11 Insights – Why Do Exes Come Back When You Moved On (2024)

There are several common reasons why do exes come back when you moved on. It’s one of the predictable phenomenons of modern love.

In my role as a life coach, I am often helping clients better understand human behavior, so they can make the right decisions to get what they want out of life. 

Now, you’re about to learn why moving on is the best way to inspire ex-boyfriends and girlfriends to get back in contact with you.

So, let’s dive in.  

Why Do Exes Come Back When You Moved On
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Why Exes Come Back After You Ignore Them

Here are 11 insights, which explain why exes are more likely to come back to you after you move on with your life and stop trying to get them back.

1. They Over-Reacted

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It can happen that a boyfriend or girlfriend reacts to a relatively small disagreement by walking away from the relationship. Perhaps this small error on your part was the straw that broke the camel’s back and finally gave them the courage to leave.

However, it also happens because this person over-reacts as a fighting strategy to make an impact on you, so that you actually change your unwelcomed behavior. It could also be that they were feeling highly emotional due to other stresses in their life.

Either way, they’re most likely to come back when you don’t react to their emotional manipulation. 

Wait until they’ve eventually realized they were wrong to over-react and that it didn’t work. At this point, they’ll see they need to crawl back in case they lose you forever. 

Here is a list of 21 CLEAR Signs Your Ex Is Pretending To Be Over You.

2. People Want What They Can’t Have

People Want What They Can’t Have
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It’s one of the most basic aspects of human psychology that really frustrates us, especially in the world of dating. Yet, it remains true in most cases.

To most people, scarcity = value.

If something is difficult to get, we value it more. If we’re told we can’t have something at all, we want it more than ever.  

Most likely, if you’re reading this article, your ex broke up with you, deeming you invaluable to them.

If you’re always calling and begging for them to come back, there’s no scarcity. They think they could back whenever they please, so you confirm your lack of value to them.

However, if you cease all contact and ignore their messages, you create that scarcity. Now, they think you might not want them anymore. Suddenly, your value goes up in their eyes.

If they haven’t found anyone better to date yet, they might start to reconsider whether leaving you was the best move. Before you know it, they could be the ones asking for a second chance.

It’s also true that people tend to treat things (or relationships) with more care if they had to work hard to attain it. 

So, if the attention you gave your ex was scarce during your breakup and they had to put in a lot of effort to win you back, it’s likely they’ll treat you better once you’re back together.  

Related Content: My Ex Is Dating Someone Else Already And It Hurts

3. It Feels Like Time Is Running Out

Feels Like Time Is Running Out
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Urgency is one of the biggest factors that leads to people making a decision.

When we feel like we have all the time in the world to decide on something, we’ll use it. Maybe some new information or circumstances will emerge to change our mind.

When time appears to be running out, we’re more likely to commit to a decision.

So, how does this psychological fact affect whether exes come back? 

Well, if you’re calling and asking them to come back every day, your ex could feel like it’s safe to try out the single life for a little longer, even though they might not be liking it so much right now.

But when you cease all contact and appear to be moving on, it’ll feel like they need to come back straight away if they’re having regrets. If they wait, they might miss out completely. 

This sense of urgency plays a big role in convincing people to pull the trigger and take their ex back.  

Related: Emotionally Unavailable Man Keeps Coming Back

4. You Improved Yourself

Improved Yourself
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When a boyfriend or girlfriend breaks up with us, it’s usually because of some weakness we had that they didn’t want to put up with.

However, if we move on with our lives and focus on bettering ourselves, this can convince our exes that we’re worth another shot.

If your ex somehow hears or sees that you’ve been making improvements to your life, it’s common that they’ll reiniate contact. 

But, let’s say they don’t hear or see anything about your progress…

Even by ceasing all contact, you insinuate: 

  • you’re not needy;
  • you’re not jealous;
  • you’re not over-reliant on them;
  • you’re not sitting at home all day doing nothing.  

These are all common reasons for people to break up with someone, so your ex may assume you’re making positive changes to your life, just because they don’t hear from you.

Related: Stages Of Getting Back Together With An Ex Slowly

5. Social Proof

Social Proof
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Social proof is one of the biggest factors we use to determine the value of something or someone.

We trust the opinions of others, especially if they’re our friends or these people seem to be valuable themselves. 

So, if you start dating someone else who’s perhaps better-looking than your ex, this doesn’t just make them jealous. It also makes them reconsider how valuable you are.

The thing is: this doesn’t work if you’re sending your exes photos to point out all the hot new people you’re dating. Then, they can see you’re trying to make them jealous and haven’t truly  moved on. 

Instead, they need to organically discover that you’re dating a hot new guy or girl. 

Related: Why Does He Keep Coming Back

6. They Miss Your Validation

Miss Your Validation
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There are plenty of nice things about being in a relationship, including being made to feel important and special by someone in love with you. 

Once you’ve broken up, you usually lose that. This can make you crave a relationship more than ever, either with your ex or someone new.  

But has your ex lost that sense of validation from you? If you’re constantly fighting for them to come back, the answer is no. 

They’re still getting validation from you, while they begin their search for a better partner. They’re getting the best of both worlds, so why would they take you back?

If you cease contact completely, they don’t get your validation any more. Then, there’s every chance they’ll reach out to you because they start missing it, especially if they haven’t found anyone else to date. 

7. You Come Across As Focused On Your Life Mission

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When you’re not wasting your time messaging your ex, you’re more likely to come across as a person on their mission. You’re an ambitious man or woman with a plan to live an amazing life, and no-one is going to slow you down.

This is a highly attractive trait, because people don’t have a solid plan for what they want to achieve.

In fact, many search for their boyfriend or girlfriend to provide a sense of meaning or achievement.

When you phone your partner and tell them “my life is meaningless without you”, that’s not romantic. It’s unattractive. 

If you don’t make time to contact your ex because you’re too busy accelarating towards your dream life, that’s attractive! It also highlights the fact that your ex doesn’t really have a mission for their life (if that is the case).

We all want to have a clear or focused path in life. If your ex doesn’t have one, they might be tempted to run back to you and become a part of your journey.

8. The Zeigarnak Effect Is In Action

Zeigarnak Effect Is In Action
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The Zeigarnak Effect states that unfinished projects are more likely to play on our minds than completed ones.

By breaking up with you, your ex has essentially decided to close the door on your relationship, although it can still feel like there’s unfinished business between you two.

If you move on, you signal to your partner that this ‘unfinished business’ will never be completed.

This can drive them crazy and motivate them to want to come back to you. 

Related: 20 Reasons: Dreaming About An Ex You Don’t Talk To Anymore

9. Their Exit Plan Isn’t Working

Exit Plan Isn’t Working
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Some people choose not to leave their relationships, until they have a new one lined up. It’s called monkey-branching.

If your partner was planning to monkey-branch, but something went wrong, they might try and scurry back to you. 

This is especially likely if you’re appearing to be moving on, and they fear they might be left with no partner at all soon.

Monkey-branching really is immoral, and back-tracking after a failed monkey branch is even worse. If you discover that’s what’s happened to your ex, have a long think about taking them back. It would seem unlikely that this person is in love with you.      

Related: How To Get An Emotionally Unavailable Man To Chase You

10. They’re Jealous

They’re Jealous
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Another reason exes come back is that they want to have their cake and eat it too.

Your ex might decide they want to be single, but they also don’t want you to search for someone else. They want to retain their power over you.

In this case, if they find out another guy or girl is becoming an important part of your life, they might suddenly re-emerge to try and win your interest again. 

If your ex is playing games like this, but doesn’t actually want you back, it’s best to cut them out of your life for good.   

Have some self-respect. Set yourself free. Don’t remain friends. Don’t even wish them well. This person doesn’t love you. They are playing with your feelings because they want to control you. 

Related: Should I Block My Ex? Pros & Cons

11. They Love The Thrill Of The Chase

Love The Thrill Of The Chase

There are certain people who are emotionally attracted to the idea of a conquest.

These are the type of people, who move from one-night-stand to one-night-stand, but have little interest in relationships beyond the moment after they orgasm. 

These partners are so emotionally self-interested. They love the thrill of the chase, rather being together with the person they were pursuing. They might not even see their partners as human with feelings.  

Did you manage to tie someone like this into a relationship? If so, there’s honestly little surprise that they ended up breaking it off.

The good news is: these types of exes normally come back when you moved on, perhaps more than any other archetype. When you cease contact, you begin to feel like a brand new conquest for them to win over again.

The bad news is: it won’t be much easier to tie them down into a long-term relationship the second time around.

For more information, see my advice on how to spot a player.    

How To Handle An Ex Coming Back

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Picture the situation. After a long period of overcoming heartbreak and rebuilding your confidence, your ex comes back into your life and says they want to give your relationship another shot.

You might feel overwhelmed with euphoria and ready to take them back in a heartbeat. Or you might be terrified that you’ll get back together only for the relationship to break up again. In most cases, you have a good reason to fear that.

You two broke up for a reason. If that reason hasn’t been addressed, it’ll most likely break your relationship again.

So, before you accept your ex back with open arms, it’s worth exploring what made them leave and why this won’t happen again. 

It’s also important to find the truth of what made them come back. If it’s for one of these toxic superficial reasons, that’s another sign your relationship isn’t built to last.

In some cases, if you’ve truly moved on, it will feel like you don’t want your ex back. Don’t be afraid to listen to these feelings. Your gut is usually correct in these situations.

There are plenty of fish in the sea, and you deserve one who is ready to treat you correctly.      

If you’re hoping to move on faster from your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, check out this guide: Getting Over A Breakup Is A Chance – Get Over Your Ex Fast

Frequently Asked Questions About Why Exes Come Back:

Why Exes Come Back
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Here are some quick-fire answers to round off this article about why exes come back.

Is It True When You Move On Your Ex Comes Back?

This isn’t a guarantee. However, for the reasons discussed above, it’s more likely that your ex will be inspired to come back to you once you have moved on from them. With that said, here is a list of DEFINITE Signs Your Ex Will Eventually Come Back To You.

Do Exes Come Back When You Least Expect It? 

It might seem that way, as exes are more likely to come back once you’ve moved on. It’s only when you’ve moved on that you stop thinking about your ex coming back. So, the moment they do reappear, it tends to be highly unexpected.

Why Are All My Exes Coming Back At The Same Time?

This could be a huge coincidence, or it could be that something big has happened that made you more attractive in their eyes. Something so big that all your exes were able to find out at the same time…

Were you in the local newspaper after winning the lottery, or did you post a FIRE selfie to Instagram? Most likely, it’s something in between these two extremes. 

As always, make sure to test your ex’s motives before accepting them back into your life.

Any More Questions About Why Do Exes Come Back When You Moved On?

Thanks for reading my article on why exes come back. I wish you the best of luck in your personal situation. 

Hopefully, this advice inspires you to finally take control of your life and move on from your most recent breakup. That’s a better idea than constantly wondering Does My Ex Miss Me?, calling them and begging them for a second chance. 

If you have any questions about how to move on after breaking up with a great guy or girl, feel free to leave a comment below.

I’d love to read your comment and will do my best to respond with some advice as quickly as I can.

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About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.