Does your ex keep pointing out how good you look? Is he randomly commenting on your social media posts with flame emojis or sending you drunk texts about how great you are? Is he saying nice things about you to all of your mutual friends?
If so, you're probably starting to wonder what all of these flattering words really mean (or if they mean anything at all).
If your ex-boyfriend is complimenting you a lot, you may feel confused and uncertain about his intentions. You may also feel uncertain about your own emotions surrounding this attention, especially if the relationship ended suddenly or painfully.
Although your ex's kindness could be backed by several different motivators, his true intentions are likely easy to decipher. And, based on the motivation behind his compliments, you have several options on how you can move forward with him.
Here are some quick-fire thoughts on the matter:
Things to know
- If you're still feeling hurt from the breakup, it's best to be clear about your expectations and ask him to keep a distance for now.
- If you're leaning toward getting back together, why not follow up his compliment with an invitation to cocktails or coffee? Then you can investigate his intentions further - before finalizing your decision.
- If your ex-boyfriend was manipulative or abusive, it might be time to block him. Some people never learn and it's essential to protect your peace.
To learn more about how to handle this strange situation, keep reading. We'll dive into the following:
- Why Your Ex-Boyfriend Compliments You
- What To Do If Your Ex Compliments You
- Do You Want Your Ex Back?
Why Your Ex-Boyfriend Compliments You
It's often hard to tell what is going on inside a man's head. However, most ex-boyfriends offer compliments out for one of four main reasons:
- They want something from you.
- They feel guilty about the breakup.
- They want to remain friends with you.
- They want you back.
Compliments definitely indicate that your ex wants your attention, but what for? Before you can decide what to do about these words of flattery coming from your ex's mouth, you will need to determine which of these four reasons may be the motivation behind your former partner's sweet-talking.
Understanding why your ex-boyfriend compliments you will help you determine the best course of action moving forward. It will also give you insight into whether his intentions are good or evil, which can help you determine if he's even worth your time.
1. He wants something from you
An abusive partner will often use this tactic to "win you back." In other words, if you ended the relationship because of red flags or other indications of a toxic relationship, then odds are this is just another trick he's using to get what he wants from you.
However, if you weren't in an abusive relationship before, your ex-lover could be using sweet words or flattering text messages to get what he wants from you. He could want items back that he left at your place, or maybe he's looking for a hookup because his sex life has been lacking since the breakup.
Regardless of the reasoning behind his niceties, make sure you don't read too much into them until you figure out his motives.
2. He feels guilty
Although social media makes all men out to be monsters, most of them are good guys. In fact, many boyfriends feel remorse when they hurt their partners. So, it could be that your ex-boyfriend is complimenting you because he feels guilty.
If your long-term relationship ended over something like cheating, then it's very likely your ex regrets his decisions and feels bad about hurting you. If that's the case, these ex-boyfriend compliments could be his way of trying to "right the wrong" with you.
Similarly, if your breakup was somewhat nasty and you each said some hurtful things, he could feel bad about what he said. By offering you complimentary words now that you are no longer together, he is showing you the person he wants to be, not the one he was in the past.
3. He wants to remain friends
Contrary to popular belief, many people do want to stay friends with their exes after they break up if it wasn't an unhealthy relationship that caused a lot of issues.
This frequently happens in situations where a romantic relationship springs out of a friend group. Since you both share so many mutual friends, chances are your former partner wants the two of you to be able to coexist during parties and other events hosted by your friends.
Even if you don't have mutual friends, many guys enjoy the company of their past romantic partners once they work through the grief that occurs during the early stages of a breakup. You may never be best friends again, but that doesn't mean you have to be sworn enemies, either.
4. He wants to win you back
Sometimes, a breakup happens even if neither of you wanted it in the first place. Maybe the timing was off, or you both had your fair share of issues. Either way, if you or your former partner didn't want the relationship to end, then these compliments could mean that he wants you back.
Usually, if an ex wants to start up a relationship, he'll do more than just say a few nice words about your hair, though. He may offer to buy you coffee, show up at places you didn't expect him, or even say he misses you.
Most of the time, you can easily tell if he wants to start a new relationship with you based on the subtleties behind his compliments and actions. So you just need to pay close attention to the fine details.
Unfortunately, it's often hard to tell whether your ex-boyfriend compliments you because he's being nice or if he wants to rekindle the romance. So, even if you think that his kind words are an obvious sign that he still loves you, try to step carefully at first until you can tell if his intentions are genuine.
What To Do If Your Ex Compliments You
You can speculate why your ex-boyfriend compliments you all you want. However, you won't know for sure without confronting him. And, even once you do know, that doesn't mean you feel the same way or instantly want to get back together.
So, before you do anything else, you need to decide whether or not you want to get back together before you even take the necessary action to gauge his interest.
If you aren't interested in getting back together
Depending on the reasoning behind your ex's flattery and whether or not you've moved on to a new relationship, you may not be interested in getting back together with your former partner. And, you know what, that's perfectly okay! You are allowed to do what you want, regardless of his advances.
If you can handle it, direct communication is the best approach here. When you have the chance, talk to your ex-boyfriend and let him know that you aren't interested in getting back together.
Beating around the bush isn't a good idea because anything vague or open-ended could give him the wrong impression. Instead, you should speak directly and make it clear. You can even tell him that you appreciate his kindness, but you don't want him to get the wrong idea.
You don't have to give him an explanation, but you can always tell him that you've moved on to a new boyfriend or you don't feel like the timing is right. You can also tell him that you'd like to remain friends (assuming you do) and that you will always appreciate his kindness.
If your ex-lover inflicted emotional abuse or caused you physical harm before the breakup, then confronting him directly may not be a good idea. Instead, you may need to go no contact and block your ex on social media accounts to avoid any additional text messages or other exchanges. This will ensure your safety but also help you continue to move on from an unhealthy partner.
If you want your past relationship back
Obviously, there's also the chance that you're enjoying these flattering words from your ex-boyfriend and are hoping it's a sign that he wants to get back together. Even if you're ready to drop your rebound relationship and get your ex back, you'll want to handle this situation delicately, so you don't scare the man away.
Many people say that you should play hard to get at first so you can accurately gauge whether or not your old flame really wants you back. You obviously don't want to make winning your heart such hard work that he gives up, but you do want him to show you that his intentions are true.
If playing games isn't your style, that's okay, too. Instead, you can sit down and have an honest conversation about how you feel and see what he has to say. State your feelings clearly, and explain to him how you took his compliment, so he has some context for how you interpret his actions.
If you take this approach, make sure you're prepared to accept his response either way. Also, be prepared for an unclear response or for him to say that he isn't interested in a new relationship but was just complimenting you for another reason.
Do You Want Your Ex Back?
Remember that no matter what your ex-boyfriend says or does, you are allowed to call the shots when it comes to your interactions. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide whether or not you want your ex back — even if he's complimenting you.
Sometimes getting back together with your ex can work out. Other times it creates an on-again-off-again dynamic that nobody really wants. So, you have to look at the facts in front of you about the past relationship and decide if he's made the changes he needed to in order to win you back.
There are lots of different ways you can move on from a relationship that didn't work. Sometimes you can move on together, but other times you can't. Just remember that your health and happiness are what matters most — even if what makes the most sense for you isn't what makes sense for your ex.