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11 Signs He Will Come Back After Pulling Away

In today’s post, we will talk about the signs he will come back after pulling away and what you should do now.

There are a lot of reasons a man might pull away from a relationship with you. You might automatically assume it’s about you — and it might be if there was a compatibility issue.

Sometimes, the reason he pulls away has everything to do with him and nothing to do with you at all.

A reason why he could be pulling away is he might have avoidant attachment issues and struggle with the idea of commitment.

He may struggle with low self-worth and have difficulty believing that anyone could love him as much as you say you do.

He might not feel ready for a relationship or might decide that he wasn’t as ready as he thought he was.

Or, he could be unsure if you’re the one because he’s still sorting out his life and healing from his past. 

How to Tell If He’ll Come Back After Pulling Away, Explained by a Former Therapist

If he pulls away, you might just have to grieve and accept that he’s never coming back.

Yet, you may also wonder how you’re supposed to know if he’s likely to return. Here are a few of the signs that he’ll come back after pulling away.

Why listen to me? I’m Crystal Jackson and I was a master’s level licensed therapist. I worked with couples and families and specialized in trauma recovery and empowerment. I now write content about relationships and psychology. My work has been featured on Elite Daily, Your Tango, Positively Positive, Mamamia, and The Good Men Project.

1. He Stays in Touch

If he tries to stay in touch after the breakup, he might not be completely sure that he wants the relationship to be over.

If he’s keeping you in his life, it could be because he wants the option to return to the relationship by keeping a friendship with you. It’s possible that he’ll pull away only to come back when he’s ready.

The problem with this is that it’s also possible he’s staying in touch because he wants all the benefits of the relationship without the commitment.

The only way to know which one you’re dealing with is to have firm boundaries in your new friendship after a breakup.

You can’t keep sleeping with him and repeating the same old patterns and still expect him to come back. Why would he when he’s getting to have his cake and eat it, too?

2. He Reaches Back Out

If you’ve had a period of silence after the breakup and he reaches back out, he might be considering coming back. There’s a reason he’s reaching out to you now.

Maybe he’s just dealing with his own issues of grief — yes, even if he was the one who ended the relationship. He might even be looking for closure. 

At the same time, it’s possible that what he’s really looking for is a way back to you. The fact that he’s reaching out means something.

It might be up to you to clarify what it means if you’re not willing to wait and see.

3. He’s Not Dating Anyone

One of the signs he will come back after pulling away is he’s not interested in seeing anyone.

You know for a fact that he’s not dating anyone. He’s not even trying to date anyone. He’s just living his life. While this could mean many things, one interpretation could be that he’s coming back to you.

Just the fact that he’s single doesn’t mean he’s coming back, but it does mean it’s a possibility.

I mean, anything is possible, right? If he’s staying single, it could be because he still has feelings for you and hasn’t closed the door on a reunion. 

4. He Follows Your Social Media

Is he following you on social media, liking your pictures, and/or interacting on your posts? The fact that he’s checking up on you, an ex, could mean that he’s considering coming back after pulling away.

It could also mean he’s just curious or competing to see who is most successful after the breakup. Either thing could be true.

Sometimes, his social media interaction could be an indicator that he’s coming back. He might be testing the waters to see if that seems like something you’d be open to considering. 

5. He Asks Mutual Friends About You

This is one of the clearest signs he will come back after pulling away.

If you have mutual friends, he asks how you’re doing. He checks in. This gets back to you. You know he still cares.

It could just be because you shared an important relationship, and he’s a good person. But…it might be because he wants to know how you are and if you’re open to considering a relationship with him.

He might be testing the waters here, too.

6. He Apologizes and is Accountable

After a breakup, it’s possible to have a serious growth moment. I know that I did. I went through trauma therapy and dealt with some childhood issues.

In the process of my awakening, I could be accountable for all the ways I had hurt someone I loved very much. It wasn’t intentional. It wasn’t conscious. But I owned it and apologized when I finally saw it.

If he reaches out to apologize and take responsibility for his actions, it could be a part of his healing journey toward closure.

It could also be because he wants to try again. You’ll never know unless you ask. 

7. He Tries to Find Out if You’re Still Single

Has he tried to find out if you’re dating anyone? He might be looking to see if it’s clear to even try to come back. The fact that he’s asking isn’t likely your average curiosity. This is an ex, after all.

If he wants to know if you’re single or shows jealousy about people you’ve dated since the breakup, he might still have a desire to come back to you.

It’s certainly telling that he wants to know your relationship status. 

8. His Social Media Hints He Misses You

If you see hints of your shared past on social media, he misses you and likely has thought about returning to the relationship.

I’ll admit it: I’ve pulled this move before. It wasn’t an attempt to get his attention, but it definitely meant I was wishing the relationship could be recovered. 

Sharing “your” song or reminiscing about your shared history could be an indicator that he’s interested in coming back but doesn’t have the courage to be more direct about it.

If you’re open to it, you could engage with the post in a private message to let him know you feel the same. If that’s not happening, you might want to make it clear that the past is over and done now.

9. He’s Come Back Before

If you’re in an on-again off-again relationship, you can expect him to keep coming back as long as you both stay in this cycle together.

If he’s pulled away before only to come back, you know it could happen again. In fact, it’s likely.

Are you comfortable with this hot and cold relationship? If you are, keep doing exactly whatever it is you’re doing.

But if this is uncomfortable for you, you’ll have to decide how to do your part to break the cycle. You’ll need to learn how to stay on or finally break it off.

10. He Lets You Know He’s Changed

Has he let you know that he’s changed? If he’s reached out to tell you that a major problem in your former relationship has been resolved, it could be with the hopes that this will make you amenable to trying again.

The fact that he’s reaching out could be a strong indicator that he’s interested still.

You’ll have to be the one to decide if you’re open to that and if the change is anything more than words meant to convince you to take him back.

If the change is real and he’s become a healthier person, he’s likely to be a healthier partner.

If he’s changed, you might want to consider if you have, too, and if your mutual changes make for a better relationship or an assurance you can both move on now.

11. He Admits He Still Has Feelings for You

One of the signs he will come back after pulling away is he has admitted he still has feelings for you. In this case he has definitely thought about reigniting your relationship.

Of course, this doesn’t matter if he’s in a new relationship now. All the feelings in the world won’t change the fact that he’s currently choosing someone else.

But if he’s single and has feelings for you, it’s possible that he’s coming back to you.

While these conversations could be awkward and uncomfortable, it’s best to figure out what he means by this. “I still care” means something different than “I’m still in love with you”.

Make sure you’re hearing what he’s saying rather than reading into it what you want to hear. 

What You Should Do 

If you’ve seen all the signs that he wants to get back together with you after he’s pulled away, here are some key considerations.

Ask yourself if you’re open to a relationship with him

If the answer is no, it doesn’t matter what signs he’s sending out into the universe. It’s not going to happen, and it’s kinder to let him know.

If you are interested, you have a few other things to consider.

If you’re open to the relationship, you need to talk about what has changed and what needs to change.

Even if you’re getting back together with the same person, you don’t need to have the same relationship. Otherwise, it will just end all over again.

Talk about what has changed since the breakup and what has to be different this time. 

Get comfortable with uncomfortable conversations

It could be awkward. You might think he’s coming back only to find out he was just strolling down memory lane with no intention of ever reuniting with you.

You won’t know unless you directly ask and get to the bottom of this recent change in his behavior. It’s better to know than to worry and wonder.

Involve a professional

If you haven’t had therapy, you’re not ready to rekindle a relationship with an ex. Really, you’re not.

Therapy is for everyone, and this is especially true if you’re thinking about going back into a relationship that ended. If you want you can try online platforms like BetterHelp and Talkspace.

Make sure you’re doing what’s right and healthy for you, not what’s easy in the moment. You might even suggest a couples’ counselor to help you navigate re-entry into the relationship.

Be honest with yourself

Do you love how they love you, or do you love them? Do you like the ego stroke of knowing they miss you, or do you really miss their presence in your life?

Don’t lie to yourself, and don’t lie to them either. Figure out what you want and be clear.

image of a man and woman in love hugging, with overlaying white text "what men really want"

Conclusion

It’s hard to be the ex who wants to rekindle an old flame, so be kind. It’s hard to be the ex who is happy to leave the past in the past, too.

While these conversations might be difficult, if you’re kind, you’ll know you did what you could to protect your own boundaries without intentionally hurting anyone else. 

If they want to come back, they will. There’s nothing you can do to force it to happen just like there’s nothing you can do to stop them from wanting it even when you don’t feel the same.

You can only control how you react to it. 

If you’re both showing interest in the relationship, it might be time for an honest conversation and an attempt at reconciliation. If it doesn’t work out, you’ll both know you tried.

And if it does work out, this could be a pivotal part of your forever love story.

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Photo by monica di loxley on Unsplash

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