Breaking up can be difficult and even frustrating for a while. And it’s not uncommon for exes to want to stay in touch even after a relationship has ended.
Sometimes, those post-breakup conversations happen at the most inconvenient times – like late at night, when you’re already cozy in bed, or just settling down for the night. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, you’re not alone.
When we receive a call from an ex in the middle of the night, it’s natural to feel a mix of emotions. You might feel confused, frustrated, angry, sad, or even hopeful.
You may wonder if they’re calling because they miss you, want to get back together, or just can’t sleep. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, there are a few things you can consider to help you make sense of the situation.
Nostalgia can be a powerful force, especially when it comes to relationships. When you spend a significant amount of time with someone, you build up a lot of memories and experiences together.
Even after a breakup, it’s natural to miss those moments and long for the past.
Your ex might be calling you late at night because they’re feeling nostalgic, and want to revisit some of those old memories.
Maybe they’re flipping through old photo albums, or they’ve stumbled upon a playlist of songs that remind them of you. They might be feeling sentimental, and they want to talk about the good times you shared.
Of course, nostalgia isn’t always a positive thing. Sometimes, it can be a little bit painful.
Your ex might be feeling regretful or sad about the fact that things didn’t work out between the two of you, wondering what could have been, or wishing that they could turn back time.
Regardless of the specific emotions involved, nostalgia can be a tricky thing to navigate. On the one hand, it’s nice to be reminded of happy times and good memories. On the other hand, it’s important to remember that the relationship ended for a reason.
Just because you’re feeling nostalgic doesn’t mean that getting back together is the right choice.
2. They miss you
Sometimes, when people break up, they find that they miss their exes more than they thought they would.
Even if the relationship had its flaws or challenges, there may be moments when they remember the good times and feel a twinge of nostalgia. This can be especially true at night, when the world is quiet and still, and there’s nothing to distract them from their thoughts.
So, if your ex is calling you late at night, missing you might be one of the reasons behind the call. They may be feeling lonely, or they may be missing the comfort and familiarity of your relationship.
Maybe they’re even hoping that hearing your voice will help them feel better, or make the memories of your time together feel more tangible.
[Related: The Types Of Breakups That Get Back Together]
3. Mind games
This is when your ex is playing with your emotions, trying to manipulate you, or trying to get a reaction out of you.
Sometimes, exes will use mind games as a way to feel powerful or in control, or as a way to get back at you for something that happened during the relationship.
For example, your ex might call you late at night and then not answer when you pick up, leaving you wondering what they wanted. Or they might bring up old memories or say things that they know will upset you, just to see how you’ll react.
This kind of behavior can be incredibly frustrating and hurtful, and it’s important to recognize it for what it is: a tactic designed to mess with your head.
Once you realize that your ex is playing manipulative games like this, the best thing to do is cut them off. Stop picking up their calls. You could even block their number if you have to.
Mind games are a sign of immaturity and emotional instability. If your ex is using these tactics to try and get a reaction out of you, it’s a sign that they’re not ready for a healthy, mature relationship.
4. They haven’t moved on
Not all relationships are created equal. In some cases, you break up with someone and in a couple of days, you’re completely over it.
But sometimes, it can be difficult to let go of past love, especially if you never wanted the relationship to end. If this is what your ex is going through, he’s going to find himself thinking about you from time to time, wondering what he could have done to keep the relationship — or get you back.
There are a few ways you can tell they haven’t moved on: First, they’re not in any relationship yet. Secondly, they’re still talking to you like you’re still in a relationship. Sometimes they might even call you babe out of habit.
If you’re seeing these signs, your ex hasn’t moved on. And his/her late-night calls could be an attempt at reconnecting with you.
Your ex is lying in bed, staring up at the ceiling, unable to sleep. They keep replaying the breakup in their head, wondering if they made the right choice.
They start to remember all the good times you had together, and suddenly the pain of the breakup feels unbearable. They reach for their phone, and before they know it, they’re dialing your number.
Regret is a powerful emotion. And it can especially be intense when we think we made the wrong choice after a breakup. Maybe your ex even saw you with someone else and you seemed happy. That will only worsen his/her regret.
When your ex calls you in this state of regret, they may be hoping to get some clarity or closure. They may want to talk to you about the breakup, to understand what went wrong and whether there’s any chance of reconciliation.
They may even be hoping that talking to you will make them feel better, or that hearing your voice will ease their pain.
6. They’re feeling lonely
One of the most common reasons why an ex might call you late at night is simply because they’re feeling lonely.
I mean, let’s face it – being alone can be tough, especially when it’s dark out and there’s nothing to do. Your ex might be going through a tough time and just need someone to talk to. Maybe they’re bored, sad, or just feeling plain old lonely.
And when we feel lonely, we often reach out to the people we know and trust. For many people, their exes fall into this category.
After all, you two used to be close, and you likely share a lot of memories and experiences. It’s natural to want to reach out to someone who knows you so well, especially if you’re feeling down in the dumps.
7. They might be feeling horny and just hoping to hook up
Sex is a primal urge, and it doesn’t go away just because the relationship is over.
Your ex might be feeling horny and thinking about you, or they might be looking for a quick and easy hookup. This is even more likely if sex was really good when you were together.
Of course, not all late-night calls from an ex are about sex. In fact, most of the time, they’re not. And you can often easily tell if they just want to hook up from the direction and the tone of the conversation.
For instance, if you’re getting repeated calls from your ex at odd hours, and they’re being flirty or suggestive, and asking if you could come over, it’s possible that they’re hoping to get you back in the bedroom.
Needless to say, just because your ex is calling you for sex doesn’t mean that you have to oblige. You have the right to say no, and you should only engage in sexual activity if it’s something you truly want.
If you’re not interested in hooking up with your ex, you can let them know that you’re not available or not interested. It might be a little awkward or uncomfortable, but it’s better than doing something you don’t want to do.
8. They want to keep your friendship alive
Just because your romantic relationship ended doesn’t mean that you can’t remain friends. Your ex might be calling you to catch up, see how you’re doing, or simply shoot the breeze.
Perhaps they’re feeling nostalgic and want to reminisce about old times. Maybe they’re going through a tough time and need someone to talk to.
Or, it could be that they genuinely value your friendship and want to maintain a connection with you, even if it’s not a romantic one.
Now, in theory, this is a great idea. After all, you’ve spent a lot of time with this person, you know each other’s quirks and secrets, and you don’t want to lose all of that just because you’re not a couple anymore.
But in practice, being friends with an ex can be tricky – especially if one of you still has feelings for the other.
In fact, in most cases, exes will decide to remain friends because there are still some feelings between the two of them.
If you’re not comfortable being just friends, you should set some boundaries. To be realistic, remaining friends with an ex just makes it more difficult for you to get over them and move on.
9. They’re thinking about you
Some people can relate to this:
You’re all snuggled up in bed, maybe even half asleep, when suddenly, you start thinking about all the fun moments you had with your ex.
This could be what’s happening to your ex too.
Maybe they saw something that reminded them of you earlier in the day, or they heard a song that you used to love.
Maybe they had a dream about you last or they just can’t stop wondering how you’re doing. And now they have thoughts about you that they can’t shake.
All of these things can contribute to the feeling that they just have to talk to you, even if it’s in the middle of the night. They might not even realize that they’re calling you because they’re thinking about you – it’s just an impulse that they can’t ignore.
And let’s be honest, we’ve all been there at some point. Who hasn’t had a late-night urge to reach out to an ex, just to see how they’re doing?
Of course, this can put you in a really tough position. On the one hand, it’s flattering to know that your ex is still thinking about you. On the other hand, you might feel like they’re using you as a crutch to get through a difficult time.
The thing is, even if your ex is calling you because they’re thinking about you, that doesn’t necessarily mean they want to get back together. It could just be a momentary lapse in judgment or a passing fancy.
10. Your ex might just want to catch up
In some cases, an ex could reach out because they just want to know what you’ve been up to. No strings attached, no games, no nothing. They still consider themselves your friends and they just want to know how you’re doing.
How do you tell the call is just a catch-up call? From the content of the conversation.
If he/she is merely just catching up, the conversation is just going to be casual. They’ll keep to light topics like work, schooling, family, and general life stuff. They won’t try to flirt or make comments that have to do with romance or missing you.
If you notice this carefree attitude in a one-time call, they’re probably just trying to reach out.
But they could also be trying to re-establish a foundation of friendship so that they can get back with you — if this is the case, then they’ll call again and their frequent calls are going to get more and more romantic.
Your ex reaching out to you could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the situation you’re in.
If it’s an ex you still have feelings for and want to get back with, then you can simply go with the flow and re-establish your relationship with them.
But if it’s someone you’re trying hard to get over, then frequently talking to them at night will most likely make it more difficult to get over them.