Getting out of a relationship and going through a fight or breakup is never easy. Some men choose to ignore their mistakes while others have the courage to reflect on their past relationships. It all depends on their personalities. When a man’s ego is too big, he may know he messed up but won’t admit it. Instead, he acts as if nothing has happened, hoping to salvage the relationship. However, the moment of regret hits when he is confronted with loneliness, anxiety, and sorrow.
To shed light on this topic, let’s explore 12 signs that indicate a guy knows he messed up:
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1. He Acknowledges His Flaws
A man truly understands his mistakes when he realizes he needs to reflect on his flaws. Different men react differently in this situation. Some reflect immediately, while others need more time to evaluate their actions. If he’s been distant, he recognizes that he could have worked on his flaws while in the relationship. Instead of facing issues head-on, he chose to pull away. Now, he’s cleaning up his mess and making an effort to change. If he was once afraid of commitment, he’ll prove otherwise. If he used to be inattentive and never listened, now he’ll show that he has become a good listener.
2. He Acts Like Nothing Happened
When a guy is aware of his mistakes but his ego prevents him from apologizing, he acts as if nothing ever happened. After a fight or breakup, he might talk to you as if you were never hurt by his actions. This behavior may seem perplexing, but it’s simply his way of trying to get back into your life. However, deep down, he’s still conflicted and reflecting on the past.
3. He Feels Ashamed
One of the most significant signs that a guy knows he messed up is when he feels deep shame for his actions. We all know that ignoring or avoiding someone is not a sign of respect. However, if he has principles and morals, his distance is not meant to be disrespectful. He will remain distant until he resolves his inner issues and finds the courage to come and talk to you.
4. He Can’t Move On
A guy truly knows he messed up when he can’t move on. He continuously reminisces about the past and realizes that he made a huge mistake. He feels lost, guilty, and trapped in the situation. As he dates other women, he does so out of a sense of missing you. The more time he spends apart from you, the more he idealizes you.
5. He Keeps Showing Up
If a man persists in showing up at your door or workplace, it is a subtle sign that he knows he messed up. It indicates that the relationship is not yet over in his mind. He wants to find a way to reconnect or even apologize. He’ll be in the same places as you, making himself present as much as possible. It’s as if he’s everywhere you are.
6. You’re Keeping Your Distance
When a guy realizes he messed up, he’ll notice if you’ve been distant with him. If you choose to implement the No Contact rule, it will definitely make him realize that he messed up. He’ll start to wonder what went wrong and contemplate his actions. The scarcity created by the distance will make him understand the gravity of his mistakes.
7. He’s Angry and Disappointed
Anger and disappointment stem from someone recognizing their own mistakes. When a man realizes he’s already lost you, he experiences a bitter taste that affects his behavior towards you. He may cope with this situation by picking up bad habits, arguing with you again, or shutting himself down emotionally.
8. He’s Chaotic
Typically, a person who messes up in a relationship goes through a roller coaster of emotions. He may fluctuate between not caring about his actions and beating himself up over them. His erratic behavior is a direct result of him realizing he messed up. You and your mutual friends may notice changes in his behavior, such as pleading for forgiveness, using substances to cope, or feeling stuck and unable to move forward.
9. He Sends Lengthy Apologetic Messages
When a man continuously calls or texts you after a breakup, it’s a clear sign that he knows he messed up. Guilt drives him to feel remorse for breaking up with you or treating you inappropriately. The depth of his apologies reflects the sincerity of his desire to reconcile. However, it is up to you to decide whether you want to give him a second chance.
10. He Implies You Deserve Someone Else
This sign is particularly interesting. When a man accepts his chaotic behavior and its impact on you, he may imply or even directly tell you that it would be better for you to date someone else. While this may be a difficult situation for you, it’s best to realize early on if the relationship is toxic and if it’s better to end it.
11. He Starts to Disconnect
Another sign that a guy knows he messed up is when he starts to disconnect from you. This behavior is not necessarily meant to push you away; instead, it demonstrates that his mistakes are consuming him. He may choose to avoid confronting you, thinking that by disconnecting from you, he can disconnect from the idea of messing up.
12. He Opens Up
When a man deeply regrets his decision to break up, it’s a sure sign that he knows he messed up. He becomes vulnerable with you, acknowledging his mistakes in the relationship. If he’s being honest, you’ll notice it through his body language. He may appear anxious, nervous, and fidgety. However, keep in mind that if he’s not interested in reconciling the relationship, he won’t open up to you. Consider other signs, such as how he initiates conversations and the nature of his arguments.
How Long Does It Take for a Guy to Realize He Messed Up?
The moment a man realizes he messed up varies from person to person. It can take a month, three months, or even longer. The realization doesn’t necessarily hit right after the breakup; it occurs when he sees or feels something related to your relationship that reminds him he is incomplete without you. Here are a few triggers that prompt him to realize he messed up:
- He can’t be himself with anyone else.
- He sees that you’ve already moved on.
- His sex life is not the same anymore.
- He realizes he is not happy or fulfilled with others.
- He has trouble forming new relationships.
- He understands that there is no second chance for him.
What to Do If He Comes Back
If your ex comes back after realizing he messed up, focus on yourself and continue your healing process. Consider these three tips:
- Take a closer look at why he came back.
- Keep nurturing yourself and don’t rush into a decision.
- Use a step-by-step approach to assess if he has truly changed.
Remember, you have the power to decide what is best for your soul, mental health, and future.