Almost every breakup scenario will lead to a degree of missing the other person, even if there is no real desire to reconcile or repair the relationship on behalf of the dumper (more on this later).
The primary risk that dumpees run is over-analyzing post-breakup contact and confusing the dumper’s care and concern with his or her actually being in love.
Does your ex miss you? Almost certainly to some degree. But is it enough?
In this article, I will be outlining my views regarding whether he will miss you romantically, or as a long-time friend, and how to tell the difference.
He’s All Over The Place
An ex boyfriend who misses you could act angrily or apologetically, and frankly, anywhere in between. The key to piercing his smokescreen is simple, the lines of communication remain open (even if he acts like he hates you).
Bear in mind that anger and aggressiveness stem from hurt and hurt implies caring — if he had truly moved on you would not hear from him again. Indifference is the only sure sign he wants nothing to do with you — but it can be tricky to tell whether his ignoring you is genuine, or an attempt to provoke a reaction. Here are a few indicators that his withdrawal result from hurt rather than genuine disinterest:
- He may not initiate contact but responds swiftly to your messages, emails and calls.
- His reactions are heated and emotional.
- He tries to “dig in” the fact that he is now better off without you, has moved on, or is incessant in his attempts to cement the fact that you’re now missing out (this includes material things such as losing weight, getting a raise e.t.c).
- He subtly reaches out through mutual acquaintances. Or finds other indirect ways to probe your mind state.
- He is forced to speak in crumbs, because being honest is too painful (he has too much to lose).
Not all men are prone to playing games, however. Second-guessing every little facet of his behavior only leads to disillusionment and confusion. My advice would be to take communication (or lack thereof) at face value. If you have questions ask them honestly and directly without resentment.
Don’t confuse sporadic contact with an attempt at reconciliation. A break up is a devastating loss for all parties involved, and they may miss your companionship and have trouble moving on, even if they have no desire to reconcile.
Because of this, it is not uncommon to receive messages that range from “I miss you” to “You will always be special” and so on. These messages are usually a way for the dumper quell their own maelstrom of guilt in an attempt to move on.
Be firm in your stance against receiving these mixed messages. I have often been caught in these post-breakup loops, where the dumper and dumpee continue to message each other in this way, but with entirely different intentions. In the end, it only causes more hurt and a deeper sense of rejection. If he’s playing push and pull, assume he misses his friend, and look after your own heart (it may or may not be what you wanted to hear).
Telling The Difference: Friend Or Lover?
The word “miss” conveys an almost infinite amount of connotations, in order to simplify, I’m going to divide it into two — friend and/or lover. Here is a subjective rundown on what I consider to be the most obvious distinctions:
Misses you as a friend:
- Avoids talking about the breakup.
- Offers a friends-with-benefits scenario – Ironically, a man who has lost the wish to repair a relationship may still want intimacy. For those of you who may wish to reconcile, bear in mind that attempting to use sex as a tool to reignite romance will backfire, as it will give him the best of both worlds.
- Likes to chit-chat, but doesn’t seem to have an agenda. An ex who wishes to reconcile will usually have something important or heartfelt to say when they call.
- Their emotions seem to be relatively luke-warm and in control no matter what you do.
Misses you romantically (as well as a friend):
- Wants to talk about the breakup.
- Brings up your history often, and reminisces about the past.
- Is jealous, possessive, angered or shaken by the prospect of you moving on.
- Drunk Dials.
- Is impulsively angry or overly apologetic.
As always, there are exceptions, but I have found that in the main (and I have been dumped more than my fair share of times), these guidelines have rung true in most cases.
Will My Ex Boyfriend Miss Me?
You may or may not wish for reconciliation, but simply knowing that you are missed at some level can be a liberating guilty pleasure. After all, seeing someone move on can be a crushing blow to our self-esteem.
The reality is that in just about every relationship, including ones that were abusive or addictive, there will be something to miss and a void to fill.
The bottom-line for me is to not get caught up in over-analysis and take a transparent and honest stand with regards to emotions. If communication is possible, be direct but not accusing.
Override negativity, pride, and anger and there is a very good chance that you will get the answers you need. If not, you will have nevertheless hastened your own recovery by making it easier to forgive yourself, as well as him.