15 signs he knows he messed up (and he definitely wants you back!)

It’s like they say, “you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.”

We’ve all dated that guy who treated us like he didn’t care whether we stayed or left.

He’d not text back for hours or days, spend what was supposed to be a day together buried in his phone, or take it for granted when you did stuff for him.

This kind of guy is all about himself and just doesn’t reciprocate your effort or your affection.

Then, when you finally get tired of dealing with it and leave, he’s suddenly everywhere.

He’s liking your Instagram posts and showing up in your DMs.

Is he regretting his mistake or just trying to keep you on the line?

Look out for these sure signs he knows he messed up and he regrets losing you.

1. He stays single.

He has his freedom, so why isn’t he using it?

If he’s not getting back into the dating scene, this can be one of the sure signs he knows he messed up.

He’s trying to stay available in case he can get you to change your mind.

Staying single isn’t always a sign that he wants his old relationship back, of course.

In some cases, being single for a while is healthy.

It gives you time to focus on yourself and become a happier, more balanced person.

But, if his new relationship status is accompanied by any of the other signs, it can indicate that he wants his old relationship status back.

2. He makes major life changes.

He’s changed his hair, he’s going to the gym and dabbling with paleo or veganism.

He’s suddenly reading the classics and even thinks that maybe he’ll go back to school.

If your ex is suddenly on a self-improvement binge, that is a clear sign that he knows he made a mistake.

This is a guy who has decided that it is all his fault that you two broke up.

He realizes that he needs to make some changes.

What he may not realize is that no one can make all of the changes all at once.

It may be best to sit and watch for a while to see which improvements actually stick.

3. He’s suddenly contacting you all the time.

Is the guy who could never return a text in a timely manner suddenly all up in your messages? Maybe he’s texting “just to say hi.”

Or, he’ll find excuses to contact you over and over again.

If you are hearing from him all the time, it may be because you’re on his mind, and he misses you.

The constant contact, however, can be confusing for a woman who is trying to move on.

If you aren’t sure what his intentions are, there’s nothing wrong with asking.

If he really is trying to get back together with you, openness and honesty should be part of the deal.

4. You receive long, apologetic emails.

This is one of the more overt signs he regrets losing you.

Before you take him back, though, really analyze the content of those emails.

Does he acknowledge what he did wrong? Does he accept responsibility for his mistakes?

Also, are these true apologies?

It’s one thing if he is making true and proper apologies with promises for amends.

It’s another if they’re of the “sorry if you were upset” variety.

5. He knows all about your post break-up life.

When you run into him or talk to him on the phone, does he seem to know everything that you’ve been up to?

Chances are good that he’s been taking long, maudlin looks at your social media or talking to your friends.

However he is getting the information, it is clear that you are still very much on his mind.

He’s realizing that he misses you and is doing what he can to fill in the gap.

By the way, it is completely okay to lock down your social media and ask friends not to share information about you if he is making you uncomfortable.

Breaking up is the one major choice in a relationship that you can make unilaterally.

If you don’t want him to know about your life after him, you have a right to protect your privacy.

6. He’s pumping your friends or family for information about you.

When a friend of mine broke up with her boyfriend, something weird happened: he suddenly wanted to hang out with all her friends.

He’d text her best friend to see if he could join her gaming group.

He even called her mom to “see how she was doing.”

But, every time he talked to any of these people, he’d find ways to steer the conversation to his ex and what she was up to these days.

He wanted to know where she was going, what she was doing, and, most importantly, if she was seeing someone.

He knew he’d messed up, and he was trying to see if there was a chance for him to get her back.

7. He’s overly positive and upbeat.

Maybe you’re the one sneaking peeks at his social media.

And, what you find every time you look is that he is now living on the All Awesome, All the Time Show.

He’s posting tons of pictures of him out with friends.

Or maybe all his pictures are of him drinking green smoothies and running on scenic trails.

He’s also discovered a love for inspirational memes.

If someone is dripping this much positivity, the person they are trying hardest to convince is themselves.

This sort of self-deception is actually unhealthy, and a sign that he is not doing as well as he would like people to think he is.

8. He starts showering you with gifts.

Are you suddenly receiving a ton of “just because” gifts from your ex?

He’ll drop by with your favorite candy because he saw it in the market, and he thought of you.

Or maybe he just had to buy a t-shirt from your favorite movie or something else he knew you’d love.

He may try to insist that you two are just friends, and it’s perfectly natural to buy things for your friends.

But, it’s more likely a sign that he is not over you, and he is trying to win you back.

9. He tries to act like nothing ever happened.

It can make you feel like you’re losing your mind.

You two had the big talk, but you wake up to a good morning text the next day. What’s going on?

This is a guy who has realized very quickly that ending things was a mistake.

He’s hoping that if he pretends the break-up didn’t happen, you’ll play along and the two of you will get back together.

In this situation, recognize that you hold the cards.

If you want him back, you have the option of going along.

But, if you are going to need to see some changed behavior first, go ahead and let him know that.

10. He’s hiding a new partner from you.

Is his social media suddenly tightly locked down? Is he evasive when you talk?

There’s a chance that he’s moved on, but he isn’t ready for you to know it.

This is a guy who is trying to keep all his options open.

He knows that you’ll lose interest if it’s clear that he is seeing someone new, so he wants to avoid that until he’s decided for sure which one of you he wants.

There’s nothing wrong, per se, with a rebound after a break-up.

But, it’s not fair to either you or the new person in his life if he is treating you both like an option.

You also need to consider the possibility that he started his new relationship before ending the old one with you.

11. He starts making grand gestures.

Do you suddenly feel like the heroine in a romantic comedy?

Whether it’s a singing telegram, a ridiculously large bouquet of flowers, or some other huge gesture, these are all impossible to miss signs that he knows he made a mistake.

One thing to consider before getting swept away by a big, romantic gesture: it’s the everyday stuff that really counts. Grand gestures can be a form of love bombing, which is a type of behavior meant to make you feel loved and cared for.

The problem is, it usually stops as soon as the love bomber gets comfortable again.

12. He’s acting like a mess.

You’re hearing from his friends that he’s hitting the bar every night.

The last time you ran into him, he was wearing unironed clothes that looked like he’d been in them a couple of days.

His social media is full of vaguebooking and sulking.

A guy who is acting like this is one who realizes that he’s made a terrible mistake.

He’s messed up and has lost the woman that he never knew he wanted.

However, self-destructive behavior is not a healthy way to cope with losing someone.

And, if he is using his bad behavior to guilt you into taking him back, that’s a big red flag.

13. He wants to be your best friend.

Yes, it is possible to be friends with your ex after a break-up.

But, if he wants to be your friend right away and see you all the time, it can feel like a little too much.

A guy who is realizing that he gave up someone who he really values may try to make up for that mistake by being around her all the time.

Sometimes it can get really weird.

For instance, you may be dating someone new, and your ex wants you to tell him all the details.

If your new best friend is getting clingy, it may be because he regrets losing you, and he’s trying to stay close for another chance.

14. He tells you how miserable he is now.

You’re trying to stay friends, but every time you chat, he just talks about how awful everything is. He suddenly hates his job.

He doesn’t want to go anywhere. He just can’t get out of the funk that he’s in.

A lot of guys are blindsided by feelings of unhappiness after a break-up.

After all, they left a relationship that they thought wasn’t making them happy. Shouldn’t they feel better?

What a lot of them tend to realize too late was that the relationship had a lot more value to them than they thought it did.

When it finally dawns on them that they made a mistake, though, it might be too late.

15. He says he wants to get back together.

Like some of the others, this isn’t a sign as much as it is a 20-foot billboard.

If he tells you that he wants to get back together, it is clear that he knows he messed up when he let you go.

Wanting to get back together with someone after a break-up is not uncommon.

Researchers say that about half of couples who break up will get back together at least once.

Now, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to take him up on it.

Should you take him back?

We all make mistakes. They can be learning opportunities.

A guy who doesn’t properly appreciate the woman who he is with may let the relationship go because he doesn’t think that he’ll miss her.

It’s only after she’s gone that he realizes just how important she was.

Sometimes, this leads to changed behavior and more appreciation for the woman he is with.

But sometimes, he won’t learn his lesson, and he’ll fall right back into the behaviors that led to the break-up in the first place.

If you are considering taking someone back after he realizes that he regrets losing you, make sure that you are doing it with eyes open.

Every woman deserves to be with someone who truly appreciates her. She deserves to be treated with respect and kindness by her partner.

If you also miss the relationship and you think he deserves another chance, make sure that you get the warm, supportive and passionate relationship that you deserve.

The real reason why men pull away

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