By Chris Seiter

Published on June 2nd, 2022

Today we’re going to talk about exactly how long it usually takes for an ex to miss you after a breakup.

In fact, based on our research you can expect the average ex to begin missing you anywhere between 2.5 to 5.2 months after a breakup assuming you put forth signals that you are “moving on from them.”

We’re going show you how we came to this conclusion by drawing on our knowledge on,

  • Attachment Styles
  • Real Life Success Stories
  • Client Interviews

The idea is to use all this knowledge to come up with a specific time frame based on research and psychology that is realistic.

Too often I see people claiming to expect an ex to miss you in something like 30 days when the reality is that this isn’t what we’ve seen in the field at all.

I’d like to put an end to all the speculation and come up with something today based on research.

First things first, when it comes to an ex missing you what kind of behaviors are we looking at?

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Creating The Missing Framework

So, when we talk about an ex missing you what kind of behaviors are we really looking at? Well, this isn’t rocket science so here’s what I think counts as an ex missing you,

  • An ex admitting they miss you
  • Asking you out on a date
  • Bringing up positive emotional memories from your past
  • Their response time to your texts is quick
  • The conversations you have are much longer than normal
  • They talk about “dreaming about you.”
  • They start texting you during odd times (usually when they are alone.)
  • Social media stalking

But here’s the thing with exes missing you. At first, it probably will feel like the behaviors listed above will never happen. After all, usually after a breakup most exes do everything they can to avoid you.

The Wheel Of Death

In fact, I’d encourage you to look at the emotional experience of the typical “ex” that we study by paying attention to the wheel of relationship death,

  1. They start out wanting someone to love them
  2. Then they find you, and at first, things are great
  3. But something about your behavior sets them off (we will talk about what that is in a minute)
  4. They use that as an excuse to think about leaving you
  5. Then they actually decide to leave the relationship
  6. Then of course they party and are happy they left the relationship
  7. But there is a loneliness in the silence and they start to grow depressed
  8. They ultimately sit and wonder why this always happens to them. Why can’t I ever find the one?

Which in turn leads them to start the cycle over and over again. They are trapped in a prison of their own making and the crazy part is most of the time they aren’t even aware of it.

Now, I’m going to use this cycle a lot throughout this article to explain when you can expect your ex to miss you and I’m going to back it up with real research.

So, let’s start with a personal favorite topic of mine.

The Avoidant Attachment Nostalgia Factor

Recently, I’ve poured most of my research time into better understanding avoidant attachments but without going too far into the weeds everything I’m going to talk about in this section of the article can be found by watching this video,

Specifically the part about the “nostalgia factor.”

But first things first, most of the exes we’ve studied tend to be avoidant,

This means that they are fiercely protective of their independence. In fact, I think an argument can be made that when it comes to relationships they are usually happy until the person they are with threatens that independence.

For those counting, that would be this part of the wheel of death,

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At the first sign of trouble they actually use it to self sabotage the relationship. In fact, according to free to attach,

At this point, although avoidants ultimately want connection and a secure long-term attachment like the rest of us, they will start to avoid it, self-sabotage and push away for protection. Having learnt not to expect to be reliably happy around caregivers – that love comes with a degree of neglect – they are always expecting something to go wrong, and their subconscious mind moves to recreate this output.

At the heart of every avoidant lies an interesting paradox.

They want love more than anything else but they won’t let anyone close enough to give them that love.

But something fascinating happens right around here on the wheel of death after they ultimately break up with their partner,

A type of nostalgia kicks in. It’s at this point that we have found exes are most likely to fall victim to missing you.

From a psychological perspective what’s going on?

Well, a lot of things.

There is obviously the self loathing aspect kicking in. The feeling sorry for oneself here,

But it all culminates in this nostalgia phenomenon where they can finally feel “safe” missing you. Once again pulling from Free To Attach,

Without the danger of reciprocity (so particularly after an ex has moved on), liberation from the fear of engulfment finally gives free reign to an avoidant’s latent romanticism. An ex being truly unavailable may even produce a perverse enjoyment – they are at liberty to fully miss and think wistfully of them while it also confirms their self-belief people won’t stick around them (sometimes in relationships they may imagine their partner with another to trigger this)

This is often why it can seem like it takes FOREVER for an avoidant ex to miss you and brings me nicely to the next bit of research I’d like to pull up for you.

Learning From Our Success Stories

One of the pages that often gets overlooked on our website is our success story page,

I’m proud of it because I feel like Ex Boyfriend Recovery is one of the only outfits that actually interviews our clients in depth on how they succeeded in making an ex come back.

But what’s particularly relevant about that page is we’ve combined all of our information into bite sized snippets so you can see what real success looks like and how long it typically takes,

The thing that probably jumps out to you immediately on that page is the success time frame.

On average it takes our clients about 5.2 months to see success in getting their ex back after they begin working with us.

The key part to remember there is “after they start working with us.”

So, all of those “get your ex back programs” that claim they can get your ex back in 30 days… Well, let’s just put it this way. Based on everything we’ve actually experienced they are complete bullsh*t.

And the science backs us up on that.

An avoidant, the average attachment style of our clients ex, isn’t going to even entertain the idea of missing you until they feel like you’ve completely moved on from them. Only then will they feel safe enough to miss you.

And you know what it takes for them to “feel safe?”

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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Of course, if you want to get really technical here exes probably do begin missing you a tad earlier than 5.2 months. In fact, many times we first notice the signs of them missing you during the texting phase of the value ladder,

So, usually right around 2.5 months is when the first signs of an ex missing you start to fall through but it’s a delicate tightrope you are forced to walk.

Any type of overly anxious behavior can actually trigger an avoidant again and then it’s as if the clock starts all over.

So yes, you need to have emotional control before you even entertain the idea of texting an ex. In fact, this is why we make it a point to focus our no contact periods around “outgrowing” an ex.

We know that if you can authentically get to a place emotionally where you are ok not getting an ex back then you are actually more likely to make them miss you.


Well again, it harkens back to that nostalgia factor. It puts forth signals to the avoidant that you have “moved on” and it’s at that point the nostalgia kicks in and they can begin missing you.

One final point, this outgrowth mindset. It’s not something you can fake either. You actually have to make an effort to outgrow your ex.

So, what are you waiting for?

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2 thoughts on “How Long Does It Usually Take For An Ex To Miss You?”

  1. Sharon

    November 1, 2022 at 4:26 am

    He said after five years living together mostly that we are incompatible and it’s not working out and not right for each other. In the beginning he said he loved my qualities which is why we’re together. And he thinks I’m gorgeous and he’s only average. He helped me move to my apartment in early May and still has some overflow stuff at his house I can’t fit in my tiny apartment and I have told him on a text when discussing my stuff I want a chaperone to come with me to get the rest of my stuff and I have ill feelings towards him. Now it’s November 1 and last text was two months ago and no communication since does he miss me

  2. Mike Scholes

    October 24, 2022 at 11:04 am

    My ex is clearly a fearful avoidant. She has blocked me on everything and wont talk to me. It’s was a case of ‘come here, go away’. She has been on her own for a number of years and I think she has also encountered rejection more than once in relationships ( divorce being one).I decided to walk away about five weeks ago.