You know that movie where the woman gets her heart broken when her boyfriend leaves her and she peels herself out of bed and works hard at feeling normal again, begins dating, meets a great new guy… and then her ex shows up again wanting another chance? It’s all too common in real life too because way too many guys don’t appreciate what they’ve got until it’s gone. Oh well!
He thought the grass would be greener. When you’ve been with the same person for a long time, it’s easy to get nostalgic for your former single life or daydream of how many other possibilities are out there waiting to scoop you up. Ah, the untapped freedom you’d have if, if, if… but we all know that’s not how life works.
He reacted to a moment. You know how we all say things in the moment that we don’t mean and later wish we didn’t? If he broke it off during a heated fight, he may have been too proud to admit it. Maybe he was hoping you would break the ice. Then too much time passed and he felt he had to stick to his guns.
He expected you to chase after him. When you didn’t, he was mystified. He took for granted that you would always be there, fighting for your relationship. When you quietly moved on, it sent his world off its axis.
The elastic band theory might have been at play. Author John Gray explains this philosophy in his famous book, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. “A man tends to get very close to a woman until, at a certain point, he pulls away. This pulling away is like a rubber band. Once he pulls away to the length of his rubber band, he’ll spring back.”
He met someone and she didn’t work out. Yes, the elephant in the room. Someone new and shiny can seem so perfect and alluring, but once the novelty wears off (and it always does), he ends up realizing that her irritating habits are 10 times worse than yours ever were. That’s maybe what happened here.
He thought starting over would be easier. Even if there wasn’t someone else lined up, he believed there would be in no time. After all, a great gal like you wanted him! It only takes a few bad dates to become fully aware that finding something that works on any level is hard. It makes him appreciate having reached that easy, comfortable, and secure phase he had with you.
His routine isn’t the same. You undoubtedly integrated into each other’s daily habits. Things that you did together, he now has to do alone, whether these were fun activities or crappy ones where you helped shoulder the burden. Now, he’s a team of one taking on a tough world and he doesn’t like it.
He’s jealous. Is there anything that makes a man suddenly desire a woman more than the possibility of her being pursued by another guy? Not really. A guy’s dominant, possessive, and competitive instincts kick in, launching them into overdrive to secure what was once “theirs.” It’s a totally immature POV but it happens really often.
He lost other people he valued. Maybe he became close to your girlfriends or their significant others. It’s likely he grew to love your family, your adorable puppy, your Friday night poker crew. He didn’t just lose one relationship, he has several to miss—and subsequently to get over. All those bridges get burned too.
Breakups are actually harder on men. Their support system is less sympathetic to openly sharing their feelings. So while we shamelessly cry and vent to our girlfriends, they may not be as comfortable with their bro squad. This makes them bottle the sadness up, never getting the opportunity to work through it.
In fact, they may never fully get over you. Ian Lang discusses a psychological study on Ask Men. “Researchers found that women and men handle breakups differently. Women feel more pain and anguish at the onset but eventually recover. Men, on the other hand, never fully recover from a bad breakup—we just move on.”
He simply realized he can’t live without you. As the old saying goes, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Now you’re gone, and he can’t imagine the rest of his life without you. He’s in love, knows it, and needs you back.
It’s the movie of every woman’s life. It’s unfortunate, but this has happened to me and every gal I’ve ever met. Just as you accept that your relationship is over and finish mourning it, your ex-partner remorsefully contacts you. They profess regrets, confess lingering feelings, promise change, and request another chance. Unfortunately, you’re too smart to fall for his crap.
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