If you’ve broken up, it’s likely over, for good. Yet, there are certain times where an ex might reappear, looking to revisit the relationship after taking time to figure things out solo.
It’s tricky to understand how your ex is really feeling, particularly when your own emotions are getting in the way.
If you want them back, then you risk getting inside your own head and misinterpreting their behavior as signs they want to start up the relationship again.
After all, that’s what your brain wants to see or hear. It’s called cognitive bias.
Of course, if it ended poorly, chances are slimmer, but there are signs your ex might want to get back together that you should be well aware of before letting an old flame come back into your life.
The good news?
Regardless of how soul-destroying your breakup was, the signs that your ex wants you back are usually obvious for most to see and they certainly don’t take a genius to figure them out (you just need to know what to look for).
If you do think your ex wants to get back together, here are 13 clear signs they’ll show they’re interested.
1. They’re keeping contact with you
Do you know what usually happens when a relationship ends?
Contact is cut permanently.
After all, there is usually a good reason for a relationship to end, and the healthiest way to get over someone is to avoid seeing them.
So if your ex is keeping contact with you after you’ve officially broken up, see it as a sign that they eventually want to kick-start things over again.
Even if you haven’t been in contact for a while, and they’ve suddenly reached out to you out-of-the-blue, it’s still a good sign that they’re thinking about you and they’re wondering how your life is going.
However, it’s also important to realize that not all contact is created equal.
For example, if they’re contacting you late on a Saturday night after they’ve been drinking, then it might be a booty call, and that’s typically not a sign that they want to start up the relationship again.
But if they’ve contacted you to have a proper conversation about what’s going on in your life, and they seem genuinely interested in what you have to say, then it’s definitely a sign that your ex wants you back.
2. They Communicate With You Over Text – Weird Text Messages
If your ex starts texting or calling you, where they’re giving you direct, high-quality communication, it could mean they’re looking to get to know you again and maybe revisit the relationship, rabbi and matchmaker in NYC, Shlomo Zalman Bregman, says. Plus, if your ex is the one initiating communication and responds quickly when you respond, it’s even better, Bregman says.
It can be difficult to contact your ex out of nowhere, especially if they don’t have a reason to do so.
But if they know that they want to talk to you, then you may get some pretty weird text messages just to initiate contact.
For example, they could text to ask you what that pizza place is that you went to one time.
Or maybe they’re texting you to find out what that favorite song of yours is called.
Most people wouldn’t contact their ex for banal information like this.
If your ex is sending you text messages like this, then you can be guaranteed that they’re thinking of you and they just want to talk to you.
Does it signify that they want to get back together with you?
Probably, but there is one caveat.
They may also be initiating contact with you because they’re lonely and they need someone to shoot the shit with.
After all, we’re living in the age of lockdowns and loneliness is on the rise.
If you think that might be the case, then you need to be patient to see if they continually initiate conversations with you.
If it becomes a pattern, then it’s likely that they miss you and they want to get back together with you.
3. They Open Up
If your ex is just texting you when lonely late at night, or if you’re just discussing the weather or current events, it might not be a real sign, Bregman says. Yet, if your ex is opening up and sharing info about their life and is inquiring about yours, then it’s possible they’re trying to reconnect again.
4. They’ve been asking your friends about you
If your ex sees your friends, do they ask about you? Do they ask if you’re seeing anyone else?
Clearly they are thinking about you if they are asking your friends about what you’re up to and whether you’re seeing anyone.
Sure, some people are naturally curious about what their ex is up to you, but that natural curiosity usually lasts a question or two (and certainly doesn’t involve questions about your love life).
If your ex seems passionate and interested in learning about what you’re doing, then it’s pretty obvious that they still have feelings for you.
When a relationship ends, most people move on and don’t spend time thinking about their ex.
After all, that is usually the best way to get over someone you loved.
But if your ex still wants to know what’s going on with your life and what your love life is like, then they obviously haven’t completely moved on.
5. They’re way too interested in your love life
Most people that meet up with their ex after a long time of not seeing them aren’t particularly interested in how their love life is going.
A normal question like “You dating any at the moment?” is fine when you’re friends, but if they keep asking you who you’re dating and it seems to be their favorite topic to talk about, then there might be something more sinister going on.
It’s just weird and not relevant to a normal catch-up.
In my experience of catching up with my exes, we’ve spent time talking about the old days and catching up on big life events, but rarely is the topic of love the main focus of the conversation.
So if they’re asking you countless questions about a new man or woman in your life and they seemed excited about any detail you share (particularly negative detail) then they might be trying to gauge the possibility of getting back together with you.
In fact, they may even try to make out that the person you’re currently seeing, or interested in, isn’t as suited to you as they were.
If they take the conversation that far, then you can be sure that they want to get back with you.
“If your ex seems curious as to whether you’re dating someone new, that’s a great sign that they still think of you in ‘that way,’ and want to know if you’re still available,” Bregman says.
6. They seem jealous
Not only will they probe you about the happenings of your dating life, but they can’t help but show telltale signs of jealously when you do mention that you’re seeing someone.
Jealousy is a very strong emotion, and it’s one that most people can’t control.
How can you tell if your ex is jealous?
Look for their facial reactions when you mention that you’re seeing someone. They’ll look tense and frustrated, and they’ll probably try to probe you about their personality or sexual performance.
They’ll then want to one-up the person you’re talking to you and prove to you that they’re better.
This is classic jealously, and it’s a clear sign that they want you back.
Another scenario where jealously displays itself is if you’re at the same venue or party, and when you’re talking to another man or woman, they’re looking over appearing angry or annoyed.
They may even come over and try to interrupt the conversation so that nothing happens.
If they’re acting like that around you, then you take your bottom dollar and put it on the fact that they want you back as their lover.
“Do they show signs of jealousy if you’re going out at night with friends, seeing someone, or in a pic with a guy on social media? Those are terrific signs that they still feel strongly tethered to you,” Bregman says.
7. They admit that they were the problem in the relationship
No matter who broke up with who, if they’re keen to talk about the past with you and then face up to the fact that they were really the problem in the relationship, then they obviously want you back.
Some might say that this could be some sort of a peace offering, and they just want to smooth things over with you and become friends with you.
But I doubt that’s the case.
Look, if they’re admitting what they did wrong in your relationship, and then point out that they’ve changed, then it’s extremely obvious that they’re trying to let you know that they want another chance at a relationship with you.
They know that you will be hesitant about getting in a relationship with them again considering the hurt it caused you before, and they’re trying to let you know that this time it will be different.
8. They Tell You Their Relationship Status
If your ex is explicitly telling you that there’s no current partner, it could mean that they’re trying to see how you react, as you might express interest in filling that void. “In a similar vein, an ex who still has deep feelings for you may go out of their way to make sure you know they themselves are not seeing someone, (1) so as to not cause you pain, and (2) so that you will know they are still available,” says Bregman.
9. They have still left things at your place
Still haven’t gotten around to collecting their things from your place?
Do they say they’ll come over and pick them up, but they never follow through?
This is because they want to keep a thread of contact between you, and they want you to be constantly reminded of them when you see their things.
It’s not hard to collect their things. In fact, people don’t randomly leave things they care about at an ex-partner’s place (give the human brain some credit).
From my dealings with many heartbroken couples, I wouldn’t be surprised if they purposefully left their things there so they keep a significant connection between the two of you.
It’s a tactic that lots of people use when they fear they’ll lose contact from a potential love interest.
10. They Stay Connected On Social Media
According to relationship counselor Jonathan Bennett, see if you can pick up clues on social. “If you notice that your ex seems to be stalking you on social media, whether it’s viewing your Snapchat story or accidentally liking a tweet, it’s a sign that you’re at least on their mind. And, if that’s the case, it’s possible there are lingering feelings,” according to Bennett.
11. When they see you, they can’t help but touch you
You’ve broken up, yet they can’t keep their hands off you like it were old times.
Or perhaps they’re being a little more subtle about it, but they still manage to brush your hand against theirs or touch you on the thigh.
If they weren’t interested in you, there’s no chance in hell they’d be touching you and establish a physical connection.
Instead, they’d be making every effort to move on with their life.
Touch is a clear sign that the physical and emotional attraction still exists, and they’re probably trying to rekindle the flame that once was.
12. They Discuss Past Moments You Shared
If your ex and looking to revisit the past and share in happy memories, it might mean they are trying to reignite that spark, Bennett says. “If your ex appears to give subtle references to you or moments from your former relationship on social media, it might be a way of dropping hints and hoping you’ll notice,” Bennett says. “Your ex just might be afraid of making the first move towards getting back together.”
13. They joke about liking you again
Let’s be honest: Not many ex-partners are willing to make a joke about falling back in love with you again.
But if they are telling jokes about liking you, then it might be the case that they have fallen back in love with you.
It may sound strange, but there is a reason they are doing this.
You see, if they decide to make a move, they’ll absolutely want to figure out how you feel about them beforehand.
So they’ll make some kind of funny comment about liking you…but they do it in a way that if you react badly, they can just laugh it off.
They can pretend they didn’t mean anything by it and spare their ego some damage.
This is crucial for an ex-partner because if they’ve fallen back in love with you and then they make a move, but you reject them, not only are they losing their chance to reignite the flame with you, but they’ll lose a hell of a lot of pride as well.
It’s not easy trying to reclaim something they lost.
On the other hand, if your reaction is positive about getting back together, they might feel confident enough to make some moves down the track.
14. They Make Random Excuses To Talk To You
If you randomly get texts like, “Eating this awesome hamburger,” or “Know of any good Thai restaurants?” it could mean that your ex is simply trying to find ways to speak to you out of the blue, according to relationship therapist Kiaundra Jackson, LMFT. Think about how you feel when getting these texts: are you happy? Annoyed? Then go from there.
15. They compliment you
Compliments are a great way to gauge someone’s interest. Of course, many people can give compliments when they don’t really mean it because they want to make a good impression.
But if your ex truly likes you again, they’ll probably start complimenting you on subtle things that you may not be aware of.
It could be unique tidbits about your personality, or they could notice subtle changes in your hairstyle.
Perhaps they’ll talk about why it was so awesome dating you in the past.
In fact, sometimes it may not even be a compliment, but the fact that they’ve noticed that you’ve changed your hairstyle or used different make-up than what you used to when you were with them.
If they notice, it means they’re paying attention to you, and your ex probably cares for you.
Also, not many people are great at giving compliments, so keep your ears out and notice when they say something that could even be remotely viewed as a compliment.
If you’ve noticed that they don’t really compliment others, then they’ve probably fallen for you again.
16. They Try To Make You Jealous
While they might express availability to show that there’s a chance to get back together, the flipside applies too, where an ex might go out of their way to try and make you jealous so you’ll want to get back together, Jackson says. “If extra, public efforts are being made to show that ‘they have moved on’ or is dating someone new, that may be a sign that they are using that as a cover up and they want you back,” relationship therapist Kiaundra Jackson, LMFT says.
17. They Take Responsibility
If the relationship ends and they take responsibility for their wrong actions in contributing to a relationship ending, there is a chance that they really do value you and don’t want to lose you, according to marriage and family therapist Christie Tcharkhoutian M.A., MFT. “This would also indicate that they want to keep you as an option once they make the changes necessary to deserve being with you and ultimately, it becomes your decision if you would take them back,” Tcharkhoutian says.
18. They are getting nostalgic
Is your ex sending you texts (perhaps after 1 or 2 drinks) reminiscing about the good ol’ days?
“Remember that time…” An ex who talks about your past relationship with fondness still has you on their mind.
As we’ve said above, anyone that has emotionally moved on would not be sending texts about the past to their ex.
But give them slack. Nostalgia is a strong emotion, and when you experience it you can’t help but bask in its glory. This is why they want to engage in it with you.
But all you need to know is this:
If your ex is sending you “remember when” texts then you can be guaranteed that they want you back.
19. You keep running into them
You used to spend a lot of time together, and I bet that they know where you usually hang out.
So if you keep running into them “randomly”, stop and think about it for a second.
Do you really think it’s a coincidence?
Even if you’re hanging out at new places, you probably have mutual friends on social media. It’s pretty easy these days to work out where someone is spending their time.
Don’t dismiss the fact that running into you could be their sole intention of going out. The world is a big place. There are only so many coincidences to go around.
They want to see you because they miss you and they want to be with you.
A less simple explanation could be that subconsciously they can’t get you out of their head, so when their friend mentions going to a particular place, they jump at the chance because they know you’ll be there.
I’ll admit it sounds a little stalkerish but you can’t blame them. Love is a powerful emotion after all.
What you need to keep in mind is that it’s pretty unlikely that they would make such an effort to see you unless they still had strong feelings for you.
If you keep running into them, then the most likely explanation is that they haven’t moved on from you and they want to prove to you that you can make it work again.
20. They are posting subliminal messages on social media
We’ve all looked down on someone posting an emotional quote or song on social media that’s aimed at a particular person.
But it does happen, and the reason it happens is that it’s a way to communicate your feelings to someone without being direct about it.
So if you’re noticing they’re posting quotes on social media that hint at the fact that they miss you, and they wish they never broke up with you, then you can’t really get more obvious than that, can you?
They’re struggling with the breakup and they’re crying for you to come back.
Why would they do this?
It’s possible that they want to be seen as the victim in the breakup, and a show of sadness will get them the attention they clearly desire.
But it could also be a big sign that they specifically want your attention, and they don’t know how to be more direct about it.
Maybe it feels shameful for them to approach you again, or perhaps they regret past mistakes that they are unable to confront.
Whatever it is, some people use social media to make it clear how down they are feeling and to communicate a message specifically to someone they’re not in direct contact with.
If you notice your ex doing any of things mentioned, it could mean that they’re hoping that the chemistry still exists and it might be worth giving the relationship another shot. Of course, take time to think about it before giving an answer. You’ll want to figure out how you feel first before diving back in.
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