How Do I Make My Ex-Boyfriend Jealous? 6 Sneaky Tactics

Look, I’m not judging.

Whether you were in a healthy relationship, a toxic one, or anything in-between, we all want to make our exes jealous after a breakup.

It may not be the productive thing to do, but making your ex-boyfriend hate himself for ever letting you get away is a god-given right.

Quite frankly, everyone wants to feel wanted, and a wildly jealous ex is the fast-track ego boost every one of us girls need after a heartbreak.

I mean, what’s really better than a thirsty, groveling ex in your DM’s at 4 am begging for a second chance while you’re out living your best life?

Things to know

  • Recruit a friend and your trusty socials to create a fake 'rebound' that's sure to get him riled up.
  • Go no contact, give him access to your social media accounts, and show him that you're living your best life without him.
  • Work on yourself, make (male) friends and remind him how much of an idiot he is for letting you go.

Whether you’re looking to get your ex back, attract them without talking, or just want to make him pay, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some surefire ways to magick him into a green-eyed monster:

The Ol’ Switcharoo

I won’t lie; this is a fun one.

Let's set the scene.

You’re having a messy get-together with your girlfriends. You’re drunk behind all reason and rationality. You start bad-mouthing your ex, but deep below those vodka insults, you’re secretly missing him. You want him to pop up. But how do you make that happen?

Well, a great way to make your ex wonder what you’re getting up to is to bait him into curiosity.

Throw your best friend into a baggy sweatshirt, turn her necklace around to look like a dude's chain, and contour her hands to make those fake man-veins really pop.

Yep. You guessed it; you’re dressing her up like a fake new boyfriend you can post a few no-context Instagram stories with. A surefire way to catch a potentially lurking ex’s attention and make your ex jealous with a status.

Now the trick to this technique is all in the angles. You don’t want to get your friend's face in the shot, especially if he knows what she looks like. A nice slight hint of her jawline, a good portion of the sweater, and an arm around your neck should be enough to get him wondering, “who the hell is that?".

The beauty of this is you don’t even need to bring back some rando from the bar to flaunt on social media. Nor do you need to deal with that weird post-breakup guilt of hooking up with someone else and feeling like you’re cheating on your ex (what is that??).

Just grab your closest drunk girlfriend, throw her in some comfy clothes and build yourself a fake rebound!

It’s flawless; honestly, I’ve done it myself. It works like a charm.

Act Like You’re Totally Fine

Sometimes we just can’t avoid our ex in our everyday life. If you’re in high school, you might see them in class, maybe you share mutual friends that decided not to pick sides, or you might even be co-workers (big mistake!).

Either way, if your ex-boyfriend is someone you’ll be seeing regularly, your best bet to make him both jealous and interested is to act like you’re completely fine.

Seriously, it works. Call it reverse psychology or something, but being super friendly, outgoing, and happy around them will send them down the mental rabbit hole of wondering why you’re so okay after the breakup. You will very much be residing rent-free in their mind.

Wondering why you’re so okay may lead them to question the breakup altogether. The internal monologue would probably look a lot like: “Oh my god. They’re so fine without me? Did we make the right decision? I should hit her up.” Hence the reverse psychology.

Spamming your social media accounts with sad breakup quotes and pictures of you crying will put all the balls in their court. If they see that you’re torn up over them, they can keep you dangling on the hook if they’re that kind of toxic ex.

By acting totally fine and sidestepping the pretty high-key cringe (and very public) social media breakup commentary, you’re grabbing those balls (by the balls) back into your court. You’ve got the upper hand to sus out how they might feel about the breakup before you truly react, and you get the opportunity to make them fawn all over you in all your newfound confidence.

The No Contact Rule

Surrounding yourself with a bit of mystery is one of my personal favorite ways to navigate through general life, but it works brilliantly as a post-breakup jealously inducing scheme too. Two birds, right?

I know it is tempting to send that midnight “So, what are you up to?” text messages to the ex. It feels almost impossible not to answer their drunken 3 am booty call phone calls. But, lady, it’s the wrong move.

You want to give them nothing more than a peek through the curtain. Don’t hit them up to outright brag about your new partner (or probably rebound) to try and make them jealous, and don’t go liking all their social media posts just so your name is popping up on their phone.

A peek through the curtain would look like letting them see all your new Instagram photos, your new haircut, the gym selfies, and vibey changing room pics, but not responding to their comments, not responding to their texts, not answering their phone calls, this is the essence of the no contact rule.

It’s a common misconception that you need to immediately block your ex on your social media accounts to make them wonder what you’re up to. But in reality, putting up that (literal) block will make them lose interest altogether, or they’ll just see it anyway on their friends' phones.

It really doesn’t do much for mystique.

By keeping the door to your life slightly ajar but not actually engaging with him, you’re giving him a snapshot montage into your life and zero context. The silence alone will drive him CRAZY.

You’re throwing your nightlife, adventures, and vibes onto his timeline and giving him zero opportunity to ask questions or try and win you back. He’s cut off from your life, but not really.

Keep that up for a couple of weeks, and I almost guarantee by the end, he’ll be packed to the brim with questions, fake scenarios, confusion, and best of all, jealousy.

Get Some New Male Friends

This is probably an easier way of making your ex-boyfriend jealous than the first item on this list, but both definitely have their (admittedly pretty fun) merits!

It’s always a good idea to expand your social circle after a breakup. It can help with your mental health and low self-esteem, and it’s just good to have a varied support system!

But throwing in some new male friends has its added benefits.

Picture your ex-boyfriend cursing through his Instagram feed or clicking through Snapchat stories, and all of a sudden, he’s met with pictures of you and some brand new male faces he’s never seen before. What is his first thought going to be, I wonder?

You got it; he'll jump to conclusions as he automatically assumes you’re getting back out there.

The best part of this rather sneaky jealousy-sparking plan is that you don’t need to go out on the rebound if you’re not ready. You get to make your ex jealous with a slew of cute guys, and you get some new friends to share your relationship woes with between borderline manipulative Snapchat posts! A win-win for the toxic among you!

I mean, you definitely could just find a new guy to hook up with or a brand new relationship and start posting the two of you together. But what can I say? I admire the creativity in being intentionally misleading on social media. No one likes to be predictable.

Suggest He Gets Back Out There

I highly recommended this one be used on a previously cheating ex. Not only does it take their head for a loop (which is incredibly satisfying to watch), but the apparent jealousy of seeing you so far removed from the relationship is *chef's kiss*.

Let me break it down.

You’re in the in-between stage of a breakup with a pretty toxic, cheating ex. You still talk semi-regularly. He really hurt you during the relationship, but now it’s pretty clear he’s craving a second (probably third, fourth, or fifth) chance. Here’s your opportunity to turn the tables.

Suggest he gets back out there and tries to move on. Maybe even tell him about a specific girl you think he’d like. It sounds insane, I know, but I promise you it’s genius.

He will be so dumbfounded by the idea that at one point in time, you were shaking at 2 am with his phone in your hand, and now you’re literally pointing him in the direction of other girls' vaginas. It is going to spin his mind.

Not only is your ex going to feel incredibly small and powerless against your unfathomable maturity and how quickly you’ve moved on, but in doing this, you’re pretty overtly suggesting to him that you’re doing the same. (Whether you are or not is irrelevant, it’s all about the implication).

See, you’re not just inciting a load of jealousy by asserting yourself as completely over the relationship and therefore utterly unattainable to him; you’re also getting to walk away with the knowledge that he knows he can’t you hurt anymore.

I’m telling you, with a toxic ex-boyfriend, finding a way to walk away with your ego intact and him completely falling apart is the best way to exit the scene. You get the satisfaction of his jealousy and be the bigger person.

Invest In Yourself

I am a big fan of crazy schemes that feel like they’re straight out of a rom-com. Propose any insane scheme to make your ex jealous, and I’m all in, marching behind you with ice cream, a bag of props, and an alibi.

But if you’re a little more down to earth than I am or just a bit more sane, you might prefer to go the classic route of just straight-up bettering yourself.

We’ve all heard the term “success is the best revenge,” and yes, it is a cliche, but it’s a cliche for a reason.

Most of the time, no matter how amicable the breakup, there will be a ‘winner’ or a ‘loser'.

One person will have blossomed more than the other, and seeing that growth documented on social media, or just hearing about it through the grapevine can definitely be enough to spark a shit-ton of jealousy, regret, and even re-emerged crushing in the other person.

Get a new haircut, dive into those career opportunities, make some new friends, and just generally grow your self-confidence and let it speak for itself.

Whether it’s physical changes, working on your mental health, or expanding your outer life, becoming a better version of the person your ex once knew is a pretty healthy and natural way to show them what they’re missing out on.

Just remember to make it about you; their jealousy is just a bonus. You’ll be a stronger person by the end of it, with or without them.

What Shouldn’t I Do?

It goes without saying that really nailing these schemes is a delicate art form. It’s all about subtlety.

What you absolutely do not want to do is make it obvious that you’re trying to make your ex jealous. Believe me, them clueing on to your plan has the opposite effect.

If you’re going to dress your girlfriends up as dudes or collect new male friends like Pokemon cards, then the key to succeeding is all in the subtlety. Don’t spam post the pictures or outright DM them to your ex. Slot them quietly into your feed, and let them get a little lost in the pile as though they’re not even a big deal.

It’s all about making it natural; you’re dropping little snippets of your life for your ex to see and feel jealous about. There's no need to make it abundantly clear what you’re doing. It won’t end well.

Also, as a rule of thumb, if you’re still in contact with the ex and he’s asking questions about a new guy you might be seeing (or a fake guy, or just your love life in general), do not give in to the temptation to return the question.

It feels natural to ask about his relationship status when he asks about yours or try and sneak out some intel on a potential new girlfriend or person in his follow list.

Trust me when I say resist it!

Let him ask all the questions he wants and relish in his (undeniable) curiosity over your life. If you give the same energy back, then you’re only sending the message that you’re just as curious.

If your end goal is to go from ex-girlfriend back to his current partner, then that’s a different story. Go ahead, have your moment where you both admit you still love each other, and race off into the sunset. I’m rooting for you.

But for my vengeful girls out there, keep your high ground intact, for god's sake! Don’t give him the satisfaction of thinking you’re just as jealous as he is; enjoy your win and stalk his social media on your own time, dammit!

The Takeaway

I want to point out that I’m well aware this article is a little on the morally grey side. As a general rule, I’m very much against playing games with people.

That being said, many other women out there and I have found themselves on the other side of a toxic relationship and just need that one ‘win’ before they move on. There’s no harm in admitting it; it’s cathartic.

To be honest, even after a healthy relationship, it’s only natural to get caught up in that in-between stage of wanting them to want you still. It’s human nature; we love to love.

My advice is to use these sneaky schemes with caution. It can be a little harmless fun for a well-earned ego boost or just a laugh to have with your friends.

But I don’t recommend using them if you’re seriously torn up over the breakup.

Dwelling on previous relationships for too long is never a good idea, especially if you’re someone struggling with mental illness or low self-esteem. Getting caught up in complicated love games is never the best way to get real closure, especially if it backfires on you.

Breakups are an essential part of life, and always remember that if you let yourself heal properly, you’ll come out the other side a better person for having the experience.

Having an ex jealous over your love life or self-improvement is always a nice ego boost and can help you move on if the relationship was toxic. Sometimes we just need to feel like we’re holding all the cards.

So next time you find yourself wondering how to make that ex-boyfriend obsessively pour over your Instagram account, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons, and by all means, get a little creative!

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