Why Did Your Ex Boyfriend Break Up With You Out of the Blue?

Perhaps everything has been going well in your relationship, or so you thought. Then out of the blue, your ex drops a bomb on you and tell you he wants to break up.

You just can’t figure out why.

After all, you don’t remember having any big argument recently. For some of you, maybe your ex was even talking about marriage just a few weeks ago.

You were caught unaware and totally blindsided.

Like most people, you probably begged and pleaded a little bit, hoping that he will come back. You also questioned your ex but received an answer you somehow knew was not true or at least not the entire truth.

 

Breakups Don’t Happen Out of the Blue

First, it is important to recognize that breakups are unlikely to happen suddenly.

I know it may seem that way to you but definitely not for your ex.

Most probably, your ex has been ruminating about it for at least a few weeks to a few months before announcing it to you.

Why is that so?

Because a breakup is a tough decision. It takes courage.

On one hand, there are things that your ex really treasure in the relationship. On the other hand, your ex is becoming increasingly dissatisfied.

That is why your ex wanted to take the time to carefully reconsider his decision. He doesn’t want to make a decision he will regret.

Once he has decided to breakup, he still need to figure out how to break the news to you.

For some men, this process alone can take a few weeks. Why is that so?

 

Well, let me go through their thought process with you.

“Hmmm… how can I break up with her without hurting her?”

“What reason should I use to break up with her?”

And you know what? I won’t be surprised if your ex decided to go online and research how to break up with you.

After some research, your ex finally concluded that no matter how he does it, regardless of what reason he uses, you are still going to be hurt.

He finally realized that he has to do it anyway. So he decided to break the news the next time he meet up with you.

However, on that fateful day, somehow he just couldn’t bring himself to say it.

Why?

Well, there are many possible reasons.

Maybe the date went well on that day and caused him to question his decision. Maybe he wanted to have more time to consider. Maybe he just didn’t have the courage to say it.

This can go back and forth for a few weeks.

All the while, you were oblivious to what was happening in his mind.

Then suddenly, he realized that in 2 weeks time, it will be your birthday. Or maybe it is a special occasion such as Valentines Day, Christmas or your anniversary.

He decided that it is not a good idea to break up with you during any of these special days.

Once again, another few weeks are gone before he finally drops the bombshell on you.

Now, obviously not every guy will go through the same thought process.

I am simply talking about the worst case scenario where the guy really dilly-dally before breaking up with you.

Some guys will breakup with you regardless of the occasion.

Some guys won’t even have the courage to break up with you face to face. They will just do it over the phone, text message, a letter or Facebook.

However, I believe that most guys will go through some of the processes mentioned above before breaking up with you.

The reason I am telling you all these is to illustrate to you that a breakup is a well thought out process. It is seldom as “out of the blue” as you think.

And that leads to another point.

 

Why Your Ex Won’t Tell You The Truth

As I explained above, a breakup is really tough and your ex wanted the relationship to end as smoothly as possible.

Most importantly, he wanted to minimize the hurt to you.

That is why your ex will try to use the easiest excuse to break up with you such as:

It’s not you, it’s me.

In fact, your ex will probably compliment you and say things like “you are the best thing that ever happened to me”.

What your ex is trying to do is to protect your feelings.

 

Why Your Ex Is So Sweet To You Even Though He Has Already Decided to Break Up With You

One reason why many women are so shocked is because their ex was so sweet to them just a few weeks or even a few days before the breakup.

Maybe they were even talking about marriage, buying a house and starting a family.

Maybe they just came back from vacation and had a really great time.

So why all of a sudden, their ex wanted to end the relationship?

Well, there are 3 possible reasons I can think of. In fact, it can be a combination of any of these 3 reasons.

 

Your Ex Doesn’t Want to Rock The Boat

Your ex is still in the decision making phase. Until he is absolutely sure about his decision, he doesn’t want to rock the boat.

 

Your Ex Wants To Alleviate His Guilt

Perhaps you have treated your ex really well, maybe even much better than he treated you. He finds you a really wonderful person.

That is why he feels guilty. In order to alleviate his guilt, he tries to treat you as well as he can before breaking up with you.

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Your Ex Is Trying To Save The Relationship

As I mentioned above, a breakup is a really tough decision. If possible, he doesn’t even want to make a decision.

By going to a vacation with you, or talking about marriage, or doing romantic things together, he was hoping that he can convince himself to stay in the relationship.

At last, doing all these things doesn’t really get to the root of the problem because he is just doing it alone.

You weren’t even aware of what he was thinking, so it never occurred to you that something needs to change in order to save the relationship.

Eventually, he still decided to go ahead with the breakup.

 

What You Should Do Next

Chances are, you probably want to find out the real reason so that you can at least get closure.

However, I suggest that you just let go of it.

Closure is nothing more than a myth. The only person who can give you closure is yourself.

If you are truly ready to let go, you don’t need someone else to give you closure. If you need someone to give you closure, it means you are not ready to let go.

 

But Shouldn’t I Learn From My Mistakes?

Yes, if you can learn from your mistakes, that will be great. However, I don’t think the best way to do so is to ask your ex boyfriend.

Let me illustrate by asking you a simple question.

 

What do you want in life?

Chances are, 9 out of 10 people are going to be stumped by this question.

Alright, maybe the question is a bit too broad. Let’s be more specific.

 

What do you really want in your relationship?

Once again, I won’t be surprised if many people can’t answer the question.

The fact is, many people can clearly tell you what they don’t want but they have difficulties telling you exactly what they want.

When it comes to affairs of the heart, people are even more confused.

Earlier, I mentioned some reasons why your ex won’t tell you the truth. Perhaps I should add one more reason here.

It is because your ex is confused.

There is no way you can get a good answer out of a confused ex.

 

Your Ex Is Someone Who Doesn’t Speak His Mind

Somehow, I noticed this trend in the comments and emails I received. It may not be true all the time but whenever I received a “sudden breakup” situation, it is usually accompanied by an ex boyfriend who doesn’t speak his mind.

That is why I will see comment such as:

We seldom argue throughout our relationship but my boyfriend just broke up with me for no reason.

So if your ex boyfriend happens to be someone who tend to bottle up his feelings, what do you think is your chances of getting the real answer from him?

That is why I don’t encourage you to try and force the answer out from your ex. It will just create more tension and chances are you are still not going to get answers that are helpful.

 

Self Reflection Is The Way to Go

Most probably, you are not as clueless as you think.

If you are willing to spend a bit of time on self reflection and be honest with yourself, you will definitely be able figure out something you can improve on.

So I think it is unnecessary to learn your mistakes from your ex before you can improve yourself.

If you still insist on getting the answer from your ex, I suggest that you do it 2 years later.

Why 2 years later?

Because by then, both of you should be in a better place emotionally and he is more likely to tell you the truth.

But I believe when the time comes, you won’t be as interested in the answer because you have already moved on.

Which proves the point.

You are the only one who can give yourself closure.

 

The Ultimate Reason Why Your Ex Broke Up With You

If you want to get your ex back, this is something you have to know.

Yes, there can be many reasons for breaking up. Whether they are “real” or “crap” reasons, they are nothing more than surface level reasons.

The ultimate reason for any breakup is the loss of emotional connection.

If the emotional connection is strong enough, a couple will choose to stay together no matter what difficulties they are facing.

That is why if you want to save your relationship, it is totally pointless for you to find out why from your ex boyfriend.

Whatever reasons he can give you is only surface level. Even if you know the real answer, as long as you can’t connect with him emotionally, you are unlikely to get back together.

Therefore, if you want to get your ex back, you need to focus on the emotional connection.

That is the reason why I tell people not to waste time playing mind games such as making your ex jealous or making your ex miss you.

Doing those things will not equip you with the necessary skills to connect with your ex on a deeper emotional level.

If you are interested to find out what these skills are, you can read this article:

What It Really Takes To Get Your Ex Boyfriend Back

 

Why Is My Opinion So Different From Other Relationship Experts?

I wouldn’t be surprised if you have read other articles of the same topic.

Most of them are telling you that if your ex dumped you out of the blue, he is probably a commitment phobe or he is emotionally immature. Therefore you should move on.

If I was writing about this topic 3 years ago, I would probably have sang the same tune.

But due to life experiences and what I have seen over these 3 years, it has broaden my perspective.

I now believe that even “impossible” situations can be turned possible. Of course, I am not saying that all relationships can be saved or are worth saving. But I do believe that most are.

So before you give up on your relationship because other websites are telling you to do so, I want to encourage you to at least give it your best shot first before giving up.

Even if you don’t succeed, at least you can pat yourself on the back because you have already tried your best. You can move on without any regrets.

Want to drastically increase your chances of getting your ex back? Then sign up for my newsletter below. I will be sharing with you critical information you are unlikely to find yourself even if you spend the next 100 hours researching on the Internet.

 

17 thoughts on “Why Did Your Ex Boyfriend Break Up With You Out of the Blue?

  1. Hi Mark , can you give me some advice or opinions ? First of all I am sorry for the rather long story. This is what happened:
    My ex-boyfriend and I dated for a year. We were doing long distance most of the time as I am studying in another state but I come back pretty often as it is not that far. He was sweet and caring and all but I have to admit that sometimes it felt like he doesn’t care about me enough. Last month he broke up with me out of the blue. He said he felt like he was dragging me along and he cried. He said he still loves me but he is not in love with me and he is not sure what he really wants. I was so shocked and I made a mistake. I tried to convince him to not give up. It lasted for another week. In that week he was cool and distant. I can’t stand it and so I talked to him and finally I agreed to break up. He said he has his own issues and he needs time to figure things out alone. Both of us didn’t want to just lose contact and not be in each other lives so we agreed to keep seeing each other like how we used to. It was like we were a couple without the titles of boyfriend and girlfriend.

    Things were getting better and I felt like we were back to the time when we were flirting. That kind of relationship lasted for two weeks . I was too insecure as before the break up I found out that he was texting with his ex girlfriend. I confronted him and he apologized and he said they didn’t talk much and the conversation wasn’t friendly as they had a really bad break up back then. But because of that I became so insecure plus I wasn’t his girlfriend anymore in that two weeks. We still got intimate and interacted like a couple. Finally I talked to him and he admitted that it was difficult for him to see me too after breaking up. So we agreed to not see each other nor talk for at least a few weeks then we will talk again later. I thought we will be talking like normal friends. So after a week of no contact I texted him and I asked him if he is okay to talk . He said he isn’t. Then the next week I texted him again asking what did he meant when he said we will talk again and what are we going to talk about. He said we are going to talk about if we are better off and he wasn’t ready to talk about it yet. He said he will come and talk when he figured things out. I got confused but I agreed to wait.

    So I gave him space and time by going no contact for 30 days. In the 30 days he did asked mutual friends if I was okay and asked them to look after me and talk to me. I am not sure if he did that because he still cares or out of guilt.After the no contact period, I texted him and he was nice and friendly. We talked for two days . I tried to keep the conversation short and I didn’t bring up anything about the relationship. But my best friend who happens to be our mutual friend kinda scolded him and asked him to make things clear with me. And so he did. He told me it is better this way and he is okay with staying friends as long as I do not hope for anything more. We are still talking today as he is helping me to fix my laptop . But I want him back . I am not sure if I should keep talking to him after this . What should I do to get him back ? I am now in the same state with him as I am on my summer break but I am going back to study soon. What can I do now ? How can I tell if he still has feelings for me ? Thank you so much.

    • You need to be able to meet him where he is at emotionally. If he just wants to be friends for now, you need to be truly alright with that. Being friends with him gives you the chance to build up your emotional connection with him.

      Once the emotional connection is strong enough, the feelings will come again. So you don’t need to figure out whether he still has feelings for you. That is irrelevant because just after a breakup, it is expected that his feelings for you will be at a very low level. Otherwise, the breakup wouldn’t have happen in the first place.

      You need to understand that feelings can be changed. Today you can love someone. Tomorrow you can hate the same person. The day after next, you can fall in love again. Of course, I am just using an analogy here. I am not saying that it just take 2 days to change feelings.

      What I am saying is, given enough time, you can change someone’s feelings about you.

      With that said, to do the things I mentioned above, you need to be emotionally strong enough. If you are still hurting and you are still in reaction mode, you will have the tendency to make things worse.

      For example, if everything he says or does can hurt you easily, then how are you going to connect with him emotionally? Make sense?

      You also need to learn the necessary relationship skills in order to increase your ability to get your ex to open up. If you don’t have the necessary skills to get your ex to open up, then it will be very hard to deepen your emotional connection with your ex.

      So what you should do now is to take the time to heal, develop your emotional strength and cultivate new relationship skills before you try to get him back again.

      In other words, you need to reinvent yourself so that you have a higher chance to get your ex back. If you haven’t already, you may want to read this article for more information.

      You also need to have a realistic expectation. Saving a relationship can take at least a few months.

      Chances are you won’t be able to get him back during your summer break. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get back together in the future. So don’t set artificial time limit. It is not necessary a bad thing after all. It gives you the time to deepen your skills and slowly get to know each other all over again.

      This will allow both of you to get back together in a healthy way, giving the relationship a stronger foundation.

      Also, try not get friends involved. Usually, friends will make the situation worse. So far, I have never heard of people getting back together after getting scolded by friends. The relationship is between you and him after all. He will only be committed to the relationship if he is the one who made the decision to get back together.

      If he get back together with you because of pressure from friends, then it is very unlikely that the relationship will last. So do take note of that.

  2. Mark please can you help me,
    My boyfriend of three and a half years broke up with me three weeks ago, he told me that he still loves me but isn’t in love with me anymore and wasn’t happy in the relationship but we might be able to get back together in the future, he promised me he wasn’t just saying this to make it easier for me to deal with.
    Over a year and a half ago he did this before and we weren’t together for 7 months but still used to see each other everyday and be in contact with each other and we eventually got back to normal, however this time he hardly speaks to me phones me up every now and again to see how I am but that’s it. To make things we work together as I was able to get him a job with myself as he was struggling to find work..

    I don’t know what to do, this boy is my world and I love him so much, the break up was a complete shock to me and everyone else around us as nobody saw it coming, I just don’t know what I can do to get him back again please help :'(

  3. Hi, Mark. Before getting to my story, I should say that this article was the most realistic one among all the ones I have read these days, and there were not even a few of them.
    Well, my ex and I had a long-distance relationship for almost a year. I thought everything was OK as we did not even fight or discuss once and he always told me that he was in love with me and wanted to marry me and many more things…
    Then, suddenly he broke up with me as he said he could not do long-distance anymore and it was hurting him a lot. He was going to a long trip for 3 months and he said let us talk again when I am back. We, mostly I, kept texting and calling say once o twice a week and he always told me that he missed me and loved me and … .
    Cut the long story short, about 40 days ago, before he was back, I told him that I could no longer do this and we did not have a single contact from that day on.
    I am not saying I can not live without him or so. But I am wondering is there any chance that he would come back to me after such a long time ( more than 3 months)? Should I do anything?
    Thanks!

    • There are people out there who get back together after 6 months, 9 months or any other length of time. So I don’t see why you have no chance. Yes, there are certainly things you can do. You should spend time developing your relationship skills and emotional strength.

      Let’s briefly talk about why relationship skills and emotional strength are important.

      There are many possible reasons that can cause a breakup. Regardless of the reasons, it always boils down to the loss of emotional connection. If the emotional connection between a couple is strong enough, no reason can separate them. On the other hand, if the emotional connection is weak, people can break up over the lamest reason.

      That is why if you want to get your ex back, you need to focus on the emotional connection. Improving your relationship skills will increase your ability to connect with your ex on a deeper emotional level.

      Emotional strength is equally important and will also affect your ability to connect with your ex. This is because you are probably going to face a lot of obstacles while you are trying to connect with your ex. Without the emotional strength, you will get hurt easily. When you are not in the right place emotionally, whatever that comes out from you will not make your ex feels comfortable. That will not inspire emotional connection.

      That is why before you even try to get your ex back, you need to spend a period of time working on yourself to develop your relationship skills and emotional strength. I explained in a lot more details here.

  4. Hi Mark,

    My ex-boyfriend and I had been together for about a year and a half. We dated for seven months last year until he broke up with me out of the blue for a bunch of generalized reasons – not sure about the future, compatibility – but nothing specific. We started talking every day again, even while he was away traveling for two and a half months. When he got back, we decided to give it a more official shot. We spent almost every day together, met each others’ families, and were quite intense. He never acted less than completely in love with me, even calling me in front of his guy friends constantly to tell me how much he missed me and needed me if I wasn’t there. He broke up with me out of the blue again for the same generalized reasons, but this time added that he wasn’t sure he loved me or if he ever would, and that he didn’t know if it was right, and that he had no idea what he was doing. He said that when he was traveling, he thought he would come back and we would fall in love and that I was it, and he didn’t get why everything between us wasn’t happening as he thought it ‘should.’ I offered plenty of solutions to fix communication and take steps back, which he seemed to agree to, and would then backtrack and remain stubborn about breaking up.
    He’s the kind of person that has an idea of what they should be and what they should feel, and gets very upset when he feels lacking. He’s deeply unhappy in general, and is worried about never truly being happy. Could this have caused the breakup?
    I’m pretty crushed and obviously want to find a way to make it work. I’m very stuck on the ‘I don’t love you’ part — is that a defense mechanism to talk himself into making the decision? Is there any hope here at all?

    • It seems like he is going through sort of a mid life crisis. This is a very common problem in today’s modern society. Somehow, many people just don’t feel good enough about themselves. They always think that they have to achieve something before they can be happy. It may be a possible reason for the breakup.

      As for whether there is hope, I would say yes. You can clearly tell that he is confused. I will take that as a good sign. The fact that he is confused shows that at least, a part of him does want to get back together with you. So your chance is definitely there.

  5. Hey,

    I read all your emails and advice on relationships and it has helped deal with and manage my relationship with my lover, whom I’ve been with for 3 months.

    See, up until Wednesday my boyfriend and I have been doing great. We haven’t fought, just a disagreement but we end up looking and understanding each other’s point of views and as your emails said, I should be an understanding, supportive , caring girlfriend and that I was. I never rushed him, didn’t except us to speak 24/24 hours a day and gave him space. He always said how perfect and amazing and how lucky he is to be with someone like me.He is a busy guy and has a lot on his plate when it comes to work.

    He is an entrepreneur and is in several business opportunities. 2 weeks go, he was threatened to be taken out of his team. I encouraged him and prayed for him and was there for him through it. He ended up staying in the group.

    This past week he was put under stress because of all the work he has and as an understanding girlfriend and because I know who he is I decided to not bother or message him during the day and sent occasional I hope your okay and have a good day messages and in the evenings he’d call to tell me about his day.

    We live in different cities not far from each other and we planned to meet up on the Wednesday and spend the day together. I was excited because I care about him.

    Wednesday ( 2 and a half weeks ago) came, he came to pick me up but told me we needed to talk. So at my house I decided that we should just talk then and there instead of going away.

    He broke up with me out of the blue. Told me that he has a lot on his plate and has been accepting a lot of things in terms of work and also because he is planning on going to study his masters in America.

    He said he wants to be with me and cares about me and mentioned how perfect I am etc, so I asked him if he wants me then why is he doing this? He said that his heart tells him he is going to regret this but he thinks it’s better for him to do it now then later and he doesn’t want to string me along. He knew this year would be a busy and stressful year.

    I asked him why didn’t he keep to that and not enter into s relationship. He said that from the moment he saw me he knew he wanted a relationship and had mentioned before we started dating that he wants to be in a relationship so in my mind I’m wonder what happened. I told him how he makes me feel and that I don’t want to lose him and want him in my life. He said the same and said we are compatible and I make him happy and give him peace and I’m like an escape. Everyone else in his life is a loud voice and I’m the soft calming voice. He also said that he felt as though he was neglecting me , but I felt pretty secure, comfortable and extremely cared for by him.

    I then told him that I want him but I can’t do anything about it or change his mind because he doesn’t want me and that I’ll meet someone that’s meant to be with me.He then said he doesn’t want to picture me with another guy and that I should become a nun.

    He insisted on meeting my family – parents, siblings. So he met them and my brother said to him that ” he should take care of me” which he agreed.

    On Wednesday as we were speaking, he mentioned that I shouldn’t be scared to message or call him at anytime. He said I should expect a text from him as well and that he was leaving the country on Friday and when he gets back on the following Tuesday we’ll meet up and talk again because he has heard my side of the story and need time to think about what I’ve said.

    It’s been a few days and I haven’t sent him a text and neither has he. Last week Thursday I mentioned that I had his birthday gift and we agreed to meet up so I could give it to him. So i decided that I would leave it at his apartment. Friday came and it was his birthday. I bumped into him at the mall and we spoke and hugged each other about 3 times. I met his friend who also gave me a hug and kiss on my cheek. They asked about my plan for the day and weekend. After seeing him I sent him a message telling him it was good seeing him and happy birthday. He sent me a message thanking me for the gift and saying I should have a good weekend. He ended the text with a kissing heart emoji. I sent one back saying its a pleasure with the same emoji.

    We haven’t spoken since then and I was planning on sending him a text telling him about a movie we watched together and made me think of him to start communication between us. My going crazy because I know he is the one for me , but I know that I should have my hopes up because I don’t know what he is thinking and what he wants.

    In my heart I know he is the one for me! I know I shouldn’t have hope because he doesn’t want to be with me and I fight the hope in order for me to move on and be happy but I still feel that he is the one and I want him back. In your opinion what do you think of the situation and think o should do?

    Many thanks

  6. Hi Mark,

    My ex and I broke up 8 months ago and it seemed completely out of the blue. We rarely fought, and the night that we broke up, he had been talking about our plans to move in together, get married, etc. (I did not bring up these topics of conversation; he did). The only point of concern that we had discussed a few times was kids — I thought I probably wanted one eventually (mostly because it was expected next step in life/it is a human experience that I’ve been told that everyone “should” want) and he was deeply ambivalent, although from talking through things I thought we had come to an agreement on the issue (no kids for at least 6 or 7 years until both of us were more established in our careers). I should note that he is a perfectionist, extremely neurotic, very ambitious and committed to his work, and is bipolar depressive (no mania). I am also very ambitious and career driven, though at the time of the breakup, I was going through a rough patch in a new environment, had lost some of my old confidence, and was perhaps slightly emotionally needier than I had previously been. His reason for the breakup was that he did not think he could not provide me with the serious relationship that I wanted and deserved because he was too immature, depressed, and worried about career/not wanting kids/financial security, etc. and that although he knew he would regret breaking up, he thought that it would be better for us in the long run to not be together. He also said that he thought he was incapable of being in a real relationship with anyone and that he was taking himself out of the dating scene for at least several years, if not indefinitely. The breakup threw me into a very deep depression for several months, during which time we were “still friends” — we would hang out (grab coffee/drinks, go to a play, go hiking) though only because I kept reaching out to him to do these things and maintain that connection. Around 2 months post breakup, I broke down and asked if we could try the relationship again but more casually, without the longer-term expectations, or even be in a FWB situation — and he unequivocally said no (particularly adamantly against FWB because he thought it was unethical to sleep with a woman without any plans on being in a relationship with her and that FWB would give me false hope). After that conversation, he became very distant and for a couple months we were only seeing each other to catch up once a month or so (I was not doing NC per se, but we would go a month or more without contact until I’d reach out to catch up). Gradually, 4-5 months post break up I started to move out of my depression and get somewhat better (although still very much in love with him and not entirely healed). I dated a few other guys somewhat halfheartedly, but more importantly I regained my confidence career-wise and the last couple of months have been really kicking ass. About 3 months ago, I told him that I really valued having him in my life, that I didn’t want our past history to make things awkward/make him push me away, that I was no longer depressed and was dating other people, and that was in a better headspace to really be friends. Over the next 2 months after that conversation, he very slowly started to initiate our catch-up sessions (still only seeing each other once ever 3 weeks or so, but I was no longer constantly doing the reaching out). In the last month however, things have started to warm up a great deal — we have been going to plays and museums together, he asked me to help him go clothes shopping, and in the last two weeks we started hanging out at his place talking late into the night (before, he had made it a point that we should only hang out in public places and never at home). This last week I was over at his place twice, and ended up sleeping over due to us talking until past midnight (he took the couch and physically nothing happened beyond some cozying up a little on the couch when we were both drunk (e.g. head on shoulder)). The last time I was over, we got into some heavy conversation about a very old past trauma I had had (unrelated to our relationship) and I asked him if he could hold me as I was upset — we ended up cuddling on his bed for a half hour or so before he returned to sleep on the couch. I feel like all of these recent behaviors and signs point to a potential rekindling of the relationship, but I am not sure whether it is that, or just a kindling of a very close platonic friendship. Through the grapevine, I have heard that even as of 3 weeks or so ago (at the very beginnings of things starting to warm up) when someone asked if he thought we might get back together, he said no (this was told to someone that he had no reason to think would lead to the information getting back to me). And although we have been physically a little closer in the last week (i.e. cuddling), it has only ever been when we were a little buzzed and/or I asked him to cuddle me for comfort (after the heavy conversation). When we are sober normally, there is a pretty clear invisible line of avoiding being too close physically. On the other hand, he is always very chivalrous and solicitous — always concerned about whether I’ve eaten properly or am cold, constantly offering me his coat (even when it’s not that cold), offering to drive me places/do me favors. Last night, my apartment had gotten flooded so I called late asking if I could crash at his place again and he was quick to agree (again, he took the couch). Given all of this behavior, I have to admit that my hopes have gotten way up and I’m definitely emotionally invested/preoccupied by the situation, though trying very hard to not be reactive/attached. At the same time, I’m still not sure whether the situation is just him wanting to be close friends. Because we share an emotional intimacy and always have a great time when together, I can see him wanting to maintain that in his life, especially because he does not have many friends and he is not dating at all. I will say that over the past 8 months, my vision for what I want out of a long-term relationship/partner has shifted quite a bit — as my career ambitions and opportunities have developed, and given how long and how much work it will take over the next 10-15 years to achieve them, I’ve come to the conclusion that I do not want children (NB: we are both in our early 30s). My ex has changed quite a bit as well — he is recently on new medication that has lifted a depression that had been ongoing for many years and his mood, viewpoints on life, anxiety levels, and generally well-being is a complete 180 from how he was when we broke up (he has both told me about this at length and I have observed these changes myself). The point of all this long rambling being — from everything I’ve written so far, what is the most likely place my ex is at with regards to possibly starting up relationship again, and more importantly, what should I do? I would really like to talk to him about how both our headspaces and lifespaces seem to be leaps and bounds better and more compatible now than they were when we broke up, which might be a good reason to consider getting back together. However, I’m afraid that perhaps his warmer recent behavior is just platonic and that mentioning getting back together will drive him away and make him distant again (because he doesn’t want to give me “false hope”). I place high value on his friendship and presence in my life and I really don’t want to jeopardize that. But I also think that trying again makes a lot of sense right now and I want to pursue that possibility. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    • Let’s put it this way.

      When it comes to getting your ex back, there are 2 ends.

      On one end of the spectrum, there is the 0% mark where your ex is totally ignoring and resisting you.

      On the other end is the 100% mark where you are happily back together.

      Judging from what you mentioned so far, it seems like you are somewhere between the 60% to 80% mark.

      So you shouldn’t be worried when a friend told you he has no intention of getting back together. Before you cross over the 80% mark, he is unlikely to consider getting back together.

      You also don’t have to worry about friend zone. Friend zone doesn’t exist between ex lovers.

      It is still too early to talk about getting back together. Wait till you reach stage 5, the 80% to 100% mark. If you try to have the conversation too early, you may end up sabotaging yourself.

      You can sign up for my newsletter if you want to learn more. I like to share the best of the best information with my subscribers only.

      On day 11 of my newsletter, you will receive an email about the 5 stages of getting back together. Once you gone through that information, you will start to have a better understanding of my answer here.

  7. Hi Mark,
    My boyfriend of 8 months broke up with me 10 days ago, last month he already told me he needed time to think and we took some time apart for a month, I gave him the space he wanted and after that when I wanted to tell him that I was ready to make our relationship works, he told me that he wanted to break up, that it was a hard decision to make and that he hesitated for a long time but came to the conclusion that he was not in love with me and wanted me in his life as a friend, but like you wrote, he didn’t feel an emotional connection between us anymore. Our relationship wasn’t perfect but things were great between us most of the time, we travelled the world together for 4 months and then we were long distance (3 hours drive so we managed to see each other 3-4 times a month). I think the distance made him lose this connection but I know it’s still there somewhere and I want it back. I want him to remember what we had and get him back. I went no contact after the break up, I told him I needed time for myself and that if we keep on talking everyday I wouldn’t be able to move on. The truth is I don’t want to move on but I don’t know what to do to get him back? Any advice? Do you think there’s still a chance ?

    • Well, there are people with more difficult situation than yours getting back together. So the chance is definitely there. The key is you. Your mindset and whether you are following the right plan will influence your chances of getting your ex back.

      Here is sort of a big picture plan of what you need to do. First, you need to give yourself time to heal and get your emotions under control. Next, you need to spend time developing your relationship skills so that you have the capability to connect with your ex on a deeper emotional level.

      I discussed this in more details in this article. It is a pretty long and detailed article. You may want to read it if you haven’t already.

      • Thank you for your reply, this gave me hope. I read the article your suggested and I plan on reading your others articles too, I like your approach with things, without all the mind games. I will try to follow your advices on meditation and awareness and hope it will help me!

  8. Hello Mark!
    I have a question. (First, I’ll give some background): the breakup wasn’t that bad it was neutral, but it was by text, back in January(bob initiated it). Second, we were going out for around a year and a half. We have a lot in common like hobbies and opinion on various things. If I remember correctly, we broke up because a lot has been going on in our lives, [family problems, etc] bob also didn’t exteriorise his feelings much so he only told me in the end what he didn’t like about me; I criticized a lot, which was true, and since then I worked on it. I personally thought he stopped making time for me.).

    Since then, i tried to keep talking to him after the breakup but I saw that clearly it wasn’t working despite him wanting to be friends (he told me he wanted to focus on his family and friends and school) I have been in no contact for a month, and we started talking again (texting) from time to time (he seems to talk less, but he told me he does this with everyone, but answers when he can and is casual) and we eventually met up.

    Clearly (lets call this person bob) bob and I went for coffee (around coffee for like 2-3 hours and taking a walk) bob really seemed to enjoy his time, laughing, even mentioning more than once how relaxed he felt, and wasn’t acting uncomfortable at all. Bob even said lets meet up again soon and hugged (friendly hug) me when we had to part ways.

    However, the week after that when i asked bob if he wanted to go see something (like a special event Bob likes) he said he didn’t want to be rude but actually feels kind of uncomfortable around me, and said he doesn’t know why. I just said that I appreciate bob being honest.

    What is going on? I didn’t bring up relationship or anything to the table, however he did talk about it shortly saying things like “i did things i regret doing” kind of. (To which I listened and acknowledged and then talked about something else). Also Bob has some personal issues with his family which seems to have made him kind of down for a long time, and he told me about it a lot. I’d like to know if you have an idea about what’s going on, and what i should do to help him feel more comfortable to meet up again.

    Now, if I “assume” Bob isn’t trying to string me along, I would also like to know how you perceive his behavior.

    Thank you very much Mark.

    • Sorry for the late reply. I can see that you have signed up for my newsletter for quite a while. So you have already received the videos I sent you about the various stages of getting your ex back. Have you watched the videos yet? You are somewhere at Stage 2 now. He is trying to see if he can be around you without feeling the pressure of getting back together.

      Don’t take it too personally. It is not necessary because you have done something wrong. You did the right thing by not talking about the relationship. However, do understand that his behavior is quite normal. It is very normal for someone to be guarded in the beginning in the first few meetings.

      What you should do is to be consistent. Consistency is the key to getting him to trust you. It takes time. Stick to your game plan. Don’t react together with him.

      If you want him to be comfortable meeting you, you need to focus on the emotional connection. Learn to feel what he is feeling. He has told you about his family issues. That can be a great opportunity for emotional connection if you are able to show him that you understand him.

      • I see! Thank you very much Mark. Right now we are both busy with school so i don’t have time to text him. But i’ll keep everything you said in mind. Thanks again!

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