How Long Is Too Long To Wait For Your Ex To Reach Out?

We all know at least one couple that can’t quite seem to quit one another. Maybe you’re in a relationship right now that feels exactly like that. Things don’t work out and you decide to break up, but then when you start to feel lonely, you remember the good things in the relationship and send that fateful text.

It’s super easy to fall back into the comfort of a former relationship, and it only takes one person to take the first step and reach out, opening the doors of communication back up. Sending that first message after a breakup can be harder than you might think… Did you wait long enough? Do they want to hear from you? Should you wait for them to text you first? If these are questions that you have found yourself wondering, then you’ve found the right article.

Breaking Up Can Feel Like The End Of Your World

Woman sits with hands around knees in bed, looking sad
Photo Credit: Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels
Photo Credit: Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

The end of any relationship can feel like you lost more than just your partner. Suddenly you don’t have anyone to send that hilarious meme to, and when you hear your favorite song in the car it has a totally different meaning now and just feels sad.

Breakups bring out complex emotions and everyone deals with them differently. Ultimately, we spend the first few weeks wondering whether we could have done something differently to make it work, and sometimes we send a text to find out if it’s really over.

Waiting To Communicate After A Breakup Is A Game Of Self-Control

Woman's hand writes word
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels

The waiting period after a breakup is the absolute worst. There’s the possibility that they text you, or maybe they ghost you into eternity and you’re left forever wondering where you went wrong.

Basically, it comes down to a game of self-control—who can hold out the longest before calling or texting the other? And how long is that exactly?

Every Couple Is Going To Have A Different Experience

iMessage:
Photo Credit: iFakeTextMessage
Photo Credit: iFakeTextMessage

How long it takes for an ex to miss you is going to vary from couple to couple. Things like the length of the relationship, where you both live, and how each person deals with a breakup will all have an impact on how long it takes for someone to reach out.

In my personal experience, most guys can hold out for a couple of weeks after a breakup before they finally break down and send a text. It’s the ones who never send the text at all that leave you with the most questions.

The Reason They Won’t Text You First Could Be Pride

Man stands alone overlooking on balcony overlooking city skyline
Photo Credit: Amir Hosseini / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Amir Hosseini / Unsplash

Sometimes it’s a matter of pride and your ex doesn’t want to admit they’re the one missing you, or they want to appear busy. This leads to an even longer standoff.

Just because they’re not texting you doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not thinking about you. I can say for certain I haven’t sent the first post-breakup text out of sheer stubbornness and a desire to seem like I was “winning” the breakup.

Social Media Is Not A Reflection Of Real Life

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Photo Credit: Klara Kulikova / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Klara Kulikova / Unsplash

In reality, there is no “winning” in a breakup and both parties definitely lose something they once cared about.

It’s easy to pretend like you’re distracted and busy on social media. So if you see your ex living it up on Instagram and spending their money at the bar every weekend, don’t feel too bad. There’s a reason they’re distracting themselves with booze and socials.

Don’t Block Your Ex From Your Life, But Be Careful What You Look For

Woman's hand scrolls through Instagram on her phone
Photo Credit: Kate Torline / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Kate Torline / Unsplash

Breaking up in the age of social media adds an extra layer of crap to navigate. It’s extremely tempting to spend hours lurking your ex’s socials, looking for any sign of activity or, god forbid, a new partner.

Blocking your ex online is not the immediate solution. You will certainly feel justified in the moment, but it’s just going to be awkward when you have to unblock them in the future. Plus it sends a clear “leave me alone” message. A better option is to “mute” their profiles to help stop you from browsing.

It Shouldn’t Take Your Ex Longer Than A Few Weeks To Reach Out

Woman stares at phone with hand pressed to face
Photo Credit: Alex Green / Pexels
Photo Credit: Alex Green / Pexels

Even though there’s no exact science to figuring out how long someone should wait after a breakup to text you, there’s a pretty general understanding that it shouldn’t take more than a few weeks.

If someone needs longer than a month to figure out that they miss you, they definitely didn’t appreciate what they had when they had it.

Make Yourself Seem “Unavailable”

Red wall with yellow writing
Photo Credit: Samuel Ryde / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Samuel Ryde / Unsplash

The “freeze him out” method is tried and true, meaning that if you hold out on contacting your ex, it will encourage them to reach out. The idea is that cutting off communication and making yourself seem “unavailable” will catch their attention.

Sometimes having a communication break is healthy, so don’t be afraid to cut your ex off for a few days and use the time to clear your head. They’re sure to notice the radio silence and maybe even get a little anxious about what you’re up to.

Communication Breaks Are A Healthy Time To Let Anger Fade Away

Man sits alone at computer with fingers interlocked behind head, thinking
Photo Credit: Jason Strull / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Jason Strull / Unsplash

Time to diffuse is also important, especially if your breakup ended on a hostile note. If there was any anger involved, it’s good practice to let your ex have some space anyway.

This will give you both time to cool down and collect your thoughts so that the next conversation you have goes better than the last one.

Don’t Spend Too Long Waiting For The Wrong Person

Woman sitting at coffee shop waits with cellphone in hand
Photo Credit: Ilyuza Mingazova / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Ilyuza Mingazova / Unsplash

It’s also healthy to make peace with the idea that maybe the relationship has run its course. You should set a realistic timeframe for you to continue to invest your energy into this relationship.

If you’re still waiting for a text from your ex six months down the road, it’s time to realize that you’re worth more than sitting around waiting on someone who doesn’t want you.

Being Single Is Surprisingly Freeing

Woman sits with mountains in background, hands outstretched
Photo Credit: Becca Tapert / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Becca Tapert / Unsplash

Just because your ex comes back around doesn’t mean you have to take them back. Maybe in the course of being apart for a few weeks, you realized how much happier and healthier you feel.

It’s a good time to put your own emotions first and listen to your gut feelings—is this relationship something you really want to jump back into? Or will it just end up exhausting you again in the future?