By Chris Seiter

Updated on May 24th, 2021

Today we’re going to be taking a question from Astrid and she’s wondering what it means when an ex wants to be single and have fun.

But before we actually start taking her question, the first thing that I think you should do if you’re listening to this podcast or even watching this podcast on YouTube since we’re doing that now, is take the starting quiz.

Do you have a chance of getting your ex back?

So one of the most asked questions that I get almost every single day is people are wondering what kind of chance they have of getting their ex back. And that’s a good thing to answer because there’s nothing worse than wasting your time on a situation where you really have no chance of getting your ex back.

So luckily for you, I’ve put together a special quiz on the website, that will answer this exact question for you.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

My Ex Wants To Be Single And Have Fun… What Does That Mean? 

Okay, so now that that is out of the way, let’s talk about what it means when an ex wants to be single and have fun. But first let’s hear from Astrid.

“Hi Chris, my name’s Astrid. I just had a question in regards to a recent breakup I’m going through. So he broke up with me about a week after my birthday and we went on a trip and whatnot. He wanted to make things work, but he said he just didn’t want a longterm commitment and that he wanted some change and this and that, and that he wanted to be single.

And now I find out that he brought a girl home the night he broke up with me, he slept with her. And he’s still in contact with her and he’s been hanging out with her. I’m not sure if they’re dating. But anyways, we work together and we go to school together. So it’s really complicated. But he was telling me that he had feelings for me still, and that he loved me and that that would never go away. Then he still wants to be friends. I just kind of want to know what this means. Is this girl a rebound, what’s going on? And she’s complete opposite of me. Like everything, it’s so weird, she cheated on her boyfriend the night that they slept together.

Everything’s so messed up.

So I just need some advice and I just want to know where… It’s hard to know where his head’s at, especially if he’s telling me he still had feelings for me, still cared about me, but he just didn’t want the longterm commitment. And he wanted that change. I think he just wants this bad girl for the time being. Okay. Thank you. Bye.”

So I want to take a minute and thank Astrid for leaving the question. It seems like she’s having a really tough time.

A Quick Recap Of Astrid’s Situation

So let’s do a quick recap of her situation and then there are some big questions that I want to provide answers to, not just for her but for everyone listening because having an ex basically say that he wants to be single and have fun is a lot more common than you realize.

But there’s also a lot of things that are interesting about her situation.

So let’s do a quick recap first.

  • Astrid basically has gone through a breakup recently.
  • Her ex told her that he’s obviously single and wants to have fun.
  • He broke up with her a week after her birthday, which poor timing there.
  • He said he didn’t want a longterm commitment, but he brought a girl home and slept with her quickly after they broke up.
  • So that seems to kind of poke a hole in the “I don’t want a longterm commitment” theory, or maybe even helps it a little bit. We’ll discuss.
  • The issue with Astrid’s situation is that she’s actually working together with her ex and they go to school together as well.
  • He sometimes will tell her that he is having feelings for her and still loves her, but he’s with this new girl now.
  • He’s kind of in that limbo phase between being official and not being official. So she’s wondering if the new girl’s a rebound and what’s odd is the girl is a complete opposite of her.

So there’s a lot to unpack here. But let’s kind of go through some of the big questions that I think people are having in your specific situation. So the obvious thing people are obviously wondering when they’re in a situation where their ex says, “Hey, I want to be single and have fun,” is does he actually mean it?

And another question is, what do they actually mean when they want to be single and have fun? T

hen I wanted to cover on Astrid’s situation is why he’s attracted to someone who seemingly is the opposite of her and why he brought her home so quickly and slept with her immediately. And then finally this new girl if she’s a rebound.

So there’s a lot to cover here.

So let’s take it from the top.

Does My Ex Actually Mean It When They Say They Want To Be Single And Have Fun? 

The first big question that people are often wondering is when an ex says they want to be single and have fun, do they actually mean it?

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And in my opinion, yes, they actually do mean it in the moment.

Otherwise they wouldn’t have broke up with you.

So I recently just posted a YouTube video on my YouTube channel covering kind of a similar situation, which is when an ex actually sits there and tells you, “Oh, there’s no chance of us getting back together” or “I don’t love you anymore,” and things of that nature, do they actually mean it? And like I described there, yes, in the moment when they’re actually saying it, they actually mean it.

Here’s the video in case you were interested in watching.

But you need to understand that old adage, when emotions run high and logic runs low, certainly runs true here.

When we go through breakups, we go through arguably some of the most emotional experiences through our life.

We’re experiencing emotions at an unnatural clip. So it’s completely normal for people to say things that they don’t mean in the moment. But I actually think they do mean it in the moment. But circumstances are prone to change. I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard from a success story who’s gotten their exes back, where they’ve actually asked their ex and said, “Hey, you said that you wanted to be single and have fun,” or “You said that you didn’t think there was ever a chance between the two of us getting back together again, but we’re back together again.

What was going on there?” Only to have the exes say, “Well, yeah, I mean I felt that in the moment, but after some time I realized that I couldn’t live without you.”

So what I think people struggle with is this understanding between emotions and logic. So a lot of people try to get their ex back with logic and that’s not going to work. If you want to get your ex back. It has to be through emotions. But the problem is the timing needs to be right. Because right now the emotions are often what’s preventing you from seeing success.

So you almost need to let them have some time to calm down. So they want to be single and have fun. Well, let’s answer the second big question.

What Does My Ex Really Mean When They Say They Want To Be Single And Have Fun? 

Well, one of two things immediately pops into my mind.

The first thing is, it’s essentially another variation of “it’s not you, it’s me.” You’ve heard the old Costanza thing. “It’s not you, it’s me.” George Costanza on Seinfeld was famous for saying that.

But an ex saying that they want to be single and have fun is another sort of variation of that idea where they don’t want to tell you the real reason they’re actually breaking up with you. So in order to make it sound more like it’s not something that you’re doing, they’re going to say, “Well, you know, I just want to be single and have fun.”

Well, the very definition is “I don’t want to be with you. I want to try to be out with someone else.”

The second thing that kind of pops into my mind is that people who say this are often freaked out by longterm commitments and they just want to avoid it by distancing themselves with or… Distancing themselves, excuse me, distracting themselves with other people.

So what they’ll do is when things seem to get serious in a relationship and you notice out of the blue they just sort of disappear or out of the blue they break up with you and say this phrase,

“I just want to be single and have fun.”

I actually think that they’re a little freaked out by the longterm commitment. So it might be a sign that you were moving too quickly in the relationship.

So those are the two things that immediately pop into my mind when people say, “Hey, I just want to be single and have fun.” But what’s interesting in Astrid’s situation is that she really points out that this new girl is the complete opposite of her. And she also points out, why did he bring this girl home and sleep with her immediately? And this is a concept I’ve been trying to popularize for years now.

The Importance Of Stability And Mystery In Relationships

It’s this concept between the relationship of stability and mystery. So oftentimes people will talk to me about, “Chris, I got my ex back, thank you so much, but how do I stay in relationship with them?”

Well, there’s a lot of different things that you can do to stay in a relationship with someone, but what I really tend to notice is that in order to have a relationship thrive, you need both stability and mystery.

And this is kind of an interesting paradox because they’re on opposite ends of the spectrum.

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They’re exact opposite.

Someone who’s extremely stable isn’t going to be adventurous or mysterious, whereas someone who’s adventurous and mysterious by nature tends to not be very stable.

So what I think is happening here is that your ex broke up with you because he was feeling a little too stable with you and not enough mystery and excitement. That also can feed into this belief of,

“Hey, I want to be single and have fun.”

The have fun part is the mystery and excitement part.

Stability can be fun if you place a high value on that. But even people who like stability want some spontaneity, they want some mystery and adventure kind of ejected into their relationship, and I think that’s potentially what happened with you, Astrid, where maybe you were the stable force in your ex’s life and he wants to be single and have fun is just another variation of him wanting to get the mystery.

So it’s interesting that you say the new girl’s the complete opposite of you, because in my opinion, if the new girl’s to complete opposite of you it means he’s found someone who’s extremely adventurous and mysterious.

But it’s sort of like in a weird way I think you guys will cancel each other out. Because if you’re the stable force and you were only the stable force, he didn’t like that he broke up with you eventually because he wanted the mystery, the adventure, the spontaneity.

Well, if this new girl is all of those things, then potentially she’s not going to be able to bring stability into the picture. What you’re looking for is every single man that you date or every single partner that you have will have this sort of moving and sliding scale on how they determine what matters more to them, stability or mystery.

I’ve already established that I believe everyone needs to have both in order to have a successful relationship. They need to have both stability and mystery. But not everyone wants more stability than mystery. Not everyone wants more mystery than stability. I’ll take myself as an example because I can only speak to myself. I highly value stability over mystery, but at the same time, stability can get boring. I do want some mystery and spontaneity injected into the relationship every once in a while.

So imagine it like this.

The perfect girl for me would be probably anywhere between 60 to 70% stability and a 30 to 40% mystery.

Every man you’re with has a different scale of what they want or what they prefer, if that makes any sense. So when you’re asking questions like why is he dating someone the complete opposite of me? I think that sort of informs that decision. And why did he bring the girl home and sleep with her immediately? Well, that by nature is spontaneous and mysterious and something maybe is new for him that he felt was lacking in the relationship with you.

Is The New Girl A Rebound? 

Now let’s switch gears and talk about the rebound side of things. So Astrid talks about yes, the ex wants to be single and have fun. Well, is this new girl just simply nothing more than a rebound? Well, what I think you need to understand about rebound relationships is it really depends on a lot of different factors. So some of the big factors are how long that you were with your ex. If you were with your ex for a month, okay, that’s usually not enough time to warrant a rebound because it’s more likely that you are rebound for him or just a fling for him. But if you were with your ex for years and years and he’s quickly moving on to someone else, then maybe it has sort of a rebound vibe to it.

So I think the first fact you need to look at to determine rebound is how long that you were actually with your ex. The second factor is if him and the new girl actually started dating very, very quickly. So the speed of which they were dating, the length of time in which you were dating him, and, this is the most difficult part for people to sort of wrap their heads around is the average rebound length.

So I’ve done multiple studies on this and ultimately have come to the conclusion that the average rebound lasts anywhere between three to six months. But when you actually average it all together, it will be 5.2 months. So if your ex is with this new girl for more than 5.2 months or more than six months, it starts to look like this is not a rebound. It’s something serious. And you might need to change your tactics on how you approach your situation, whether that’s focusing on moving on or even focusing on sort of having that paradigm shift that this is going to take a lot longer than you realize.

So I think as we look at Astrid’s situation, we can gain some insight into the single and have fun mentality. And a lot of times, like I said, they do mean it in the moment. And I think it’s connected directly to the fact that maybe they’re saying this because you were the stable force that didn’t provide enough mystery or spontaneity into their relationship.

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8 thoughts on “My Ex Says He Wants To Be Single And Have Fun”

  1. Anna

    May 6, 2020 at 6:14 pm


    I’ve been with my bf for 7 years now. He moved interstate for 6 months for work and we had plans to travel together and move in together the second half of the year. Last week I thought he was sounding weird in texts so confronted him. He told me he slept with someone else and that he still loves me and wants to be with me. We decided to have a month of silence to think things through.

    But he called me today saying he’s been seeing this girl and he doesn’t want to hurt me. He said he basically wants to see what it’s like with other people because he’s only ever been with me. I said this is unfair to do this over the phone and said we should meet up in person in August (when his work contract ends and when borders are opened again due to coronovirus). I said I was scared that he would break up with me when we meet up in August – but he reassured me he won’t.

    He basically promised we will resume our relationship in August and he promised he will see me in person then.

    My intuition tells me that if we see each other again he won’t want to leave me. But am making him lose respect/ desire for me Cos I’m so stable?

    Should I break up with him and meet up in August and see? I don’t think I’m strong enough to do this option as I’ll be anxious the entire time wondering if he’s now dating this other girl seriously ( although he reassured me he doesn’t want to be serious with her he only wants to see her casually)

    What should I do?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      May 12, 2020 at 6:53 pm

      Hi Anna, honestly, I can not tell you what to do with your relationship. All I can do is that you need to do what is going to make you feel happy and secure. Don’t put yourself in situations you are not happy or comfortable with.

  2. Lucy

    February 3, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    Hi, my ex and I broke up 5 months ago after being together for 5 years. In short we broke up because I became very resentful of his new job and jealous, argumentative and pretty nasty to him for quite some time. After putting up with it for a while, the stress of his intense new job (which involves a lot of travel and very long hours) and his feelings that I had changed and we no longer worked as a couple led him to end the relationship.

    I was devastated and decided to begin going to therapy to understand why I had behaved as I had, I also spent a lot of time on this website reading articles and being determined to get my ex back as I truly believe in the relationship. Throughout these 5 months although we didn’t message one another, we met to catch up every 6-7 weeks, between which I gave him total space. During these meetings I talked about things I had realised from going to therapy, but while he said he could see that I had genuinely changed, he talked a lot about how he didn’t feel mentally able to be in a relationship with me or anyone because of how downhill our relationship went and because of the intense nature of his job. I still didn’t give up as I knew he still loved me and over the course of the 5 months I saw his barriers towards me start to melt a little over time.

    In December after 4 months of being apart, he told me he needed to come to some conclusion about what to do because it was unfair on us both to continue meeting once a month as we were and not moving on from one another. We took time over Christmas to think and when we met in January he told me that he was at a crossroads and didn’t know what to do. He said he knew that in an ideal world he isn’t at a point where he feels ready to give our relationship another go but that he also feels we can’t go on as we were and that it deserves another chance. He totally broke down in front of me as he explained how hurt he was and still is from everything that happened and for the first time properly opened up about some of the things I did over the course of the relationship that made him feel awful which he never spoke up about. He said that he knows he still loves me but isn’t ready to just jump back to how we were and doesn’t know if he is going to be able to ever get back to that point but that if I am ok with giving it another go on those uncertain grounds then he would like to try.

    That was 3 weeks ago and since then we have only told one or two people and have seen each other 3 times to go on dates. I have tried to keep these dates upbeat and fun and not to dwell on things or be negative but I think we have both found it hard to naturally not discuss how we are feeling and I also am aware that him opening up about his feelings is important and one of the reasons our relationship broke down before so I want to make sure he feels able to do this. When we saw each other last weekend we both got emotional about everything and he said he has been finding the last few weeks of texting during the day (even though we only do this once or twice a day) strange to get back into after so long apart and that at the moment he still feels awkward and not particularly excited to talk to me but that he enjoys our time when we are together. He told me that while he loves me, if he is being honest he doesn’t know if he is able to fall for me again because so much has happened and he built up a lot of walls against me internally, despite this he said he wants to try. He also stressed that he knows his job doesn’t provide a ground on which to have a releationship as he is so busy and that he has enjoyed being more selfish over the past few months and doesn’t want to lose that (for example seeing friends more and making plans to move abroad with work for short spells). I have said that I just want us to have fun and to laugh and enjoy things and he said that while he wants that too, this isn’t a new relationship and there are still 5 years of history that he can’t just easily forget, with the bad memories still clearly present in his mind. I am putting as little pressure on this as possible and ensuring I don’t ask much of him at all and am letting him come to me as much as possible while staying upbeat and ‘ungettable’. We had our 4th date last weekend and things felt a lot more positive, he seemed to enjoy the time we spent together and seemed more relaxed around me. When we text though it still feels like he isn’t quite himself with me and that he doesn’t really want to talk to me. Is there anything else I can do other than be patient and see if over time his barriers come down? Seeing just how much I hurt him has been very hard but I am so determined to move forwards and try and create a better relationship for us both

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      February 15, 2020 at 5:42 pm

      Hi Lucy, I suggest that you be patient if you want your ex back the process can take some time, you just have to make sure during that time you are living your life and making sure you are taking steps to make yourself happy in life without your ex in it right now. And that is also going to help you get him back if you work to become the best version of yourself.

  3. Lucy

    December 11, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    I am 20, my ex is 22. He broke up with me once before about three months ago and it was only for a week but we talked and we worked it out. He broke up with me about 3 weeks ago because he wanted to be single, have fun and all his friends are in college still. He graduated and has a full time job. He also stated he doesn’t love me as much I love him. We ended things on great terms. Throughout our whole relationship is was so great. We always laughed, he kissed me every morning, we spent time with family, we had fun together, we were always happy, and we never fought. He always told me how happy he was and how happy I made him. It really came out of nowhere, in fact and hour before he texted me and said he needed to talk he was telling me how beautiful I can and asking me to stay the next night. After the break up we talked bc I would text him and ask how he’s doing. I stopped for a few days and then left him a letter and he wanted nothing to do with it. I haven’t talked to him since that so it’s been a week of NC, and 3 weeks after the breakup. He’s going on vacation that I was going to go with him on in 5 days. He has seemed so happy with life and parties 4 of the 7 days of week. He posts it too and he never has been on to post anything like that. I want him back, but I don’t know if I have a chance and I don’t want to get hurt again. Does he miss me? Is he pretending to be okay? I did the quiz and got 71%. He was the one for me, I know it. I love him. Please help

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      December 15, 2019 at 6:27 pm

      Hey Lucy, so the best thing you can do right now is the No Contact rule for at least 30-45 days where you are leaving him alone not reaching or replying to him if he messages you. If you can, go on holiday yourself else where and make sure you are being social with your friends living your life. Read about what we call Ungettable and make sure that you are doing the things that you need to do, to re attract your ex and show him that you are not going to be the girl sat at home crying over him

  4. Summer

    December 5, 2019 at 12:04 am

    Hi Thanks you so much for your videos and blogs. It hepls me alot. But It is possible to use the No contact Rule again? I used the No contact rule for more than a month right after our break up. Weve been together for 5 years and we have a son. No cheating involve he just fed up of always fighting.
    One day I texted him about our son and it leads to meeting up in person and we sleep together. He doesnt talk about us. He just wanted us to have family day. We just talk about the kid. Were still texting but I dont feel the intimacy. I really wanted him back but im afraid I hurt my chances. Do I implement the no contact rule again?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      December 6, 2019 at 9:52 pm

      Hi Summer, so you can do a short limited no contact where you only speak about your son for 21 days and then start to try re attracting him. Having the “family” days out with just you and your child and sending him the photos will improve your chances of him wanting to come back because when he wants a family day, you can say yes you and son can go out for the day, but you do not go, you go and do your own thing by yourself or with friends, this will show him he is losing his family lifestyle by not being together.