Breaking up is hard, and it’s even worse if you drag it on. Giving a sense of false hope interferes with both of your abilities to move on. There’s no reason to make it harder when it’s already a tough situation. When you finally break things off once and for all, it can lead them into depression or desperation–both of which are unfair.

It’s a common mistake for people to string their ex along, giving them false hope. While it may seem harmless, it’s detrimental to both of you. There are many reasons never to give an ex false hope, and you must know what they are.

When you give your ex false hope, they hold onto every little thing. They read into everything more than they should, and they’re always looking for more than you can give. It’s based on fantasizing and wishful thinking, and you giving in doesn’t help the situation.

Maybe you can’t give them up, but it’s not fair to string them along. There are many hidden dangers in giving an ex false hope, so don’t ignore them. You don’t want to hurt anyone during this experience, and remember how much your dishonesty can affect your ex.

Nineteen Reasons Why You Should Never Give an Ex False Hope

You’ll think false hope is okay if you don’t know these reasons. It might even seem like the best option at the time, making both of you feel good. However, think long-term and consider how it will affect you and your ex.

false hope

1. You Know Their Expectations and Desires

Managing expectations is essential when you want to date people. Your ex’s expectations will be much more intense than a new person’s. Putting your ex in that position is unfair if you know you can’t give what they want or need.

2. They Deserve Someone Who Will Cherish Them

This reason isn’t to make you feel bad. Instead, it’s to remind you that you’re the one choosing not to be with your ex.

Giving them false hope only prevents them from looking for someone who will cherish them. They might not be the right person for you, but they still deserve someone who will love them for who they are.

3. You Have to End Things Twice

One breakup is hard enough, and giving false hope requires you to do it twice. When you get your ex’s hopes up, you’ll eventually have to tell them that you don’t want to get back together. Avoiding this situation prevents you from having to end things twice.

4. False Hope Doesn’t Allow Them to Heal

Giving your ex false hope is highly detrimental because it doesn’t allow them to heal. They’ll continue holding on even after the breakup because you’re still giving them hope.

Your ex can’t address what needs to happen next because you aren’t allowing them to move forward. Their desperation to win you back will interfere with your ex’s healing process. The sooner your ex can move on, the better it will be for the both of you.

5. The Short-Term Effects of False Hope are Not Worth the Negative Effects

Giving your ex false hope allows many positive aspects, but it won’t outweigh the negatives–like feelings of low self-esteem or desperation. Think of the well-being of you and your ex. When you negatively impact the process, the negatives outweigh the positives.

Ultimately, the negatives come back to a feeling of disappointment. Your ex will be disappointed when they find out you’ve been leading them on. It’ll create hard feelings and hinder the healing process.

6. It Makes Your Ex Give into Ignorance

When you give false hope, you force your ex into a position of ignorance. Their ignorance results from your actions, omissions, and character as you make them think they can fix things with you.

7. False Hope Is Dishonest

Letting your ex think there’s the chance to get back together is dishonest unless you intend to see it through. Giving false hope is a lie because you know the outcome while your ex is unaware.

8. You Hinder Their Chance of Finding a Great Match

You’re the one who chose not to be with your ex, so let them find a great match if they can. The longer you give them false hope, the longer they pass up on opportunities to meet new people. You’re ensuring your ex isn’t available to meet their person when they come along.

9. False Hope Forces Them to Go Through Emotional Turmoil

When you give false hope, it causes unnecessary emotional turmoil. You’re forcing them through a roller coaster of emotions when they don’t even know what the end looks like. It’s unfair and insensitive to make them think something more will come of it.

10. Stops Them from Preparing for a Negative Outcome

False hope prevents your ex from preparing for a negative outcome in the situation. You cause them to think that something good will come from the situation, knowing that you don’t intend for that to happen.

Think of their well-being here, and don’t force them to be blinded sided by negativity when they find out the truth. The kind thing to do in this situation is to let your ex handle the negativity once and then let it go.


11. It Causes Obsession and Desperation

Giving false hope can cause your ex to become obsessed with you and the situation. They’ll always want to know what you’re doing and where you are. Even if you know the relationship won’t work out, this situation can overwhelm you and your well-being.

It isn’t beneficial for your ex either, so it’s best to avoid it altogether. You might be giving false hope, but your ex will know something is amiss, causing them to become obsessed with the details of your life. They’ll be so busy fantasizing about what could be that they don’t realize the truth.

12. It Causes Them to Lose Personal Control and Power

You can’t only think of yourself in this situation. Thinking about your ex and their well-being is essential, too. When you give them false hope, it causes them to lose personal control.

They relinquish their power to you, thinking you’ll end up together. If they feel desperation, they’ll do whatever you ask to try and prove to you that they’re worthy of your love. While it doesn’t directly affect you, it’s best to think of what your ex needs long-term.

13. The Post-Breakup Desperation Hurts Worse the Longer it Goes On

The longer you give your ex false hope, the worse it’ll feel when they realize the truth. They will find out that your intentions are not what they thought, and it won’t go over well. Don’t hurt your ex anymore than you have to. You might not want to be with your ex, but there’s no need to hurt them any more than necessary.

14. It Makes Them Think They Don’t Have to Work for It

Deep down, you might want to get back with your ex if they can change their ways. In that case, you don’t want to give false hope because they think they don’t have to work for it. If you split up because of specific issues, you want to address the issue immediately.

Don’t let your ex think you’ll get back together with them before they change the issues. If you give false hope, they’ll stick to their habits that you weren’t okay with. Getting back together requires that they work on the issues that caused the breakup. You want them to learn from their mistakes rather than let them assume that you’re okay with their behavior.

15. False Hope Is Manipulative

Being manipulative is never a good look. It’s detrimental to you and your ex, and it doesn’t solve anything. When you let someone believe that you’ll give them what they want, it’s manipulative.

They’ll give whatever they can to ensure they do what you desire, but it isn’t good for either of you. Manipulation is abuse, and you don’t want to be an abuser.

16. It Sets Them Up for Disappointment

False hope sets your ex up for disappointment and defeat. They go through the motions, assuming you want to get back together. Then, when they find out that it was all a lie, they experience unnecessary disappointment.

Don’t be the person who causes someone to feel this desperation. You might not want to be with your ex, but it doesn’t mean you can create a sense of false disappointment. It doesn’t benefit either of you, and it can unnecessarily hurt your ex.

17. They Compromise Their Needs for Yours Out of Desperation to Reunite

When you give your ex false hope, they stop thinking about what they need in life and their relationships. They want to give you whatever you want and need so that they can keep you around. If you know you don’t want to be with them, it’s unfair to expect them to compromise their needs for yours.

18. It Interferes with Their Self-Esteem

False hope can interfere with your ex’s self-esteem. They’ll feel bad about themselves, and the feeling will worsen the longer the situation continues. Let them loose, and their self-esteem won’t receive such a big hit.

19. They Overthink

We all know what it’s like to overthink, and it’s not an enjoyable experience. When you give your ex hope it causes them to overthink. They’ll overanalyze everything you say or do, and it’ll eat them up inside.

false hope

Final Thoughts on Reasons Never to Give an Ex False Hope

Holding onto false hope can cause many issues for your ex. While you might not want to be in a relationship with them, it doesn’t mean you want to make to live in pain and desperation. You might try to convince yourself that you’re doing your ex a favor, but that’s far from the truth. Giving them hope only prolongs the inevitable.