Why Do Your Exes Always Come Crawling Back?

When an ex you washed your hands of a long time ago comes crawling back into your life, it’s tempting to believe it’s because he still loves you and has realized the error of his ways, but unfortunately, that’s usually not the case at all. There are plenty of reasons old flames come back for seconds (or thirds or fourths) that have very little to do with you at all.

  1. They’re lonely. Probably one of the most prevalent reasons exes come back is because they have no other options, they’d like a little company and they think you’re an easy option. They think that because of your shared history (and maybe even the assumption that you’re in the same boat), you’ll be able to make them feel better or less lonely. They don’t miss you, they just miss the intimacy you once shared.
  2. The grass isn’t greener on the other side after all. Maybe they left you because they couldn’t handle a mature relationship and thought they would find better. When they go out into the world and realize that what they had was pretty top notch compared to what’s out there, they came crawling back. Too late, bro.
  3. They need to feed their ego. You probably always made them feel amazing because, at one point or another, you thought they were the best people in the world and I always told them so. When they’re down and out and need a pick-me-up, they go straight to you because they think you’ll be there to help remind them of how great they are.
  4. They’re horny. They want to get back in the sack with you because it’s easier to sleep with someone who knows what they like and how they like it rather than have yet another awkward one-night stand with someone who doesn’t know what’s what when it comes to their body. Do not fall for this trap, no matter how horny you might be yourself. It ALWAYS leads to disaster.
  5. They’re bored. That’s right, they’re bored and have nothing better to do. Maybe their lives are lacking serious excitement or their social calendar has been empty for too long. Maybe they can’t get a date or the few they’ve gone on have been disasters so they’re getting sick of trying. Whatever the reasons behind their boredom, don’t let them use you to cure it.
  6. They’re trying to prove that they’re better. Some of the guys you’ve dated were probably complete messes when you were together, so when they finally manage to get their act together, they want you to know about it. They’ll send that “let’s catch up” text not because they want to know about your life, but because they want you to know they’ve gone from zero to hero since you broke up.
  7. They want to see if they still have you wrapped around their finger. Some people love the feeling of control, and if you’ve ever dated someone like that, it can be a huge motivation for circling back to an old relationship. They’ll come back around to see if they still have the power over you they once did. It’s a sad, manipulative little game and you don’t have to play it anymore.
  8. They found out you’re seeing someone else. So you’ve finally moved on and are seeing a great guy and then BAM! Your ex shows up out of the blue, telling you how much he’s missed you and wants to rekindle your love. He’s not doing this because that’s how he really feels, he’s doing it because you have someone else in your life and he wants to ruin it. He can’t stand the fact that you’re happy without him and he’s jealous, so he’s being an ass. Nope!
  9. That person they left you for kicked them to the curb. If your relationship ended because there was someone else in the picture or they wished there was, it makes the breakup suck even more. Of course, once things go sour with them, your ex will likely come crawling straight on back to you because what you had was stable whereas what he had with the person he left you far was based on something far more superficial.
  10. They genuinely care and want to win you back. This is the exception to all the rules and is rarely the case when it comes to an ex coming back. When an ex comes back, there’s always that small voice in the back of your head that thinks they could be genuinely missing you and wanting you back. Maybe he believed you’d both changed enough for it to work or just needed you in his life. However, this is NOT usually the case so you should never assume it is. Generally, if a relationship ended, it did so for a reason. Better to let sleeping dogs lie.
Angelica Bottaro has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Trent University and an Advanced Diploma in Journalism from Centennial College. She began her career as a freelance writer in 2014, racking up bylines in The Good Men Project, MakeWell, LymeTime, YouQueen, and more. She eventually shifted her focus and began writing about mental health, nutrition, and chronic disease for VeryWell Health.

You can follow her on Facebook or check out her website at AngelicaBottaro.ca. She also posts on Instagram @a.ct._b and Twitter @angiiebee.