20 Reasons Why Your Ex Is Trying To Get Your Attention

Getting a text from an ex after the break-up stirs different emotions. If they broke up with you or if you still have feelings for your ex; it will feel nice to know that they still think of you and maybe miss you. But if you want to forget everything and move on, a text from an ex feels like a setback, and can even be annoying.

The question is why would an ex keep contacting you and texting you several months, even years after the break-up? In my experience there are 20 common reasons why exes keep contacting you and trying to get your attention after the break-up.

1) They still have feelings for you

They still have feelings for you and are reaching out to see if you still love them and still care for them; or are interested in getting back together.

2) Guilt

They may be feeling guilty for breaking up with you and worried that you to hate them for it.

3) They want to be friends

They may be trying to be your “friend”; and reaching out to see if you are interested in keeping in touch as friends.

4) Old habit

They may be texting you out of habit. If you have done something routinely for a while, it can sometimes be hard to break that habit.

5) Missing you

They may be contacting you because they miss you; and don’t care if contacting you makes them come across as needy or wanting you. They just miss you.

6) Loneliness

They may be lonely especially if they are not in a relationship or are going out and seeing people but no one is interesting enough to want to pursue a relationship with.

7) They’re drunk

Many exes for some reason text an ex when they are drunk or stoned; and sometimes can not even remember they did it the next day.

8) Booty call

They may be texting you after a break-up for a booty call; especially if the sex was good but the relationship ended for some other reasons.

9) Accidental call

Believe it or not this can happen. Not all exes erase your number after the break-up; and they may be trying to call someone and accidentally called your number or they simply butt-called you.

10) They heard/saw you met someone new

They are reaching out because they feel jealous or are hurting that you are with someone new. Exes will do this whether they are still single or are in a relationship themselves.

11) They’re too shy to tell you they want you back

Some exes text you out of the blue or keep reaching out every now and then thinking that they are giving you the opportunity to try to get them back. They will throw hints that they’re single or somewhat dating but not really. (Translation: I’m still available but it may not be for long).

12) They care about you

If you had a good relationship and cared very much for each other, they may be reaching out just to check on how you are and not necessarily trying to get back together. If you truly cared about someone it is hard to stop caring about their well-being even after the break-up.

13) For closure

Some exes reach out because they still have unanswered questions and unresolved issues from the relationship and break-up and keep texting you for answers and to get closure. Other think reaching out one more time just to see how they feel about you will help them let go and get the closure they need.

14) Anger and resentment

You have heard the saying “hurting people hurt people”. Some exes text you because they are still hurting and say and do things that they think will hurt you just as much as they are hurting. They may be even be texting you because they hate you for the break-up, hate you for moving on or hate you because they still love you.

15) Unfinished business

They may reach out want to return something of yours that they have or ask you to return something of their that you have. They may also reach out for some practical matter if for example you shared bills, a home, a business and need to discuss how to wrap things up. Sometimes its just about the unfinished business, but sometimes exes use this as a way to start conversations and pen up the lines of communication.

16) Emotional support

They may be contacting you because they are going through some things and have no one else to turn to for emotional support.

17) Pressure from friends and family

They may be texting you because a friend or family member has been asking about you, told them something about you, or directly asked them to contact you. Friends and family do this if they think your ex made a mistake breaking up with you or if they don’t like the new man or woman and want the two of you to get back together.

18) Good news

Sometimes exes text you out of the blue to wish you a happy birth day, congratulate you on an achievement, or share with you some good news of their own. This can be out of habit but it may also be genuine happiness for you or genuine desire to share some good news with you.

19) Bad news

Your ex may contact you to inform you of a death or something that happened to someone you both know. Thy may think you have not heard about it or maybe reaching out to connect with you because they know you’re the only person who will feel the same way they feel, understand their grief and be able to empathize,

20) Fear of losing you for ever

Some exes even know you will not get back together but the thought of losing you forever; and not having you in their life makes them reach out. They know nothing will come out of it but they just have to do it.

Some of the reasons have to do with your ex’s attachment style. For example, a fearful avoidant may reach out because they think they are losing you forever but may also be too afraid to get back together because they think they that even if you get back together, you may end up leaving them.


How To Respond To An Ex Trying To Get Your Attention

How A Fearful Avoidant Ex Comes Back – A Detailed Analysis

What Makes A Dismissive Avoidant Ex Miss You And Come Back?

When Do Dismissive Avoidant Exes Begin “Longing” For You?

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49 replies on “20 Reasons Why Your Ex Is Trying To Get Your Attention”
  1. says: Kenny

    Yangki, I see that you are against ‘no contact’ , my question to you is, what alternative do you offer? It’s not enough to be against something but offer no alternative.

    1. says: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      This site is THE alternative to ‘no contact’ sites out there. I also have an eBook that offers an alternative to ‘no contact’, and I offer coaching for those looking for an alternative to ‘no contact’. Gosh! I am THE alternative to no-contact coach!

      If you are indeed looking for an alternative to ‘no contact’, it’d help you to spend a little bit more time reading as many articles as you can.

  2. says: Kylie

    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?

  3. says: Amanda

    Yangki, what about if your ex calls you knowing you would call him back. Then when you call him back he completely ignores you. You text him a couple of times asking if hes okay and he texts back, “I thought I had a blocked missed call from you. Sorry I phoned. Cheers!”

    1. First time he did it, I’d give him the benefit of the doubt. It’s possible he genuinely thought he had a missed blocked call. It’s also possible that he has a good explanation for not calling or texting back.

      Remember, he’s your ex, he doesn’t have to call you back or respond to your texts immediately, or even ever.

      If he did it again or did something similar, I’d know he’s playing mind games and completely ignore him.

  4. says: Anta

    I had a 6 months relationship with a guy I met online and everything was perfect. Then one day he said he just didn’t feel the spark any more. I didn’t beg or anything because he made it very clear that he didn’t love me anymore. After 4 months of being apart I started to date someone new. Shortly after he sent me a very long email basically saying he’s had lots of time to think and figure things out and that he wants to give us another try. I told him I was touched but didn’t think there is any future for us. A couple of days ago he sent me a text to let me know that he is also seeing someone and wanted me to find out from him instead of someone else. I have no idea where his head is at.

  5. says: Juicylin

    Yangki, my ex contacted me after 2 years of no contact. He has not directly said he wants me back but he keeps bringing up how we used to be before he cheated. I am torn, should I maintain some form of contact or should I ignore his texts?

    1. says: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      Whether to maintain contact or not is up to how you feel about him coming back into your life after 2 years of no contact.

      In case you decide to continue contact, proceed very cautiously. It’s so easy to go with your emotions but you don’t know why he’s back after so long, or if he’s changed at all.

  6. says: Cyana

    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.

    1. says: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      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.

  7. says: Sandy

    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.

    1. I’m sorry you had to learn the hard way 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.

  8. says: Britney

    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.

    1. 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.

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