They always come back!
A story as old as a handmaid’s tale. Exes that suddenly pop out of the woodwork after you finally moved on.
In the three real relationships and multiple situationships I have been in, this phenomenon always held true. The moment I completely gave up on a hopeless relationship and finally broke off the soul tie, the old boo showed back up.
It’s weird and often makes you feel like he really is “The One”. It’s almost like they can smell that you are happy and are looking to mess up your love life again. Of course, I hope that is not true…Even though some of them definitely tried it.
So why do they always come back when you move on? Well, there are most likely plenty of reasons, but I have a few theories of my own.
Why men leave and come back
Before we jump into the reasons why men always come back even if they broke up with you, the first thing I want to look at is the push-pull dynamic many relationships experience.
If you are a woman with an anxious attachment style, chances are high that you have experienced this with an avoidant man before.
To a lot of guys, especially those that are fearful-avoidant, relationships are daunting. They perceive commitment as a loss of freedom and therefore distance themselves once they develop strong feelings for a woman.
Relationship experts like to call that “commitment issues”. However, it is much deeper than that and often points to a fear of intimacy.
Of course, that doesn’t excuse that kind of behavior or should be used as an excuse to end things with a woman without warning.
However, it is something that is becoming more common in the dating world, and therefore women need to be aware of it in order to avoid unhealthy expectations of relationships.
The whole thing goes a little like this.
You hit it off, he pursues you and you give him a chance. You two build a strong connection with each other and spend a decent amount of time together. Then suddenly he pulls away even though there was no sign of conflict.
At first, you are confused and try to solve the problem. Then your anxiety is triggered and you become needy and clingy. That turns him off and he even pulls away more. Eventually, you let go and move on. Well, the moment you give up and enough time has passed for him to realize he misses you, he comes back.
It’s a very toxic cycle that can keep you in an on-again-off-again relationship for years.
And even though the push-pull dynamic will make it look like men “always come back”, this type of relationship rarely lasts long-term.
3 reasons why they always come back
So why do men come back? Here are three reasons why men come back all the time.
He regrets breaking up
Duh, he better! Of course, this is a very common reason why exes come back when you moved on. Most men regret breaking up within the first 24 hours, but of course, their ego would never admit that.
After a man breaks up with you, he has time to think about the relationship and the breakup. Suddenly, what might have felt like the right decision the day before, feels like a very bad idea the next day.
He starts to realize what a life without you really looks like and remembers the good memories. And now his alarm bells are going off because he regrets breaking up with you.
That’s when some men will contact you again to genuinely re-kindle the relationship. He may send you a simple “how are you” text, or he may cut straight to the chase and ask if there is any chance of reconciliation. Some men will try an indirect approach by liking a picture or commenting on a picture on your social media.
Either way, if he regrets dumping you then he will try to get back into your life with small gestures indicating that he wants you back. The best thing you can do then is to carefully discern whether that is a good idea or if you are ready to move on.
He is curious
Another reason why they always come back when you move on is out of curiosity.
When a man breaks up with a woman that he likes, he is either not ready to commit or preoccupied with his bachelor life. That’s usually when you will see him get into rebound relationships and ignore you.
However, it gets interesting once he realizes that you are busy living your life as well because he hasn’t heard from you in a long time. That’s when he will occasionally check in to see how you are doing. You might get an unexpected phone call from him or he might show up at an event you are attending.
Unfortunately, he is not doing that because he cares about you, but because he just wants to find out what you are up to and if he still has a hold on you.
You will usually be able to tell because he will contact you out of the blue and once he has gathered enough information, he will vanish just as quickly again.
When that happens it’s important that you protect your peace and don’t overshare. At the end of the day, you don’t owe him access to your life and get to share as little as you want with him. Remember that he is not checking in with you because he cares, but because he wants to feel better about his decision to break up.
He is playing games
Now, this last one is a step up from reason number two. While the curious guy oftentimes checks in with you subconsciously and might not even mean harm, this guy is manipulative.
He uses the revolving door to your life as he pleases to keep you hooked. He will disappear and re-appear whenever it suits him and use small excuses to stay in touch.
And the worst thing is he knows that you are still emotionally hung up on him and wants to keep it that way in order to control you. He is the type of guy that will send you mixed messages about how he misses you and wishes things could be different. But he won’t put in an effort to get back together.
He is also the type of guy that will question you about your romantic life and shame you for it.
However, just because he won’t let you go, does not mean that he loves you or wants to be with you. It simply means that he wants to control you emotionally so that he can come back into your life whenever he wants to.
Do ex-boyfriends always come back?
Of course, the most pressing question for anyone reading this, is whether your ex will ever come back to you?
And I know that question is on your mind all day because I was there myself. In my case, I was lucky that one ex did come back. However, there may be many reasons why yours might or might not.
The bottom line is, I can’t promise you that every ex boy-boyfriend comes back after breaking up with you.
However, you have better chances of seeing a man re-appear in your life if you go no-contact for a while and put yourself in charge of your own happiness.
Do ex-boyfriends come back after no contact?
I have to be completely honest with you ladies. I don’t like the “no contact rule” too much. While I acknowledge that a period of no contact is important and effective, I believe “the rule” is stupid.
Especially when it is used as a manipulation method to get your ex back. Because then it does not work. The “no contact rule” is not supposed to be a punishment for your ex. It is supposed to give you time and space to detach yourself from him.
No matter if you parted ways on good terms or not, the no contact rule should be used to gain clarity about the relationship and the breakup, not to strategize how to get him back.
I understand that getting back together might be your biggest wish at the moment. However, if your focus is constantly on your ex and all you do is obsess over him, chances are that you will just get into the same dysfunctional relationship you had the last time.
The no contact rule after a breakup works when you are completely focused on yourself.
What to do if he keeps coming back?
Different dating coaches have different philosophies when it comes to exes reaching out. In most cases, they will suggest ignoring him if it is inside the No Contact period of 30 days. Others will suggest you always reply to show your maturity.
I say it depends.
I don’t believe in harsh rules when it comes to dating, because every situation is different. However, I do believe that when you interact with him you should act out of abundance and clarity rather than scarcity and anxiety.
Therefore, in order to handle an ex coming back, you need to be 100% clear about why you are responding to his “how are you?” text.
If you are responding to him out of fear he might forget about you, or you might miss your chance if you don’t please him, then it is the wrong move.
However, if you are in a good place emotionally and mentally and do not care about the outcome of the conversation because you know your worth and won’t beg, then go ahead and reply at your convenience.
That means you can reply right away and spark a conversation, or you can wait a few hours/ days if it doesn’t suit you at the moment.
Just because your ex came back into your life does not mean you have to move heaven and earth to create space for him.
Should I take my ex back?
Of course, that completely depends on the reason why the two of you broke up.
Generally speaking, you only want to try a relationship a second time if you feel comfortable that the challenges you faced before can now be worked out.
Meaning do both of you understand how you contributed to the failure of the relationship? And if you do, did you come up with a solution together? If you didn’t then chances are high the relationship will be okay for a little while before the problems of the past show up again.