Do you want to know if your ex regrets letting you go?
Maybe you are hoping to get back together or you just want to know that he is feeling bad about losing you.
Let’s be honest, who amongst us hasn’t had a little fantasy about a certain guy coming crawling back and begging for your forgiveness.
Breakups suck, regardless of if it’s you or him who made the final call to end things. I’m sure at some point or another everyone does question whether they made the right decision or not.
If right now you really want to know what’s going on in his head, you’re probably trying to interpret what he says and does next.
In this article are 22 signs that he regrets breaking up with you.
1) He’s taking trips down memory lane
When we have a history with someone it’s normal to reminisce.
If your ex is looking back at the past fondly, and remembering the “good times”, it’s a sure-fire sign that he is getting sentimental about the relationship.
Does he send you texts or photos of past shared experiences?
If you speak to him, does he end up saying something like “Do you remember when…?”
It means you are on his mind. When we’re truly over someone, we tend to be more forward-looking, rather than backwards.
So if his trips down memory lane are fairly frequent, it suggests he is spending more time thinking about his past (aka you) rather than his future (i.e potential new romances)
2) He is responsible for most of the communication between you
If you hardly ever reach out to him, yet he is constantly messaging or calling you — it’s a pretty strong sign he still wants you in his life and is making an effort.
If barely a day goes by when you don’t speak and he is the one that always gets in touch, he is trying to keep things going between you too.
Does he message you pointless things just to start a conversation? Or perhaps he asks seemingly unimportant questions?
He’s probably looking for excuses to speak to you. Although he may just be having a hard time adjusting to the breakup, it’s also a signal that he is struggling to move on and may be stuck in #regretsville.
3) He reflects on his mistakes (and apologies for them)
Nobody is perfect and each of us makes mistakes within a relationship.
When we’re too wrapped up in what’s going on, it can be more difficult to spot these errors — we’re too close to the situation to see things clearly.
With a little time and space, we often gain some much-needed perspective.
If you are wondering, how long does it take for a man to regret losing you? The answer is usually, however long it takes him to process and reflect on what has happened between you too. When things have calmed down, it’s easier to contemplate what went wrong.
It is then when we can better understand the part we may have played in the downfall of any relationship. We have time to consider how we might have done things or said things differently.
Of course, most of us do this kind of deep thinking when we’re processing a breakup. But if we have no desire to repair things, we’re more likely to keep them to ourselves.
If he reaches out to you, admits that he has made mistakes and feels remorseful for them, then it shows he has been reflecting and wants you to know. This is one of the signs a guy knows he messed up.
4) He messages you when he’s drunk
When I was younger I used to delete someone’s number as soon as we broke up.
You might be thinking, wow that’s super harsh. But the truth is that I didn’t trust myself.
I knew that as soon as I’d had a few drinks, there was a good chance my strong resolve would crumble and I’d text them. When we’re under the influence of alcohol, we let our guard down.
We end up saying things we mean, but can’t find the courage to say when we’re sober. (Of course, the problem is we also often say things we don’t mean and end up regretting.)
If he always seems to message you when he’s had a bit to drink, it means that you are still in his thoughts.
5) He hasn’t moved on yet
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “the quickest way to get over someone is by getting under someone else”.
Rebounds are very common. Probably because, as we try to deal with the loss of a significant person from our lives, it is tempting to replace the hole they’ve left by filling it with another body — sometimes anybody will do.
Jumping straight into something else is often a classic avoidance tactic. We don’t want to feel the emotional distress that a breakup brings, and so we distract ourselves with someone new.
Whilst experts say that 90% of rebound relationships do fail within the first 3 months, studies have also found that they still serve an essential psychological purpose in helping someone to move on from a past relationship.
According to a study from Queens College and the University of Illinois in 2014, people who jump into something new straight away get over their ex-partners quicker and feel more confident in their ability to date.
If you know that he has yet to move on — he isn’t dating anyone else or hasn’t jumped into bed with anyone else — it could be because he doesn’t want to move on yet.
If he is still single after your break-up, he could still be harbouring feelings for you that he isn’t ready to let go of.
6) He reaches out to your friends or family
When he sees someone you know, does he ask about you? Does he try to get any little bit of information about your life out of them?
This goes beyond a polite “how are they” — which we may offer in passing, simply out of courtesy, if we happened to bump into an ex’s mom. But let’s face it, even if we are curious about an ex, most of us are way too proud to admit it to their nearest and dearest.
So if he is fishing for details or even asking advice from your friends or family, it signals that he cares way more than just a casual interest.
If he is contacting your people to talk about you, or seeking their help, then this is a very strong indication that he regrets breaking up with you.
7) He acts like nothing happened
Er, didn’t you guys break up or did you just dream the whole thing?
If you have a blazing row, you break up, only for him to message the next day as if it didn’t even happen — he clearly wants to take it back.
We do sometimes end up saying things in the heat of the moment that we wish we hadn’t once we cool down. You may find that he says cruel or rash things that soon afterwards, he wants to retract.
If it felt like a silly fight, maybe you also want to forget it too and move on. But breaking up during a fight can be a bit of a power move or a form of manipulation — which you shouldn’t have to put up with.
If he is pretending it never even happened and trying to backtrack, he regrets rejecting you.
8) He’s started calling it “a break”
The classic Rachel and Ross from Friends debate, have you broken up or are you just on a break?
If you’ve been having some problems, maybe you want to take time out to think things through. Perhaps it started off as a “break up” but he has now started calling it a “break”.
When a man realizes he lost you, that’s often when it really hits home and he may feel like he’s not ready to close the door completely.
I once split from a guy and as he left, he said “this doesn’t have to be the end, maybe we can see what happens.”
If you are on the same page, and in need of some distance, this can be a good solution. But the trouble with breaks is that they can also be confusing.
Are you working on your relationship or is he just keeping his options open because he’s afraid to completely let go?
It’s important to think about what you want, and what is best for you.
9) You’ve had yo-yo breakups before
I once had a relationship where we broke up and got back together so many times that it gave me whiplash from all the toing and froing.
Some couples find themselves having periodic breakups. Rather than resolving issues when they arise, one or both of you quickly resort to splitting up as the solution. Or when things feel too intense, they freak out and want to break up.
But it isn’t a very well thought out plan. And before too long, he is heartbroken over you, he is miserable without you and so eventually comes crawling back.
I think many of us have found ourselves in that situation at one time or another. If you have a history of breaking up and getting back together again — it’s more likely he will end up regretting it this time too.
But, as relationship expert Paula Quinsee told New24, it can ultimately be an unhealthy pattern:
“Constantly breaking up and making up can impact a person’s level of emotional stability and wellbeing. When we are constantly breaking up and making up this shows that there is doubt and uncertainty. Some of the reasons why we keep going back to our ex is familiarity, afraid of being alone and being codependent on our partners.”
10) He’s crying on your shoulder
If you’re feeling a little bit like his unpaid therapist, it shows he still feels connected to you.
We build intimate bonds when we are in a relationship, which doesn’t just instantly disappear when we break up.
One of the hardest things about breaking up is the person who caused this pain we feel, is the very person we would normally have found comfort from whenever we felt upset.
Maybe he’s been telling you about how hard everything is right now or turns to you whenever something bad happens in his life.
If he had fully moved on, he would probably be running to a good friend, family member or a new partner instead. The fact he comes to you shows you are still his “go-to” person.
The trickiest part is knowing whether he is just leaning on you for support or whether he wants you back.
Either way, it is a problem if you feel burdened or confused by him bringing his own emotions to you when you are also still trying to get over him.
11) He’s bragging about how great things are
On the opposite side of the scale to crying on your shoulder is showing off about how totally “fine” he is.
The reality is that when we’re doing well, we don’t usually feel the need to prove it to anyone.
If he’s really in a good place, he wouldn’t think to go out of his way to let you know — he’ll be too busy getting on with his life. Neither will he feel the need to put on any false displays of extreme happiness.
For example, if he has never been that bothered about social media and then all of a sudden posts countless updates, where he looks like he is having the BEST time — it’s safe to assume he’s trying to make a statement.
Even though he thinks that statement is “I’m doing great without you”, the chances are he cares more than you think.
12) He’s “improving himself” (and making sure you know about it)
Earlier I mentioned that I was once stuck in one of those break-up, make-up relationships.
At the first sign of difficulty, he would bail, pretend like he didn’t care for a while, and then get in contact to try to make amends.
One time it took him a couple of months before he eventually rang up crying with regret. By this time I’d had enough, which was when he tried to prove how much he’d grown.
He told me about all the steps he was taking to be a better person — things that seemed out of character.
When a man does this, he wants you to know that all those personal failings or problems that had been an issue when you were together, he is now working on.
If a guy starts to tell you about how much they’ve changed and all they are doing to improve themselves, they may be trying to win you back.
13) He’s nicer to you now than when you were going out
When we first start dating someone we show off our very best sides.
We’re often more charming, thoughtful and attentive. We just naturally direct more of our energy towards the object of our desire.
After a while though, we can get too comfortable and stop making the same effort. Sometimes that even means we feel ignored or neglected by our partners.
If your ex has suddenly turned into the boyfriend you had always wanted, it suggests he is trying to woo you again.
Maybe he compliments you, he is kind and considerate or even flirts with you.
The fact he’s putting way more effort in to try and impress you might mean he wants you back.
14) He wants to be best friends
This may be a potentially controversial comment but here goes…you cannot be close friends with an ex straight after a breakup.
Of course, there’s always the odd exception, but generally, it’s true — and the experts agree.
It’s just too complicated to jump from lovers to good friends in an instant. There’s a lot of messy feelings to navigate first — as therapist and author Nina Atwood explain:
“Wanting to be friends keeps you from feeling the full depth of the loss, softening the blow of the breakup. You might think that it’s a good idea to stay platonic with a former lover, but there are many challenges, such as the feelings of emotional attachment.”
We spend so much time with a boyfriend or a girlfriend that it’s understandable we don’t want to let them go from our life, even after we split up. We miss them, they feel familiar and being around them makes us feel safe and comfortable.
But when we try to be close friends before we’ve really had time to heal or move on, more often than not, we’re just trying to keep the other person in our life to avoid feeling the pain of letting go.
If your ex is really pushing to be the best of friends and keep hanging out all the time, it is a strong sign that he isn’t ready to lose you.
15) He’s very touchy-feely with you still
We can tell a lot about how someone is feeling about us just from their body language. It gives away clues that our words alone do not.
If a guy is always finding reasons to try and touch you, this is very flirty behaviour. If the physical contact hasn’t stopped, it’s definitely a sign that, at the very least, he is still attracted to you.
Of course, plenty of us ends up hooking up with an ex again after we break up. It’s important to be clear about each other’s intentions.
If one of you still has strong feelings, whilst the other just see it as sex, this can delay the healing process and cause more pain in the long run.
16) He’s making romantic gestures
I doubt you need me to tell you that if he is pulling out all the stops with romantic gestures, it means he regrets letting you go.
The gestures don’t even need to be so grand — just enough to show he is going above and beyond.
If he sends you flowers, if he turns up at your house with your favourite takeout, if he writes you a long letter explaining how he feels — don’t be surprised if he wants you back.
Although it may feel romantic at the time, the real question is whether those gestures are enough?
The real-life problems that most of us face in relationships take change and compromise to resolve.
Skywriting your name might make you feel special, but it probably won’t fix what made you break up in the first place.
17) He’s super attentive
I like to play this game in restaurants where I guess how long couples have been together.
Of course, there’s no way to find out if I’m right or not without looking a bit crazy by asking them — but I think there are big clues in the way they behave towards one another.
If guys are intensely listening, nodding and looking at their date, I assume it’s early days. If they’re both constantly on their phones or barely speaking, it’s most likely been a while.
I even joke that you can tell when couples are in the “I haven’t slept with you yet, and so I find everything you say fascinating” stage.
Call me cynical, but I can’t help but think the more attentive we are to someone, the more of an ulterior motive we have.
If he deeply listens when you speak, if he suggests cooking for you, or if he keeps trying to do favours for you — he wants to get on your good side.
If he picks up as soon as you call him, messages back straight away and always seems to take an active interest in what is happening in your life — he may be having regrets about breaking up.
18) He turns to you for advice
Asking advice from someone is a sign that we respect them and value their opinion.
It’s normal that we seek the counsel of our partners. But if he is still coming to you to help him figure out his problems even after you’ve split up, he still feels a tie with you.
It shows that you are clearly still on good terms, as we don’t try and get help from people we’ve fallen out with.
The difficulty is in reading whether he is seeking your advice because he still harbours feelings for you, or because it’s a habit. Either way it does suggest you are still important in his life.
19) He’s trying to provoke you
Every one of us is different and so we all handle difficult emotions differently too.
Whilst one man may deal with his regrets over a breakup by sucking up and trying desperately to win you back, another might just try to provoke you. Why would anyone do that?
He wants to see if you still care and is prepared to push your buttons to try and find out. Especially if he is a bit emotionally immature or feeling hurt, he may be lashing out, just to get a rise out of you.
Anger and frustration can be powerful emotions that make us do illogical things. So, if he can’t get your attention in positive ways, he’ll do it in negative ways.
That could mean that he tries to make you jealous, or perhaps starts a pointless argument — whatever works to get a reaction out of you.
20) He’s mad for no reason
Anger is a mask.
We’re never really just angry. There is always a layer behind the anger which leads to another emotion.
Usually, once anger is stripped away, we find that we’re not actually mad — we’re sad. We often use our anger as a defence mechanism, in an attempt to protect ourselves from the hurt that we really feel deep down.
It makes sense too. When you think about it, feeling “f**k you” towards an ex can feel a lot better than crying into your pillow all night.
If you split up because he felt wronged by you, for example, because of cheating, his anger is an understandable reaction.
But if his anger seems more general or a bit misplaced — it’s a sign he is still experiencing some strong emotions around the relationship ending.
21) He’s jealous
The green-eyed monster has a powerful way of highlighting just how “over” someone we really are.
I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve theoretically moved on from a relationship, only to discover when someone else comes on the scene, that in reality, I haven’t moved on as much as I thought.
It’s always going to sting a little bit when we see an ex with someone else, but extreme jealousy could be a sign that he wants you back.
Is he always trying to find out about your love life or whether there is someone else on the scene?
Does he behave protective over you still, especially around other guys?
Whether it’s right or wrong, sometimes the threat of competition from another romantic interest helps us to realize what we had and what we’ve lost.
22) He tells you that he misses you
One of my exes would occasionally drop those 3 little words — I miss you — into his messages to me (particularly if he’d been drinking).
He would never specifically say he wanted me back, it was more casually thrown into the conversation.
Of course, we will miss someone when we break up, it’s to be expected. You go from spending a lot of time together to having far less contact, or perhaps none at all.
In some ways, I have missed every single ex-boyfriend I’ve ever had, even when deep down I didn’t want to be in the relationship anymore. But going as far as telling someone you miss them, usually means more.
They are feeling your absence and they want you to know. It’s a little way of testing the water to see if they hear “I miss you too” back from you.
A word of caution: How to know if he regrets losing you?
It’s common after a break-up to struggle to let someone go, even when deep down you don’t want to get back together with them. No one switches feelings off just like that. It takes time to get over a relationship when we care about someone.
There is an adjustment period for both of you as you try and navigate into a new lifes without the other person.
The truth is that this can be a very confusing and messy time.
We don’t always know how to act. People also react and respond differently to breakups. Sometimes in the process, the signals that people send can be misleading.
Whenever we’re desperate to try and get into someone else’s head, we can end up tripping ourselves up and seeing things that maybe aren’t there.
Whilst these signs can indicate that he regrets letting you go, some of them could also be him dealing with and processing the end of your relationship. That’s why it’s important to think about what you really want and then ask him how he feels.
If it seems like you are getting mixed signals from him that are leaving you in limbo, it’s better to talk to him about it.
Ultimately, the only way we can ever know for sure where we stand with someone is by asking them.
This way, you get a clear answer. Even if it’s not the answer you were hoping for, you can put a stop to any misleading behaviour and try to move on.
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