This is a complete guide on why an ex would end things with you but still consistently contact you.
So, if you’re looking to understand
Why they do it.
What’s going on psychologically.
How to tell if their overtures are genuine.
Then you’ll love everything we talk about in this new guide.
First things first though,
Why would an ex still stay in touch after breaking it off with you?
Well, I think it boils down to five things,
- Avoidant Nostalgic Reverie
- Grass Is Greener
- Ensuring That You Are An Option Lined Up For Later
- He’s Grown Jealous Of You From Afar
- He May Genuinely Want To Reconcile
Let’s get started!
Thing#1: The Avoidant Nostalgic Reverie
A year ago I wrote an article on how to make an avoidant miss you.
The research done in pursuit of answering that one question (how to make an avoidant miss you) turned out to be pretty revolutionary for the way we advise our clients to handle their exes. In fact, I grew so inspired by it that I filmed an entire video on the topic,
Now, you may be sitting there (or standing) reading this article and ultimately rolling your eyes with the thought that your ex is in no way an avoidant.
And you may be right.
However, according to internal polls of our clients most believe their exes to be avoidant and it isn’t particularly close,
Avoidants are interesting because what you expect to typically work on them doesn’t typically work.
Anyways, back to my video above.
When researching the topic on how to make an avoidant miss you I actually stumbled across the concept of nostalgic reverie. Something that avoidants often fall victim to.
The way it works is simple,
Avoidants are free to long for an ex once that person is unavailable out of the relationship, and typically out of contact so they are untouched by actual engagement and their deactivation systems aren’t triggered, revealing their long-suppressed attachment and switching their operating attachment wound from the fear of engulfment to fear of abandonment. (source)
So, given enough time, space and signals that you are moving on an avoidant will suddenly feel safe enough to begin missing you.
One potential explanation for what could be happening with your guy still being in contact with you even after HE broke up with you is that enough time has gone by to where this nostalgic reverie is getting triggered.
Of course, this is only one potential explanation.
We still have four more.
Thing #2: The Grass Is Greener On The Other Side
As long as breakups exist in the world so too will the concept of the grass is greener syndrome.
No one initiates a breakup with the thought of it being a bad idea. Inherently it’s always looked at as though the grass will be greener on the other side.
And for some people it is.
But for others, it’s not.
And the tricky part about all this is that the jury is kind of out on a conclusion for a while.
Years ago I wrote about this concept called “the ungettable girl.”
Specifically my “setting the bar” phenomenon.
Imagine for a moment that we could do a rudimentary calculation that measured your satisfaction in your relationship with your ex.
Let’s say that One = Unhappy
Let’s say that Ten = Extremely happy
That number of satisfaction is actually going to change over time a lot.
At the beginning it’s probably going to be a perfect ten but as the relationship wears on it will become less and less potent. Maybe towards the end your ex is feeling somewhere around a six which causes them to sit back and think,
Hmm… I wonder if I can do better.
And que the breakup.
That’s usually where most relationship pundits stop though when explaining the grass is greener syndrome. However, there’s actually more to it.
The satisfaction, or rather, the memory of how satisfied your ex was with you can change over time.
You see, there’s also another comparison going on and that comparison is how satisfied you are in your current relationship as opposed to how satisfied you are in your previous relationship.
Let’s say your ex leaves you to be with someone else. Throughout that relationship they are having with someone else they are constantly comparing how they feel with the new person to how they felt with you but these numbers are fluid. Maybe at first they feel like they are on top of the world.
They are in the middle of a honeymoon period.
But over time that satisfaction drops with their current person.
And a funny thing happens to their memory of their satisfaction with you.
The peak end rule goes into effect.
The Peak End Rule: Basically human beings rely on two distinct points to remember experiences. The peaks and the ends.
Your ex starts remembering their time with you more fondly while simultaneously thinking of their time with the new person more negatively. This triggers that grass is greener syndrome and can leave a bitter taste in their mouth. It might also account for why they stay in touch with you even while they are with someone else.
Thing #3: Ensure You Are An Option Lined Up For Later
I think this one is closely related to the grass is greener syndrome which is why I placed it right next to it in the order of my explanation.
So, with GIGS (grass is greener syndrome) your ex thinks they can do better than you so they break up with you to go find that magical unicorn (that definitely doesn’t exist because you are super duper awesome.) Anyways, some men you’ll find like to have a contingency plan in the off chance that they don’t find that other person.
They want to “keep their options open with you.”
And they know exactly what to do to keep you on the hook.
They’ll give you false hope in the form of future pacing.
Common examples include,
- Breaking up with you but claiming you’ll get back together soon
- Flirting with you
- Being extremely hot and cold
It’s all something that they are doing to make sure you are their fallback option.
Thing #4: He’s Grown Jealous Of You From Afar
One of the things that I really harp on with my personal coaching clients is the importance of making sure your social media game is on point.
Doing so at times requires you to dip your hands “a little” in the jealousy jar.
And boy…. my clients really rule when it comes to this.
One look around our private facebook group would show you a whole album of pictures dedicated to successful jealousy pictures that you can use in the post breakup period.
(They are all done tastefully, don’t worry. We subscribe to the less is more theory.)
The one thing that men, as a whole, hate after a breakup is an ex who actually looks like they are doing better than them. Social media is the key to propagating that narrative. So, if you’ve been particularly killing it on your social media after the breakup then it is entirely plausible that your ex has grown jealous of you and that naturally manifests a situation where an ex will want to get back in touch.
Thing #5: He May Genuinely Want To Reconcile
This is still a real possibility.
Sometimes there are no shadow motives happening behind the scenes. Sometimes it’s as simple as an ex wanting you back.
Of course, I think the key lies in understanding how authentic your ex is being.
And really there is only one authenticity check that matters.
Do their words line up with their actions?
If you have an ex who tells you that they’d love to “hang out” or “see you again,” do they actually do that?
Do they actually take steps to secure a meetup or date of that nature?
If they don’t then that probably means that they weren’t authentic.
The cool thing is you can apply the words vs actions idea to anything in life.
To quote Batman,
It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.
So, what does your ex actually do?