EBR 035: Is Your Ex Boyfriend Stringing You Along?


Welcome to episode 35 of the Ex Boyfriend Recovery Podcast.

Today’s episode is unique in the fact that while it does cover how to figure out if an ex boyfriend is stringing you along with false hope it is so much more than that.

We hear from “depressed in Atlanta” a woman who is desperately searching for answers.

Like always, here is a quick rundown of her situation,

  • She broke up with her boyfriend 2 weeks ago
  • He claims that he broke up with her because she was depressed and didn’t know what to do with her life
  • He was upset with her and needed time (why was he upset when he was the one that broke up with her?)
  • She is worried that she is being strung along by him
  • She feels all of this is making her more emotional than normal
  • She always seems to contact him first

Lets see what we can do about giving her some answers.

What I Talk About In This Episode

  • The Win/Win Situation “Depressed in Atlanta” Is In
  • The Top Three Mistakes That She Is Making (So Far)
  • The Holy Trinity (Yet Again)
  • A Huge Problem I Continually See Women Making
  • The Two Paths “Depressed in Atlanta” Is Faced With

Important Links Mentioned In This Episode

The Top Three Mistakes That “Depressed in Atlanta” Is Making

When I listened to “Depressed in Atlanta’s” situation I immediately noticed that she is making three major mistakes (if she decides to get her ex back.) I talked a lot about those mistakes on this episode.

What I would like to do is talk a little about them for you in the show notes here.

three ways

Mistake #1- No NC

Depressed in Atlanta doesn’t seem to have even entertained the idea of doing a no contact rule.

Now, for those of you who are familiar with Ex Boyfriend Recovery you will know that the no contact rule is kind of a big deal for me.

What is one of the many reasons for why we use NC?

Well, that leads us to our next mistake.

Mistake #2- Being Too Available

Want to know what is unattractive to males?

A woman who they are too available for.

I know it’s kind of important for being in a relationship but you aren’t in a relationship anymore.

You are single and when you are single the rules are a little bit different.

Mistake #3- Not Ending Conversations Soon Enough

“Depressed in Atlanta” complained that she was always the one that had to start the conversations with her ex.

But from what I have heard from her she has done nothing to earn a “reach out” from him.

Ending conversations early can help here.

View full post on Ex Boyfriend Recovery


15 thoughts on “EBR 035: Is Your Ex Boyfriend Stringing You Along?

  1. Arica

    Hi Chris! I’ll start by saying I think the coaching is a great idea!! My question is if my ex is texting just to be nice, if he is stringing me along or if he is potentially still interested but not 100% sure yet? I completed the 30 day NC and have made it to texting daily. I have to text first though but he always responds! He has flirted a little also BUT when I send a memory text or a compliment text he gives a short response or won’t feed that conversation so I’m not sure what to do. Example: I sent a compliment text last night saying I’ve always thought he had a sexy voice. His response was “lol swaggy” (like cool). I didn’t respond….Should I give him a few days and not text him? Or is this something I should expect at this point? I am very confused!!!!!!! Thanks for your help!

  2. Diamond Girl

    Hi Chris,
    I’ve been reading your sites and from all the other sites I’ve looked at, yours definitely offers the best advice! I am on day 8 on NC, and I really need advice with a man I have recently dated, and started falling in love with. We had 4 amazing dates in less than 3 weeks, and he was a true prince the whole time. I quickly began to realize that he is the right guy for me in almost every way. After our 3rd date, he texted to see if I was really into him, saying he wasn’t sure where we were at, where this was going, and he really liked me and enjoys being with me has fun, and feels we have a connection, but that he had other contacts he might want to see, and that he wasn’t sure what he wanted. I could tell, however, he was falling for me, too, and was just trying to feel me out. I told him I was really into him, too, and that made him really happy and he immediately asked me out again. During our 4th date, he began to make future plans with me. However, after our most amazing 4th date, he suddenly withdrew and texted and cancelled our next date for a Saturday on a holiday weekend. He gave an excuse about a dinner party planned ahead that had no more room. He didn’t offer any further dates at that time, which was highly unusual because he always asks right away after a last date and has always texted me back immediately. Since I was confused about the cancellation text, which was vague and sounded a bit cold and even mentioned the hostess’s name in a also vague way that suggested she might be someone he was interested in, I got upset and didn’t text him back for a day. He sent some romantic videos during this time to which I didn’t respond. Then next day I texted him and explained my confusion, and he texted back saying he was sorry for causing me any emotional distress and confusion. He said he has always wanted a relationship, but is very hesitant now because of stuff that’s happening in his life. He then called me and we talked and he mentioned some vague things going on in his life, such as moving his apartment in 2 months, and a job promotion, none of which seemed earth-shattering in terms of pursuing a relationship. He also mentioned liking his freedom and that he’s okay being single, etc. He also said he needed time, which I understood because our 4th date had been incredible, and he had hotly pursued me the past three weeks, and both our time for 3 weeks had been consumed by our dating, making us behind in our work. He had previously said he wanted to take things slow as did I, but we both got swept up in the fun of our dating. However, I read his cancellation text as a loss of interest/ambivalence on his part and his failure on the text and phone to shore things up for future contact upset and hurt me. The next day I tried to be positive and sent him a nice video and he texted back that he had a terrible time at the dinner party and now he was not feeling well at all, thought it was allergies, and that he was going to rest, and hope you have a good day. I texted him that night and said hope you are feeling better and he did not reply, which was unusual because we mostly always text at night a lot. Nothing. Then I was hurt and confused and decided that his feelings about me were for the most part ambivalent and I was still upset about the way he handled the cancellation, going from everything is wonderful to being cool so quickly, that I texted him that I really like and care for him, think that we have a real connection, think he is awesome, etc., but I can’t handle the ambivalence of seeing him and him not knowing what he wants, so I am going to move on and he can see others and figure it out and I can find someone who wants me. I made sure to be clear about how much I like and care for him, that it’s only the situation (his ambivalence) that I can’t handle. I told him I am looking for something real and wanted a relationship with him . So I basically dumped him because I was so hurt and upset and because of his ambivalence and the fact that he had hurt and confused me. I didn’t expect to hear back from him, but he texted that morning he had read through my text and just needed time to respond, that he had a really bad cold and was feeling miserable, and that he would be in touch later. He ended the text with Hope you are having a great day! I thought this was a weird text and do not know how to decipher it exactly…I texted back later saying Sorry you are not feeling well. Take care of yourself, and I hope you feel better soon. He didn’t reply. That was 8 days ago. What should I do? I figured we’re basically on NC because I dumped him, but since he said he was sick, should I text and ask if he is feeling better? Has he just left me hanging here forever or something, which would be cruel? Why doesn’t he just end it so I can truly move on? Or does he just need time to respond? Should I text and say I want to and will respect your need for time, but I just want you to know I really care for you? How long should it take him to respond? How long should I wait before contacting him or knowing it’s over for good? I feel I really need either closure or a sign things will move forward again because I am feeling really miserable now and even heartbroken at the thought of losing someone for good that I had such a good connection with until he turned ambivalent. Is it that he’s just not that into me or doesn’t want a relationship with me? How should I handle NC to bring him back? Should I text to let him know I care or not?

  3. Chris Seiter

    Well, in his defense its not exactly the most intersting conversation unless he was really into gardening and yoga.

  4. At a Wall

    Is my ex just being polite? We were an LDR but I’d moved from my LDR city to our common college-city for a job back in Sept, then was laid off in Dec, had a stop-over in a city 5hr north of his (which was the last check-in I’d shared with him. Then I moved to his city (but hadn’t told him until now, see below. Just an FYI: I’d started sending picture/link-only texts back on 2/21, after 35-day NC, and he’d take appx 21-28 days to respond. Then in April he responded to a funny link I sent w/i 7 minutes. Then has been responding in about 3-days…

    *ME 6/13 12:09AM: Made dinner with my very own homegrown tomatoes! :) I still have tons left over that I need to eat ASAP! Your watermelon/arugula salad might take care of that! Lol
    ME 6/23 9:21PM: Saw some local fisherman before diving in Gulf Shores and made me wonder if you’ve caught anything good lately. Hope you’re having a fun week
    – EX 7/1 5:56AM: Far way from Houston!
    ME 7/1 2:21PM: You’re right! But I’ve moved and am teaching in YOUR SAME CITY NAME.
    – EX 7/1 2:35PM: Cool. Where do you teach?
    ME 7/1 2:48PM: X Yoga and XX Yoga studios. And at XY next week.
    – EX 7/1 2:53PM: XY- fancy
    ME 7/1 3:05PM: I have never thought of changing diapers as fancy but I subbed last month and so much fun with all the little ones.
    – EX 7/1 3:13PM: Man o man (this was a common phrase I used to say that he’d tease me about back when we were texting romantically)
    – EX 7/1 3:18PM: How did you end up here?
    ME 7/1 3:55PM: I had a few contacts but just landed in AB so after the lay-off I decided to take my chances. So far I am really enjoying things here and liking all the people. I’ve got a class now though, have a nice day

  5. Magda

    Hi, me and my boyfriend of two and a half years are staying together like husband and wife. He says im the best thing that ever happened to him in his life and he wants to grow old with me, (but he cant get as far as to put a ring on my finger). After the first 5 months of the relationship i started to get a gutt feeling that he has been doing something behind my back during working hours. But i could never find any concrete evedence of anything..eccept for long blond hair on his work clothing. And from there, when i asked him questions he would get furios and want to end the relationship because he dont like to be accused when he is innocent, and he is.. (he use to say)……And he is always on the defend when i want to have conversaion with him. He is also very distand and we hardly ever get intimate or having intimate conversations.
    NOW, About a month ago i found out that he went to strip clubs with his co worker buddies. At first he lied and said it is a bar and they went there for drinks. i found out he lied to me and confronted him about the situation. He tried to lie again and finaly admitted it is a strip club (also note, there is a brothel next to the strip club). Then he came up with an excuse they’ve stopped there on their way to a gambling house, and that it was just a drink…The situation now stands like this: He doesnt want us to talk this through to sort it out and start fresh. He ended the relationship and said he has never cheated on me and this relationship is not going to work. He is sure of his decition he says..BUT i can see that he also feels hurt and is trying to hide it and playing it cool. Now, for the first time i have accepted and said im ready to move on. But still i have no closure and he doesnt want to answer my questions. He also used the words: “its not you, its me” Please can you try to explain to me why he is breaking up after he has messed up, and now treat me as if i am the bad one?? And please can you give me more insight of what is really happening for the passed two years??

  6. Sandra

    Heather…. I JUST went through the exact same thing with my ex… It’s scary… It almost makes me think there was someone in our relationship….


  7. Jess

    By the way I got a job and have been working on my health which he knows. So why no contact yet from him? (re: health, wealth, and rltsps). Thanks again. Hoping I can make it to Day 30.

  8. Jess

    I’m depressed in Atlanta. Thanks for your advice on the podcast. I finally implemented the no contact rule. I am on Day 10 and I am just getting more depressed that he hasn’t contacted me. The last time we spoke I begged him to just say that it was over so I could move on (I sent him a long love letter the week before that he never responded to.) He still refused to tell me it was totally over and he didn’t know what he wanted…but that he would’t just leave me hanging and would contact me at some point. Was that a lie? Why hasn’t he contacted me? I just feel like every day is harder and harder to not reach out to him, especially because I know he has a lot going on in his life. What is he doesn’t want to talk after 30 days? I know you said in the podcast he is emotionally a mess…I guess I am too. I just miss him and I don’t know if I believe he will actually contact me. I think part of me wants to contact him to sabotage it all so I can just move on because I feel like he is leading me on, still.

  9. Monalisa Parker

    Hi chris, I want you to confirm this if I did wrong.

  10. Sara

    Hey Chris,
    My situation is a tad bit on the opposite end.. I still would love advice though! I tell you my thoughts on how the breakup happened. I’m not a dumb girl, I can pretty much pick up what’s being put down.. And as far as this break up it seemed like he didn’t have the balls to do it and wanted me to finally have enough to the point where I had to officially end it. A little background on how we met and for how long we were together. Dating website, Valentine’s day, fell in love, dated 3 months lived with me and my 3yr old son.. Recently got a job offer out of state and was going to start June 1st… We broke up on Mother’s Day.. He became very distant.. No communication.. Obviously not at all what I was used to. That’s how I knew something was wrong. Also there’s a age difference. Him being 37 and me 25. I was heartbroken Ofcourse.. Everything happened so abruptly, and had no closure. However I knew I had done nothing wrong, this was all what he was going through at the time. I knew I could not contact him begging for my best friend back because I felt so betrayed. I felt we were a lot closer than that and I deserved at least face to face breakup. After a couple weeks maybe two, he messaged me telling me he got a DUI…that’s not like him to be so irresponsible so I was shocked but never replied. He messaged me again about 4 days later “so are you never going to talk to me again” still no reply… Then this became his pattern.. The fact I was ignoring him probably made him cringe. Finally after a week and half went by he messaged me and said he had the money he owed me, I replied “don’t worry about it” he than initiated conversation, confessed his love for me still and that letting me go was a mistake.. He missed my love and that no one has ever cared and loved him the way I did. I’ll admit, I definitly was good to him and always reassured him he was my number 1. 2 and 3 :) he then asked to meet so we can talk.. I said ok but never set day or time.. Still messaging me everyday.. In one reply I said I didn’t think it was a good idea and that I’m not sure what lesson needed to be learned on my end and why it was that I went through what I did. He respected it and left it alone. The next day another attempt to communicate, he had me so confused! The man that left me cold now wants to put effort in? After a week he asked to talk again.. I said ok.. We decided on Thursday June 12. It’s now June 12 12:15 am and I’m having second thoughts again. Let me explain to u my hesitation. The fact he got this DUI he an no longer proceed with the out of state Job offer. Leaving him where’s he’s at now doing the same thing while we were dating. I can’t help but think if he never got the dui I would t have heard from him, but now that he screwed it up he can just have his old life back? That doesn’t sit right with me. And then the other part of me is saying everything happens for a reason, what if he can be the man for u that u saw in him before and it just took all this for him to realize what he had and lost.. I just don’t want to meet him and be more confused that what I already am. He violated my trust and going into this relationship a second time would be extremely different. He would have to be the one regaining my trust and although he’s kept contact with everyday I just can’t say I have faith in him that he will essentially fight for me. I’m not sure if I’m being to negative or if im just protecting myself.. Maybe a little insight??

  11. Avelia

    I received a response yesterday after a few hours saying, “Right now I have a lot of s— going on at home that I need to deal with before I can,” referring to us hanging out. I doubt he can’t hang out with anyone during this time and believe he only meant me. I did not respond. For reference, we are 24 & 23, living at home while working (me post-grad, he didn’t finish college), and his family life admittedly has always been bad.

  12. Lana

    This guy I’ve been seeing for 8 months broke it off with me because he said he lost feelings. A week before he officially dumped me he said he likes me but doesn’t see our relationship going anywhere because he’s focusing on his career. Then a week later he says he’s no longer interested. He doesn’t k know that I know he still talks to his ex ever since we started seeing each other and his ex still really likes him. They broke up a year ago and from a reliable source I’ve been told they both still have feelings for each other but right now isn’t the time to get back together. Which makes me think I was a rebound for 8 months while he’s been rekindling with his ex. Do I still have a chance with him? He did mention we could still hangout when I’m ready. I really want him back, is it a bad idea to ask the ex if they’ve been seeing each other while he’s been also seeing me?

  13. Avelia

    Hey Chris,

    My ex and I were together for 2 years and broke up a few months ago. I was clingy throughout our relationship and put way too much focus on constant communication while ignoring his need for space as an introvert. We had agreed to try things again soon after we broke up, starting out as friends and “progressing naturally,” but we kept arguing because neither of us was giving what the other needed. This culminated to a couple weeks ago where he immaturely responded to my request to talk more saying “Fine, I’ll just be perfect then.” That made me, of course, upset, and I lashed out emotionally. I apologized that night (sincerely, and yes the whole issue that night was my fault), but he said he was done and wasn’t going to talk to me again. He deleted me from Facebook and said he almost blocked my number. The next day after he calmed down slightly, he said he didn’t think it was possible for us to date again. We talked a bit more and he agreed a couple times to try once more after taking the rest of the week off as a break.

    The first attempt at meeting up, he flaked out that night. I asked that we try to meet up the following week (this week) and he said we could do that, and that we could text any time. We texted yesterday afternoon through lunchtime today and had a nice conversation about a mutual interest, nothing emotional but all of his responses were positive and he sent more messages than I did throughout. To me that said he was OK with talking to me, and he didn’t mean what he said about never wanting to talk to me again.

    Since we agreed to try to meet up again, I asked him if he would help me learn something we had talked about him teaching me before. He said “I may be able to do that, but I’m trying to cut back.” I asked what he thought about hanging out, and he has not responded. He responded quickly to all of my other messages up to this point. According to your posts, it seems I am being strung along. I just wonder if he will keep saying we can try to hang out but flake out, or if he intends to never meet me and only wants to keep me around in his back pocket?

    Since the incident I have learned about an issue my birth control caused related to my hormones, causing constant irritability. I have gotten off of it and improved drastically. I have lost 25 pounds since the breakup and look better than ever and feel like a new person. I am still working on issues stemming from abandonment that reach back to childhood, and greatly affected my relationship with my ex, but counseling has diminished those issues greatly. I feel him meeting me is the best way to show him that the old behavior is gone, but it just isn’t happening. What should be my next step?

  14. Erica

    Hi, Chris. My boyfriend of five years recently broke up with me. He claims it was because of the long distance and the fact that we should both explore our options since we attend different colleges. However, my gut tells me that it’s because of this new girl he’s been dating and he’s basically admitted to his feelings for her. As soon as he broke up with me, he moved on to her so quickly that I had such a difficult time processing it. I’m in the middle of the no-contact rule that your E-book recommended, but I’m still pretty anxious on how it will all play out. Should I be worried that I’ve completely lost him to her or is there a big chance that what they have is shallow and short-lived?

  15. Help me! :)

    Hey there! My situation is long and winded, and I’d like to show you things that were said to help you get a better understanding of what I’m confused about. Can I email you?

    Thank you in advance for your help!

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