Absence DOES NOT Make Your Ex’s Heart Grow Fonder

Question: Hi Yangki, I’m a first timer on this blog and I have a really serious question: What happened to the saying “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”?

Yangki’s Response: “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” still applies between two people who are fond of each other. The key word here is “fond”.

Unfortunately not many people understand what this means when it comes to break-ups and exes.

Fond (meaning):

  • Having an affection or liking for;
  • Affectionate; loving; tender; indulgent; doting
    prizing highly; desirous

Many (if not most) break-ups happen because one person (or both people) is no longer FOND of the other. Your ex may still love you, but not be fond of you at the time of the break-up, or hasn’t been fond of you for a very long time — and vice versa.

Here is where most people get confused.

Saying someone is “fonder” of you means that there is increase in affection, liking, tenderness, indulgence, doting, desire etc.

But for there to be an increase (fonder) in affection, liking, tenderness, indulgence, doting, desire etc. there has to be (fond) affection, liking, tenderness, indulgence, doting, desire etc in the first place.

Someone who wasn’t fond of you when you were together, isn’t going to be fonder of you in your absence. Someone who doesn’t like you, feels no affection or desire (what happens during break-ups) isn’t going to suddenly feel more affection, liking, tenderness, indulgence, doting, desire etc in your absence.

They may miss you and miss the good times, but “miss” (definition: aware of the absence and wish someone/something was there) and “fonder” are not the same thing.

People miss other people, places or things all the time, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they like or even want that person back, or want to return to a certain place.

Say you had a roommate who snores, is untidy or too noisy, but who makes you laugh or is a great cook. When they move out because of a falling out (due to their snoring, untidiness or loudness), of course you are going to miss them – how they make you laugh or their good cooking – but it doesn’t necessarily mean you want them to move back in.

To me, it’s simple common sense. I could even stretch it a little and say, it’s simple math.

  • Fond of  + Absence = Fonder
    Positive  +  Negative = Positive (assuming “fond” is greater than “absence”)
  • Not Fond of  +  Absence = Out of sight, out of mind
    Negative + Negative = Negative  (not good for someone who wants his/her ex back)

Why do so many people get “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” so wrong when it comes to break-ups and exes?

Because they put way too much emphasis on “absence”, and way too little importance on “fonder”. It’s like expecting an award for a race you didn’t run. And we wonder why our ex doesn’t come “crawling” back or why they moved on real fast after you cut off contact.

What I am saying is, if you want your ex to become ‘fonder” of you, put less emphasis in “absence” and more effort into creating affection, liking, tenderness, indulgence, doting, desire etc. At the end of the day (process), more affection, liking, tenderness, indulgence, doting, desire etc is what makes an ex fonder of you, and want to come back.

More from Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng
2 Main Reasons Why Getting Back Your Ex Is Harder For You
Being present in the moment is key to making an emotional connection....
Read More


  • Yangki, it took me a while to understand your concept and now I see why my ex is not responding to my messages even when I send them anonymously. She told a mutual friend that she knew it was me because she knows I like to play mind games. I just wanted her to miss me and now I have completely lost her trust. She says she hates me and will never speak to me again.

    View Comment
  • Hi, this is the first time I’ve read this blog and love the advice. Me and my boyfriend broke up 5 months ago, since that time he has told me I’m not the one, he does not want me back and he no longer loves me. However his actions don’t always match up to his words as I have spent nights with him and I have seen how much he missed me? Any idea of what I should do, was going to try and just cut him out of my life, but I really want to fight for him

    View Comment
    • Spend a little more time on the site. There is a lot of advice on how to approach getting back someone who says one thing and does another. Read the comments as well, I have responded to many questions with a similar situation as yours.

      View Comment

Comments are closed.