Your ex has suddenly stopped responding to you. Maybe you both had been keeping in touch since the breakup and you're not sure why they'd suddenly break contact. Maybe things got out of hand recently and you guys had a fight, or maybe you guys haven't been in touch at all since your breakup.
At Relationship Hero, we've helped over 25k clients with their relationship goals, and we often get clients looking for help reconnecting with their exes. All relationships are different, just as all people are different. While I can't cover every possible reason your ex might be ignoring you, I can list out some of the most common ones.
# If you guys had an argument or fight the last time you talked, they're upset over it. Most likely, the last time you talked was when you guys broke up.
Breakups are tough and we often end up saying hurtful things to each other, even when we might not mean them. Maybe you didn't say anything hurtful, but you argued against breaking up or couldn't understand their reasons behind it.
Regardless of the exact reason, the first order of business is to apologize to them the right way.
You've done something to upset them and it's only polite to try and fix it. Yes, they're not responding to your calls or text, but just leaving a text message with an apology is a good start, even if they don't decide to read it immediately.
The apology itself is crucial. You need to address exactly what they're angry about with an honest reason. No playing it cool and no excuses.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
If you were arguing against the breakup, you were likely ignoring or sidelining the reasons they put forth. Even if you weren't ignoring their reasons, it might have come off that way - that you don't think their reasons were important, or simply that you don't prioritize what they want enough to listen to them.
If you lost your temper, it likely wasn't the first time you've done so.
If you were too overwhelmed and shut down or started doing things independently, then you might have "walked away" from the conversation and the issue as a whole. This could make them feel like you prioritize your own wellbeing over theirs.
If this isn't about your breakup it's most likely something you said or did during your last conversation.
Once you've sent them the apology, it's time to wait. No matter why they're angry, your apology doesn't automatically mean they owe you forgiveness. It's up to their emotions and state of mind, and you can't force them to forgive you immediately (or even at all).
It's probably going to take a while for them to let go of all the negativity they have towards you. And once it is so, you'll be in a position to start reconnecting with them.
# Breakups can be hurtful, strenuous, awkward, etc. It's often not very easy to continue talking to one's ex afterward. Sometimes it can take months or even years before two people can comfortably talk again after breaking up.
If you both hadn't established a conversational dynamic, then you could come across as pushy for trying to move too fast.
If you were texting too much, your ex may just be trying to manage your expectations. They may not mind talking to you, but that doesn't mean they want to do it all the time. Take a look at the length and frequency of your messages compared to theirs. If there's an obvious difference, it's time to back off.
If you're still asking to get back with your ex, it's obvious why they're not responding. They're not interested in getting back together right now and the more you push them about it, the more they will just push you away. Time to back off. This doesn't mean they never want to get back, but right now that is how they feel.
Even if you're not pressuring them to take you back, if you're asking for answers and reasons behind the breakup, they're not going to have the energy or motivation to give you an honest and well thought out answer.
Regardless of the exact reason why your ex is feeling pushed, your next steps will be the same.
Give it a while before reaching out again, and when you do make sure to keep the frequency down. Start with just once a week and keep the conversations short.
Avoid texting late nights or early mornings.
Make sure you don't talk about getting back together or the breakup itself.
Keep your texts interesting.
If your message doesn't end with a question, don't be confrontational if you don't get a response
If you want to get back with them, your texts need to work towards that. Use your texts to make them think about you, to associate you with fun and happy thoughts, maybe even make them a little jealous.
# Your ex is scared or worried about what might happen if they continue to interact with you. They're not looking to get back together and probably believe that you want them back.
You may not have asked to get back with your ex, but they could still be worried you're going to pressure them or put them on the spot.
They're afraid that they'll get hurt again, maybe by something you say or do, or maybe you guys have had an on-and-off relationship in the past and they're scared of continuing that.
If you lost your temper with them recently, they are probably scared that you'll get into another fight.
It's important to keep in mind that this is primarily about their feelings and expectations, and not necessarily the result of your actions.
The first thing to do is to back off and let them have some space.
If you lost your temper, then you should also send them a message apologizing about it, and letting them know you're going to back off for a bit so both of you can get some space.
When you do text them back after a few days or weeks, it's important to not bring up your breakup, relationship, or anything about getting back together.
Before you can bring up any of that, you have to slowly build up comfort and desire.
# No matter who initiates a breakup, it affects both the people involved. Even if your ex was the one to decide they want to end the relationship, it doesn't automatically mean they lost all feelings towards you.
If you've been constantly asking for answers about why they decided to break up, they may be worried they won't be able to satisfy you. So they're just avoiding you altogether.
Even if you've not been pressuring them about anything, your ex might not be sure what to talk to you about. The feelings from the breakup are probably still too fresh for them and they're unable to just have a casual conversation with you.
In this situation, you have to back off and give them space. Especially if you'd been pressuring them for answers. They need time to get over the breakup and if you constantly try to make contact, it's likely to make them anxious. And that's just going to make them feel more negativity towards you.
# Deciding to break up with someone is a big step. And it's only just the first step in a long line of painful ones. If your ex is the one who wanted to break up, they're looking to move on from the relationship, not planning to get back together with you down the line.
But just because they decided to end the relationship and are trying to move on doesn't mean they've completely lost all feelings towards you. Every time you start a conversation, it brings back painful memories for your ex and they know that it'll be easier to move on for them if you both just cut all contact.
Respect your ex's decision. They're not suddenly going to change their mind. And every time you reach out to them, it'll just bring up the painful memories they have, slowly building up resentment towards you. The more you push them, the more they'll push away.
Giving them time and space will allow the negative feelings and memories to fade away, giving you much better chances of reconnecting down the line.
They may not be responding anymore because they've actually moved on from you and the relationship. Certain signs can confirm this possibility.
They were polite to you in the last couple of conversations but seemed distant.
They wouldn't talk for long and often took a while to respond to texts.
The momentum of your conversations slowly dropped, until stopping completely.
It might seem like this is the worst situation to be in, but it's actually quite good. If your ex has really moved on, it means that they've also let go of all the negative thoughts and emotions from the breakup. And this is crucial if you want to ever reconnect with them - it allows you to take a break, maximize your chances, and then reestablish contact on your terms.
# Maybe they're not really against the idea of maintaining a friendly relationship with you, but you're making them actively lose interest and investment in you.
People aren't the same their whole lives. Maybe you aren't the person they first fell for. Or maybe they're no longer the person that fell for you. Regardless of the reason, the chemistry that you both had in the past is now lost.
Constantly reaching out in the hopes of rekindling that chemistry is unlikely to work. You have to build that up one step at a time.
Take a good long look at yourself. Are you the same person you were when you first started dating them? Same hobbies, interests, etc. Physically, emotionally, mentally.
Maybe you don't dress as sharply as you once did. Maybe you've become very stressed about your job lately. Maybe you've picked up some bad habits. If you've significantly changed, that's your answer. You need to first work on getting back to being that person, if not a better version.
Or maybe you haven't changed at all, and there lies the problem. If your ex is the only person in the relationship who changed for the better, they may have outgrown you. Again, you'll need to work on changing for the better before you can rekindle your relationship.
Once you've made the changes required, you can reconnect with your ex. But if you try to do it before that, it'll just drive them further away.
If your ex has started seeing someone else, they might be avoiding you.
They want to prioritize their new relationship.
They may feel uncomfortable still speaking with you because of how fresh things are.
They may feel it's unfair to the new person if they continue to stay in contact with you, or that it might jeopardize their new relationship.
The one thing you don't want to do in this situation is to confront them about this new relationship. For all you know, this new relationship just makes them miss you, but they won't get that chance if you keep trying to get in the middle of their new relationship.
Give them space, use this time to work on yourself. They may no longer be with this new person in a couple of months. And the no contact will give you the chance to reconnect on better terms later when you've maximized your chances.
# If it's just your last couple of messages they haven't responded to, maybe they're just busy.
Establish if it's a pattern. If this has happened multiple times, then it's likely to be something more than just them being busy.
If there's no pattern, then just give it a couple of days and reach out again.
If they end up responding this time, you'll know they were just busy earlier.
If they still don't respond, or their response is dull, they're likely losing interest in you (see point #7 above).
# Maybe your ex just wants to see how you're going to react. If this is the case, they likely still harbor some feelings towards you.
It's not necessarily a positive for you though. They might just be scared of cutting you out of their lives completely, or maybe they're hoping they can still hook up with you some time.
To determine if your ex is just playing games, give it some time and don't reach out to them. A few days to maybe a week. If they're really playing games, they will reach out on their own.
You don't want to encourage their behavior as it will probably just hurt you in the long run.
Depending on how long you both have known each other, the best thing would be to either confront them about it or just maintain no contact until the circumstances are in your favor.
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons why your ex might be avoiding or ignoring you suddenly. Most of these reasons have commonalities, and all the solutions have something in common too - you taking concrete steps to change things.
After all, if your actual goal is to get back with your ex, just staying in contact is barely a consolation prize. You need to actively take steps to reconnect with them in a way that maximizes your chances of winning them back.
Also, check out some of our other articles -
Top 11 Reasons Why You and Your Ex Broke up
Why Did She Break Up With Me? - My Ex-Girlfriend Left Me Out Of Nowhere
Signs He Doesn't Want To Marry You
Warning Signs He Is Losing Interest (And What To Do About It)
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