Will Text Messages Work To Get Your Ex Back?

How to Make a Stubborn Ex Boyfriend Come Running Back

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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).

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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)


Written by EBR Teamate

Chris Seiter

27 responses to “How to Make a Stubborn Ex Boyfriend Come Running Back”

  1. May says:

    Pls help me…
    Since last March me and him fought a lotttt. I was a jealous type and I am a bad mouthed girl.(I know I was wrong). But we had been in a very long relationship.
    So one month ago, my ex break up with me after we had been dating for more than a decade. He decided that we should stay seperately. After the break, we still had contact via just a few normal texts like ”hey howr u doing blah blah blah”. But about a week ago, as I want to get back with him desperatly, I spammed him with texts saying” Can we get back together? I will fix the manners which he hates, and that I will make him happy again.. and I was begging that I would die if he leave me for good!” Then he said ”Not to wait him and we should stay seperately!” I asked if he has another gf!” He said yes. But whether it will be serious or not relationship, he doesn’t know yet. He has to see” I was sooo panic and that I started to send him msgs begging a lot to reconsider me again if it’s not toi late, he said I should stop texting! But I didn’t” but he doesn’t reply anymore. I said a friend to call him and tell that I am suffering a lot, she did. Then he said he would tell me directly as he would make a call. But after that, he never call me again since then. So I also don’t call or text him again.but i m dying inside and going to crazy.
    What should I do??? Pls help me. I want him back so desperately. Coz I love him so much and we were dating since high school. I don’t wanna lose him anyway.

  2. Cara says:

    Thank you EBR….Rachel and the team.. This is such a great and relevant article. It puts to shame the common catch all phrases people say like “He’s just not that into you,” because they really don’t care to hear about your situation or have no relevant advice to give.
    What’s even more powerful in this article about Stubborn men is that it I think it explains how and why people can change and yes sometimes it can take years. I kept thinking this article was along the lines of explaining “Cognitive Dissonance” which means that sometimes people hold a core belief that is so strong their stubborn holds out even though they are into you, yet when they are presented with evidence that works against the belief the new evidence can’t be accepted. Which in turn creates and uncomfortable feeling or cognitive dissonance. I think I explained that right.
    My best example was getting divorced 10 years ago. I never believed in divorce and never ever thought I would get divorced. I went through several stages of contemplation including pre-contemplation (which I learned is subconscious) and finally contemplation. It took me 3 years to finally make the decision to get divorced and it shows you why it was it can be so hard for someone to change their beliefs. I am sharing this because I hope it can help others out there on EBR and give them hope. Thanks for letting me share.

  3. Cambell says:

    My ex broke up with me on September 6th, and since then I have gone on and off through no contact. After the breakup he was always first to look at my snapchat stories, even my families. We had hours worth of conversations recently over the issues we faced in our relationship. He even told a mutual friend he “wouldn’t be complaining if we got back together.” yet he still sends me mixed signals. Then last night we were talking again on snapchat about our past relationship and he types “I hate to do this, but I think it’s best for us.” Then he blocks me on snapchat. I then text him and say “Wow how mature” and he responds with “It’s for you not to worry about me. It will be healthy for you.” I hope it is a good sign that he doesn’t want me to worry and hasn’t blocked me from every platform? I am not sure yet if he blocked my number, but he for sure did not block me from instagram. I posted something on my instagram story and he looked at it. Do I do a 30 day not contact period? The reason it is so hard for me is that I am so scared that during no contact he will be with someone else. I have already read what to do if your ex blocks you and basically every article on here. I have emailed ex recovery multiple times and have gotten no response. I am in dire need of help. Please help me!!

  4. Tweya says:

    Geez, I keep going back and forth in my mind. We broke up ages ago, and he knows I’ve moved on, he’s tried to meet to return something of mine back (I refused), he’s try to invite me out to his gigs (I’ve refused)… We actually matched on Tinder again which is where we first met. ( I swiped right out of curiosity and he had already done the same, so it was a match right away). I’ve been civil and friendly, but after he started forwarding me silly links and being chatty like old times, I kinda said that I could be friendly and stuff but that that was pretty much it. He asked if that meant him not writing to me at all and I said yeah maybe not. I HAD missed him and I had wanted to try “us” again – but he wasn’t apologizing or saying anything about what happened. Which makes me mad. Dunno what to do actually. I know he misses me, but he’s such a narcissist. I feel like now that I said for him to maybe just stop writing altogether, that he’s actually not going to try again. I dunno, I go through not giving a rat’s ass to missing the good times. It’s been 7 months btw since we broke up. And the chit-chatting he initiated started 2 months after the break up.

  5. Audrina says:

    Hi Amor,

    I followed what you said and rested from initiating text for 3-5 days because I was blocked after the 6th day of texting. I tried to send a text on the 3rd day of this and saw I was still blocked. He did text me that same night only to ask me what his phone bill portion was (our lease is up next month) and after getting my reply he just said “thanks” before blocking me again before I can send another text. I’m so so confused. Few days ago he was texting me back to back as if he was holding onto everything he wanted to share with me like he stumbled upon his old iPod that has tons of memories of us which he kept and didn’t delete and later on on day 6 asking what I was doing that weekend before I told him I had pre arranged plans and conversation was still great afterwards he didn’t press further on it to suddenly him blocking me the next morning and even now 3 days later him only to ask about the phone bill. He doesn’t have Facebook and blocked me off IG after our break up so I doubt he will check it since I’m still active in posting and the mutual friends we have he isn’t close to anymore. Does this mean I have to do NC again? I’m confused.

  6. Megan says:

    I broke up with him a couple months ago because I felt he was giving mixed signals. I wanted him to make an effort at being a boyfriend:(

    • EBR Team Member: Amor says:

      It can either mean he was just being friendly and misread it, or yes, he realized he doesn’t want to get back with you

  7. Megan says:

    My ex bf started contacting me and talking to me a lot. Basically acting interested. He wanted to hangout so we went to the pool. Now it has been over a week since we saw eachother and he hasn’t said anything to me at all. No calls, no text. Why is he doing this? Did he realize he didn’t like me ?

  8. Blondie18 says:

    Hi EBR team,

    The guy I have been seeing since 3 years has been leaving and coming back consistently within 30-60 days and never left me for longer. His situation is difficult, he’s married with a child and has been working on a separation and now divorce for some time. Just 8 months ago he got separated and supposedly in the divorce process now. Like most men he needs his space when things get a little messy and since nobody in our social circle could know about our relationship until the divorce, a few incidents happened where people saw us together for example which caused him to freak out and asked for some space. 3 weeks ago, I decided to give him and myself space to step back til things have been finalised with his divorce so we can continue our relationship peacefully and openly, since then he texted me a week after the talk accusing me of calling an ex and blamed me even though I explained I didn’t even know her contact information and then I sent him a personalised birthday cake and gift to his office 3 days ago he then messaged me aggressively saying I have scandalised him at his office and now people are asking who I am to him and so he said I am ruining his life and I didn’t respond until now. I love this man very much and I know he is going through a very hard time (which doesn’t justify his aggressive reaction towards me) but in such a situation, what can be done so he feels a feeling of regret for having to put me through this and comes back??

  9. Sasha says:

    Hi there! I’d love some advice on the stubborn ex issue. It’s been 2 months since the breakup, already did NC, started texting, and met a few times. In those few meetings my ex told me he still loves me/cares about me/doesn’t want me to disappear, sparks flew between us like they used to, and he’d be affectionate like we were still together. However when we part, it’s back to sparingly texting a week apart. I feel at this point he has very strong feelings for me, but is needing a push to decide what he wants. The word “friend” hasn’t come up either, so I don’t know what we are. I feel if we continue like this, it’ll go nowhere and that he’s just being in touch to keep me around if nothing else works. Should I try different communication? Or make him fear losing me for good?

    Thank you so much! We all appreciate the hard work you do for us on this site!

    • EBR Team Member: Amor says:

      Hi Sasha,

      Try little jealousy moves.. Are you still active in going out with other people?

    • Sasha says:

      Yes, I’ve very active with friends and had a few good dates with a nice guy from my town. Bring on some jealousy! I’m just confused communication wise, more for rapport vs less or disappear to make him fear losing me for good, if he’s keeping me around for a backup.
      Thanks again!

    • EBR Team Member: Amor says:

      Just remember to always have good or fun conversations but to also be the one ending them and not being available always..

  10. Audrina says:

    Hi, I finished NC, he texted me immediately after the first text fast forward to day 6 I didn’t keep it to 6 messages and we texted all night (a minute or two apart, but I tried to wait 20 mins in between) I ended the conversation by saying it was late and I had to pack which he said he’s still going to be up and we can still text, told him no I’ll be going to bed soon, he said he knows me and knows I’ll be up, after no reply he sent another 3 texts an hour later saying what was I doing and quit ignoring his messages because he knows me well I don’t sleep early and I’m awake lol… I forgot to mention I have my read receipts on so he sees that I saw them. Now Day 7 I tried to sent a message and I saw he blocked me! I tried to send another that night and still didn’t go through. I don’t understand how after not hearing from him at all during NC during our texting he replied immediately or sent back to back messages to suddenly blocking me for no reason. Also I want to state on day 6 he asked if I was busy that weekend and I didn’t reply right away about it but dodged it pretty well. Wouldn’t it be too early to meet up? I need help on what to do.

    • EBR Team Member: Amor says:

      Hi Audrina,
      Rest from initiating for now, since you’re also blocked.. Maybe 3-5 days and yes, it’s too early to meet up

  11. Cara says:

    HI EBR–I love this site and value your blogs and articles!
    I know I’ve shared many times and the short of it is that my ex apologized to me after 6 months of no contact and we have had some sporadic texting since then.
    About a year and a half ago when we were dating, a guy friend told me to end the date at the restaurant to see if he’d chase me after that. I followed his advice, but prior to that my ex and I had already been intimate so in retrospect that advice may not have been the best as that’s when my ex started distancing himself and acting vindictive. He then started using the friend who set us up to spy on me for a year and find out if I had been dating or not, and play games. Like ask me out on a date and then not follow through. So in retrospect I feel like he took that as a huge insult and saw me as a tease. It now seems dumb cause like i said we had already been intimate several times before, but I wasn’t getting a full commitment from him. So that move of ending the date at the restaurant was to get him to commit, etc. It backfired. At the same time, the friend who set us up was backstabbing me and calling him names and telling me not to date him. I know Amor has said the apology was good sign and at the same time, has said I should move on. I really feel like’ I’ve tried to move on, but we had a soul mate connection. So I wanted to ask what’s wrong with me sending him an email explaining my side of all that happened? Not apologizing but it seems like there was a lot of miscommunication and the involvement of the friend (who lied to me and led me to believe he was asking her on dates the entire year cause she did not want us to date again.) At the same time he was going to her for info thinking she was helping him find out what went awry at the last date. Why can’t I send a thoughtfully written email? I have tried asking him to meet up and/or texting to build rapport but it never transpires that we get to meet. I fear I will never have the opportunity to explain my side of things and at least maybe i can re-create more interest and clear up misunderstandings. I can’t text it cause it’s too long. Thanks

    • EBR Team Member: Amor says:

      Hi Cara,

      It’s chasing..it’s not really wrong but you have to avoid doing it to fully move on.. But sometimes that has to happen to, because the more you chase, the more he will reject you..The hurt will help you realize that you can’t go on chasing anymore

  12. April says:

    Hi Chris and the team, huge fan of the site!
    I wonder if you could give me some advice on my situation?
    I’m a 27-year-old surgeon and was dating a really lovely guy, John, for nearly 5 months. When I met him, I had recently come out of a long-term relationship and definitely wasn’t over my ex. This came through at times when I was distant from John, distracted by my phone, or nit-picked at things he did, purely because he did them differently to my ex. 3 weeks ago, John told me that he likes spending time with me but that something was missing; he told me he doesn’t want us to meet up anymore, although he also said “this won’t be the last time we speak” and suggested that we stay in touch (although maybe he was just trying to be nice?!).
    My feelings are that John and I are very right for each other, but that I met him at the wrong time, and that now I have ruined my chances with him by spending 5 months being only a distracted shadow of myself around him. We have had some great times together, and have very passionate chemistry, but I was never really open to connecting on a deeper emotional level so I can see why he felt something was missing.
    I am currently 1 week into No Contact but am worried whether maybe I should instead go and see him/talk to him and explain the above? He is unaware that I had recently come out of a long term relationship when we met. I am also aware that he is already dating other girls from Tinder and this obviously scares me because maybe he will bond with someone new before I get a chance to show him I’ve changed.
    Thank you so much in advance.
    April x

    • EBR Team Member: Amor says:

      Hi April,

      Continue nc, explain it later once you get to talking abouy that again when you’ve already build rapport

  13. sarahhh says:

    It has been 3 months since the break up (our second breakup & together for 2yrs), and we haven’t really talked since. We met up a week after the break up to exchange things, but we ended up hanging out. That made separating from him extremely hard for me. But After that I did NC for almost two months. I reached out to him via text and our conversation was short. He did not seem to be interested in talking so I never reached out again. Its been a few weeks since that last convo… I’m not sure what to do. Should I reach out again? What if I don’t get a response or a neutral response? What should I say without sounding too eager/excited? — I feel like every first contact message I draft sounds like I’m trying to get him back. Help!

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