They’re really hard.
No one likes being broken up with, or breaking up with someone. So why is your ex girlfriend acting like she doesn’t care that your heart is breaking into tiny pieces?
How is she going about her life as normal when you’re barely functioning?
As humans, we try to put on a brave face when we’re hurting. It’s a coping mechanism to act like we don’t care, like we’re not ruffled, even though inside we’re dying, just wanting to get back into bed and sleep our lives away.
I can guarantee you that unless your ex girlfriend is an awful, sociopathic human being, she’s feeling badly too – on some level, at least. She cared about you deeply at one time, after all. It can’t have been easy to let you go. Plus, no one likes being the bad guy, and that’s how you feel when you break up with someone.
Your girlfriend may be acting like she doesn’t care – but that’s just it. She’s acting. She cares on some level, even if it’s not the level you wish it was. It’s very rare that someone breaks up with a person and feels absolutely nothing about it.
So hold on to that.
Let’s try to get a sense of where her head may be at in the aftermath of the breakup, and what actions you should take.
There Is Someone Else
Let’s get this one out of the way first, as it’s the one people tend to fear the most and is the one that probably hurts the most, as well.
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Maybe your ex is acting like she doesn’t care because she has a new guy.
I know, I know, it’s like a punch to the face.
Maybe she left you for this guy, or maybe she picked him up sometime after the breakup.
Either way, she’s with someone new, and it complicates the recovery process.
Well, if there is a new guy, it makes sense that she would try to create some distance between the two of you, out of respect for her new man. Keep an eye on how much she hangs all over him when you’re around, or how much she gushes about him and their relationship on social media.
If it seems a little over the top, it could be for your benefit.
This past weekend, I was at a club and I ran into a guy that I had been seeing, but wasn’t super interested in (obviously – I’m still hung up on my ex).
He wanted to dance, but since I was there with my friends, I turned him down. He went away, rejected, and not 5 minutes later, there he was grinding on a girl with his tongue down her throat… just a few feet away from me.
I pointed this out to my friends and we all had a good laugh. Because it was so clear that this show was for my benefit.
He actually made eye contact with me as he was kissing her.
So if your ex is with someone else and doing a lot of bragging about how happy she and her new man are together, consider that all of that could be for you, in her way of trying to “win” the breakup (more on that later).
She is Hurting
Even people who dump someone have a difficult time coming to that decision and following through on it.
I know that when my ex boyfriend broke up with me it was one of the most difficult decisions that he’s ever had to make. Sometimes, people break up not because the love it gone, but because of other, outside reasons, sometimes out of our control.
Just because a relationship is over doesn’t mean the love is gone. It’s a concept I’m still having a hard time grasping, because I, as a hopeless romantic believe that love should conquer all. But it simply doesn’t. Real life isn’t like the fairy tales, no matter how many Disney movies we consume.
Or maybe she’s hurting for another reason. Maybe the events that surrounded your breakup were ugly. Maybe unkind words were said, or hurtful actions were taken.
Your ex could be feeling very hurt by you, as well, which is why she may be acting like she doesn’t care. It’s a coping mechanism for self preservation. But remember that hate is love that has been injured. If she didn’t really care, she wouldn’t act like she didn’t care so much.
So it’s very possible that your ex is hurting too, and is putting on a brave face because she doesn’t want you to see for whatever reason. Her hurting can also tie into a lot of these other issues as well, so keep that theme in mind as you read on.
She Needs Space
If you’ve spent any time on this site, you know that the No Contact Rule is absolutely vital if you are going to try to get your ex back.
After a breakup, emotions run high and cruel and hurtful things can be said in the heat of the moment if you are not careful and in control of your emotions.
Your ex may be aware of that, and is giving you, and herself an opportunity for a period to heal. I know on Ex Boyfriend Recovery, a lot of women fret that if they don’t keep in contact with their ex, that their ex will forget about them –
Not the case AT ALL. This period acts as a reset so that you can both get control of your emotions and process the breakup.
It gives your ex girlfriend the opportunity to miss you and see what her life would be like without you, AND it gives you time to focus on you, and again become the man that your ex fell for in the first place.
If your ex is giving you space, it is a gift in disguise. Embrace it.
When my ex boyfriend and I broke up, he knew he had hurt me, and didn’t reach out until the end of the No Contact period because he knew I needed space.
Your ex may be acting coldly towards you because she knows the two of you need a healthy dose of space.
Take her lead – she’s got the right idea, and you will only benefit from it.
She Feels Guilty/Doesn’t Want to Give Mixed Signals
As I mentioned before, relationships don’t always end because two people fall out of love.
Often, there are other factors that keep people from being together. It’s possible that your ex is missing you a lot, but that she feels guilty for hurting you, and doesn’t want to express how she’s feeling because of that guilt.
It’s also possible that she’s acting like she doesn’t care because acting like she does care could result in sending mixed signals.
After my breakup, my ex continued to talk to me about how he felt and continued to be affectionate.
This resulted in me being totally confused, thinking that he was regretting his choice to end our relationship.
He was hurting too, and since we were best friends, it still felt natural to talk to me about everything that he was thinking and feeling.
In season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the best season hands down, no discussion), Buffy captures a feeling so familiar to everyone who has experienced a broken heart.
In Passion, some major stuff that I won’t get into goes down, and Buffy says to her best friend, Willow,
“It’s so weird. Every time something like this happens, my first instinct is still to run to Angel. I can’t believe it’s the same person. He’s completely different from the guy that I knew.”
When you go through a breakup, the shift happens so quickly: One day, the person is in your life, and then they suddenly aren’t. Their absence is like a missing limb that is still causing you phantom pains.
I know this was really hard for my ex.
We had been best friends for a long time, and it’s hard to just turn that off. Your ex could be aware that if she shows she cares, it could start to send mixed signals, and if she’s a good person, she doesn’t want to hurt you any more than she already has.
She’s trying to protect you.
She’s trying to “win” the breakup
It’s just a fact that there is an unspoken contest to see who can recover from the breakup faster.
Acting like you don’t care can be a great tool in this. It’s very possible that your ex is putting on a show for you to appear as though she has totally moved on.
I say this from experience.
After my breakup, I didn’t beg or plead with my ex boyfriend. I jumped into activities to keep me busy and appear as Ungettable as I could.
My ex was very perplexed by this. We were together a long time, why was I acting so calm and collected?
Again, here, I suggest that you take her lead. Try to mirror whatever behavior you see your ex exhibit (with the exception of being cruel. Never be cruel – always take the high road). I said in one of the Ex Boyfriend Recovery articles that a breakup is a game. It begins the second the word “breakup” is uttered.
Think of it like a game of chess – you want to try to anticipate your opponent’s moves.
Keep your eye on the big picture of the chess game, because you want to be the one saying “checkmate” at the end.
Trying to win the breakup game is a self preserving action. When a person is dumped, their self-confidence is severely damaged. Acting as though they’re just fine and moving on is a smokescreen to hide their hurt feelings. It’s also true that when a person is dumping someone, they want to appear solid in their choice. Ego is definitely involved here. No one wants to admit that they made a mistake in breaking up with someone, so they are going to do everything they can to appear unwavering in their decision.
So What Do You Do?
If your ex is acting like she doesn’t care, follow her lead. Mirror her. Remember, the game has started and you have to start trying to get into her head to anticipate her actions and the meanings behind them.
If your ex is acting like she doesn’t care, it is absolutely the perfect time to throw yourself into No Contact.
But don’t just count down the days on your calendar. Make a list of things you want to work on to become a better you.
Go to the gym, take a cooking class, start taking up the guitar (I love musicians).
Go out and do things that you’ve always wanted to do but never could because you were putting the time and energy into your relationship. No contact isn’t just about getting your ex back, it’s about self improvement, too.
People will come and go out of your life, but you’re stuck with yourself forever, so you might as well become someone who you like, and enjoy spending time with.
So give her space. Don’t force her to interact before she is ready. Bothering her and pressuring her to open up to you will absolutely backfire. Time is needed for both of you to heal – remember, it is extremely likely that she is hurting as well.
After your No Contact period is up, hopefully you will have made some strides and be feeling more confident and collected. At that point, test the waters and reach out via text using one of the many texting techniques that Chris suggests in Ex Girlfriend Recovery Pro.
It is extremely likely that your ex has been thinking of you, and missing you. And since some time has passed, she may be more willing to open herself up to you, and show you her heart a bit more.
(This article was written by Rachel)