By EBR Team Member: Ashley

Few things in this life are certain, but I can tell you one thing for sure. Every single person that has ever gone through a breakup has wondered if it was the right call or not.

But people react to breakups in all sorts of crazy ways.

How do you know if your ex regrets the breakup?

How do you know if he wants to get back together?

Well, here are 20 “warning signs” to watch for if a guy regrets letting you go.

1. He Stays Single

After you spend a great deal of time imagining a life with someone, it can be pretty hard to imagine a life without them. For some, jumping back into dating is their way of trying to move past it. However, if your ex seems to have had an impossible time moving, he could be holding onto the hope that that future could exist.

Don’t just assume this is the case. Sometimes, especially after a rough breakup. Some people remain single simply to protect themselves from having to deal with the pain of being hurt again.

If your ex has hopes of reconciling, then it is more likely that his singleness will manifest with one or more of these other signs, not on its own. So, don’t go jumping to conclusions without something else to back this one up.

2. He Tries to Hold Onto a Connection

He’ll fight to stay in your life through friends. He’ll fight to stay connected through family.

This will become obvious when you notice him reaching out and getting cozy with people that he wouldn’t normally get cozy with, then you can bet that his goal is to keep you close.

3. He Tries to Right Old Wrongs

If he is regretting the breakup, then you can bet that he spends a lot of time thinking about how he could have screwed things up. You can bet he’s going to try and apologize for them. Heck, I’ve heard of exes coming back and apologizing for eating the last of the cereal and think that that will get their foot back in the door of their old relationship.

If your ex starts coming up with all sort of apologies and trying to fix the problems of a relationship that has already ended, this just another way for him to stay connected.

4. He Can’t Accept the Breakup

We all do stupid stuff. We make the wrong call only to realize it later.

Occasionally, there are people who, instead of addressing the issue or admitting that they made a mistake, will act like it never even happened.

But how do you know if that’s what has happened?

Here’s a little personal perspective.

I’m the kind of person who has to have something to occupy my hands pretty much all the time. Usually, it’s a water bottle or cup. It keeps me from using my hands too much when I talk. It is a nervous thing I do that usually results in me spilling things.

 

Anyways, I am constantly trying to drink out of empty glasses and then trying to play it off like it never happened. Even if you ignore a mistake, it still happened. You can’t pretend it away

If your ex is trying to act like you didn’t break up, then you can bet that he either sees the whole breakup as a mistake or the reasoning behind the breakup didn’t pan out.

5. He Acts as if it is Temporary

We’ve all seen or at least heard about the FRIENDS episode where “We were on a break!” originated.

So many people just expect their ex to just sit and wait for them while they’re off living life.

In college, I went through my first big heartbreak with a guy who is now one of my closest friends. He used to give me every reason why we had to break up.

He wasn’t ready.

He didn’t deserve me.

He was moving and didn’t believe that long distance relationships could work.

But, when he felt like it, he would come back and we’d be back together until he decided he wanted to leave again.

Forgive the language, but it was all such BS.

He wanted to go off and live his life without the burden of being tied to someone until it was convenient for him.

I loved him so much, and he knew it. He turned my blind love for him into a revolving door. He came and went and was shocked when I wasn’t there waiting for him.

If your ex broke up with you, but he’s put some kind of expectation of being able to walk back into the relationship at any moment, then you have more power than he wants you to think you do.

6. He’s Overly Negative

Everything in his life has fallen apart and suddenly you are his therapist.

He comes to you to talk about every single thing that goes wrong, whether it’s something minor or really really big.

News flash, he wants to stay connected and he thinks the only way you’ll do that now is if you feel sorry for him.

I have this one friend who’s boyfriend broke up with her, but then made her think his life wasn’t worth living if she didn’t stay in it.

This is flat out manipulation.

It’s nice to feel needed, but putting this sort of pressure on a relationship is dangerous. Returning to this sort of relationship won’t be good for anyone involved, even if you want to get him back.

In situations like these, I suggest letting his friends and family know that he’s having a tough time and that you need to take some time to yourself.

While you’re doing No Contact, hopefully, he takes the time to learn to stand on his own two feet before you ever talk about getting back together.

If he doesn’t, it might be best for you not to get back into that kind of relationship.

7. He’s Overly Positive

He’s doing great!

He doesn’t need space from you at all.

You can be friends, and talk every day.

In fact, he lets you know that the sun is out and it’s shining.

Things are just great.

He just hopes you are having as good of a day as him.

Or at least that’s what he wants you to think…

This is pretty common these days. The goal is to make you feel as if your life pales in comparison to what it was without him and as he is doing better without you.

No one wants to feel like they held someone back or as if they are happier without us.

Basically, he’s painting his grass greener so yours looks dull and colorless. It’s a sneaky way of making you miss him. And making you feel like the excitement that is missing from your life clearly went with him when he left.

8. He Tries to Force You to Miss Him

After a breakup, we’re generally all a little guarded. But he seems to have no problem laying it all out there. I am literally watching this play out between two of my friends that split up about a month ago.

He’s a semi-famous local musician and she’s from a prized athletic family. Both of them are well-known and beloved by many. Their relationship was pretty visible.

They were those annoyingly cute couples that posted about how in love they were constantly. It’s like eating a whole pack of Oreos by accident. You’re happy they’re there, but you are kind of sick from all the sugar.

He just posted a pic on Instagram of the two of them and tagged her AND her new boyfriend.

If you think that’s a bold move… you’ll never guess what he did next.

He linked a new song he wrote about her to it.

He’s trying to tug on her heart strings and make her miss him.

If your guy is doing this kind of thing, then there isn’t a single doubt that he’s regretting letting you go.

9. He Bargains to Try and Get You Back

If your ex seems to think that the reason the two of you didn’t work out was because of some shortcoming, then it is likely that he will try to get you back by fixing whatever issue he perceives as the cause.

As I am sure you are aware, most people are impatient. We don’t like to put effort into something unless we know it is going to pay off.

It comes across as a weird type of bartering where they tell you their plan to make things better. They are looking to you to tell them if it’s worth the effort or if they’re even on the right track.

He’ll say things like,

“If I give up smoking would you give me another chance?”

“I’m thinking of going back to the gym and getting back in shape.”

“I’m thinking about getting a real job and moving out of my mom’s house.”

10. He Keeps Showing Up

You know how this one goes. You go to get coffee. He’s there.

You go to your favorite bar and he happens to be there.

He somehow makes you think about him even when he’s not there.

This move is typically a sign that fear is his biggest motivator.

He’s afraid that he’s lost his place in your life and that you will find someone else to fill that spot. Making himself indisposable to you is his way of making it impossible to imagine anyone else in his place.

You see his goal here.

11. He Shifts Personalities

He was one person when you were together and now he’s someone else completely. It almost seems like he’s become the man you’ve always wanted him to be.

Sadly, no matter how hopeful these changes might make you about reconciling, they are never permanent when they are made simply to get you back.

Keep in mind that changes in character take time and won’t happen overnight. If it seems like it has, it’s likely a short time until he goes back to being his pre-breakup self.

If you give into this play, and that’s all it is is a play, then at least you know what you are getting yourself into. So, tread carefully and don’t take the decision to let him back into your life lightly.

12. He Makes Grand Gestures

Anyone who’s seen a good old-fashioned chick flick knows what a grand gesture is.

Skywriting something romantic across the sky.

Holding up a boombox blasting some sappy song outside her window.

Giving up a major addiction.

Or making some seemingly selfless gesture.

But, like the previous point, this doesn’t fix anything. It’s simply a catalyst to get you to come back to the relationship.

Making professions of love and dramatic gestures don’t fix the problems that existed within the relationship and probably caused the breakup.

13. He Makes Excuses to Touch You

This is something that happens before the dating even starts. It’s an animalistic instinct to touch the object of your affection. The underlying reason behind this drive is because of the chemical oxytocin. This is also known as the “Cuddle Hormone.” Basically, being close to someone makes you feel connected to them.

Ironically, the thought process behind this notion is ingrained as children from being held close by loved ones. Your brain is basically hardwired to think that by touching people you create a connection with them. Oftentimes, this is true.

14. He Starts Showing More Interest

When you were together, he didn’t even know your friends’ names or your hobbies.

At the beginning of the relationship maybe, but over time he stopped paying attention or caring.

Suddenly though, he has taken an interest in EVERYTHING you are up to. He knows who your friends are and what all of you are doing pretty much all of the time.

While I’m happy to say that that means he’s still interested in the relationship, it also means he seriously took you for granted. Just something I think you should keep in mind.

15. He Asks Your Advice on Everything

Asking for your help is his way of laying prostrate at your feet, giving you the power over the direction your relationship is headed.

By making you feel like you are needed he’s trying to make you feel like he can’t function without you. That responsibility is meant to keep you from walking away.

Yes, it’s manipulative.

In this case, it’s not usually something that is done on purpose.

It’s a natural reaction to wanting to keep you close.

You just have to pay attention to what is in your best interests and take this into consideration when you make decisions instead of allowing feeling responsible to cloud your judgment.

16. He Fights to Stay Connected to You

As soon as any distance grows between you, there he is, swimming against the current.

You will know that this is what’s going on because he will make an absolute fool out of himself. Even if he’s outside your window right now blaring “In Your Eyes” he will do even more over-the-top things to keep your focus on him even if it’s “just as friends.”

Basically, anything that will make it really uncomfortable for you to even consider replacing him.

He’s holding onto hope.

17. He is Jealous of Your Attentions

You two aren’t together. It doesn’t matter if it’s been two days or two months. Suddenly, he’s eyeballing every single man in your life as if they are a threat.

You may not even be interested in anyone, but in his eyes, anyone getting close to you is a threat to him taking back his place.

It could be a friend.

It could be a classmate.

It could be a family member.

It’s silly, but he’s basically just afraid of losing you.

18. He Tries to Impress You

Have you ever stopped paying attention to a kid who wants your attention? I assure you it makes for a very uncomfortable road trip.

When I was a kid, my mom babysat almost every kid in our town. And I was older than most of them. So, I was constantly hearing, “bet you can’t do this,” or “hey look what I can do!”

Basically, that is exactly what your ex is doing when he calls to tell you how great he is doing. He wants you to pay attention to him and maybe realize that you miss him. Or to realize that he might have something to add to the relationship this go around.

19. He Works Hard to Get a Reaction

This one is a little similar and a little different from the last point, because, in the event that impressing you and getting your attention doesn’t work, it’s likely that he will take to being mean.

Sometimes this happens as a last resort. For some people, though, anger and lashing out are the only way they know how to express their emotions.

I know that that whole “he’s picking on you because he likes you” thing from the childhood playground may, in this case, be true. But that doesn’t mean that you should give in.

You’ve heard of positive and negative reinforcement.

Giving him what he wants because he’s stomping his feet and throwing a fit will only ensure that, for the continuation of the relationship, he will continue to act out towards you.

20. He’s Angry

As I said before, anger can be a sign of many things.

However, this anger doesn’t seem to be directed at anything in particular.

He’s angry at life.

He’s angry at you.

He’s angry at himself.

He’s angry at pretty much anything and everything.

He’s dangerously close to becoming that grumpy old man that stands on his front porch and shakes his fist at people as they walk by. This is simply self-pity manifesting as anger.

We’ve all been there. Unfortunately, the only way to get past moments like these is to make it through them.

Where Do We Go From Here?

So, what do you do with this information?

How do you use it?

Well, the first step is easy. You have to figure out what it is you want. I mean we already know that your ex wants to get back together. And you might think that your decisions remain between whether you want to get back together or not. But it isn’t that simple.

When my friends have found themselves in similar situations they generally ask me what I think and we have come to fondly call this notion “Defining Your Terms and Conditions.” These are the rules of the relationship that you are going to stick to whether he read them or not.

In my case, my T&C break down to respect, understanding, and communication.

Without those things, I wouldn’t return to a relationship no matter how much I missed it.

You have to decide what you will and won’t accept because ultimately it’s about what you want. You don’t just have to accept things the way they are.

My suggestion is that you define your T&C’s and write them down. According to a study published in Forbes, writing down your goals makes you significantly more likely to achieve them.

In the same sense, writing down what you want out of the relationship and what you are willing to accept will make it more likely that you will stick to them.

So, once you figure out what you want and how you are willing to get it, all that is left for you to do is to go after what you want.

I know how scary that can be, so I have some good news. We are here to help you in whatever way we can.

Feel free to let us know what C&S’s you came up with. And, as always, I suggest you start No Contact if you haven’t already started it. And remember, we are here to help. So, don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you might have.

11 thoughts on “20 Signs A Guy Regrets Letting You Go”

  1. Avatar

    milka

    August 9, 2018 at 2:06 am

    I got a question for you. I have been dating a guy for two years. we met through dating site. he have a “bestfriend” but she used to be his ex girlfriend long time ago for two years. she always text him and he the same when im not around, they spoke on the phone and everytime i am with him, when he got a message from her , he always deleted them and i caught him deleted message from her few times when he think i didnt see it. I never met her, I don’t know her, but he kept saying she is just a bestfriend for almost 20 years. when i asked why he deleted message from her he always said because ill go mental and crazy if i see Ash texting him thats why he deleted them before i see them. i had many conversation about her with him, and i remember he said before that he couldn’t pick between me and her, she is his bestfriend and he couldn’t lost her. and i never asked him to pick. two days ago, I told him , I don’t think i want to meet her. and he go crazy and said he cannot pick one, and all of a sudden he told me one of his girl friend actualy wants to stay over for a week with him at his apartement( just incase i did not tell you, i live in Indonesia and he lives in the UK) so yeah , he said one of his female friend want to stay for a week but he did not say yes because he scared i will be stress. I was hurt by his attitued, I said he did not respect me by not open and honest about that, he did not explain who she was, but when i ask who that woman and he said good night to me, and i know then I have to walked away. so i stopped responding to his message but he kept caling me and text me, when I answer he go crazy and hit him self because im not listening to him. he said he did not do anything wrong, when i calmly listen and try to explain, from my point of view he doesn’t respect me. he kept saying I don’t trust him, i always think he is a bad guy, and i told him, i give you one chance to explain who she is , and why she feel that comfy to ask you about stay a week with you. and he told me, Ash sister just breaking up with her bf, and she need to go away for a week and ash think he could help, and let her stay for a week with him instead. i did not believe that, so i told him to send me screenshot of the conversation and he start going crazy and screaming that i did not and wont ever trust him. so then i hung-up. he kept texting and calling and finaly he said he uninstal his whatsapp and instal again to talk to me. I hangup the phone and take a screenshot of his about and phone number whatsapp that show his whatsapp been there since 12th of february. and i told him, i know you been lied. and he got back to me and said ok, I know you will alaways think i am a bad guy anyway. and i did not replay him back, I walk away. he been on BADOO (dating site) when i was laying at the hospital before. we cam at night and my sister found him on badoo the next day, and when i bring it up yesterday he said he is on badoo because of me, because i make him stress. I know i have to walk away no matter how much i love him, and how much effort i have put in the relationship. I need your advice, please.
    im so desperate and depress

  2. Avatar

    Anna

    May 11, 2018 at 2:35 am

    My ex and I were together almost 4 years before we broke up almost 5 months ago. I was married previously, and have 2 children. He is 15 yrs younger and has never been married and was thinking he might want children, I am unable to have any more and it chipped away at our relationship but we ended both crying and saying I love you. We didn’t speak at all for about a month, he had a brief 4 week relationship about 3 weeks after we broke up but even during that relationship he emailed to say he still loved me. We started emailing maybe every two weeks or so and then gradually it increased to texting now almost everyday. He had started to bring up fun memories of things we did together, telling me I look amazing and still telling me that he loves and misses me but never says he wants to get back together. I saw him for the first time last Saturday but he seemed very guarded and acted very differently than his emails conveyed. We still talked and laughed, kissed goodbye and said I love you to each other when he left. He text me all night that night even though we were both at different Cinco de Mayo parties. Then again all day the next day (Sunday) and then he left for a week long business trip. We have still text everyday but one. He is still flirting and referencing fun, sexy memories of when we were together but no discussion of what he’s thinking about us as a couple going forward or even the next time we might see one another. What should I make of any of this?

    1. Chris Seiter

      Chris Seiter

      May 11, 2018 at 3:48 am

      Hi Anna…first of all…know that 4 years in a relationship, particularly if it was relatively positive experiences, is a good thing. It creates roots and traction and a foundation to work with. He seems to be in the undecided mode. Half in..half out.Some time ago I created what I think is an awesome resource. It’s called Ex Recovery Pro. Full of ideas and clever strategies. Take a look. You might just need an informed blueprint to get you to the finish line. Click on my website’s Menu and pull up the “Products” Page. Explore and see if this fits your needs.

    2. Avatar

      Anna

      May 14, 2018 at 4:57 pm

      Thanks Chris.

      It really was a relationship we both loved – we just had so much fun and were so compatible in every way. We used to say some people go their entire lifetime and never find a love like ours. I have friends who have been married 20 years tell me they have never had any of the magical moments – almost like from a movie – that he and I shared. There is no doubt we are soul mates.

      We said exactly that when we were texting this weekend. He called us a “match made in heaven” and that we were “so perfect” but he also added, “can you imagine if we could have kids?” I will check out the resource you mentioned and while I know so many couples who struggle with being able to have children, I don’t know if wanting children and already knowing I cannot is going to outweigh any thoughts he may have of reconciliation.

      Thank you again for the quick response.

  3. Avatar

    Allison

    January 6, 2018 at 12:17 am

    My boyfriend and I were in LDR for our entire relationship. He’s military and it was really hard but we made it work for a year and a half. He was even deployed to South Korea for a year and we made it work. I only saw him twice during that whole year in Korea. Anyways, he’s back stateside, living now in Arizona and I’m in Las Vegas only a 4 hour drive. We broke up only two months after him being back in the states. We were seeing each other every weekend, I helped him get settled, get an apartment and furniture and everything. He was talking about how much he loved me and how we should get married etc. Then after having gone back home to visit his family in Texas for thanksgiving, he started getting distant. His mom has never liked me, not sure why since we’ve only met twice. He told me he wanted to take a break and work on himself for awhile because he has a lot going on and that the distance was getting to him because we kept having to say goodbye every weekend, he said he just wished we could live together (but we are both in contracts, can’t live together for another 6 months). His grandmother has cancer and he’s getting out of the military this year and is stressing over that transition. I know his mom, who is totally controlling and actually a little emotionally abusive to him ( i.e. telling him that she would disown him if he didn’t pay for the family’s phone bill and buy her a new iphone) has been putting a lot of pressure on him saying that he needs to be spending more time with the family now that he is back stateside. And he supports them financially so I think she saw our relationship as a threat because the more time he spent with me doing fun stuff and spending money she sees it as less money he could be spending on the family. Anyways, he broke up with me and said he needs to focus on himself but I know he is super close with his mom and I really think that she influenced his decision. Our breakup was so sad I was crying and he was crying and saying how much he loved me and saying that one day we would be together again. It felt like he was forcing himself to do something he didn’t want to do. Like he was getting so much pressure from his mom. I’m doing no contact and we haven’t talked for about a week. But I was looking around on facebook and realized his mom blocked me. We were never even friends on facebook but she still went out of her way to block me. This just shows me that it really was her and she has so much influence over him. How do I get my ex back when were are long distance and his mom is hates that we are together? I am willing to work through the issues with his mom but he needs to be willing to as well if we get back together. I just love him and he loves me but his mom is driving a wedge between us. Help!

    1. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      January 9, 2018 at 1:30 am

  4. Avatar

    Akami

    December 21, 2017 at 9:02 am

    My boyfriend and I broke up 2months ago (we’ve dated for 10months) and he has been ignoring me during the first month. And a month after that, I tried entertaining another guy and my ex boyfriend knew about it. Now, he’s very mad at me. He’s miserable and blames everything on me. He doesn’t believe what i say and talks to me harshly. We haven’t talked personally ever since the break up happened. We have only contacted through chat. He wouldnt believe me whenever i tell him that im still into him. Im confused about his intentions. Why is he mad at me? Is he jealous or is he regretting? Do we still have a second chance?

    1. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      December 25, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      Hi Akami,

      I’m sorry, just to clarify, you meant the first month after the break up right? If yes, he’s jealous.. why did you break up?

  5. Avatar

    Jessica

    October 3, 2017 at 2:57 am

    Ok will do. Self improvement is all I have been doing for the past 4 months. It all seems like a game… I love him dearly. I just don’t know if I want to play… games. sigh. Thank you.

  6. Avatar

    Jessica

    October 1, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    My ex and I broke up about 4 months ago. We were together for 2 1/2 years. We had sporadic contact for the first 3 months (mostly him texting and or calling every 3-5 days) and met a couple times to talk. I initiated NC on September 5th. I needed some space and he was all over the place emotionally. He was contradicting himself and I was getting frustrated. We have blocked/unfriended each other on social media. Last Sunday he commented on one of my posts on a community FB page we both belong to. On Friday I ran into him at the coffee shop and I smiled and said “hey!” He turned away from me so I continued to the back of the room and sat down. The friend that was with him came over and hugged me and chatted with me pleasantly for a few minutes and then returned to the table where my ex was sitting. My ex had his back to me the entire time. Anther man came in sat down for a second then came over and introduced himself to me. It was someone that was friends with my ex that I never had a chance to meet while he and I were together. Again pleasant conversation and he went back to the table where my ex was sitting with his back to me. I went about my business. Text some friends. Drank my coffee. One of his friends left and waved at me bye. And then a few minutes later my ex got up and never once turned toward me and walked out the door. The next day I saw him on the road so I honked and waved. Later that same day I was out for a run and saw him driving. He ignored and didn’t acknowledge me either time. I know I’m in NC but I thought it would be weird to completely ignore him in public…. his behavior is weird. I don’t understand what he’s trying to convey. Is he pissed? Is he sad. Has he moved on and doesn’t want me…? I don’t know. I figure I’ll reach out sometime after the 5th and see what happens. I’m still very confused about how to interact with him if he’s going to be all over the place…?

    1. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      October 2, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      HI Jessica

      that means you have to ignore him next time, since he’s already ignoring you.. If you were not active in posting, be active in improving yourself and in posting for the next two weeks before initiating.. just make them public.

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