This is my complete breakdown of the signs your ex boyfriend is confused about the breakup.
In this all new guide you’re going to learn 7 distinct signs that he’s super confused,
- Once He’s Had His Fix He Disappears
- He’s With Someone Else But Talks To You In A Way He Shouldn’t
- Tells You He Misses You But Doesn’t Want To Commit
- He’s Constantly On Again/Off Again With You
- He Grows Jealous Of You With Other Guys
- He Gets Angry When You Don’t Respond To His Text Messages Or Phone Calls
- He’ll “Future Pace You” And Then Immediately Take It Back
So, if you want to learn the big warning signs that your ex boyfriend is confused then look no further.
Sign #1: Once He’s Had His Fix He Disappears
The path towards dissecting men after a breakup so often crosses lines with attachment styles it almost becomes a prerequisite.
We know based on our own internal research that most of our clients have ex boyfriends that are avoidant by nature.
There is a common misconception that people have when dealing with avoidant attachment styles. People incorrectly assume that the avoidant will avoid relationships altogether but in my experience that is simply not true. What they’re more likely to do is become a turtle when things get intimate.
It stems from a perceived assault on their freedom and independence.
I was thinking about this a lot lately in regards to how to explain it to women who can’t fathom why men avoid and this is the best example I came up with.
Imagine you started dating someone who you really liked but it came with one prerequisite. In order to continue dating this person you had to get their name tattooed on your face. All of a sudden this new relationship doesn’t seem so great. So what do you do? You end the relationship because that’s too much of a commitment.
Obviously that example is ridiculous but what it does do is serve to show you the extreme lengths someone with an avoidant attachment will go to in their head when in a relationship. They create these untrue narratives and let it dictate their decisions.
However, 2020 was a great year for my team and I because we learned one interesting thing about those with avoidant attachment styles.
They can begin to miss you but only after they believe you’ve moved on from them or there’s no chance that the two of you could ever get back together. It’s only at that point that they give themselves permission to reach out and get back in touch.
I talked about that concept exclusively in this video.
So, what often happens when an ex boyfriend with an avoidant attachment becomes confused is they go through this period where they begin to miss you and they reach out to you trying to deal with those complicated emotions somehow.
Of course, most of our clients are over the moon happy to hear from their ex boyfriends so they immediately respond and try to relive the good times but they do so in a very anxious way which often reminds the ex boyfriend of why they left in the first place.
In essence, your ex boyfriend got his quick fix, admiration from you, and now that they have it there’s no reason to continue talking to you.
This is why it’s so important to be knowledgable of this phenomenon so you know exactly how to communicate with your ex so he doesn’t get that fix.
Sign #2: He’s With Someone Else But Talks To You In A Way He Shouldn’t
I talk a lot about the grass is greener syndrome and its impact on the end of relationships.
After all, what is a breakup if not another way of saying, “I can find someone better than you.”
Sometimes your ex boyfriend can and sometimes they can’t.
Believe it or not but having them test the waters to see if the grass is greener on the other side might be one of the best ways to determine if they are confused.
Researchers have found a link between how often your ex boyfriend communicates with you when they are in a new relationship with someone else and their satisfaction.
Basically research indicates that if your ex boyfriend is in a new relationship with someone else and they stay in constant contact with you it could indicate that they are unsatisfied with their current relationship.
Probably the best way to determine this is by looking directly at the types of conversations you are having.
My team and I have had some experience with ex boyfriends who are willing to cheat on that new person but those types of men tend to be rare. Usually the types of conversations that indicate your ex is unsatisfied with his current relationship are emotional ones.
If they are talking to you about things they should be only talking to their current girlfriend about and are relying on you for emotional support then it’s a good indicator that they are still harboring feelings for you and may be confused about how to handle things going forward.
Sign #3: He Tells You He Misses You But Doesn’t Want To Commit
This is definitely a paradox of a situation. Here’s how it works.
You get back in touch with your ex boyfriend and things seem to be going great. You’re doing everything you used to do as a couple with the exception of physical intimacy. He’s even shared that he misses you and yet despite that he won’t commit.
What’s going on here.
Well, again I want to point you towards our research on attachment styles above. Specifically those with avoidant attachment styles.
Remember, someone with an avoidant attachment usually won’t begin to miss you until they feel like there’s no chance of a reconnection. This is perfectly on brand for this sign because here you literally have an ex boyfriend telling you,
“I miss you.”
But he still won’t commit.
To him that commitment is a step too far. It’s an “unsafe zone.”
I’ve talked a lot in the past about how I believe there are six tenets of commitment but perhaps none are more important than getting investment.
This means you need to get investment not only on a physical level but an emotional one and a time perspective. Those with fearful avoidant attachment styles are just naturally going to take longer to commit to you.
Sign #4: He’s Constantly On Again/Off Again With You
Perhaps no sign is a better indication of confusion than one in which your ex boyfriend is constantly on again and off again with you.
A combination of things could be occurring here.
- He’s got a touch of the grass is greener syndrome
- He lives within nostalgia and reality doesn’t do it for him
Let’s tackle the grass is greener syndrome bit first.
You may think you know what I mean when I talk about it but I can assure you that you don’t. Most would assume that someone who has the grass is greener syndrome is always wanting to move on to someone new and they’d be right but you have a unique situation here in your ex boyfriend.
This is someone that has left and come back more than once. What this indicates to me is that he’s obsessed with the “thrill” of the chase. And not just chasing you but other people. This blends seamlessly to the next point I want to make.
It’s that whole reality versus expectations debate.
One of my favorite movies ever is “500 days of Summer.” Specifically because of this scene right here,
Sometimes our expectations are built up as this unattainable fantasy and when reality hits us in the face with that fact it’s hard to cope. That’s sort of what happens to men when they find themselves in chronic on again/off again relationships.
So, where does the confusion come into play?
Well, the fact that they are coming back over and over again to me tells me that they are going through an inner turmoil on wanting the best for themselves and settling. The narrative they create in their head is that every time they have to come back to you they are settling. This fact annoys them and makes them feel like they always have unfinished business.
What we try to teach our clients is how to flip the script so he doesn’t look at your relationship this way but that’s getting a bit off topic. Let’s keep moving on.
Sign #5: He Grows Jealous Of You With Other Guys
Your ex boyfriend broke up with you and it’s his final decision.
There’s no way he’ll ever take you back.
The two of you are just going to be friends from now on.
You internalize this and slowly begin to heal. Eventually you begin dating but your ex boyfriend doesn’t like that one bit. In fact, he grows jealous and even angry. The irony of his anger has always fascinated me. After all, he was the one to break up with you and tell you that the two of you are just friends, right?
He should be happy you’re going out there and dating other people.
It’s akin to growing angry as a child when another child plays with your toy.
I think the confusion bit comes in only after he realize he’s growing jealous with you on dates with other men. It’s always easy to say the cliche things.
- “We are just friends.”
- “We are not getting back together”
- “You need to move on”
It’s an entirely different thing when you actually do those things and he’s forced to confront the reality of the situation that you may be gone forever. Here’s the tricky part with jealousy. If you try to throw it in your ex boyfriends face it will end up blowing up in yours.
If you are too direct about jealousy it can serve to harm your success rate.
So, what’s the best way to approach jealousy?
Simple, you need to be indirect about it.
My teams favorite version of this is the arm picture.
Something like this.
Essentially you go out on a date and rather taking a selfie with the guy you are on the date with you take a picture of your food. However, his arm just happens to be in the picture. Usually that’s enough to warrant the desired reaction. Context is also key here. Sometimes you don’t even have to be that direct. Simply by placing yourself in a romantic environment where you can get “hit on” is enough to do the trick. Posting a picture like this on social media can work.
With jealousy generally speaking “less is more.”
Sign #6: He Gets Angry When You Don’t Respond To His Texts Of Phone Calls
The reason we think this works so well is that it’s such a stark contrast from how you used to be in the relationship. He probably expects you to respond right away all the time and when that suddenly stops and he grows angry about that fact he’s forced to confront the reality that he still probably has feelings for you.
In my opinion that’s where the confusion comes into play.
We all tell ourselves lies to get through the day. All of us.
Sometimes they’re small.
I haven’t gained that much weight.
It’s ok if I eat that thing just this one time.
I can afford that.
Sometimes they’re big.
I don’t have feelings for my ex.
I don’t care what anyone thinks of me.
So, what happens if you have an ex boyfriend who has convinced himself that he doesn’t have feelings for you. In fact, he is so sure of this fact that he doesn’t think twice about it. He creates this narrative in his head that you’re more into him than he is into you.
By not responding immediately to his texts or phone calls or even not responding at all you challenge this narrative and if he has an emotional reaction confusion sets in.
“I’m not supposed to care about her.”
“Why do I even care about this?”
I’m not saying this will be enough to get a commitment but confusion is all you need to get a guy to admit to himself that there still may be something there.
Sign #7: He’ll “Future Pace You” And Then Immediately Take It Back
If you don’t know what “future pacing” is then you’re in for a treat.
Having an ex boyfriend future pace you simply means that they make plans with you for things you’re going to do in the future. These don’t have to be concrete just the mere mention of the plans.
I was talking to our customer service rep and future ex recovery coach, Shaunna, about this article and asked her if she knew any signs that proved an ex boyfriend was confused. Shaunna is a veteran of our program and has successfully won her ex boyfriend back before (she’s now engaged to him.)
Anyways here’s what she had to say.
I believe her exact words were,
“They talk about “future” stuff that includes you and then suddenly takes it away.
In other words your ex boyfriend will say,
“Oh, we should go do “XYZ””
And then later have them go back on those plans by saying,
“I’m sorry I shouldn’t have said that to you. It’s not fair.”
So, why is your ex boyfriend getting confused. Again, I think it goes down to that avoidant attachment style tendency of wanting to have freedom. Your ex boyfriend gets excited talking to you and overcommits to a plan. After some time this plan freaks them out because they get worried about their independence being taken away from them. So they cancel the plans or usually never refer to them again.