10 (Actually-Helpful) Questions To Ask Your Ex

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So you’ve broken up. It’s done. Over. The thing is, that doesn’t just magically make your feelings disappear. It also doesn’t stop all the “what ifs” and “why’s” running around your mind. You’ve got questions to ask your ex, right?

But what questions should you actually ask? What are the helpful questions to ask your ex? The ones that will genuinely do more good than harm? And how about the ones you should really leave out?

Well my friends, in this post – we’re going to give you a guide to the questions you CAN ask your ex, and the questions you CAN’T, plus when to ask them and why you feel the need to ask them in the first place.

At the end of it all, you’re going to be a lot clearer on the next steps, and the boundaries you need to set yourself too. Sounds good? Alright then. Well, let’s start from the top.

Is It Ok To Talk To Your Ex?

Before we look at the questions to ask your ex, I want to address the fact that you want to speak to your ex in the first place.

I mean is it even okay to talk to your ex after a breakup or should you just block them out completely?

After all, we’ve heard plenty of times about the no-contact rule. It’s something I vouch for here on Forgetting Fairytales too.

So when might there be an exception? When is it ok to speak to your ex?

Well, in most cases you’re going to be asking these questions right after after the breakup. (We’re talking in the first few days of couple of weeks.)

That’s the best time to get your questions answered.

That way you can gain the clarity you need (which then helps with closure – especially if you don’t fully understand why it had to end) and can continue the process of moving forward from there.

Can You Speak To Your Ex After No Contact?

If time goes on and you still have these questions running around in your mind, I HIGHLY recommend speaking to myself as a Specialist Breakup Coach, to establish the answers yourself – as opposed to reaching out to your ex at a later date. It makes it easier and less complicated.

I mean for starters, your ex may have already blocked you. And – if you try to reach out as time goes on, you’re not guaranteed an answer anyway. Your ex may not want to speak to you.

If you do send a message, months late, you also run the risk of giving them the “pleasure” of knowing they’re still getting to you. Do you really want that? I think not.

I mean, even if the breakup was amicable, no-one wants to be seen as clinging onto the past. Your ex isn’t. So why should you?

But What If They Reach Out?

On that – what if they reach out? Well if they reach out, it then becomes easier to flow the conversation into the questions that you have on your mind.

But be warned – this is risky territory. If you’re not yet over your ex (but you know you want to be or need to be), speaking to them is never a good idea.

So if you’re feeling unsure – always look for the answers within, unless you’re speaking to your ex immediately after the breakup… in which case we’re going to focus on more of the helpful questions to ask your ex.

Gaining closure and acceptance after a breakup

Questions To Ask Your Ex For Closure

So what have we got? What questions can you ask your ex after a breakup?

Remember, only ask these questions if you feel like you need to and you think it would help. If not – leave it out. The less you ask the better.

This is just a guideline to the better questions to ask your ex, if you’re in the situation where you feel like, “I JUST NEED ANSWERS!”

But on that note… deep breaths, deep breaths! Here, try these relaxation exercises. All done? Feeling calmer? Okay, now back to it…

Questions To Ask Your Ex…

Here’s the 10 (actually helpful) questions to ask your ex now then…

1) Why do you think we had to break up?

Asking your ex the reasons why you broke up may be a little painful, but actually – it can be helpful. First up, it’s good to hear things from their perspective. 

  • Are they taking any responsibility or just passing blame? (And if so, what does that say about them as a person?)
  • Do they have valid points? Things that you didn’t think about perhaps? 
  • And does this help to build more of a case in your mind for why you think it’s right? Or does it just make you want to do something to make it change?

See if you ask this question – ask it with the purpose of using it to gain more acceptance, as opposed to trying to fight it or resolve things. 

Recommended Read: How To Accept Your Relationship Is Over

2) What was I like as a girlfriend? 

Now this question you only really want to ask if 1) things are left on good(ish) terms, 2) you’re currently having a calm conversation.

See you want honest answers, not just an attack.

But getting feedback like this, providing its constructive, can help you learn from your past relationship.

It can also help you to let go of the mistakes you made in a past relationship, if you can see that you have their forgiveness and understanding.

You don’t necessarily need anything from them. You can do the assessment yourself and take away the key lessons.

But your ex’s answer may make you think of things that you perhaps didn’t think about and it also gives your ex an opportunity to leave things on good terms. Like:

“You were great. I loved that you did [this] and [this] and [this]. Just for me, [this] wasn’t right and that’s why the relationship broke down.”

That makes things a little easier, right? No-one likes bad feeling.

3) How do you think we could have done things differently?

Another question to ask your ex, that too, will help you learn from the relationship, is getting their opinion on how you could have gone about things in better ways.

  • For example: Did you argue a lot? Were you both pretty stubborn? And yet neither one of you worked on improving communication? Not enough to make a difference anyway…

If so, this suggests that the two of you, personality-wise, simply weren’t quite compatible. But it also identifies room for improvement.

  • With your next partner, would you be more willing to listen? Could you learn to compromise? How can you develop as a person to better keep your cool in situations like those? How can you improve? 
Gaining closure and acceptance after a breakup

4) What do you think worked, and what do you think didn’t?

Another eye opening question, is to break it down, looking at what worked and what didn’t.

This can be about the two of you as people, and your compatibility, plus the relationship as a whole.

Once you have this information, you can not only see if it aligns with your own thoughts, but also come to positive conclusions about what you will then take away from it.

5) What do you think that I need in a partner?

This is an interesting one now then – asking your ex what you think that they think you need. It’s interesting because it will reveal the way in which you came across to them. 

Seeing as your partner is usually the person who knows you the most in many ways, it’s good to see their perception of you.

Do they think you need a certain type of person, which doesn’t match up to what you think you want / need? If so – ask why they think that. Do they know what’s good for you more than you do?

Consider This…

It could also be that they say something in particular is important to you, but you’d argue against that. For instance:

  • They might say: “You need someone who stays at home and doesn’t do as much”, indicating at the fact that you have trust issues.
  • Don’t take this to heart, don’t have a go at them. (You did ask the question after all.) But also don’t take it as the truth.
  • With this answer, that’s not the answer. The answer for trust is to not lock someone in, but to be more comfortable with them going out. So in this case, take their answer with a pinch of salt, take the ultimate reason that they’re referring to, and see how you can find a better answer.
  • So it could in fact be, “I need someone who doesn’t lie to me, and values honesty as much as me!” (Just think this to yourself, don’t share it.)


That’s another thing. If you’re going to be asking these questions to your ex, you have to be willing to hear the answers, even if they’re not answers you want to hear.

Breakups are hard. It can feel like a real battle to feel better after a breakup. They’re also emotionally complicated. And that’s why you should never rely on an ex for answers or closure.

I mean, how do you know they’re even being honest or thinking logically? There’s still too much hurt, too many feelings involved.

So if you’re going to ask your ex questions after the breakup, do so with an open mind. Don’t expect to hear the things you want, and don’t feel like you need to hear anything in particular either.

Also don’t fight about it. What’s the point in continuing to fight now? Just ask what you think you need to ask, listen, respectfully answer (even if you disagree) and then leave it there.

6) What do you need in a partner?

If you’re going to ask your ex what they think you need in a partner, you then may also want to ask what they need or needed. 

This question can really help with closure, because yes, you’re going to find things that your ex needed, which you realise you could have been better at. (These will become your learning curves.)

However, you’re also going to most likely, find things that your ex needed, which doesn’t align with you and who you are as a person.

This is something that you can’t do anything about as trying to be that person, would only make you lose who you are fundamentally.

Recommended Read: How To Accept The Things You Don’t Want To

Why This Is Important…

Once you accept this, and accept that it’s okay that that’s not you – it then makes you realise that actually, the two of you simply weren’t right for each other and that’s just the way it is.

It will make you realise more about who you are, how you are in a relationship, what you want in a relationship, and the kind of person who would be a good fit for you. It will help you to identify the things that are the most important.

When you know this, you’re able to make more informed decisions moving forward.

You’ll date more of the right people – the people who’s needs you know that you can meet, and who you know can meet your needs too.

Breakups are tough, but they provide huge opportunities to learn and grow – you just have to stop fighting it, and shift your mind to accepting it.

Questions to ask your ex

7) How do you think we’ve grown as people, since we first met?

This is a really nice one now then. One that focuses not so much on reminiscing as a couple (you may be able to do that in time, but initially, shortly after the breakup, it’s likely to only bring up longing and pain) but instead reflecting on the achievements of the two of you as individual people.

  • What have you learnt?
  • How have you grown?
  • What positive changes have you made?
  • What things have you got better at in relationships, that you struggled with before?
  • Why should you feel happy or proud, when you look back at the relationship?

When you really recognise and reflect on the development you have made and the good that there was, it shifts your focus from the pain and instead, to the things that you should feel proud of.

So often after a breakup, we can be hard on ourselves – beat ourselves up and can really dwell on the negatives. 

So instead of leaving things on a bad note with your ex, look at the positives. Lift each other up a little before the two of you go your separate ways. Be supportive.

Questions To Ask Your Ex After a Breakup

Once you’ve asked your ex the things you feel like you need to, and have gotten off your chest what’s important, you can then move onto some of the most important questions to ask your ex after a breakup. These are:

8) Do you have anything else you want to say to me before we leave things here?

9) Are you happy with this decision? You know that this is the right thing too?

And last but not least, to round up the end of the conversation…

10) This is it now then. So no contact, we won’t have each other on socials, and we won’t reach out again. It’s the best for the both of us. Agreed?

You can also leave it with the note of – good luck, best wishes! I wish you all the future happiness!

Questions To Ask Your Ex After a Breakup

So there’s our top 10, safe questions to ask your ex, that can actually be quite helpful.

The final ones are just about closing things off – making sure there’s no reason for them to get back in touch and no “what ifs” for you about whether they will or not.

In time, perhaps you can become friends with your ex again. But you won’t be there just yet, so for now – it’s better to confidently and firmly close that door.

What Shouldn’t You Ask Your Ex After a Breakup?

What shouldn’t you ask your ex? What questions do you definitely need to avoid? 

Well essentially anything that re-hashes the past, isn’t necessary, isn’t helpful and isn’t worth bringing up.

You should also watch the tone in which you speak, and the way in which it comes across (avoid anything accusing or aggressive!)

Also try not to make your questions too emotionally fuelled. So for example…

Questions NOT To Ask Your Ex

  • Did you ever even love me?
  • How can you do this to me?
  • Why aren’t I enough for you?
  • Why don’t you care?
  • Is there someone else? (Like he’d tell you the truth!)
  • Why do you keep lying to me?
  • Did I ever really know who you was?
  • Aren’t you going to miss me?
  • Don’t you love me anymore? 
  • Is there anything I can do to change your mind?

Whats more, certainly leave out questions about the future. It’s none of your business now (I’m sorry, I know that hurts to hear, but it’s not, and you have to adjust to that.) So avoid questions like:

  • Are you going to start dating again?
  • Are you speaking to other people already?
  • Have you started seeing anyone?
  • Please tell me you won’t move on from me straight away?!
what to talk about after a breakup

What If They Don’t Answer?

Now there’s a possibility that you might ask your ex a question after the breakup, and they dodge the question, ignore you or refuse to answer.

This is the chance you’re going to have to take…

So be prepared for it. Be prepared to not only hear things you don’t want to hear, but also – potentially – nothing at all. If this happens, know that it’s okay…

Their answer isn’t necessarily 100% the truth anyway. It’s just their opinion, it’s subjective.

And sometimes they won’t even give their honest answer as often it can be hard to speak the truth, especially when you’re hurting.

Recommended Read: 7 Signs Your Ex Is Hurting After The Breakup

So even if you do use these questions to ask your ex, take the answers with a pinch of salt.

Questions To Ask Your Ex After a Breakup

Ultimately, if you’ve got questions to ask your ex after a breakup, focus on what’s going to help – what will bring clarity or closure.

Don’t make them emotionally fuelled or loaded. Simply ask constructive questions that will only further confirm the two of you are doing the right thing.

Breakups are hard. I completely understand that. But the better you deal with them, and the more of the “right ways” you go about things, the easier it will be.

Remember, nothing lasts forever. You will come out of this far stronger, wiser and happier too. (I promise!)

So hang on in there, hold your head up high and be confident that this will all work out for the best.

Want to keep moving forward? Then browse our latest breakup articles. There’s plenty on there to work through. Take care!


Questions To Ask Your Ex
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Ella Stearn
Ell is a Breakup, Dating & Relationship Specialist & Coach, with over 3 million annual readers, globally. As the Creator of Forgetting Fairytales, her mission is to help you learn to love yourself, find the right person to give your love to, then make it a love that truly lasts.

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