Picture this. You meet a great guy, and things seem to be going well. Perhaps you end up in a relationship, or maybe you don’t get around to defining it. But for whatever reason, things don’t work out, and you both go your separate ways. At least, that’s what you thought you’d agreed on. But a few weeks or months later, he pops back into your life like an old tax return. And he continues to do this over and over again. Naturally, you’re confused.
“Does he still like me?”
“Should I give him a second chance?”
“Why does he keep coming back and then leaving?”
Mixed signals like these can mess with your head and your heart.
As always, I’ll give you my advice without any sugar coating: ignore any man who keeps coming back like this unless he has proven to you (with his actions) that he has changed and genuinely wants to give it another go.
But of course, real life isn’t always that black and white. There are feelings involved (maybe strong ones), lust can take over, and everything gets real blurry real quick.
But regardless of how messy your situation is, my advice stands. You’re better off making a clean break from this guy, cutting all contact, and moving on.
I’m guessing these are the thoughts running through your head:
“He keeps coming back because he still loves me.”
“My ex keeps coming back but won’t commit because he’s afraid to.”
“Even when he dates other women, I’m the girl he always returns to. That’s gotta mean something, right?”
Wrong. These are lies you are telling yourself to excuse this appalling behavior.
The act of him bobbing in and out of your life like a boomerang doesn’t mean that he loves you or wants a relationship with you. 99.999999% of the time, a man comes back into a woman’s life because he’s infatuated, bored, or horny. That’s just the truth.
If you’re ready for more of the truth, read on.
In this article, I’m breaking down why he keeps coming back into your life and why he will never give you the relationship and commitment you crave.
Why does he keep coming back? 17 reasons he won’t stay away
1. Because he can
The number one reason why a guy keeps coming back into your life is because he can.
What do I mean by that?
He knows the door will always be open for him.
He knows exactly what to say and do to get you to let your guard down and give him his 19th chance.
So it’s time to get honest with yourself and consider why you keep letting this guy do this to you.
Because a high-value woman does not tolerate behavior like this and will kick a guy like this to the curb faster than you can say, “I forgive you.”
2. He doesn’t know what he wants
Why does he keep coming back if he isn’t interested in pursuing a relationship with you? Why would he waste his time and yours?
Because he’s in a perpetual state of confusion.
One day he wants you, the next day, he wants tacos, and tomorrow he’ll want to become a beekeeper.
The one constant, recurring theme in this man’s life is “I don’t know what the heck I want.”
He might like you, but he’s unsure whether he wants a relationship. So he moves on, realizes he misses you, and returns. Then the whole damn thing starts all over again. I’m feeling exhausted just thinking about it.
Don’t wait around for this guy to figure his life out. You might end up waiting forever.
Give a man who knows what he wants (i.e., YOU) a chance.
3. Why does he keep coming back? He isn’t ready to commit
What does it mean if he keeps coming back but never commits?
Simple. He isn’t ready to commit.
Maybe he’s still hung up on his ex. Perhaps he isn’t ready to settle down yet and is enjoying the bachelor lifestyle. Maybe he’s mature enough to know that he’s not mature enough to handle a relationship.
Although it’s true that people can change, it’s very unlikely that a man will make a full 180° transformation in the time you want him to. Maybe he’ll come around in a year or two, but are you seriously prepared to wait that long for someone who isn’t even that great?
4. He has attachment issues
Another reason why a guy won’t be able to commit to a woman is because of unresolved attachment issues. These usually stem from childhood trauma and affect how (and what) they learn about love. Issues like these don’t just disappear one day without therapy and some deep inner work to rewrite those patterns and beliefs.
5. He doesn’t like you enough to consider a relationship with you
When someone keeps coming back into your life this way, there comes the point when you can no longer dodge the truth.
Maybe he’s not that into you?
Sure, he might like you enough to spend the night with you, but he doesn’t like you enough to want to commit to anything more serious.
Remember, when you’re dealing with any man you’re dating, you’ve got to ignore what he tells you and pay close attention to his actions. Because lies might tumble out of his mouth, but his actions will show you his true intentions.
6. Why does he keep coming back? He’s only attracted to you
If a man keeps coming back into your life, there’s a strong possibility that he is attracted to you. Maybe it’s a purely physical thing, or maybe there’s something deeper there. But even if he thinks you’re hot and you can make him laugh so hard that he ends up shooting his lemonade out of his nose, he still might not want to commit. I know that’s hard to get your head around.
“If he’s attracted to me and enjoys my company, why wouldn’t he want to be with me?”
Honestly, it could be any or all of the reasons on this list.
7. He doesn’t want anyone else to have you
I want you to think about when exactly this guy chooses to reappear in your life. Because more often than not, it’s the moment you just stopped thinking about him. You’re finally over it, life is good, and you’ve started dating again. Maybe there’s someone special who has caught your eye.
And what d’you know? He’s blowing up your phone, or he turns up at your apartment out of the blue. He’s telling you he’s oh-so sorry, and will you ever forgive him because he desperately wants to make it work?
Yeah, he’s doing this because although he doesn’t want you, he doesn’t want any other guy to have you and show you how much more you deserve.
Time to say, “NEXT!”
8. He wants validation
As a woman, you’re probably used to receiving compliments from both women and men. But the thing about us guys is we’re a little more stingy with the praise when it comes to each other. And this is one of the reasons why men end up turning to women for an ego boost. He’s not getting it from his buddies or boss, so he’s coming to you.
Your attention and praise feel good. It’s like a drug he keeps returning for every time he feels low. As soon as his belly is full, he’ll wander back into the woods like a lone brown bear hibernating for winter.
9. He is lonely
Why does he keep coming back to you if he doesn’t want to be with you?
Because he’s lonely. Maybe he just broke up with someone else, or one of his best friends just got into a relationship and isn’t hanging out with him much anymore. Perhaps he’s starting to feel the weight of being single as all his friends start to couple up and settle down. I’m sure you’ve felt that at some point too. Most of us have.
He’s looking to escape that loneliness and be around someone who knows him. As soon as he doesn’t feel lonely, he waltzes back out of your life again.
10. Why does he keep coming back? He is selfish
That brings me nicely to the next point—this man does not care about anyone but himself. He will pick you up, use and abuse you, drop you whenever it pleases him, and think nothing of it. How you’re feeling and the confusion and pain he is causing you will not even cross his mind.
One thing is for certain—he doesn’t care about your happiness. Because if he did, he wouldn’t behave this way. Deep down in your heart, I know you know this is not what love looks like.
11. He wants sex
One of the most common reasons a man will keep coming back even if he isn’t interested is because he’s just looking for some quick, easy, no-strings-attached sex.
The only way to know if he’s not using you for the benefits is to put them away under lock and key and watch what happens.
Does he still keep coming back? Is he happy spending time with you out of the bedroom? Is he initiating plans with you that happen during daylight hours? Or is he like a blood-sucking vampire who only hits up your phone at 2 AM when he’s thirsty?
12. He’s a player
If it’s clear he doesn’t want a relationship but keeps coming back to you, could he just be playing games with you?
Some guys really are Peter Pan and will never grow up. They’ll keep ghosting and reappearing, and they’ll get a kick out of messing with your head. He loves controlling the dynamics of the relationship.
As I said, when a guy keeps boomeranging in and out of your life like this, it’s on you to be firm and tell him to fly back to Neverland.
13. You’re a welcome distraction
Every time he resurfaces, does he drop a ton of baggage in your lap?
I don’t mean the suitcase from his train ride; I mean his emotional baggage.
Maybe it’s a problem at work, a “psycho” ex, or something even more serious. Whatever it is, he wants to talk about it and use you to distract himself from his 99 problems.
Once he feels better offloading everything from his chest and you’ve given him some great advice, he’ll be on his merry way.
14. Why does he keep coming back? He just broke up with someone
Why does a guy keep coming back to you? Perhaps he’s seeking comfort and solace after going through a breakup with another woman.
He leaves you, finds another woman, and eventually breaks up with her. Then he returns to you because he’s heartbroken and wants to feel better. So he stays with you until he’s healed, then leaves again. Rinse and repeat. He’s not looking to be with you; he’s just rebounding.
15. He’s keeping his options open
Another reason why he might keep coming back is that he’s keeping you on what is known as “the backburner.”
Now, I’m going to be honest, in my younger days of dating, I used to do this with women, too. There were girls I knew I would never be serious with, but I’d loosely stay in touch with them just in case.
“Just in case what, Adam?!”
Honestly, I don’t know. In case I messed things up with every other woman in my city?
Who knows why a man thinks the way he does?
My point is that you might be one of many women he’s casually seeing.
16. He is not over you
If a man keeps coming back into your life, there’s a chance it’s because he’s not quite over you. Maybe you were the best woman he ever met. Perhaps he now realizes what an amazing thing he let slip through his hands. And he keeps showing up because he feels guilty for breaking your heart and wants to eventually get back with you.
But honestly, this is the exception to the rule. If it’s the first time he’s coming back, you might want to give him the benefit of the doubt. But after that, he’s out of chances, in my opinion. Close the door and walk away.
17. He genuinely misses you
Don’t get your hopes up too quickly, ladies, because men like this want what they can’t have.
When he’s not with you and single, he realizes he misses the perks of being in a relationship or situationship and genuinely misses you. But when he’s with you, he wants to be single, party with the guys, and hit on other women. In other words, he wants to have all the cake in the world and eat it.
And yes, there is a tiny possibility that he genuinely misses you and wants to make things work this time. Like I said before, consider giving him one opportunity to prove himself and make it up to you. But only if you believe he’s worth it. Out of the millions of single men out there, is he the one you want to spend your life with?
What to do when he comes back
1. Put yourself first
Forget about him and focus on you. Do you deserve being messed around and not knowing where you stand with a guy?
Heck no. You deserve more than this. It’s time to start thinking about what you need and want. And let’s be honest, what are the chances of this guy being able to give you those things?
2. Ask yourself if he meets your love vision
Little Love Step #2 of my 7 Little Love Steps centers around creating your love vision. It requires you to be clear on the man and relationship you desire. Make a list of what you’re looking for, then compare that to the guy who keeps coming in and out of your life.
Does he match your love vision?
If you put commitment, respect, stability, or kindness on your love vision, that’s a bit fat NO. Time to say, “NEXT!”
3. Call him out
Instead of wondering why he keeps coming back into your life and trying to figure out what’s going on in his head, ask him.
Have an honest conversation where you don’t skirt around the issue. You’ll gain clarity on the problem, and maybe he will too. Plus, he needs to know that what he’s doing is not okay and that you’re not going to tolerate it.
4. Start dating other people!
And the final tip I’ve got for you when a guy keeps coming in and out of your life is to make sure you’re dating other people. This is also known as Little Love Step #4—when I encourage all the women in my coaching program to make sure they’re exploring new connections.
Meeting other guys will take your mind off this one person, and it won’t be long before you start to see there are much better guys out there who do meet your love vision and want to date you!
If you’ve felt stuck in this “what are we” limbo with a guy for a while, I’d love to know what action you will take after reading this article.
Will you cut all contact with him? Join a dating app? Spend some time building your confidence and self-worth back up?
Tell me all about it in the comments below!