15 ways to act around your ex who dumped you

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.


It can feel like the end of the world when your ex tells you they don’t feel the same way as you anymore.

But no worries there are some things you can do to regain your sanity and find closure with your past relationship. 

Here are a few tips for what not to do and how to act around your ex:

1) Try and stay calm

You’re probably feeling a range of emotions right now: sadness, anger, regret, etc. They might not have said they wanted to break up but you can’t keep going on as if nothing happened.

If you try to snap back to the life you were living before they suddenly dumped you, it’s likely to make things worse for both of you. 

Or if the breakup was a bad one, the last thing you want to do is make things worse by crying or seeming like an emotional wreck.

While you may feel like breaking down and crying for all of eternity, it’s important that you stay collected. 

The truth is it’s easy to get into a downward spiral of resentment and anger when faced with an unexpected breakup and even harder to climb out on your own power.

Stay calm, stick to your guns, and communicate in a mature, respectful way

2) Don’t make stupid mistakes that will make them regret breaking up with you

Although it might be tempting to check in with your ex, it’s important that you don’t push yourself into this situation if it will make things worse.

Instead of sending a message or contacting them because they’re happy with someone new, use this time instead to focus on your own life instead of theirs.

Since failing to show up when they said they would or calling too much are just a few examples of problems that could make them reconsider their decision to end the relationship..

Besides, try calling/texting your ex only when necessary as a friend would do, but don’t send any reminders or gifts like flowers or love letters, even if they asked for it.

Remember: you’ll definitely want to make sure that you’re making decisions that will not create even more tension or stress for them.

3) Be sympathetic

When your ex gets ready to move on, you may find yourself feeling a lot of anger — probably at yourself. Furthermore, you can’t help but stew on what happened and wonder what you could have done differently. 

But remember: your ex is also going to move on. They’re going to feel regret and sadness, but they’re also going to feel happy and excited about their new life. 

So let your ex go, and don’t hold onto your anger. It will only hurt you in the end.

Otherwise, it doesn’t matter how long the relationship lasted, if they were friends before this happened and you care about them a lot, it is worth trying your best to help. 

You could refuse their requests for contact or some other basic needs until they are ready but even then there’s no guarantee that will happen. It always depends on what kind of person the ex-partner was before as well. 

It means that if they have been neglectful in any form in the past chances are slim that anything can fix something like that with just one conversation after a break up

4) Don’t ask too many questions

Oftentimes when a couple breaks up, there are many unanswered questions in a person’s mind.

They think about things they would like to say to their ex or they wonder why things went wrong and how they can get them back together again.

This should go without saying, but don’t ask your ex why they broke up with you. You never know how they really feel about it. 

They might be really busy, or you might have done something wrong. If you want to get to the bottom of things, wait until you’re back to normal and have had a chance to talk things through with your own therapist. 

It’s OK to share your opinions but if your ex doesn’t seem interested in hearing what you have to say, don’t push it beyond that.

5) Focus on yourself at first

Do everything you can to make it easier on yourself.

After a breakup, many people find themselves going through some sort of depression. 

If you’re feeling down, it’s best that you take care of yourself in order to help ease the pain you’re feeling. It’s also important to talk with a friend or family member if possible, as this could help tremendously.

If you’re feeling down and needing to distract yourself, it’s best that you focus on yourself for the time being. 

For example:

If you and your ex had different interests, there’s a good chance you’ll still enjoy them. 

There are so many things you and your ex could have done together, so give yourself permission to branch out and do something new. You’re allowed to enjoy yourself while doing it, and that might mean taking a chance and going after your dreams.

It could be as simple as trying out a new hobby or going to a concert you’ve always wanted to see.

Maybe, engaging in activities that will take your mind off the break up can help you recover quickly. Don’t forget to take time to deal with your emotions as well, as this is important too.

6) Avoid seeing your ex in public

If your ex is still your friend, you may be tempted to see them in public again, but that’s a bad idea. It’ll only serve to remind you of what you lost and draw you closer to them. 

If you must see them, arrange a meeting at a location where you won’t be tempted to run into them unexpectedly. Since when you’re out and about, it’s easy to run into your ex, especially if you live in a small town.

Or if you still see your ex in public, keep your distance. This is the hardest step, but it’s necessary. 

Clearly communicating why you don’t want to see your ex will send the message you want to send. If they approach you, be polite but firm in your refusal to speak or see them.

If possible, don’t hang out near their work or where they usually hang out on the weekends. This will prevent you from seeing them and getting hurt again.

7) Don’t get jealous if your ex starts dating someone new before moving on

If they’re ready to move on but it’s too soon for you, be supportive of them.

Don’t react in a bad way when you see your ex with someone new and don’t try to sabotage their relationship.

People change, and everyone has their own journey. If your ex starts dating someone new before moving on, don’t get jealous.

Instead, congratulate them on moving on and be happy for them. You can only love and accept yourself if you love and accept others, too.

This may seem obvious, but when you’re going through a breakup you’re probably not being the best person to your ex. 

At that time you’re feeling intense emotions, you have a lot of questions, and you have a tendency to act impulsively. 

Your best bet is to stay calm when you’re talking to your ex and not take things too personally. This will make it much easier for your ex to move on and allow you to have a more civil conversation.

8) Accept that this is the end of the road and move on with your life

When you’ve been dumped, it can be hard to accept that the relationship is over. Since you’re so used to living your life with them and when they leave it all has changed.

So that you may feel like you need to keep waiting for your ex to change their mind or make their first move. 

But the truth is, they’re already moving on with their life. No matter how much you want things to be different or how much you try to convince yourself otherwise, your relationship is over.

It’s important to start moving on with your own life because if you don’t make new memories, form new relationships and do other things-you’ll just end up feeling worse about yourself than ever before

Just think simply:

Not every relationship is meant to be long-term. Even if you had a lot of ups and downs in your relationship, it’s normal to feel heartbroken and rejected when your ex breaks up with you. 

It’s not personal; it’s just the way life is sometimes. You would be surprised how much you can overcome when you’re no longer in a relationship. 

9) Set ground rules for talking with your ex in the future

As you start moving forward, you may find yourself wanting to talk with your ex. But instead of ignoring the calls and texts that are coming into your phone, answer them.

If you’re able to have conversations with your ex again, make sure that you set some ground rules for what topics are acceptable for discussion and which ones aren’t okay yet.

This will show your ex that you’re at least open to talking with them, and it will give you a chance to say what you need to say before you hang up. 

You both may need some time apart before starting the next stage of getting over an ex together at any point in the future.

10) Go on a rebound date if you’re ready

Get some practice with dating! Even if your heart is broken, you can still look for new people. 

You should date and have fun, and you may even want to look into dating apps. If you’ve been single for a while, this is a great opportunity to make some new friends.

Trust me. It’ll all be worth it. You may be surprised by how much you enjoy spending time with other people — especially if your ex was your only friend.

If you’re able to move on, it’s a good idea to go on a rebound date or two with friends or online to help get your mind off of the painful breakup and give yourself some time alone to really absorb what’s happened, good and bad.

If you’re not ready to date, no worries! You can still do things that will help you get ready. 

Go on a fun outing with a friend, take a trip to the museum or the zoo, or catch a movie. Get your ex involved if they’re available. Doing something fun will help you let go of your frustration, and remind you that no matter what happened with your ex, you’re still ready to move on.

11) Surround yourself with supportive people

Who understands how much the breakup has been affecting you – don’t keep everything in, as it will only cause more damage mentally and emotionally.

You can’t let your guard down around them because they can see how broken you are, and that may just scare them away. 

Instead, stay in a happy mood and show your friends that you’re ready to move on. If your ex is still your friend, invite them to come out with you — even if only for a couple of hours. 

Furthermore, one of the best things you can do to move on is to go out with your friends. 

Whether it’s a casual dinner or a night at the theater, seeing your friends will give you something fun to focus on while also reminding you that you’re still capable of having a good time without your ex (or their friend group).

Or tell your friends how you feel, set up group activities, and go out. Having good friends is a great way to distract yourself from your problems and put your best foot forward.

When you’re out with your friends, don’t be afraid to talk to your date or make eye contact with other people. Your friends will be there for you if things get awkward or your date starts acting strangely, and going out with them will help you move on from your breakup.

12) Give them time to heal too

One of the hardest things about a breakup is having to be around the person who broke your heart.

Since you’re feeling all kinds of feelings, and there’s no telling what you might do or say.

If your ex is the one who asked you to stay friends, the best thing you can do is give them space. Maybe you can give them your phone number and email address, but respect their boundaries and give them space. 

In time, they may reach out to you, and when they do, you can respond as though nothing happened.

Because they are probably going through a very similar range of emotions as you are right now: sadness, anger, regret, etc. 

Either way, they may not be looking for your apology or insistence on making things work between the two of you just yet and they certainly don’t want to hear about how great your life is without them either.

13) Do not feel angry with them since they feel being hurt the same way as you

Just because you’re angry with them, that doesn’t mean you have to hold a grudge. As hard as it is to do, try to remember that they are going through the same thing you are.

Maybe, they may have made a choice that they felt was best for them and their families, and you have to respect that.

So there will be times when you’re angry, and times when you’re happy. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to hold onto your anger towards them because they are only doing what they feel is best for them and their families.

Sometimes breaking up is the best thing that can happen to a relationship. This is especially true when the relationship was toxic or abusive. 

It’s true getting a divorce is difficult for everyone, and it’s no exception for those who were in toxic relationships. 

While it’s important to protect yourself and your children, it’s also important to remember not to take it out on your partner.

Remember that your ex has been through a lot too. They are hurting just as much as you are, if not more. 


Try to put yourself in their shoes and really think about how they are feeling. The more you can do to make them feel better, the easier it will be for you both to get over it. 

Do not hold onto grudges and forgive as soon as possible. Letting go of anger is the first step to moving on.

14) Try to see it from their perspective and don’t take everything they do personally

They’re no more to blame for the breakup than you are. Being dumped is a painful, emotional experience. 

Your breakup may have been messy and emotional, but that doesn’t mean your ex is always going to be clingy and sad. 

Don’t let a few bumps in the road make you think they’re upset with you; they’re probably just dealing with their feelings and trying to move on.

As hard as it is, try to put yourself in their shoes. Sure, it’s hard not to take things personally, but it’s also hard to keep holding on when you’d rather let go. 

If you can, try to remember that your ex has probably been hurt before and didn’t know how or where to get help. This doesn’t mean they don’t care, or that they don’t love you; it’s just something they’ve dealt with and are working through now. 

And even though they may not say it, don’t forget that they’re trying to be supportive and helpful. 

When someone is trying to be there for you, it’s hard to take that as a sign that things are over. Let them finish being there for them, and then some space will hopefully appear so that you can both move on.

15) Be kind and courteous when speaking to your ex!

If you’re feeling down after being dumped then chances are, your interactions might not be as positive as usual. It’s important to remember that you’re leaving them and the last thing you want to do is hurt their feelings, especially if they’re still coming over. 

Being kind and courteous will show your ex that you’re ready to move on and let them off the hook. 

And you know what? 

You don’t want to come across as a clingy or high maintenance person, but you also don’t want to be a pushover. Keep in mind that you deserve to be treated with respect, and your ex should be able to respond to you in kind.

For instance: When your ex comes up in conversation with your friends or family, be sure to maintain a respectful and kind tone. 

When you’re speaking to your ex, be sure to be kind and considerate. Avoid using swear words, calling them names, or making threats. 

Then, keep your tone light, and don’t make your voice sound cold or angry – this will only invoke a negative response from them.

It means that you don’t need to be chummy with them all of a sudden, but you do need to be friendly and polite. This is a great way to show your ex that you want to move on and put some space between the two of you.

Remember: your ex is going to move on, and you need to, too. As hard as it may be, you need to let your ex go and move on with your life. No one is owed a second chance in a relationship, and no one is owed a third, either. 

Can a relationship coach help you too?

If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.

I know this from personal experience…

A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.

If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.

In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.

I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.

Click here to get started.