Our exes can behave in a number of mysterious ways. Some of them are predictable, such as acting like a jerk or avoiding you.
Other behaviors are much more confusing. Maybe one of the most confusing things you ex could possibly do is act hot and cold towards you.
When he does this, you’ll no doubt be asking yourself, why is my ex-boyfriend acting hot and cold? The answer won’t come to you easily.
But don’t worry – we’ll help you decrypt this strange behavior and plan out your response.
What it Looks Like When He’s Being Hot and Cold
If you haven’t had the misfortune of experiencing this behavior firsthand, or if you’re not sure whether this is what’s happening to you, we’ll describe it to you.
When your ex is being hot and cold, it basically means he’s being attentive to you one day…then completely ignoring you the next. He’s passionate at one point, then giving you the cold shoulder shortly after.
For instance, he might be texting you a lot, flirting with you and making you feel like you’re dating all over again. Then, suddenly, he seems to disappear off the face off the earth, leaving you on read.
Or he might make plans to see you, and he could seem legitimately excited for them. For reasons unknown to you, though, he cancels the plans out of nowhere, making no attempt to reschedule.
Why is My Ex-Boyfriend Acting Hot and Cold?
He’s seeking validation from you…and leaves when he gets it.
We’ll get the most hurtful possibility out of the way: he’s using you for validation.
We all go through periods of time where we feel insecure. After a breakup is the prime time for feeling like you’re not good enough, especially if you were the one who was dumped.
Your ex-boyfriend could be feeling exactly the same way. And if he’s feeling insecure, you might be one of the easiest people he can get a bump of confidence from.
If he’s aware you still have feelings for him, then he’ll know he can talk to you for a little fun, meaningless flirting. Once he’s built himself up a little and confirmed that he’s desirable to someone, he might have no need to continue the conversation with you.
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He still has feelings for you.
Your feelings don’t just instantly fade after the end of the relationship. It takes some time for them to go away, and the amount of time it takes depends on each person.
Because of this, your ex-boyfriend could still have some feelings for you. When those feelings are particularly strong, he might not be able to resist reaching out to you.
Later, when he has some time to reflect on what he did, he could realize that talking to you wasn’t the best for his healing. That’s why he could be giving you the cold shoulder.
Want to make the most of the times he does talk to you? With nothing more than your phone and a little texting skills, you can intrigue him endlessly.
To learn how, we recommend taking a look at relationship coach Amy North’s Text Chemistry program. She created it specifically to teach women how make men swoon with text messages.
He’s trying to get over you.
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Even if you resolved to stay friends after the breakup, he may need to work hard to get over you. Talking to you constantly can make that hard.
This is why so many couples ask for a clean break once the relationship has ended. Seeing and talking to someone you just broke up with can stir up feelings you’re still recovering from.
If talking to you is hurting him, cutting you off can be an easy solution, even if it’s rude.
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Sometimes, he misses you.
He may think he’s completely over you, when it happens out of nowhere: he remembers something about you. It makes him miss you like crazy.
Before he can talk himself out of it, he starts a conversation with you. Lost in the nostalgia, he comes off as warmer than he means to, possibly stirring up feelings in you, too.
People grieve when relationships end. Part of the grieving process is nostalgia and longing for the way things used to be, even if you’re otherwise happy with your life.
When that nostalgia fades, we often look back at our own behavior and shake our heads. Your ex-boyfriend could have been consumed by nostalgia, too, and come out of it.
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He’s trying to process his thoughts and feelings.
Healing isn’t a completely linear process, going straight from Point A to Point B. Oftentimes, there are sidesteps, or it backtracks entirely.
In other words, the healing process isn’t a line – it’s more like a jagged, loopy scribble that goes all over the place. You won’t be the only one going through it, either; your ex-boyfriend will also need to recover.
Part of that may be talking to you, then distancing himself again when the pain gets to be too much. This is also completely normal, although it hurts to deal with.
See Also: Why is My Ex-Boyfriend Always on My Mind? (And What to Do About It)
How Should I Respond to an Ex-Boyfriend Being Hot and Cold?
Put some space between you two.
Have you ever heard the saying that cooler heads prevail? It means that we are at our best when we are calm and thoughtful.
This is definitely true when it comes to romance, too. For that reason, your first step should be putting a little distance between you and him, especially if you’re still struggling with your feelings.
Many relationship coaches strongly recommend something called a no contact period. Decide how long you’re going to cut off contact between you and your ex, and go through with it.
It won’t be easy, but you’ll be thankful that you did it at the end.
Work on self-improvement.
How do you pass the time during your no contact period, when all you can do is think of your ex? It can feel like absolute torture.
We suggest working on a little self-improvement. Start by giving yourself time to grieve and taking it easy on yourself. Rest and relax.
When you start to regain some energy, put it towards self-improvement. This doesn’t have to be anything as extreme as bodybuilding or going back to school.
You can start with little things. Try learning that hobby that you’ve had on your to-do list. Take up meditating or yoga if you feel like you need to learn to cope with anxiety.
Go hiking if you’re into the outdoors. Bond with your loved ones. Whatever you think will make you feel healthy, do it and watch yourself grow.
If you decide to talk to your ex again in the future, you’ll have transformed into something new that will amaze him.
When you interact with him again, put your best foot forward.
This is the part where all that self-improvement comes in handy. If, after your no contact period, you feel you still want to talk to your ex, then do so.
But make sure you put your best foot forward. Show him that you didn’t spend that entire time moping over him.
When you reach out to him again, try to keep the conversation light and easy. Don’t dive into heavy topics right away or pressure him into getting back together.
Instead, ask him how he’s been. Tell him about any new hobbies you’ve taken up. The goal is to show him that you’ve grown, making him want to keep talking to you.
Set your standards, and stick to them.
As you talk to your ex, make sure you define standards for yourself. These standards shouldn’t apply only to you, but to him, as well.
For example, you can decide that you won’t deal with him being cold, rude, or giving you icy one-word answers. You could also choose to set boundaries for flirting, if you’re not comfortable with the idea of being romantic with him again so soon.
As far as standards for yourself, you could promise yourself that you won’t put in all the effort in the conversation or chase him. The boundaries set are entirely up to you, but make sure you stick to them, otherwise they’re pointless.
By setting your standards, you ensure that you get what you want out of the relationship and that you’re treated with respect.
Make him work for your attention.
Whatever you decide, don’t throw yourself at his feet. Whether you’re looking to rekindle your relationship or just remain friends, this will push him away.
Desperation is unattractive. No one can really pull it off, so don’t put yourself in that position.
If you’re finding yourself fighting to keep him talking to you, then the solution is simple: set your phone aside for the time being. Tell him you have to go, even if you have no plans, and let him sit by himself for awhile.
Let him text you first sometimes. During the conversation, don’t always answer him right away.
These things force him to step up his game conversationally. He’ll realize he has to put in his fair share of work to keep you interested in talking to him. If he cares enough, he’ll have no problem kicking it into high gear.
Learning to Pique the Interest of Any Man Consistently
Talking to men can be a confusing experience, even if you’ve been in the dating game for years and years. Even conversing with your ex can seem like a twisted maze, full of dead ends or mystifying turns.
If you take the time to learn more about the way a man’s mind works, you’ll find that dating becomes much easier. One of the best programs out there for getting this understanding is the Devotion System, which was made by Amy North.
She has years of experience helping women all over the world in love. Her program can help you understand the men in your life much better, too.
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My name is Jenny and I love helping people with their relationships. I believe a few simple tips can help people massively improve their communication skills with their partners and really express themselves. Thanks for visiting!