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Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
April 26, 2024 ·  6 min read

10 Women Share Stories of What It’s Like When Your Ex Tries to Contact You Years Later

Going through a breakup is undeniably painful. When things end on bad terms, the emotional turmoil left behind often takes months, if not years, to sort through. Fortunately, things eventually get sorted, and life goes on. Now, imagine that you’ve worked hard to heal, move on, and are happily in a new chapter of your life when suddenly you get a message from or run into an ex. According to Dr. Beth Kurland, suddenly feeling the emotions of your breakup can activate the part of the brain that perceives pain. “When we break up and later get a text from an ex, this can re-trigger and activate that same neural circuitry,” she says.

“We crave that same pleasure we once experienced with this person, which can help explain why it is so hard to let go of an old relationship and why it can even become an obsession.” Therefore, if an ex reaches out after a long period of no contact, it can have a hugely emotional effect. Experts warn that unless your ex reaches out with clear intentions, they may be “stringing you along.” Here are ten women who shared their stories on Reddit about happened when an ex contacted them after years had passed.

1. Unsolicited Pics

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A new way for men to show off their goods came about through the emergence of social media platforms, whether requested or not. One woman shared that her ex reached out to her, and while she admittedly caught up with him, she then blocked him after he sent her an unsolicited d*** pic. “It was a nice little conversation until he started telling me how I was still hot and he was dumb for cheating on me.” She shared, explaining she “wasn’t the least bit interested.”

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2. Might Work out Well

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Rarely do high school relationships work out in the long run. But some people are lucky enough to rekindle their first love. “High school boyfriend of 4 years. We broke up because we were on different pages in our lives at 21. It was hard on both of us. We went separate ways, didn’t have much contact. Then 4 years later I had just gone through another breakup and he text me out of the blue.” One woman shared. “We caught up over drinks. And then again the next week. And we’ve been together for about a year now.” Although her story isn’t typical, it does pose the possibility of a real-life fairy tale.

3. Validation

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Another woman shared her experience, possibly gaining a sense of closure. “Absolutely. I got a message a year after our break up of him apologizing for how he treated me while we were dating. He asked if we could be friends and I said no.” She said. “Haven’t talked to him since but it feels good to have gotten my apology.”

4. Another Validating Apology

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Similar to the woman above, this woman felt no desire to maintain contact with her ex, but was given an apology after her ex took a college course. “My ex got in touch after a couple of years of no contact to essentially apologize for being a douche. He took a gender discrimination course at the university and apparently it opened his eyes to a lot of sh**ty stuff he’d been doing, both to me and to other women.” She shared. “So he messaged me and apologized. We have not had contact since then.

5. Having a Laugh

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Another woman shared that her ex made a few odd points before she eventually stopped responding. “One dude I dated like four years ago reached out to me randomly in the last few months. He complained about women and dating to me, told me how great he’s doing, and called himself a lone wolf. My fiancé thought it was hilarious.” She disclosed.

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6. Pain in Love

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“Dated him for 4 years, he was my first love and broke my heart countless times. He reached out to me over two years after leaving me and getting engaged 3 months later (surprise – they didn’t work out) He didn’t even apologize, just wanted to “check up on me.” I told him to f*ck off and never contact me again and he acted so shocked/offended.” She explained. “Lol. Too many heartbreaks, and I know myself too well to allow him back into my life in any way at all.” Like many, this woman found the best method for coping was simply not to get wrapped up. Instead, she cut off contact recognizing her worth, and the pain she endured.

7. No Contact

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Yeah, my cheating university ex used to reach out to chat and ask how my life was going every now and then for ~5 years after we broke up.” Another woman shared. “I chatted with him politely a few times out of curiosity and told him my life was awesome. I deleted him off Facebook a few years ago so I’ve not heard from him since then. There is no relationship, I have no desire to stay in touch.

8. Creeped Out

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No, but my ex who I dated for almost five years keeps viewing my Instagram stories, and he doesn’t follow me. He sees them almost as soon as they’re posted and it’s creepy.” Someone else said. “We broke up almost three years ago and he has a girlfriend of two years.” People often do things that leave others wondering, “Why?” Why watch her profile without following her account? It’s not only creepy, but it’s also confusing. However, if he doesn’t make his intentions known, then it’s likely that he’s just keeping tabs, but who can guess his intentions? Either way, it’s best not to be involved with someone if you’re uncertain of their end game.

9. Already Mourning

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Not a long ago an ex wrote to me during my grandmother’s funeral. I was in a relationship with him for many years but at the end, he had many problems and he didn’t treat me as he should and he cheated me. I am happier without him in my life. I know he found a new girlfriend after only 2 months. We broke a few years ago and i’m still single by choice.” She said, further sharing, “He wrote a very complicated message about the fact he wanted to know how my life was doing. My answer was cold but polite. He understood that i didn’t want to talk with him so he didn’t continue. He always knew that i prefer not to be friend with my exes.”

10. Still Friends

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Lastly, another rare case is a woman still on good terms with her ex. “It was an amicable breakup and we now email catch up every few months, but I haven’t seen him since. We invested a lot of time in one another so it’s nice to learn how the other is turning out. We dated about 8 years ago and he reached out around the 5-year mark.” She shared.

The Bottom Line

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Although a few explained they’re either on good terms with or in another relationship with their ex, this isn’t the most common outcome. Many women who shared highlighted that they feel no desire to maintain contact with an ex. Most often, there is pain and unresolved feelings at the core. For the sake of closure, it’s always nice when an ex reaches out to clear the air but in many cases, simply moving forward is the best plan to avoid continuous heartache. Often, hearing from an ex can bring up big feelings or buried emotions but there’s likely a good reason you’re no longer involved.

Attention: These stories are based on posts found on Reddit. Reddit is a user-generated social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website where registered members submit content to the site and can up or down vote the content. Our staff cannot confirm the accuracy and authenticity of each story.

H/t: Elite Daily

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