Relationships come to an end for many different reasons. Maybe it was a mutual decision or maybe it was because one person did something so horrible, they couldn’t be forgiven. No matter where the breakup falls in the list of reasons why, one thing can be certain: it happened. Two people that were once one have separated. A couple who once dreamed of a forever are now just a pair of singletons.
Breakups are commonly more difficult for the person who was dumped than the person who initiated the breakup. And being dumped is hard enough to deal with without the added confusion from an ex who just can’t stay away.
Why do exes come back? Are they sincerely missing the person they were with? Or is it a manipulative tool to gain control? Figuring out the reason why has a whole lot to do with how the relationship ended and what the ex was like when they were together.
If the person was a toxic force in the relationship, his reasons for coming back are not likely going to be genuine. When an ex comes back, it’s important to think carefully. Despite what our hearts are telling us, it is not always because he has realized we really are his one true love. There are quite a few toxic reasons why exes decide to come back to the one they left. We can help to sort out the differences between the toxic reasons and the sincere, love-motivated reasons.
20 He Only Comes Back Because He Misses What She Provided For Him
This is huge one. So many relationships are unbalanced, with one person giving all the time and the other taking. When he decides to end the relationship, he likely forgot to consider the fact that his girlfriend actually provided him with a lot, be it a ride to work, money for his guys' nights, etc.
If he was a narcissistic ex, losing what she provided him with won’t be easy. He will come crawling back for as long as it takes until she gives him what he was looking for. This type of ex is usually the one that tries really hard to maintain friendships with his exes so he can maintain access to their valuable resources.
19 He Only Comes Back To Keep On Controlling Her
A guy who was controlling during the relationship will most likely come back because he senses he is losing the control he held over her and doesn’t like it. He wants to keep controlling you even though he might not have romantic feelings for you anymore.
These types of people are manipulative and know what to say or do to get you back under their thumb. “They have inside information about their exes’ vulnerabilities and weaknesses that they can exploit and manipulate which gives them a sense of power and control,” explains Dr. Tony Ferretti to Thought Catalog. They might end up stalking their ex after ending the relationship to maintain control over their life.
18 He Only Comes Back To Create A Love Triangle
Certain guys have this unholy desire to keep a handful of girls in their back pocket for times of need. An ex will come back for this very reason. He will lead you along only enough to ensure you have become a key figure in his little black book – even if there are other girls there, too.
According to Thought Catalog, “Even after the break-up, they will attempt to add you to their harem so they can triangulate you with their various exes, current partners and potential targets.” These guys thrive on the attention from having multiple partners.
17 He Is Legit Still In Love If He Expresses Strong Emotions
It’s not easy for your average guy to express his emotions in an open and true fashion. If the ex is coming back pouring his heart out with genuine feelings, he could actually be coming back because he is still in love. These feelings don’t always have to be particularly nice, either.
According to Ex Back Permanently, “[Dislike] is not the opposite of love, indifference is.” Expressing feelings, be it negative or positive, takes effort. Someone who broke up with you and didn’t care about you anymore isn’t likely to share any bit of their emotions with you.
16 He Only Comes Back Because He's Single Again
Some people can’t stand to be alone. An ex-boyfriend may have left you because he had another option on hand. However, now he’s single again and wants you back so he isn’t alone. “This is a temporary reason for coming back and it will likely only be until they can find a ‘better’ replacement,” explains My Ex Back Coach.
This toxic reason can lead to more heartbreak for you, because it can be hard for your heart to understand his real reason for coming back to you. An ex who only comes back because he can’t stand being single might end up stepping out on you to find the next place to lay his head.
15 He Only Comes Back Because He Can't Get Anything Else
Boy thinks he’s the best thing since sliced bread. Boy breaks up with girl. Boy tries to find better girl. Boy fails, and boy comes back. This is not only toxic but super hurtful. If you’ve realized this is the reason why your ex is coming back, it can leave you feeling like the backup plan and not his number one.
If you and your former boyfriend live in a small town, this situation becomes even more common. After leaving and searching, he comes back because he’s realized you are the best he can get or even his only option – which definitely is not flattering.
14 He Only Comes Back Because He Feels Guilty
When heartbreak is involved, guilt can be a powerful force. If the breakup was especially hard on you or if your ex wasn’t the nicest during the relationship, he might be feeling quite guilty. This will cause him to come back to you in an effort to make amends, not because he still has true feelings.
“They want you to validate that they are not as horrible as they feel they are,” explains EnkiRelations. “If you entertain their overtures, you will only help clear their conscience about what they did.” Remember, guilt is not love. After his guilty conscience is put to rest, he will likely take his exit once again.
13 He Is Legit Still In Love If He Tries To Make Her Jealous
If your ex is making a big effort to try to make you jealous of whatever they have now that they aren’t with you, he is probably still in love. Is he posting status updates or pictures on his social media with you in mind? Does he seem to get extra flirtatious with other girls when he knows you are near? Yeah, he’s still got some residue feelings for you.
“The fact that they are doing this means that you are on their mind most of the time,” states Ex Back Permanently.” And the fact that you are still on their mind means that they are still in love with you.”
12 He Only Comes Back Because He's Bored
An ex who comes back out of boredom is not going to make for a good second chance at a relationship. “Essentially what your ex is saying here is that there is no one else around so you are the best option that they know they can get,” explains Ex-Boyfriend Recovery.
He might have a good time hanging out with you, but there is a reason why he left you. If his only reason for coming back to you is because he finds himself bored without you, he probably won’t be staying around for very long. He might get bored of you.
11 He Only Comes Back Because He's Lonely
Loneliness can seriously suck, but it is not a reason to play with another person’s emotions if you aren’t seriously into them. One toxic reason why an ex comes back is because being with you is better than being lonely. However, fixing his loneliness doesn’t fix whatever it was he didn’t like from the relationship that gave him reason to end it.
When entering into a new relationship, it’s important to make sure you are comfortable with being alone, too. If you aren’t, the intentions of the relationship might not be pure and the foundation it is built on won’t be very stable.
10 He Only Comes Back Because He Needs Support During A Difficult Situation
When two people are in a relationship long-term, they form a special bond. This bond doesn’t just automatically go away because the relationship ended. That being said, this bond does not exactly mean love. It more likely means comfort.
It’s easy to go back to what is familiar during times of great need. This is not always the right decision, though. An ex who comes back because he needs your support during a difficult situation will spark great confusion in your heart and his. As hard as it may be, if you feel this is the only reason why he’s coming back to you, try turning him in the directions of his friends or family for support instead.
9 He Is Legit Still In Love If He Takes Responsibility For His Mistakes
Taking responsibility for mistakes you’ve made in the past deserves a huge round of applause. An ex who comes back with an open heart and is not trying to deny any of his wrongdoings is probably holding onto feelings for you. There is no reason why he needs to take responsibility for anything he did to hurt you after he has ended the relationship.
If your ex starts reaching out to you with a sincere apology and is taking full blame for all of his mistakes, it’s worth a talk. When you are talking, though, make sure he isn’t just overcome with guilt because that could mean he has an ulterior motive for trying to make amends.
8 He Only Comes Back Because He's Jealous Of Her New Life
A toxic reason for an ex-boyfriend to come back is that he is jealous of the new life you have going for yourself after the breakup. Social media plays a huge part in our lives and allows our exes to keep tabs on what we’re doing or who we’re seeing without them.
If you are out living your best life without him, don’t even entertain the idea of getting back with him if he comes groveling back. “They are only jealous you’ve moved on without them,” explains EnkiRelations. He probably didn’t expect you to move on with your life after he dumped you.
7 He Only Comes Back Because His Parents Are Making Him
Parents play a big part in most of our lives. A lot of people want nothing more than to please their parents. Your ex could be coming back because his parents didn’t like the idea that he broke up with you. Parents also have a way of making their children see when they have made poor decisions. And, according to EnkiRelations, this one is especially true for men.
Regardless of what his parents think of the situation, remember it was his decision to do it. You shouldn’t let him come back because his parents would have preferred he stay with you.
6 He Only Comes Back Because He Just Wants The Closeness Back
Usually after a break up, one of the first things to go is the physical closeness (which also happens to be one of a guy’s favorite parts of a relationship). This will likely be the first thing he misses after ending things with you.
It is possible that after leaving you, he hasn’t been able to get what he wants elsewhere, so he has come back to you to try to get that. According to My Ex Back Coach, “If that’s the only reason your ex comes back, it won’t be long at all before you are dumped again for someone who provides more of what your ex needs.”
5 He Is Legit Still In Love If He Contacts Her For The Most Random Reasons
Is he contacting you for the most random reasons, like a recipe for brownies or for your opinion on the new iPhone? If he is messaging you for things that he can easily find out with an internet search, he wants you to know that he is thinking about you.
This ex is looking for a reason to talk to you and get closer. It’s hard to go without contact when breakups are fresh, but if this sort of random communication continues for a while, there is a good chance he still has strong feelings for you and your opinions.
4 He Only Comes Back Because He's Losing His Power
A lot of men love power. According to EnkiRelations, “After a relationship is over, your exes might get back with you since they feel they have lost the power over you which they once enjoyed.” This one stands especially true if the guy was controlling during the relationship.
This is not only a toxic reason to come back to a relationship, but it makes for a really toxic relationship. A healthy relationship is not about one person exerting power and control over another. If you’re lucky enough to have this guy break up with you, try your best not to let him manipulate his way back into a relationship.
3 He Only Comes Back Because He Wants A Do-Over
It’s okay to give people a second chance, but not everyone deserves a second chance. Some ex-boyfriends might come back because they have realized that life without you isn’t as wonderful as they thought it would be and now they want a do-over.
Keep in mind that he did break up with you. There was a point in time that he decided he didn’t want to be in a romantic relationship with you. You deserve to know why before allowing him to have his do-over. You deserve to be someone’s first choice, not their second thought.
2 He Only Comes Back Because He Doesn't Want Her To Move On
Self-absorbed guys want to think they are the best there is out there. When their ex-girlfriend moves on with another guy, that can lead them to feel they actually aren’t the best. So, they will come back to her only because they don’t want her to move on.
It seems like your ex always finds a way to come back to you when you have finally found happiness. Before you found someone new, you likely dreamed of the moment your ex would come back for you. Of course, it happens now that you are in a new relationship, and it is likely causing you a lot of internal confusion. Don’t let it. It is a bad idea to go back to your ex in this situation.
1 He Is Legit Still In Love If He Bumps Into Her In Public
These little accidental meetings are probably not a coincidence. He wants to find a reason to bump into you so you two can catch up again. According to With My Ex Again, “If they’re deliberately hanging out in places where they know you’ll be, chances are that they’re still feeling something for you.”
He is most likely trying to get you to see that you miss him, too. You are on his mind and he wants desperately to be on yours. If you aren’t yet over this breakup and the relationship wasn’t bad before things ended, this might be one to look into for another try, because he is still feeling you.
Sources: Thought Catalog, Enki Relations