Why Your Ex Can’t Make Up Their Mind: Understanding the Ambivalence

Why can't my ex decide about getting back together?

Breakups are inherently complicated, and navigating the aftermath can be even more perplexing.

One of the most frustrating experiences is dealing with an ex who seems unable to make up their mind about getting back together.

This ambiguity can stem from various factors, each rooted in the complexities of human emotions and relationships.

In this article, we’ll explore ten possible reasons why your ex is struggling to make a clear decision, providing insights and explanations for each.

1. Fear of Appearing Unstable

One significant reason your ex might hesitate to get back together is the fear of appearing unstable.

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After a breakup, jumping back into the relationship too quickly can be perceived as impulsive and unreliable.

They might worry that rekindling the romance too soon could signal to others—and to themselves—that they are not capable of making firm decisions.

This fear can cause them to take more time than necessary to evaluate their feelings and intentions, even if deep down they miss you and want to reconcile.

2. Influence of Friends and Family

The opinions of friends and family often play a crucial role in our decisions, especially in matters of the heart.

Your ex might have people around them who are encouraging them to stick to the breakup.

These well-meaning individuals might be offering advice based on their perceptions of what’s best for your ex, which could be influenced by their own experiences and biases.

They could also have a secret or known dislike of you and are encouraging your ex against reuniting with you.

The pressure to conform to the expectations of their social circle can significantly impact your ex’s ability to make a decision independently, causing them to waver between wanting to reconcile and feeling the need to adhere to the advice they’ve been given.

This is especially true if their family or parents are the ones encouraging them to stick with the breakup.

3. Lack of Understanding of Limerence

Limerence, a term used to describe the intense, involuntary infatuation and desire for another person, can significantly cloud one’s judgment.

Limerence will always fade to low levels after enough time has passed with two people together.

It’s simply natural.

Some people don’t understand this concept and think that they “fell out of love” or that their “feelings faded.”

If your ex doesn’t understand limerence, they might misinterpret their change in feelings as a sign that they should not get back together with you.

They could be confusing the natural ebb and flow of romantic attachment with a lack of genuine love or compatibility.

Without understanding that limerence can fade and evolve into a deeper, more stable form of love, they might hesitate to re-enter the relationship, fearing that the initial spark won’t return.

4. Trust Issues

Trust is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship.

If your relationship ended due to betrayal, dishonesty, or other breaches of trust, your ex might be struggling to decide if they can trust you again or if they would be foolish to do so (or look foolish to others).

This internal conflict can be agonizing as they weigh their desire to be with you against the fear of getting hurt once more.

Rebuilding trust takes time, and your ex might be grappling with whether they are ready or capable of doing so with you.

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Their indecision can stem from a genuine fear of repeating past mistakes and the pain that accompanied them.

One of the most daunting aspects of trust issues is the fear that history will repeat itself.

Your ex might be constantly weighing the possibility that past behaviors could resurface, leading to the same cycle of pain and disappointment.

This fear can be paralyzing, preventing them from taking steps toward reconciliation.

They might be asking themselves if it’s worth the risk to potentially endure the same heartbreak again.

Trust issues can also evoke self-doubt and insecurity in your ex.

They might question their own judgment and ability to discern whether you’ve truly changed.

This internal conflict can create a sense of paralysis, as they struggle to trust themselves in addition to trusting you.

This lack of self-confidence in making the right decision can contribute to their indecision.

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However, it’s important to recognize that this journey is as much about healing for your ex as it is about proving your trustworthiness.

Respecting their pace and process is crucial for any hope of a renewed relationship.

5. Overthinking the “Right” Decision

In the quest to make the “right” decision, people often fall into the trap of overthinking.

Your ex might be caught in a cycle of analysis paralysis, where they are so focused on making the perfect choice that they end up making no decision at all.

They could be weighing every possible outcome, considering every potential risk, and trying to predict the future with unrealistic precision.

This overanalysis can prevent them from listening to their heart and understanding their true feelings, leading to prolonged uncertainty and indecision.

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Also see: Attachment Styles and No Contact

6. Avoiding the Perception of Leading You On

Your ex might also be concerned about leading you on.

They don’t want to give you false hope or mislead you into thinking that reconciliation is certain when they are still unsure.

This is especially true if you handled the breakup by overwhelming your ex with contact, wouldn’t leave them alone as they asked, became emotional, or made them feel anxious.

If any of that happened, they could be concerned that getting back together with you could lead to another breakup and they would have to endure those actions again from you.

This hesitation is often rooted in a desire to protect you from additional hurt but also to protect themselves from awkwardness, anxiety, and frustration.

They might be aware that their ambivalence is causing you pain and might be trying to mitigate that by keeping their distance until they are more certain of their feelings and intentions.

7. Fear of Recommitment Obligations

Recommitting to a relationship comes with certain expectations and obligations.

Your ex might be hesitant to jump back into these responsibilities, fearing that they are not ready for the level of commitment required.

They might enjoy their newfound freedom and the absence of relationship pressures, which can make the thought of recommitting daunting.

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This fear can cause significant hesitation, as they weigh the benefits of being in a relationship against the perceived loss of their independence.

8. Presence of Another Person or Love Interest

Sometimes, indecision about getting back together is influenced by the presence of another person.

If your ex is seeing someone else or considering other romantic options, this can complicate their feelings towards you.

They might be comparing you to the new person, weighing the pros and cons of each potential relationship.

This comparison can lead to confusion and delay their decision-making process as they try to determine which path will ultimately make them happier.

Also see: Stages of a Rebound Relationship

9. Considering a Major Life Change

Another factor that can contribute to your ex’s indecision is the consideration of a major life change, such as moving to a new city or pursuing a significant career opportunity.

If they are contemplating such a change, they might believe that reconciling with you could complicate their plans or lead to an eventual breakup due to long-distance challenges.

The uncertainty about their future can make it difficult for them to commit to rekindling the relationship, as they fear it might not withstand the impending changes.

10. Anxiety from Past Relationship Dynamics With You

The dynamics of your previous relationship might have caused your ex significant anxiety.

If your relationship was fraught with conflicts, misunderstandings, or emotional turmoil, they might be hesitant to dive back into that environment.

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The thought of reliving the negative aspects of your past relationship can be a powerful deterrent, even if they still have strong feelings for you.

This anxiety can create a barrier to reconciliation, as they might prioritize their mental and emotional well-being over the desire to be with you.


Understanding the reasons behind your ex’s indecision can provide you with valuable insights and patience as you navigate this challenging situation.

Each of these factors highlights the complexities of human emotions and relationships, emphasizing that their ambivalence is not necessarily a reflection of their feelings for you, but rather a confluence of various internal and external pressures.

If you’re hoping to reconcile, it’s essential to address these concerns with empathy and understanding.

Open, honest communication about trust issues, emotional readiness, and future plans can help alleviate some of the uncertainties your ex might be experiencing.

Additionally, giving them the space to process their feelings without pressure can ultimately lead to a clearer, more confident decision.

By acknowledging and respecting the factors influencing their indecision, you can approach the situation with a balanced perspective, enhancing the possibility of a positive outcome for both of you.

Get my Emergency Breakup Kit to get your ex back!

Get your ex back with Coach Lee’s Emergency Breakup Kit!


Coach Lee

About Coach Lee

Coach Lee, Master of Marriage & Family Counseling, helps people save relationships. He developed the Emergency Breakup Kit, a powerful guide to winning back an ex. Get information on the Kit by Clicking Here! If your MARRIAGE is struggling, get his free mini-course on saving a marriage.

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