
  2. Brand new me still wants nothing to do with you. 💅
  3. Out partying while you’re home all lonely lol sucks to suck
  4. Haven’t you heard? I’m allergic to fuckboys now
  5. Living stress free without your lying ass in my life👋
  6. Sending screenshots of this to the girl you told me not to worry about 🥰
  7. Do me a favor and lose this number again please!
  8. New decade new me still knowing my worth unlike you 🐍
  9. Glad you messaged first so I could reject you again
  10. Whoops meant to block you months ago my bad! 🚫

Also Read: How to Respond to “SMH”: 30+ Flirty, Witty And Savage Responses

When to Clap Back

There’s no better revenge than looking hot and happy, so unleash your inner psycho only when:

  • They betrayed your trust in the relationship
  • They directly did you wrong
  • You want the last laugh and to seem unbothered
  • Seeing them jealous gives you life

On the flip side, avoid roasting too hard if:

  • You secretly want to rekindle things
  • You’re not fully over what happened
  • There’s a chance at friendship

Flirty Responses

But if there’s no bad blood, a flirty response can hint you’re open to reconnecting. And who knows, you might rediscover that spark! 💘

Here are 10 playful ways to respond when wanting to chat more:

Flirty Comebacks When You’re Down to Clown

  1. If I said I’ve been missing you lately would that line still work? 😜
  2. I’ve been chatting with a cutie who reminds me of you, but less annoying of course!
  3. hair flip Oh I can’t complain, enjoying the single life lately tbh!
  4. Living my best hot girl summer thanks for noticing! 💁‍♀️
  5. Let’s just say I’ve learned a lot about what I really want since we split…
  6. I may or may not be wearing that lingerie set you bought me lol
  7. On my way to yoga class all zen and flexible now 🧘‍♀️
  8. Out partying with my girls serving looks hotter than you could handle
  9. Relaxing poolside working on my summer bod for hot girl season! 🌞👙
  10. If you must know I’ve been missing that thing you used to do with your tongue…👅

When to Get Flirty

Break out these cheeky responses when:

  • You want to subtly shoot your shot
  • You’re hoping to start over romantically
  • You split on good terms without closure
  • You think they’re interested in getting back together

Flirt at your own risk if:

  • Bad blood causing the breakup initially
  • You have unresolved trust issues
  • You’re in a relationship or talking to someone else

So there are a few ideas for responding to an ex texting you out of the blue. Hopefully these comebacks gave you some inspiration for the perfect response to match whatever intentions your ex has popping up!

Top 10 Editor’s Choice Responses

Out of all the ideas, these 10 responses are tried and true for handling an ex texting out of nowhere.

10 Best Ways to Respond When Your Ex Messages

1. New Year, Same Me

Whether it’s January 1st or June, this response lets your ex know a new year changes nothing about how disinterested you are. It oozes confidence showing you’re the same old unbothered self.

When to Use:

  • They blindside you months after the breakup
  • You posted hot pics living your best life
  • You want to seem completely unaffected

When to Avoid:

  • You want to rekindle things
  • There’s a chance at friendship
  • They sincerely seem to want to catch up

Also Read: 30+ Responses When Someone Says “I’m Hungry”: Flirty, Witty and Savage Comebacks

2. Insert Eye Roll Here

A simple eye roll emoji response speaks volumes without having to dignify their message with a response. It conveys annoyance while still keeping things short and sweet.

When to Use:

  • You find their message rude or shady
  • You sincerely can’t be bothered
  • You want the last “word”

When to Avoid:

  • You’re hoping for something more
  • You want to take the high road
  • Leaving things open-ended

3. Sorry, Not Sorry

This cheeky response shows no remorse for ignoring their message initially or your lack of interest in replying further.

When to Use:

  • It’s a lame conversation starter
  • You want to seem politely uninterested
  • You secretly died inside seeing their name

When to Avoid:

  • You want to rekindle communication
  • There’s potential for friendship
  • You regret not replying sooner

4. Read Receipts Only

Sometimes seeing those read receipts is satisfaction enough without dignifying them with an actual response.

When to Use:

  • You’re feeling salty about the breakup
  • You want the upper hand
  • You genuinely have zero interest communicating

When to Avoid:

  • You want to chat more or meet up
  • The breakup was messy or unfinished
  • You’re hoping to start fresh

5. Mhm Like I Haven’t Heard That Before 🙄

If they spit some played out game like missing you or casual flirting, douse that fire real quick. This calls out their BS attempts when you know their intentions are less than sincere.

When to Use:

  • They lead with a flirty or nostalgic line
  • You know they just want a hookup
  • They previously ghosted after using similar lines

When to Avoid:

  • You think they genuinely still care
  • You maybe overreacted initially
  • You actually have missed them too

6. Remind Me…Who Is This Again? 🤔

This feigning ignorance response is great for an ex you barely remember or when you’ve fully moved on from ever dating.

When to Use:

  • It was a short-lived fling
  • It’s been ages since you dated
  • You have zero recollection of their existence

When to Avoid:

  • Harsh feelings still linger
  • The relationship was meaningful
  • You remember them vividly

7. Nice Try But I’m Blocking This Number ✌️

If all else fails with your ex not taking no for an answer, sometimes you just gotta pull the plug. This final warning conveys your stance clearly before following through.

When to Use:

  • They blow up your phone repeatedly
  • They cross physical boundaries trying to see you
  • They can’t respect your lack of interest

When to Avoid:

  • With someone clingy but well-intentioned
  • Your responses gave wrong idea
  • To make them jealous purposefully

8. Feel Free to Talk to My Voicemail 📞

Straight to voicemail they go! Let calls ring endlessly to really drive home you won’t engage without filtering communication on your own terms.

When to Use:

  • To avoid responding in heat of emotion
  • You secretly want to hear their voice
  • To buy time delaying further contact

When to Avoid:

  • With toxic exes provoking drama
  • When wanting to reconnect
  • If they could spiral emotionally

9. Can We Pretend You Never Sent This? 🙈

If you want to act like their message never existed, this response says it all! It leaves no room for opening the door back up.

When to Use:

  • Bad blood ending things initially
  • Previous fallouts trying friendship
  • You genuinely want zero contact

When to Avoid:

  • Regretful split with no closure yet
  • Hinting at reconciliation is on table
  • Emotions are still tangled up

10. Delete My Number While You’re At It 👋

This curt response makes very clear contact moving forward is off the table in your eyes. Short, brutal and straight to the point!

When to Use:

  • Cheating or toxicity causing breakup
  • Tired of constant roping back in
  • Ready to sever all remaining ties

When to Avoid:

  • With someone genuinely remorseful
  • To hurt them because you got hurt
  • If you still care and they might too

So there are my top 10 go-to responses for nearly any ex popping up out of the blue! Try out a few and see which ones work for your situation.

How to Reply to a Girl

If your ex reaching out is a girl you used to date, tailor your response to show her you’ve matured and learned from your past mistakes in the relationship.

Here are 3 ways to respond that leave the door open to potentially reconnecting as friends or maybe even trying again someday.

When She Contacts You First

  1. Be Honest. Let her know you’re open to catching up casually with zero expectations. Suggest something chill like meeting for coffee with no pressure.
  2. Compliment Her Positive Qualities. Show you still admire traits she brought to the relationship by saying something like “You always did keep me on my toes which I appreciated.”
  3. Own Your Shortcomings. Briefly apologize for where you went wrong, without throwing pity parties or expecting instant forgiveness. If it felt genuine to her, it may soften any hard feelings.

Replying to a Guy

Alternatively if an ex-boyfriend reaches out to you, he may need a slightly different approach.

Here are 3 responses to remind him you won’t tolerate games without coming across overly aggressive.

When He Messages First

  1. Keep It Short. Simply tell him “I appreciate you reaching out, but I’ve got a lot going on right now.” This leaves things open-ended without falsely leading him on.
  2. Reverse the Tables. Instead of answering his “how are you” question ask him about what he’s been up to lately. This subtly shifts control of the conversation back to you while briefly engaging.
  3. Set Boundaries Upfront. Kindly suggest catching up casually when you’re less busy and let him know maturely you refuse to fall into old unhealthy relationship patterns going forward.

Timing Matters

Another major factor when deciding how to respond to an ex is considering current timing and situations in your life.

Here are quick tips for responding based on various scenarios:

During the Holidays

  • Keep any type of reunion just as friends
  • Suggest a casual group hang rather than one-on-one
  • Don’t give wrong impression if emotions are heightened from nostalgia

After Social Media Silence

  • Reply neutrally without seeming too eager or annoyed
  • Briefly appease their guilt for lack of happy birthday/holiday wishes from you over time
  • Reset clear expectations for communication moving forward

Following a Health Scare or Loss

  • Comfort first emotionally if seriously ill or going through loss
  • Check on how they’re holding up regardless of past drama
  • Revisit where you stand once the initial storm settles

Conclusion: Should You Even Respond?

Before reflexively replying to an ex’s message, ask yourself why they’re popping up out of the blue first.

Sure, once emotions settle after a breakup you can revisit whether platonic friendship is possible down the road.

But responding with that agenda too soon can give the wrong impression if residual feelings linger beneath the surface.

And if their true intentions scream ulterior motives based on what, when or how they messaged unprovoked, feel empowered to ignore.

You reserve the right not to engage thirsty exes orbiting in and out of your life the moment it suits them.

At the end of the day, you owe no one from your past explanations if you don’t want them back in your present.

So let this article help you feel confident responding however fits your unique situation. Just make sure you put yourself first before ever worrying what an ex thinks.

Your energy is far too precious to waste on those no longer deserving of your time. But for the right person? A single message could spark back that flame.

I am a Certified Life Coach (CPC) and mom of two from Austin, TX. I draw on my psychology background and coaching experience to empower others to grow through my writing.

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