How Long After A Break-Up Does Your Ex Start Missing You?

Question: Yangki, are there instances where an ex will miss you because you are out of their life? If so, in your experience do these exes come back? How long before they start missing you?

Yangki’s Answer: Almost all exes miss you when you are no longer in their lives. It’s just one of those things. You shared some part of your life with someone, they are gone and there is an empty “space” where they used to be. Unless of course that space is quickly filled with someone else, or had already been filled before the break-up.

How long it takes for an ex to miss you varies from individual to individual. Some people immediately, and others it happens gradually.

Exes who don’t have much going on in their lives, don’t have a large social network or people they feel “close” to, and as a result depended so much on you for their happiness will feel the impact immediately. It doesn’t mean they’ll reach out to you right away or that they’ll ever, it just means they feel the “emptiness” immediately.

It will take longer for an ex to miss you if:

  1. They are angry about something and all they can think about is the negative things about you and the relationship.
  2. They’re avoiding feeling the pain by distracting themselves.
  3. It’s over for them — for good.
  4. If your ex has an avoidant attachment style (See: Understanding An Avoidant Ex).

How deep the “missing you” goes also varies from individual to individual as well. In my experience, the “missing you” is much deeper in relationships where:

  1. Both parties felt the relationship met their needs and were both genuinely happy on most part;
  2. Two people were together for a long time, and;
  3. The break-up is “mutual” or “friendly” — no hard feelings.

The irony is that these are the same relationships where exes feel that there is no reason to cut off contact, or feel that “no contact” is not practical (e.g. children are involved, they work in the same place or have same circle of friends, they’re truly good friends who genuinely care for each other).

I’ve also worked with men and women who had an overemotional break-up where hurtful things were said, but the relationship as a whole was happy on most part. They missed what was good about the relationship, and by inference missed their ex.

The part about your ex missing you that is often not talked about is that:

Some exes reach out because they miss you and want you back. Others reach out because they miss you and miss the relationship but don’t want you back. They just want to be friends.

Most of the time exes reach out because they’re feeling lonely and want to see what’s going on in your life (if you miss them or have moved on). These are the ones that reach out to you when they are drunk, just had a bad date or just been dumped by someone else. They are not missing YOU the person, they are missing how good you made them feel. It’s all about THEM.

So many stories of exes that “miss you”, reach out, stay in contact for a while and pull away and/or disappear again. Some exes do this over and over until they don’t miss you anymore. They literally use you, to get over you!

They miss feeling a certain way and that’s all they come back for, or want. They don’t want YOU back, they just want to feel good again. It’s was about THEM from the very beginning.

That’s why focusing too much on  “Is my ex missing me?” “When will my ex start missing me?”How long does it take before my ex starts missing me?“, “How do I get my ex to miss me?” is unproductive.

An ex missing you means very little if they are not making an effort to stay in contact and showing that they’re interested in YOU and not just filling a void in their lives.

More from Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng
Why Does My Ex Contact Me Then Disappear?
Question: My ex sent me a text after months of no contact....
Read More


  • Yangki I bought your books ‘dating your ex’ and was making slow progress with my ex because i would sometimes get ’emotional and he says it makes him not want to talk to me.

    I recently bought ‘its just a breakup’ and its amazing. It helped me examine my emotions and where they were coming from which was caused not by what happened but by my resistance to what happened. Since reading the book and putting your advice into practice I am doing much better with my emotions. Communication between I and my ex has improved. Last night, he told me that he notices a change in me being more calm with things. He also said he cares about me deeply. I asked if he meant it in the past tense, and he said no. I didn’t push any further, the old me would have 🙂

    View Comment
  • That’s what happened to me. He contacted me after 2 months of nc, wanted to meet. We met and he was all over me the whole time telling me how much he missed me and loves me and he made a mistake and wants to marry me and have children with me. I stupidly believed him because I missed him so much too. We ended up having sex. The following day he texted me all day and at 10 pm he wanted to come over but I said I did not want it to be just about sex. I said we could meet somewhere and talk. He did not respond and I have not heard from him and it’s not 11 days. I don’t know whether to contact him or leave it alone. What do you think, Yangki?

    View Comment
    • That’s a sad story. Unfortunately it happens too frequently.

      If you are contacting him to get him back, I think you should rethink it. He’s shown you who he is, believe him!

      If you are contacting him to give him a piece of your mind… “say your peace” and move on.

      View Comment
  • Thank you. I was torn about no contact and needed to read this to confirm what I was thinking. She told me she knows she will miss me but does not want it to be the reason we get back together. She said if we ever get back together it has to be because we want to be together again.

    I am going to get your book and start implementing your advice. Hopefully i can get get her to want to be together again.

    View Comment
  • I live in Denmark and reached out to my ex after reading your site. He has responded positively. I don’t want to make mistakes, how much does coaching cost?

    View Comment
  • I’m so angry I didn’t find this site sooner. Last night I finally sent him a text after 45 days of NC and he replied immediately, “please leave me alone. thank you”. I looked in his Instagram and he posted a photo of him and her on their first date last week. He looks happy and I am still miserable and missing him so so so much. I have not slept or eaten since finding out about his date. It hurts so so so much. I want him back!

    View Comment
    • That’s the risk one takes with NC. You emotionally torture yourself trying not to reach out and counting the days until when you successfully complete NC only to find out that your ex never missed you at all.

      It’s like telling yourself, “I’ll not eat any cookies for 3 hours” and sitting there watching the clock and when it hits 3 hours you rush to get the cookies only to find no cookies in the cookie jar.

      If only you had checked earlier.

      View Comment

Comments are closed.