My Ex Says He’s Done with Me. Why Does He Keep Talking to Me?

Dr. Wendy Walsh Dr. Wendy Walsh • 9/25/14

Reader Question:

My ex is an on-again, off-again lover who says he is “done” with me. Yet he stops by my office at work almost every day to ask some lame question or kid me about something. Outside of work he will not respond to any texts or email, so I don’t send them anymore. Unfortunately, I love him and he knows it.

If he has given up on us, why does he stop by my office? If he hasn’t, why will he not speak to me outside of work?

-Lucinda (North Carolina)

Dr. Wendy Walsh’s Answer:

Dear Lucinda:

Your ex is attached but not willing to make the effort to invest in a relationship with you.

His check-ins at work are designed to help him maintain contact with you and maybe even keep the sexual doors open. But he has made it clear he doesn’t want a relationship anymore. He’s told you that.

These mixed messages and flirting are probably driving you bananas, so you’ve got to be the one to erect boundaries.

When he stops by your office, be very busy and distracted. Move out of the room if you can. And, above all, do not have sex with him!

My hunch: He is giving you false hope because he wants to be able to have on-again sex sometimes. 

No counseling or psychotherapy advice: The Site does not provide psychotherapy advice. The Site is intended only for use by consumers in search of general information of interest pertaining to problems people may face as individuals and in relationships and related topics. Content is not intended to replace or serve as substitute for professional consultation or service. Contained observations and opinions should not be misconstrued as specific counseling advice.