When you and your ex broke up, I can almost guarantee that they lied to you about the breakup.
After helping thousands of people through difficult breakups, I’ve seen this happen time and time again.
In fact, in my experience, almost ALL breakups involve lying to some degree, even if it’s well intentioned or happens subconsciously.
I’ll explain WHY exes almost always lie or share only partial truths during a breakup… and I’ll help you determine what their lies mean, what the truth might be, and what it means for your chances of getting back together in the future.
Why Your Ex Lied To You
Now, let’s get into it, starting with the underlying reasons WHY people so often lie or withhold the full truth during a breakup.
Reason #1: They needed to give you a reason for the breakup, but didn’t want to hurt your feelings.
Now, in most cases, the reason is actually fairly simple: your ex felt that they needed to give you some sort of closure, and felt compelled to explain the breakup, but he or she didn’t want to hurt you any more than was absolutely necessary.
Remember: ending a relationship is extremely difficult for both parties, not just the person being dumped. Unless your relationship ended with a screaming match and lots of animosity, then your ex probably felt bad about having to hurt you by breaking up, and they wanted to ‘soften the blow’ as much as possible.
That’s why, in most cases, your ex will either blatantly lie about the reasons behind the breakup, or they’ll only tell you part of the truth. After all, when you look at it from your ex’s perspective, what’s to be gained from telling you the truth and hurting you even more?
For example, if your ex couldn’t stand your friends and was no longer attracted to you because you’d put on a lot of weight since the start of your relationship, wouldn’t that be a lot more hurtful to hear than if he or she simply said something like, “we’ve just drifted apart and I don’t feel that connection anymore” or “I’m just at a point in my life where I need some time alone”?
As I mentioned earlier, often times your ex may have told you part of the truth — he or she may have picked one thing that was bothering them about your relationship, and told you that was the main reason behind your breakup, when in fact it was just one of several issues that led to his or her decision to end things.
Again, this is usually well-intentioned. Your ex still cares about you to some extent, and they don’t want to upset you any more than necessary by revealing the true reasons for their decision to break up.
Even in cases where a breakup is mutual, you usually won’t hear your ex say the full truth about why they believe it’s best that you go your separate ways. So, for most of you watching, your ex is actually being dishonest because they care for you and want to make the breakup as painless as possible.
Reason #2: They feel guilty about the breakup.
This is similar to the first reason I just talked about. Sometimes, your ex will feel extremely guilty about hurting you… or, even more commonly, they’ll be feeling guilty about the true reason they want to break up. For example — and hopefully this is not the case for you, but it does happen sometimes — your ex may have found someone new. It’s not necessarily that they’re already dating that new person, or even that they’re sure things will work out with this new person… but they may have met someone that really excites them and that they feel is worth pursuing.
Quite frankly, if your ex has any kind of conscience or morals, they’re going to be extremely unlikely to tell you the truth in this kind of situation. After all, how painful would it be for you to hear that they’re leaving you for that new guy or girl at the office? Even if they aren’t officially dating this person yet, and they haven’t had any kind of romantic or physical intimacy, they’re not going to want to hurt you by telling you about their new love interest.
Reason #3: They want to avoid unnecessary drama or conflict.
This is another fairly common reason your ex will lie or share only part of the truth when they explain the reasons for their decision to break up: they want to avoid getting into an argument because they want to end things on good terms.
For example, maybe you and your ex often disagreed or fought over something specific that plagued your relationship… maybe you have a jealous streak that led you to be insecure and needy.
Maybe you smothered your ex a bit too much, tried to control who they hung out with or what they did in their spare time. These are common issues in many relationships, and they can often fester and eventually lead to a breakup.
Most often, your ex won’t want to bring this up during the breakup. After all, what good will it do? They’ve already fought with you about these issues many times when you were still together, but the issue never got resolved and eventually led to your ex getting fed up and deciding a breakup was the only choice left.
Bringing up all these same problems and complaints with you again when breaking up is pointless, and they’ve likely decided that there’s no hope for change any more.
Instead, they’ll usually offer a more mundane-sounding excuse for the breakup… it could be the old “it’s not you, it’s me” cliché, or it could be something a bit more specific like, “now that I’m in school full time and we’ll be living 2 hours from one another, it’s just not realistic anymore”.
Or they might just be vague and say something like, “we’ve lost the spark and I just don’t feel a connection anymore”.
Whatever the exact ‘reason’ they gave for breaking up, it’s likely they’re just using it as an excuse to avoid bringing up the real problem that led to their decision knowing it will just lead to a fight or to more questions from you that they simply want to avoid getting into.
Reason #4: They’re hiding something sleazy.
Thankfully, in my experience, this is actually pretty rare… but it is always a possibility that your ex will lie to you because they did something very naughty that they don’t want you to find out about.
For instance, maybe they’re hooking up with your friend and they don’t dare let you (or anyone else) find out about it, both to avoid hurting you and to avoid looking like a shitty human being generally when people find out about their scummy behaviour.
Like I said, this is rare enough that very few of you reading this will be facing this kind of situation… but, it is occasionally the reason your ex will hide their true reason for breaking up.
Common Lies Your Ex Will Tell You
Now, let’s move on and look at some specific examples that I see my coaching clients bring up regularly when they’re telling me why their ex wanted to break up.
First, let’s look at the classic excuse:
Example #1: “it’s not you, it’s me”
I don’t think I have to tell you this, but if your ex says something like this — if they claim there’s nothing you did wrong, or there’s nothing specific that led to their decision to break up beyond unexplained ‘personal reasons’ — it’s almost 100% guaranteed to be a flat-out lie to cover up the real reason.
As far as I can tell, based on my work with literally tens of thousands of clients going through a breakup, this is ALWAYS an excuse and NEVER the real truth.
The only time this type of ‘excuse’ might be somewhat truthful is when your ex genuinely doesn’t KNOW exactly why they’re done with the relationship.
Occasionally, people just know they aren’t happy and want out, so they go straight to the old “it’s not you, it’s me” line to give you some closure and make it clear they’re not dumping you because they’re unhappy about something specific.
BUT, even in that type of situation, your ex usually will have underlying reasons for their desire to end things… they just can’t pin down the exact causes in their head.
So, don’t believe your ex if they give you this kind of explanation for the breakup, it’s almost never true nor does it offer any kind of insight into their thinking.
Example #2: “I just need some time alone to figure things out”
When your ex says things like this
- “I need some time on my own to figure out what I want”
- “I need to fix my own life before I can there for someone else.”
- “I need some time and space to sort out of my own life”
they’re doing so for one of two reasons: either they’re just using it as an easy excuse to avoid hurting you or getting into an argument or they’re basically telling you “I don’t know whether we have any future, but I’m not happy with our relationship and want you to go away for a while so I can figure out whether you’re the one for me or if I can live without you or find someone better”.
Either way, this is a very common thing for exes to say after a breakup, and it usually means that your chances of getting them back are quite good.
That is, if you handle the situation properly and use the strategies I cover in my Ex Factor program to change their mind about you and your future together as a couple.
Example #3: “I don’t have time for a relationship right now because I’m so busy”
This is another very common excuse your ex may give you when explaining why they think breaking up is necessary. And guess what? Just like the previous example, this is almost always a flat-out lie… or at least, it’s only a small part of the real reason.
The truth is, when romantic attraction is strong enough–in other words, when someone is super into you and really wants to be with you–they’ll always find a way to overcome logistical or practical issues like this.
Love trumps all, when the passion and attraction is strong enough, including a busy schedule.
If your ex really felt like you were their soulmate… if they desperately wanted to be with you and felt a strong emotional and physical connection… they’d make time for you. They’d be willing to accept not seeing you for weeks at a time just to keep you in their life.
So, while there can often be some truth to this kind of statement–I’m sure your ex really is busy as hell right now–it’s also never a big enough problem that it can’t be overcome if your ex is sufficiently attracted to you, and believes you’re the right person for them.
Example #4: “We’ve drifted apart and I don’t feel the same connection we once had”
OK, now, this one is a bit less obviously false. The simple fact is that sometimes the spark will fade, things will become dull and routine, and your ex might just fall out of love with you over time.
It happens. It’s usually preventable, but it’s also often a real emotion your ex is feeling, so this isn’t always a flat-out lie — it’s usually somewhat true, but doesn’t really explain the underlying REASONS for why that connection and spark has faded.
So, if your is telling you things like, “I just don’t feel like we’re compatible anymore” or “we’ve lose the spark and we’re just drifting apart”, you can usually believe them to some extent.
But the real question is what caused that loss of attraction and romantic connection? Your ex may not know the answer to that, or they may just not want to explain to you the full reason they think the spark has faded.
Either way, the key in this kind of situation is to change your ex’s mind about the breakup and about your compatibility as a couple.
Example #5: “There’s no long-term future for us” or “it’s just not going to work in the long run”
Now we’re back to the flat-out excuses… or at least, vague generalizations. If your ex is saying to you that they think you don’t have a realistic future together — whether they elaborate on that or not — it’s again indicative of an underlying loss of attraction.
As I said earlier, if your ex really felt a strong connection and desperately wanted to be with you, they’d find ways in their own head to justify staying together and overcoming any practical challenges you might face if you were to stay together.
One common example is in long-distance relationships. Often, your ex will use this type of excuse to justify breaking up.
They’ll say things like, “I don’t think this can work long-term since we’re so far apart”, suggesting the distance between you is now something that will be insurmountable and prevent you from having a happy, lasting long-term future together.
Guess what? It’s because they don’t feel attracted enough to you to work around those issues, or at least continue to put up with the distance for now until you can someday work out a plan to be together in the same place.
So, as I mentioned before, if you want to get back together, then the key is to shift your ex’s perception of you and your value as a romantic partner to the point where they’ll push aside the practical concerns about distance and decide to stay with you and hope that you’ll work out a plan to be together in the long run.
Example #6: “It won’t work because of my family/religion/social pressures”
This can be a common reason people will give their ex when breaking up, especially in countries or societies where family and religion or culture play a big role in relationships. For example, in many parts of India and South Asia, arranged marriages are common and parents expect to have a say in their children’s romantic partner.
Even in Western countries like Europe and North America, sometimes family pressure or different social classes/backgrounds can cause problems in a relationship.
So, what I’m saying here is that this type of excuse — where your ex says breaking up is necessary because their parents don’t approve of the relationship, or religious/cultural reasons make a long-term future difficult or even impossible — can often be truthful.
Again, these types of practical issues can usually be overcome if the romantic connection is strong enough–if your ex is so desperate to be with you that they’ll risk upsetting parents or breaking cultural norms–but they do often present a genuine problem for some couples, and may have played a real role in the decision to break up.
What Your Ex’s Lies Mean For Your Chances Of Getting Back Together
Your ex lying about the breakup–or only sharing part of the real truth–can be for a number of different reasons.
If they’re lying to avoid hurting your feelings by revealing a painful truth about why they want to break up, that could be good news or bad news for your odds of getting them back… on one hand, it means they still care about you enough to lie or withhold information simply to protect you and avoid causing you pain.
If they don’t want to hurt you by sharing the truth, it does mean they care about you and don’t have any underlying feelings of resentment that might prevent you from getting them back.
On the other hand, though, sometimes the real reasons that they haven’t shared with you are going to be seriously problematic.
For example, if they’ve lost attraction to you because you’ve fundamentally changed–for example, gaining 50lbs or dropping out of school and lying around the house all day–those reasons can be significant enough that they’ll make changing your ex’s mind and getting a second chance very difficult.
If your ex has given you a generic excuse for breaking up, like “it’s not you, it’s me” or “I just need some time on my own to figure things out”, that is normally very good news for your chances of getting them back.
Now, I can’t guarantee you’ll be able to change their mind and win them back, but if they’re internally conflicted about what’s best for their future–if they’re unsure whether you’re right for them, or their feelings for you have just faded to the point where they want to take some time to be single and decide what they want in the long-term–it means you can usually use some subtle psychological techniques to change how they feel about you, increase your perceived value as a romantic partner in the back of their mind, and eventually convince them that breaking up was the WRONG choice.
This is often essentially a case of “Grass is Greener” syndrome — they’ve forgotten what it’s like to be single, to live without you, and so on — and the idea of being apart and playing the field again as a single person is an appealing thought.
But often, once they actually begin to experience life without you, they will realize they were just victim to the “grass is greener” effect and glamorizing what life could be like when you’re not around anymore.
What if they’re giving you specific reasons why a long-term future together isn’t practical or possible? What if they’re saying things like, “given how far apart we live and how busy I am, we just won’t be able to make it work”… that’s also normally a pretty good situation to be in if you want to get back together.
You can often overcome these pragmatic issues by forcing them to feel a powerful attraction to you again, making them choose to put up with any obstacles or challenges you might face, such as long-distance situations just so they can still be with you.
The Bottom Line: Respect Their Wishes
FINALLY… and this is a really important final tip for you guys, so please pay attention here: if your ex says anything about “needing some time apart” or “needing space to figure things out”…. You MUST — I repeat, you MUST — show them that you’ll respect those wishes and quickly disappear from their life.
If you don’t, and you keep the lines of communication open or constantly reach out to your ex, you’re only going to reinforce your ex’s belief that breaking up was the right choice.
Don’t underestimate the power of No Contact in almost every breakup situation, but ESPECIALLY if your ex is undecided, internally conflicted.