By Chris Seiter

Updated on May 24th, 2021

The Ex Boyfriend Recovery Program is a marathon, not a sprint. I know that it’s hard to be patient. When someone you love is no longer in your life, your brain tends to mimic the same symptoms that a drug addict experiences when going through withdrawal. The process takes a lot of time and patience.

Trying to get an ex back isn’t just frustrating because of the time and patience it takes. It can also be an extremely stressful process. On the Private ExRecovery Facebook Group, a good chunk of the questions asked have to do with analyzing our exes’ behavior.

It’s normal to want to pick apart their words, actions, and social media posts, and even their lack of communications, trying to find some meaning. Sometimes, it is relatively easy to pick apart your ex’s actions. But other times, it can be a bit more difficult.

You know that cliché that when a woman says she’s “fine” you better watch out because she’s anything but fine?

It’s true that there is usually a lot going on under the surface of what we say, and it doesn’t always match up with what we are thinking or feeling. Whereas guys always act like we’re the crazy ones – I’ve heard so many guys say

“I say what I mean.”

But is that true?

Yes…on some level. If a guy says he wants a hot dog, he probably wants a hot dog. But typically, men shy away from big emotions, and some will do whatever they can to avoid them, even fib here and there.
Frequently, when breakups occur, lines are used

“It’s not you, it’s me”


“I hope we can still be friends”


“I’m not ready for a relationship with anyone, I just want to be single.”

These are all said to lighten the blow of the breakup so that they guy can avoid hurting you, and therefore, avoid a big emotional meltdown.
So, when you’re in the Ex Boyfriend Recovery process, things can get a little murky when you try to read between the lines to figure out where your ex’s head is, and what his intentions are.

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Negative Interactions

The one time it is painfully easy to see where your ex stands is if the interactions between you are more negative than positive.

If your first contact message is met with unkind words or some other negative response, your ex is making it pretty clear that they have no interest in speaking to you.

The first step is to understand why that is.

Did you cheat?

Did you say hurtful things in the heat of the moment while breaking up?

Were you the one to dump them?

My guess is if you are getting negative responses, you’ll know why. If you need to apologize for something, do so, but then go back into NO CONTACT for two weeks minimum.

A negative interaction could also be your ex bringing up the past in a negative way, even during a seemingly positive interaction. This includes saying why the relationship didn’t work, bringing up past disagreements, and focusing on your negative qualities.

The point of No Contact is to reset the relationship between you and your ex. It gives him time to miss you and for all of the negative memories to start to ade. If your interactions with your ex are negative, or he keeps bringing up the problems with the relationship, it is a sign that he has not had enough time for the negative memories to go away. Go back into No Contact, and try again in a couple weeks.


“I hope we can still be friends.”

Ahhhh, the dreaded words.

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A lot of times, it’s a line used when a guy doesn’t want to hurt your feelings, but occasionally it could actually be that your ex actually values your friendship. That was one of the hardest things about the end of my relationship. I was losing my best friend in addition to my boyfriend.

If you and your ex had a deep friendship that went beyond romance and sex, he may want to try to continue the friendship.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT attempt to be friends with your ex and think that if you stay in his life, he’ll realize how great you are and will come to your door on his hands and knees begging you to come back.

Nope. That doesn’t work.

If your ex is attempting to put you in the friendzone, there are some very specific steps that you need to take to combat that.
So how do you know if your ex is trying to put you in the friendzone? Well, typically, they will use some variation of the line above. When you communicate they may say things like

“I really value our friendship”

“you’re such a good friend.”

Avoid the “F” word like the plague.

Okay, so let’s say your ex has used the BS line above when breaking up with you. What’s first?

You guessed it! No Contact.

Cut off contact and make him feel what it is like to not only lose you as his girlfriend but also as his friend. Sometimes, this can be enough. If you feel like attraction was lacking towards the end of the relationship, focus on that area during your No Contact period.

When you and your ex are texting and meeting up, throw him little things here and there that will force him to view you in a sexual/romantic way. Wear slightly suggestive clothing, drop sexual innuendos, use body language to flirt.

The key is to force your ex to see you in more than a “friend” way so that they are forced to face that they still have an attraction to you after all, and being “just friends” will never be enough.

Look at Buffy and Angel.


They dated, the world almost ended, and as a result, they have to be apart. They can never have a normal relationship, normal intimacy, and so that try to kid themselves that they are just friends. But Spike seeing through it.

“You’re not friends. You’ll never be friends. You’ll be in love till it kills you both. You’ll fight, and you’ll shag, and you’ll hate each other till it makes you quiver, but you’ll never be friends. Love isn’t brains, children, it’s blood…blood screaming inside you to work its will. I may be love’s bitch, but at least I’m man enough to admit it.”

Spike, as he so frequently does, hits the nail on the head. Strive for this.

Friends with Benefits

Why is it that so many men try to enter into friends with benefits situations with their ex’s? You’d think they’d understand that it’s an insult to us, and a clear demotion, but still, some of them try it.

A guy who has dumped his girlfriend and tries to enter into a Friends with Benefits situation with her when he knows she still has feelings for him is taking advantage of her pain and desire for intimacy with him. It sucks, and men should know better, but they don’t.

Season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is probably the darkest season of all, and in it, Buffy and Spike begin a sexual relationship. He’s desperately in love with her, but she readily admits that she is using him:

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Buffy: I know that. I do want you. Being with you… makes things… simpler. For a little while.
Spike: I don’t call five hours straight a little while.
Buffy: I’m using you. I can’t love you. I’m just… being weak, and selfish…
Spike: Really not complaining here.

It’s rather heartbreaking. He is so desperate to be close to her that he’ll take this arrangement, even though he wants more from her. More than she is able to give. Luckily, Buffy knows this can’t go on and ends it because she knows it isn’t fair to either of them.

You can’t expect your ex to be as noble.

If your ex straight up approaches you about a Friends with Benefits arrangement, draw a very clear line and say no, you’re not interested, and then go right back into an immediate No Contact. Do not reward his bad behavior by entertaining the idea or continuing to talk to him.

Sometimes, it’s not explicitly said, it just happens. I’ve written an article, that can be read HERE, about what to do if you find yourself hooking up with your ex, and what you can do to secure a commitment. I’ll give you a hint, it starts with No Contact.

Now, a stickier situation. Let’s use me as an example.

I’ve been meeting up with my ex for a couple months now. Our interactions are overwhelmingly positive, and he does 99% of the initiating. I’m straddling the line between the friend-zone and Friends with Benefits.

Now, as we’ve developed our rapport, things have become more intimate, both emotionally and physically. I know he’d love for me to sleep with him, but I think he also gets on some level that I won’t do so without a commitment. And even if he’s not ready to give me that commitment, he respects that. So I’m in this strange place where we make out for hours, but I will not sleep with him. It takes willpower!

Developing intimacy is a natural part of this Ex Boyfriend Recovery process. But you absolutely have to avoid sleeping with your ex until after a commitment is secured. Do NOT allow yourself to fall into a Friends with Benefits arrangement!

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Mixed Signals

“I am tired of defensiveness and-and weird mixed signals – You know what? I have Faith for that. Let’s just get to the truth, here, okay?” – Buffy

Ah yes! The lovely land of mixed signals. I hate to say it, but this is kind of just part of the process. Your ex is on a tightrope, teetering. You want them to fall on the side of “committed relationship” rather than “friend-zone” or “Friends with Benefits” or whatever is on that other side.

All you can do is use Ex Boyfriend Recovery tactics to lightly blow him towards the side of commitment.

Try to zone in on what his doubts are and do and say things that will ease his mind.

He isn’t sure you will be able to fight less than you did before? Change your behavior and show him how things will be different this time.

He didn’t think you spent enough time together? Make him more of a priority.

Make a list of what you know his doubts and concerns were about the relationship and start subtly addressing them one by one via social media, texts, and in-person meet-ups.
Don’t tell him why things will be different this time. Show him.

He’s Still Interested!?

I think the signs will be pretty clear if your ex is interesting in pursuing a second chance with you.

Remember the three things it takes for a guy to want to commit: satisfaction, your value, and investment. To learn more about these three points, listen to the podcast episode here.

So if your ex is seemingly enjoying spending time with you and investing a lot in you and you don’t sense he’s interested in anyone else…you may be steps away from being a success story on Ex Boyfriend Recovery!

You don’t want to spook him. You don’t want to give him an ultimatum to force his hand. Remember, this process is a marathon, not a sprint, and that goes for the last steps of the process as well.

What you want to do is at the high point of a date together, casually bring it up

“So what’s this thing we’re doing?”

Keep your cool. Don’t get emotional. You’ve come too far now. It is imperative that you remain the Ungettable Girl, especially in this moment.

If you’ve played your cards right, and interpreted his actions correctly, you’ll have your boyfriend back.

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Angel: You still my girl?
Buffy: Always.

(Written by Rachel)

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18 thoughts on “What Are My Ex Boyfriends Intentions?”

  1. Tia

    August 22, 2021 at 12:03 pm

    I’m 18 and broke up with my ex of nearly three years a month ago. I definitely have an anxious attachment style (a lot of negative stuff has happened in my life recently and it definitely made me more needy/controlling where he was concerned) and I know this is what drove him away. Before that he was the most caring and supportive boy in the world. We were best friends before we dated and he told me he wanted to marry me. I know we are soulmates.
    Now he says he wants us to stay friends and see where it takes us but says he can’t see us getting back together for a few years. He says he is still in love with me but he is ‘working’ to change his feelings to platonic ones. He’s off to university in a few weeks. I have no idea what to do. I know we’re young but he is my person.

  2. Lula

    October 27, 2017 at 2:41 am


    My and my ex actually broke up a year ago. We dated for over a year (were very close) and he broke up with me out of the blue when I moved away to a city 5 hrs away. There really wasn’t any relationship problem causing it to end, I just think he didn’t want to do long distance. He barely reached out to me in the months following the break up and there were a few times I contacted him but he was always kind of hot and cold. Because of this we kind of lost contact. Around 2 months ago we were in the same location again for the summer and I started trying to initiate contact with him again and I was very surprised by how responsive he was. He still wasn’t initiating anything but when we would talk he’d be asking me all about how I’ve been and it seemed very friendly and just like old times. To my surprise he started bringing up a lot of “remember when…” statements from when we were together and it all seemed to be going really good. Then one day out of the blue he asked me to be friends with benefits. He made it clear that this was all he wanted, nothing more, but at the same time he wasn’t trying to pressure me into it. I was devastated because this hadn’t been what I was hoping at all and I ended up turning him down, drawing a clear line that this was not something I wanted to do. After this we stopped talking again until recently when i heard about a tragedy in his life and reached out just to express my sorrow, not expecting anything more than that. To my surprise after I did this later that same night I posted about me and my guy friend listening to music together and my ex texted me saying something like “i don’t know this guy but he has good music taste”. Now I’m left confused about what all this more recent stuff means. I’m not positive but I’m pretty he just recently started dating someone so whats up with him? Basically I’m looking for clarity about what he’s thinking with texting me about the guy and the fwb thing. Does he still have feelings for me/possibly miss me or is he just toying with me? Thanks!

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      October 30, 2017 at 7:43 pm

      Hi Lula,

      It more likely means he just wants to be friendly.. He wants to be fwb because he wants the sex not a relationship..he’s saying something about the other guy, because he’s being “friendly” to you..

  3. Sara

    September 27, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    My ex and I moved out east together after meeting in one city and then he was in training for eight months. We were long distance for a while. We finally found out where he would be sent and so I transferred with my job to be with him. We lived together for two months before she decides to end it. We were so toxic by this time and we both knew we were struggling badly. I moved back near fAmily because I could not handle being in a city near him, even though that city in my favorite city. I am the reason he chose that city. So it hurts.

    He reached it to me after I left. I only responded with one sentence. I then didn’t hear from
    Him for almost a month and he sent me a letter. He basically blames me but her wants me back. I did not respond for another theee weeks. I finally realized that I felt I needed to apologize for how I hurt him during our relationship so I apologized not expecting anything other than the chance for me to forgive myself finally.

    He responded and said he is interested in talking about starting our relationship again. He told me he is dating. But that he still thinks about me. Now I have not heard from him. Is he stringin me along? Why would he wait if he wants me back?

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      September 29, 2017 at 12:32 am

      He said you should think about it because you were unsure, so, he’s probably waiting for you to initiate.. if you want to give him a chance, lay out your conditions.

  4. Valentina

    September 12, 2017 at 5:06 am

    Hello. My ex boyfriend and I were on a temporarily LDR and we were planning to move together few months later, that what he insisted before he leaved the country. Long story short, he broke up with me telling me that he didn’t wanted to “change my life for him” and was almos not texting me, but saying “it hurts, but the only reason I don’t come back to you is the distance”. He left an email account opened and I found he was in a reltionship with someone else, a girl which I had my doubts and asked him before, you know, “the one you should not worry about”. And it hurt to realize that he started the relationship like two weeks after breaking up with me after a relationship of four years (2 of which we lived together). I never asked him for explanations, not even told him anything about what I knew, just stopped talking to him all from the sudden. He was texting me constantly for two days and then he understood my position and stop texting. After two months of no contact at all from me (we dont have social media), he texted me to see howI was from the “earthquake” that hit my country, we lived together so he knows that I lived faaaaar away from the affected zone. The message started something like” I know that you are mad at me or tha tyou don’t want to talk to me and I respect that…”. I answered I was fine and that if he was really that worried about me, he should be worried about paying the 300 USD he owes me. Then, he got extremely mad and start texting me that I only replied three words in months, and that he “asks me to answer whenever he texts me”, he seem really pissed for me not to answer these months. Do you thinkg he wants me back and the message was an excuse? I replied him after that, but just to remind me the amount he owes me, and his whatsapp picture was a photo with “the new girl”. I really don’t know whats going on… I only confirmed that he stopped paying as a punishment for me for ignoring him the last few months. Any recomendations?

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      September 14, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      Hi Valentines,

      He might have been missing you, but that’s not enough to say that he wants you back..Check this one:
      EBR 015: How To Get A Long Distance Boyfriend Back If He Has A New Girlfriend

  5. Jessica

    September 5, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Hi guys I really could use more help on the struggles of no contact when you share a child. Also…. What about when there really was no official break up. He has been staying with me for two years and then up and left in the middle of what seemed to be outside stressors (he’s turning 30, he gained weight, his friends never want to hang out, he’s jealous of his brothers recent milestones). It started that he was going home to his home because “sitting empty it’s falling apart. We had some nice phone conversations and some contact and then slowly that faded. Maybe because me emotions were high… I have read that men can’t handle more than two major issues in their life so I tried to be patient and supportive but today we are a little past the one month mark and I kind of just freaked out on him. I told him to come pack his belongings that are still here and give me my keys back. He completely ignored my fit didn’t answer my texts ( 10 of them I know awful right). He and I have been together a total of 12 years. We have broken up before and I successfully got him back but this time is different. No major fights triggered this change and I’m hurting… My son is hurting and I’m also angry. That I give 100% and I don’t ever turn my back and he he has again. Normally when he was done he is mean as heck…. He doesn’t even fight back. He remains calm and says very little. I miss him so so much. We had gotten back together and had a solid two+ years of rebuilding and honestly we came very far. I have to see him regularly for childcare things and exchanging. Please please please help!

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      September 7, 2017 at 9:04 pm

  6. Kayley

    August 18, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Hey I’m in a really complicated situation I was in a 2 year relationship and honestly we loved each other a lot ( well at least I still do ). It ended because I thought he was too good for me and I broke up I had low self-esteem and depression which he didn’t knew about. Now 8 months later he contacted me and he wanted to meet but I wanted to work on myself and which I did now and he says that he doesn’t love me but we text back and forth in a friendly way. How can I make him fall for ma again? I was kinda toxic in most part of the relationship and I’m a better person now so how can I get him back ?

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      August 18, 2017 at 5:54 pm

  7. shaziya

    August 17, 2017 at 5:24 am

         me and my bf was in a relationship for almost five years.. everything was fine he was loving and caring but dono what happened we were fighting a lot during past few weeks… in my relationship he was the one who was always trying to reach out to me .. he was the one who always convinced me and pampered me.. I was not much into this relationship … he was studying with me in the same college for 4 years and we never fought with each other during this 4 years .. after that I went out to work to a different city and he was in his home trying to clear his arrears he used to come over there to spend time with me… last month we started arguing with each other he told me that I always get angry &and always he is the one who is asking sorry always ..( I was dumped 7 years ago by a guy who thought I was loving him so much and he told that it irritates him) so I didn’t want that to happen again so I never initiated anything but loved him more n more as he started involving…I felt bad and genuinely I thought I should correct my behaviour so I started my relationship as he was asking me to be.. but suddenly he changed his nature and started to argue with me alot he was always angry on me n I was trying fix everything .. but it wasn’t going rite he started hitting me with his anger again n again… I was so much frustrated at some point he told me that he doesn’t know whether he is in love with me or not.. and the day came which I wasn’t expecting all of a sudden my ex bf txted him and he called me and shouted at me like hell.. I was hurt by that act ( he never scolded me for anything and this is the first time he said hurtful things) tears were rolling down on my cheeks .. I ran into my moms arm and told her tat my bf shouted at me.. my mum called him and asked him why he is doing this (my mum was unaware of our relationship) he didn’t answered anything..  As I was emotionally hurt I told my mum about everything ( we belong from different religions ) so my mum asked him Wether he will convert his religion in order to marry me he replied that he has to take care of his family and he cant convert.. my mum (she was ready to accept orelationship but told him to convert into my religion)told him to brokeup with me if he isn’t ready to convert…then he stopped texting and calling me and I was pleeding and begging him to text me around 3 days.. finally he texted me like I dont want to be a burden to your family so forget everything about me like this.. .. after tat I did the NC after reading your blog.. I was in NC for a week and my bf was checking my status on my whatsup everyday.. yesterday my mom came to me with a conclusion( because I was crying everyday) and told me tat “let it be im not going to hurt u more its your life if you love him truely and want him this much, then i should stop thinking about religion” I was surprised when I heard this… i was overwhelmed on hearing this.. all I could remember was what he told me before our break up” he told me religion was his main problem so I thought of calling him again and telling him that my mother accepted our love.. my mum called him yesterday and told him that look mr.. my daughter loves u so much I want her to be happy so religion isn’t a problem from the girl side… still he didn’t replied anything to my mum my mum was asking him again and again he didn’t replied anything.. I got angry I called himand asked him “are you okay now … now we have to convince your family alone because my mum is okay with our relationship” I thought he wil be excited and will be so much happy .. but none of this happened he was quite when I was telling this and again I asked him does he loves me or not again he was quite again I asked him do u want this relationship or not again he was quite finally I asked him what’s ur problem just open up the one thing he told me was” nothing” and disconnected my call.. I dono what is happening exactly. .. im confused

  8. jen

    August 16, 2017 at 7:00 am

    what if you got really close to the end then he felt rejected when you didnt want sex and accused you of playing games and got into a row where he said he didnt want to try again didnt want a fresh start but then apologised for over reacting? my emotions are all over & i think i killed it. i stopped talking for a couple of days then he messaged me we spoke for a couple of days he even asked me to tell him what songs i like so he could practice his mixing. but its more me who starts the conversations and i feel like i annoy him. is there still hope can i recover this? or should i just accept its done?

    1. jen

      August 16, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      hi amor how long do you do it for not the full 30 again?

    2. EBR Team Member: Amor

      August 17, 2017 at 3:22 pm

      How many full 30 days if nc have you done?

    3. EBR Team Member: Amor

      August 16, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      Restart nc instead if you still want a chance

  9. Kiana

    August 15, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    My ex and i broke up three months ago. I tried the NC rule, and it lasted only about 4 days. After, we talk every day since. There has been a few times where we would go a few days without speaking to each other but would end up talking again. Its very small talk; He takes hours to respond, but ill see him on instagram and snapchat so i know hes ignoring me. He doesn’t put in much effort either to see me or anything. But when he does see me, he kisses me and gets intimate. He keeps saying that hes confused about whether to get back together or not, but he says hes keeping an open mind about the idea. We were together for 2 years, and we also lived together. We also planned to get married ect, but he kicked me out over a small argument… Im just confused because its been 3 months and hes still confused and is showing mixed signals… Help??

    1. EBR Team Member: Amor

      August 16, 2017 at 1:25 pm

      Hi Kiana,

      Are you going to restart nc? If yes, do at least 30 days..