By Chris Seiter

Updated on February 25th, 2021

Guys can drive you nuts sometimes, can’t they? Especially when that guy happens to be your ex-boyfriend. Between the mixed signals, emotional shutdowns, and random midnight “you up?” texts – it’s enough to drive any girl insane.

I know that I myself am struggling with dealing with my ex – I’m getting mixed signals up the wazoo, and it’s absolutely exhausting.

So today, we’re going to chat about how to navigate all the twists and turns of dealing with your ex-boyfriend when going through the Ex-Boyfriend Recovery process.

First Thing is First: Take the Necessary Space and Do the Necessary Work

I know a number of fabulous ladies in the private Facebook group who have succeeded in getting their ex boyfriends back.

Do you want to know what they have in common?

They all attacked the No Contact Rule with everything that they had.

They committed to following this part of the program and understood that the best way to attract your ex back is to take some space and re-focus your attention on you.

They didn’t spend their No Contact periods mooning after their ex’s and crossing days off of the calendar.

No. They went to the gym. They took up a new hobby, they started pampering themselves more, applying for new jobs. They spent more time with friends and family. Simply, they started focusing on themselves more. They looked at the Holy Trinity of Health, Wealth, and Relationships and got organized.

I am a list person. I like to be organized. I recommend you try to approach trying to get your ex back in a very logical, methodical way. You are undoubtedly emotional, and getting organized will help you to cut through the emotions and look at things more analytically (which is almost certainly how your ex is looking at things).

So I recommend making two lists (I’ve encouraged this before). One should be a list of things your ex loved about you. That list might look like this:

He liked:

  • My cooking
  • My sense of humor
  • My eyes and smile
  • How much I care about people
  • My sense of adventure
  • (and so on…)

The other list you should create is a list of things that your partner complained about. That list might look like this:

He disliked:

  • That I didn’t go to the gym
  • That I complained a lot
  • That I spent too much time at work
  • That I was overly anxious
  • That I sleep in too much on weekends
  • (and so on…)

Then, during No Contact, work equally on things from both lists. But keep in mind, you shouldn’t be changing yourself for someone. Only put down things he disliked if YOU want to change them, too. For example, if you guy wishes that you had bigger boobs, I do not recommend going out and getting plastic surgery. This is all within reason.

Tackle all the points on your list and utilize social media. For example, based on the above, maybe on a Saturday morning at 8am, you take a grinning selfie of you at the gym with a positive caption. And then maybe you make breakfast for yourself after and post a picture of it, to remind him what he’s missing.
The No Contact rule is one of the main pillars of the Ex-Boyfriend Recovery program. And it should be used once you are back in contact, too. One mistake that I see a lot is that women make themselves too available to their exs. Go silent on him for a few days. Make him think you’re busy and out dating and having a good time. Make it clear that your life does not revolve around him. Because really, it shouldn’t.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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Excuses and Tactics to Counter Them

I’m sure your ex gave you some reason of why he broke up with you. Very rarely does a guy just end something without reason. Here, we are going to look at some excuses and lines guys use, what they look like, and what you can do to counter them. Please note that No Contact should apply to all of these situations before using any of the below techniques.

The Line: “I don’t feel the same about you anymore/This isn’t working anymore”

The Situation: Typically, I feel like this line comes out of nowhere. Things feel fine, and then he ends it, and it feels like a smack to the face. I’m not sure why guys don’t communicate when they are having doubts. My ex sure didn’t. This line could very easily be an excuse. I feel like a lot of men use this line when there is something deeper going on, but they don’t want to share, and they don’t want you to feel like it’s something that you can fix. They don’t want you to have any hopes, and so they tell you that they don’t love you the way they once did.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

I tend to think that guys want relationships to be easy. They don’t get the work that goes into them. So to them, if it’s not easy, they fear that it isn’t “right.” Your guy may still care about you, he just all the sudden may be freaking because the honeymoon period is over and things are hard.

The Counter Attack: Remind that man of why he fell for you in the first place. Use the list method from above to accentuate your positive qualities and work on the not so positive. Guys like feeling that high of first falling for someone, though they wouldn’t easily admit it. You want to make it so that he associates you with positive feelings. It is imperative that your interactions are all positive and not overly emotional. Strive to be the Ungettable Girl, because that may be the exciting, unattainable part of you that he is missing.

The Line: “I think we’re better off as friends”

The Situation: This line usually comes from a guy who may claim, like the above, that he’s lost all romantic feelings for you. But he still sees what a cool person you are, and doesn’t want to lose you from his life. Or maybe you were married and he can’t imagine his life without you. If this is the line that was used, it’s possible that your ex simply wants freedom. He wants you in his life on hold, because he may want to be with you one day, but as of now, he wants to do single guy things. It may be that he is afraid of committing to you now, but wants you available in case being single isn’t as great as he thought.

If that’s the case, tread carefully. This guy is selfish and looking out for his own needs. You’ve been friend zoned, but the good news is, that is relatively easy to overcome. I’ve done it.

The Counter Attack: After building some positive rapport post No Contact, slowly start to ramp up the flirting. You want to make it so that he can’t help but see you in a sexual or romantic way. This is where the “health” part of the Holy Trinity will come in handy. We all get a bit lazy in committed relationships, which is why it’s important to remind him of what a catch you are. It’s also beneficial to use jealousy tactics once the flirting has hit a certain point. You want to make him doubt that he has you under his thumb.

The Line: “I met someone else”

The Situation: Pretty self explanatory. And it sucks. However, it could also be that cheating wasn’t involved, and he started dating someone shortly after the two of you broke up (If this is the case, she is almost certainly a rebound). So this will in general cover a situation where another woman is involved post break up.
The Counter Attack: If there was cheating involved, I would encourage you to consider if having this guy in your life is in your best interest. Life is too short to be with someone who isn’t absolutely enthusiastic to be in your life, talking to you every day. With another woman in the picture, I would suggest the Being There Method. Stay a part of his life. Make her worry about you and feel insecure about the connection that the two of you share. Try to remain a prime person that he trusts and feels comfortable being vulnerable with. Men value those that they can be vulnerable with.

The Line: “I just can’t be in a relationship right now/I want to be single for a while”

The Situation: So if your guy is using this line, it could be that he has some emotional baggage he needs to work through. It could also be that he isn’t ready to commit and just wants to go out there and see other people for fear of not having lived enough.

I think this is one of the more frustrating lines that can be used because it means that they generally acknowledge you to be a wonderful, awesome person. But there is something inside of them that is messed up/scared, and they want to take the time to fix it/sleep with lots of people before settling down. It’s annoying because it’s all about them, here. In one case, them and the necessary healing, and in the other, them and their general selfishness.

The Counter Attack: No Contact is an important step for all of these, but I would say an especially important step if this is the situation you find yourself in. Guys tend to process emotions slower than women, so giving him some time to sort out his issues and miss you will be important. It’s also very possible he’ll realize that being single isn’t as fun as he thought it would be, and will start missing you. Do No Contact, and work on being the ultimate Ungettable Girl to show him that what he gave up is completely irreplaceable. If he is dealing with baggage of some kind, this time apart may also help him to work out whatever demons he’s dealing with, and may help him realize that he didn’t need to give you up to work through it. That you may, in fact, be of help to him as he works thorough it. Remember what I said above about men and vulnerability.

The Line: “I just don’t know what I want”

The Situation: Ugh. The confused man line. So maybe your guy is just really confused about…everything. You, career, life. If this is the case, it’s likely that a lot of the above things are at play – he’s dealing with something internally or maybe wants to be single and selfish for a while.

The Counter Attack: My advice here is pretty much exactly as the above point – No Contact. Force him to face the repercussions of his actions. He doesn’t know what he wants? Make it clear what a life without you will be like. He may think he enjoys the freedom at first, but slowly, the loneliness will start to seep in. Embrace No Contact and strive to be an Ungettable Girl. If you do this, the time apart may help him to sort out what’s going on in his head. It may seem like a bit of a gamble, but by taking yourself away as an option, you force him to make you a conscious choice.

“I Need Me”

All guys are different, but the types of lines that they use when they break up with us tend to be very similar, and some sort of iteration of one of the above. There are different ways to deal with them, but remember that the most important step is fully embracing No Contact and spending some time to focus on YOU to get your bearings.

I’ve been re-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer (shocking no one), and a quote stuck out to me a lot this watch around that I thought applied nicely for how to approach No Contact.

“It’s like…maybe I don’t need a guy right now. I need me. I need to get comfortable being alone with Buffy.”

No Contact is a wonderful thing if you take it as an opportunity to focus on yourself and make yourself better. And if your ex comes back in the process, great. But if not, you’ll be more comfortable with yourself, and that is what really matters.

(Written by Rachel)

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27 thoughts on “How to Deal With an Ex-Boyfriend”

  1. Mary

    February 4, 2020 at 8:07 pm

    Hi guys!
    So I was with my ex for 5-6 months and things were great between us. There was fighting of course but we loved each other. Anyway, the thing here is that he has been studying abroad and we actually were together for about 2 months. The others, we were just keeping contact through skype, texts etc. The last time he was here, he used to go out a lot with his friends especially the last days of him staying here. He texted me saying he has been thinking about the future and our lives and goals dont seem to allow us be together. And that was it. He broke up with me. Two days later he contacted me and he kept on doing this for some weeks. However his mood was changing and he just made me so confused. I gave several chances and he didnt seem to actually want us back together. As for now, we havent talk for some days but he has been uploading stories often and keeping an eye on mine. What does he want? Should I move on?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      February 8, 2020 at 7:30 pm

      Hey Mary I think you are on his mind but he is not sure how he feels which is normal for people going through a break up. If you want him back then you are going to have to complete a No contact where you do not reach out to him, watch his social media activity, or reply to him if he reaches out to you. I can not tell you to move on, all I can do is advise you in which path you choose to take

  2. Lilly

    January 9, 2018 at 8:48 am

    Hi team,

    In my previous post, I stated that he used the above excuses on me except for the “i met someone else”. Well, he did not use it but apparently that was part of the reason. I was on 19 days NC then broke it during the holidays then started again. I’m on day 8 today. The sister of my ex-fiance told me about this girl that they saw on his facebook page. It was a picture he uploaded , then immediately deleted. They searched for this girl from his list of facebook friends. I was not able to see it cause he changed the privacy of his facebook so i cannot see some of his posts. Now, his sisters are telling me that his attitude changed (in a bad way). He has become secretive about his whereabouts, didn’t like being asked who he’s with and when he’ll come home. He had fights with his parents and sisters about me, because they are telling him they want him to marry me. I’m not sure if he’s been with this girl, and broke up with me for her or just starting going out with this girl just days after we broke up. I was told that they have suspicions that they are out of town and that he was denying being with her. I am anxious because I’m just on day 8 NC, and what if they become a real couple by the time day 30 comes. Help please.

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      January 10, 2018 at 8:22 pm

      Hi Lilly,

      if he’s dating, she’s probably just a rebound. Focus in yourself because that’s what you can control. Be productive and very active in improving yourself and in posting.. It would be better if you stop talking to his family too. You can politely tell them you’ll need to stop talking to them to heal and hope they understand and thank them for everything because you’re going to look like you’re using them to get him back if he continues to hear from them that you’re talking to his family.

  3. Lilly

    December 26, 2017 at 3:53 am

    Hi Team,

    My ex fiance used all the above lines on me, except for the “I met someone else”. We were together for 4 years and we’re engaged. I used NC for 19 days and he messaged me on Christmas eve. We messaged each other and he explained why he unfollowed me and deleted all our pictures in Facebook – to move on and he thinks its for the best. He also asked me if it will be better for us to make a “break up post” on facebook so that we do not have to answer all of our families and friends’ questions. We were highschool and college classmates but just got close and started dating during our late 20’s. So almost all our friends are mutual. He told me that he’s not yet ready for long talks, he dropped by my house to give me his Chsitmas gift and some of my things. We got to talk for a few minutes. Then he for looking good. He kept talking about me having future boyfriend – that I should tell him if i already have one. He also kept saying that he’s sorry for everything that he has done. And that I deserve the best guy. I feel that he is moving on, I don’t want that to happen. I am planning of not messaging him for a few days then message him… what should I do?

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      December 27, 2017 at 10:12 pm

      It went alright because you didn’t beg but you need to restart at least 30 days of nc

  4. Sally

    December 14, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Please help me. I was dating my ex for three or four months. We were friends first and knew each other for a couple of years beforehand. We fell in love and things were going well but sometimes a bit rocky. We have some differences in some big issues but I thought we could work through it. I have a great attitude but realized slowly that I felt like I was putting in all the effort. Finally he told me he didn’t want to be in a relationship, that he didn’t feel it was the right time for him to be dating anyone. I was heartbroken. We tried to be friends but I realized I am always trying to be there for him and he takes it all for granted. I don’t know where but I guess at some point I let myself be taken for granted by him. 🙁
    I told him we can’t be friends anymore but we’ve been done then gotten back together so many times before, I think it’s become less of a big deal. Well this time I blocked him on social media. Then the next day after I blocked him it was my birthday so he texted me happy birthday and I didn’t respond. Then I found this website and have been doing NC since then. It’s only been two days though. Anyway I’m not sure if I want him back since a relationship with him became one sided. Do you think if I continue NC the correct way, he will come back and start to appreciate me again and start putting in more effort? Do you think he will even want to be with me when he told me he can’t be in a relationship with anyone? I want it to work if I will be appreciated by him but do you think that is possible? If so, what steps should I take? Thank you.

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      December 15, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      Hi Sally,

      People rarely change.. and doing nc is more for you, not for somebody else to change.. If you still want to do nc, that’s ok.

  5. Ces

    November 13, 2017 at 6:22 am

    hi, my relationship of 4 years have been on again, off again. and right now it’s off again after a prolonged period of wishy-washy-ness.

    he randomly texted me in sept while i was on holiday saying he wanted to be alone. we had a chat after i returned, and it was constantly hot and cold. at no point when i asked him if he wanted to break up did he admit it, other than to say that he wanted time to think about it.

    he would then have lunches or coffee with me, each time reinforcing that we are on a time out.

    finally, after receiving a rather passive aggressive text to meet, i felt that that was it. i went straight into NC without responding.

    it has been almost 2 weeks since. he has texted recently to share an ‘update’ on a positive news that relates to me.

    it feels like he’s emotionally unavailable but wants to keep me around. how long should i keep NC for given that these patterns have recurrence, and should i leave it to him to reach out after i pass the NC period?

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      November 17, 2017 at 7:30 pm

  6. ohdeer

    November 10, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    My situation is a little different than a lot of people’s…

    I broke up with HIM after his mind was on the fence about wanting marriage after a several month struggle over the issue. It’s a deal breaker for me. I was hoping breaking up would force him to realize if he truly was afraid of marriage or losing me more.

    I already KNOW he loves me/misses me, so I’m not trying to win his affections back or find out if he still has an emotional attachment to me like some are.

    We were in contact for the first 2 months and I initiated NC cold turkey on him when I realized our casual contact and saying our “I love yous” and “I hate this” and other commiserating texts weren’t bringing him to make up his mind any faster and he remained in confusion.

    I’m on day 16, and it’s been working. He’s texted and called a few times and left voicemails sounding very sincere. He most recently began to cut some of the sweetness and pull the “so you’re not gonna talk to me?” Text. But I remembered that this is actually a positive and that it just means he’s trying to get a reaction from me any way he can.

    I plan to do 21 days or 30 max. Because I’ve already had positive feedback, should I cut NC short?

    I’ve been waiting for him to come out and DEMAND we talk and make it clear he’s made up his mind about marriage. So far he misses me and loves me but hasn’t done that.

    When we were in contact we both heavily agreed that we could get back together in the future, as in a few – several months later, and he knows i only will if marriage is on the table. He also knows that I will move back to my home state if we don’t work out, so I feel like NC plus the natural pressure of me moving should hopefully be enough to cause him to make a conscious decision and feel like he’s losing me and not just sit on the fence thinking he’s still got me.

    Thoughts on my situation where the love and desire is still there on both sides but the issue is over marriage?


    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      November 13, 2017 at 12:52 am

  7. Avery

    November 8, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Thanks so much for your help Amor! This website is amazing. I will keep working on myself and text him again in a week. How long do you think I should I try to build report if he keeps responding neutrally?

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      November 12, 2017 at 8:16 pm

      You’re welcome! try a month..

  8. Avery

    November 6, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    I think I improved a lot. I have been exercising and I have a really great figure (I’ve been told I’m hot by multiple guys). I’ve cleared my skin up too using prescription acne meds (I had acne before the break up). I have been doing a lot with friends on the weekends and acting really happy at school. I went on a date. I post to Instagram sometimes and leave it public (he doesn’t follow me, but all his friends do). I know I should move on, but I still miss him so much.

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      November 8, 2017 at 5:47 pm

      well, moving on doesn’t mean you’re going to stop missing him and stop feeling what you used to feel. It just means you have to do what you need to do to move forward, no matter what you feel. Right now, if he thinks you’re playing mind games, that’s probably because he thinks you’re just doing things and improving yourself to get him back.. stick or do better than what you’re doing now and set a limit on until when you’re going to try to build rapport. Rest for now for at least a week before initiating again.. If after your set period you still haven’t progressed, then move on.

  9. Avery

    November 6, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    I’m in high school and my boyfriend of 3 months broke up with me suddenly. He said he was too young for such a serious relationship and just wanted to be friends. I didn’t beg him to come back or anything, but I did cry. I started no contact the first day and broke it after 17 days because he had a family issue. When I texted him about the family issue, he was very kind and talkative and even asked me to forgive him. I didn’t hear from him again after that and so I did another 21 day no contact period. But, when I texted him this time, he only gave neutral responses (he responded quickly though). I was the one to end the conversation, but he was very cold to me now compared to when I texted him about the family issue. I tried to make my texts about things that interest him, but he just gave mostly one word responses. It’s been 5 days since we had the text conversation and I haven’t heard from him. I did go on a date with someone two weeks ago and I talked to my ex’s friend (who is also my friend) about it, so I’m sure he heard about it. Do you think he is mad about that? I’m sure he thinks I’m playing games. What should I do?

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      November 6, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      Hi Avery,

      how much did you improve yourself?

  10. Emma

    November 5, 2017 at 5:34 am

    I tried following the NC Rule and other advice from here to get him back, but he just seemed unresponsive. I stopped all contact for about two years and just recently reached out to him. We’ve texted and even talked on the phone a bit. The first thing he texted me was that he apologized for how he hurt me. I tried not to talk about the past, but a month later he told me why he broke up with me on his own. It was just the things going on in his life, but that I was the best relationship he’d been in and that I was the best girl he’d ever known. He never mentioned us being in a relationship again and I’m really not sure how to contact him. He’s still kind of in the same situation so I’m not sure if he’d want a relationship still. One thing I had noticed before and now was that he doesn’t try hard enough for us. I’m at a point where if he’d like to try again that’s awesome, but if not that’s fine. Should I let him know that is how I feel?
    Thank you for all your help! 🙂

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      November 5, 2017 at 7:21 am

      Hi Emma,
      in those two years, how much did you improve? And why not build rapport slowly instead?

  11. Bree

    November 1, 2017 at 1:32 am

    Hi Amor and EBR team, I didn’t know where to post this, so I think here would be fine.
    The thing is, after no contact ane him reaching out, my ex finally told me he realized he made a big mistake, he’s been miserable after the breakup and he asked me to take him back.
    There’s a lit going on in his life and I told him I’d gladly get back together, but first he needed to fix some problems by himself and then make sure he could handle having me in his life, and to take his time if he needed to, because I don’t want to go through a breakup again just because he’s overwhelmed with stuff. I really meant it all and I think it was the right thing to do/say.
    But now I’m feeling remorseful and kinda scared that he will have second thoughts despite all the pain he had when he lost me.
    I don’t know what to think, or if I should wait for it to happen. He seemed willing then, but now I don’t know…

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      November 1, 2017 at 9:25 pm

      Hi Bree,

      If you meant what you said, remind yourself why you meant every time you doubt

  12. Lauren

    October 23, 2017 at 7:19 am

    His birthday is coming and he has a cat that he’s obsessed with.. he got her after we broke up and keeps talking about her.. I found a cute cat costume with his favorite character ( super man ) on it.. would it be nice and thoughtful if I send him this to his address? No meetings though
    He is one of those who said I’m not ready for a relationship right now and maybe we can be together later.. broke up with me.. then found out on my own that he’s in a relationship.. I made sure to never peek into his profile so I don’t destroy my heart further.. he NEVER mentioned her to me at all.. NEVER mentioned his love life at all.. told me about his mom and his cat and stuff like that..but I’ve done no contact and we’ve been rekindling for about 2.5 months and everything is okay I guess.. not perfect but not bad at all..

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      October 24, 2017 at 4:50 pm

      Hi Lauren
      In two months, you haven’t met yet? If not, if you haven’t bought the costume, don’t buy it yet..

  13. Jen

    October 23, 2017 at 4:54 am

    Hello Chris! I wanted to let you know I used your site and the Texting Bible to get my ex back, and it worked! We’re so happy and planning to get married. I really appreciate your site, and it has such a positive attitude and good life goals, whether or not you get your ex back (though I’m happy I did!). Thank you!

  14. JHM

    October 21, 2017 at 2:41 am

    I was with my ex for 2 1/2 years. We’ve been broken up for 5 months. I finished the no contact (40-ish days) I sent a text. He responded right away. And 5 days later we spoke on the phone for 2 hours. Catching up. He said he misses me everyday. That there is a void in his life. We reminisced about some things. And he seemed to be thinking out loud. Saying you still love me (even thought I didn’t say that) and then he would again say he missed me. Then he would say you’ll find someone to love again…. he seemed very interested in who I was hanging out with. I said I’ve made some new friends. anyway, 2 days after the call he invited me for a drink and appetizer. It was nice. It was comfortable. We laughed a lot. I text him how much I enjoyed spending time with him when I got home. He said it felt so natural. I said I felt the same way. I’m trying to mirror him with text/conversation. But being truthful. Not just saying things that sound good. We have been flirting pretty heavily. Although he gets a bit ronchy. Which is fine but it’s difficult to keep it in check. I’ve told him months ago I was not going to be a booty call. We had sex one time 2 -ish months after we broke up. And he wanted to continue. I said no way. I told him, at that time, he was too all over the place emotionally. And I thought I best we limit our contact. I initiated NC about 3 weeks later. Anyway, He called me today and we chatted for about 20 minutes. He tried to get me to tell him what I wanted to do with him sexually but I said I was at the office and I had to keep my mind clear. Although I played along a bit. He said we should do something this weekend and I said I’m taking my horse out if he wants to join me. He said “sounds like a plan”. So tomorrow we are hanging out again doing something active. I feel like I’m in a weird zone. I know he wants to have sex with me. He wants to hang out with me. He wants to talk to me. He calls me his best friend. He wants to discuss how he feels. but he doesn’t want to get back together. He has not said this recently. But said it several times after we broke up (even though I never asked him to get back together. He would call and say this to me). So I’m not sure how to proceed. I’m just taking it one day at a time…. since I initiated the first text, he has text me first everyday. And he calls me first. I’m trying not to have expectations. Sigh. I honestly think he still loves me. But he’s scared. So should I just keep going the way I am. He knows I won’t have sex with him without a commitment. I’m just not sure how to proceed…?

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      October 24, 2017 at 12:39 pm

      Hi Jhm,

      Thats5 good that you dont want to be friends with benefits..either you do one last nc at least 45 days or move on..