10 Common Reasons Why Your Ex Contacts You After a Breakup

When your ex suddenly contacts you after a breakup, you could be tempted to assume that they want to get back together. 

While that’s definitely a possibility, it’s not the only one. 

Your ex could reach out to you because they want to stay friends with you.


Based on the scientific research & observation, Men and women are motivated by different things.

According to research, if your ex is a girl, her reasons for wanting to remain friends with you are mainly sentimental. However, if your ex is a guy, then his reasons could be more practical than they are sentimental. To be more precise, he may want to stay friends with you to enjoy certain benefits.

For example, he could consider that by being your friend, he also has access to sexual favors or other favors from you.

Or, if they have darker personality traits, i.e. narcissism, or duplicity, they could be motivated by their desire to regain control over you after the break up. Others do it simply because they can’t move on from their previous relationship.

If your ex suddenly contacts you out of nowhere, he or she could have one or more of the following reasons:

10 Most Common Reasons Why Your Ex Contacts You Unexpectedly:

1. Your ex regrets the break up

Sometimes, couples don’t get it right the first time. That’s why they break up and get back together again: to give it one more try.

At some point, after doing some thinking, they end up regretting their decision to split up. In fact, this could be exactly what your ex is going through:

  • They feel they’ve made the wrong choice to leave you
  • They realize that they made mistakes and want to apologize
  • They want to express remorse for how relationship ended
  • They want to do whatever it takes to make it up to you

What he or she is feeling could be so intense that they can’t help but contact you unexpectedly. This could happen 1 month after splitting up or many months later.

What are the chances, though? According to statistics, 44% of more than 20k Americans have gotten back together with an ex after breaking up. 

So, if the idea of reconciliation appeals to you the most, then there’s hope!

2. They miss the sexual part of your relationship

Exes hook up with each other all the time. They become friends with benefits until they naturally drift away or until one of them must pull away because they’re suffering emotionally.

It goes without saying that’s not a healthy thing to do. However, it’s one of the common reasons why your ex might have contacted you.

Maybe you and your ex got along perfectly in bed and broke up because of other reasons. Well, your ex may not want to let that go.

They might not miss you as a girlfriend or boyfriend, but they might miss having sex with you. Their current partner or casual hookups might not be doing it for them. It always felt amazing and the chemistry between you was always undeniable.

Or, it could be that your ex is a practical and pragmatic person who thinks about a way to further benefit from the connection you once had.

3. They are driven by a desire to control you

Be honest: Does your ex have narcissistic tendencies?

If they have, then they might contact you out of the blue because they want to regain control over you. 

Pay attention because this is serious. A narcissism expert explains that narcissistic exes are dangerous in the sense that they hate to lose or fail. 

When that happens, their ego is hurt and they can’t give up. They feel the need to maintain some kind of bond (usually a controlling one) with their ex.

What’s more, if you dump a narcissist, he or she will have a very hard time letting you go. Bruising a narcissist’s heart is possible even if they won’t ever admit it.

How can you recognize a narcissist? They are arrogant, they only think about themselves, they lack empathy and they adore to be admired.

4. Your ex is looking for some kind of closure

When a relationship ends for good, both parties need closure. But what does it really mean to get closure?

It means to understand why things didn’t work out; to get answers and clarity. On top of that, it also means agreeing on a resolution – what goes and what doesn’t moving forward.

So, if your ex popped into your life after the break up, that’s what they might need from you.

How can you tell?

You’ll be able to tell if they ask you things about the breakup, such as:

  • Can you please be totally honest with me about what really happened?
  • How can you tell that things won’t work out between us?
  • What are some of the things I did that hurt you?
  • What do you think your biggest mistakes were?
  • How do you want things to look like between us from now?

5. Your ex is feeling lonely

Loneliness… what a dreadful feeling! It can be so powerful that it can determine your ex to reach out to you out of nowhere. 

You see, they might feel hurt and neglected due to the breakup. You are not a constant presence in their life anymore and this could affect them negatively.

However, also know this: What they’re feeling is temporary. It’s only natural to miss your ex.

All the time spent together with you as a partner has to be filled with other activities. Otherwise, the feeling of loneliness will linger.

As you probably know, it’s not that easy to find someone who understands you or with whom you can share a deeper connection. 

That’s why your former partner tries to get in touch with you when they feel lonely. Even so, it’s not like your problems go away if you feel lonely without each other. 

Feeling like that doesn’t guarantee things will work between you two in the long run.

6. Your ex is responding to sentimental triggers

After the break up, even a a simple walk in the park without you by their side could be a sentimental trigger for your ex. 

This is true especially if you two used to take long walks through the park together. 

It could make them remember the happy times in your relationship when you two used to spend a lot of time together outdoors. In turn, such a memory may lead to another similar one.

Your ex might think back and become nostalgic. Of all a sudden, they might feel better. Remembering the good times could make them smile.

All of this might give them the impression that reconnecting with positive aspects of your past relationship is actually good for them. 

If this happens to you as well and you feel tempted to wash away the bad things that happened in the past, I urge you to reconsider.

Before you make any decision, think if mending the relationship with them aligns with your personal growth and goals for the future.

7. They are genuinely curious about you and your life

Your ex’s genuine curiosity could be the drive they need to contact you. Yes, it could be that simple!

Maybe they had the chance to process and deal with their feelings since the breakup and now they’ve matured.

They don’t see anything wrong in asking you politely about your well-being. It’s not like they have to forget you just because you’re no longer together.

If they’re emotionally detached from you, they might find it easier to text you casually whenever they’re thinking of you.

After a long-term relationship ends, it’s normal to often think about your former partner. You were a big part of their life for some time, so erasing you completely from their mind is impossible.

That’s why you should take this reason as is, without searching for hidden meanings.

8. Your ex wants to ask you for a favor or needs help

If your ex is a practical and pragmatic person, your ex might send you text messages for some reasons.

Like what? Your ex might want to ask you a favor. They might need your help with something specific.

For example, if you’re a mechanic and your ex’s car breaks down, they might call you and ask you to solve their problem.

Or, if you’re good with taxes and they are lost, they might ask you to do them instead. There are virtually limitless examples of this situation. 

How can you tell for sure? Usually, when an ex needs something specific, they will not hesitate to ask from the beginning of the conversation. 

They will do this because they don’t want to give you the wrong idea. They simply want to get something from you.

There is one exception though: If you’re dealing with an ex with dark personality traits, they might do this because they want to manipulate you.

9. Your EX still has feelings for you

When you least expect it, your ex partner could slide into your DMs. Are you curious about what motivates them?

The reason could be that they can’t move on. They still have feelings for you and they can’t shake them off. And, your ex is testing you to see if you reciprocate the same feeling.

This is especially true in cases when you’ve made more progress than they have. Your ex could think that you’re over them and that’s why they intervene in your life.

How can you be sure? Think things through logically: If they were over you, they would probably look for help or comfort elsewhere.

But the most probable truth is: they still have feelings for you. 

Don’t get your hopes too high, though! They could contact you in a moment of weakness, only to disappear right after.

10. Your ex wants to be your friend

If it’s not the sex that they miss, maybe they’re after something different, such as:

  • Ego boost – go feel better about themselves.
  • They want you as a back up plan if their new relationship doesn’t work out.
  • Emotional support from you. You are a good listener and always know what to say to lift a person’s mood. 
  • Financial help from you. Access to your resources is another reason why your want to get back as friends.
  • Someone to go to the gym with/go hiking with; a buddy he or she can rely on.
  • A friend to accompany them to work events and family events.

Most often than not, exes have hidden motives to maintain contact. They are not interested in being selfless good friends – there must be something in it for them. Otherwise, they wouldn’t reach out to you.

What to Do if Your Ex Reaches Even After They Broke Up With You?

Now that you know what reasons why your ex contacts you, it’s time to think about how you’d react.

If you’re dealing with a narcissistic ex or someone who suffers from duplicity, you have to be prepared. Their intentions are probably not in your favor. Narcissistic treat their exes the worse.

However, if your ex is honest and they are hoping for a new to get back in your life, you shouldn’t drop everything and get back together with them either.

Thinking about what you want first is the way to go. Ask yourself if rekindling things with them is something that you were hoping for. 

  • Did you forgive them?
  • Are the problems you had solvable?
  • Do you want to work on rebuilding a relationship with them?
  • If they want to be friends with you, is that something that appeals to you?
  • Do you think that would hurt you more than do you good?
  • The same goes for whether or not to hook up with them. Do you want that? Did you think about it before they brought it up?

As soon as you know the answers, let your former boyfriend or girlfriend know.

Be honest with your ex. Don’t tell them that you want to be buddies just to appear stronger. Just tell them the truth. 

Otherwise, you might get yourself into even more trouble. Constant communication with them could be far from what you want, so make sure to answer truthfully. 

At the same time, don’t forget to set boundaries. Communicate as clearly as possible to them that you do or don’t desire to be friends/try again and on what terms. 

Unless you say “I think it’s best that we don’t talk anymore,” don’t expect them to cut off all contact with you. 

Last, whatever you decide, take care of yourself! Your emotional and physical well-being is much more important than reacting to an ex’s actions.

In this article, I’ve shared how to respond to an reaching out you – it will help you to make sure you know what to do in this situation.


Personally, I don’t agree with friendships between exes. I don’t think both of them can truly move on and trade the intimacy they once had with a simple friendship.

However, I do believe in second chances.

But, if you moved on and your ex reaches you unexpectedly, you shouldn’t let him or her turn your world upside down again. If you’re at peace with the breakup, do yourself a favor and let them go. 

If enough time has passed since the breakup and you’ve healed, there’s no point in going back and opening old wounds.

Fair warning: Your ex might try to use you or regain control over you. Stay away from that!

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Daniela Duca Damian
About Daniela Duca Damian

A journalist by profession, Daniela has been sharing her knowledge and personal experience in the psychology of love and relationships for the past 5 years. Her work is based on facts, practical advice and is meant to help everyone achieve their romantic goals. When she isn’t writing, she challenges her friends with meaningful questions about life.

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