Today I’m super excited to talk about what to do when your ex goes back to their ex but still ends up texting you.
In fact, this is a situation that we’ve talked a lot about in the past.
Ultimately I think there are three big questions we need to consider answering.
- Defining what this situation actually looks like in real life
- Understanding the reasons for why an ex will do this
- Unpacking how avoidants operate and how this plays into the equation.
If that didn’t make a lick of sense to you try not to worry. I’m going to be answering each of these questions in depth.
Let’s get started.
What This Situation Actually Looks Like
So what does this look like?
Well, this is not necessarily a hugely complicated scenario and it’s one that we’ve seen quite a lot throughout the history of the ex-boyfriend recovery.
So essentially what occurs is this. You and your ex are dating. You have a relationship. It seems to be going well. And then all of a sudden they get back in touch with their ex. Now, you’ve always had this sneaking suspicion that their ex was essentially the one that got away.
There was unfinished business there.
They didn’t have proper closure, but you don’t want to seem like you’re super insecure about the fact that your ex is talking to their ex so you kind of leave it be a little bit, or maybe you don’t, maybe you freak out.
Whatever the case is, your ex begins entering into a conversation with their ex and then ultimately breaks up with you to go back to their ex. Now you would assume that would be the end of things, right?
They figured out what they wanted, what they wanted was their ex.
But the reality is once they get with that new person, after some time goes by, you’ve noticed ever so subtly the amount of conversations they begin having with you over text message increases.
And then not only in the frequency of the text messages increase, but the intensity of the text messages increase.
Why Is Your Ex Texting You When They Are With Someone New?
So what is going on here?
What is going through your ex’s brain?
Why did they leave you?
Why did they go to this new person?
Why are they texting you?
Does that mean they want you back?
Well, these are all questions that we’re going to be looking at today. So now that we have sort of a definition of what the situation looks like, let’s talk about the reason that your ex is calling and texting you after going back to their ex.
All right. So one of the first concepts that I think you really need to grasp, if you find yourself in this situation, is the honeymoon period comparison.
Diving Into The Honeymoon Period Comparison
So what is the honeymoon period comparison?
Well, we’re all familiar with the concept of the honeymoon period.
Usually this is occurring when you enter into a relationship with someone for the first time.
It feels incredible.
It feels like they can do no wrong, right? And usually the honeymoon period can last anywhere from a couple of months to half a year. And in some rare cases, it can last for years.
And usually the honeymoon period is kind of like when all of the chemicals that get released by your brain are regulated from your brain are going at their most extreme.
So oftentimes when we’re talking about looking at the science of love, really it helps you to understand love as nothing more than a set of chemicals that your brain regulates, right?
So when we have these emotional responses to when we’re talking with our ex’s, or when we’re in a relationship with our partners, our brain is regulating these really strong chemicals within our body that create the feeling of love.
Well, ultimately what happens is when we’re in that honeymoon period, our brain is regulating these chemicals on steroids, right? So they’re getting really excited, our brains like saying, we love this person.
This person can do no wrong, but what goes up must also come down. It is not healthy for the brain to regulate these chemicals at an insane rate all the time. So eventually it slows down.
We often talk about this from a complacency standpoint. So oftentimes when we come complacent in the relationships, we’re becoming complacent because we’re no longer feeling that love anymore that we were in the honeymoon period.
It’s love on a different level, if that makes any sense.
And interestingly enough, without kind of deviating too far off the path here, some people were noticing break up with their ex because they no longer love their ex. And what really we think they’re saying is that, yes, maybe they lost feelings, but what they’re maybe really misunderstanding is that the honeymoon period just wore off.
And as the honeymoon period kind of wore off, we start thinking that we are entitled to feel the crazy amounts of oxytocin and all sorts of crazy chemicals your brain is releasing within your body to create the feeling of love all the time.
But when it kind of dies down and you become a little bit more calm, we take that or some men take that as I’m no longer in love.
This is a misunderstanding we’re finding happens quite a bit. And it’s kind of important to bring this up here, because what ends up occurring is your ex will not be thinking clearly when they get back into a relationship with their ex, because they are looking at it from a honeymoon period perspective.
But ultimately when things began to die down, when they start to come off the high of the honeymoon period, they really begin to compare what it’s like with you versus what it’s like with their ex.
The 500 Days Of Summer Impact
One of my favorite movies ever from a romantic comedy perspective is that movie 500 Days of Summer.
Now I’ve told this story on the podcast before, I’ve told the story on my YouTube channel before, I’ve told this story on the articles on our website before. And I’m going to tell it again here.
So my favorite part of that movie is the reality versus expectations part of the movie.
Now, if you haven’t seen the movie, it’s a perfect scenario for what’s kind of going on here with this article.
It’s about this guy who literally is going through a breakup, and we’re kind of revisiting his relationship from all different points of the relationship, from what it was like at the beginning, during the honeymoon period, from what it was like at the end, when the breakup occurred, to what it was like after the breakup occurred and how he’s sort of like depressed and how he wants to get his ex back.
So he ends up running into his ex and his ex who’s named Summer, 500 Days of Summer, is he’s obsessed with her, right? And she invites him to a party at her house. And as he’s walking through the party the camera kind of cuts into two, it sort of divides the story into two points, reality versus expectations. So the expectation is he’s going to go there. He’s going to go to the birthday party.
He’s going to reconnect with Summer. They’re going to fall back in love. They’re going to get back together. The expectation.
That’s what it is. The reality is, he goes there. She’s nice to him, but she doesn’t talk to him much. And he’s not really getting along with anyone at the party because he’s there for her, but he’s too afraid to broach things with her. And then he realizes that she’s actually moved on to someone new and is now engaged to that new person. Reality versus expectations.
So what ends up happening a lot of times with these honeymoon period comparisons is when you’re dealing with an ex, who’s still texting you, the reason they’re still texting you after they’ve gone back to their ex is the honeymoon period has worn off.
They built up the expectations as this really grand thing, but the reality didn’t quite meet up to that expectation. And the honeymoon period has worn off. And they’re starting to have nostalgic feelings about their relationship with you.
Now, this also opens up an interesting can of worms because the nostalgic feeling often is what led to the breakup with you ultimately for them going back to their ex. So this is where it kind of gets really messy and hard to understand.
What we look at situationally in scenarios like this is what is it going on within your ex’s brain to make them want to break up with you and move on to their ex, and then what is going on in your ex’s brain to make them want to talk to you while they’re still with their ex.
The Reality Didn’t Quite Live Up To The Expectations
And ultimately we think the answer lies in sort of that honeymoon period, coming off. They’re beginning to realize their expectations and reality were not met.
And they may be began to regret their decision a little bit and start having a conversation with you.
Now, the opposite can also be true. Maybe they are happy in their relationship, but there’s an element of their relationship that is not quite giving them what they need.
Usually this is some emotional support type of component. Maybe their ex was the one that got away.
So they went back to their ex. They’re in this relationship with their ex, right? And it seems to be going really well. But the one little thing that their ex isn’t really good at giving them is emotional support and they need emotional support, but they don’t want to act kind of cowardly and ask for emotional support.
So they come to you and you give them their emotional support. So they get some of their emotional support needs and most of their physical needs met by their ex, but the big emotional support needs that they need to get met are met by you. And they kind of operate under this sort of pretense going forward.
And you in the end kind of get hurt by it because you feel like they’re being hot and cold. You look at them texting you as them wanting you back.
Well, that can be the case, but it also can not be the case. This is where it gets kind of difficult. And this is where it’s also really important to understand the understanding or rather the way avoidant people operate.
Understanding How Avoidant Behaviors Play Into The Equation
Now, I say avoidant people because we’ve actually surveyed our audience multiple times and found out that most of our audience has anxious attachment styles, where most of our audiences ex’s have avoidant attachment styles.
Now, when you really try to understand how avoidant exes operate, it’s important to understand that they are in love with what if scenarios, they are in love with admiring people from afar.
I’ve made it clear multiple times that people with avoidant tendencies really do not begin to miss others or begin to regret their decisions until they feel safe to do so.
And they only feel safe to do so if a couple of criteria are met.
Either you’ve moved on to someone else or it’s been enough time to where they’re thinking, okay, they don’t want me back. Or your ex has moved on to someone else.
Only when they’ve moved on and think that there’s no chance you could ever want them back do they feel safe enough to have these nostalgic feelings.
Now, this can also explain what happens with the reason for why your ex went back to their ex because they’re with you and they’re having those nostalgic what if scenarios.
Well, what if I got back with my ex or their admiring from afar, they get enthralled with the reality versus expectations type thing.
The expectation is, well, it didn’t work out with my ex, but what if it did?
And then they reach out to them just trying to be nice. And then it feels great. And then they begin to pursue that relationship. And the same thing is happening here. So essentially your ex is mirroring their behavior. What they did to you was what they are doing to their ex.
So it’s really important to understand that admiring from afar and the what if scenario within avoidant tendency people. People with avoidant tendencies really like to feel nostalgia, but they don’t feel nostalgia until they literally feel safe to have that nostalgia. And that is why we think your ex, even though they’ve moved on to their ex is still texting you.
Now, the final thing I’d like to talk about is whether or not you should be trying to get someone like this back.
Should You Be Trying To Get Someone Like This Back?
And for that, it’s a little bit tricky to answer.
One part of me wants to say, no, leave them.
They’re treating you poorly.
The other part of me is saying, well, if you want your ex back, you can also approach, give it your best shot, essentially.
Here’s where I’m at on it. If you’re in this scenario, should you try to get your ex back? I only think you should be trying to get your ex back if you think they are capable of breaking this behavior.
The fact that your ex went back to their ex while they were with you, or immediately after they broke up with you, they went back to their ex, is sort of indicative of the behavior they’re exhibiting now, where they went back to their ex and the relationship with their ex, but they’re still texting you.
It’s the same type of behavior. So that same self-fulfilling cycle of breakup, have nostalgic feelings for ex, get back with ex, breakup, have nostalgic feelings for other ex.
Get back with that other ex then have nostalgic feelings for the ex’s ex. You know, it just continues to go around and around and around. If they are caught in that type of a self-fulfilling prophecy, don’t get this person back. Usually they are capable of change, but not on the timeframe that you want them to be.
You also have to consider the fact of, if you can forgive them.
Believe me, I’ve been doing this long enough. Even though it is simple for me to sit here and say, well, look, we should just start over a new. Click the reset button. It’s like a video game. Start over from the beginning. Everything’s new again.
You don’t have any kind of baggage coming in with a new video game. You just get another run to try to finish the Sonic the Hedgehog level. That doesn’t happen with relationships. You can get back with your ex, but if you’re still hung up on the fact that they would leave you for their ex, when you, maybe you had mentioned to them that you were insecure about that. If you’re not able to get past that, then the relationship won’t survive.
So you need to be completely brutally honest with yourself before you consider getting back with an ex like this.