Today I’m going to break down the major reasons for why an ex is calling you after a breakup.
But I want to do something a bit unique.
Rather than just pulling these reasons out like a magician I want to show you (in real time) what it looks like AND THEN giving you the reason.
This means I’ll be attaching screenshots from our community of exes calling our clients and then giving a quick commentary.
Here are the nine core reasons for why an ex will call you after a breakup,
- They are jealous
- There are loose ends
- They miss you (and regret the breakup)
- Drunk calls
- Things aren’t going as well as they thought with the new person
- They want to know they still have you
- You have kids together
- They are looking for a booty call
Let’s dive in!
Reason #1: They Are Jealous
In our program, we emphasize the importance of investing energy in oneself. We’ve noticed that many of our clients tend to be codependent, with their lives revolving around their ex-partners.
Our goal is to help you shift that focus onto yourself.
As part of this process, we recommend posting on social media to show that you’re genuinely enjoying life.
Given that there’s an 88% chance your ex will check your social media posts, they might see these posts and feel a twinge of jealousy.
A perfect example of this comes from a screenshot I took from our community.
This individual shared,
“My ex called me last night because he saw me on TikTok live at 2am talking to a friend, who was a boy he didn’t like. He called me in anger, said all sorts of things, and then apologized. I was on day seven of a 45-day no-contact rule. After the call, he deleted all his social media. I’m not sure if he’s hurt or angry.”
This is a clear instance of an ex exhibiting jealousy.
Interestingly, we often see jealousy in clients who are looking for signs that their ex might want to reconcile. Jealousy can indeed be a strong indicator. So, one reason your ex might call you is out of anger stemming from jealousy.
Reason #2: Tying Up Loose Ends
Your ex may call you if you still have their belongings, or if there were plans made before the breakup.
This is evident in the following screenshot where a person asked,
“Are there any super clear signs if he’s a fearful avoidant or dismissive avoidant? My ERP ex called me yesterday after two and a half weeks since he backed away from my situation ship with him. I suspect he was calling about my birthday dinner that he was supposed to attend, maybe to be nice and still come.”
Here, the loose end is the birthday dinner that he’s unsure about attending.
Another example of loose ends is shown in this screenshot where an individual said,
“Help please, my 45 days of no contact are done. But this evening, my ex called me up and asked if he could come to pick up some small stuff he forgot in my apartment.”
The loose end here is the traditional exchange of items.
Let’s move on.
Reason #3: They Miss You (And Regret The Breakup)
This is my favorite type of call because if you follow our program, there’s a high chance you can create a situation where this is likely to happen.
If you recall the screenshot I referenced earlier where the ex wanted to pick up his items.
Well, if you read further, the individual says,
“After the call, suddenly he was outside my door. He asked me about after work, what I’ve been doing and who I was with, and then gave me a hug and started crying. He said it felt hard to meet me because he missed me so much. I said I could have dropped his things off at his dad’s house, but he said he really wanted to see me. I tried to calm things down by saying that it was okay, etc. I also said that I was open to talk if he wanted to, and he said maybe later on. Directly after he left, he wrote me a text saying, ‘I’m sorry, it was not my intention to get so emotional. What should I do next?'”
In a recent article, I discussed the warning signs that your ex is leaving the door open for reconciliation.
I analyzed three of our actual success stories and listed the signs that each ex started exhibiting right before they came back.
One of the signs is that they start opening up emotionally to you, whether in a text message or in person.
The screenshot above is a prime example of that.
Sometimes, they’ll call you simply because they miss you and regret the breakup.
Reason #4: Drunk Calls
When people have a few drinks, they often let their guard down and express thoughts they might normally withhold. It’s as if the alcohol gives them the courage to speak their mind.
All the emotions and thoughts they’ve been suppressing start to surface.
Sometimes, this can resemble the previous reason, where they start opening up and becoming emotionally vulnerable. A great example of this comes from a screenshot I took from our community.
“I am in the meetup phase and things are going really well, but how do I handle drunk calls or texts from my ex? Twice now, he has left me voicemails in the middle of the night while he’s out partying and clearly drunk. He’s super affectionate and gushy, telling me how much he loves me, wishes I was there, sending me kisses, etc.”
I’m somewhat at a loss for words on this one.
I’m not sure what more I can add, other than this is another way exes open up.
It’s quite common for exes to become sentimental when they’re drunk but it can also go south pretty quickly.
There’s a spectrum to it: on one end, some exes become incredibly sentimental, while on the other, some become complete jerks.
There’s a famous Latin saying about alcohol,
“In vino veritas,” which means “in wine, there is truth.”
Reason #5: Things Aren’t Going That Great With The New Person
The fifth reason could be that things aren’t going well with their new partner. This is exactly as it sounds. Your ex has broken up with you, moved on to someone else, and initially thought the grass was greener on the other side.
However, over time, they may realize that’s not the case and call you to vent. Here’s an example:
“Out of the blue, my ex called me this morning and told me that his new partner is causing him stress. They’re in a toxic relationship and he asked to come over. I feel like he wanted to talk or vent rather than sleep.”
So, sometimes the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
Reason 6: They Want To know They Still Have You
This one is interesting, but how you respond can greatly influence the outcome. (I’ll be talking more about that later)
Here’s an example:
“My ex called me out of the blue. He started talking about his financial struggles and his plans to move. He seemed happy about selling our house and moving on. I believe he called me to ensure I was still an option for him in case things don’t work out going forward.”
The first thing that came to mind when I read this was the narcissistic abuse cycle,
Which has four distinct stages:
In this case, it seems like we’re somewhere between the discard and hoover stage.
I also think there’s an argument to be made that he’s venting to her about emotional issues. This is why I believe it’s important not to help exes through their emotions.
It’s okay to acknowledge their feelings, but don’t try to fix them or make them feel better.
Reason #7: You Have Kids Together
Let’s revisit the screenshot I just referred to in the previous point about wanting to know if they still have you.
You’ll notice that this individual has children with their ex.
Unfortunately, it seems like the ex might be using the children as pawns, which is something that should never be done. However, it’s an unfortunate reality that we’ve seen occur.
Sometimes, they might call you because there’s an emergency involving the children.
For instance, if they’re watching your child and the child gets hurt, they might not know what to do and call you.
Alternatively, they might be updating you about your child’s activities, sending you a picture, or sharing news about a significant event, like a big game that your child won.
Reason #8: Looking For A Booty Call
It could be that they’re looking for a casual hookup.
Here’s an example:
“My avoidant ex called today. I’m on the 34th day of no contact, aiming for 45 days plus an extra four. The breakup was dramatic. He made a little joke about being a booty call and clearly wanted to meet.”
What I’ve noticed about booty calls is that they’re often disguised.
Hollywood might have us believe that it’s more explicit, but in reality, it’s usually hidden in humor or hinted at subtly. It’s often the subtext of the conversation, as we saw in this particular situation where the ex made a humorous joke about a booty call.
Reason #9: Closure
Let’s look at an example:
“My 14 days of no contact went down the drain last night. My ex called me twice yesterday evening. I didn’t answer, but he showed up two hours later knocking on my kitchen door. He agreed that it was selfish of him to just show up at my house. He said he came for closure and because he missed me.”
Notice how similar this situation is to the second scenario I discussed about tying up loose ends.
In both cases, the ex called, then showed up unannounced, expressing how much they missed their former partner.
However, in this case, he explicitly states he’s looking for closure.
Here’s What To Do If You Receive A Call Out Of The Blue
When you receive a call from your ex, it’s essential to handle it with empathy and consider your own emotions.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- First, take a moment to check in with yourself and evaluate if you’re ready to have a conversation with your ex. Make sure you’re emotionally prepared and won’t be negatively affected by the interaction.
- Once you’re on the call, listen attentively to what your ex has to say. Pay attention to their tone, words, and emotions. Understanding their intentions and concerns will help you respond effectively.
- It’s important to stay calm throughout the conversation, regardless of its nature. Take deep breaths and respond in a composed manner. Getting angry or defensive can make the situation worse and hinder productive communication.
- Show empathy by acknowledging your ex’s feelings and experiences, even if you don’t necessarily agree with them. Let them know that you understand where they’re coming from and validate their emotions.
- Be honest and clear about your own thoughts, emotions, and boundaries. Express yourself respectfully and honestly. Focus on sharing your own perspective without resorting to blaming or attacking language. Talk about how you feel and what you need.
- If the call becomes overwhelming or too emotionally charged, it’s okay to take a step back. Politely inform your ex that you need some time to process the conversation and that you’ll get back to them later. This allows you to gather your thoughts and respond more thoughtfully.
- Remember, it’s essential to prioritize your own well-being. If continued contact with your ex is causing more harm than good, it might be necessary to set boundaries or even consider limiting or ending communication for your emotional healing and growth.
How To Handle Positive, Negative And Neutral Calls
Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the common reasons for receiving a call from your ex, you’ll notice that these reasons generally fall into three categories:
Each category requires a different response strategy.
Handling A Positive Call
When you receive a positive call, it’s important to mirror their sentiment but maintain a slight emotional distance.
For instance, if they say, “I missed you so much,” a suitable reply would be, “I’ve missed you too.”
However, it’s crucial to let them do the majority of the talking.
Let’s talk about the negative calls now.
Handling A Negative Call
In the case of a negative call, the best approach is to diffuse the situation with tactical empathy.
This strategy might seem counterintuitive, but it is highly effective.
It was popularized by Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator.
Here’s a video of him talking about it,
Firstly, listen attentively to your ex on the other end of the line.
Pay close attention to their tone and choice of words. Make an effort to understand their emotions and concerns, as if you were in their shoes.
Once you’ve grasped their feelings, let them know that you understand. Validate their emotions by saying something like, “I can see why you’re upset about this.” This acknowledgment helps establish a connection.
To ensure mutual understanding, reflect back on their main points. Paraphrase what they’ve said in your own words, and ask for clarification if needed. This demonstrates that you’re actively listening and trying to comprehend their perspective.
For instance, I’ve used tactical empathy before in a situation where my ex believed I was acting out of jealousy.
I validated their feelings by saying, “I hear you and I understand that you perceive my actions as being driven by jealousy.”
To gain further clarity, I asked open-ended questions, encouraging them to elaborate on their specific concerns. This showed my genuine desire to understand their perspective and clear any misunderstandings.
I then reflected their concerns back to them using my own words, which helped them feel heard and validated.
For example, I said, “So if I understand correctly, you feel that my actions have shown jealousy, and that has caused some tension between us.”
Handling A Neutral Call
If the call is neutral, then it’s time to go into a mini no contact period.
Usually you want to shoot for 7-14 days.
Give them some space.
If they’re calling to check if they still have your attention, I’d consider that neutral.
They might be close to worrying about losing you, but by taking the call, you’ve reassured them, and they can continue with their life.
I understand that restarting no contact might seem daunting, but it’s the most effective way to reset the dynamics of your relationship.