Monday April 21st 2014

Why Is My Ex Contacting Me?

Question: My ex-girlfriend says it’s over and there is no chance for us but she is still calling me and says things like it’s a shame it turned out like this and I saw you today and you looked sad. Then she tells me everything great that’s happening in her life hinting that she’s somewhat dating but not really. It has been dragging on for about 8 weeks which is since the time we broke up. The relationship had problems that we couldn’t resolve and she decided it was better to break up. She obviously knows how bad I’m hurting and that there is no point in contacting me since nothing is ever going to work between us. I can’t for the goodness of me figure out what exactly she is hoping to gain by these phone calls other than prolong my misery. I just don’t get it. Why doesn’t she stop calling me so I can get over her and move on with my life?

The Love Doctor’s Answer: There’s really no telling what’s on her mind. It could be any one or more of these reasons:

1) To see if you still care or that you’ll always be there for her or that she still has a certain effect on you.

2) She may be feeling guilty for breaking up with you, doesn’t want you to hate her for it and trying to be your “friend” the best way she knows how.

3) She is using you as her “security blanket” to shield her from feelings of loneliness until someone else comes along.

4) She thinks she’s offering you the opportunity to try to get her back.  This may be why she hints that she’s somewhat dating but not really (translation: I’m still avaialble but it may not be for long).

These are all possibilities. She is the only one who really knows why she’s doing what she does. But whatever her reasons are, you acting like a reluctant victim strikes me as either someone who doesn’t want this to stop or someone who has always let her have her way and won’t stand up for yourself and what you want.

The first place to start is getting honest with yourself. Do you really want her to stop contacting you or just frustrated that she has not come out straight and told you that she wants you back – or at least given you clear signals that say she wants you back?

If you’re serious about wanting her to stop calling you so you can get over her and move on with your life, then be straight forward with her and just tell her you would appreciate if she ceased all contact so you can move on. The other option — which in my humble opinion is juvenile – is to let her messages go to the answering machine.

No doubt “getting over her and moving on” is a whole lot difficult than it sounds. But if that’s what you want to do, the earlier you start the better for you. If you just let her have her way with you “against your will”, you’ll become more miserable, angry and disgusted with yourself as time goes on.

If on the other hand, you want her back, then I suggest you stop this “why is she doing this to me?!” victim mentality and get down to working on a plan/strategy to get her back while she’s still “somewhat dating but not really”. If you wait too long, she may decide you’re over her and have moved on.  Even then it’ll still be possible to get her back but it’ll require more planning, effort and time when she’s with someone else.

 

Reader Feedback

53 Responses to “Why Is My Ex Contacting Me?”

  1. Viola says:

    My ex broke with me because he lost feelings for me. Right after we broke up he started contacting me. I told him it would be best if we didn’t contact each other for a while. He stopped for 2/3 and started emailing me again. I want him back but I’m afraid that if I am too forward by asking him if he wants me back that I might create more distance.

  2. I assume that these contacts are not of a romantic nature otherwise you’d not be thinking of asking him if he wants you back and not afraid that any forwardness on your part might create more distance.

    Asking him not to contact you won’t bring back feelings he didn’t feel when you were together. A person can’t miss what he doesn’t feel in the first place.

    I’d advice you to use the open line of communication to try to re-ignite those feelings he says he has lost. Look back to the time just before the break up, what was missing? What did he say he’d want more of to feel attracted to you? Try to fill those gaps up. If you can INSPIRE him to feel those feelings of attraction again, you’ll not have to ask him if he wants you back. The new feelings of attraction will do the work for you. Won’t be long before he’ll be asking you back!!!

  3. ExhaustedDave says:

    It was a 2 year and 3 month relationship and we’ve been broken up 9 times. I’m so exhausted and now just want to move on but she keeps contacting me. Says she wants to get some kind of closure. We talk for hours but a couple of days later she contacts me again, same thing. She still feels she can’t have closure. At this point I really have no idea what she needs to have closure. It’s been a week since she contacted me and I haven’t replied. What do I do?

  4. Be upfront and direct with her and tell her you want to help her get closure but you’ve reached a point where you feel there is nothing you can do to help her. You’re exhausted and just want to move on but can’t with her keeping you stuck in the past. You strongly feel that you need to take care of you. Then encourage her to see a local counsellor. She’ll probably feel more betrayed, but what else can you do? If she continues to contact you and you don’t respond, she will know why.

  5. additional_casuality says:

    My ex didn’t contact me for three months after we broke up. Last week he called and sounded really nice asking about my life and how things have been. Then he went on to tell me he had thought a lot about our relationship. My ex is a self-absorbed narcissist who never before cared about my life or anything about me that did not include him. So I’m just wondering, why after three months of no contact he calls me out of the blue talking like he really cares about me.

  6. You know he didn’t call because he cares about how you’re doing. He called to see if you miss him and to see if you’d jump to get back together. If he is the self-absorbed narcissist you say he is, he’ll contact you again, I’m sure of it.

  7. lovesick says:

    Hi me and my ex bf broke up for 3 months now. I am his first serious gf. He asked me if we can be friends because he doesn’t want to lose me. He always the one who text me first and sometimes he asks me to hang out with him. One time he asked me if I am talking to someone else. And I have no idea why he asked that. He seems to wonder what I’m doing too. He asks me where I am going and with who. And he still kept the things that I gave it to him. I dnt know what’s his intention. but I know that he has a gf already but she is just in another state. So I am really confused.

  8. Let me get this right… he says he doesn’t want to lose you but has some else, he asks you if you’re talking to someone else but seems perfectly okay with him talking and hanging out with another woman, he wonders what you’re doing, where you’re going and with whom but it does not seem to bother him that you KNOW what he is doing and who he is DOING it with. Do you really even have to ask what his intentions are?

    If your confusion is, is he still interested in you… the answer is “may be” but not ENOUGH to want to be with you (at this time). Sure, you were his first serious gf, so what? People move on from firsts all the time. She is in another state but so what? People have Long Distance Relationships all the time. He still has the things you gave him, so?? He probably has other things she’s giving him too.

    What I’m saying is that all these things mean little if the person is not making a “serious effort ” to get you back. Too many people do all the things he is doing but have no intentions of ever getting back together! For some it’s an ego boost to know they still have that kind of effect on an ex.

    You can help your confusion by asking yourself if this is what you want and need… not if this is what he wants and needs. He has what he wants for right now… a new girlfriend and you hanging to his words and actions. Why would he want to change that? Think about what YOU want. Are you okay with the small “tokens” of what looks like love?

  9. mad_as_hell says:

    The Doctor is right. Forget about this guy he is not worthy it!!! My ex was the same, had another woman but constantly contactingme. I thought he wanted me back but it was not the case.

  10. Mad-as-hell… Unfortunately that’s not what I was saying i.e forget about this guy! I do not have the full story of how this break up happened and why, if this guy is serious about his new gf or if she’s just a rebound, etc. I can’t even tell from the limited info if she has a chance of getting him back or not.

    I was merely pointing out the fact that she has the “power” to decide what she wants – try to get this guy back or walk away. The decision whichever direction should be based on objectivity – looking at the whole picture as it IS and then if she wants to try and get him back, do it knowing what the odds are for or against her.

    I’m all for fighting for love, I just try to make people be realistic and honestt to themselves while doing so! Note: I said “ENOUGH to want to be with you (at this time)” and “He has what he wants for right now”. This is what it looks right now, but who is to say things can’t change?

    It’s sad what happened to you but each situation is different. The internet is full of “advice” but much of it is tainted by personal experiences and many people end up giving up when they had a chance. I’ve seen people in this same exact situation turn things around and others fail. It’s not up to me to tell someone to “forget” another. True love is not something you can just switch on and off like a faucet because someone else told you to!

  11. mad_as_hell says:

    I re-read your answer again and you’re right. You were not saying “forget this guy” but reflecting back to her what she had written. I suspect she wanted you to say all those are signs that he wants her back which is what everyone was telling me on the internet. One group was saying forget about him, he is using you and another if he is doing such and such it means he wants you back. Like many in this situation, I was confused what advice to take and ended up not only making a fool of myself but ruining every chance I had of getting him back. I like your approach better – realistic and honest with yourself and then decide from a place of empowered.

    Btw: I love your blog and I’m a frequent visitor. Keep up the good work.

  12. beautifulmind says:

    I agree, don’t listen to people who say “forget” someone. Who knows the future? If you really love the person and want to be with the person, then try it and see if it works. That’s all you can do.

  13. Michelle says:

    Hi, my girl friend and i dated for 3 years and i moved to another city for my last year of school. I made the mistake of offering an open relationship while we were apart to “grow” and she had a hard time with this and did not want to share me. The next day she wanted to break up. Says she lost the spark, and did not miss me like i did her. She is now dating and calls me to share detailed information about her new love life. I asked her not to contact me, but she says i am her best friend and still does. She gives me glimmers of hope and then takes it away. Is there a chance she wants me back?

  14. There is a chance 1) she wants you back 2) she sees you as her best friend she can share information about her new love life with and 3) she wants you to know she moved on and you should too. All these are possibilites. Just contaccting you or sharing information with you is not enough to say she wants you back. And sometimes when you want someone back, you can start seeing what is not there because you want to keep the hope alive. it may look to you like she’s taking it away when in fact she never gave you any hope in the first place. You just saw what you wanted to see.

    I have a post Signs Your Ex Is Becoming Interested Again, it might help.

  15. Andrea says:

    What does it mean when your boyfriend of two months breaks up with you saying it would take some pressure off if you were just friends? This is what I got by email, I replied saying it’s fine, no hard feelings and then he emails me back asking if I wanted to go have lunch with him the following day. I said I needed some time. He’s suffering from depression/anxiety lately and it just made things harder for me because I didn’t know what to do or say so I just made more mistakes. I still want him back. Is there any chance he still have feelings for me?

  16. There is a chance he still has feelings for you. Are they feelings of being in love or wanting you back? I can’t tell just by reading a brief account of your situation. There are many reasons why someone will say “it would take some pressure off if you were just friends.” Depressions further complicates things. I’d need to know what “pressure” he is talking about and where it’s coming from, for me to be able to advice you on how not to make more mistakes and/or get him back. If you need to pursue this, please read the guidelines for sending me your question through email.

  17. Ashkar says:

    Yangki, I just wanted to say I love your eBook (and I love you). For 6mos. I tried to get my ex back with tactics and dirty games and only ended up making things worse. I bought your eBook, and the steps were so simple, yet I had missed them all this time. Last mo. my ex and I got back together. I’m so grateful to you in ways that you’ll never know.

    For everyone looking to get their ex back, Yangki’s eBook will get you onto the right path and get your ex back. It changed my life and got me my ex back and will change yours as well.

  18. Brandy says:

    My ex broke up with me 5 months ago. I was devastated. It took months for me to stop crying and get my life together. Today I feel like a completely different person, and many look at me like a whole new person. My ex has been trying to contact me but since I haven’t spoken to him in months, I’m beginning to feel that the new me will not be happy with this man anymore. Months ago I’d have done anything to have him back in my life, now I’m not sure I want him back or even that I love him anymore. Is this normal?

  19. Paully says:

    I think it is perfectly normal for you to feel this way. You have analyzed yourself, made the necessary changes to improve yourself and realized you don’t need him in your life to be happy. On the other hand, he now realizes our value(when he should have known it all along) and knows the grass isn’t greener, it just looks that way sometimes. He was selfish and is now paying the price. He knows he made a mistake. Throw him to the curb, he doesn’t deserve you. Ps. This is a guys perspective.

  20. Yes, it is normal to feel the way you feel. People change and breakups like many traumatic experiences inspire rapid growth in ways we’d never have been able to grow if we hadn’t gone through a devastating experience.

    When two people grow in different directions or one person grows faster than the other, there is likely to be a “mis-match” of sorts. It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with the other person (i.e he’s selfish etc), it just means you are in a whole different place from where he is.

    Just because he wants you back doesn’t mean you have to say “yes”. Take your time and see how you continue to feel — and make your decision based on how you feel not on what others say. Everyone has where they’re coming from… their reality is not your reality. Ultimately, it’s your life and part of emotional maturity is knowing that you — and you alone — own your decisions and are responsible for the consequences thereof.

  21. Brandy says:

    Thank you. I’ll not make any decision until I’m sure how I really feel about him. Part of me still loves him, he was a wonderful guy. Like you said, I’m just in a different place right now. He too is working on his growth, who knows we might click again, but for now I just want to concentrate on seeing who I really am and loving myself. If anything I’d love to have him as a valuable friend because of the past we had.

  22. PinkButterfly says:

    Brandy, I can relate to where you are because I was there two months ago. We tried to get back together but eventually came to a mutual conclusion that we were growing in different directions and the relationship was no longer serving either of us. We chose to harmoniously end it without any hard feelings. We’re good friends and it feels really good to know that the beautiful relationship we had didn’t end up in something ugly.

  23. I could not have said it better. “Travelling light” with no baggage of anger or resentment — in my opinion — is the best way to go. End result is you’re going to attract someone vibrating at your own level of growth!

  24. Jeff says:

    My ex contacted me to say don’t call me unless you change your mind and want to give us another try. I broke up with her and not sure I want her back. The last few months before the breakup was hell. This text baffles me because I have not contacted her in anyway since the break up 3 weeks ago. Why would she send me this text?

  25. It could be any number of reasons 1) she misses you 2) she’s trying to reach out to you and doesn’t know how 3) she thinks it’ll make you contact her or 4) she really means it.

    I suggest that you send a text back saying you respect her wishes and leave the ball in her court. Her next action will tell you know which is which. But if you’re not sure you even want her back, it’s best to not respond, it’ll just be a continuation of the hell you talk about.

  26. Andy says:

    My ex-gf left me 3 months ago. For 2 months there was no-contact. Then from nowhere she sends me a text message asking how I was doing. Since then she emails or text messages every now and then. I honestly don’t know what she wants from me. What do you think?

  27. Hard to tell without knowing the background to your relationship and breakup… may be she feels bad about how she left and just trying to make things right so there is no tension between the two of you. May be she misses you and wants you back. May be she just wants to remain friends.

    Why don’t you just let things play out. Over time, you’ll figure out why she’s been contacting you.

  28. Sandy says:

    I’m in tears reading this. I wish I had read it a month ago. I used the no contact rule and my ex started contacting me constantly. I did not respond until after 3 months of no contact. I contacted him and he was very excited to hear from me. he called me right away and asked me to meet him for lunch and after that we went out, kissed and got sexually intimate. Then he started playing games with me, not picking up the phone or pretending to be sleepy and not wanting to talk. I went no contact again and he sent me a text “Missing you”. I responded after 2 days asking him why he was doing this to me. It’s been over a month, no contact from him.

    No contact will bring him back to see where you are and if you are still in love with him.

  29. I’m sorry you had to learn that he didn’t “come back” because of no contact, he came back
    to prove a point to himself. Like I’ve said it elsewhere, anytime you employ a strategy/approach that appeals to the ego, it always doesn’t end well.

  30. Cyana says:

    Love Doctor, my ex broke up with me 9 months ago. I made a mistake and went on a txt message binge. I also emailed and called him so many times. After a while I just stopped. He never contacted me and I never contacted him. Monday, one before this last one, he contacted me, and left a message for me to give him a call. I called and we decided we can be friends since we still care about each other. We agreed to meet the next day and from the time we met he was all over me and touching me and kissing me and told me he missed me. We fooled around but no sex. Later that night he called saying seeing me made him realize how much he misses me, and asked if he can come over. I said no. The morning after I sent him a text but haven’t from him for 5 days. Does he still love me or want to get back to together? Should I continue talking to him? Please help.

  31. I don’t know if he still loves you or not but from his actions it does seem like his contacting you was all about sex. First he agrees to being friends, then he’s all over you as soon as he sees you, then later in the night he makes a booty call and when you turn him down he disappears!

    Whether you keep contact or not is up to you but if you do, don’t do so with the false hope that the reason he made contact was because he wants you back. Someone who wants you back does not act the way your ex is acting.

  32. Kylie says:

    I broke up with my ex and he went NC for 4 weeks. After 4 weeks I contacted him, we talked and got back together but he broke up with me. I’ve been NC for 2 weeks but he has been texting me every other day asking me how I am doing or for random things. I haven’t responded because I don’t want to break the NC rule. Should I tell him to stop contacting me?

  33. At some point the stupid game playing on both sides has to stop if either of you wants ot have a relationship. If he is trying to contact you, contact him back. That’s how it should be…

  34. Kim says:

    My ex contacts me on and off since we broke up 8 months ago. I’ve told him I’ll only continue contact with him if he wants to come back but he said we can never be together again. So why is contacting me?

  35. Who knows what’s going on in his head. One thing is clear, he’s not contacting you because he wants you back. So it’s upto you to decide whether you want him contacting you or stop responding and he’ll get a hint.

  36. Tammy says:

    It is very confusing when an ex is contacting you but does not want you back. My ex was the same. At first I thought he might be confused about his feelings for me and what he wants. He broke up with me so I thought like most men he could not bring himself to admit to me that he made a mistake. But after a year of the same thing, I told him I still loved him and wanted him back. He told me we can never be together. So I asked him if he was stringing me along the whole time and he said “you had no problem with it.” Stop responding and move on with your life. It’s hard, but life goes on.

  37. Tammy, good for you for smartening up. But for the sake of others reading this, it’s not always the case that an ex is leading you on — unless he comes out right and tells you “we will never get back together”. Sometimes, someone might be genuinely confused about what he or she wants and can’t make up his or her mind. It’s best to observe your ex’s behaviour more closely to see whether it is that of someone who is just sitting on the fence (for one reason or another) or one who is getting off knowing that they still have you wrapped around their little finger.

    If he or she is sitting on the fence, it means you still have the opportunity to turn things around.

  38. mr - lonely says:

    This is the most sane comment I’ve seen on this topic. My ex and I were together 4 years but last year I lost my job and fell into depression. She broke up with me. I don’t blame her I was hard to live with and even I didn’t like myself. A couple of months ago I found another job and started contacting her. I haven’t told her I want her back but secretly my reason for staying in contact is because I still love her, even though right now I’m not in the most attractive state for her. I’m hoping to get my life together and then ask her out.

  39. Angie says:

    My ex contacted me two days ago after 3 months of no communication between us. I was the one that broke up with him because of his constant lies and game playing. He says he is very sorry about the way he treated me. I don’t want to read too much into this, but does this mean he wants me back?

  40. I think you are asking the wrong question. The right questions should be: Do you want him back?

    If he’s asked for forgiveness, give it to him for your own sake, not his. Then decide for yourself if you want him back or not. If you want him back, I suggest you take things very slow so you can see if he’s changed or not. Some exes pretend to be “sorry” just because they don’t feel good about being rejected. Once they have you back they go back to their old ways or worse, break up with you so it feels like they are the one’s that rejected you.

  41. Paige says:

    I think I really blew it with my ex. He broke up wit me then texted me 2 days later saying he wanted to see how i was doing. I got this advice not to text back. Then 3 days later i felt really bad for not replying his text and texted him saying i was doing fine and everything was so great. He texted back right away saying he was glad to hear that and apologized for hurting me. I was at my friend’s party when i got the text so I texted “i’m really having a good time at the party”, he texted back “great, enjoy” I texted back “sorry it was for someone else” and he texted back “it’s ok. take care.”

    I texted him 2 more time and he never responded. I again texted him the next day no response. What should I do? I love him and I don’t want to play these games again. Please help.

  42. I think that when he texted you he really meant what he said but then realized you wanted to play some stupid game instead, and was put off. You’ve texted him too many times already, give it a few days and he doesn’t contact you, contact him with an apology (that’s if you really mean it about stopping the game playing). Sometimes when we come clean we get a second chance… it is a risk but one worth taking.

  43. Alexjn says:

    My ex contacted me 5 times during the time I was in no contact. She said she missed me so much and wants to be in contact with me again. After the 5th text, I gave in and told her I missed her too. We started contact but now I’m the only one always texting and calling her. She replies after a while but she never initiates contact. She posts on her FB photos of her having a good time and she flirts with other guys that comment. But when I comment, she ignores me. I have complained to her about it but she says I’m just being needy and oversensitive. Is it really me being needy and oversensitive or is she playing with me? What do you think?

  44. Both. You were probably needy before the breakup and thought “No Contact” would fix it. She contacted you because she didn’t like feeling rejected by you. When you responded she knew you still had feelings for her and is playing you like a fiddle. You on the other hand, are still the needy guy (nothing changed even with no contact). I’m tempted to think that her ignoring you is payback for you ignoring her the 5 times she contacted you. That’s what you get with mind games… more of the same.

  45. Pat says:

    I have been in no contact for 4 weeks and just this morning got a text from her saying “I hate that it has to be all or nothing” I replied that it’s what is best and she replied “Well, goodbye then.” What do I do now?

  46. Move on. You blew her off and she said goodbye. What else is there to do? Unless of course you are willing to swallow your pride and go back on “it’s what is best”. I honestly don’t understand why people like you do things that are against your own best interest…

  47. Zach says:

    My ex went crazy on me after the break-up. After 2 weeks of non-stop tearful calls etc, I didn’t hear from her again. 3 months of not hearing from her, and then I receive a sweet text asking me how I have been, didn’t reply. A couple of days later, she texts me telling me she really misses me, still didn’t reply. Another text saying if I didn’t want to hear from her again, she’d leave me alone, didn’t reply that one too. Now she’s sending me very angry texts. She also sent an angry text to the woman I’m now dating. Part of me wants to reply and tell her to get over it and move on, but another part of me says, if I respond, it’ll only escalate the abusive behavior towards both of us. Any suggestions on how to better handle this situation? I value your advice very much.

  48. Sometimes after a break-up people do act a little crazy. If you love someone and had a relatively good relationship, cut them some slack.

    The problem in your case is that crazy came back. The 3 months didn’t change anything. She’s still hurting and her angry emails are her way to get some kind of reaction from you. When people are in that state, any reaction — even an angry one — is better than no reaction at all. So you are right, if you respond, it’ll only encourage her to text you because that’s the only way she can maintain some sort of “connection” to you. If you don’t respond, after a while she’ll accept her new reality and work on moving on.

  49. Zach says:

    You are absolutely right. She’s the kind of person who will start a fight just for the attention. Her constant drama and unwarranted attacks are the reason we broke up. Crazy defintely came back, lol. Thank you for your wise advice.

  50. Lisa says:

    i’m in an interesting situation. my ex broke up with me almost 2 months now. i did not contact him for 8 days, in that time he texted me twice, called my phone and left a message that he will not bother me again. i called him back after a day but he did not pick up the phone. i texted him twice and he responded and was positive. we texted for abt 3 days. then i get a text from him saying we should not communicate anymore because he met someone and wants to be faithful to her. do you really think there is someone else or he is just messing with me because i did not contact him for 8 days?

  51. I can’t say with 100% certainty that he is messing with you. It is possible that there is someone else in the picture and he felt guilty that he was in contact with his ex. But it’s also possible that it’s payback for you not responding to his texts.

    What I can say with 100% certainty is that what you did and what he may be doing (if he is paying you back for not responding to his texts) isn’t a healthy way to have a relationship. One of you has to grow up, if this relationship has to have any chance.

  52. Lissy says:

    I am in a similar situation. He attempted to contact me many times; I ignored him all times. I’m told by mutual friends that he was asking about me. It’s been over 8 months since we broke up. Do you think he did really love me? Why do you think he was contacting me? What is he thinking?

  53. You ignored his attempts to contact you many times, so why do you care about what he thinks?

    This is the problem with most people using no contact… you want it both ways. Either you admit that you want your ex back and try to get him back, or move on.

Please read the GUIDELINES for asking your question, then ask a BRIEF question or share insight. Thanks, I appreciate YOU!!