One day the two of you were together, holding hands and perfectly happy. Then, the breakup happened.
When the breakup happened you probably thought it couldn’t get worse. But now that you have been split up for a bit, you are noticing that your ex has changed.
Making life changes after a breakup is pretty normal. I mean, we basically tell you to make your life better during No Contact.
How Guys Handle Breakups
Let’s face it. Guys are confusing already. But understanding how guys handle breakups is kind of imperative to understanding why he has changed.
So, consider this “Understanding How Guys Handle Breakups 101.”
Like I said before, guys aren’t very transparent about their feelings when you’re dating them. So, it’s understandable that he isn’t LESS confusing now that you’ve broken up. Right?
Now, that you have split up, you are probably feeling very emotional and all you want to do is talk about how you are feeling. Men are different though. Guys are more likely to avoid acknowledging that they are feeling anything.
Think about it for a second. Guys go their whole lives being told that they need to be “tough.” Crying it out with his friends over some wine and binging rom-coms just doesn’t work for guys.
Over time, the feelings catch up with them, though.
Why am I telling you all of this?
Well, if you are noticing changes in your ex right after the breakup, it is likely that some of these changes are his way of avoiding his feelings.
Here are a few of the ways that avoidance manifests.
Types of Changes
- He Acts Like He Doesn’t Care
- He’s Being A Jerk
- He Started Dating Someone New
- He Is Partying A Lot
- He Is Posting A Lot On Social Media
- He’s Doing Some Really Dumb Stuff (getting into trouble, making poor choices, hanging out with not-so-great people, etc.)
- Physical Changes (good or bad)
- Treating His New Girlfriend Better Than He Treated You
It’s hard to watch someone you love change, especially when they are making dumb choices. But it can be even harder to watch them grow in positive ways without you.
But, hey! I don’t have to tell you that. You’re seeing it as we speak.
Permanent Changes vs Temporary Changes
How do you know if the changes you are seeing your ex boyfriend go through are temporary or permanent? Let’s get a better idea of how long these changes may last.
The time and the timing of the changes are going to be key to determining if the change is temporary or more permanent.
The longer a change lasts, the more likely it is to be permanent.
The sooner after a breakup, the more likely the change is to be temporary.
Let me give you an example.
Let’s say following the breakup, your boyfriend went skydiving and is doing a lot of daredevil like activities.
“Woah, this is weird and out of character He is afraid of heights.”
I would initially say that these changes are temporary and he’s likely using them as an outlet to keep his mind off of the breakup.
But, if it is three months after the breakup and he’s done three different jumps, gone rock climbing, and has booked a trip to go surfing in Maui the following summer. I would say the daredevil bug has been caught and those changes are going to be permanent.
Do you see the difference?
If you’ve read the Ex Boyfriend Recovery Program, you know that investment equals commitment. So, if your ex is putting a lot of money and time into the changes that he has made, then it is likely that he won’t be going back to his old ways soon.
For example, going out and drinking a lot doesn’t require a lot of investment. Furthermore, when it does start to cost him the big bucks it is likely that it will start to take more TIME to recover and it will affect his SLEEP schedule. He will be less likely to find this activity as appealing.
Although, drinking on that level does run the risk of becoming an addiction, so it could fall into that “bad decisions” category. You know your ex though. So, you can probably guess better than I can at whether he has an addictive personality or not.
If he does have an addictive personality, it might be harder to come back from decisions involving alcohol or drugs. So, that is something to factor into to determining whether it is a permanent change or not.
Changes that require a lot of investment would be learning a new skill, like playing an instrument or picking up a new hobby.
The one thing that could be hard to determine would be if he is getting into shape. The reason this is so difficult is that the secret lies in his intention or driving force.
If he is getting in shape to get a revenge bod or so he can move on, it would likely be temporary. This is because the reasons for doing it aren’t long-term.
If he is doing it to make a healthy life change, then it’s probably a more permanent change. Generally, if you are dealing with issues like heart problems or blood pressure, a breakup can be just the kick you need to get your butt in gear.
Here is the golden factor in determining whether or not a change is permanent or temporary: Common sense.
Yes, it is as simple as that.
- You know people.
- You know him.
- You know his personality.
Most of the time you can sit back and wait.
If the changes stick around… permanent. If they don’t, then… temporary.
But, knowing your ex, you can likely guess which way it is going to go.
What Should You Do?
Alright, so you likely fall into one of two camps; either you CAN or you CAN’T accept the changes your ex has made.
Either way, now that you are broken up, there isn’t really much you can do to affect his decisions. You can’t tell him what to do. He’s his own person.
So, go ahead and take a moment to accept that fact. Go on. I’ll wait.
The downside of temporary changes is that the only thing you can do is wait them out. The upside is that they don’t last forever.
Negative Changes With Permanent Effects
So, let’s say he’s making some not-so-great decisions that could have life-long consequences. Maybe he’s getting into trouble or sleeping around. Maybe he’s on his way to getting a DWI.
When your ex is making bad choices, there is really nothing you can do short of voicing your opinion. The problem with voicing your opinion is that it will likely make him see you as an enemy. And that is something you definitely don’t want if your goal is to get him back.
What you could do is touch base with a mutual friend or his family and essentially ask them to be there for him since you can’t. You have to do this with a light touch. Otherwise, it seems like you are trying to control him. No one wants a controlling girlfriend, let alone a controlling ex girlfriend.
So, if you do decide to ask them to do you a favor, I would word it like this.
“Hey, I’m not saying it’s my business since we aren’t together anymore, but I’ve heard that Matt has been doing some stuff that is out of character. And even though we aren’t together I still want the best for him, so I was wondering if you’d do me a favor and be there for him and have his back if he needs it. That’s all.”
It acknowledges that you know that you aren’t together and that you don’t expect to get back together. (not that you won’t get back together. It’s just that having expectations can be just as scary to a guy.) But it also establishes that you still care and you want the best for him even if it means you aren’t the one that is there for him through it.
Then there is the chance that he is just being a jerk or acting crazy. In this situation, he isn’t considering a future for the two of you. Instead, he is being driven by emotion.
It is up to you if you decide you want to still take him back after he’s acted this way. Here is an interview Chris did with Marni Battista, a personal dating coach, about how to decide if your ex is even right for you.
“My ex boyfriend has changes completely.”
Any permanent changes your ex could have made fall into two categories.
He is acting like he’s changed into a different person.
He has stopped hiding the person he really was.
Either way, you have to decide if the person he is becoming is a person that you still want to be with.
If not, let him go. It’s that simple. (Note that I said simple, not easy.)
If you can see yourself dating this new person he has become, then follow the Ex Boyfriend Recovery process.
Essentially, you will be starting a new relationship with a new person AND getting your ex back if he has made significant changes. I mean, think about it. It’ll be like dating a new person anyways.
How do you think a relationship is going to play out if you date someone new and try to turn them into your ex?
Not well, right?
Then, you have to take into account that we all try to put our best foot forward in the beginning of a relationship. I have a friend who pretended to be vegan at the beginning of a relationship and ended up eating vegan and sneaking hamburgers and steak for years… years!
So, if you find yourself thinking,
“My ex is not even the person I thought he was,”
…you have to take into account that it’s possible he was avoiding behaving a certain way to appeal to you or the relationship and now he’s simply reverting back to the person he was before he met you.
If that’s the case, this falls along the same lines as the other situation. And again the real question is, can you live with whatever that means? Can you live with the person he has become?
But, if you want to know if it is possible to get him back if he’s changed since the breakup, then yes. It IS possible.
The only alterations to the EBR process that I would recommend would be not to rely so heavily on the past. Yes, it exists, but he is clearly trying to distance himself from the person he was.
And when it comes to No Contact, perhaps a longer one (45 days) would be better here so you can:
- make some changes of your own to match up with his, (assuming they were positive changes)
- come to terms with losing the “old him”
- rediscover who you are as a person (you wouldn’t jump from a breakup straight into a relationship with someone new without getting your head straight. You should do the same in starting a new relationship with your “new” ex)
What Have We Learned?
Here’s a quick reminder that making changes after a breakup is normal.
The hard part is realizing that there is not much you can do to stop him from making changes since you aren’t together at the moment.
Basically, you have to ask yourself a question:
“Are these changes something that I can live with if we were to get back together?”
Don’t go into trying to get him back thinking that you can turn him back into the guy you used to love.
I see a lot of women try to do that and it doesn’t work that way. If that is what you came here looking for, then I suggest you think it over. Hoping to change someone is never a good basis going into a relationship, whether it’s brand new or simply salvaging an old one.
If, after considering that, you still want to get your ex back, you simply have to adjust the EBR Pro Program focusing mainly on the following without relying too heavily on the past:
- Starting with No Contact
- Becoming Ungettable
- Reconnecting and Building a New Relationship from the Ground Up
Yes, I simplified, but for the love of everything that there is if you do the program… follow it!
Don’t use the fact that I didn’t list every single step as an excuse to skip the ones I didn’t list. It only works if you commit to it fully. A lot of the failures we see in this program come from people saying, my situation is different so, that clearly doesn’t apply to me.
The most important part, I think, for you is to work on becoming Ungettable. If you are confused when I say Ungettable watch the video below that Chris made specifically explaining what being Ungettable means.
Being ungettable in your current situation can be effectual either way. If your ex is behaving badly, he will want to be better in order to get you back. If he is bettering himself, then he will want you back because he knows he needs someone who is on his level.
So, I want to know about your particular situation. In the comments below tell me about your breakup. Our experts will help you figure out what your next move should be.
- What are the details surrounding your breakup?
- What changes are you seeing in your ex?
- What do you think your next move should be after reading this article and the other EBR material?