Although he may not say or know exactly how he feels, his actions are a pretty clear indicator. Let’s look at how your communication has been, how much hurt he may have experienced and if those feelings can be rekindled. Remember, relationships are learning opportunities and everything happens for a reason.
We can empower ourselves when we see how our words and actions affect another person. It’s important to try to remove yourself from the emotions and think about why the break started in the first place to be able to see if there’s a chance now.
All different things can require a break, whether it’s needing space to work on yourself, maybe you had codependency issues, maybe you were arguing a lot, maybe you just were feeling unsure. Whatever it is, it’s important that you look at it closely to understand why the break was necessary.
If there was any form of verbal and physical abuse, I do not recommend getting back together with that person as that is a sign of an unhealthy relationship and requires individual therapy.
Have the issues been resolved?
One of the first questions to ask yourself is if you truly believe the issues you were having have been resolved. Was the source of the break mostly you or him? Have both of you done work to make it better? Time doesn’t always heal things if there isn’t serious work done.
If one person had a concern that wasn’t truly addressed, getting back together probably won’t be a consideration for the other person.
Let’s use alcoholism as an example. Let’s say you and your man decided to take a break because one person’s drinking was getting out of hand and causing arguments. Has that person now been sober for a significant amount of time and addressed the issue? If it’s still a problem, it will probably come back up and the other person will be reluctant to get back into a relationship.
If you were contributing to your arguments, what can you say you have done to make sure you change your behaviors? Proof is a valid way to link what you say to your actions. For our example, going to AA meetings and starting a new hobby would be actions to back up the promises made.
Did you try to change or are you still blaming him?
Now it’s very important to ask yourself if you did the work that was necessary on yourself or if you’re still blaming everything on him. Relationships are a two way street and things are never just one person’s fault. If you did no work on yourself and just expected it all to come from him, chances are your relationship is not going to be much better if you do get back together.
This is actually empowering because often what we are projecting as a problem outside of ourselves is something we need to fix within ourselves. That doesn’t include being abused verbally or physically though ladies, let’s be clear about that.
Who decided to take the break?
For your situation, you should think back to who decided to take a break. Of course, this goes back to the first question, which is what issues were you having as well. If you decided to take a break, he may be waiting with bated breath for you to let him back into your life and we will ask some more questions in a moment to see if he is.
If he decided the break was necessary, you will need to check in with him and ask him how he is feeling.
Is he hurting?
When you decided to take a break, did it really crush him? Maybe he’s a little gun shy now and not sure he can trust you. If you feel like he’s hurt but not mad, you might want to work on building trust. Of course, you don’t want to push anyone to do anything they don’t want to do. But following through with what you say, being reliable and accountable can help to rebuild trust.
If he’s not being mean but he’s keeping a distance and just seems unsure, he’s probably hurt. Try to put yourself in his shoes and feel what he is going through. Making nice gestures to cheer him up and showing him you still care can help.
How did my actions affect him?
This is another very important question to consider. Not only may he be hurting, he may have been actually affected in other ways, for instance, if you lived together and he needed to go stay somewhere else, how did that affect him? Was it hard for him to change his life when you were on a break? Maybe you have mutual friends and it made things awkward? Maybe it’s been hard for him to explain to his family why you’re on a break.
Think about why you went on a break and if he may have been confused by it. The more clear and kind you can be in your communication, the better. Try to be sensitive to his feelings.
If you can, be vulnerable and tell him you are sorry and you would like to make it work, try to spend some time listening to what he’s been going through on your break. Showing sympathy may help him realize how much you care.
Has he been contacting me?
If he has been making subtle gestures to reach out to you without being intrusive, chances are he’s still interested. If he’s been texting and calling you, he’s definitely still interested in having a relationship. The emails where he pours his heart out are another sign, unless they are really hateful.
If he has been contacting you, it’s a sign you’re still on his mind a lot and he still has feelings for you. If he’s been trying to contact you through other people, that still counts.
Has he been hanging out with other girls?
Well, let’s be honest, if he’s hanging out with other girls, he’s trying to get over you or maybe already has. Let’s also consider that if he did think about getting back together and had been seeing other women, that would be quite difficult. A break is usually not the time to explore your options as far as I’m concerned, it’s more about working on yourself, thinking and taking space.
If you saw him posting pictures of other women with him, he may have subconsciously been trying to make you jealous, but really ruining his chances of getting you back. Do you really want a guy that would do that anyway?
However, if he’s been hanging with his boys, there may still be a chance. If he has a soft spot for you still, he wouldn’t be able to go on dates with women anyway. Guys that are really in love act like we do. At least you’ll know his true feelings. How can you know if he’s been seeing other women? Well you can ask him and if he’s a nice guy, he’ll be honest.
Has he been missing me?
You’ll usually know if he’s been missing you. Maybe he’s posting about it or sending you messages and cards. Maybe he’s sending you pictures because something made him think of you.
If he’s making up excuses to see you or contact you, that’s another sign. If you had asked him not to contact you, it’s kind of hard to know if he’s been missing you, so why not just ask him?
Has he been partying more than usual?
When someone goes through something difficult like a break or a breakup, the mature way to handle it is not to go out and numb the pain with drugs or alcohol. If you know he’s been out partying, chances are he’s not handling things well and needs to work on his coping skills before getting back into a relationship.
If he’s been behaving like a wild animal suddenly released from a cage, you may just want to reconsider why and if that’s something you want to deal with. Guys that are immature will not know how to process emotions and often just reach for a beer when they are feeling lousy because that’s what they see other people doing.
You want a man who is brave enough to face his emotions and if he parties, it should be to celebrate, not to mourn. My point is, even if he will take you back, do you really want that?
Has he been ignoring me?
If he’s been ignoring your texts, emails and calls, he might not like the idea of getting back together. Guys don’t hide their emotions very well and their actions pretty much tell it like it is. If they’re done, they make it pretty clear by not responding instead of letting you down gently over a cup of tea and with a hug.
It’s probably just an archaic coping mechanism that was required when life was difficult that is hardwired into their brain, but that’s how most of them act. Some of them will talk things out with you and explain exactly how they’re feeling though, you can’t stereotype all men as emotionally closed off. Listen to your gut and if you feel like he’s keeping his distance, there’s probably a reason.
Has he said mean things to me?
Is his tone of voice blunt and cold or warm and yearning for you? If he’s calling you names, blaming you for things and really just throwing a bunch of negative energy your way, chances are the break will be permanent. Honestly, do you really want to be with a guy that will say mean things to you anyway? I wouldn’t. Just because you’re in love with him, doesn’t mean he’s good for you.
Has he held onto your things?
If he is holding onto some of your valuable things, he may be hoping your break is temporary and really wants you to come back and get them. This is subjective of course, depending on the scenario.
There’s also the reality that he might just be lazy or inconsiderate and not really give your stuff a second thought. But why don’t you just talk to him, not about your stuff, but about you. Why sit and wonder if you could just talk it out? You don’t need to be a detective and torture yourself, just talk to the guy.
Have people mentioned he’s really sad?
If he’s been abnormally sad, chances are he might want you back. Usually, when guys let go, they do it pretty easily, but if they are sad, they are having trouble getting over you. He might be really attached to you and was shocked that you took a break. It’s probably a good idea to meet in person and have an adult conversation. Don’t text him and ask him if he wants to get back together.
Has he written love songs?
Well, you might want to listen to the words first, but if he’s writing songs about his love, he’s probably trying to deal with the emotions he has for you. If they are angry songs, it might mean he’s not coming back, but if they are pretty and wistful, he probably misses you a great deal.
It might be nice to recognize that he did something positive with his feelings and meet with him to see how he is doing. Think about him as a friend first and see if it seems like a good idea not only for you, but also for him, if you’re considering getting back together.
Is he still angry?
This can be a little sticky. If he says he’s willing to get back together now, but he’s still throwing hurtful comments towards you and making you feel guilty, you might not want to jump back in so quickly. If a guy hasn’t dealt with his anger towards you, you’re going to feel that anger if you’re in a relationship.
You may want to recommend anger management courses and then reconsider. It’s good to support people through their emotional work but at a safe distance where you are protected too.
Finally, is he showing any interest?
This is probably the most obvious answer. If he’s showing interest, then yes, he’s probably still interested. Hopefully, the issues you were having are in the past and you can go on enjoying your relationship. It is possible for people to change if they want to, but they have to do it for themselves not for anyone else.
Remember, while you’re on a break, the best thing you can do is take care of your mind, body and spirit. Work on your positive energy, make healthy choices and gain the perspective that makes you feel empowered. The more positive things you can do to develop yourself, the better chances you have of feeling happy in a relationship.
Since our happiness really comes from within us and not from him, it’s often that realization that can heal a broken heart.