“Dear Orna and Matthew,
I have a question about the guy I’ve been seeing. Recently, I broke up with him and he didn’t chase me. At the time of the breakup, I didn’t think I wanted him to chase me, but now it seems weird to me. I’m completely perplexed that he hasn’t reached out at all. It’s been several weeks and he hasn’t texted or called me. I’m starting to wonder if there was ever anything real between us.
We were together for over 3 years, but the last 8 months we hadn’t been getting along and had a lot of arguments. I couldn’t take it anymore and after our last argument, I was done with the relationship. Part of me is happy to be done with the tug-of-war we’ve been going through and part of me really misses him and wonders why he didn’t chase me. Should I reach out to him? What’s wrong with me that I want him to chase me to get me back?”
Initiating a breakup can be a difficult decision and it makes sense that you’re confused and asking us, “Why didn’t he chase me?” Just because he didn’t chase you doesn’t mean he has no feelings for you. There are hundreds of possible reasons why he hasn’t reached out to you since the breakup and we don’t think it’s helpful for us to speculate about his behavior.
Since you’re reaching out for help it’s clear that you’re conflicted about the decision to break up with him and asking yourself, “Why he didn’t chase me?” Conflicting feelings can create a lot of confusion and it can be difficult to think clearly. Let’s see if we can help you gain clarity so you can feel better and be more resourceful.
What Does It Mean That He Didn’t Chase You?
This is the most important question to ask yourself right now. Wanting him to chase you and wanting to get back together are two different things. It appears your upset that he didn’t chase you comes from a need for validation — it doesn’t come from love.
Looking for validation may mean that you lack self-esteem or confidence. If he were to chase you the void inside of you will be filled from the outside. Unfortunately, that isn’t a healthy relationship dynamic. Needing your partner to confirm your worth or to feel better about yourself creates an imbalanced power dynamic.
This need for validation keeps you obsessing about the fact that you broke up with him and he didn’t chase you. Your need for validation conflicts with the part of you that knows you two are not a good fit for the long term.
Inner Conflicts Create Confusion
Your conflicting feelings have you stuck in a double bind. A double bind is an internal conflict that is created from having to choose between two equally unsatisfactory choices. You could either get back together with him and continue fighting or you could let him go and stop wondering why he didn’t chase you. Either way, you have to deal with the decisions you’ve made and actions you’ve taken.
The problem with a double bind is that it leaves you feeling stuck and unable to move forward in life. If you stay stuck long enough, you’ll feel apathetic about starting over again with someone new. The inner struggle can leave you feeling drained and unmotivated.
You can release a double bind by taking specific steps toward reclaiming your power. Just because you broke up with him and he didn’t chase you doesn’t mean you have to continue obsessing over the situation.
Take Responsibility For Your Decisions
Right now, it seems that you used the breakup to see if he truly cares for you. Once you take responsibility for ending the relationship you will feel better. No one forced you to break up with him. You made the decision that you were done with the relationship, and you took action.
You broke up with him and he didn’t chase you.
The only reason to reach out to him is if you think you made a mistake. In this case, you’d reach out to him with a heartfelt apology and a plan for dealing with conflict so arguments are resolved. Be sure to share how you’re committed to approaching the relationship differently, rather than listing your issues with his past behavior.
You don’t know how he feels or what he desires right now. Just because you broke up with him and he didn’t chase you doesn’t mean anything about what he wants. Try to go into this conversation without an agenda or hope about what may come from it. Be unattached to an outcome and instead take responsibility for your actions and for hurting him.
If you don’t want to get back together and you’re just curious why he didn’t chase you, then leave him alone. He’s dealing with the breakup in his own way, and you have no right to pour salt into the wound.
The Two Of You Were Stuck In A Power Struggle
When you’re stuck in a fight cycle, it’s because you’ve reached the second stage of a relationship. This is a natural progression for every couple — no couple skips the power struggle! Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to break a fight cycle, so they end the relationship and lather, rinse, and repeat the cycle with their next partner, or repeat stages one and two by getting back together.
All relationships go through a series of stages as they progress. The beginning of a relationship is the romance stage and it’s incredibly intoxicating. During the initial falling-in-love stage you just can’t keep your hands off each other, and your brain is flooded with feel-good chemicals. The longer the romance stage the better chance a relationship has of surviving for a lifetime, as this stage puts gas in the tank of the relationship.
Once those chemicals wear off you end up in a relationship hangover, stage two the power struggle stage. It’s unrealistic to expect that every day together will be one big romantic adventure and there will never be any conflict between the two of you. Having the awareness and knowledge of the five stages that all romantic relationships go through will help you navigate your differences instead of fighting all the time.
It’s normal to have disagreements and conflicts with your partner. They are a completely different person with unique strategies for dealing with stress and communicating their wants and needs. How the two of you handle these disagreements will determine whether your relationship lasts or not.
Focus On Yourself — Not Him
Part of you was tired of the power struggle and part of you is second-guessing your decision to end the relationship. Instead of obsessing about why he didn’t chase you, put effort into healing your heart. Even though you initiated the breakup doesn’t mean that you’re not heartbroken and grieving. You came into the relationship with a lot of hope and when it doesn’t work out you’ll need time to heal.
Allow yourself to feel your feelings and even to feel sad or angry he didn’t chase you. Your feelings are appropriate and by feeling them you begin the process of healing your heart. Instead of wondering if you made a mistake, ruminating over your disagreements, or even wishing things were different between the two of you, just book time in your calendar to grieve and mourn the loss.
Obsessing over the fact that you broke up with him and he didn’t chase you will only keep you stuck. You won’t be able to move on because your brain is looking for a solution to the pain. Your brain is not the right tool to help you feel better because there’s no logical solution to your situation and focusing on why he didn’t chase you is keeping you stuck second-guessing your decision to end it.
Stop Obsessing That He Didn’t Chase You
The most important lesson you can learn from this situation is how to not repeat it in the future. If you don’t learn from your mistakes, you’re destined to repeat them.
Take time to evaluate what is important to you in your intimate relationships. How would you like your relationship to function? What is the dynamic between you? What are your non-negotiable needs and what do you bring to a relationship?
You can grow from this experience and learn how to navigate the inevitable power struggle stage of relationships. Click here to get our special report about the 5 Stages Of Relationship so you can learn how to navigate through the power struggle.