This list is the final nail in the coffin for you my friend. Listed below are 8 research-backed signs she will never come back. What you are about to read is the reality check that you may need.
One of the key concepts that I teach here at Men’s Breakup is that after a breakup, you have to walk away and assume your ex is never coming back. This is true whether you want to be friends with her, get over her, or eventually atone for past mistakes to get her back.
The problem is that many of the men that I coach on a regular basis are not willing or able to walk away. They come to me with a strong gut feeling that they can fix things. But that’s the problem. There’s no one-sided way to fix a broken relationship. It takes willingness and desire from both people to create a fresh start.
Of course, there are things you can do to help that process along the way.
The first is to stop waiting on the woman that brought you here. You may not be able to emotionally accept it yet, that is fine. That often takes an extended period of personal development. If you need help with that, I have several dozen articles you can read here. But you do need to logically accept it. To do that, we’ll cover the 8 clear signs she’s gone forever.
Then, you and I will cover exactly what you need to do, whether all the signs are pointing to her being gone forever, or not.
Does that sound like a good deal? Good.
As a happy fun disclaimer:
Before we get into this, let me be clear: there’s no way that anyone can say with 100% certainty that your ex-girlfriend is never coming back.
There is always going to be a chance that she will come back, however small.
I should also be clear that by no means is this list exhaustive. These are the most common signs I see when working with guys through my coaching programs. There are plenty of other indicators that she won’t be coming back, but those are more individual and are too specific to go through here.
Okay, with no further adieu:
- 1 1: You Get Divorced (Even If You Were Never Married)
- 2 2: You Move (Or She Moves)
- 3 3: You Screwed Up Badly (Or Repeatedly)
- 4 4: Your Ex Is Confident And Extraverted
- 5 5: You’ve Been Apart Longer Than You Were Together
- 6 6: She Has An Avoidant Attachment Style
- 7 7: She Was A Narcissist
- 8 8: The Bridge Was Burned
- 9 Chances Are, She’s Not Coming Back. But That’s A Good Thing (If You Do This)
1: You Get Divorced (Even If You Were Never Married)
Wait what? How the heck can you be divorced even if you were never married?
I operate on a very different definition of marriage when compared to most men, especially in the Western world.
I consider you married if you are living with a woman full time. If you are living with her, and sharing resources for all intents and purposes you are living the life and lifestyle of a married man. You might not be legally married, but the relationship dynamic is very similar to marriage. The same processes in the brain occur. Many of the same behaviors common to married couples happen, such as merging of finances, co-owning debts/property, children, etc.
I’ll defend this position more in a future article.
With that in mind, Dr. Nancy Kalish has spent decades studying divorce – as well as exes getting back together after up to 40-50 years apart. Her research and her opinions carry a lot of weight in my book. And Dr. Kalish has pegged the chances of divorced couples reuniting for good at about 6%.
That’s about the same chance a high school football player has of playing in college. Not great odds – and I’m saying this as the guy who bets on the Jets +15000 SuperBowl win every year.
So yes – if you lived together, and then split up, you can consider yourself divorced in my book.
There are a multitude of reasons for this that are far beyond the scope of this article, but for you for my recently divorced guys looking for clarity, I highly recommend you read my articles on “why she moved on so fast” and the 6 real reasons why women leave.
2: You Move (Or She Moves)
Building (or rebuilding) a relationship happens face to face. It doesn’t happen over the phone. There’s a reason I call long-distance relationships the “long-distance nightmare”.
Two studies by Mehrabian & Wiener, 1967 and Mehrabian & Ferris, 1967 came to the conclusion that 55% of communication is body language, 38% is the tone of voice, and 7% is the words spoken.
Mehrabian himself has stated that this formula is far from absolute because it doesn’t take into account the context of the situation. But we can use the formula as a proxy to make an important point: it’s much harder to get your meaning across without body language as a context clue.
Why is this important? Consider this little tidbit from my article on the 6 reasons why she really left you:
A 2013 study on divorce found that 83% of women cited a lack of validation for their feelings and opinions as a major factor in the split, followed by their spouse not listening or talking about himself too much coming in at 56%.
Effective communication matters, and it doesn’t take place over the phone. The same is true of attraction: while you can maintain it, it’s hard to rebuild it over the phone, especially if you have no idea what you are doing. If one or both of you moves away, it’s a clear sign that the fate of your relationship is more or less decided. Getting back together is not an option – and you should expect that she won’t come back.
3: You Screwed Up Badly (Or Repeatedly)
Once your break the trust in a serious relationship, it can be very difficult to recover. Your ex may find it especially difficult to rebuild trust if she has previously been in a series of toxic relationships, has a rocky relationship with her parents, or just has trust issues in general.
A 2020 study by Arikewuyo et al. found that something as simple as cell phone snooping can severely degrade the trust in the relationship, which has been shown to increase conflict, intent to break up, and emotional instability.
If you repeat the same pattern of negative behavior, even the most forgiving woman is eventually going to end things. There’s a time limit. Some women will stick around longer than others, but once the trust is broken it’s no longer a truly healthy relationship. If you want to be experience Long-term, masculine happiness like I teach, you don’t want that.
I’m reminded of a guy I coached a few years back. He came to me after he had cheated on his ex-girlfriend 3 different times, including once with their mutual friend. Ever the good coach, I asked him why he wanted to get back together with his ex. He seemed incredulous.
“Because I love her” he told me. “I realize now that I took her for granted and I just want a second chance”.
Read More: Why Love Is Not Enough
So I gave him my professional advice – the same advice I’m going to give you at the end of this article. And it worked. I didn’t think it would, but she gave him another chance. He completely turned his act around. He went to therapy, and they even opened their relationship to resolve the previous issues.
But a funny thing happened about 6 months later: she left him again. The reason? Trust. She knew he wasn’t the same person as before, but she just didn’t feel attracted to him anymore. She struggled to see the new relationship as different from before. So she decided to end it.
Once the trust is broken, it’s hard to put back together.
Now – this is obviously an extreme example. You probably did not cheat on her multiple times. But if you broke her trust, were not supportive, didn’t listen, or anything like that there’s a good chance she’s not coming back.
How can you tell if you screwed up something important? If she brought up an issue to you multiple times that was clearly important to her and you did not address it – that’s a strong sign that she feels you screwed up. If she gave you multiple chances to fix it, take that as a sign it was important to her.
For example, if your ex-girlfriend gave you multiple chances to fix something important to her but you failed to do so, it’s extremely unlikely that she’s coming back.
Women will only put up with so much bullshit before they leave you. And once they do, they’re gone for good.
There’s a saying which says it best: people don’t remember what you do, but they remember how you made them feel.
In other words, make her feel like shit enough, there’s a good chance she’s not coming back no matter what you do.
4: Your Ex Is Confident And Extraverted
Building rock-solid outcome independence makes you magnetic in the bedroom and a master in the boardroom.
If you follow what I teach here, you must master outcome independence if you wish to live a life of long-term, masculine happiness.
Outcome independence comes from two things: confidence, and redundancy. Go read my article on it if you aren’t familiar with the concept.
Once you are familiar, it won’t come as a surprise that self-confidence is strongly associated with recovering from a breakup.
Frazier & Cook, 1993 examined over a dozen relationship variables and found self-confidence to be the strongest predictor of breakup recovery time, where recovery was defined as no longer experiencing emotional distress.
This fits right in line with research that suggests that men and women with anxious attachment styles are more likely to try to restart the relationship.
Confident women will look to move on, rather than going back to something that didn’t work for them in the past. Moving forward is their way of life.
And you know what? These women are on to something because it’s almost always better to avoid taking back an ex-girlfriend who dumped you. It’s better to instead focus on self-improvement, instead of the false hope of rebuilding a romantic relationship with a woman who has already seen fit to break up with you once.
5: You’ve Been Apart Longer Than You Were Together
Hollywood movies do a lot of damage in my opinion. There’s nothing worse than the classic “you complete me” and similar related fairytales.
Because the truth is – if you were apart longer than you were together, chances are that she has moved on. A few weeks is one thing. 5 or 6 years is another.
She may as well be wearing a big sign that says “I’ve moved on” if this is the case.
Have you heard the saying that time heals all wounds? It’s mostly bullshit, but there’s a kernel of truth to it, like I talk about in my article about how long it will take you on average, to get over your breakup.
Getting over a breakup means moving on from the relationship and accepting it as part of your past, instead of your future. It also means accepting your negative emotions, including allowing yourself to feel sad, angry, and lost.
As time passes, assuming you follow what I teach, the feelings of love and closeness you feel for your ex-girlfriend decline, and the separation becomes permanent as you live your separate lives. This is the general trajectory that Sbarra & Emery, 2005 have shown below: love and sadness tend to decline linearly over time.
To add to this, the same study also showed that predictably, autonomy declined in the first two weeks after the breakup but by week 3 started to rise, as seen below.
Sbarra & Emery only studied this group for 28 total days, but we can draw a couple of important conclusions from this.
The longer you are apart, the less likely you are to get back together.
We can base that on the findings of Joel, MacDonald, & Page-Gould, 2017 who studied 27 distinct reasons why couples get back together.
Over 66% cited emotional closeness and dependence as a reason for getting back together.
And considering that we just proved emotional closeness and dependence both decline significantly within a month of the breakup.
Both of these studies align very closely with what I’ve seen from guys in my coaching programs. Most guys who get their exes back do so within a few months after the breakup. Does that mean you can’t get your ex back later? No – but past a certain point, it can be difficult.
So if it’s been a couple of years, you should learn to let it go and get busy dating new women. If you are still struggling with letting go – I can help you. Book a session with me here and let’s talk.
Read More: I Still Love My Ex After 5 Years!
6: She Has An Avoidant Attachment Style
A dismissive-avoidant is one of the 4 attachment styles under attachment theory. If you are not familiar with this well-supported theory, here’s a brief (and overly simple) explanation from my article The 4 Reasons She Wants To Be Friends After She Broke Up With You:
Attachment Theory 101:
The gist of attachment theory is simple: in times of stress or threat, we naturally turn to our attachment figures for comfort and safety. We can have many attachment figures, including our parents, friends, family, and so on. However, most of us seek what is called a primary attachment.
When we are kids, our primary attachment is our primary caregiver – whether it’s our mom, dad, or someone else entirely. Our relationship with our primary attachment shapes how we approach our later relationships. This is called our attachment style and is where we start forming habits that will impact whether or not we are able to have healthy relationships in the future.
If we have a healthy emotional attachment with our primary attachment, who consistently meets our needs, we grow up with a secure attachment style. On the other hand, if our primary attachment is unsupportive and dismissive, we grow up with an avoidant attachment style. If our primary attachment is inconsistent, meeting our needs sometimes, or acting like a helicopter parent we grow up with an anxious attachment style. Somewhere between these is a disorganized attachment style, which is a completely different can of worms that we aren’t going to get into here.
if she has an avoidant attachment, it may be difficult to get back together with her. When I was younger, I was an avoidant and it made my love life very difficult.
Avoidants are naturally wary of intimacy and may have difficulty trusting, and opening up to their romantic partners.
Other strong signs of attachment avoidance include:
- Trouble expressing emotions;
- Needs a lot of alone time;
- Discomfort with touch and other forms of physical intimacy;
- Fear of emotional closeness;
- Very cool, calm, and collected;
- Distaste for the needy, clingy, or overly attached
- Self-sufficiency and independence, often to the point of refusing help;
- Avoiding eye contact
Dismissive avoidants see themselves as invulnerable to feelings associated with being close to others, and as a result, they often deny they need close relationships. When they end, many avoidantly attach people will move on will tell themselves they need to move on with their life instead of waiting on an ex.
In a study on behavior in romantic relationships, Monteoliva, Garcia-Martinze, Calvo-Salguero & Aguilar-Luzon, 2012 found that approximately 12.7% of women they studied were dismissive avoidants.
Women with a dismissive-avoidant attachment style won’t be kicking your door down trying to get back together with you. They value autonomy, space, and freedom.
It’s very difficult to get back an ex-girlfriend if she was a dismissive-avoidant because dismissive avoidants view relationships as extra, unneeded work.
This is especially true if you were needy during your relationship. If you want to have any hope of reattracting a dismissive-avoidant after being too needy, you need to read this.
Chances are though, she’s not coming back into your life.
7: She Was A Narcissist
Narcissism is a complicated topic, one that I can’t discuss in detail here because I don’t want to do a shitty job of it like every other relationship “coach” out there. But this is a serious sign, so we’re going to keep this brief. If you want to hear more about this topic, let me know.
A brief explanation as follows.
So here’s the weird thing about narcissism – it exists on a continuum. A normal, healthy person may have some narcissistic traits without being a narcissist. The cutoff between a pathological (read: clinically diagnosed) narcissist and a regular person is highly arbitrary, according to several studies.
So before you run out to go diagnose your ex as a narcissist just so you can feel better about yourself, hear me out here. When I say it’s very difficult to get a narcissist ex-girlfriend back I don’t mean it literally. The further someone slides towards pathological narcissism, the more they use others to fortify their own self-esteem. If this person discards someone who is important to them, it’s usually only temporary. They may be waiting on you to come crawling back.
In other words: she will probably come back to use and abuse you again when she feels it is convenient for her, assuming you let her. I’ve worked with several men over the years with extreme cases of this, including one who has agreed to be featured in my upcoming book. It doesn’t matter what happened, there’s a good chance a narcissist woman will still find a chance to suck you dry.
The problem with these toxic relationships is that they can be incredibly addictive and hard to break free from.
Read More: How To Break Your Ex-Girlfriend Addiction
But you need to break free. This isn’t a case where she’s not coming back – this is a case where you need to stop making silly excuses for her bad (abusive) behavior and give up on waiting for her to change. She is who she is. If you want to be stuck in the wrong relationship, where she uses and abuses you, speaks badly of you, and totally sucks the life out of you, be my guest.
But if you truly want to experience passionate love, which is part of long-term, masculine happiness then you cannot date a narcissist. If the signs point to her being a narcissist, you need to run. It’s not you. You can’t fix her. A healthy relationship will be impossible.
If you are in this situation, let me also remind you: your ex-girlfriend is not special.
That “perfect” girl you have in your head doesn’t exist. She’s not coming back.
8: The Bridge Was Burned
There are things that can’t be unsaid, and actions that can’t be taken back.
Whether it’s an act of revenge or a sally of verbal attacks designed to cut as deep as possible, these often spell the end of any hopes of getting back together. Choosing to attack your person verbally or physically is never the answer,
Considering this a non-exhaustive list:
- Physical Violence (If she hits you, she’s a piece of shit. Vice versa if you do it to her).
- Turning loved ones against each other.
- Refusing to give things back
- Spreading highly personal information
- Forcing sex
- Stealing or other criminal acts
If it’s gotten to the point where you or her are resorting to this type of thing, it’s a clear sign that the relationship should be over. If you were the one doing any of these, get professional help before you end up in prison. If she did it to you, don’t let her back into your life.
That’s 100% for the best.
Chances Are, She’s Not Coming Back. But That’s A Good Thing (If You Do This)
I know how hard it is to realize that your relationship is over, and your ex is never coming back.
So take a moment and a deep breath, because this breakup does not have to break you. As I promised before, I am going to give you a way out. Ready?
I’ve put together a complete list of resources for you if you know that you need to move on. At this moment, you are probably sitting on the fence. I know you logically know that you need to move on, but emotionally you are not quite ready.
As I mentioned before, this is completely normal. So what I want you to do is spend some time going through the free resources I have put together for you here. The right moment to start moving on with your life (so you can get past this breakup) is right now.
Every breakup you go through is an opportunity to get better. There is no better time to become the person you were always meant to be. It’s a unique chance for you to grow strong both in body and in mind. Getting your ex-girlfriend back robs you of that chance to level up, and in many cases, the relationship ends up going sideways when you do get back together.
Don’t sit around waiting on her to come back. Get reading, and get yourself out there. Get better, and then get someone better for the new you.
On the other hand, if she hasn’t shown any of these signs and you still want her back? Let’s talk. I can help you put a plan together to get her back.
Otherwise, get to work.
Your life is in your hands, after all.
Talk soon my friend,