Everybody misses their ex after a breakup. After all, you were together because you had feelings for each other. This kind of connection doesn’t just fade from one day onto the next.
But if you have this urge to tell your ex that you miss him or her, then there is likely more to it than just how you feel.
You’re probably craving reassurance that he or she misses you too!
After all, this is how things worked when you were still together. You telling them how you felt always resulted in some sort of response. Even if it was a simple “-I miss you”, “I miss you too!” exchange.
It’s perfectly ok to need reassurance from an ex.
What’s more, you can actually get it. But you have to approach him or her differently than you did when you were still together.
In this blog post, I’ll explain why this is such a tricky topic. I’ll cover when it’s a good idea to tell your ex you miss them, when not to do it and what to say instead, so that you can bring your ex closer and get some comfort and peace of mind.
Should I Tell My Ex I Miss Him Or Her?
When it comes to telling your ex you miss them, 9 out of 10 times you should definitely NOT do it. Even if you still feel connected to them and believe they feel the same way you do.
Regardless of where your ex is truly at, in most cases, saying “I miss you” to him or her will only get you rejected or push your ex further away.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, though:
You Can Tell Your Ex You Miss Them If You’re The Dumper
The one and only case when it is safe to tell your ex you miss them, and when it will actually have the desired effect, is when you’ve been the one who broke up with them.
If this is the case, then your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend are still likely hurt by your decision to leave.
You telling your ex that you miss them is a bit like taking your rejection back. It’s hinting that you didn’t truly mean to break things off and are having second thoughts.
It will soothe their pain and make them feel better.
Even if they don’t say it back right away, it will open them up more.
So if you’re the dumper, you’re in a good position. No need to overthink it, just go for it!
It’s Ok To Tell Your Ex You Miss Him Or Her If Your Breakup Was Mutual
Similarly to the previous case, if your breakup was mutual, it’s also ok to tell your ex that you miss them.
Your chances of getting a positive response are a bit lower here than if you were the dumper, however it can still work as expected.
Some couples break up not because they stopped loving each other, but because they see no other way out of their relationship problems. Maybe you couldn’t talk without arguing anymore. Or there was some other big issue that drove you two apart.
If this is the case for you, then saying “I miss you” to your ex can be a sign that you’re ready to lower your guard and come their way.
But you have to be truly coming from this place, to get a positive response.
You Should Never Tell Your Ex You Miss Them If He Or She Broke Up With You
This is a mistake most of our coaching clients make: you should never say “I miss you” to an ex who broke up with you.
There are a few reasons for this:
Firstly, it will make your ex feel pressured to feel the same way you do. They’ll take it as you trying to guilt-trip them into changing their mind about the breakup.
Secondly, they might feel like you’re relating to them as though you guys were still together. Given that they explicitly said they don’t want to be in a relationship anymore, you telling them you miss them might come across as you overriding their boundaries.
Thirdly, you should never tell a dumper that you miss them because they anyway already know that you feel this way.
People who break up feel secure and in control of the situation. They believe they can reverse it anytime, if they were to change their mind.
Dumpers actually have to go through certain emotional stages, before the reality of the breakup actually sinks in and hits them.
By saying “I miss you” to an ex who dumped you, you’re feeding their false sense of safety and prolonging the time until they can start missing you too.
What To Do When You Miss Your Ex
So what should you do if you’ve been dumped, but you desperately need the reassurance that your ex still cares about you and misses you, at least a bit?
The good news is, there are ways of how you can get through to them, I’ll cover them in a moment. But first, I want to outline a very important principle that makes all the difference in relating to an ex partner after a breakup:
Needing things from an ex pushes them further away, while giving them things they want brings them closer.
Saying “I miss you” to an ex you broke up with is GIVING them comfort. That’s why it has a positive effect!
At the same time, telling a dumper that you miss them is you NEEDING them to comfort you. Because of this, it only pushes them further away.
It’s a subtle difference, but it’s an important one! Most of our coaching clients tell us that they already made this mistake.
They were so hurt and in disbelief of the breakup, that they don’t realize they were coming from a place of neediness. They tried time and time again and only got burned!
Worst case scenario, they even end up being blocked on everything.
4 Ways To Tell Your Ex You Miss Them Without Actually Saying “I Miss You”
Here is how to tell an ex who dumped you that you miss them in a way that will be you offering to give them something they want.
Most of these things are perfectly safe when done in moderation.
There is a very low chance of you sabotaging anything or pushing your ex further away, if you stick with these approaches.
1. Like One Or More Of Their Social Media Posts
Everybody loves getting attention and validation. You liking your ex’s posts is you offering these things to them. Your ex will know you’re thinking about them and missing them.
They’ll appreciate the gesture, especially if they’re posting things explicitly to get your attention or to get you to snap out of the no contact rule…
2. Ask Them How They’re Doing
Another safe way to let your ex know that you miss them it to simply check in with them. Ask them how they’re doing and if you know they’ve been stressed or struggling with something, inquire about that thing.
This way, you can give them your attention and interest without needing anything.
A simple act of kindness like this will signal to your ex that you’re thinking about them and that you care about their well-being.
If they reciprocate the favor and check in with you too, take it as a sign your ex is only pretending to be over you and that deep down he or she still cares too.
3. Take Responsibility And Apologize
If your ex complained about certain things about you, these are the things that are likely standing in the way of him or her missing you at the moment.
This is why another safe way to let them know that you miss them is to apologize for something that they complained about. Maybe they said you were too controlling or anxious. Or that you were needing too much from them.
These are just some common example but, when it comes to this one, you have to take responsibility and respond EXACTLY to the thing your ex said.
Apologizing for things you only think they’re hurt about, or about things they didn’t actually mention, will only make your ex feel more disconnected and distant.
(You have to keep this in mind, in particular, when loving someone with avoidant attachment.)
4. Offer Your Ex Something
The fourth way of how you can tell your ex “I miss you” without sabotaging your chances and pushing them further away is to offer them something.
For example, if your ex is still paying for your gym membership, phone bill etc., you can offer to switch things over to your credit card.
Or if you share streaming subscriptions or Spotify, you can ask if he or she is still comfortable covering this and if they want you to quit.
This is how you can show your ex you’re thinking about their needs and taking the breakup seriously. Which in turn might get them in touch with how they feel about you and give them room to miss you.
It’s unlikely that they’ll want you to quit any of the services, and this is how you can know they’re still attached to you…
How To Get Your Ex To Miss You Too
Now that you know the dangers of telling your ex you miss them and what to say and do instead, I want to address another important issue so many of you guys have said you struggle with.
You likely wish that your ex misses you too and have a hard time comprehending that they don’t.
The reason your ex might not miss you is twofold:
On one hand, it’s the result of their false sense of safety:
The dumper always believes they can reverse the breakup any time they want. So why should they miss you, if you’re anyway within their reach.
On the other hand, they also might be angry or disappointed about certain things you said, or things you did or didn’t do.
These grudges act like a barrier that prevents your ex from remembering and feeling all the good things about you and your relationship.
In order to get your ex to admit that they miss you, you need to address both of the above-mentioned issues.
You have to let your ex experience losing you, at least a little. But you also have to address the grudges that are currently keeping them at bay.
If you need help making this happen, I can support you through it in a coaching call.
Here, I’ll listen to your story and help you figure out how to approach your ex in a way that will work both for you and them.
I’ll give you tips on what to say and do, to get them in touch with their feelings for you and to admit that they miss you, too.
Keeping your cool and not acting needy is a must when interacting with an ex.
You can find more tips on how to cope with your current situation in my other post: How to Self Soothe Anxious Attachment – 5 Powerful Strategies
Thank you for reading! If you have any questions, leave me a comment, and I’ll get back to you.
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