It’s been months, and then, right out of the blue, your ex gets in touch.
Even when they only have something fairly casual, or innocent sounding to say — it doesn’t seem to add up.
Why does an ex reach out after months? This article will reveal all.
10 reasons why exes reach out after months of silence
1) They didn’t process the breakup after it happened
To you, the relationship might feel like old news.
In your mind, it’s been a while since you broke up, and in the meantime, it feels like a lot of water has passed under the bridge.
But that perspective often depends on how you tend to process breakups.
I’d say there are typically two styles:
1) People who grieve the loss of the relationship, confront their feelings and subsequently process them.
These people deal with the emotional fallout from the breakup as it happens. After they have done their mourning and processing, they are ready to move on.
2) People who delay having to deal with the breakup. These people often look for distractions elsewhere and may use denial as a form of avoiding the uncomfortable emotions they are feeling.
This tends to be an avoidant defense mechanism. It’s too painful to fully confront their feelings at the time. And so they very slowly unpack it all as time passes.
But that can mean that certain realizations, thoughts, and feelings come to light much further down the line.
Hence why months later they suddenly re-emerge. Because they’ve only just gotten around to the real work of processing the breakup.
They were busy living in denial, and couldn’t confront those emotions — so it hit them later.
2) They’re having regrets
If your ex has suddenly messaged you after months, they may be having second thoughts.
A few months into your split is enough time for doubt to well and truly set in.
In the heat of a breakup, we can quite clearly remember all the grievances we have in a relationship. Every tiny detail of all the ways they annoy you feels very fresh in your mind.
But a few months later when emotions die down, we reach for the rose-tinted glasses.
As Alex Panner points out so well on Quora, from his own personal experience:
“Sometimes when people break-up they are so confused about their feelings, they may be in pain, maybe the relationship has become very intense. After those negative emotions have been released and healed, they may reach out because they realised that there were a lot of good things about the relationship that they were unable to focus on in a bad emotional state.”
Most relationships aren’t all bad. And sometimes we just lose sight of the good. We focus so heavily on the bad that we think it’s better to split.
But as soon as you can re-remember all the wonderful things about someone and your time together, you may wonder if you’ve made a mistake in letting them go.
3) They’re ready to be friends
Of course, there is a chance that romance isn’t at all on your ex’s mind. They may just have reached a place where they are ready to be friends.
Plenty of couples say they want to be friends after a break-up. But in reality, it can be very challenging to do so.
Residual feelings that are left over from your relationship tend to get in the way.
For that reason, it’s usually a better idea to go your separate ways and rebuild your lives without one another.
After doing that it puts you in a far better headspace to decide whether you actually want your ex in your life.
If your ex was ultimately a positive force, and you have a lot of respect and affection for them, you might decide you want to be friends.
There’s no timeline for how long it takes to be ready to be friends after a split.
So maybe your ex messaged you after months of not talking because they now feel ready to be just friends.
They’ve taken some space but have come to the conclusion that they still want to stay connected.
4) They realized the grass isn’t any greener on the other side
Hindsight can be a powerful thing.
We can get an image in our head of how something is going to be, but the reality doesn’t quite live up to it.
Well perhaps, single life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Your ex has seen what other options are out there, and has been left less than impressed.
It might have left them feeling like what you two had was actually pretty good after all.
This habit of always wanting what we can’t have, and expecting too much from what we do have is a theme in all relationships.
We often expect way too much from a relationship and so always end up dissatisfied.
This is something I came to fully understand after watching a free video from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê.
His teachings made me realize that the alternatives are never much more fulfilling for a very good reason:
The real issue doesn’t lie with our relationships with others, it lies with the relationship we have with ourselves.
He taught me that until we address that, we will continue to carry all our baggage with us into every relationship we form.
I really recommend you check out his short free video. In it, he explains the three keys to living a joyful and fulfilling relationship.
And I know that some of them are going to surprise you.
Here’s the link again. I really suggest you take a few minutes to watch it.
5) They’re looking for attention
There are some more cynical or insincere reasons for why your ex might decide to contact you out of the blue.
And perhaps the top of those would be:
Rather than having genuine reasons to reconnect, they are motivated by far more self-serving ones.
Maybe they’re feeling a bit lonely, bored, or sorry for themself. Or maybe they’re simply looking for attention.
In that moment in which they get back in touch, they’re not thinking about how it will impact you.
They’re just thinking about trying to meet their own selfish needs and are focused on how they’re feeling.
Some people just aren’t very good at being alone. They don’t like it when they’re not getting a source of attention from somewhere.
If they happen to be experiencing a bit of a dry patch in their love life and don’t have anyone else to get an ego boost from, they may decide to turn to you for it.
6) They miss you
Another possibility is that they genuinely missed you.
Perhaps they’ve been missing you and so have started to wonder if you could give it another go. But not necessarily.
Maybe they just missed you in general and so wanted to say hi and try to reconnect.
They miss having you in their life. They miss speaking to you. They miss your connection and conversation.
In whatever way it may be, they miss you.
The reality is that we bond heavily with people when we come together to create a romantic relationship.
The combination of physical and emotional intimacy creates ties that are not so easily severed.
So when the relationship is over, it doesn’t mean we no longer care or that we no longer like someone.
Even if the romance didn’t work out, we can still miss the attachment that we had to that person.
We can still feel the loss of what has gone.
And even if we think we need to let go of certain things in order to move forward. That’s not always easy to do.
It’s human nature to want to keep the safety and security of the people we have shared our lives with.
7) They got jealous
I swear that sometimes it feels like an ex has some kind of radar.
They can sense when you’ve finally begun to move on, and so they instantly jump into action to try and pull you back.
Know what I mean?
You just start to feel like you’re getting on with your life again and then, boom, they are back in your DM’s.
Perhaps part of the explanation is that they do sense you are moving on or healing. And they’re not totally happy with that.
If they see you out with other people, they can start to get jealous. If they feel like you’re moving forwards and leaving them behind, it might not feel so good.
The attachment we tend to feel from a relationship isn’t always that healthy. In fact, it can turn into a sense of possessiveness and even ownership over someone.
Even if you decide that you don’t want them, you still don’t want someone else to have them.
The time you have spent together makes them feel like they are yours. So if your ex got a feeling that you were moving on, their jealous streak may be surfacing.
8) They want to hook up
Hey, we’ve all got needs. And single life doesn’t always cater to some of those needs quite as much as couple life does.
Ok, enough beating around the bush…
Your ex might be on the lookout for sex.
If they are looking for some mutually beneficial friend with benefits, it can feel easier to tap up a familiar source.
If it’s been some months since the breakup, they may believe enough time has passed to enjoy some fun together.
Sex can also feel for some like a route back into reigniting the relationship.
As this woman anonymously confessed to Men’s Health Magazine:
“It happened a month after we broke up…The first time, I started messaging him and making general conversation. Basically, I was seeing whether it would be a possibility, but without saying that. We arranged to meet at his, and it just happened. It wasn’t as good as I imagined it would be, or as good as it had been in the past. The passion was missing.”
Research has found that, particularly guys more so than women, can have purely hedonistic motives for wanting to get their kicks with an ex.
Psychology Today noted that:
“Men’s most common reason for having breakup sex was hedonism—and men reported more hedonistic motives than women. So if men are more likely to be turning to breakup sex purely for sexual enjoyment, it’s probably not surprising that they report more positive experiences with it.”
9) They’re genuinely curious about how you’re doing
It’s very tempting to go all Sherlock Holmes and dig deep into an ex’s motives for reaching out after months of no contact.
But sometimes the real answers aren’t quite so complex.
It could simply be that they thought about you and so decided to reach out. There wasn’t necessarily any grand or well-thought-out plan behind it.
They were reminded of you and felt like saying hi. Even if that feels strange or unusual timing to you.
I once had an ex reach out after 8 months of no contact.
He explained that he had thought about me often, and decided that this time he would actually reach out.
And I believe that’s all there was to it.
We exchanged a couple of messages asking polite questions about what one another was up to. But that was it.
He was curious about how I was doing, so he asked me.
10) They just broke up with someone else
Breakups are strange times in our lives.
It can cause us to reflect on exes when we’re going through (or have recently gone through) another breakup.
You sort of end up comparing and contrasting with previous relationships. That can mean that exes suddenly come to mind.
It also leaves a gap in your life that it’s tempting to try to fill in any way you can.
That might mean taking a trip down memory lane or attempting to reconnect with someone who once felt close to you.
If you know for a fact that your ex has split with someone (perhaps their rebound), it could explain the timing of why they are chosing to get in touch now.