How To Know If Your Ex Wants You Back - 28 Subtle Clues

You’re happily moving along through life when a simple text throws everything into disarray. Suddenly, you’re plunged into a state of confusion.

Is your ex playing a sick game? Are they bored? Could they be having a tough time moving on? Do they want to get back together?

You thought you’d buried your feelings for your ex. But can you ever stop loving someone? If you’re wondering whether your ex wants you back, you'll need to keep an eye out for certain clues. But first, here's the short of it:

Things to know

  • An ex who wants you back will leave plenty of subtle and not-so-subtle clues of their intentions but the biggest sign is sticking around long after things have ended.
  • If they're not dating, improving themselves, and making sure you know all about it, they want you back.
  • Bringing up fond memories, flirting with you, and trying to rekindle attraction are also strong indicators that they want you back.

Stick around, there's still lots to explore. Here are 28 subtle and not-so-subtle clues your ex wants you back:

You’re In Constant Contact

An ex who isn't interested in keeping you in their life cuts off all communication and focuses on moving on. If your ex keeps in constant contact with you, they might want you back.

While your ex might be checking up on you or even looking for a way to pass the time, look out for meaningful communication.

If they make an effort to listen and provide you with emotional support, your ex is trying to re-establish an emotional connection. Now that's a pretty good sign that they want you back.

They Initiate All Contact

If your ex initiates all contact with you, they’re showing interest. Consider the nature of your conversations. Are you discussing things like the weather or current events? That may not mean much.

If your ex is being open with you and talking about their life and asking you about yours, they may be trying to connect on a deeper level. Wanting to do so might mean they want you back.

Being enthusiastic and engaged shows they’re invested. They wouldn't be so invested if they didn't want you back in their life.

They Tell You They Miss You

If your ex tells you that they miss you and that they're having a hard time moving on, they clearly want you back. But how do you know if they're being genuine or if it’s just loneliness talking? Well, the recency of your breakup matters.

If it’s only been a couple of days, they may just be going through love withdrawal. However, if it’s been a couple of months, they’ve probably given it a lot of thought.

While you might want to get your ex back as soon as possible, look out for green flags like remorse, improved communication skills, and the willingness to learn from past mistakes. This caution will ensure that you start things off on a solid foundation the second time around.

They Reach Out To Apologize

Your ex has probably said the words "I’m sorry" a million times before. What makes this time any different?

Well, if they’re taking responsibility for how they hurt you and apologizing for specific things, you can be sure they're being sincere. They’ve been looking at what went wrong, which suggests they might want the opportunity to make amends.

They’re Eager To Help

Is your ex eager to help you with whatever you ask for? Can you call them in an emergency and trust that they'll show up? If your answer is yes, your ex is likely still interested.

Exes who have moved on tend to be more reluctant or apathetic - being available shows that they still care and are invested in your well-being. Consider this a good sign that they want you back.

They Make You Feel Good

While it’s hard to imagine any kind of run-in with a former partner being enjoyable, an ex who’s considering getting back together will shower you with compliments or dazzle you with their sense of humor.

If your ex is enthusiastic about being able to interact with you or focused on making you feel good, they might want you back.

They Flirt With You

If things have been awkward or tense between you and your ex, and they suddenly start flirting with you again, they’re signaling that they still find you desirable.

Because the goal of flirting is to build attraction, take this as an excellent sign that they’re interested in rekindling things. If your ex weren’t interested in being romantically involved with you, they wouldn't be flirting with you in the first place.

Consider their body language. Are they being touchy-feely or staring at you with heart eyes? If this is a welcome development, flirt back and see where it leads you!

They Want To Remain Friends

If your ex wants to remain friends, they might be having doubts about the breakup. By wanting to remain friends, your ex is making an excuse to stay in your life. Friendship could also be a way to regain your trust.

They want to maintain a connection with you, and that’s a pretty good sign that they’re considering getting back together with you.

They’re Still Single

Men and women tend to handle breakups in different ways. Women are more likely to work through their negative emotions before entering into a new relationship or getting back together with an ex.

This is why your ex-girlfriend's single status may not necessarily point to her wanting you back.

On the other hand, men tend to distract themselves with flings or rebound relationships. If your ex-boyfriend is not in a rebound relationship, it could signify that he wants you back.

He might be holding out in the hope of getting back together with you. If he even goes out of his way to tell you that he’s single, he’s hoping you’ll take a hint.

If you’ve been questioning whether breaking up was the right decision, this might be a great time to get him back. Invite him out for coffee and see where it takes you.

They're Trying To Get To Know You Again

Whether it’s asking you out on ‘innocent’ dates or making excuses to hang out with you at your favorite coffee shop, wanting to spend quality time with you suggests that they want you back.

Take note of their behavior when you meet, and keep an eye out for the following:

  • Prolonged eye contact
  • Leaning close to you
  • Making subtle physical contact
  • Smiling excessively
  • Trying to make you laugh
  • Complimenting you
  • Asking you meaningful questions

These are obvious signs that your ex is turning up the charm. Bottom line: they’re keen to rekindle a romantic relationship.

They’re Keeping Tabs On You

While the occasional check-in isn’t out of the ordinary, constantly asking mutual friends about how you’re doing and what’s going on in your life is another story.

Using mutual friends to keep tabs on you and fishing for information about your personal life goes beyond curiosity. Your ex is interested in you, and their behavior implies that they might want you back.

They Keep In Touch With Your Family

There’s an ulterior motive behind every birthday or Mother’s Day text your ex sends. Keeping in touch with your family shows a strong desire to remain in your inner circle.

They might be planning on patching things up with you, and they know that having the support of people you care about is likely to work in their favor.

They’re Playing The Jealousy Card

If your ex is making hints that they are dating again or their social media points to possibly having a new partner, your ex could be trying to make you jealous.

If you have lingering feelings, these feelings might be triggered by the idea of your ex moving on with someone new. They're hoping you'll realize that you're about to lose them and reconsider the breakup.

You're Still Friends On Social Media

If your ex still follows you on all your social media accounts and makes a point to like or comment on anything you share, they’re trying to get your attention.

The mere fact that they haven't blocked you shows that they're reluctant to move on. Research shows that people tend to block their exes to avoid making the process of letting go harder.

They Still Have Photos Of You

If they still have photos of you together and their relationship status on Facebook remains unchanged, they might not be ready to move on. Studies show that exes who want to move on tend to scrub their social media accounts clean of all relationship reminders.

This necessary process is known as grave dressing and signifies that one is ready to let go of an old relationship and start a new one. As long as your ex is still holding on to the past, they might want to get back together.

They're Using Social Media As An Outlet

If your ex has been using social media more after the breakup and their posts seem rather showy, they may be trying to get your attention.

If they’re documenting everything, from traveling to meeting up with friends and trying new things, they're engaging in a typical post-breakup behavior known as online impression management. By portraying a particular image, they're hoping you'll take notice and reconsider things.

Conversely, if your ex seems to be sharing gloomy posts, they may be struggling to come to terms with the breakup and using social media as an outlet. They may be sending out subtle hints that they're miserable without you.

You've Still Got Each Other's Stuff

Another way to know if your ex wants you back is if they're reluctant to give you your stuff or get their stuff from you.

If they’re keeping your things, they might want to be surrounded by physical reminders of you. If they keep putting off fetching their stuff from you, they may also want you to have a few things to remember them by.

Either way, delaying this critical step communicates that they're not ready to let the relationship go.

They Want Your Support

If your ex is going through a rough patch and reaching out to you for support, you may still have a strong emotional connection.

Whether it’s calling you to pour their heart out or asking for your advice on how to handle a matter, being the first person your ex turns to shows that they still value you. Their willingness to be emotionally vulnerable with you is a sign that they may not want to let you go.

They're Obsessed With You

Does your ex text you multiple times a day and call you incessantly? Do they ambush you after work, begging to talk to you? Are they even bugging friends and family members about you?

We'd expect this sort of behavior just hours after a breakup. However, if it’s been weeks of stalker-like behavior and weird text messages, the trauma of the split may have transformed your ex into a different person.

While their frantic efforts are a clear sign that they want you back, it’s no longer a healthy situation for either of you. Tread with caution: taking your ex back while they’re in this state could result in a toxic relationship.

You Keep Running Into Them

The gym, the store, and even your favorite takeout place all have something in common: your ex. Bumping into them everywhere is not a coincidence. They're deliberately making an effort to see you, which suggests that they might want you back.

Someone who isn't interested in getting back together with their ex avoids them like the plague. It's a well-known fact that we tend to avoid the people we don’t like. At the very least, intentionally seeking you out is proof that they're still quite fond of you.

They’ve Changed Their Appearance

If your ex has made major upgrades to their appearance and style, they might be hoping you'll take notice.

Are photos of their new look splashed all over social media for you to see? Do you keep bumping into them when they're looking jaw-droppingly good? Chances are they’re flaunting their new look to ignite that old spark of attraction.

They Tell You They've Changed

Sometimes an ex will hint at how well they're doing and how much they’ve grown or changed. If your ex makes a point of telling you this directly, they’re interested in making an impression.

Studies show that we are more likely to get back together with an ex if we believe that they’ve changed for the better. By letting you know about their growth, your ex is communicating that they can be a better romantic partner to you this time around.

If your ex asks for your consent before bringing up what happened between you, they care about your feelings. They are showing respect for your boundaries and concern for your emotional well-being by not blindsiding you with painful reminders of your past relationship.

While this could easily be an attempt to tie up loose ends, your ex’s willingness to put your needs above theirs points to something more.

They Bring Up The Good Old Days

If your ex suddenly starts bringing up the first time you went on vacation together, and other special moments, they could be trying to get you to think about the good old days.

They might send random texts about how certain things remind them of you. They might even slip up and call you endearing names like they used to you when you were still dating.

One thing is certain, by bringing up all of your happy memories, your ex is thinking of getting back together. They're hoping you'll feel the same way too.

They’re Overly Interested In You

It’s normal to be curious about someone we were in a long-term relationship with. We wonder where life has taken them and what new experiences they’ve gathered without us. Is your ex taking their curiosity a little too far?

Are they probing you about personal things like your career and where you see yourself in a few years? If your ex seems overly interested in your life or future plans, they may want you back.

They Want To Know About Your Dating Life

Does your ex keep steering conversations to your dating life? If so, they might be doubting the breakup and checking to see if you’re still available.

An ex wouldn't be interested in your dating life unless it affected them somehow. Perhaps they're afraid you’ll move on with someone new. The only reason your ex would be so preoccupied with your love life is that they're hoping to rekindle things.

They're Jealous That You're Dating Again

If your ex has moved on, they won’t care that you’re swiping right on the most eligible singles in town. They won't care that you've finally taken the office hottie up on their offer to buy you dinner. They'll be too busy living their life to care.

If you ended things amicably or if you're still friends, they might even wish you well. However, if they seem dejected about you dating or being in a relationship, they're jealous.

Chances are they still have feelings for you, and you've dashed their hopes of getting back together.

They're Focusing On Personal Development

If your ex focuses on personal development, they might be preparing themselves for a healthy and committed relationship with you.

You might hear that they're attending therapy or getting more involved in their hobbies and passions. This is a great sign that your ex may be addressing some of the issues that caused your relationship to break down.

What To Do Next

In isolation, any one of these signs might not mean much. But, if you can relate to at least three or more of them, and you've noticed a positive change in the way your ex treats you, chances are they want you back.

Reflect on how you feel about giving them a second chance. Breaking up and getting back together can be tricky. If you believe a better relationship is possible this time around, meet them halfway. Let them know the interest isn’t one-sided and get the reconciliation process started.

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