When do guys start to miss you after a break up? 19 signs

Are you wondering if your ex is missing you after a break up?

Wondering how long it will take for him to start missing you if he isn’t already?

Wish you had a crystal ball to see what was going on inside his head?

While I can’t tell you exactly what he’s thinking, there are tell-tale signs that let you know when a guy starts to miss you after a breakup.

So in this article, I’m going to walk you through 20 signs that can help you determine if your ex is missing you and not over you.

Let’s get straight into them.

1. When you give him space

First thing’s first – for a guy to miss you after a breakup, you need to give him some space.

There needs to be a vacuum of space between the two of you so that it can actually be filled up with his longing for you. If there’s no space, then there’s nothing for him to miss!

This is pretty much true in any circumstance, but it’s particularly true if he expressed needing space during the breakup. So you must respect that right now.

Not only is it respectful of his needs, but it also shows him that you have enough self-respect that you’re not waiting on him with bated breath.

Even if you do get back together, space is so essential to a relationship. As the poet Kahlil Gibran wrote, “you need spaces in your togetherness to sustain your bond.”

So yeah, if you haven’t started giving him some serious space, make sure you start that right now.

2. When he sees you getting in shape

When you take the time to get in shape, there’s obviously the physical effects, and let’s be honest – physical attraction is very important for men.

But there’s also a host of other benefits that make you more desirable to an ex when you take the time to get in shape.

Other benefits that many men find attractive are:

  • Independence – taking time to do something on your own shows that you’re not waiting around for your ex
  • Confidence – that extra swagger in your step does get noticed
  • Motivation – seeing another person motivated to take care of themself is always inspiring
  • Emotional fitness – working out takes inner strength and shows you’re not needy
  • Self-respect – having respect for yourself shows you love yourself, too

If you’re using this time away from your ex, to get into physically better shape, it’s a great way to let him know that you’re not sitting on the couch eating gallons of ice cream waiting for him to call.

But here’s the catch:

You might want to think twice about posting pictures of you working out on social media.

A study described in Psychology Today found that typically posting workout pictures does not make you more attractive to the opposite sex.


There’s “research supporting the idea that self-promotion can have negative effects; the trade-off between displaying positive traits and being perceived as a braggart is very delicate” write the authors of the study.

So workout to gain all the benefits, but you may want to skip promoting it. Your ex will notice whether you point it out or not.

3. When you don’t communicate with him (including on social media)

One of the best ways to get him to start thinking about you is to be a little mysterious.

If you’re giving him more space but still frequently “just saying hi” or “checking in” to see how he’s doing, then there is no mystery because he knows what you’re doing — thinking about him.

Have you been calling and texting him?

Remember, there needs to be a vacuum of space that can be filled up with his longing and that goes for all social media communication, too!

I know giving your ex space seems hard and counterintuitive, but leaving them alone is one of the best ways of actually getting them back into your life.

However, you have to do it in a very specific way. You don’t want to simply cut off all communication. You have to talk to your ex’s subconscious and make it seem like you really and truly don’t want to talk to them right now.

Pro tip:

Send this “No Communication” text.

“You’re right. It’s best that we don’t talk right now, but I would like to be friends eventually.”

I like it because you’re communicating with them that you don’t really need to talk anymore. In essence, you’re saying that you don’t really need them to play any role in your life anymore.

4. When he sees you trying new things

I mentioned the importance of creating mystery above and another way to make him feel intrigued by you — and therefore, potentially miss you — is to try new things that you haven’t before.

What’s something you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t? Rock climbing? Dance lessons? Sky-diving?

Now’s the perfect time to try it out.

Also, if you did something to mess up the relationship, then this is a great way to show that you’re changing for the better.

And yeah, it doesn’t hurt to share a picture or video of you doing this new, amazing thing on social. Though you’re not following him anymore, he may still be lurking on your social media accounts.

When he sees you doing new things, it helps to create curiosity in his mind and keep that mystery and intrigue alive.

5. When he sees you making new friends

When we break up with someone, our natural tendency is to assume that they are going to stay the same. And that’s, let’s be honest, super boring.

Nothing is appealing or desirable about more of the same when you’re breaking up.

But when you start doing new things and meeting new people, it shows your ex that your life will go on with or without them. And sometimes that’s just enough of a wake-up call for an ex to realize that he doesn’t actually want your life to go on and change and morph into something new without him.

When he starts seeing you hang out with people he doesn’t know, it automatically creates a curiosity loop in his head.

Who is that? How did they meet? How long have they been hanging out?

As humans, we have a natural desire to stay curious until the loop is closed.

Plus, meeting new people makes you smile more, and according to a study published in the American Psychological Association journal Emotion, men find women who smile significantly more attractive.

“Women who smile are absolutely very attractive. That was by far the most attractive expression women showed,” Jessica Tracy, a University of British Columbia psychology professor who directed the study, said in an interview.

So meet new people, create curiosity, and have fun while doing it.

6. When he sees you flirting with another man

Similarly, when your ex sees you flirting with another man, that’s when the jealousy can kick into overdrive.

But here’s the thing about jealousy – making your ex feel jealous and having him want to get back together with you are not the same thing.

April Eldemire, a licensed marriage and family therapist writes on The Gottman Institute blog that “Jealousy in a relationship can be more about your own vulnerabilities than about your partner’s actions. For instance, you may be prone to jealousy if you’ve had painful experiences in your past.”

If he wants to get back together just because he’s jealous, that’s not a healthy place to enter back into a relationship.

The best place to get back together is a place where he’s had time to reflect and realize that his life is better with you in it.

So sure, let him feel a little jealous when he sees you flirting with another man, but don’t think it will fix the relationship.

7. When you’re too busy for him

One of the easiest ways to help make a guy miss you is to make him feel like you’re already moving on by filling up your life with new things that don’t include him.

When he asks if you want to hang out and you genuinely seem like it’s going to be hard to find the time to squeeze him in, then he can see himself getting squeezed out of your life.

He knows he’s either going to have to put in some effort to be a part of your life or watch the door close on his opportunity to be a part of it.

8. When he asks, “can we still stay friends?”

If your ex is saying that he still wants to hang out and see you (and this is very important – actually follows through and asks you to hang out), it’s likely he still wants you in his life in some capacity.

This is especially the case after 8 weeks.

He may be too scared to straight out tell you what he’s feeling, so “Can we still be friends?” is a very safe and easy way to get what he wants without taking the risk of putting himself out there.

9. When he sees you caring for others

Another thing that is attractive to many men is seeing that you care about other people. It shows them that you have a big heart and see the bigger picture beyond your own life and break up.

New research into altruistic behavior and attraction has discovered some genetic evidence altruism may have evolved over time because it was one of the characteristics our ancestors desired in a partner and mate.

“The expansion of the human brain would have greatly increased the cost of raising children, so it would have been important for our ancestors to choose mates both willing and able to be good, long-term parents. Displays of altruism could well have provided accurate clues to this, and so led to a link between human altruism and sexual selection,” Tim Phillips, a psychiatrist at the University of Nottingham and Institute of Psychiatry, says.

Have you considered volunteering at a local organization? Is there a big charity event coming up that you can help with?

Now’s a great time to get out there and start trying new things that will help remind him of your loving and generous side.

10. When he still protects you

Does your ex still want to protect you? Not just from physical harm, but does he make sure you’re protected when any negative situation arises?

Just because you guys aren’t together anymore doesn’t mean that his protective instincts will go away.

Men are naturally protective over women they care about. A study published in the Physiology & Behavior journal shows that males’ testosterone makes them feel protective over her safety and wellbeing.

If he still wants you to be safe and protected, this is a clear sign that he misses you and wants you back.

11. When he’s feeling emotionally low

Are you getting late-night booty calls? Is he going through a stressful time at work or school?

Men can start missing you when they aren’t feeling great about themselves.

And who can blame him? We’ve all been there where we are feeling down on ourselves and try to reconnect with an ex to make ourselves feel better, feel more attractive, feel more desirable, and feel more carefree.

Todd Baratz, a psychotherapist specializing in relationships and sex, told Elite Daily that missing an ex can be more about missing who you were in the relationship or missing being in a relationship than missing your ex specifically.

Reconnecting from an unstable place where he’s trying to fill an emotional need is very difficult, if not impossible, way to build a healthy relationship moving forward.

So it’s worth asking yourself as well – do you truly miss your ex or how being in a relationship made you feel about you?

12. When he’s texting & calling you consistently

Is he texting and calling you in the middle of the day just because? Is he the one checking in “just to see how you’re doing?”

Then that’s a pretty clear cut sign that he’s at least thinking about you, if not, deeply missing you.

When a guy consistently is reaching out to you and during the middle of the day (i..e, there’s absolutely zero chance he has a beer buzz going on) to say hello, then it’s very likely that he genuinely misses you.

Did he text you on your birthday? The birthday text is also a dead giveaway he’s missing you.

13. When he’s orbiting you on social

Is he reacting to all of your videos, stories and pics? Does he appear to be hanging out in the background of your life – there but not really there?

If your ex is still engaging with you regularly on social then it could be a sign that he’s still trying to communicate even though you’re officially broken up.

Though he may be orbiting you, that doesn’t mean you should automatically do the same. (Remember, you want to be reigning or eliminating your communication with him right now as we discussed above.)

Lisa Breateman, LCSW, a psychotherapist and relationship specialist in New York City explains, “When you’re still liking somebody else’s stuff, you’re staying attached. You’re sending a message that you’re still seeing into the other person’s life.”

And again, right now you want to be creating space between the two of you so there’s enough room for him to miss you.

14. When he’s asking your friends about you

Another indirect sign that shows he may be missing you is when he asks your friends about how you are doing. The more questions, the more likely it is that he’s missing you.

Like with social though, it doesn’t matter much unless your ex does anything about it.

He may just be trying to feel out your friends to gauge if you’re still interested. If they respond with something like “You should call her,” it may just be the green light he’s looking for.

15. When he sees you with another man

And there is no bigger curiosity loop that’s created than when your ex sees you with another man.

Who is he? Are they dating or hooking up? What does she like about him? Is it serious?

Yep, we all know there’s nothing like a tinge of jealousy to stir up some feelings of missing your ex.

One study that looked at the mating behaviors of monkeys suggests that jealousy has developed as a function of the brain to promote social bonding and monogamous relationships.

Male monkeys were observed participating in “mate-guarding” when they would physically hold back other male monkeys from talking to their female partner and become physically distressed when separated from their partner.

The study suggests that there are some biological and evolutionary processes at work when it comes to jealousy.

So jealousy is a powerful thing; use it to your advantage. But use it wisely.

If you’re feeling a little adventurous, try this “Jealousy” text.

“I think it was a great idea that we decided to start dating other people. I do just want to be friends right now!”

By saying this, you’re telling your ex that you’re actually dating other people right now… which will in turn make them jealous.

This is a good thing.

You’re communicating to your ex that you’re actually wanted by others. We’re all attracted to people wanted by others. By saying that you’re dating around already, you’re pretty much saying that “it’s your loss!”

16. When he’s hanging out at your favorite places

Does your ex keep “coincidently” bumping into you at the gym, your favorite coffee shop, or out at night? If so, it may not be such a coincidence.

Trust me, if a guy wants to avoid you, he 100% knows how to do that.

So if you’re running into him regularly and he seems happy to see you every time, you can pretty much bet he’s at least not actively trying to avoid you.

17. When he sees you growing & changing

Whatever the reason you broke up, it’s because something in your relationship wasn’t working.

One of the best ways to get your ex to want to get back with you is by showing him that you’ve grown and changed so the issues that were previously a problem no longer are.

This isn’t something that you can just tell him (i.e., “I’ve changed. Can we get back together now?”).

This is something that he needs to see over time and through your actions and behavior.

When he starts to see a shift and change in you, then that’s where his longing for and desire to be with you can be rekindled.

18. When he tells you he misses you

If your ex is telling you he’s missing you, then he’s for sure missing you. Clearly.

But here’s the thing – it’s up for you to decide if he’s genuinely missing you because he loves, respects and admires you as a person or if he’s just feeling down about himself and is hoping you can make him feel better.

If it’s the first, then that’s the type of missing that can help rekindle a new and improved relationship.

But if it’s the second, then it’s likely only a matter of time before he becomes unhappy again – either with himself or you – and that’s not something your presence in his life is ever going to fix.

So you have to decide if he genuinely misses you as a person or he just misses the way you make him feel about himself. They are two very different things.

19. When he sees you living your best life

If you want your ex to miss you, none of the things mentioned above will be the magic bullet that will get him to miss you.

Because what it ultimately comes down to is that he sees you being the best version of yourself – the one that he fell for initially – and that’s a combination of many of the things mentioned above.

Taking care of yourself. Trying new things. Meeting new people. Caring for other people. Growing as a person. These are things that will remind him of all the reasons he fell for you in the first place.

If he sees that you’re actively being the best version of you that was lacking when you both were together, then that’s what’s going to be the thing that’s going to make him start wondering if you should get back together.

So focus on doing all the things to help YOU live your best life because that ultimately, will make him miss you the most, and most importantly, get you in the right state of mind to decide if you truly want to enter back into the relationship.

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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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