They broke your heart, but is your ex secretly trying to get you back? Learn the signs and know for sure. They dumped you, but they’re not completely out of your life yet.
Maybe you’re the one trying to hold on, kidding yourself that you can still be friends, or desperately hoping they’ll change their mind. But maybe your ex is the one sticking around. If you ex is hanging around, it’s possible they’re just having a HARD time letting go.
After all, in most cases the relationship wasn’t terrible, and if it was mostly good, breaking up with someone can be extremely difficult. But maybe, just maybe, your ex realizes they’ve made a mistake and now want you back.
If that’s the case, they’re going to be going through a lot of conflicting emotions. They’ll be embarrassed, confused, angry, sad, and desperate. If you’ve ever tried to chase after someone you were madly in love with who’s rejected you, you probably already know that you don’t necessarily act in the most rational way. You may reach out with anger, jealousy, manipulation, lies.
Maybe you went for the less malicious awkwardness, uncertainty, emotional appeals, or the always popular middle ground of a suicide scare. Let’s take a look at 11 of the signs that your ex wants you back.
1. Public Displays of Depression. Switching your relationship status on Facebook is fine. Giving a brief explanation after all your friends write “OMG, what happened? Are you OK?” is probably OK. Spending weeks updating their wall with depressing comments, writing about how they can’t stop thinking about you, and posting emo poetry are a good sign that they’re not dealing with the breakup that well.
2. The Spy Network. It’s natural to want to know what’s going on with an ex you don’t want to be away from. Chances are you have some mutual friends, and don’t be surprised if some of them start asking pointed questions about how and what you’re doing. There’s a good chance your ex will be desperate for information about you, looking for signs you’re seeing someone else, hoping that you’re not, and looking for any evidence that you’re as miserable as they are. Hearing that you’re doing well will be crushing to a clingy ex, but should serve to hammer home the fact that they should let go.
3. Avoiding Dating. If your ex wants you back, they’re probably not going to be dating anyone else. Their friends will be telling them to enjoy their new-found freedom. That they’re not doing this might be a sign that they don’t want to further damage a chance at reconciliation. While everyone and every relationship takes its own amount of time to move on from, an ongoing refusal to date is a pretty good sign they can’t get over you.
4. Rebounding. The flip-side to the no-dating thing is by rebounding – hard. Having a fling as a rebound doesn’t mean that they want you back, but telling you about it might. If you hear something like “I needed to make a clean break and get you out of my head, and I ended up talking to this person and we ended up sleeping together but all I could think about was you and I just wanted to get out of there and see you” or some other kind of nonsense like that, well that’s a pretty good sign that they’re not OVER you.
5. Texting, Facebook, etc. If your ex is nervous or embarrassed about talking to you, you might end up with some random texts or Facebook messages. These put you in an awkward position because ignoring them will make you a jerk, and responding will only encourage them. It’s a Catch-22 and you’ll have to decide how to play it. To keep the breakup firm you can respond but firmly explain that this isn’t appropriate or that you’d rather they didn’t send more messages. Remember not to do anything to publicly shame them (like writing on their Facebook page).
6. Calling you. Most of the time when you break up with someone, that’s the end of it. Sure you might have that one awkward call where they arrange to pick up some of their stuff, but for the most part you’re done. So if your ex is calling, “just to see how you are“, it’s really a sign that they’re not doing very well at all. They’re hoping to hear any sign that you’re just as miserable as they are, or they really can’t let go and just want some kind of interaction with you.
7. The Drunk Dial. You know that even a couple drinks can lower your inhibition, and a few more can pretty much shut up completely that voice in your head that says “you shouldn’t do that“. Enter the drunk dial! Your ex calls you at some ridiculous hour of the night. The call doesn’t make a lot of sense, but even if they don’t come STRAIGHT out and say they miss you and want you back, you can be pretty sure that you’re all they’ve been thinking of and that in their drunken state, all your ex can think about is how to get you back.
8. Nostalgia. Reminding someone about fond memories from your shared past is a powerful weapon, and you have to be on your guard. Nostalgia tickles very positive areas of our brain, and going down reminiscing road with your ex will not only serve to convince you that times were better than they were, but will also do the same for your ex, further convincing them that they were wrong to end it and it’s only a matter of time before you get back together.
9. The “Over-the-top” Comeback. If your ex wants you back, they may just assume the failed relationship was because of a lack of effort. They may compensate by going over the top, sending you flowers, showing up at your place with your favorite meal cooked, and buying you gifts “just because I thought you’d like this”. If you’re sure the relationships is over, you have to be firm with this kind of behavior. Don’t make the person feel stupid, but be firm and explain that it’s over and this behavior isn’t appropriate anymore. If you like the attention, then hey, it’s free flowers and food.
10. The “Over-the-top” Comeback: Sex Edition! If you haven’t experienced post-breakup sex…Well let’s just say that if delivering lasagna to your door doesn’t work, showing up in a trench coat with lingerie underneath (or whatever the guy equivalent is – hopefully not the same thing) might be your ex’s Plan B. There might be talk of how your ex “just wants to feel close to you one more time” or how “it’ll never be as good with anyone else”. You will probably be surprised at the level of aggressiveness, assertiveness, and confidence that your ex displays. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they’ve suddenly changed. Really, they’re just desperate and throwing caution to the wind. It’s decision-time. Saying yes is basically the same as re-igniting the relationship. Unless they’re just using you as a booty call, in which case you’re going to feel used, stupid, and angry.
11. Casual Touching. Regardless of how you ended up in front of your ex, any physical contact on their part should be taken with skepticism. A hug or a gentle brush of the arm means so much more to people who have an intimate past, and any type of contact will instantly lead your brain to remember what used to happen next. It’s not as dramatic as the over-the-top come-on, but your brain is going to respond like it is, so be wary.