One moment he's got you starry-eyed and thinking, ‘he still loves me.' The next, he’s got you pulling your hair out in frustration.
When it comes to your ex, the ability to read minds would come in handy. At least then you'd know how he truly feels about you. Even if you don't want to get your ex back, it's always good to get clarity about their feelings.
Does he still love you? Does he not? Here are all the clues we’ll be deciphering:
- Relational Clues
- Emotional Clues
- Social Media Clues
- Conversational Clues
- Behavioral Clues
- Body Language Clues
Your ex might desperately try to get a hold of you. He could be willing to do anything to convince you to take him back.
Consider the nature and duration of your relationship. Your ex might still love you if:
You broke up with him
If you broke up with him, it’s likely that he still loves you (especially if it happened quite recently). As the dumpee, your ex didn’t have as much time to prepare for the breakup as you did.
Your decision may have even taken him by surprise. Unlike women, who tend to blame their partners for the breakdown of a relationship, men are usually oblivious. As a result, men are more likely to regard their exes fondly.
He broke up with you
If he broke things off, he might have initially been excited about being single again. However, strong feelings don’t just disappear overnight.
The grieving process tends to break even the strongest of us. He might be missing you and realizing all kinds of things now.
Your breakup was mutual
If going your separate ways was mutual, you likely parted as friends. You might even be on speaking terms and wish each other well. It might not be romantic love, but your ex probably still cares about you and regards you with fondness.
You were together for a long time
If you were married or in a committed relationship for a long time, your ex probably still loves you. The strong connection created by a long-term relationship is hard to break. Even after years, it's still possible for couples to still feel some kind of love for each other.
This is because, over time, negative memories fade, leaving us to cherish the love we once shared with someone.
You have children together
If you have children together, your ex is bound to care about you. If only for the sake of your children, he definitely hopes that no harm befalls you. Depending on the circumstances of your split, he might even wish you well. While this may not be a passionate, ‘let’s-get-back-together’ type of love, it’s a type of love nonetheless.
You were in a long-distance relationship
If you were in a long-distance relationship and things between you ended because of circumstances, your ex might still love you.
The highest rates of reconciliation happen between couples who separated due to circumstances. This is because circumstances kept them apart, not serious issues like trust or different views.
After a breakup, our emotions are all over the place. It’s common to feel disbelief, anger, and despair in the following weeks. As our minds try to process the trauma of such a significant loss, we experience emotional extremes.
If your ex displays emotional extremes, he’s struggling to come to terms with the breakup. If he didn’t feel anything for you, he would be apathetic and relieved. Let’s take a look at why emotional extremes are such a powerful sign that he still loves you:
As human beings, we’re built for connection. This is why any form of rejection can feel like such a painful, life-altering event. We’re driven to seek romantic attachment so that our genetic makeup lives on. It’s no wonder losing a romantic partner feels catastrophic.
Being in love releases a cocktail of hormones into our systems. These hormones cause us to desire our partners and become deeply attached to them. They also make us associate our partners with wonderful feelings.
When relationships come to an end, we experience love withdrawal. We start to feel intense cravings to be with them. Their absence causes a hormonal imbalance that leaves us in mental and physical anguish.
Following a breakup, the initial shock might cause your ex to behave in strange ways. He might send you the usual good morning texts and carry on like everything is okay between you.
He might send you flowers, gifts, and love notes to boot. At this point, he’s convinced that he still loves you. And he probably still does, from a physiological perspective. As you ignore his efforts, the withdrawal will kick in, sending him into the protest stage.
As we start to come to grips with a breakup, we experience a spike in motivation. This drives us to extremes to win our love back, and this phase is known as the protest stage.
We stalk and harass them. We even pester their friends and family. The more they reject us, the more frustrated and attracted we become. This is a phenomenon known as frustration attraction.
Your ex might desperately try to get a hold of you. It’s not uncommon for him to leave you dozens of messages or try to call you multiple times a day. He might pester your friends and family. He might even try to see you at work. He’s willing to do anything to convince you to take him back.
The desperation of the protest stage soon turns into rage. Your ex might start to behave in petty ways. He might lash out at you and deny you simple requests like giving back your stuff. He might even send you long, hateful messages.
You might even hear from mutual friends that he’s bad-mouthing you. At this point, all the love and hurt transform into anger.
Social Media Clues
After a breakup, social media behavior can be quite telling. Look out for these clues that he still loves you:
Blocking you clearly shows that he still feels very strongly about you. If he keeps blocking and unblocking you, he's definitely wrestling with his feelings. He might not want to see constant reminders of everything you shared. He could be having a hard time and trying to get over you faster.
Let’s face it; if he didn't care, he wouldn't be going to such extremes.
A strong sign that your ex might be in the rage stage of processing a breakup is if he purges all his social media accounts of any trace that you ever existed. Vacations, special occasions, and wonderful moments simply vanish. If he isn't doing it out of rage, he might be trying to speed up his own recovery process.
If he does this without blocking you first, he might be hoping you'll notice. He might even be hoping to cause you a little pain. While his motives may not be clear, his actions point to the fact that he probably still has feelings for you.
Are your ex's posts a little too personal lately? Is he indirectly calling you out for certain things? If your ex is venting about your breakup on social media, he might still love you—and be very frustrated about it.
His frustration could come from still being in love with you and not being able to be with you. He might even be angry that your relationship is over. In any case, he wouldn't feel the need to vent about it if he wasn’t deeply affected.
Have his social media habits changed drastically? Does it seem like he's trying too hard to make his life seem great? He could be sour about the breakup and signaling that he's still attractive.
He might even be trying to make it seem like he’s actively looking to enter a new relationship. Your ex may even be trying to make you a little jealous. Either way, your feed is filled with countless selfies and showy posts about new beginnings. Peacocking on social media is usually a cry for attention and validation.
He’s basically saying, ‘look at me, this is what you’re missing.’ It’s safe to say that if he’s putting so much effort into getting your attention or making you jealous, he still loves you.
Nothing screams interest more than an ex who still engages you on social media. By engaging you on social media, your ex is conveying that he still wants to be a part of your life.
If he likes, comments, and shares your posts, you can be sure that he still loves you or, at the very least, still likes you. He might even be trying to scare off potential love interests, which is a strong sign that he still feels something.
It's quite common for us to use social media to stalk our exes. This is especially true in the early stages of a breakup when we’re going through love withdrawal. We tend to dwell on old conversations or spend hours going through photos of happier days. You might notice sneaky views on your stories or posts but never any comments.
You might receive a notification that your ex has liked a very old post, only for it to disappear an instant later. If your ex is stalking you, it’s clear that you’re constantly on his mind. He might even still love you.
The things he says might tell you all you need to know about his feelings. Let’s take a look at the top conversational clues that he’s still into you:
Bringing up the past
If every conversation that you have ends up being a nostalgic trip down memory lane, your ex might still love you. Sending you photos of the happy memories that you made together is another sign that he still cares and misses you. He might be hoping that the happy days will make you realize just how much you miss him.
If he brings up the past with the intention of figuring out what went wrong, he still cares about you. He could even be trying to find a way to fix things. If he makes a sincere and detailed apology, that’s an even stronger indication of his feelings for you.
Asking questions is always a sign of interest. The more personal and deep the questions are, the more obvious it is that someone wants to get to know more about you. With friends and people you've just met, questions are a way to establish rapport and build an emotional connection.
When it comes to an ex-partner, asking questions could point to curiosity. But, if the questions become more personal and probing in nature, they could point to feelings of affection. If your ex is constantly asking you about your love life, he still has lingering feelings.
We tend to be emotionally engaged with those we care about. Engagement signals a desire to build and maintain a close connection with them. If you’re constantly having deep and meaningful conversations with your ex, he still loves you.
Emotional engagement isn’t always positive. Extreme emotions like anger and frustration are also forms of engagement. If you have heated arguments, you may both still have strong lingering feelings.
When it comes to a former partner, constant communication is always a sign that they still want to be a part of your life. Think about your interactions. Does your ex reach out first, and does he do it often? If he consistently reaches out, he could be trying to get a friendship going.
If your ex keeps asking to meet with you, he may have intentions to get you back.
Keeping in touch with your family members
Does he still wish your siblings happy birthday or send your parents text messages on special occasions? If your ex is keeping in touch with your family members, he still wants to be a part of your life. His reluctance to move on could even be a sign that he’s still devoted to you.
Confiding in mutual friends
When you have mutual friends, making a clean break is often difficult. You bump into your ex at events. Plus, someone always slips up and tells you things that you’re better off not knowing.
You might hear things like they have a new partner or that they’re taking the breakup pretty badly. They might even tell you that your ex simply won't stop talking about you.
Hearing that your ex is asking mutual friends about you could simply mean he’s curious. Talking about you all the time and pestering them about your love life is an entirely different story. This is an obvious sign that he still wants you.
When it comes to figuring out if your ex still loves you, actions speak louder than words. Here are a few clues that he’s not over you:
He makes excuses to see you
Those random run-ins aren’t random. We’re talking about someone who knows your schedule and your habits. If you're seeing a lot more of your ex lately, be it at the store, on your way to work, or even at the gym - he’s bumping into you on purpose. ‘’What a coincidence!’’ is probably his new favorite thing to say to you.
The thing is, we tend to avoid people we don't like. When we love, or like someone, we want to see them all the time. Bumping into you suggests that he desperately wants to see you.
Such desperation indicates that he’s still not over you. This goes without saying, but if he’s bent on spending time with you, that’s an obvious sign that he still has strong feelings for you.
He’s not dating
While women tend to take the time to work through their emotions, men tend to start dating soon after a breakup. Research shows that men date sooner to boost their egos and mask their pain. Also, as men tend to be the initiators in romantic relationships, it's easier for them to move on and start dating after a breakup.
If your ex isn't dating anyone yet, he might just be choosing to focus on himself for now. The other possibility is that you still hold a special place in his heart. He may even be holding out for the chance to get back together with you.
He’s dating too soon
If your ex starts dating soon after you break up, he's seeking validation. He might even be trying to distract himself from how he truly feels about you. Another sign that your ex may still love you is if he jumps into a new relationship right after your breakup.
Rebound relationships are usually a sign that someone is dealing with a broken heart. It's an even stronger sign if his current partner looks like you. He's likely projecting the strong feelings he has for you onto her.
Is your ex focused on self-improvement? Is he working on all the things you asked him to work on before you broke up? If he’s confronting his issues, working on his mental health, and changing for the better, his love for you might be motivating him.
A person's availability is always a sign of how they feel about you. Someone who loves you will make themselves available to you should you ask them. They're also more likely to give you a helping hand when you need it.
Is your ex always willing to help you out with stuff? Does he volunteer to do things with you or go places with you? Does he check in with you to see if there's anything that he can do for you? If he does, he still adores you.
Pay attention to his emotional availability too. If he values you, he'll give you his undivided attention. Whether you want to make small talk or confide in someone, he'll be there.
If your ex constantly expresses friendly ‘concern’ over the prospect of you moving on or having a new boyfriend, you can be sure he still has feelings for you. If you’re dating again and he’s angry or depressed about it, then he’s probably jealous.
A little jealousy is a solid signal that your ex-boyfriend still loves you. If he didn't care, he wouldn't have anything to say about your love life. He definitely wouldn't be getting triggered by it.
He's flirting with you
Flirting lets someone know that you're interested in them romantically. If they flirt back, the interaction usually progresses into something more. If your ex-boyfriend is flirting with you again, he's definitely still attracted to you. It might even mean that he still loves you and wants to give things another chance.
Flirting could also be his way of testing your reaction to see if you might be interested in getting back together.
He's avoiding you
When you truly love someone, the end of a relationship can be devastating. This is why relationship coaches recommend using the no-contact rule or radio silence to heal. Silence is a powerful way to let negative emotions fade and make reconciliation possible.
If you haven't heard from him, he might be grappling to come to terms with his feelings. He might even be trying to give you space. Both scenarios strongly point to the fact that he might still love you.
Body Language Clues
If you want to know if your ex loves you, pay attention to his body language. Nonverbal communication is said to be more reliable than verbal communication.
This is because we cannot hide our true intentions. Our bodies will always betray us. The reason for this is that nonverbal cues happen on an unconscious level. They are more like a ‘reflex’ to all the emotions we experience. Here’s what to look out for:
He gets close
When he’s around you, does he get close, or does he keep his distance? If he still loves you, you’ll notice that his body will tend to gravitate towards you. He’ll seek you out in social settings, and when he’s standing or sitting next to you, he’ll unconsciously lean into you. If he can’t stand you, well, he’ll be nowhere near you.
He is open and relaxed
Next time, look out for these positive things when you’re interacting. If he’s standing tall, with his shoulders squared and arms to his side, he feels comfortable around you.
If his face is friendly and expressive, he could be a man in love. If he sticks his chest out or places his hands on his hips, he’s trying to make himself look more attractive—yet another positive thing. Crossed arms, a disinterested or averted gaze, and furrowed brows are typically signs of disdain.
He makes intense eye contact
There’s no mistaking a smoldering gaze. If he makes intense eye contact for longer than a few seconds, and if his gaze constantly dips from your face to your body, he definitely finds you attractive.
If his eyes light up when he sees you or if they glisten when he looks at you, that's a sign of real love.
He makes excuses to touch you
If he can’t seem to keep his hands off you, he might be looking to reignite the attraction between you. He might make it obvious by hugging you or trying to hold your hand. It might even be subtle things like him placing his hand on your back or letting his arms brush against yours.
He's mindful of his physical appearance
Is your ex looking hotter these days? Did he change his hair, switch up his style and start working out more? Does he always look jaw-droppingly good when he ‘bumps’ into you? If he seems to be overly mindful of how he looks when he’s around you, he’s hoping you’ll take notice.
Still confused? What you need is a direct admission. But, before you ask him about his unresolved feelings, you might want to work through yours first.