It’s over. You’ve broken up, parted ways, decided to go where the grass is greener – so why are you noticing so many signs your ex wants you back?
“Does my ex want me back?” you puzzle as they shoot you a message asking how you are.
“Are there any signs your ex is testing you?” you frantically google into the early hours of the morning.
“When your ex wants you back, do they stay in touch?” you ask your friends (who are already tired from providing the necessary post-breakup support).
Okay, we got it. You want to know if there are any definite signs your ex wants you back. If there’s anything as clear as day, it’s got to be that.
Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of signs and their meanings, however, it’s essential to take a step back.
It’s time to understand why you so desperately want to know.
How Heartbreak Impacts Your Brain
Falling in love is quite literally like getting addicted to a drug. When you break up, you’re experiencing a phenomenon very similar to drug withdrawal.
What’s more, studies show that your brain processes heartbreak in a similar way it does physical pain. Feeling like your heart’s been ripped out is not uncommon because your brain actually kind of thinks it has been ripped out.
Shredded into thousands of pieces. Stumped on. Thrown into the bin.
Relationships affect you more than you know – dating someone for a longer period of time means your bodies are co-regulating, adjusting their cortisol levels based on how the other feels, even aligning respiration rates and heartbeats sometimes.
The moment your partner leaves, your whole body gets incredibly confused, shrieking for the person it’s gotten used to.
This may happen to varying degrees based on how much in love you were, of course, but it’s something to definitely keep in mind when you’re searching for signs your ex wants you back.
“Is my ex really acting weird? Or am I just in the grip of my own cognitive bias, trying to see something that’s not there because I’m hurting?”
Once you have your answer, let’s unpack how to know if your ex is actually thinking about you and might want to get back together.
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How to Know If Your Ex Wants You Back
Alright, hold your horses. Before you scroll through all the signs and get excited that some of them kind of fit, which means your ex must definitely want you back, take the time to acknowledge that every situation is complex and unique.
Oftentimes, how to tell if your ex wants you back can be unclear. One sign does not mean you’ll be back together next week. People’s motivations differ, and an ex-girlfriend’s concern for your well-being doesn’t automatically signal she’s ready to kick things off again.
The following signs will, however, help you make sense of a confusing situation. And if there’s anything that helps slow down the post-breakup tornado of emotions, it’s clarity.
1. She’s Reaching Out for Seemingly No Good Reason
“Hey, what’s up?”
“The weather’s nice today.”
“Look, I’m having pizza.”
If your ex is regularly reaching out via text but has insubstantial things to say, chances are they simply want to be in contact with you. Any sort of contact.
Even when it includes nothing but dancing livestock.
Many exes are concerned about their former partner’s well-being and want to keep in touch to ensure you’re okay – without the desire to actually get back together. After all, romantic love can sometimes fade into friendship love, which is just as strong but in a very different way.
Communication just for the sake of communication, though… that’s a different thing entirely. It might be a sign your ex is missing you and wants you back.
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2. She Calls You Drunk
Careful about this one. While drunk-calling on a Saturday night is absolutely one of the signs your ex is thinking about you, the things they have in mind may differ from yours.
First of all, it might be a booty call. As amazing as intimacy is, it’s not a relationship. Your ex may want you back, yes – but only for a night.
Psychology is pretty clear on that topic: Sleeping with your former partner when you’re still heartbroken will only postpone the closure you need. Your recovery journey will take longer.
Despite this, some surveys show that almost 44% of people have slept with their ex. If your feelings aren’t in the game anymore, having some fun isn’t all bad.
First, though… healing time.
The second reason your ex is drunk-calling you may be a moment of weakness. Alcohol can give rise to emotions you’ve been bottling inside yourself, shut out the rational part of your mind, and let you give in to temptation.
Here’s what you should remember, though: Your ex is drunk. They might want to get back together now, saying how much they miss you, but it can be an entirely different story in the morning.
Don’t have serious conversations about restarting a relationship when one of you is under the influence. It can give you hope only to have it shattered a few hours later.
Sometimes, however, drunk-calling can be a sign your ex wants you back but is scared to talk about it when sober.
» You might like this guide on how to end a text conversation (like a gentleman).
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3. She’s Too Interested in Your Dating Life
When your ex is asking you about your dating life, it can mean they’re 1) not over you and 2) willing to hurt themselves just to satisfy curiosity.
That’s some dedication right there.
Again, though, take care to analyze your individual situation.
Some people can be over their partners, have only friendly love towards them, and ask about their dating lives in the hope that they’ll see you’re happier now. This might even help alleviate some guilt they’re still feeling if they’ve broken your heart.
Nonetheless, there is a thing like showing too much interest. A person who’s over you may ask once or twice; a person who’s still in love with you will dig out as much information as possible.
Well, they might want to compare themselves to your new partner just to find the things they’re better at or look for signs that you’re unhappy and will soon be single again.
There are plenty of reasons, most of which are indeed signs your ex secretly wants you back.
4. She Displays Jealousy
It’s one thing to inquire about your dating life, and it’s another to be very obviously jealous. Jealousy is a powerful emotion, and not everyone can hide it behind a mask of peaceful indifference.
Not only that but your ex might not even realize they’re jealous of you – while the feeling of jealousy and envy is often consciously felt, the actual reasons for it can hide in the subconscious mind behind a veil of rationalizations.
If your ex is jealous of your potential love interests or a new partner, they might accidentally show it in multiple ways:
- Making unkind jokes about your romantic relations or the specific person you’re dating
- Getting quiet and withdrawn each time you bring up your new prospects
- Showing frustration, tension, and irritation when the topic lands on your dating life
- Snapping at you or poisoning your friendship with bitterness after you start dating again
An ex who’s completely okay with your dating is usually supportive, doesn’t ask too many questions, and often leads some kind of dating life of their own.
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5. She Tries to Make You Jealous
The other side of the same coin is doing their very best to elicit some kind of jealous reaction from you. This is a way to see if you still care about them romantically or to show you they’ve moved on in the hope that it’ll make you fall in love again.
Clear attempts at making you jealous are one of the most definite signs your ex is still interested in you. Someone who has moved past your relationship with them has no need to test your reactions, that’s for sure!
Here’s what your ex might be doing:
- They bring up their new love interest in many conversations
- They often talk about how attractive other people are, waiting to see how you react
- They make sure their phone screen is slightly turned towards you when they’re texting with someone new
- They get into a rebound relationship quickly after the breakup and flaunt it all over their social media
While trying to make you jealous is an immature way of dealing with their emotions, there’s no mistaking it’s one of the signs your ex wants you back.
6. She Pops Up All Over Your Social Media
Comments, likes, random messages, catching up with all your stories… Your phone’s blowing up, and you’re sitting there in bewilderment.
“Does this mean my ex might want to get back together?” you’re wondering, scrolling through all the likes.
Yep, making a point to like everything you’ve posted in the past year is definitely one of the signs your ex wants you back – even during no contact. This may be their way of showing interest instead of directly saying so.
Before you slide into their DMs as quickly as a lightning bolt, though, make sure to think over the relationship you had with them, why it ended, and if you should really be the one sending the first message.
If your ex can like your posts, they can definitely message you, too. When your ex is determined to date you again, they should show it directly.
Don’t mistake passive liking for a clear decision to make you theirs right here, right now. See if they actually act.
7. She Touches You a Bit Too Much
Transitioning from a life where you freely touch each other and share intimate moments to one where the distance between you grows every day is… tough to say the least.
Those who have decided to move on, however, rarely touch you in a romantic or affectionate way, especially if they can see you’re hurting. In that case, many exes do their best to minimize your suffering by physically and mentally distancing themselves.
An ex who always tries to subtly touch you when they’re around you? Brushing their fingers against yours, hugging you a bit too often, playfully nudging you in the ribs, touching your waist as they move past you?
This may be one of the unconscious signs your ex wants you back.
» You might like this guide on The Signs that She Likes You (Pay Attention, Guys!)
8. She Tries to Improve Herself and Fix What Went Wrong
Everyone breaks up for a reason.
If your ex is suddenly trying to work on all the bad qualities you’ve pointed out and if they’re clearly acknowledging what they’d done wrong in the relationship, there might be a chance they want to get back together.
People who break up can and sometimes do have successful relationships later on. Time plays a huge part, however.
Have they decided to attain a whole new personality less than a week after the breakup? That’s probably the heartbreak talking. You can’t be sure it’ll actually last.
Behavioral and identity change doesn’t take one week. If there are serious issues your ex needs to work on (and you probably need to work on yours, too), it may take months or years to grow into the person that’s meant for you.
Which brings us to…
What to Do Now
Tread lightly. Getting back with an ex can turn into a success story, but it can just as well hinder all the progress you’ve already made and break your heart all over again.
Some of the signs you’ll get back together healed and ready to create something better include:
- Discussing what went wrong the last time, what progress you’ve made since then individually, and how you can function better together
- Agreeing to clear and effective communication from now on
- Having taken the time to heal, process, and grow
- Showing an equal amount of effort and affection
- Recognizing the reason for your past breakup is no longer an issue
If you notice any red flags that point toward the core issues you encountered the last time you were together, take a step back and re-evaluate if this is really what you want.
The issue with choosing to date your ex lies in the comfort that comes with what we already know, the fear of venturing beyond the horizon, and the havoc your brain is causing as a result of heartbreak. Unfortunately, these aren’t valid reasons to get back together. They’re excuses.
Before you decide to jump back into dating the same person again, make sure you rationally know this decision is actually good for you, and it’s not just emotions taking the reins.
To have a stable and healthy relationship according to psychologists, you should ensure your relationship is based on:
- Effective communication
- Affection and interest
- Room for growth
- Individuality and boundaries
- Healthy conflict resolution
- Honesty and openness
The relationships you form become a crucial part of your life. Build the right one.
When was the last time you spoke with your ex?
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