16 reasons your ex won’t talk to you (complete list)

You’ve called, texted, and emailed. A couple voicemails left unanswered.

You’ve done everything it takes to reach out to your ex and for some reason or another he just hasn’t made any effort to reach back, or if he has, he’s made it clear he doesn’t want to talk with you.

Navigating post-breakup conversations can be difficult whether you’re the “break-upper” or the “breakupee”.

You’re convinced you’re doing all the right things but they’re still not responding the way you expected them to.

You’ve gone through the same ups and downs, experienced the same breakup, and yet here you are willing to talk to them while they’re just continuing to shrug you off.

So why won’t your ex talk to you?

Here are 16 possible reasons your ex won’t talk to you:

1) He’s Sick of the Fighting

The reason: You and your ex ended the relationship on terrible terms.

It was a spiral of fighting and arguing and hatefulness coming and going from both sides, and there were times when it never felt like it would ever end.

Now that your ex is finally out of it, they can feel like they can breathe again. And maybe you feel the same way.

But while you might want to try to rekindle some kind of relationship, your ex might just want to bury that part of his history right away.

What you can do: Again, ask yourself: is this even worth it?

Are you clinging onto the relationship because you truly appreciate the value your ex adds to your life and you want to keep it in some way, or because you are too afraid of change happening in your life?

If you’re still intent on making this talk happen, then acknowledge that the fighting is done and that you know you played a big part in it.

Show him that you are aware of the pain you caused each other, and maybe he’ll soften up and give you a chance.

2) He Doesn’t Want To Hurt You Anymore

The reason: Your ex is fully aware of the pain he caused you.

Now that he’s had the opportunity to step away from the relationship and examine his actions and behavior in it, he might be incredibly embarrassed and even disappointed in himself.

He can barely look at himself in the mirror knowing how he treated you, and the last thing he wants to do is fall into that same old pattern once he sees you and hurt you all over again.

What you can do: The best step forward here would be to give him time until he’s at least partly forgiven him; or if he can’t forgive himself, then until he’s learned to live with his past actions to some extent.

But if you really want to talk to him right now, then let him know that talking to him would help you process the reality of the situation.

Explain to him how you need this discussion in your life, and you would be grateful if he could see that and give this a chance.

3) Want Advice Specific To Your Situation?

Breakups can be tough, I know. And the final blow – your ex won’t even talk to you. 

Is it you? Is it him? 

Has he moved on already? Or is it tough to get over you if you guys stay in touch?

Whatever the reason, I’m sure that getting the perspective of a professional relationship coach couldn’t hurt.

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard about Relationship Hero. It’s a popular website that provides one-on-one sessions with trained relationship coaches. Their job is basically to help people navigate difficult relationships and breakups.

So if you wanna get to the bottom of why he’s not talking to you and whether you should convince him to talk or just walk away, get in touch with a professional today.

Click here to get started.

4) He Doesn’t Want To See What He’ll Feel If He Talks To You

The reason: The feelings you and your ex once had for another were incredibly strong.

It was a relationship of passion, of lust, of love — it was the kind of relationship that made both partners lose your minds for some time, and you either loved or hated every minute of it.

And now that the hurricane of emotions has finally come to an end, your ex is grateful for the opportunity to sit down and breathe again.

And maybe that’s what he wants to keep doing because he knows if he sees or engages with you again, he could get sucked into the black hole of feelings for a second time.

What you can do: Your ex is making the mature move, avoiding you so that you don’t end up in the same pattern of emotions all over again, but at the same time you might feel that he’s acting selfish.

After all, don’t you deserve more than a cold turkey treatment after everything you and your ex shared together? So tell him — you just want to talk, nothing else.

5) He’s Already Moved On

The reason: It’s the last reason you want to believe, but it might also be one of the most common reasons for your ex no longer wanting to talk to you: he’s moved on, and you’re officially part of his history rather than his present.

He sees no reason in trying to make amends because he’s already replaced you.

He doesn’t care about trying to salvage any part of the relationship, because he’s already getting emotional fulfillment from someone else.

And maybe even his new partner has told him to stay away from you.

What you can do: There’s really not much you can do.

The last thing you want to do is seem needy and desperate when your ex has already officially started a new relationship, and while you might think you can win some sympathy from him by begging, that will only make you look more unattractive in his eyes.

So stay strong. Swallow the tough pill and move on. Maybe someday he’ll want to talk to you, but that might not be any time soon.

6) He Thinks, “What’s the Point?”

The reason: The first thing that comes to your ex’s mind when you ask him if you two can talk is, “What’s the point?”

And if this is what he thinks, then maybe it’s something you need to ask yourself as well.

Is there a reason to keep a relationship going with your ex if you aren’t together?

Do you share the same social circles; will you run into each other?

What you can do: If there’s a high chance you guys will keep running into each other, just explain to him why you think it’s a good idea to keep in touch and be on good terms.

Even though things didn’t work out between you two, there’s no reason not to keep things civilized and make your friends uncomfortable.

Sounds like a pretty good “point” to me.

7) Avoiding You Is the Only Way He Can Get Over You

The reason: For a lot of these points, your ex is disappointed with you and wants to cut you out of his life.

But with this point, we’re considering the other possibility: your ex is still madly in love with you, and the only way he can get over you is by going cold turkey and cutting you out completely.

You’re the love of his life and you catalyze a fire and passion in him that he’s never felt with anyone else.

And yet, for one reason or another, he knows that this relationship isn’t good for you or for him, at least at this point in time.

What you can do: You should realize that he’s avoiding you for his own benefit, and respect his decision to try to improve his situation and cut a toxic or disruptive relationship out of his life.

But one way you could try to convince him is by calmly explaining that you just want a talk, nothing else.

Explain what you would like to happen with this talk, and how you would want to move forward with your ex.

Rationality is key here, and getting across to him at a logical rather than emotional level will win him over.

8) You’re Asking Too Much

The reason: Your ex might not have a problem with you at all. In fact, if you asked him properly like a normal person, he would probably agree to have a talk.

But the issue? You’ve been asking way, way too much, or maybe the way you ask isn’t as nice as you think it is.

Your relationship ended on bad terms, and the way you’ve been asking him for a talk is just as bad as the relationship was.

Maybe you’re too aggressive or abrasive, or you act like you’re entitled to his time, making him not want to give it to you at all.

What you can do: Take a step back. Think about how you’ve been treating him, and whether you’re asking him “properly”. Are you treating him the way you would treat any other friend?

If not, then it’s time to take an emotional break, reorient yourself and your understanding of your new relationship with your ex, and then ask again when you’re ready.

9) He Doesn’t Want Any Kind of Friendship With You

The reason: The relationship may have ended on bad terms and your ex might simply have no intention of talking to you ever again.

Most relationships can’t amicably “level down” into something platonic, so what’s the point in trying to stay in each other’s lives if you’re just going to bicker and fight?

It’s also possible that your relationship ended in a bad way and your ex is just trying to get a clean break to be able to breathe again.

He didn’t like the feelings and thoughts associated with having you around, and he doesn’t see himself wanting to be around that even in a friendly setting.

What you can do: If you’re actively seeking out your ex, chances are you’re looking to settle the score and get some peace of mind.

You can try reaching out, but there’s nothing you can do if your ex really doesn’t want to communicate with you.

You owe it to them and the time you’ve shared together to respect their decision now.

If he’s intent on moving on and cutting all ties, take the hint and move on with yours.

10) He’s Thinking the Worst of You

The reason: Breakups can be tough, especially for toxic relationships.

If you and your ex had a habit of keeping score, he might be avoiding you because he doesn’t want to deal with your mind games. He might be feeling any of the following things:

  • That you’re just trying to get in touch to see is more heartbroken or happy
  • That you’re looking to drop the “final bomb”
  • He’s assuming you have nothing else good to say and just want to hurt them for the last time
  • That you’re just monitoring them and making sure he’s still wrapped around your finger

What you can do: These things don’t have to be necessarily true but if your ex is feeling it, his feelings could be completely grounded if you have a bad history together.

If you are keen on reaching out for the sake of getting some closure, be open and honest about your intentions.

But if you are trying to get his attention just for one final “move”, realize that your ex is probably doing the both of you a favor, and that you need to rechannel your hostile energy elsewhere.

11) He’s Already Given You Chances Before, and You Blew It

The reason: This isn’t really the first time you’ve tried talking to your ex, so why is he being fussy now?

If you have a history of trying to reestablish communication with your ex, consider how those previous interactions may have looked like from his POV.

Were you pushy, manipulative, overly eager? Maybe your ex is avoiding you now because your previous attempts at being friends again have only turned sour.

If you’ve had chances before and continuously showed him all the bad qualities and tendencies that drove him away from you, you’re only making sure you never get to speak a word with him again.

What you can do: Sometimes when we’re eagerly pushing for an agenda, we can’t help but be one-minded and strong headed.

In your head, you might be convincing yourself that you just want to clear the air and make sure that he’s okay, but to him, this pushy behavior might be too much before he’s even ready to forgive and forget.

Let the dust settle on both ends.

Give yourself the time and space to stop feeling so intensely about talking together again.

This shouldn’t be a sidequest to your journey to recovery, not the full destination.

Make use of your newly found free time actually improving yourself and showing him you have a better hold of your emotions.

12) He Wants To Know That You’ve Changed

The reason: If your relationship ended on a bad note, then your ex probably doesn’t have the best last impression of you.

You might think that he caused all the problems in the relationship, but in his head, it might be the complete opposite: he might see you as the constant instigator, the troublemaker, and the drama queen.

So the last thing he wants to do is connect his energy with yours all over again, just to make feel as sh**y as he did when you two were together.

What you can do: Change how he feels about you. 

Now, I’m not necessarily saying that you should make him fall back in love with you (although you could if that’s what you wanted). I’m talking about changing that last impression into a positive one – make him want to stay in touch.

This is something I learned from relationship expert James Bauer. According to him, it’s no use trying to force someone to be your friend or give your relationship another try.

The key is to change the emotions your ex associates with you and make him picture a whole new relationship with you.

If you wanna find out more, watch this excellent short video in which Bauer gives you a step-by-step method for changing the way your ex feels about you.

13) He Wants To See You Suffer

The reason: The many missed calls. The seened texts. The frustrated emails. Your ex knows it’s bugging you not being able to talk to him and he’s enjoying your misery.

Maybe you ended the things on a bad note or treated him really poorly in the relationship, and he’s using this as leverage to try and get you back.

Now that you’re trying to make amends and get some peace, he’s purposely withdrawing from you to avoid giving you the satisfaction of making things right when it’s too late.

In other words, he’s giving you a taste of your own medicine.

What you can do: If you can’t let go of it, at the very least own up to your mistake.

Your ex isn’t waiting around for an apology but it will certainly facilitate healing for both of you.

If you’re keen on repairing your relationship and righting wrongs, the first step is admitting is actually admitting you messed up.

14) He’s Just Been Incredibly Busy and Doesn’t Have the Time for Drama

The reason: It’s not that your ex is actively avoiding you, it’s just that he hasn’t had the time (or desire) to reach out to you.

Most people just get on with their lives, and now that you’re just a blip on his radar, he no longer has the obligation to carve time out of his day to craft thoughtful responses to you.

What you can do: Give him space. He obviously has a lot going on in his life and demanding time is just going to hurt your chances of ever speaking to him again. You’ve said your piece; now it’s time to get on with your life.

The ball is in his court. He’ll reply when he’s ready or when he wants to. Find peace in the fact that you’ve tried to re-establish communication and that you’ve told him everything you want him to hear.

15) His Friends Told Him To Stay Away From You

The reason: Things between the two of you may have ended amicably. You might have even promised to stay in touch and try being friends again.

But for some reason, things have taken a complete turn and he’s completely giving you radio silence.

It’s a possibility that his closest friends (and even family) are actively advising him against speaking to you.

Maybe they think it’s better for him to try and move on without your voice in his head for a while, and they’re making sure he can get back on the field without any strings attached.

What you can do: Respect this decision within reason.

If you think his friends are plotting against you to try to keep the two of you away, take a step back and consider whether they’re doing it out of spite or out of protectiveness. ]

His friends might be protecting their more vulnerable buddy from getting hurt again, so they’re calling the shots for him instead.

You can talk to one of his friends and let your intentions be known.

In any case, your message should filter down the friend group and eventually reach your ex.

Whether something comes out of it or not, at least you let him know that you mean well.

16) He’s Just Not Great When It Comes To His Emotions

The reason: Maybe he’s avoiding you not because of any hateful reason but because he needs time to let the dust settle.

Just the slightest nudge from you and he might be unable to deal with his own emotions.

It’s less about you and more about him trying to ground himself and make sure he’s not all over the place when he speaks to you again.

What you can do: The last thing he needs is any sort of signal from you. If your ex is obviously having a hard time dealing with his emotions, the best thing you can do for him is to leave him alone and let him figure things out on his own.

There’s no point hovering around because you won’t be able to support him in the long-run anyway. Encourage independence and growth by giving him some much needed space.

Respecting Boundaries

At the end of the day, there’s really not much you can do if your ex is intent on never speaking to you again.

Ask yourself why you’re keen on reaching out in the first place and what your intentions are.

Are you doing this to apologize or feel better about some mistakes you’ve made? Is your intention to be friends or to restart the romantic relationship?

Understanding your motivation for trying and communicating with your ex is a good starting point.

WIth this, you can set healthy boundaries and create reasonable expectations.

But also remember it’s important to respect his personal lines and understand where might be coming from.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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