By Chris Seiter

Updated on March 8th, 2021

Getting dumped once is bad enough but getting dumped twice (or more times) is enough to make you confused about what you’re doing wrong.

If you’re in this on-again-off-again situation where your ex dumps you then takes you back them dumps you again, today I’ll teach you the psychology behind this and how you can put an end to this cycle once and for all.

We will discuss the three stages that every dumper who dumps you more than once goes through so you can really understand what your ex is thinking.

But most importantly, we’ll be talking about how you can get them back.

Let’s begin!

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Good News And Bad News About Being Dumped Twice

So, we have some good news and bad news if you’re in an on-again-off-again relationship:

Good news: You have much higher chances of success at getting your ex back if they’ve already dumped you at least two times compared to average people who have only been dumped once.

Bad news: Most of the time, people who get such exes back seem to break up again much faster as the relationship never lasts too long.

But why?

What is going on in an exes head if you get stuck in this vicious on again off again cycle.

The Three Stages Of The Dumpers Psychological Mindset 

Ultimately there are three stages of the psychological cycle of an ex who dumps you twice.

  1. Setting the breakup bar
  2. The Limerence Stage
  3. Expectations And Realities Don’t Match

Allow me to expand.

Stage #1: Setting the breakup bar

What do I mean when I talk about the breakup bar?

Breakup bar – simply put, every single person on this planet has their own internal score that they give each individual person that they date.

If the score is high, the breakup bar is high because you wouldn’t want to leave that person but as the score goes down, so does the breakup bar, and the likelihood of a breakup increases.

Everyone assigns these arbitrary breakup bar values to their partners, but no one ever talks about it so there isn’t much research on it.

For the sake of simplicity let’s imagine the breakup bar going from 1 to 100, 1 being the worst score possible with the highest probability of a breakup and 100 being the opposite.

At the beginning of a relationship, both partners usually value each other at 100. The person you are with looks at you in such a high state of positive emotion that they don’t think you can do anything wrong. We also call this the honeymoon period.

In their mind, there’s no way or reason they’d ever break up with you. This is why we advise clients whose exes have moved on to be patient and not take any aggressive ex recovery steps at the beginning of the new relationship’s honeymoon period.

The breakup bar has been set too high and your ex would never want to give up their new connection to be back with you. Interestingly, the breakup bar is always comparing the new person to the old person.

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So, at first, the new person always scores better but that can change as time goes on and reality sets in.

The more time goes on, the more ups and downs a relationship will go through.

All the little inconveniences of life will slowly start stripping away at the new relationship’s breakup bar until they get to a point of considering a breakup.

This can even happen if your ex doesn’t get with a new person – they simply try to get someone new and consistently fail which makes them feel bad and reminisce about how good things were with you.

They start to romanticize the past and it makes them a lot more vulnerable to the limerence stage.

Stage #2: Limerence stage

Limerence is one of those hot keywords buzzing around the relationships and breakups scene right now and here’s how Wikipedia defines it:

“Limerence is a state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person and typically includes obsessive thoughts and fantasies and a desire to form or maintain a relationship with the object of love and have one’s feelings reciprocated. Limerence can also be defined as an involuntary state of intense romantic desire.”

Basically, limerence means obsessing over the person you want.

Once your ex is past the first stage, limerence will make them compare their new reality to the past and they’ll begin to romanticize and miss the “good old days” they had with you.

Eventually, this might sow the seeds of wanting to get back together with you as well.

Most of our clients who are in on-again-off-again relationships get their exes back when their ex is going through a limerence state of mind.

Now that’s usually more than enough to make people happy and take their exes back but you need to realize that this new relationship is just built on quicksand.

In the state of limerence an ex doesn’t take you back because they think you’re the right person, they take you back because they think they can’t do any better.

The problem with that is that it’s not a great foundation for a new relationship and any temptation can throw them back into the “grass is greener” syndrome that puts you back in the “off-again” stage. That leads us to the third stage.

Stage #3: Realizations that expectations and realities don’t match

Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I’m a huge fan of storytelling in general.

I love movies of all types of genres but the one movie that always seems to stick out for me when it comes to romantic comedies is the very clever movie 500 days of summer.

I don’t want to spoil anything or give you a rundown of the whole movie, but the basic idea is about a guy going through a breakup who’s trying to get his ex back. We’re reliving the breakup mostly from his point of view and a little bit through hers.

The movie has a really impactful scene that’s all about how we build up expectations to the point of being fantasies and then reality hits in a devastating way and crushes those ideas.

When an ex who’s dumped you more than once takes you back, they go through their own expectations vs. reality dilemma.

They’re expecting that the way they will feel when they get back together with you is exactly how they built it up in their heads, but reality doesn’t always work out that way and that’s when a breakup happens again…and again and the cycle repeats.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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That’s essentially what on-again-off-again relationships look like on a grand scale. So, is it possible to stop this cycle?

How to break out of the vicious on-again-off-again cycle?

There is a lot to unpack here and one article cannot possibly lay out an exact strategic game plan to fix your situation.

Honestly, there’s no specific set strategy that will automatically work in such cases, so the more important part is understanding two core components of the vicious on-again-off-again cycle.

Once you understand the components, you can work on fixing what you can control and letting go of what you can’t.

The two components of the on-again-off-again cycle:

  1. Your ex having really unrealistic expectations and taking you back for the wrong reasons
  2. Your desperateness of taking them back.

There’s not much you can do about your ex’s internal expectations so here’s some cliché but tried-and-tested advice to help you get over this situation and hopefully rebuild a relationship on a foundation that can survive:

Don’t allow yourself to believe that your ex is the best you’ll ever find

I talk about this all the time with regards to men and women putting their exes on impossibly unrealistic pedestals where their ex can do no wrong.

You’re going through the exact same romanticized period as your ex where you only look back at the best parts of the relationship and conveniently ignore the bad ones.

You may find yourself thinking you’ll never find anyone who makes you feel so special and that’s when you trap yourself in a desperate state.

You become so desperate to fix things and make everything exactly like it was before that you’d take your ex back as soon as they said so even if you knew things weren’t going to change.

You have to accept the reality that things will never go back to the way they were before and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Things can actually get better too if you approach it the right way.

The right way to approach an ex who slips into the on-again-off-again system is by acting with dignity and putting your foot down about fixing past problems.

Remember: We’re trying to create a scenario where your ex doesn’t see taking you back as a favor where they can keep dumping you and taking you back whenever they want. We want to break that cycle and make your ex realize that you will not be used that way anymore.

You need to realize you’re worth more than your ex.

The moment you adopt the mindset of realizing your true worth you will have the strength and dignity to stop settling for the bare minimum.

I’m not suggesting that you need to be aggressive about this at all, just that you need to become an active participant in the conversation about getting back together rather than just being a passive recipient who accepts whatever their ex says.

Think of it like this – a dumper who has dumped you more than once and continues taking you back is the one usually making all the decisions. They are active, you are passive.

It is time for you to take back the reigns and become more active. Next time your ex asks for you back you can say something like:

“I’ll think about it” – so he knows that you have other options and aren’t too desperate to be with him,

“Not until you fix Xyz habit of yours” – this way your ex knows you mean business and you will not go back into a relationship where they keep repeating their negative behaviors and patterns.


An ex who keeps dumping you and then taking you back is addicted to the idea of you and the power they have over you, but they’re not really interested in bettering the relationship.

If your ex is too stuck in their expectations and refuses to put any work into the new relationship you should consider gathering up all your courage and dignity to let them know that you will not be treated this way any longer.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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If they want you back, they need to understand that you’re not a safety net they can keep coming back to and leaving whenever they want.

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19 thoughts on “My Ex Dumped Me Twice”

  1. jesika

    November 18, 2023 at 10:47 am

    I have been dumped twice now he is like chilling and don’t even care the way he first did
    how can I move on from him? I want to stop loving that person who changed and hurt me? and lastly how can make him realize what he lost
    he already teased me on my post comment section after our break up but I ignored and delete the comment bcuz I’m not a toy

    1. Coach Shaunna

      January 2, 2024 at 2:02 am

      Hi Jesika, so first step is to follow an indefinite no contact where you focus on yourself and continue to ignore your ex. Moving on takes time but be sure that you spend time with your family and friends to help you keep busy and not focus on what he is or isn’t doing. You wanting him to see what he lost – this is where Chris’ speaks about the Ungettable girl work that we need to apply to ourselves, that is work you need to do even though you want to move on from your ex.

  2. Hanna J

    February 5, 2021 at 2:09 am

    Shaunna, thanks for the advice. Because of our talking/not talking relationship and the fact that we do not talk for 3+ months when we are not talking, I am not even sure if 30 days NC is enough.
    We were actually talking like normal, back and forth for a while, then we had a bit of a negative exchange and thats why I went into a NC again. I am actually surprised that he did not text me over this period as he has been texting me & sending pictures (of his dogs or things he knows Im interested in).

  3. Hanna J

    February 3, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    So, watching this video made me think of an interesting thing that happened with my ex. We broke up, we started talking again (only talking, not together), then he ghosted….later apologized for ghosting and said he wanted to try again, then I said maybe and he started injecting himself into the plans I had, making plans with me, didn’t fulfill any of them and ghosted again then told me to move on…keeps telling me he is single but I think he does, or at least did, have someone. The quiz gave me a 71% chance but my confidence is super low that we will ever truly be back together.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      February 3, 2021 at 9:26 pm

      Hi Hanna, but the sounds of things he knows he still has that window with you to get you back, so you need to make him work harder for your time and attention. Complete a no contact period before replying to his next reach out. 21 days should be long enough

  4. Stephanie

    January 29, 2021 at 10:27 pm

    My ex ghosted me.. Twice. Now he’s back around (well, trying) for a 3d time.. Saying he was majorly depressed and never should’ve disrespected me the way he did. He’s not happy with his life and thought by disappearing the feelings would go away and it would be best for both of us. WHY do guys do this?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 30, 2021 at 5:53 pm

      Hey so usually this happens with their “flight or fight” mode kicks in, and it does seem as if your ex has a flight mentality when things get hard.

  5. Nina

    January 16, 2021 at 3:46 am

    Thank you for the reply!

    I’ve decided to buy him a gift and send to his place. I sent him a picture of it and he said it was very nice but he wasn’t talkative/ trying to have a conversation with me. I was the one who spoke last and he didn’t say anything. Should I still go ahead and send to his place? I don’t know what else I should do honestly. I already did NC for 30 days so what is left for me to do? 🙁

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 16, 2021 at 11:39 am

      Hi Nina, if you have reached out to him and he’s not responded, then you would need to reach out with Chris’ texts to get the conversation started again. However I would not recommend sending a gift to him. If you reach out ot him again and get no response a second them then you need to go into a short no contact for 21 days

  6. Anja

    January 14, 2021 at 10:58 pm

    But what if I’m anxious and therefore extremely jealous, does my ex still romanticize the whole thing? Is there still a chance? Even if I destroyed the relationship twice because of the same exact reason and he found interest in one of his colleagues at work in the meantime?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 15, 2021 at 5:27 pm

      Hi Anja, if this is true then I would suggest your focus being on your anxiety and jealousy issues before attempting to get into another relationship with your ex or anyone else. Your self confidence and happiness being alone is what is key to success, if you are not confident then any person you have a relationship with is going to see this and not going to want to be in a relationship where they essentially are controlled due to you being worried about his actions.

  7. Bella

    January 14, 2021 at 8:58 am

    Thank you Shaunna, I will read again the posts about texts for doing that. So you suggest to reach out before or after his birthday and not saying anything to him that day?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 14, 2021 at 3:57 pm

      Yes, either before or after his birthday, without mentioning it at all.

  8. Jenni

    January 14, 2021 at 4:26 am

    Sometimes I think that he left me because I was going to leave him, well that’s what he told me. My ex’s attachment style is avoidant dismissive, and he is very stubborn and proud, I know that it will be difficult for me to recover it, I am still working on myself and I have controlled my anxiety I have even regained a little the weight that I lost after the breakup I had Since anorexic, I continue working on myself and the stage of recovering it is approaching, but I wonder if he really loves me, according to the case, what do you think about this?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 16, 2021 at 12:28 pm

      Hi Jenni, it is great that you are focusing on yourself and your health. You say he left because he thought you were going to leave him. Were there many arguments or fallouts in your relationship to make him believe this? Be sure that you complete your 30 day no contact, then reach out to him with a text that Chris suggests in his articles.

  9. Nina

    January 13, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    Hello! My ex boyfriend broke up with me beginning of December and decided to go NC. As I already knew how the NC method worked I immediately started NC for 30 days. Yesterday I sent him a message and he replied negatively saying he didn’t want to start a conversation with me. I still have a lot of feelings towards him but it seems he doesn’t like anymore. Is it still possible to have him back? I’m blocked everywhere except on WhatsApp so I can’t apply the being there method also I don’t have any contact with his friends. He said he didn’t feel like talking and if I’d text him he would also block me on wpp. Is it still possible or should I move on?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 15, 2021 at 11:36 pm

      Hi Nina, you can apply the being there method as you are able to get in touch with him, however you need to be sure that you understand the being there method fully and complete a 45 day no contact before reaching out to him for the first time.

  10. Bella

    January 12, 2021 at 6:22 pm

    I want to reconnect with my ex. The break up was a year ago,d ue to long disrance, we kept in touch but we gradually stopped talking and he didn’t even answer me the last two times I texted him (never done that before). The problem is that we don’t have friends in common and he doesn’t use social media (he has facebook but he doesn’t post anything), so texting was the only way to stay tunned. I want to go back to the town where I lived when we were together (I only came back to mine for a year, my plan have always been going back) and I would love to have another chance because I’ve missed him all this time and I’ve always wanted to get him back but we lost touch.
    This week is his birthday and I don’t know what to do. I could text him but after thhe two unanswered texts I am insecure. I could post a comment on his facebook just in case he looks (it’s his birthday so in that case he’d connect), but that won’t lead to a conversation.What should I do?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 13, 2021 at 7:44 pm

      Hi Bella, I would suggest that you reach out by text with one of the options that Chris suggests in his articles and use that as an ice breaker for conversation. We suggest that you do not reach out on birthdays as this has not shown not to get enough interest to have a conversation with an ex.