Why Your Ex Isn't Trying To Get You Back — And What To Do Next

How to know if the answer lies within you, or if you should start with him.

Couple walking down the road, man looking very upset Ekateryna Zubal / shutterstock 

When you initiate a breakup, you’d think that you’d feel better about yourself and your choice after it's done. But sometimes you discover that even though you were done with the relationship and sick of the tug of war between you, part of you wanted him to chase you and fight for you. Your secret desire may have you questioning whether he really cared for you at all.

Initiating a breakup can be a difficult decision and it makes sense that you’re feeling confused. Just because he didn’t chase you doesn’t mean he has no feelings for you. There are hundreds of possible reasons why he hasn’t reached out to you since the breakup, and speculating about his behavior will keep you stuck and unable to move on.


It’s clear you’re conflicted about the decision to break up with him otherwise you wouldn't be wondering why he doesn't want you back. Conflicting feelings can create a lot of confusion and it can be difficult to think clearly. Gaining clarity can help you to feel better and be more resourceful. 


RELATED: How To Get A Man To Chase You (No Games Required)

He didn’t try to get you back after you broke up with him — what does it mean?

The truth is, if you wanted to be with him, you wouldn't have broken up with him. And if he wanted to try to win you back, he would have done that. Right?

If only it were that simple! 

First, ask yourself why you wanted him to try to win you back.

This is the most important question to ask yourself right now. Wanting him to chase you and wanting the two of you to get back together are two different things. Oftentimes being upset that he didn’t try to get you back comes from a need for validation, not from love.


Looking for validation may mean that you lack self-esteem or confidence. If he were to try to win you back, the void inside of you would be filled from the outside.

Unfortunately, that isn’t a healthy relationship dynamic. Needing your partner to confirm your worth or to feel better about yourself creates an imbalanced power dynamic. This need for validation keeps you obsessed about the fact that you broke up with him and he didn’t chase you. It conflicts with the part of you that knows you two are not a good fit for the long term.

You may want him to want you, but you don't want to continue a broken relationship.

Your conflicting feelings have you stuck in a double bind— an internal conflict that is created from having to choose between two equally unsatisfactory choices. You could either get back together with him and continue fighting or you could let him go and stop wondering why he didn’t chase you. Either way, you have to deal with the decisions you’ve made and actions you’ve taken.

The problem with a double bind is that it leaves you feeling stuck and unable to move forward in life. If you stay stuck long enough, you’ll feel apathetic about starting over again with someone new. The inner struggle can leave you feeling drained and unmotivated.


You can release a double bind by taking specific steps toward reclaiming your power. Just because you broke up with him and he didn’t ask you back doesn’t mean you have to continue obsessing over the situation.

RELATED: I Finally Figured Out What It Means When Men Say They 'Want A Chase'

Ex didn't try to get you back? Four things do now: 

1. Take responsibility for your decisions.

If you’re obsessed about why he didn’t chase you, then maybe you used the breakup to see if he truly cares for you. Once you take responsibility for ending the relationship, you’ll feel better. No one forced you to break up with him. You made the decision that you were done with the relationship, and you acted. You broke up with him and he didn’t chase you.

The only reason to reach out to him is if you think you made a mistake. In this case, you’d reach out to him with a heartfelt apology and a plan for dealing with conflict, so arguments are resolved. Be sure to share how you’re committed to approaching the relationship differently, rather than listing your issues with his past behavior.


You don’t know how he feels or what he desires right now. The fact that you broke up with him and he didn’t chase you doesn’t tell you anything about what he wants. Try to go into this conversation without an agenda or hope about what may come from it. Be unattached to an outcome and take responsibility for your actions and for hurting him.

If you don’t want to get back together and you’re just curious why he didn’t chase you, then leave him alone. He’s dealing with the breakup in his own way, and you have no right to pour salt into the wound.

RELATED: You'll Never Have To Chase Someone Who Wants To Be With You

2. Determine if the two of you were stuck in a power struggle.

When you’re stuck in a fight cycle, it’s because you’ve reached the second stage of a relationship. This is a natural progression for every couple — no couple skips the power struggle! Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to break a fight cycle, so they end the relationship and lather, rinse, and repeat the cycle with their next partner. Or they repeat stages one and two by getting back together.


All relationships go through a series of stages as they progress. The beginning of a relationship is the romance stage and it’s incredibly intoxicating. During the initial falling-in-love stage you just can’t keep your hands off each other, and your brain is flooded with feel-good chemicals. The longer the romance stage the better chance a relationship has of surviving for a lifetime, as this stage puts gas in the tank of the relationship.

Once those chemicals wear off you end up in a relationship hangover, stage two the power struggle stage. It’s unrealistic to expect that every day together will be one big romantic adventure and there will never be any conflict between you. Having the awareness and knowledge of the five stages that all romantic relationships go through will help you navigate your differences instead of fighting all the time.

It’s normal to have disagreements and conflicts with your partner. He or she is an individual person with unique strategies for dealing with stress and communicating their wants and needs. How the two of you handle these disagreements will determine whether your relationship lasts or not.

RELATED: How To Stop Chasing The Breadcrumbs Of Unavailable Men


3. Focus on yourself — not him.

Part of you was tired of the power struggle and part of you is second-guessing your decision to end the relationship. Instead of obsessing about why he didn’t chase you, put effort into healing your heart. Initiating the breakup doesn’t mean that you’re not heartbroken and grieving. You came into the relationship with a lot of hope and when it doesn’t work out (even if you initiated the breakup) you’ll need time to heal.

Allow yourself to feel your feelings, and even to feel sad or angry he didn’t chase you. Your emotions are appropriate and by acknowledging them you begin the process of healing your heart. Instead of wondering if you made a mistake, ruminating over your disagreements, or even wishing things were different between you, just book time in your calendar to grieve and mourn the loss.

Obsessing over the fact that you broke up with him and he didn’t chase you will only keep you stuck. You won’t be able to move on because your brain is looking for a solution to the pain. Your brain is not the right tool to help you feel better because there’s no logical solution to your situation, and focusing on why he didn’t chase you is keeping you stuck and second-guessing your decision to end it.


4. Stop obsessing over the fact that he didn't try to win you back. 

The most important lesson you can learn from this situation is how to not repeat it in the future. If you don’t learn from your mistakes, you’re destined to repeat them. Take time to evaluate what’s important to you in your intimate relationships. How would you like your relationship to function? What is the dynamic between you? What are your non-negotiable needs and what do you bring to a relationship?

Taking the time to focus on yourself, heal your heart, and get clear on what you really want will allow you to stop obsessing about why he didn’t chase you. You made the choice to end the relationship. Learn what you can from the experience so that you ensure you don’t repeat the same mistakes moving forward.

RELATED: In The Pursuit Of Romance: Why Girls Should Pursue The Guy

Orna and Matthew Walters are soulmate coaches who have been featured guest experts on Bravo’s The Millionaire Matchmaker. Their dating strategies report, The 7 Steps To Soulmating is available via their website.