You’re finally DONE faking being nice to your ex.
You realized there’s just no point in being friendly towards the person who broke your heart.
You might expect that your ex would be chill with this change—after all, you’re already over—But no, he wouldn’t, even if he’s the one who ended the relationship.
Here is a list of things your ex might be thinking (and feeling!) when you ignore him all of a sudden.
1) He will feel rejected.
Your ex will feel unwanted even if he’s the one who dumped you! Ain’t that just funny?!
It could be that he’s a narcissist, or maybe it’s a feature of human nature that we’ve yet to pin down, but there are some of us who just can’t stand feeling unwanted—and yes, even by the ones we ourselves hate or have rejected.
If your ex is one of those people, then ignoring him will definitely have this effect.
This is especially likely if, back when you were still together, he’s proven himself to be the kind of guy who wants attention all the time. But even “regular” guys will still find their self-esteem slighted.
The things that he’ll be feeling—that of being unwanted and unloved—will be not that different from how you felt when he rejected you.
2) It will make him feel like a criminal.
Another thing that your ex will struggle with is that guilt, especially if your breakup was because of something he did.
It might not seem rational, but that’s just how emotions are.
You ignoring him will remind him of the times he did you wrong, and make him feel so bad about himself he’d rather be behind bars.
And he’ll be pressed to dissect your relationship and ask himself what went wrong. The things he’ll have to confront will make him toss and turn in contempt, remembering how he took you for granted.
More importantly, it will make him think about himself…of who he is as a person.
He will ask himself “Am I really a bad person?”, “Will I ever find another girl who’d love me as she did?”, “Am I deserving of true love?
All in all, this is a good outcome. He should reach this point to grow a little bit from the break up whether you plan to get back together or not.
3) He will think you’ve finally realized your worth.
You dumped him, he dumped you…it doesn’t matter.
The moment you stop answering his calls or stop flashing his friendly smiles when you cross each other’s paths, your ex will start to think that maybe, just maybe, you’ve finally realized your worth.
You see, this is just basic psychology.
Once upon a time, this guy pursued you and thought you were the most beautiful woman alive. But then he began taking you for granted, as men often do.
And now that you’re apart—and that the storm of emotion in both of you had passed—a part of him is left wondering “Oh man, I let go of a good woman.”
This is especially true if you thrived after the breakup—with you moving up your career, becoming happier, and so on.
A part of him will begin to see you as being out of his league, and that there’s no way he can get you back now.
4) He will think you’ve finally realized his worth.
If you ignore your ex and you’re the dumpee, he will think “Oh well, we’re not really meant to be, after all. She’s so high above me.”
If you’re the one who dumped him, on the other hand, then not only will he feel those exact same emotions, but he’ll also feel them more strongly.
Of course, he’ll look cool and composed but he might chug a barrel of beer when he gets home, look up at the ceiling, and wonder if any girl would ever love him again.
Word of warning: If you plan to get back together with this guy, make sure that his insecurity is not the only reason he’s trying to get back together with you.
Let him resolve his issues and only get back together because of the right reason—which is, as we know, pure love.
5) He will start seeing you as a brand-new woman.
Familiarity breeds contempt, or so the saying goes. The more you know someone, the more you’ll begin to take them for granted and the more annoying their little quirks become.
You’ll know exactly how they like their coffee, or what they like to eat. But you also know the way they react, and what words will leave their lips when they open their mouth to speak.
Your ex will have built these preconceptions towards you.
And the moment you “break” the predictability by ignoring him (especially if you’re naturally nice and have always been accommodating), he’d go “wait a minute, is this still the same person?”
And this is the exciting part. He will get very curious about you.
6) He will wonder if you’ve already moved on completely.
This should actually be at the top of this list.
If your ex ignores you, this is definitely the first thing that you’d think, right? Especially if you broke up on good terms, and even more so if they once begged to get back together at some point.
Your acting not fazed or thrilled by his presence will make him wonder if you’ve moved on completely…like 1000%!
And of course, he will feel a lump in his throat because this is still a big loss for him.
He’s so used to your affection even if he broke up with you so ignoring him is like pulling a plug.
Trust me, no one can be really chill with any kind of loss—especially from someone we once shared a life with.
7) He will wonder about the meaning of love and relationships.
You turn into an ice queen overnight would shock him to the point that he will become the next Shakespeare or Neruda.
He will have a bit of a crisis—while walking along the river or taking a cold shower— and ask rhetorical questions like “What is the meaning of life?”, “What am I living for?”, or “Is true love really possible?”
It might turn him into a poet or a drunkard, or both. He might even drunk text you just to feel something from you again.
Another word of warning: If he lovebombs you through texts and comes rushing back to you, don’t believe it right away. It might just be his way to cope with his crisis…to feel like there’s someone who can still wrap him with warm arms in this harsh world.
To put it simply: It doesn’t mean he loves you again, he’s just scared of how lonely it is to be human.
8) He will finally grieve.
Most men seem unaffected after a breakup. I don’t know why that’s usually the case. Maybe it still hasn’t sunk in or they want to show they’re not affected by love stuff during the first few weeks or months.
But it’s also because a part of them thinks it’s just a phase and the break up wasn’t really a REAL break up.
If you’ll show him that you can’t do the same things like before—and that you actually don’t care about him anymore—that’s the time your ex would finally think it’s all real.
And that’s the time he will truly grieve or come back running to you.
9) He will think you’re doing it to protect yourself.
Let’s say he cheated on you and that’s why you broke up. Or he lied to your face a million times a day. Or he’s an abusive alcoholic.
Or let’s say he’s really a great guy and that’s why when you broke up, you became crazy—you kept begging for him to come back even after months that you separated ways.
If you ignore him, he’ll feel that you’ve now realized how toxic he can be and that’s why you’re staying away.
Or if he’s a great guy who broke your heart, then he might think you’re still in the process of recovery and that you want to maintain your progress.
Either way, he might think that you’re protecting yourself from falling in love with him again. And if he’s a good man, he will respect this by staying away.
10) He will realize that he can’t mess with you.
If you seem like you lost yourself while you’re together—let’s say you became a submissive doormat who just follows the decisions of your ex—well then, ignoring him will give him the shock treatment he deserves.
He will realize two things. One. that he no longer has power over you. And two, that you’re now the type of person who he can’t mess with.
You’re able to stand up for yourself and “not give a damn” about him or what he would think.
It’s like you’re finally out of your shell for so long to tell him that you can do whatever the F you want, and that includes NOT replying to his texts or NOT giving him a peck in the cheek when you see each other at parties.
Congratulations. This realization should be liberating for you…but a bit threatening for him if he still wants you (and was just manipulating you with break-up drama).
11) He will fall in love with you again.
Or at the very least, that’s what he thinks.
It’s human nature—but usually a caveman trait—to want something we know we don’t have anymore.
And by ignoring your ex, you put yourself out of reach. You’re no longer someone he can just “have” again any time he wants, and that makes you all the more desirable.
This is the reason why men come back the moment you stop being in love with them. This is the reason why your ex would butt in and make himself known in your life the moment you date someone new.
As I mentioned earlier, don’t believe him right away.
He probably doesn’t even know why he’s feeling that way. Your ex is running on misplaced territorialism and all he really wants is the reassurance that he still has you.
Unfortunately, he simply mistakes this emotion for love.
A word of advice: Love is not a switch you can turn on and off. What he’s experiencing is probably just panic. Let it subside to see if he really does love you.
What to do if he reaches out to you
As has been described so far, ignoring your ex will trigger him in more ways than one.
So don’t be surprised if he’ll reach out very soon.
Should I say congrats? Well, not yet.
You have to know what to do when that happens and that means you have to be clear of how you truly feel about your ex.
Do you still love him but you don’t want a relationship with him anymore? Do you just want revenge? Do you truly want him back?
Sit down and be honest with yourself. And once you’re sure of your answer, you’ll know exactly what to do when he reaches out to you.
If you want revenge
Maybe he hurt you so bad that you couldn’t help but want to get even with him, now that he’s crawling back to you. You may think that you have the upper hand now and that it should be easy to make him feel like the worst person in the world.
The answer is—don’t.
Don’t bother to seek revenge and hurt him in turn.
It might feel good at the moment, but it won’t do you any good in the long run, and you’re only wasting your time and energy.
You’re better off using that time and energy to look for someone better—or to heal properly.
If you’re still in love but don’t want to get back together
So you’re still in love, but you know you just can’t get back together. Maybe you have become roommates and you don’t want to have this kind of relationship. Maybe your ideals just clash. Maybe you need a break from them to focus on your career.
In cases like these, you may not want to stop being friends with him entirely either.
So what do you do?
- Note down the reasons why you don’t want to get back together with your ex and read it every so often.
- Communicate—if you just want to stay friends, tell him so. If you want the two of you to stay away from each other, then tell him that.
- Make sure you’re firm and final with your wording. For your sake and his, don’t say things like “maybe someday…” that will leave him hoping.
- Enforce your boundaries. If you asked to continue being friends, then call him out gently if he starts flirting with you. If you asked to be left alone, then block him when he tries to contact you.
- You must also make sure you’re following your own demands, whether that means not flirting with him or not contacting him at all.
- Even if you agreed to simply be friends, if he shamelessly insists on flirting with you or making it look like you’re still together on social media, don’t be afraid to cut him off.
If you want him back
It’s a different matter entirely if you want him back. And there’s a lot more you need to keep in mind.
After all, reconnecting with someone is fundamentally more complicated than just reinforcing boundaries.
- Hold your horses. The last thing you want is to rush. Just because you want it, and it seems like he wants it to doesn’t mean you can just get back together immediately.
- Think about what went wrong in your relationship, and ask yourself if it’s something either one of you could fix up, and whether you have already done so.
- Try to find out if he’s still interested. There’s no point in trying to bring him back if he’s truly decided he’s done with you.
- Prioritize yourself. Try to learn as much as you can from your last relationship and be the best person you can be. Someone you can be proud of.
- Don’t completely ignore him, but at the same time avoid being too clingy. Try to not seem desperate, even if you are.
- Talk things through. Nothing helps keep a relationship going more than clear communication, so talk to him about your goals, what you think needs improvement, and your troubles.
- Make sure that he has fixed his own issues. If he has made no effort at all to fix his big, glaring issues, then there’s no point in you getting together again. It’ll just end in another breakup.
- Start slow. When you do begin reaching out, don’t jump ahead simply because you were together before. Don’t treat your new relationship as a continuation of the old one, or risk making the same mistakes.
As useful as the above advice can be, they remain subject to one flaw—they’re too general. There’s no way that I can know the details of your particular situation and must speak in broad strokes to cover as many possible scenarios as possible.
While nice to keep in mind, the best advice will come from someone to who you can tell all the little details to. Sometimes, those small details are enough to make a big difference.
Men don’t take well to being ignored, whether it’s on purpose or not.
There are a lot of things that it could make them feel or do, depending on your personal circumstances and exactly what kind of person they are, but indifference isn’t one of those.
Even if your ex tries to act cool and aloof, you will still haunt his mind.
This can make men somewhat tricky to deal with, whether you want them back in your life or not.
Still, nothing is insurmountable. And with enough self-reflection, the strength of will, and professional advice you can easily handle the mess that is male emotion and pride.