Love, Heartbreak

What To Do When Your Ex Reaches Out Again After Breaking Up With You

Photo: Victor Hughes on Unsplash
Does He Still Love Me? How To Get Over A Breakup When Your Ex Keeps Texting

There’s a good chance you’ve gotten that call or text — the familiar voice saying, “I miss you” or expressing a similar sentiment, even though this same person broke up with you.

It’s particularly confusing to hear or read things like this when you still love someone.

Hearing from your ex leaves you wondering what it means.

How can you get over a breakup when he keeps texting or calling you?

Does he miss you so much that he wants to get back together? Does he still love you? Does he just want to have sex?

RELATED: 5 Reasons Men Always Come Back After Breaking Your Heart

When men leave and come back, they often show no other signs of actually wanting to get back into a relationship with you. They may text or call, but make no true attempts to get together or talk through what happened between you and why.

Let’s talk about what this really means.

Someone can miss you without wanting to get back together with you.

He may miss the company, the sex, or the mutual things you used to laugh about. He may miss you for some reason you will never know.

However. this doesn't mean he necessarily misses you as a partner or that he wants to be in a real relationship with you again.

He may realize on one hand that you possess some good qualities he misses, while on the other hand holding onto some core dissatisfaction or fact he views as unchangeable.

Saying something like “I miss you” is easy. Not backing it up with any action is being emotionally unavailable, manipulative and/or teasing.

When your ex reaches out after breaking up with you, it might be for one of the following common reasons:

  • He wants to get laid
  • He wants an ego boost
  • He wants to find out what you’re up to
  • He doesn't want to be alone
  • He wants to keep you around as a cushion in case his other options don’t pan out

RELATED: 5 Reasons Men Pull Away Or Ghost You When Dating

What you should do when your ex contacts you again?

Think about your ex and your former relationship logically and rationally. Isn’t it odd that he's reaching out without making any real effort to do something about it? Aren’t you worth more than those three words that are easy to say, but otherwise meaningless without further action?

Those words are easy to say. Don’t read more into them than that.

Regardless of the reasons why, he will come back, so here's how to deal with it and get over a breakup when your ex keeps texting or calling you.

1. Maintain firm boundaries.

This behavior is disrespectful and selfish, depending upon how your relationship ended.

If you were left hurt or confused by the breakup, his reaching back out shouldn’t be viewed by you as a goodwill gesture.

2. Don’t put your life on hold.

Continue to grieve the loss of the relationship if needed or try detaching yourself from any feelings about it.

RELATED: How The Smartest Women Respond To Men Who Show Up Again After Ghosting Them

3. Don't screw up your current relationship if you're in one.

If you talk to your ex, it's not going to go over well with a current partner.

4. Be assertive.

Do what’s in your best interests. Be honest with yourself about the likely outcome if you allow this person back into your life. Don’t let someone play with your heart.

Be direct about what you want. It’s fine to say something like, “Don’t tell me that unless you are truly looking to get back together and make things work this time.”

5. Remember that you don’t have to be nice.

Women tend to want to be nice in their responses. You don’t have to be. You have permission to firmly set the boundaries and limits that work for you.

If “no contact” works best for you, then enforce it! It’s okay to say, “I don’t want to hear from you again. I’ve moved on.”

It’s also okay not to respond at all.

RELATED: Your Only Chance To Get Him Back Is Having No Contact — Here’s How

Remember the reality of the relationship that ended, not just the fantasy.

Was it really as good as it seemed? Did you feel good, comfortable, safe and cared for? Was he consistent, reliable, communicative, transparent and responsive to your needs?

When a relationship ends, we tend to idealize the other person and forget the negative parts about them. This will not serve you well. Take an honest inventory before you take any action.

Your ex may have reached out for many reasons, most of which aren’t in your best interest.

If he reached out for a legitimate and honorable reason, his actions and behavior will line up with the spoken words.

He won't only say he misses you, but he'll act like he misses you and wants to try again. He will be able to identify why he ended the relationship, including what he felt at the time and how he imagines it being different if you agree to resume it. He will be able to identify his own fears or the changes he needs to make — without blaming you or demanding that you be the one to change.

If he pinpoints something between you that was troubling, for example, that you fought too much, you both should have an idea of how to fix that together.

After hearing “I miss you,” or a similar remark, be skeptical.

Don’t let your own emotions carry you down the same path you’ve been down. You already know it’s a dead-end street.

I would not expect to gain closure from opening up a conversation, and you want to avoid un unhealthy yo-yo relationship dynamic that never seems to end.

Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t entertain being anyone’s back-up plan.

Someone who genuinely wants to be with you will be clear about is and won’t resist making an effort.

RELATED: The Surprising Ways Unhealthy Childhood Attachment Tricks You Into Giving Up On True Love

Dr. Marni Feuerman is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice, relationship expert, and the author of Ghosted and Breadcrumbed: Stop Falling for Unavailable Men and Get Smart about Healthy Relationships. Learn more about Dr. Marni by visiting her website, where you can sign up for her expert content delivered right to your email.