4 (Pathetic) Reasons He's Still Texting You Post-Breakup — And What It Means

The real reason he won't let you go.

Last updated on Sep 01, 2023

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By: Nancy Nichols

Your significant other broke it off with you. Now, you’re trying to move on with your life — and then suddenly he sends you a text message.

His message is impersonal, aloof: “How’s work?” or “What are ya doing?” he asks.

It feels like he is testing the waters to see how angry you are at him, or if maybe you’ll consent to a late-night visit. You think that this texting might possibly mean that he still loves you. 


RELATED: What Science Says About Whether You Can Die From A Broken Heart

You wonder: Does he want you back? Or is he messing with your head?

It is devastating when the man you love breaks up with you and then he rubs salt in the wound with his insincere text messaging. Your heart wants to believe that he wants to kiss and make up. Yet, he does not ask for your forgiveness for his abusive actions, nor does he indicate that he wants to reconcile with you. 


You miss him, but (because of his past bad behavior) you don’t trust him. The bottom line, his text messages are likely because of one of these reasons.

Here are 4 pathetic reasons he's still texting you post-breakup — and what it means:

1. He's stringing you along

When your ex texts you out of the blue, you can't decode his true intentions from a few words on an LCD screen.

He texts you, “How are you?” Maybe his ulterior motive is he secretly knows (but will never admit it) he unjustly hurt you and he’s worried about soiling his reputation with your mutual friends. “Can we still be friends?” can mean he wants to demote your relationship to “friends with benefits.”

Or he may just be playing with you until he finds someone else.


RELATED: 25 Signs He Wants To Break Up But Is Scared And Doesn't Know How

2. He's lonely

Your ex texts you at night; you think it means he misses you. Maybe he does miss you, but he doesn’t love you anymore but he misses the intimacy and the comfort of a relationship. He needs you to ease his discomfort about the breakup, but he doesn’t want you — he texts you because he wants a temporary, emotional Band-Aid.

3. He misses you

Your ex texts you to meet up again. He’s drunk. He’s lonely. He texts you because he wants to be intimate with you without a commitment.

If you can play that game, more power to you. But if you’re hoping a late-night call means he wants to get back together with you, you may get your heart broken a second time.


RELATED: 13 Signs You Should Break Up, Even If Your Relationship Is 'Fine'

4. He needs his ego stroked

Your ex may text you to see if you still love him and you still care — he wants YOU to want him. He doesn’t really want you back in life — but he wants to see if he can get a lovesick reaction out of you.  

He may try to make you jealous, giving a rocket boost to his ego.


Moral of the story: After a breakup, guard your heart when responding to your ex’s disingenuous text messages.

RELATED: 11 Psychological Tricks To Make Your Ex Regret Losing You

Nancy Nichols has worked as a senior editor at The Harvard Business Review and as a reporter for The MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times Book Review, The Nation, Glamour, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Chicago Tribune.