Ask A Guy: Why Do Guys Always Try To Talk To Their Ex-Girlfriends?

Dear Ethan,

My ex-boyfriend started texting me last week after we haven’t talked in months. But, um, he has a girlfriend! This isn’t the first time an ex has gotten in touch with me even though he’s dating someone else. Why do guys try to talk to their exes even when they’ve clearly already moved on? Help!

There are lots of reasons your ex-boyfriend might contact you even though he has a new flame. Unfortunately, most of them require you to stay far, far away.

Perhaps the most harmless possible motive is that he truly values your friendship, and doesn’t want to lose touch with you altogether. Some serious relationships can be very difficult to say goodbye to when two people have bonded so closely. An ex-girlfriend of mine had become one of my best friends by the time we had broken up, as we had revealed sides of one another no one else had ever seen before.

The only problem with this hypothesis is that your ex waited months to contact you. Why wouldn’t he make an effort right away? Maybe if you totally devastated him in the breakup, he only felt secure enough to talk to you again once he found someone else – but I would wager he’s probably reaching out with ulterior motives.

Most likely, he’s not happy in his current relationship and is testing the waters with you out of boredom. If he has a history of cheating, promiscuity, or Shiny New Toy Syndrome (i.e. always on the hunt for the next new thing), he could very well just be looking for some “extra-curricular activities” with someone other than his girlfriend. Or, his new lady might not be all she’s cracked up to be, and he’s regretting breaking up with or letting go of you. If either of these are possible scenarios, you absolutely need to keep your distance. You don’t want to be responsible for messing with whatever he’s already got going on – and besides, he already had his chance to make things work with you!

The only way you should continue talking to him is if you are certain his intentions are respectable and that you’re fully ready to have a platonic relationship. If both of these conditions can’t be met, you need to cut him off – at least until he’s single, if not for good.

Good luck!

Ethan Fixell is a writer and comedian from New York City best known as one half of comic “dating coach” duo Dave and Ethan. He is also the creator and editor of For more on Ethan, visit…or call his mom, Robin.

Are you confused about a guy? Do you find yourself wondering, “What is he thinking?” Tell us everything in the comments! And if you have a question for Ethan, email him at!


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  • verity

    Need some advice. Was in a relationship for 18 months but i broke up with the guy for reasons of mental abuse…4 weeks after the break up i slept with my ex who i have children with.we was together for 6 years and we split because he cheated on me..but he is still with the older rich woman he cheated on me with..made lots of promises he wants to try again but i new deep down he wouldnt leave her because of the money…so after 9 days of texting,phone calls and sleeping together i told him no i am not playing 2nd best…but now i am confused about the ex i had the 18 month relationship with…stay on my own or wat? I am 33 with 4 children and all my exs have said who would want a woman with 4 chidren…now i am affraid il be on my own

  • Merry

    What if he says he IS very happy in his current relationship and says many flirty things that elude to the fact he regrets breaking up with you? What to do? He is just bored?

  • Jack 2

    I think the article is right. I miss my ex girlfriends friendship.