By Chris Seiter

Updated on February 25th, 2021

We are never ever, ever, ever getting back together

I never thought I’d begin an article for ExBoyfriend Recovery by quoting a Taylor Swift song, but here we are. I thought it was appropriate for the topic of this article, because we are going to be talking about how to make stubborn exboyfriends who are adamant about breaking up come running back, begging to be yours again.

Yesterday, someone posted in our private Facebook group asking if anyone had their ex say one of the following:

“I just don’t think we’re compatible.”

“I don’t feel the same for you anymore.”

“I don’t see a future with you.”

“I think we’re better off as friends.”

“This isn’t working.”

Et cetera.

The answer is yes. Absolutely. All the girls who responded heard one or more of these lines, or something similar. It is very common for a man to feel very secure in his decision to end it, and to use one of these to end the conversation, for fear of the woman trying to “talk him out of it.”

Using any of these lines helps to make the break feel more permanent, and right now, he is set on ending it.

The thing is, it is often these guys who are so adamant about the relationship being over who end up coming back some time down the road.

Take my ex for instance: We were together for a number of years, and I anticipated we would be together for a good deal more. But then he ended it, using the first of the lines mentioned above, as well as a slew of others.

I didn’t beg or plead, though. I knew deep down that he would be back.

And he is.

And you’ll be surprised to know what happened to make this stubborn guy change his tune.

Newsflash… it wasn’t begging.

Processing Time

It is no secret that men and women process things differently. You’ve seen this picture online posted on various social media, right?

The timing may be off, but the overall concept is true.

After a breakup, the woman tends to begin processing emotions immediately. That is why so many man refer to their ex’s as “crazy.” After a breakup, they are hurt, so they tend to throw all logic out the window and react emotionally, trying to salvage the relationship. The guy’s immediate reaction is to go out with friends, and even begin dating again. He may be sad, but because of societal standards, he doesn’t show it, and instead acts out, as though he doesn’t care. My ex was absolutely guilty of this after our breakup, and it was extremely painful to observe.

But then, a few weeks to months later (depending on the length of your relationship), the woman will start to feel a bit better. She’ll start going out with friends, taking up new hobbies, going to the gym, and she may even begin to hesitantly start dating again. This is the point where the reality of the breakup actually begins to set in for the guy. Going out isn’t as fun as it was, none of the hot girls he’s dating seem to stack up to how wonderful his ex girlfriend was, and his life begins to feel monotonous and boring.

Fast forward to 6 months to a year later (again, depending on the people involved and the length of the relationship). The woman is embracing life as a single woman, she’s being asked out by eligible bachelors constantly. She is nurturing her relationships with her friends and family, and she is taking steps towards her goals.

Women tend to lose themselves in relationships more than men do. We tend to prize our relationships and emotional connections above all else, whereas men tend to prize work and public accomplishments. A good girlfriend can add so much to a man’s life, but he might not realize how much until she’s gone. But when a woman begins to find herself again after a breakup (and that is at base what the ExBoyfriend Recovery program is all about), she gets to put herself and her needs first, when before, she put her partner’s needs and desires above even her own.

My point here is that men and women process things very differently. A recent study by Binghamton University and University College London found that though women hurt more as they result of a breakup, they also tend to deal with breakups in a more healthy way – grieving, and then doing a lot of self improvement work to feel better about themselves. This means that when they get back out there on the dating scene, they are more confident and attractive than ever. And they really have done the healing work and are over their ex fully, ready to embark on the next relationship healthily.

The same study found that men tend to react way differently. They distract themselves and don’t actually work to get over or recover from the relationship.

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Instead, they do what I mentioned above – go out with friends, fill the void with other women, etc. But then, after a certain amount of time, the reality of the breakup begins to set in. They realize that A) They actually do want a life partner and they have to get back out and compete on the dating scene again; or B) What they had was absolutely irreplaceable, he let her go, and now she has moved on.

This is the dynamic that is at play when Chris says “They always come back after you’ve moved on.” I know this to be true. My ex came back – he said he had been processing his feelings in his alone time and realized a lot of things about our relationship, and himself. I told him, “but you were so sure” and he said that it had just taken time.

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Moving on Without Moving On

If your exboyfriend was stubborn and adamant about the breakup, please keep the above in mind. There are academic studies that support the theory that men think less about the repercussions of ending a relationship, and others like the above that support the idea that they don’t recover as fully. I think this makes these stubborn men likely to return, but you have to play it the right way. After all, my ex is stupid stubborn, and he made a return.

So, what is the best way to play the chess game with a stubborn exboyfriend? It depends on what stage you’re at (as always No Contact is first and foremost).

Think about the study above and the implications. Women take longer to recover, but recover more fully/healthily. Men seemingly bounce back right away, but it is all a facade. We know that men tend to return back to relationships as soon as their ex girlfriend has moved on. Therefore, I have come up with an equation:

Self Improvement + Fear of Loss = Moving On Without Moving On

Let’s tackle Self Improvement First.

My ex mentioned on more than one occasion how blown away he was by all of the things I accomplishing after our separation. I took a lot of things that he considered negative qualities about me and turned them around. I worked on my confidence. I worked to become a better person. I did it for myself, though, not for him. And that was the key. I killed the No Contact Rule. I tackled the Holy Trinity of health, wealth, and relationships.


This is a key concept of moving on without moving on. You may not actively be moving on to new people, but you are moving forward in your life and attacking personal goals. And that’s sexy as hell. To re-attract your ex back you can’t just focus on your interactions and how he’s responding to your texts. You have to re-attract him by becoming more attractive to him again (and I’m not just talking physically), and make him question his reasons for breaking up with such a badass lady. The best thing you can do is focus on self improvement. And if you do that, it will assist with getting closer to getting your ex back, but it will also make you happier with yourself and your life. Embrace No Contact. Embrace Yourself.

Alright, on to Fear of Loss.

I don’t know if you’ve ever broken up with someone. I have, a couple of times. And each time I did, I felt secure in the knowledge that if I ever wanted them back, they’d come running (for the record, I’ve never wanted any of them back – women tend to take their time deciding to end things, remember?)

But I digress.

My point is, your ex may feel secure, thinking that if he wants you back, you’ll be there with just a snap of his fingers. You can’t let him feel this security. He has to be scared that he is going to lose you, that you could move on.

So what do you do to strike that fear in his heart? I’d say there are two options here. First, there is jealousy. Obviously, a new person entering the picture is going to make even the most stubborn of ex’s a bit nervous if he has any residual feelings. Post that you’re going out with a guy friend. Casually mention a male co-worker’s name in a story to your ex, post a picture of a great dinner you’re having, and make the male hand around the beer stein slightly obvious, but not too obvious.

The other way to achieve this is scarcity. Just be a little less available to him. Don’t pick up his call, and instead send him to voicemail. Let a few texts go unanswered. Indulge in some push/pull to make him worry that he is losing you and your life has become too busy for him, whether or not there is another man in it.

If you can utilize both of these tools, it will help to make your ex start to wonder if you really are over him. And no one likes being unwanted, even if they broke up with the person.

Just remember, most guys tend to come back to their ex girlfriends as soon as they have started moving on. So if you can create the illusion that you are moving on and moving forward, it may cause him to return to you sooner. But keep in mind that is he thinks he has you, he’s not going to be afraid of losing you.

The Bottom Line

If a guy tells you any of the above things I mentioned at the top of this article, or anything in that same vein, I urge you to instead take it with a grain of salt.

People change all the time, and so do their feelings.

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While writing this article, I kept thinking about Buffy and Spike. Spike becomes head over heels for Buffy in season 5, but she is less than interested:

Spike: “You can’t tell me that there isn’t anything there between you and me. I know you feel something.”
Buffy: “It’s called revulsion. And whatever you think you’re feeling it’s not love. You can’t love without a soul.”
Drusilla: “Oh, we can, you know. We can love quite well… if not wisely.”

-Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Crush”

However, in the last episode of the series, she tells him she loves him, and I even hear that they get together in the comics (which are considered cannon). What did Spike do to get Buffy to love him? He changed? He also utilized jealousy tactics (bringing a date to Xander’s wedding in “Hell’s Bells”). It worked. Buffy is the epitome of stubborn, but she couldn’t’ deny that there were feelings between them (much to my chagrin – I’m a Buffy/Angel shipper all the way).

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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Stubbornness is nothing when feelings are concerned. If you do the work and start moving on without moving on, I would say you have a nice chance of having your ex show up to your door and telling you he misses you and wants you back. Your power comes from appearing to move on. So embrace that, and all the positive changes that come along with it.

(Written by Rachel)

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183 thoughts on “How to Make a Stubborn Ex Boyfriend Come Running Back”

  1. Fransica

    April 9, 2022 at 12:46 am

    I’ve been dating this one guy for like 7 months but then he broke up with bc because he said I was being so called “toxic” we decided to stay as friends but we were talking a couple days after our breakup on the phone and he kept asking me where I was at and with who and that lowkey pissed me off and I hanged up the phone after that we didn’t talk for like 2 days until he told me that the real reason why he broke up with me was because his family didn’t like me and he’s been telling me that he loves me but we can’t get back together but I really want to but I just don’t know how

  2. wishuponastar

    April 30, 2021 at 6:56 am

    Hi, I was in a same sex relationship for close to 3 years. She broke up with me via text just over a month ago. Just some context, to me things were all fine prior to the breakup. She got on a new job that week and I heard from her a lot lesser. That weekend we met to eat but she was mostly silent throughout and was in fact a little impatient with me. She was very reluctant to have a proper talk thereafter but I requested some time to talk. She mostly blamed me and said she wants to focus on her career and it was pressurizing for her to continue to be with me when she can devote her time to her job. She was very eager to cut me short and was extremely cold and distant towards me. She then texted me and initiated the breakup. I told her that I’d respect her decision (I mean what else could I have done when she doesn’t want me anymore). Do you think such a person will ever come back?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      May 6, 2021 at 6:19 pm

      Possibly yes, but you need to work on the Ungettable information in that time and keep to a NC for at least 30 days.

  3. Anna

    March 31, 2021 at 1:01 am

    What happens when they don’t even care if you leave? I broke my ex trust, he said he forgave me, but after that, he wasn’t interested in trying again. We were hanging out after the breakup and he was messaging me every single day and we were watching movies online at night for a week. He stopped saying I love you and calling me pet names. I told him I needed space to heal from the breakup and didn’t want to speak to him for a few weeks and that once I feel we maybe we could speak again. He said if I think it will help me, then he won’t oppose it. I started no contact and will go 30-days. But I think he’s done with me.

  4. Chloe

    January 7, 2021 at 8:20 am

    We’d been together for 5 years, and suddenly out of the blue he decided that he didn’t want to be with me. We had the best relationship, no major faults. He was very black and white, and whatever he said he meant. I had no idea he wanted to end it, he acted no different towards me, and even 3 days before ending it he told me like he always did, that he couldn’t imagine his life without me in it. When he ended it, he told me that he still loves me but didn’t want to be with me. He kept saying right person wrong timing and that he wanted to go and live his life – not sure what he really means by that. In the final message he sent to me, he told me he loved me and that he hopes one day our paths will cross again. 2 days after ending it he messaged all of my family wishing them well in the future, and then 2 days after that he cleared all pictures of me from his social media, almost to put himself back out there. I’m currently on day 8 of no contact. It’s all so very confusing and I want him back, would love some advice.

  5. Iyaya M

    November 16, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    We dated for 7 months, I love him so much. Last month I found out that I have virginal infection, I went to clinic for treatment. They gave me a letter for him to go for treatment also, he never went to the clinic till today. I’ve been asking to go but he keeps saying he doesn’t have a chance or he’s too busy for that. We haven’t seen each other since I gave him the letter.
    Now we don’t trust each other and we’re always fighting for no reason.
    I told him if he doesn’t go to the clinic till 27 of this month then we can end our relationship, there’s no use to date someone who doesn’t want to listen to me.
    I’m not sure if I made right decision.

  6. Alice Vise

    November 9, 2020 at 8:27 pm

    My ex and I are both 58 years old. We lived together for 3 years. We knew each other in High School and dated. When I was 18 I got pregnant. I confronted him and he made a comment and walked away. I delivered a boy. The baby passed 39 years ago in car accident. 37 years later the father and I met. I never told him the child was his. Until recently. We then broke up because he felt I lied. I’ve been devastated because I love him. He lied as well by not telling me he was hooked on pain medicine. I want him back but don’t know what to do. He is also stubborn.

  7. Pandit R.B Swami ji

    October 23, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    It is the great blog post.It is the helfpul and informative blog .I am always read your blog . I like it thanks for sharing this information with us .

  8. Bhargava Ji

    October 23, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    It is the great blog post.It is the helfpul and informative blog .I am always read your blog . I like it thanks for sharing this information with us .

  9. Grace

    October 2, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    Hi, my boyfriend of 3 years broke up with me 3 weeks ago. I held that gracefully although i am very heartbroken. He said that he doesn’t love me the way he used to. Immediately I went in nc. Today i had to pick up my things from his place, i was smiling, we had small talk, of course I looked my best. He was a bit nervous but didnt Say anything about us, relationship etc. My biggest concern is that he is very stubborn and also doesn’t speak much about his feelings, so after today im feeling pretty hopeless. I dont know if I should try to get him back. I really love him and we were a good couple, I trully believe we could be this great again. Our Main problem was communication during lockdown (we went LD then) and a lot of stress from uni. Should I try? Can it take longer to get back?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      October 2, 2020 at 9:25 pm

      Hi Grace if you want to get your ex back, then yes you should give it a go, make sure that you do the self work as well as the NC before reaching out to your ex

  10. Denasia

    August 25, 2020 at 3:49 am

    Me and my ex broke up not too long ago actually. I left his house to see my mom for the weekend and he thought i was leaving him even when i clearly stated to his sister and him that i was coming right back and that i just needed space. He took it as me leaving anyway and it all went down hill from there. Later i talked to him on the phone to tell him how i felt and he told me some words along the lines of right now he doesnt want a relationship… which i kindly respected and started my no contact rule… but hes really stubborn and expects me to talk first. Should i even bother texting him first or should i just wait on him to text me after im done with the no contact rule

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      August 27, 2020 at 4:17 pm

      Hi Denasia, if you want a relationship and following the program then you will need to reach out first by the end of your NC

  11. Ashley

    August 17, 2020 at 6:40 am

    I broke up with my ex boyfriend because he kept taking me for granted it’s been a rocky three year relationship , so I’ve put him out maybe for two days but it’s been a week and we got into a heated argument. Will no contact help me get him to realize what he lost.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      August 17, 2020 at 10:24 pm

      Hi Ashley, yes it could but you will have to stick with it for at least 30 days straight and do not watch his social media posts during that time either

  12. ZaliaStar

    August 4, 2020 at 1:19 am

    We are both stubborn. A year after we stopped talking, he tried to see me by purposely bumping into me but I avoided it. Then he tried to invite himself somewhere I would be but I wasn’t comfortable with it. Then he had his sis ask me if I could help him with some paperwork. I said sure but only if she did the talking back and forth. Didn’t hear anything for a while. Then she asked if I would meet him somewhere to help with paperwork. I said no. Then changed my mind but he said never mind. Then he changed his mind and made her give me her phone and run out so I had to talk to him. It was cool. Said he’d call back. Never did. I was sad. Didn’t hear anything for a couple months. I was having a particularly hard time with it one Saturday as my courier job kept driving me around where we had our first date. I took a pic of the place. I contemplated for a few hours to have his sis give him my number. Trying to think of some lame reason to hear his voice. But I didn’t do it. Then craziness! She text me his number saying he wants me to text him. I was so relieved. Sent a chill text. He said he wanted to see if I could help him sometime with the same paperwork. I said ok. Then the song he first sang to me came on the radio. I took it as a great sign. But I didn’t hear anything else. A couple months pass. His sis invites me over but let’s me know he would be there later. I said it’s fine. If he doesn’t want to see me, I’ll leave before he gets there. Didn’t hear anything. He shows up. Says “hey” to me. (I see him 2 ways. I call it mouse face-when he’s adorable and sweet. And rat face-when he’s acting a jerk) he was a cute mouse face but I didn’t know how to talk to him so I just said “hey” back and avoided eye contact. Went there again and we both acted rat face, just ignoring each other. He called me a few days later to bring the kids over but it never happened. I was really sad. Asked sis what happened. She said maybe he forgot. I know he didn’t cuz I text him and he said they were still coming. Went back over a couple weeks later for a birthday and same rat face treatment. We exchanged unimportant words. No eye contact. Just immaturity. I want to talk to him but don’t know how. He has tried to talk to me but doesn’t seem to know how or maybe he doesn’t want to badly enough. But it’s been 2 years at this point so obvi there’s still something there but Is it worth it? I struggle so bad to move on. Every time I try to date, I freak the F out. I’m working on it but it felt like betrayal for the longest and now it feels like I’m not giving us a chance. But maybe we are done and just struggling and need the closure. Maybe we can work through it but certainly not by acting like rats To each other. I feel like he’s breadcrumming and maybe I’m just hoping that it means he’s just struggling to find the right way to get back together. Or maybe he’s torn. I need him to want me so bad that he has no other choice but to talk to me about fixing things. It’s been a really rough 2 years. I need to move on either with or without him. I’m at the last step. Making myself date. Dealing with the tears and understanding it’s the last part of this process. Not allowing myself to block the dates. Just gonna go on them. I don’t know what else to do about the ex. It feels good that he has tried. Maybe that’s all I get. I don’t know

  13. Terry

    July 23, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    My ex boyfriend and I broke up about 6 months ago. He had me blocked on social media but has now blocked me on WhatsApp. We decided to be friends but it’s really difficult. I saw him recently and things felt so natural and mature like we didn’t ever break up. He said after that day he doesn’t believe we’ll end up together. I didn’t understand and we had an argument about it and now he’s asking for space . We broke up bec of the fighting . A week or 2 ago he told me I was the right person just wrong time and now he told me to not think about it anymore bec he takes it back . What does this all mean and is there still a chance?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      July 24, 2020 at 11:27 pm

      Hi Terry, your ex telling you that you are the right person at the wrong time is his nice way of telling you that he does not want a relationship right now. You need to follow a No Contact and work on being Ungettable so your ex realises that he is going to lose you unless he changes his ways fast

  14. John

    June 4, 2020 at 8:48 am

    I broke up with my ex a month ago, I am the dumper(boyfriend). After no contact for 29 days I contacted her on social texting, “Hi I hope you are well” ,she responded “thanks I’m gud” the following day I asked to catch up with her on a weekend and she told me that she was going away and she didn’t know when she will be back. I asked her if we can meet when she comes back, she replied, maybe

  15. Sudhida

    May 8, 2020 at 8:30 am

    My ex broke up with me during the virus outbreak. We’d been together for 8 months and got along well, support each other all this time. We even had a plan to get me to be with him there because we had a long distance relationship.

    One night we had a fight on the phone because of my insecurities when he drove home. I hung up on him and he iced me out for a week untill week later he cudnt do it anymore. He said he fedup when i accused him looking at other girls when we were together, he said he had to be aware of what he say or do to not offends me. He said he still love me but he didnt have patient enough. I told him i will improve myself and be a better self but he said he cudnt take it anymore and he wasnt sure i could change. At the beginning he still view my story on fb ,eventually ,he started to block me one by one on social media. Now we dont talk…i know he has difficult time at work and financially during lockdown. He came from a broken family and being bullied all his life and his 2 previous exes cheated on him. That’s what he told me when we were still good. I don’t know if he needs more space or time to sort things out or this is really over. I still love him so much.

  16. okumura

    May 1, 2020 at 1:14 am

    My ex boyfriend just wanna be friends with me. I actually the one who always text him first, want to call him. We’ve been in relationship for 1 year. I don’t want it to go to waste. I still want him. I still love him so much. I think I have attachment issue here. I’m way too clingy, wanting to text. I always listen to what he ask me. He ask both of us to “break” for a while because of college. And when the college is over, i thought it’d went well again like we used to. But he said he wanted to be friends. But he don’t want to cut ties or contact. cause he said he need me too. I miss our cuddles and kisses. I want to focus on myself for now but i’m still scared to lose him. I really hope he’d came back. I hope I can be better version of myself

  17. Stephanie

    April 27, 2020 at 9:09 am

    Hey I have been in no contact for 6 weeks and he used to watch my stories on Instagram and stopped watching them on the 3 week mark of no contact and hasn’t looked at them since then. He finally unblocked me a week ago but still doesn’t watch my stories. Is he over me? Should I go longer into no contact? Help pleaseeeee

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      May 2, 2020 at 2:18 pm

      Hi Stephanie, I wouldnt break NC yet I would leave it a little longer as he unblocked you. I wouldnt say he was over you but it does sound as if he is less emotional about the break up now. Make sure when you reach out it is a text that Chris suggests to get him talking, this can be found on this website or in his videos on youtube

  18. Neha

    March 16, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    My bf broke up with me because he don’t have any topics to discuss with me….He became too tired of this relationship…he is very bored….We had 2 years of relationship….Will he ever contact me?….will he comeback after breakup?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      March 17, 2020 at 8:34 pm

      Hey Neha, so the issue with your ex being bored of the relationship means that things are getting too predicable for him. So do some things that your ex would not expect you to do from the impression of he has of you now you are predicable. Use social media to allow your ex to feel like he is on the outside looking in

  19. kelly rowland

    March 7, 2020 at 10:12 pm

    Me and my bf broke up last week. We have been together for one and half year. It has been almost one week. I didn’t talk to him since then. He didn’t talk to me either. We had dinner on Friday night, then he said we need to break up on Saturday. I had feeling he probably gonna break up with me, coz he has been very distant over the past week. He said I have been consistantly mad at him. Most of the time he didn’t understand why I got angry. It made him feel he is terrible person. He was unhappy and can’t see the future with me. I admit that it’s my fault to upset at him. But we actually talked about why I got upset later on. I thought we were fine. I didn’t expect he would break up with me. I said we can work it out, but he said it won’t work out, coz both of us won’t change ourselves. I asked him is the break up just a while, he said forever. So I went back to home and he sent me message said he is sorry things had to end like that. I think the biggest problem for our relationship is I need to control my emotion, instead of giving him the unhappy face and being cold. I should just tell him why I got upset. So I think the reason coz our break up is my emotion issue and insecure issue. My bf is very stubborn and dertermined. Is there any chance I can get him back?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      March 20, 2020 at 8:04 pm

      Hi Kelly yes there is a chance but if you know you are emotional and insecure then you need to work on that before you reach the texting phase, try to work the No Contact for 45 days where you then focus on yourself and self love!

  20. Chene Brits

    February 16, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Hi My ex and i broke up almost 3 weeks ago,in these 3 weeks he has been visiting me and not able to resist me at all, saying he really do love me and misses me but he is still hurt to give us another chance, I cheated, but changed my habits, what can I do to make him come back? after all he does miss me and he does love me, i am trying Radio silence, but why must he be so stubborn? the attraction between us is there and both of us want to have a future together.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      February 17, 2020 at 10:39 am

      Hi Chene, so the reason your ex is doing this is that he is struggling with the break up. However I am not sure from your post what you want? If you want to get back together and he is not willing to do that then you need to not see him, refuse to meet him. Do not allow him to see you tell him you are not available better yet completely ignore the text. Actions speak louder than words. Follow the rules of NO contact and I am sure that your ex will feel that he needs to commit to you or lose you

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