13 Honest Reasons Guys Think About Their Ex After A Breakup

Why your ex has come crawling back to you — or why he left you for his ex.

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Whether you're fresh out of a breakup yourself or dating a guy who is, you might wonder, do guys think about their ex after a breakup?

According to a study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, out of 876 heterosexual ex-partners, men think more fondly of their female exes than women do about their male exes.

Do guys think about their ex after a breakup?

The short answer is sometimes no, but often yes. Men may miss their ex when regret hits them, when they see their ex looking better, hotter, and/or more successful than them, or when they see their ex with someone new.


After a breakup, your ex might realize they loved you more than they thought and you were the one that got away — facts that may make you feel comforted if you were just broken up with by a guy you love, or concerned if you are dating a man who's fresh out of a breakup with someone else.

Many men will regret the breakup after about a month to six weeks, and will often try to get back with their ex at some point, even if not immediately.

RELATED: If You & Your Ex Broke Up For Any Of These 11 Reasons, Getting Back Together May Be The Best Thing You Ever Do


And sadly, the reasons about what makes a man miss his ex aren't always the noblest.

Here 13 common reasons guys start missing — and try to go back to — their ex.

1. The sex was good.

Guys definitely think about their ex sexually.

Most guys will not pass up good sex and they’ll often try to keep the avenue to sex with them open if they can help it. This is why so many guys will weave a sob story about how they “miss their ex,” but that they “can’t really commit to anything again.”

Make no mistake about it: most of the time, guys don’t miss their exes as much as they miss the sex.

2. He had a fall from grace.

This is actually what happened with me and my ex. He lost most of his hair and started looking like a creepy old man. Moreover, due to drama, he also lost a lot of friends who used to praise him and demonize me. Meanwhile, I got more muscular and more popular with his friends.


If a guy sees that his ex is doing way better than him, then he will think about his ex and try to get back with her as a way to regain some of the social standings he once had in that relationship that he might not have with you.

3. He thought they were going to go downhill, and then they bounced back after the breakup.

This happened to me a number of times, and the funny thing about this is that most guys can’t even come up with a good excuse as to why they dumped their ex in the first place.

It wasn’t that he was “in a bad place,” it was that he was too selfish to actually stay by his ex's side when they needed him, which is a red flag for your relationship as well.

Needless to say, if he's thinking about his ex because your relationship is "in a bad place" then he doesn’t deserve an ounce of your time.


4. He thought of his ex as a backup plan.

This reason is most common with cheaters as well as guys who ghost early on in the relationship.

The most common excuse he’ll give for dumping an ex is “I was going through something” and “I didn’t know what I had.” He may also say he misses some things about them.

If you have reason to believe that he might fall back on them then you should confront him. You can do better than a guy who will go back to their old plan.

5. His ex is doing well for herself.

This happened to my friend and her ex. He dumped her because she was making a solid $11 an hour at a local car wash, said he didn’t want to be seen with a “poor girl,” and that he was worried that she was a gold digger.


He ended up losing his $55,000-per-year job later that year. Guess who came knocking at her door asking for a second chance? That’s right: her ex.

And guess who sagely slammed the door in his face? That’s right: she did.

Money is a relationship influencer for both men and women, and male gold diggers are increasingly common these days.

6. He wants to control his ex.

A scary amount of guys get off on the idea of having a girl wrapped around their little finger, and if he comes back to his ex once they're finally over him, it could be because he realized that he no longer has a hold on them.

If a guy is hurting after a breakup, he may act impulsively and try to hurt his ex by trying to control them. In doing so, he's reacting to his emotions and actually revealing to his ex that it's not about them, it's just that he's hurting.


However, that behavior should not be tolerated and it's obviously not a good way for him to keep you and you don't have to deal with any of that.

If you notice him regularly talking about his ex, getting in the way of them seeing other people, or doing similar tactics, it’s a matter of control, not love, for this guy.

RELATED: If Your Ex Comes Crawling Back, It's For One These 4 Reasons

7. He realized it's a little too late to get back with his ex.

Dating is exhausting for most people, including men. Sadly, most guys out there have a “grass is greener” mentality until one fateful breakup... and then they want that girl back because they realized how much work is put into getting another girlfriend.


Don't be the rebound girl. Guys often go back to their first love if the relationship was very romantic because the two of them had a very strong bond.

Unfortunately, this kind of thinking is never good for a long-term relationship with someone new because they are hung up on their ex. It's best you keep walking.

8. His ex is looking hot.

When guys see their ex looking hot, they always will feel jealous that the ex moved on and glowed up. When that happens, they will try to make an effort to get them back and hook up with them again now that they look "hotter."

Guys will often try to get back together with an ex if that ex ends up looking super-hot later on and they see they're looking hot on social media. There’s a reason why Khloe Kardashian’s "Revenge Body" show has some truth to it, after all.


However, that interest guys have to get to know “the new them” is never genuine. If it was, then the packaging wouldn’t have mattered. If you have suspicions he's stalking his ex and wants to get together with her then you should question him about it.

9. He misses the perks of being in a relationship.

Whether men want to admit it or not, being in a relationship does have perks. If things aren't going too well in your relationship currently, then he may want to try to hit up exes in hopes he can get coupled up with her again, because he thinks she treated him better.

Guys start missing their exes when they realize they either aren't cut out for the single life again or they want to come running back to their ex to have another chance.

Though others may disagree with me, I believe that any worthwhile guy will know what he has when he has it and won’t require a breakup to realize he wants you.


10. His ex became a challenge.

If he sees that their ex no longer wants him, he may start secretly chasing them because he sees them as a challenge now.

It’s sad, but it’s true. Some guys never learn! If he does that dump him immediately.

11. He wants to prove he changed.

This reason is actually the rarest of all, and it’s up there in rarity with unicorns and Bigfoot. Guys can change if they really want to, but most of the time they won’t.


If he tries to prove too much to his ex that he's changed then that should be a concern for you because you want him to be focused on you.

12. He wants an ego boost.

Fragile male egos are a thing, and sometimes, they’ll hit up a girl just because they want to know they’re still attractive.

This isn't fair to you and it’s all the more reason why you need to see if he's seriously thinking about getting back with his ex.

It's not your job to protect the feelings of a man who got hurt by their ex, and frankly, no one would really think ill of you to make a point of telling him he's not worth your time if he's going to spend all his time thinking about his ex.


13. He regrets the way he treated his ex.

Some guys really don’t understand how awful they were to a girl until she leaves him. And when this happens, they are often filled with regret.

However, if he's thinking about going back to his ex this doesn’t ever really end well. There's no harm in them apologizing to their ex for unfair behavior in his past relationship but if he keeps in contact after that, then you should we weary.

RELATED: 7 Toxic Situations When Getting Back With An Ex Is A Terrible Idea

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a renegade writer who focuses on dating, relationships, love, and all sorts of lifestyle stuff. She writes about things she's experienced, things she finds interesting, and things that matter.