Why Would a Guy Keep in Touch After He Already Dumped Me?

Hi Evan,

I’ve been dating an amazing guy who’s only just recently become “too busy” for a relationship. I know that is really just code for him losing interest and that’s okay… Disappointing indeed, but okay.  Oddly though, he suggested that we have another conversation in a week’s time to see where things are at. Shortly after our breakup tonight, he sent me a text message saying he was sorry and that he’d really like to keep in touch. I told him I was open to that but that he’d have to take that step.

Evan, I’m OK with him not wanting to date me. To be honest, he is such an amazing guy (opposite of the loser musicians and wannabe actor types that I usually end up with) that I often wondered why he was dating me in the first place. But that’s obviously another issue. Why would he bother texting afterward or bother suggesting that we have another conversation about things in a week? I don’t get it. Why wouldn’t he just walk away after doing the dumping?

Just Dumped

Have you ever dumped someone, JD? It’s a horrible, horrible feeling, right up there with, well, being dumped. And this feeling, if you can imagine it, provides the full explanation for why people act inconsistent.

Step outside your own shoes and put yourself in your partner’s shoes.

As always, the best solution to being your own dating coach is to step outside your own shoes and put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Why would he possibly do what he did? There has to be some rationale. I’m just going to channel him right now and see what I can come up with:

“Well, I really like hanging out with JD, but I get the sense that she’s starting to get attached to me. And since I’m such an amazing guy, and I’m at a particularly busy time in my life, why would I want to tie myself down to just one person? Plus, the longer I continue to see her, the more I’m going to end up breaking her heart in the end. And I hate that feeling. I once dated this girl who strung me along for months and crushed my spirit, and I don’t want to do the same thing to JD. So I’m going to break up with her. Yeah. That’s the right thing to do.

Why do guys keep in touch after a break up?

Mostly because you let us.

On the other hand, it’s not like I ever promised to marry her or anything. I mean, she already knows I’m not fully committed. So maybe after I dump her, we’ll just stay in touch. Maybe do the occasional ‘friends with benefits’ thing. That way, I’m not technically hurting her. We have sex from time to time, I don’t have to commit, and I’m allowed to see other people. Perfect! If she lets me get away with it, she can’t get mad at me for being a creep. In fact, I think she likes me so much, she’ll just be glad to see me once every few weeks. I’m gonna send a text message to her and see how she feels…”

But that’s just my perspective as a 35-year-old single guy who has done the same exact thing. Why do we keep in touch with you after we break up? Mostly because you let us.

Readers? What do you think?

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Comments:

  1. 151
    Kreig

    Oh my this could not come at a better time.  I was dating someone for several months and he too broke it off for what ever the reason, but I later allowed him back into my life.  Just yesterday I told him that I need to not be his friend anymore. I was madly in love with him and he could not commit to me.  I heard the you are the most amazing woman speech and that I love you but not in love with you line too.  I still hurt, but I definitely needed to hear Evan’s advice today….very helpful and thank you.  Good Luck to you JD!! 

  2. 152
    Sandy

    Dear B T T W what sound advice I definitely will follow that script especially the 2month no type of contact…

  3. 153
    veronica

    All these sounds so familiar to me I was with a guy I new for some years started off as friends ended up in relationship at Least I though I was a rebound the whole time why him and his baby mama wasn’t getting along at all at the time he lied and munipulated me No sign of her and he’s like I love both of you sound like a cope out to me to have his cake and eat it he played games and a liar and when I got mad he gos to act like I have no reason to be mad he is a jerk and that is selfish 

  4. 154
    Illinois Girl

    Wow its been awhile since my last post. I just wanted to update that my ex cheated on me and married the woman he cheated on me with, then a few years later he contacted me again saying that she divorced HIM. (Can’t say I felt bad about this as he was a real snake to me) and he wanted to try again with me. I said no way. So then he has tried to connect with me atleast twice since then through social media and I block him every time. Now I am grateful that I never married him and in retrospect realize how lucky I was to get away from him. He is actually kind of a stalker. Uptown girl, while I do agree with what you are saying, I think it is important to understand that not everyone is coming from the same place you are and should not be judged but rather given compassion.. I am so glad that God protected me from marrying this man by him marrying someone else, but at the time it felt like my world was ending.

  5. 155
    Bree

    I love reading these responses – as they are giving me strength to move on. My boyfriend of 2 years told me he needed to take a break in our relationship. He sad that he loved some things about me but was not “in love” with me. He thought that if we took a break he would get better clarity in how he felt. He continues to text me daily (about non personal stuff) – it has only been 2 weeks. I don’t like the feeling of him controlling my destiny or the status of our relationship.

  6. 156
    spring

    well….interesting comments. I would say that if a man loves you- he knows very fast and he will always be back for emotional reasons and not sex. Real Love doesn’t go away even if circumstances and timing make relationship impossible at certain time. If a guy dumps u early on—-MOVE ON! Man know very fast what they want! At any event- always cut off even LOVE if they don’t treat you properly. I think the best way to cut is say what you looking for and set the bar….the one who loves you will live up to a challenge and the ones who don’t…..who needs them????
    I just realized that my best male friend ( I was stupid to think he was just a friend….) of 25 years was madly in love and felt rejected and started treating me like dirt…..with all the pain and suffering (and I know he loves me and scared to death to get hurt) …..I told him that he can’t treat me like that and Im letting him go as Im not a back up plan or an option….he still has growing up to do and Im sure I will hear from him eventually but it will be on my terms…SELF respect is a MUST!

  7. 157
    Stacey

    I really needed to read this article and the advice from others.  I just deleted all texts, his phone number, and unfriended on FB my ex (we only dated two months, but he broke up because he isn’t ready to settle down due to his recent divorce) who wants to try to keep being friends and have benefits.  I’m sad to just cut him out because he and I had a connection.  However, his feelings aren’t strong enough to want to be my boyfriend and I do deserve a full relationship, not a part-time friendship.   

  8. 158
    Melody

    I was with my now ex-boyfriend for nearly 5 years. I considered him the love of my life,replete with being inseparable, families knowing each other and me doing stuff for him and supporting him through anything and everything. Ultimately he lost interest, I found inappropriate texts to a girl and upon asking him about it, got broken up with. I struggled unsuccessfully to maintain NC, because he kept invutong me for dinner, movies, sleepovers, picking me up from work and all the rest, and I foolishly complied because I was in love.kept this uo for 8 months, until out of the blue, he tells me he’s been seeing (read:sleeping with) someone for a few days now, and since our relationship was non-functional, I should understand. This, from the love of my life.I was devastated for over a year. JD, go NC on the guy. He may be amazing, but if you’re gonna end up hurt, its not worth it.

  9. 159
    anna

    So glad i happened upon this site and the subject matter.  Met a guy, separated ( for way too many yrs), we clicked on all fronts.  He is going back to his ex, but wants to remain friends.  My heart is broken.  He still calls me everyday, loves to chat, blah, blah…… Now I see he is totally being selfish, really is not into me, but looking to keep his options open.   I need to excerise that no contact zone and not be available.

  10. 160
    R

    Ignore and delete the texts and don’t answer the phone or return the calls. He broke it off. If he was serious about keeping you then he would not have broken it off. It is really that simple. Move on or else you will end up being the hit it when there is nothing better else going on girl. He is not amazing either. You didn’t even really know him. You liked the idea of him and the relationship. When I break up with someone or am dumped, I end all contact immediately. I like a clean break because it helps me to move on faster. I ignore all calls and texts and delete all messages and voice mails. you can’t change him or his mind. Find a new guy.

  11. 161
    helena

    I let an ex stay in touch after he dumped me for a woman 11 years younger than me. He didnt want any face to face contact since he was now in another relationship but insisted facebook contact was very important to him. It was awful. It was a constant reminder of the rejection. I felt humiliated and embarrassed that I could be discarded so easily and quickly. Perhaps a bit like being sacked from a job for poor performance and then being forced to work out the two weeks notice. You just want to run away and hope no-one from work ever sees you again.

    He had slept with me one night and then when I saw him the next time he was completely cold and distant and clearly didnt want to be spending time with me. An old friend of his had just left her husband and he was quick to jump in and take up with her. To make it worse, he asked me shortly beforehand to help with legal advice for a “friend” who had family law issues. I didnt know he was lining up this freind as his new lover.

    Two days ago, after he posted cartoon pictures of how couple share space in bed together, I defriended him and blocked him. For the first day there was a mixed feeling of loss and grief but also relief that I could now start the process of getting over him and moving on. Then on the second day (today), there is much less grief and more relief that I can emotionally block him out and try to move on. Thank you for listening.

    And in relation to the views expressed by the author – I’m not sure what the motivation is for a guy who dumped you, wanting to stay “friends”, but I have learnt that it certainly doesnt benefit the dumpee. Maybe it relieves the guilt of the dumper, but it is misplaced since he is not allowing his dumpee to move on. Maybe its to keep her as a back-up in case the new relationship doesnt turn out – its been 6 months they have been together now so I dont think thats the case, and why would I want to be someone’s 2nd inferior choice anyway. Evan’s explanation is probably also viable. And it doesnt mean the guy is bad for thinking this way – its just that men and women seem to have a different sense of what constitutes ethical condcut.

     

     

  12. 162
    Stephanie

    I am currently dating a wonderful man, who I met online.  He asked me recently if I would be his girlfriend, saying that although we had both disabled our online dating profiles, he wanted to make it official.  I like how he thinks.

    Now that this is official, I am receiving texts left and right from exes with whom I have had sporadic contact since those respective relationships ended.  These were men who came on strong, but when it came down to it, did not want to be in a relationship with me.  And now it’s like their internal radars detected that I was no longer single, or something.  I would be a fool to go back to any of them.

    Although I am friends with a few of my ex-boyfriends, this is because enough time and space had passed for any dredges of romantic longing to completely dissipate.  Sometimes it takes years.

    OP, never sell yourself short.  You deserve someone who adores you and wants to be with you, without hesitation or reserve.

    1. 162.1
      Jennifer

      What an awesome post! So true. Glad you found a good guy. 😊

  13. 163
    Pepa

    Ladies and gentleman ..

    I am 43 years old and I truly believe there are not rules in love relationships. Things work different for different people. I want to tell you my last experience: as a single woman in my 40s I decided to do IVF and I am now 27 weeks pregnant.. When I was 9 weeks pregnant I met the guy I thought he was the most amazing one.. We dated and I told him I was pregnant .. He still wanted to date me.. To make the story short.. We both quick got attached to each other but he had kids already and he didn’t want to have more kids.. But he didn’t want to let me go and he was getting frustrated and attached and too much anxiety because he didn’t want to hurt me and he told me he knew he was going to walk away anytime .. So one day unexpected he texted me to say it was over… By text, not call not face to face.. I have to say he is my age and he is still healing after a bad divorce…. I accepted and I cried and cried.. It was a short romance but it was strong for both.. Or that is what I thought. It seems it was meaningful for me but not for him. I respected him and not communication.. He contacted me again.. Saying nothing .. And he tried to get closer again.. I was happy and sad at the same time.. Then he did it again .. And he tried again to become close again.. We met again.. And after two days and being intimate and have a beautiful encounter he never texted me again… Gone, silence, he let me guessing .. Of course I knew .. He didn’t want me.. Well he said he didn’t want a baby .. In the middle of all these back and forth situations, this is the first time I fall in love, the first time I tell a man what I feel for him, and the first time I am close to someone when I am pregnant and everyone should know it is a very sensitive time for a woman.. He said maybe we could be friends in the future.. He needs time and space .. He said clearly there was not romantic possibility for us.. That killed me but once again I accepted. Well I am pregnant and he doesn’t want me. The baby is an excuse.. He had 11 bad years in two relationships .. He wants to be free!! Good for him!! But he text again and now he is mad because he wants to be a friend and I can’t. He doesn’t respect my space and my pregnancy and my peace. He unfriended me in FB. He said he doesn’t understand why I can’t be his friend.. He ask me advices about his ex, he only text with his plans of leaving for months to travel to the ocean again.. How happy finally he is. He didn’t like the place we we live, his job and he was depressed and hurt by his ex.. He wasn’t ready for a relationship .. I do understand and respect it. I forgot to mention he said he wanted to see me, he misses me and he thinks about us together in bed..

    I am pregnant and he is a goodlooking guy and very charming.. He can play with any woman’s feelings. He knows I was in love.. He knew from the beginning I was pregnant.. And I have to say it is my fault to fall for him? He did and say things he shouldn’t have.. He never promise anything but if you are a man and you are not interested you don’t get involve with a situation like that. I assume my responsibility but I never chased this guy.. Ever.. I only reply once to say I was ok and I hope the same for him. He keeps texting every 10 days I so.. I don’t reply and I will never do. First I have feelings but I think he is a selfish soul .. He used me as a distraction to full his needs.. Sex was not his goal here… I know when it is about sex and this was not sex. He broke my heart and he made me doubts about my maternity.. So hard to decide what I did and I am lucky to be pregnant and this guy keeps playing with my feelings.. I now hate him.. At his age he should think first and be considered .. I am pregnant and he doesn’t want anything with me..I am sure he thinks he didn’t do anything wrong but he did.. You don’t use people.. He is not a kid and I was pregnant since I know him. I don’t expect any man to be with me now but I do expect man to respect me as a woman and to consider that confusing people is not the way to go.. I know my mistake was when he came back the first time.. I should be the one who could have said:” I am not interested in this anymore. It was nice meeting you ” but I didn’t ..

    So people hurt people and you can’t justify them .. Think and then act. It is ok if you stop loving someone or you don’t want a romantic relationship ..but be honest and don’t be selfish.

    I feel sorry for this guy after all.. He will get the same treatment one day and he will remember me for what he did..

    I have to forget him because I have a baby on its way.. He made me loose the excitement about it and that I can’t forgive myself that it happened for someone who is not with it ..

  14. 164
    Moving on

    The comments and advice on here is amazing!! Going through this right now and most my friends and family told me to stay clear away from him.. But it was difficult, however something clicked in me yesterday and then reading all these comments and experiences from others tell me that I know they’re right and to move on.. He tried to guilt trip me yesterday saying hes going through a lot of shit but some of this he brought upon himself. I realised how immature he actually is. Good riddance.

  15. 165
    debra

    Hi ‘Just dumped’. Why even bother to wonder about this guy? He thinks he’s God’s gift and if you let him keep in contact with you you’re reinforcing the illusion!
    Move on for goodness (& your self -respect’s) sake. If you have attracted a guy like this once, you can definitely do it again. He’s not the only pebble on the beach (& he needs to get over himself before he can ever appreciate you!)

  16. 166
    Ange

    This is such a good blog post.  Short sweet and to the point !

    I just got out of a really tough ‘relationship’ with a commitment phobe / fearful avoidant … you know him as the one who blows hot and cold, Mr. Come here, Go away.  First time I’ve ever been with one and hope to God it is my last !  I use quotes around the word relationship as it really never fully settled owing to the push/pull, stop/start dynamic of his.

    What I finally realized after much reflection is that he couldn’t make a decision to be with me and he couldn’t make a decision to be without me !  Either way it was a *commitment* and something he couldn’t bring himself to do.  I kept seeing his returning to me (after absence and ‘needing space’) to be a sign that he really did like me and want to be with me.  Afterall, why would someone panic and then go back to the person who made him freak out if they really weren’t wanting it to work??

    Once I caught on, I finally was able to do what needed to be done and say goodbye, wish him well and go into no contact zone.  No friendly contact (although he asked for it, I knew it was about him not me so I said no, but maybe some day).

    Now, I’m not sure that JD’s ex or Evan were necessarily like my ex… I think men want to keep in contact for all sorts of reasons.  Many of which have less to do with the woman and more to do with their ego, fears, needs, etc.  Bottom line is that it is hard to know what to do with conflicting information and if you like someone, of course you’re going to interpret mixed messages in a way that supports what you want.

    The reality is that mixed messages are a red flag and we all deserve clarity in our intimate relationships.  Dumping someone and then returning repeatedly is a mixed message.  The ‘let’s be friends’ thing might work in some cases and I’m not knocking FWB set ups if both parties can handle it.  But, post break up, I’m highly doubtful it can be done without one of the parties feeling demoted and diminished.

     

     

     

  17. 167
    L

    I’ve had this done to me by women and there is absolutely no excuse or rationalization for it. It’s downright cruel and I’m disappointed that you’re trying to rationalize it. Now, with that said … if the “breaker” has made it explicitly obvious to the “breakee” that he/she is no longer interested in pursuing the relationship and it’s ok with the “breakee” to stay in touch, that’s one thing. But to do anything else is downright cruel and serves to make the breakup more difficult by sending mixed signals. Yes, it’s difficult to break up with someone. But if you try to rationalize giving mixed signals you are encouraging people to play games with people’s feelings.

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