It might not seem like it makes sense at first—How is ignoring a man going to make him come running after you? Won’t he just think you’re unavailable and leave?
Well, like anything, there’s a right way to do it, and we should start by learning more about male psychology.
To help you pull this trick off right, let me give you 12 reasons why a guy will come running if you ignore him, and what you can do if you want him back in your life.
How men handle breakups
Men in general process break-ups somewhat differently from women.
One might blame it part on their nature, but most of it is due to how they’re raised. Men are expected to be “strong”, and to hide their emotions, as well as to be the dominant party in a relationship.
Because of that, men typically handle break-ups by pretending they’re not affected, denying it happened, and by blaming others except themselves.
But of course, there are exceptions.
There are men who process break-ups like women, and these men are often less concerned about looking strong, or hiding their emotions.
That said, understanding those men is as easy as trying to understand another woman—so in this article we will talk about the more perplexing majority instead.
The phases men go through after a break-up
The stages that men go through after a break-up are defined by their own ego, and how showing or processing emotions healthily is often seen as detrimental to their own manliness.
Where women would process their emotions almost immediately, and then get better as they work through their feelings, it’s almost the other way around for men.
Here are the steps most men go through after a break up.
He will feel a sense of elation at first.
This early into the breakup, he will not have processed its finality just yet and will rejoice in his new-found sense of freedom.
At this stage he’ll probably still think and act like you’re still together, just on a short temporary break from each other—almost like a little relationship vacation.
Later on, he’ll realize —perhaps when you start ignoring him for real, or start turning him down— that he had in fact just had a break-up, and gets shocked.
It’s here that he’ll realize that you no longer belong to him, and that he didn’t earn himself a vacation. He got fired.
After the shock subsides, the next stage he’ll go through is denial.
He’ll begin telling himself that you truly didn’t mean it, and that he can bring you back. Or he might tell himself that he never needed you anyways. This can last a while.
Some men are experts at denial and will continue to deny, even after they have otherwise “healed” from the break-up.
When his repeated denials begin to amount to nothing, the next stage sets in: Desperation.
He begins to miss you like mad, and will do everything to soothe the pain of your absence, and to bring you back.
He might start guzzling alcohol and giving you drunk calls at this stage. Some men might even decide to stalk you, and chase any new dates of yours away.
Eventually that desperation gives way to anger.
He’ll try to remember the worst experiences he’s had with you and blow them out of proportion.
Regardless of who initiated the break-up, he’ll try to do his best to hate you and, if he can, spread the word to his friends.
Anger eventually subsides, and he’ll eventually be left with grief. This can linger for a long while. For some people it’ll take years.
He would be possessed by an immense emptiness every time he thinks of you, and he’ll regret many of the things he said about you in anger.
Eventually someone will come along who will snap him out of his grief, or he will try to claw out of it himself.
Depending on how much he’s healed at this point, this can either go well or end in disaster. Most of the time, it’s disastrous, and that’s why starting a rebound relationship is ill-advised.
We can’t all stay in the past forever.
Eventually he will heal, his feelings for you will subside, and he’ll be truly well and over you. If you meet again now, he’ll probably happily have a coffee with you, but making him feel for you again will be an uphill battle.
What can we learn from this?
As you can see, most men start off feeling free and elated, only going down to desperation and grief as the finality of a break-up is hammered into their heads.
The gender dynamic between men and women is the reason why the gravity and finality of a break-up doesn’t hit men until it’s bashed into their head several times.
But when it sets in, it stays for a while.
And while they’re burdened by desperation, anger and grief, they’ll want to return to your side by all means necessary… well, until they heal.
By the time they hit healing, they will stop and it won’t be easy getting them back.
How long it takes for a man to fully heal depends from person to person, and if you want your man back, you have to do all your work during this crucial period.
Reasons why a guy will come running if you ignore him
1) You triggered his instincts as a hunter
Men have always played the role of the hunter since the dawn of time.
We might now live in a modern age where men don’t need to hunt for game in loincloths, but those instincts persist nonetheless.
And of course, you can take advantage of his instincts. When you ignore a man, those instincts flare to life!
You become his prey, and his goal is to get you to notice him and then fall for him. It might sound a bit childish, a bit dumb, but this is just how it is.
This doesn’t mean you necessarily have to play the role of prey, of course. Playing hard to get will only make it better when you actually assert yourself and make your own moves.
2) He’ll be dying to know if you’re taken already
If this guy is someone you’re still getting to know, he’ll wonder if you’re already taken—and the very idea that you might already belong to another man will tell him that you’re not just nobody.
If this guy is your ex, he’ll be dying to know if you’re already with someone new. And the very idea that you might be will fill him with the desire to get you back.
As much as society likes to talk about “purity”, it is a fact that being wanted by a guy will make you more desirable to other guys.
And while most will give up if they learn that you are already taken, if they know you aren’t committed yet, they’ll try hard (really really hard) to win your heart.
3) It gets him questioning about your relationship
Whether he’s your ex or he’s someone new, being ignored will get him thinking.
If he’s someone you never really dated before, he would be dying to know why you’re ignoring him, and wonder what he can do about it. This is especially so if he already fancies you a fair bit.
If he’s your ex, he would be wondering what he’s missing out now that you’re out of his hands. If he was the one who started the breakup, he’ll wonder about whether he was right to walk away.
Your ex questioning himself will ultimately be a positive for the two of you.
He might just realize his flaws and decide to work on them, for once. And he might also realize what he truly feels about you.
4) He wants what he can’t have
I mean…don’t we all?
Did you ever have something that you used to have taken for granted, but then lost? And all of a sudden, it went from this nondescript thing into something you obsessed with not having?
That’s the case here.
People are hardwired to crave that which lies just out of reach. So once you become that thing he can’t have, those instincts kick in and he’ll get desperate to have you.
You’re out of reach—but just barely. And perhaps, with the right effort he can change that.
Or that’s what he thinks, at least.
It’s entirely up to you if you’ll let him.
5) It drives him crazy (in a good way)
Men like it when you shake things up.
If you’ve always been a nice girl, ignore him in real life… but then seduce him through texting. You’ll be surprised how much it can change how he sees you.
Instead, men choose women who they are infatuated with. These women stir up a sense of excitement and desire to chase them by what they say in their texts.
Want a few simple tips to be this woman?
Then watch Clayton Max’s quick video here where he shows you how to make a man infatuated with you (it’s easier than you probably think).
Infatuation is triggered by a primal drive deep within the male brain. And although it sounds crazy, there are a combination of words you can say to generate feelings of red-hot passion for you.
To learn exactly what these texts are, watch Clayton’s excellent video now.
5) His ego gets a beating
Guys like being acknowledged as important, and being remembered is even more so. Ignoring him insults that.
It’s a blow to his ego that will offend him in such a way that he’ll want to prove himself better.
If he’s your ex, he’ll think that you’ve already forgotten or gotten over him—and that absolutely grinds at his ego. After all, is he truly that forgettable?
But even if he isn’t, it will still leave him feeling so slighted that, out of spite, he’ll do his damndest to make himself look like someone you can’t afford to ignore. He does this to make you feel bad for even ignoring him.
Men can be very motivated when things are about them.
And here, he has something to prove. His very own masculinity is in line.
6) He gets curious about you
He’ll realize that he doesn’t know everything there is to know about you.
Someone who has never been intimate with you yet will be drawn in and get curious.
If he is your ex, on the other hand, he’ll be left wondering what else he had yet to learn about you, and then what he had misunderstood.
He’ll be reminded that he had missed this, simply because he had taken you for granted.
This stirs intrigue in someone new, and then leaves out a strong bait for your ex if you still want him back.
7) You’ve re-sparked his interest in you
So how can you get a man to like you again?
It’s quite simple: Re-spark their romantic interest in you.
And ignoring him is one of the easiest ways to do that.
I learned about this from Brad Browning, who has helped thousands of men and women get their exes back. He goes by the moniker of “the relationship geek”, for good reason.
In this free video, he’ll show you exactly what you can do to make your ex want you again.
No matter what your situation is — or how badly you’ve messed up since the two of you broke up — he’ll give you a number of useful tips that you can apply immediately.
Here’s a link to his free video again. If you really want your ex back, this video will help you do this.
8) He won’t think you’re clingy (thus making you more attractive)
Men don’t like being stuck with a girl who’s far too clingy for them to handle.
There are stereotypes about how clingy and needy girlfriends are “bitchy” or “self-important” and whatnot.
He might not know that you’re all these things for certain, but just like you might stay away from, say, a rhino because of what other people say about them, he’d stay away from you if he thinks you’re clingy.
By ignoring him, or at least spacing out your replies to his messages and other such overtures, you’re putting out an image of yourself that’s the very opposite of clingy.
If anything, he’ll think that you’re someone who has boundaries and is gutsy enough to stick by them. And that more than earns you his respect.
If anything, if he’s weak-willed enough, he might just end up intimidated too.
9) You become a high-value woman in his eyes
By ignoring him, a guy will think of you as someone who simply isn’t going to come running at the very first guy to give you attention.
You paint the image of someone who knows who she wants and isn’t afraid to assert herself.
Most men want it all, in that while they want their women to be submissive towards them, they also like strong, successful, and self-assured women.
Of course, simply ignoring the guy isn’t enough to make you look like a high value woman on its own.
You also need to give good reasons for it. Reasons like “I’m at work” or which implies that your time is at a premium.
Whatever the reasons behind this seeming paradox, by making it clear that you’re a high value woman, he’ll be head over heels obsessed with you.
And because of this, he will try to prove himself worthy of your time and attention.
10) He gets scared he’ll lose you even as a friend
Losing someone you care for is hard.
When push comes to shove, an ex who truly still cares for you won’t mind settling for simply being friends if he truly can’t have you.
Someone who you haven’t yet dated will be less attached, but nonetheless be terrified at the thought of you striking them out of your friend list.
And so he’ll do his best to win back your favor. He might try to reach out or find ways to get close to you again.
He’ll go mad asking himself questions about your silence, such as why you’re not responding as you should.
He’d ask himself if he did do something to piss you off, and if so, what he can do to make things better.
And of course, he’ll convince himself that he’s totally fine with simply staying as friends…
But give him time, and he’ll start falling in love with you all over again.
11) He thinks you’re in trouble
Another reason why might try to reach out after you start ignoring a guy is that he thinks you might be facing some problems.
This is especially so if you’ve been talking somewhat regularly for a while, only for you to suddenly stop responding.
He’ll wonder if you’re struggling with money, or stressed and overburdened at work, or even if you’re simply processing your feelings with the breakup if he’s your ex.
If he cares enough about you, this will trigger his hero instinct and get him to try to come to your rescue—so he’ll try to reach out at every opportunity he has.
Coined by relationship expert James Bauer, this fascinating concept is about what really drives men in relationships, which is ingrained in their DNA.
Once triggered, these drivers make men into the heroes of their own lives. They feel better, love harder, and commit stronger when they find someone who knows how to trigger it.
12) He misses the old you
We all like the familiar. So it shouldn’t be too surprising that he’s going to miss the old you—the you that didn’t leave him hanging or ignore him.
He might even find himself missing the things that he had always thought were flaws in you…things he had complained about and wanted you to change.
It doesn’t matter whether he’s someone who’s been trying to date you, an old friend, or your ex.
If anything, your ex might miss the old you, but he would at least expect a little distance from you.
If he’s someone new, ignoring him will come across as an even greater shock, and he’ll think of how the two of you were talking fondly but a week ago.
Some obvious signs your ex wants to get back together
Now, you know that there’s a bit of a time limit to how long you have before you’ve lost your place in your ex’s heart.
So don’t waste your time.
You’ll want to know when he’s trying to get back together, because that’ll be when you’re best off making the moves to get him back.
1) He tries to stay in touch
An obvious sign that your ex wants to get back together with you is that he tries to stay in touch.
He might keep your number on his phone, or continue chatting with you online.
The reason for this is that he wants to make sure it’s still possible to get back together with you if he wants to, or be able to try winning your heart again if need be.
2) He gives you random updates
He gives you random updates about his day, as if you still care… as if you should still care. He might talk about how he had a rough day at work, but that he ate at a Korean restaurant later so it was all good.
It’s especially obvious that something’s up when he gives you updates specifically about stuff you used to fight over, or how he’s changed the thing you hated in him.
3) He gets jealous
Jealousy is the number one indicator that a man is still interested in you. If he couldn’t care less about you, then he would just shrug when he hears that you’re dating someone new. In fact, he might even congratulate you!
But instead he’s jealous. And that means that, to a certain extent, he still sees you as belonging to him. He can’t stand the thought of you being with others.
4) He keeps talking about your “good old days.”
When the two of you talk, you would find him talking about your “good old days” all the time. While it’s natural for people to like talking about their good memories together, the way he’s doing it makes it seem like he has an ulterior motive.
And he does—he wants to remind you of how happy you were with him, and wants to make you realize being apart from him was a mistake.
5) He plasters himself all over you on social media
And of course, there’s the obnoxious thing that many possessive exes do. They get weird around you on social media.
He might post images of you together all the time on his timeline, or say things under your posts that imply that the two of you are still together.
While admittedly creepy, some people might find it endearing. Still, this is a “sign” that is best called out, no matter what you feel about the guy.
What to do if you want your ex back
1) Don’t overdo it
If you’re interested in the guy, it’s important that you do your best not to overdo the game.
The thing with ignoring men is that if you overdo it, he’ll just give up and think you’re unavailable or not worth the trouble.
Some men simply don’t like girls who play games, and if he catches on to what you’re doing, he’ll drop you like a hot potato.
You don’t want that. You want to ignore him just enough to stir his intrigue, but not so much that he’ll give up.
2) Ignore some messages, respond late to others
Instead of ignoring all or most messages you get from him, try to be a bit more selective instead.
Ignore a handful, and don’t go out of your way to respond to his messages straight away. Don’t be afraid to say “I’m busy” if you are—even if what you’re doing is simply doing your make-up.
When in doubt, put yourself, your needs, and your desires above his. Don’t go out of your way to hurt him, but if there’s something you need to do first, then do that.
3) Be cordial in person
If you meet each other in person every now and then, then instead of pretending he doesn’t exist, be cordial. Don’t treat him differently from how you would treat everyone else.
This drives home the point that he isn’t that special. That he might as well be a stranger to you all over again, and that he has to actually earn any interest you might show him.
But it’s not all bleak. It will also reassure him that he still has a chance to start all over again. He’s starting from zero, not negative two.
4) Drop him if he becomes openly disrespectful
There are guys who, unfortunately, froth at the mouth when women don’t give them the attention they deserve.
Any girl who’s been on social media for a while will have encountered men who’d send private messages, seemingly polite and nice at first—and then, after being ignored for a while, start sending insults.
This is not a good thing, and no matter how you may feel about him, if he starts throwing insults at you for not giving him attention on demand, you should definitely stay away.
5) Give him signs he can’t deny
Nothing drives a man crazier than getting mixed signals from a girl he likes.
You ignoring him and acting aloof will get him curious about you, but he might also think you are just playing him.
At the same time, if you directly tell him that, yes, you are interested in him, then he might think you’re desperate.
Seduction and sending clear, sincere messages are not from the same planet. Sometimes, our “messages” are hard to express, and even harder to interpret.
This is one of the reasons why blossoming love doesn’t turn into a full-blown relationship.
But rather than leaving it up to fate to decide, why not take things into your own hands and find a way to get through to your man?
I mentioned Brad Browning earlier – he’s an expert in relationships.
His practical tips have helped thousands of men and women not only reconnect with their exes but to rebuild the love and commitment they once shared.
If you’d like to do the same, check out his excellent free video here.
Men can be predictable.
There’s this need to prove themselves, to be respected, and to have authority that exists to some degree in most men.
In the distant past it had led to the collapse of empires—in the modern age, you can use it to win back your ex (or the guy who you used to have a thing with).
But while ignoring your ex and setting his instincts aflame might be a good start, it’s not enough to get what you want.
If you really want to get your ex back, you’re going to need a bit of help.
And who else can give you a better look into a man’s mind than another man, and one who is willing to share his secrets with you?
That’s Brad Browning, my dudes.
I know I might sound like a cult-y fan but that’s because he actually helped me win back my ex! It’s a long story. Now we’re happier more than ever.
You see, no matter how ugly the breakup was, or how badly you hurt one another, Brad had figured out a couple of unique techniques to not only get your ex back but to keep them for good.
To get you started, here’s a link to his free video again.
Look, everything deserves one more shot—especially when it comes to matters of the heart. And if he’s running back to you now that you’re ignoring him, trust me—it will be worth a second chance.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.