Let me tell you a secret, they always come back. It’s not a lie, I promise. Exes always find their way back to you, especially if they know you’ve moved on. Life has a tendency to confuse us from time to time, that’s all.
You’ve probably thought a lot about why exes keep coming back and, honestly, that’s a pretty complex question to answer. For some of us, the whole thing will be an enigma for as long as we breathe. Others may have an explanation.
I’ve learned a couple of things through my dating experience and exes usually come back when they miss you, they regret breaking up or they want to play you over one more time. In my case, each of their returns came back to one of those three options.
The whole break-up thing is never easy and when the exes stick around, it’s even worse. It hurts when they’re not around and it gets extremely painful when you see them. You love them in one moment and hate them in the other.
Why do they always come back?
This is a question that requires a detailed answer since the reasons for their return are never the same. Each one of them will return with their unique whys and wherefores, but these ultimately explain why are they making a comeback.
17 reasons they keep coming back
If I’m being honest, it can get complicated to the extent where you’re not even sure you’re over with the relationship or not. They’re not going to make it easier with their constant check-ups or mind games. You should prepare for some jealous scenes as well if your guy used to be a drama queen – king, I mean…
He’s going to choose the worst possible time to reach out to you, whether that is just a couple of months after your break up or even a year. He may casually send you a message or call you out of the blue. In order for you not to decode it alone, here are the main reasons why they always come back.
1. They’re afraid of being alone
A tale as old as time – they are afraid of being alone. Most people don’t know how to live their lives on their own and maybe your ex is one of them. Some of them simply aren’t capable of functioning as individuals and they need another person to support them.
Your ex probably tried living on his own and surviving, but the truth is that he’s scared of flying solo and that’s why he’ll always come back. He doesn’t care that you’ve moved on with your life and completely forgotten about him. If he needs you, he won’t hesitate to approach you again.
He’s determined to solve his problems (read: he’s an egoistic douche) and he won’t stop until he does that. I mean, it’s pretty simple, he needs you to feel whole, to feel important, and that he can’t be on his own. Would you complain to spend the rest of your life next to someone who truly values you?
I can bet that you wouldn’t, but keep one thing in mind – he’s not your problem anymore. He didn’t care about you when he had a chance, now you don’t need him. You’re better off on your own or with that new guy who’s everything your ex never was.
2. They’re curious if you miss them
It’s been a while since you parted ways and they simply want to find out how are things in your life. Do you miss them (as much as they miss you)? Is your life better now when they’re not around? Should they suggest that you get back together?
Maybe your life is miserable without them in it, and you’re faking that everything’s been better since they left. This way he’ll try to prove that he was the bright point in your life, not the other way around. They’ll never admit that they want to check up with you because they need to comfort themselves.
When they’re not sure about the whole situation, they’ll break up the no-contact rule and reach out to you. They’re not going to be direct and ask you if you truly miss them; don’t expect that, darling. They’re not going to be straightforward for one reason only – the answer you give them may hurt badly.
That’s why they’ll carefully explore the territory where they once were free to wander. Your ex knows that curiosity killed the cat, but he probably doesn’t know the second part of that saying. Don’t tell him that satisfaction brought it back, especially if you don’t want to have anything with him.
3. They’re testing your boundaries
Another self-explanatory answer to the why-do-they-always-come-back question – they’re testing your boundaries. They will contact you after some time simply to check how far they can go. Will you accept going out with them even though you’re in a new relationship?
Will you do anything for them no matter the circumstances? Can he still twist you around his little finger because you still care about him? Can he play games with you the same way he did while you were dating? He’ll try to find out the answers to all of these questions, and more.
When someone is testing your boundaries, they surely don’t do it with good intentions. He may be doing it because he wants you back and the new guy is on his way, or because he’s bored.
One thing is for sure though – he’s doing it because he can. You’re the one who let him tease you. If you don’t take the trash out of your life, it will stink forever, right?
4. They’re jealous
One of the reasons why they always come back is because they’re jealous – as simple as that. Whether it’s because of how fast you’ve moved on, or the way that you took control of your life back into your hands, they are envious.
If you’re passionate about social media and you publish updates of your personal life there, that’s how he found out all the details (of course, if you didn’t block him). He probably saw that you’re going out with someone new, or that you’ve passed the exam that was bothering you for a long time.
When men become aware of the fact that someone is treating “their” woman better than them, they get extremely jealous and they’re capable of doing weird things. Contacting you is the one that’s least dangerous, so it won’t hurt if you’re cautious about their other, possible actions.
5. They’re not done chasing you
One of the astonishing things about men is that they like to chase women. No, no, delete the picture of him running behind you from your mind. That’s not what I’m talking about.
Men like challenges and they’ll do almost anything to win over the girl of their dreams, a.k.a., you. Remember the start of your relationship when you were playing hard to get. How did he behave? Was he diligent in seducing you?
I can bet that he was going out of his way just to see you smile. But the problem is that they stop doing that as soon as they start a relationship with you. They don’t try hard enough to keep you by their side and the commitment becomes dull.
That’s why they always come back when you break up with them. The thrill is there again and you’re someone who needs to be fought for. And they’ll gladly accept that offer, believe me.
6. They’re not sure if the break-up was the right decision
We all have our doubts after making a life-changing decision, so it’s kind of natural that they’re not sure if the break-up was the right choice. That’s why they’ll come back and analyze their conclusion all over again. Unfortunately, they’ll need your help as well.
He’ll want to check if you feel the same way and if you’d like to rebuild what you two shared. When he gets back into your life, he’ll make sure he finds out if you still care about him, and if you love him; even though you’ve called it quits not so long ago.
Depending on how much time you actually need to get over your ex, this may be a tumultuous process to go through. Imagine it as some kind of a whirlwind that keeps appearing anew and it’s just moving briskly round and round.
It almost feels like you’re stuck in an infinite loop and you simply can’t run away. When they re-appear in your life, they’ll probably confuse you. But, don’t let them in and save yourself from all of this. You deserve so much more than what he has to give you, and honestly, he had his chance.
7. They’re trying to manipulate you
One of the worst reasons why they always come back is because they want to manipulate you or try to, at least. Back in the day when you were together, you showed him how much you care, he may use that now and play games just to hurt you.
He’ll want to make sure that he can control you emotionally, especially if he did have domination over your emotions during your relationship. Keep in mind that (almost) everything he does – it’s for his own good. He doesn’t care about you or other people.
In fact, he probably thinks that you’ll take him back no matter what, but prove him wrong. Don’t be the narcissist enabler and get rid of him while you still can. He’s not worth the love that you can give and you deserve so much better.
8. They feel better when you’re around
He’s either using you as his ego boost because his self-esteem is way too low, or he’s simply a narcissist who needs to be praised. Actually, there’s another one – he’s lonely. One way or another, he feels better when you’re around and when you care about him.
Usually, when men decide to contact their exes and it’s not out of good intentions, they’ll do it after a night out when they’re exhausted or even drunk. Even though he never clearly expressed his emotions, they’ll get the best of him at those moments when he’s weak.
He’s going to reach out because he believes that you’ll compliment him and lift him up, just like you used to do when you were together. If he’s an attention seeker, he probably doesn’t want anything more than to feel worthy and to know that he can turn back to you whenever he’s at his lowest.
Ditch him in this case without thinking twice about it. Don’t be someone’s attention and affection provider, especially for someone who deeply hurt you. He doesn’t want a serious relationship with you and he’ll disappear as soon as he spots the first chance. Do you really need that again?
9. They genuinely miss you
Hands down, this is the most beautiful reason why they always come back. When they genuinely miss you, they’ll find a way to approach you. And when they do, they’ll make sure you know how much they care. It’s not going to be easy for either one of you, but this is something you can work on.
Being away from you, they only remembered a bunch of good things you’ve been through together and nostalgia got the best out of them, so they reached out to the person they still love. It may be a bit hard to believe, especially if you ended things badly, but it is possible.
You know that old saying about how we don’t appreciate what we have until we lose it? That happened to him. He chose to break the no-contact rule because he’s aware of all the amazing things you made him feel and all the wonderful memories you’ve created together.
I assume he was hoping that the phase of missing you will pass soon and that he won’t have to act upon it, but boy, he was wrong. His silly text messages that would otherwise make you smile, now appear as nonsense.
That’s why you’ll tell him to forget your number when he texts you something like “Hey… Why can’t you leave my mind and my heart when you’re out of my life?” Why is it so hard to believe that he genuinely misses you?
I know that you may be afraid to go through the same pain again, but what about the love he gave you? Would you like to feel that again?
10. They know you moved on
They ALWAYS come back when they know you moved on. Always, no exception. Whether you were dating shortly or you were in a long-term relationship, your exes will pop up back in your life as soon as they find out (or sense!) that you’re over them.
Funny, isn’t it? They still believe that the world revolves around them, but the question is whose world? Yours goes around the Sun, or at least that’s what they’ve taught you in school.
When your ex notices that you’re better off without him and that your life has been nothing but perfect since he walked out, he’ll definitely want to come back. Don’t let him mess up your peace and stability. He’s not worth it and he showed you that before.
You clearly saw what he’s capable of and how far he can go with his behavior. Do you need that again? Will you let him hurt you one more time, just for fun?
We both know that as soon as he sees you with another man, he’ll slide into your DMs and become your most engaged follower on social media. He’ll like all of your posts and stories and even comment on some of them. Don’t let your now-boyfriend feel like a rebound, because he’s not that, right?
11. They regret hurting you
Okay, this is also very possible. His consciousness won’t leave him alone because he hurt you at one point. Maybe he said or did something that deeply wounded you and he became aware of it just recently. That’s why he’ll come back.
He wants to clear things up with you and he doesn’t want to feel bad about himself. Knowing that he asked for forgiveness (and probably got one) will make it easier for him. It took him some time to think about this move and it was definitely not an instant decision.
He probably went through hell and back thinking about that bad thing and he strongly decided to make it right. That’s why they always come back. They seek remorse for their wrongdoing. Can you forgive him, or will you let his guilt eat him away?
12. They want to prove that they’ve changed
We’ve heard multiple times how people can’t change and there’s nothing we can do about it. C’mon, even stone can change, or better said, it can transform. So why can’t human beings?
It’s not an easy task, but one can definitely do that. Let’s say that he had some bad habits that were bothering you while you were in a relationship. He took some time to work on himself and now he came back to show you what he has done.
Maybe he quit smoking or gave up those constant parties. He stopped flirting with random girls and perhaps he got a new job he badly wanted. You were the one who inspired him to do so, and he wants to share these good things with you.
There’s one thing about exes, they always come back when they want to prove to you that they’ve changed. Most of them don’t have bad intentions when they approach after some time. If your ex came back to tell you about his new life, he probably wants you back.
He’s going to give you an update, just so he can use it as proof that he can do better and that he’s ready to work on your relationship. A healthy relationship requires both of you to invest in it, so the change he made may convince you that he’s serious this time around.
However, some of them simply want to brag about their success and rub your nose in it, especially if they know that things haven’t been great for you recently. Don’t give in to his provocations, congratulate him and thank yourself for leaving that idiot on time.
13. They hope you’ll give them a second chance
We all have something that we deeply desire and if they come back, sometimes it means that you’re the one he truly wants. No ifs, and/or buts. It’s just you. They always come back to you full of hope that you’ll give them a second chance.
Before you do so, ask yourself a couple of questions: Is he worth it? and Did he truly change, and are his intentions genuine? Once you clear it up and know that he came back for the right reasons, you have my blessing for the rebound.
He probably realized that he’ll never find a girl that’s more perfect than you are for him. No other woman will love him the way you did or care for him as much as you did, and he’s not ready to give up on that. He’ll do anything in his power to prove to you that he regrets the break-up and he’ll ask for another chance.
Otherwise, be careful when they re-appear in your life. Yes, they loved you and probably still do in their specific way, but the thing is that their motives may not be the right ones. You have to make sure that they don’t want to hurt you more than they already did.
14. They invested a lot in your relationship
I can’t say that this one is the best reason to come back to your ex, but sometimes you may realize that you’ve invested a lot of yourself, mainly emotionally, into that relationship. And, of course, you can’t (or you don’t want to) go through that again with someone new.
They may come back for this reason. Opening up to people can be exhausting no matter how rewarding it is in the end. Some of us even have problems with that because we’re too afraid to show our vulnerable side to those who are not the chosen ones.
Also, he invested the time he spent with you, and don’t get me wrong, he wouldn’t change that for anything. But, at night when you’re alone with your own thoughts, it gets hard to think that those beautiful moments aren’t happening anymore.
So, if he approaches you because all of these negative emotions piled up and he’s not sure how to get rid of them, try to help him. He may have problems with social anxiety or something similar, so he should first solve that in order to move on from you and your past relationship.
15. Their new relationship failed
The grass is not greener on the other side as he hoped, so he wants to check if he can get back to you. Don’t let him do that, because he’s going to do that all the time. He’ll go back and forth with you and you won’t be able to build a serious relationship with him no matter how hard you try.
Exploring his options seemed like an amazing choice back in the day when he broke up with you. But now, he’s sure it was a horrible decision and he really didn’t want to hurt you. Yeah right. Tell him to keep fairy tales for someone who’ll actually believe in them.
His pursuit for a perfect woman can continue, but far away from you. Don’t let him convince you that you’re the only one he wants. If that’s the truth, he wouldn’t have left in the first place. He probably realized that another woman won’t tolerate his bad habits or compromise on things you two easily agreed on.
So you know, get ready for him to say things like “You’re the only one who understands me”, “You’re the love of my life and I’m sorry for hurting you. I promise it won’t happen again”, blah blah blah… How many times will you repeat the same mistake, girl?
16. Their friends and family convinced them to talk with you
You were probably at least a little bit anxious before meeting his family or joining his group of friends for the first time. What will they say? Will they like you? What if you say something wrong and they tell him that he’s better off without you?
After the first encounter, they couldn’t stop inviting you to their get-togethers all the time! He was completely right when he said that you’ll sweep them off their feet, right? Shame on you for not believing him back in the day.
Long story short, you two broke up. After the end of your relationship, some of them probably reached out to you to check if you’re okay. You know that they genuinely care about you since they’ve proved it multiple times by now.
That is also why they may convince him to talk with you and try to solve things. He probably mentioned how happy he was by your side and how you changed his life for the better. If he said something that made them think that he’d marry you, even for a second, they’ll definitely push him.
So yes, they always come back, and sometimes their friends and family are responsible for that. They want what’s the best for him and they are sure you’re the one for him. Let’s be honest here, sometimes we need exactly a grain of support from our people to make the important decision.
17. You’re different from other girls they dated
The ultimate reason why they always come back is that you’re unique. You’re different from other girls they dated and you absolutely have to be a part of their lives. It’s that simple.
Not only are you a confident woman (and we both know that these women get anything they want), but you also have other qualities that make you truly beautiful, inside and out. They will realize that only when they leave. In this case, out of sight, out of mind is not true.
You’ll occupy his thoughts and he won’t be able to fight with that. Just make sure you live there rent-free. Jokes aside, he’ll think of you often. You have something special that no other girl has, and no matter how persistent he was in looking for perfection in other women, you’re the one he constantly thinks of.
There’s that spark in you that lit his world on fire and he never complained about it. Hell, he enjoyed it so much that it became a sort of addiction. Spending time with you was his favorite part of the week and he now desperately wants that back.
I promise you, they always come back when you offer them what no other woman can.
What to do when they come back?
I guess this question crossed your mind as soon as they reached out to you and that’s okay. Don’t let him disturb you or mess up your emotions all over again. You needed a decent amount of time to get over this relationship and forget about him, there’s no need to repeat the lesson.
If you’re thinking about getting back with your ex, please weigh all pros and cons and make sure it’s solely your decision. Once you have all the evidence together, it shouldn’t be a problem to choose your next step.
Also, don’t let anyone influence your final verdict before you close this case. It doesn’t matter how good people think they know you, you know yourself the best. You’re the one who’s going to spend time with him, no one else. So, judge wisely and don’t panic. That’s the last piece of advice that I want to give you.
In the end, whatever you do, don’t make a fuss about it. They’re exes, it’s in their job description to confuse us from time to time and make us question ourselves. I hope you believe me when I tell you that it’s normal – they always come back…
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