Is your ex really over you? It can be hard to tell.
After a breakup, it’s natural to want to look like you’re over it, even if you’re not. When you see your ex, you probably don’t want him to know that you’re still missing him every day, right? It’s the same for him.
Even if he was the one to decide to break up with you, his pride isn’t going to let him show you directly that he’s not really over you. He’ll want you to believe that he’s moved on and is completely happy without you. The reality might be very different. Even if he’s seeing other people, he could still be wishing he was with you.
How can you tell whether he’s really over it or not? It’s hard to move on yourself until you’re 100% sure. You don’t want to get into something new with Mr Just-about-OK if Mr Right is still holding a candle for you.
In this article, you’ll learn what things your ex says and does that will tell you he really wants to be back with you.
1. He wants to stay in contact
This is the number one sign that your ex isn’t really as over you as he likes to make out. If you’re still talking, you’re still in the game. Think about the breakups you’ve had before ‒ if you were relieved to break up, you probably just wanted to distance yourself. If you were having doubts, you would try to stay in touch.
If he’s not really over you, he’ll probably initiate contact regularly. He can’t help himself, because he’s thinking about you often. He might be worried that if he doesn’t stay in touch, you’ll start to forget him, and that’s the last thing he wants.
2. You catch him looking at you
Think back to when you first met your ex and you were falling in love. You probably caught him looking at you intensely when he thought you couldn’t see. He did this because his feelings were growing and he just couldn’t get enough of you.
Now, he’s looking at you because he’s thinking back to those times. He knows he’s not really over you, and he’s wondering what it would be like to fall in love all over again.
3. He’s acting erratically
Pretending to be over someone is hard work and almost impossible to maintain without some kind of consequences.
If you’re constantly trying to make out you’re not feeling things that you feel very deeply, those feelings are going to come out somehow.
This will likely happen differently for everyone. Perhaps you find out, or you see, that your ex is drinking much more than usual, and even ending up doing things he wouldn’t normally do, like staying out until morning or getting into fights.
The urge to drink after a breakup is common, but if he keeps drinking after the initial mourning period, that’s a sign he’s not getting over it and still wants you.
He might also be acting erratically towards you or to other people. Maybe he seems angry, and blows up at friends over the slightest thing. Or perhaps if he sees you, he’s stand-offish sometimes, and super-friendly at others.
All these are indications that his head is a mess and he’s putting on a front with you.
4. He’s with someone else, and making sure you know about it
People often go straight out to find someone new to help them over a breakup ‒ the classic rebound relationship. But rebounds are rarely healthy partnerships. Sometimes, people will get into a rebound relationship purely to have someone to show off to their ex.
If your ex is with someone new, and can’t stop flaunting her, he might just be doing it to try and make you jealous. Is he constantly posting pictures of them together on social media? Is he excessively hands-on with her if he knows you can see them? Does he go all-out with grand gestures (like dozens of red roses on Valentines day), even though you know that’s just not his style?
If it looks like your ex’s new relationship is a performance…it probably is. The opposite might happen too. He could be seeing someone to try and get him over you, but not want you to know about it.
5. He replies quickly to your messages
If your ex is hoping to get back with you, he’s going to be constantly hoping that you’ll message him. And when you do, he might just not be able to help replying straight away.
Think about how you feel when someone you don’t really want to talk to messages you. You probably leave it for a while before replying, getting on with whatever you were doing and only sending a message back when it suits you.
But when someone who you really want to hear from messages? Then you know you won’t be able to focus on anything else until you’ve replied, so you do it right away.
6. He offers to help you out
When you were a couple, you probably helped each other out with chores and tasks you didn’t like or weren’t good at, like mowing the lawn or putting up shelves.
If your ex is completely over you, he’ll probably just be glad he doesn’t have to do that any more. If he’s not entirely over you, then he’ll keep on offering to help ‒ partly because he wants to, partly because it’s a way to see you.
The same could happen if you’ve got a big, one-off task to accomplish, like moving home or dealing with a family crisis. These are the kinds of things that people in relationships support each other with. And in his mind, he’s still partly in a relationship with you.
7. He left stuff at your place
Is your ex’s favorite pair of jeans still in your drawer? Has he left his console still plugged into your TV, .and even though he keeps promising to pick it up, he never quite gets to it? Is the recipe book he cooked your romantic dinners from still sitting, unused, in your kitchen?
Leaving a toothbrush in your bathroom doesn’t mean a lot, but if your ex has left significant personal items (whether emotionally or financially significant), then that’s a good sign he’s not over you.
He didn’t take them in the first place because he was never 100% sure he wanted to break up, and now he won’t pick them up because he doesn’t want to seal the deal.
Leaving stuff at yours also means he has a golden excuse to come see you…
8. He keeps being where you are
Do you keep on finding that your ex is in the same places as you are? He knows your routine, so if this keeps on happening, it’s likely not by chance.
Does he just happen to turn up at your favorite coffee shop? Or has he started bringing his friends to the bar he knows you and your friends always hang out in? These are not coincidences. He’s doing it because he wants to be close to you (and maybe to check you’re not with another guy too).
9. His friends contact you
If your ex isn’t over you, chances are he’s talking to his friends about you a lot. And if he is, they might well be offering to try and scope out the chances of a reunion. They know your ex better than anyone, so even if he isn’t admitting that he’s not over it, they’ll know he’s not by the way he talks about you.
If you haven’t seen your ex much, or talked to him, since you broke up, it could also be that he’s asked them to get in touch with you. He probably knows that if he contacts you, it’ll look like he’s still interested. If he gets his friends to do it, he thinks that maybe you won’t realize his feelings.
10. He’s trying too hard to prove he’s over it
If your ex isn’t over you, but he wants to look like he is, he might start doing things to deliberately make you think you’re history.
Maybe he’s posting memes about happiness or moving forward, even right after your breakup. Or when you see him, he’ll talk at length about all the new hobbies he has, all the vacations he’s planning and, perhaps, even all the dates he’s been on.
He wants you to think he’s moved on, because he’s not quite able to deal with the idea that he hasn’t.
11. He’s jealous if he sees you with someone else
If your ex is over you, he’ll be OK with you seeing someone else. It might be a bit awkward to introduce your ex and your new guy, but he won’t be jealous or unhappy. If he’s not really over you, then there’s a good chance he’ll find seeing you with another guy really hard. He’ll be jealous, maybe even angry (though he might not let you see it).
Even if the guy you’re seeing is just a casual date, rather than anything serious, it’ll really sting for him to see you together. He knows it means you’re moving on, and he’s scared he’s lost his chance to get back with you for good.
12. He comments on your social stuff all the time
Do you find that every time you post a new picture on Instagram, even if it’s just of a night out with your girls or a family party, he’ll pop up with a like and a comment?
An occasional like might not mean much, but if he always seems to be there as soon as you post, you can bet he’s thinking about you a lot. When he sees a post of yours, he’s feeling bad that he’s not part of your life any more.
13. He can’t help touching you when he sees you
This might just be the surest sign of all that he’s not really over you.
He might be saying he is, but when he sees you, he just can’t help brushing against you, or putting his hand on your knee, or sitting just a little too close.
He’s not necessarily planning these things or deliberately trying to get you back. It’s just that you’re there, and his feelings are still strong enough that he’s not entirely in control.
Here’s what you need to remember
It’s natural for your ex to want you to believe that he’s completely over you. In the weeks and months after your breakup, he’ll pretend he’s over you, even if he’s not, because he’s trying to make himself feel better about it. He’s probably thinking ‘fake it until you make it’, and trying to move on by looking like someone who’s moved on.
But some of the things he says and does might make you wonder if he’s really as over it as he claims to be. If you’re not over him either, and you’re wondering if you two might have a chance at trying again, this can be hard to process. You can’t move on until you’re sure there’s no hope, but you don’t want to look crazy or stupid by having a make-up chat unless you’re certain he feels the same as you do.
Here’s how you can tell:
- You’re still talking, often. If he can’t let you go, he’ll want to keep on talking to you.
- He looks at you lovingly ‒ because he just can’t help himself.
- He’s acting out of character, and perhaps drinking to excess.
- He’s flaunting his new woman to make you jealous.
- He replies instantly every time you message.
- He still wants to help you out with stuff.
- Some of his favorite things are still at your place.
- He just seems to turn up, wherever you happen to be.
- His friends call you, even if you don’t know them that well.
- He’s posting memes or telling you stories to try and prove he’s over you.
- He doesn’t like it when he sees you with another guy.
- He constantly likes and comments on your posts.
- He can’t help brushing your arm or putting his hand on your knee.
If your ex isn’t over you, he’ll probably be doing things to try and prove to you that you’re history, while also finding reasons to be close to you. He’s not deliberately trying to confuse you, he just misses you and doesn’t know how to handle it.