Should You Take a Guy Back After He Dumps You?

gay couple kissing

You got dumped by a guy – and now he wants you back

The Dilemma

Dear Jack,

I recently got out of a two-year relationship – or so I thought. My ex-boyfriend dumped me about a month ago. I was crushed. A few nights ago, he texted me and said he was thinking we should try to get back together.

I wasn’t sure if he was drunk-dialing me because he’s done that in the past. But the next morning, he messaged me again and hinted at us getting back together. And just yesterday, another text.

I’m so confused. Is it crazy to entertain the idea of taking him back.

– Genuinely Unsure

The Answer

Hi, GU

Oh, brother – this is a tricky situation. I can imagine you are torn up on many levels over this. Primarily, trying to cauterize a wound that keeps getting nicked open.

And here’s the thing – you wouldn’t be alone.

A lot of gay men have been in this situation – a kind of on and off again state of animated suspension where moving on with life can be impossible.

What can make the situation even more difficult is the aftermath of the breakup. If you have ever parted ways with a man and turned to friends for support, you know exactly what I mean. Having to go back to them and say, “Hey, we’re together again” can be … awkward.

My sense is you are truly giving thought to the idea of patching things up and reconnecting. After all, you wrote Ask Jack, which means you are in love.

Well, at least you were in love at one point. Perhaps echoes of what used to be are still ruminating around your psyche?

But let’s call a spade a spade.

The guy you dated broke your heart and left you devastated. But that pain (apparently) isn’t searing enough to remind you that it’s unwise to re-establish a romantic bond with someone who discarded you. It must not matter to you that your friends, who let you cry in their arms during the most intense moments of your loss, probably frown on the idea.

I know that sounds rough GU. But I’m saying this because attempting to reignite the fire on his whim is unwise.

So, the answer to your question is: no, do not take him back.

Look, I recognize that gay dating can be rough. Finding that special someone in our community can be challenging because as a tribe, we have a smaller pool of possibilities than our hetero counterparts.

But that doesn’t mean you should open yourself up to being hurt again by someone who already has a history of causing deep pain.

If the need to have this man in your life is so strong that you are willing to be an emotional doormat, I’m not sure what to tell you. What I can say is that if you do it, you are being a total dummy.

Yes, there’s a very slight chance he’s truly changed his mind about you and is ready to settle down. That is unless when the two of you were an item, he wondered off the reservation, already deciding things were over (but just hadn’t informed you).

But for whatever reason, now he’s reaching out to you.

Perhaps he realizes he took you and the relationship for granted – that OMG you were an amazing boyfriend and that finding someone similar is difficult.

In the late hours of the night, maybe images of you haunt his mind as he recalls the warm safety of what was.

Perhaps he even has sexual fantasies about you because the intimacy was so hot.

Yep – he really wants you back.

Does this sound about right? Wrong. This is a dreadful idea and a terrible sign. That’s because the dude should have realized you were amazing before he cut things off.

Play the tape for a moment. He knew breaking up with you would hurt like hell. On some level, he must have also known the split would leave you feeling humiliated. He realized t you’d lean into your support systems (friends) to deal and heal.

Yet none of that made him stop and think: “I have an awesome boyfriend who I love. Maybe we aren’t perfect on every level but we connect on the key areas.”

But that’s not what happened.

This isn’t to bad-mouth him. It is to say, however, that he obviously doesn’t understand impulsive decisions on critical life matters – like relationships – are always a bad choice.

Ask yourself GU, if you were to jump back into things, how long can things last? Won’t you be walking on eggshells, wondering if one false move will trigger a new split – because you didn’t meet his current expectations?

Who knows – maybe he’ll break up with you again because the spirt moved him. Or maybe it will be because he started crushing on his hot gay personal trainer.

The truth is you’ll never be able to truly trust him again because you know he’s capable of ending things whenever it suits his needs.

The final reason you should say no is this: by allowing him to walk back into your life now, you weaken your inner-strength while simultaneously disrespecting yourself.

Reconnecting romantically sends the message that he’s got you tied around his finger and that he can do whatever he wants. He can talk crap about to you friends, yell at you, and treat you like a doormat because you’ve given him the green light to do it.

It’s a bad idea. I know right now you are hurting and very vulnerable. What I’ve written may not be what you want to hear. But you asked the question and I answered.

People can and do change. But the process of transformation usually happens slowly. Generally, the rate of change is controlled by life experiences where pain and joy are part of the dynamic.

By saying no to your ex, you are standing up for yourself while helping to reinforce the message: You don’t step on people’s hearts.

You will heal from this – and emerge stronger as a result. 

Need some dating help? Email Jack, the Gay Dating Coach at: [email protected]

About Jack

Jack is a wise but mysterious figure whose exact whereabouts and identifying details remain unknown. What we do know is that he's really, really good at gay dating. He’s been on more dates than you can shake a stick at, and he’s here to help other gay men step up their game.