My ex came back but is distant: 15 tips to overcome this 

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Do you feel like your ex coming back but being distant is just another one of their games?

I recently came back from a break-up and was happy, but then he started pulling away again.

This time I wanted to keep things casual but, oops, he kept appearing!

Now we’re just bumping into each other in the hallways. If you are in the same situation, hold your head up high because you’re not alone.

These 15  tips will help you to overcome this. Let’s get started!

1) Communicate, communicate, and communicate

I have been in this situation many times. The best thing I have found that helps is to communicate.

What do I mean?

Just talk it out. Get your feelings out in the open and agree on a plan.

The thing is, things change. It’s not just one person that needs to compromise some of their wants, needs, and desires so that you can be together again.

You have to talk about your own concerns as well as your ex’s.

When you talk everything through, you might find that it wasn’t what you thought or what your ex thought of being apart or back together again or that maybe the two of you want different things after all.

For me, the toughest part is talking about the “why” your relationship broke up in the first place and what can be done to fix it. Sometimes even if you think that you would like to get back together, it might not be right. You have to talk about these things too.

That’s what I mean by communicating and being open with each other. This helps with all the concerns and thoughts you have about being back together again or your ex distancing themselves like they are now.

2) Use the “hugging technique” and make them feel bad or guilty

I have never used this one before either. But I have heard that this can work really well if done correctly.

This tactic works best when your ex is in your personal space (which can also happen if they are coming back to you and being distant).

All you do is curl up into a ball and wait for them to touch you or hug you. Then you squeeze hard, hold onto them for a long time and just don’t let go.

Your hug should be so powerful that they can’t do anything but feel bad and feel guilty about how they are treating you recently.

This is a great technique because it doesn’t hurt anyone or make them mad, but it still gets your point across without scaring or hurting them.

3) Ask the right questions to get their attention back on you (and off of the person they want to be with)

This is one that I have had success with and I would recommend it to other people as well.

When the ex comes back but they are distant, it’s actually a good idea to ask them why they can’t or won’t talk to you.

Be honest about what you think is happening and don’t give them a chance to put their spin on it.

Tell them upfront how you feel and then just sit back and listen to their justification for not wanting to be with you.

Don’t defend yourself or try to explain yourself out of the situation but just listen to their reasoning.

If you can get them to express it, you know what is going on and it will help you know how to react.

Even if they aren’t being honest with you, this is worth asking because most people have something to say when they start to distance themselves from other people.

They just don’t want to talk because they think that it’s not worth talking when not being listened to.

Showing that you are really listening to him may help heal the relationship.

4) Talk to a friend or family member

When my ex comes back or is distant and I have no clue what to do, I talk to a friend or family member.

I have found that talking with someone else clears my thoughts and makes me realize things that I might not otherwise think of.

And sometimes the other person’s opinion just helps me out of a sticky situation and gives me a new perspective on things that might help me deal with the situation better.

Sometimes they even show me what I was doing wrong that made him react that way. And that helped me save the relationship because I realize that sometimes the one that was wrong in the situation is not him, it was me.

5) Don’t badmouth him

One of the worst things you can do for your own self-esteem is to constantly badmouth your ex and tell your friends that you don’t want him back.

As I recommended above, you should talk to friends or family members about your situation, but don’t badmouth him.

It’s not like anyone can keep a secret and so sooner or later, he will find out what you are saying.

And when he does, it will make things worse, either because it makes him feel sad and alone that “everyone knows” or because he really doesn’t want to get back together with you anymore.

I think part of this is really just being honest with yourself.

Don’t make excuses so that you don’t have to come to terms with why you split up.

And don’t blame your ex for anything that went wrong.

6) Respect them and tell them how you feel

This is really really important.

Your ex might be disinterested in your feelings, but if you push it, they will run from you again.

Remember that your ex was probably the same way when you were in the relationship and so just treating them with kindness and respect will help them to understand how you are feeling, give them some time to think about what they want and help them see things from your perspective.

7) Stay busy and don’t give them any attention

The opposite tip of the above is to stay busy and don’t give them the attention that they want.

I know this is almost a stereotype that men chase women when they are hard to get. But, the truth of the matter is, I think it’s true.

Every time I have gone through a period where my ex has been distant, I start to dwell upon it or give them to much attention. When I do that, they seem to want me even more and then push me away again.

That’s when I realized that giving them attention like how they want is gonna kill their lust for your love.

Can you believe it?

Instead of chasing after him, I decided to focus on other things. I was very busy with work and my family, giving him no attention at all, he has come back to me again.

Maybe it’s because they are like a dog that chases their tail and then gets frustrated when they can’t catch it.

It’s like he was afraid he was losing me in this busy world of his dreams. So the best thing to do is to stay busy with your own life and give them less attention.

If he wants something from you, tell him you’re busy for a few days and then meet up with him when you’re not so busy.

8) Use no contact

There are a lot of different tactics that people use but this one I learned from my best friend.

Basically, if your ex comes back to you or if their attention is on you for a while and then starts to be distant again, and you feel like you want them to go away again completely, just use the no contact.

No apologies or explanations needed. Just act like it didn’t happen and move on with your life. It’s not worth spending time playing games with this guy.

Of course, this will make them feel uncomfortable, disrespected and like they are unwanted. Let them know how it would feel to you when they did the same thing.

There are a lot of different tactics and advice and I don’t want to make it sound like this is the only way. But this is what works for my friend, and maybe it’d work for you too.

9) Focus on the things that bring you joy

I have been in situations where I have been sad about the fact that my ex came back but was distant. But then I tried to take my mind out of it by remembering all the things that make me happy or that I like to do.

For example, when you’re feeling down about your ex coming back but being distant, try one of these things:

  • Take a trip to the movies
  • Get a new pet
  • Develop new hobbies and interests,
  • Eat different foods from different places

Or just have fun doing the things you already do

This helps to remember what it is exactly that makes you happy and keeps you from feeling down about your ex.

Ups and downs in life are going to happen.

You have to remember that it’s not the end of the world if things don’t work out.

10) Don’t try to force it

Once the decision has been made that the relationship is over, you have to accept that it’s over.

You might be happy for a few days or weeks after your ex comes back but is distant, but then you have to remember that things didn’t work out and there were probably good reasons for them not working out.

The only way you can get over it is if you accept it. So if your ex comes back, don’t take them back. If your ex is distant, don’t try to make up a manufactured excuse or go through all kinds of hoops just so that they will start talking to you again.

Because this happened more than once, it’s probably going to happen again. Don’t put yourself in the same situation.

Just let it be and move on with your life.

11) Keep exercising and eating well

I have a lot of weight to lose and that is something that I want to work on. But for now, I will just focus on doing this exercise and eating well here.

Exercise reduces stress, boosts your metabolism so that you burn fat instead of sugar, helps you sleep better at night and helps start the day off with a good feeling.

It also gives you strength and endurance so that when life gets difficult, it doesn’t physically beat you down.

Eating well will make your body more healthy and stronger, give your mind some rest from stressing out over things and boost your immune system so that when you need an illness or health problem, it will be less likely to come back.

Just like exercise, eating well improves your health, keeps you strong, and will help your body fight off sicknesses when they come around.

When you know that there are more things to worry about in life, such as weight management, or mental health, you’ll find that you don’t have time to spend on people who aren’t really serious in a relationship and keep playing with your feelings.

12) Change things up in your life

If you are always hanging out with them or doing the same old things with them, they might start to feel like they don’t need you.

Once they realize that they can do better than you, they will probably be more interested in going out with other people more often.

Change it up and do different things instead of the same thing. A new adventure is always exciting so if you can provide that for your ex, it might be just what they need to focus on you again.

13) Give them the space

This is a big one.

You need to give your ex the space they need at this point in their life.

It’s easy to think of them being selfish and just do whatever they want. But in truth, accept that your relationship was over once, and now if he is distant himself again, there must be some unsolved reasons that probably can never be solved

If the relationship didn’t work out then let it go. Don’t try to force yourself back into their life anymore.

Give them time and let them heal instead of pushing yourself down on them like a lead weight that is too heavy for them to handle or good for them anymore.

But I want you to remember: Distance doesn’t have to be a bad thing!

Distance is power if you want to stir things up in their mind.

14) Remain firm on your boundaries and don’t back down

If your ex is coming back but being distant, you have to remain firm on your boundaries with them.

You don’t have to be rude or cruel, but you do need to make it clear that you don’t want to play games and you don’t want to be with them if they don’t want to be with you.

You can tell them that you are ready to make things official with them, but you want to do it when they are ready to make things official with you.

This is what you want, but you want them to be the ones to come to that conclusion on their own.

If they back down, they don’t really deserve you and if they still push you to be together, then it will probably just end up in the same situation.

15) Be confident and don’t look like you are sad or needy

You will get your ex’s attention if you act like you don’t need them.

Be strong and be confident about yourself.

You shouldn’t just be acting this way around your ex, it will help even more if you can pull off this feat around them.

The ex might not come back to you if they think you can do better than a person who looks sad and needy.

In fact, if you are confident and firm, they might respect you for being strong enough to not give in to their wishes.

When they come back to you but are trying to act distant, you have to make your feelings go away when they are around.

Make sure your face is clear of any sadness and never let them see you looking anything other than strong and confident.


In this article, I have tried to explain how to overcome an ex back and again, being distant.

As I mentioned, focus on yourself and on the things that will help you to find happiness with or without them.

If they still decide they want to be with you then you can work out your problems together and make it happen.

But if they still don’t want to be with you, then don’t take it personally because there are probably better things out there for you, like someone who really does love and care about you.

All the best!