9 ways to know if your ex still emotionally attached to you

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It wasn’t long after our breakup that I saw the person I used to date in a café. They couldn’t stop staring, and I started to wonder, “Is my ex still emotionally attached to me?”

If you’ve been through a breakup and are wondering the same thing, here are some questions to ask yourself. The answers can help you find out if your ex still has an attachment to you.

1) Are you running into them everywhere, “on accident”?

If you live in a small town, work for the same company, or have mutual friends, you’ll probably see your ex sometimes. But what if you’re running into them just about everywhere?

That can definitely have you asking, “Is my ex still emotionally attached to me?”

Especially if they’re showing up in places they wouldn’t normally be, the chances are they may still have feelings for you! You can ask them, but you might not get an honest answer.

But pay attention to how often your ex shows up somewhere you don’t expect them. Maybe you see them at a café, as I did with mine. Or they might be at the same store at the same time.

You can look for them at a party you go to, or a place they know you like. If you have a routine they know about, seeing them a lot means they might be following your routine to be closer to you.

Want more confirmation? Try changing your routine and see if they figure it out. If they’re really attached, they’ll start showing up at the new places, or the new times.

They’re hoping to see or interact with you. Or they might just want to see what you’re doing, or if you’re seeing someone new. That can help you answer the question more easily.

2) Did you get your stuff back?

If your ex still has your stuff, they may be emotionally attached to you. They want to hang onto that sweater you left in their closet, or the book you loaned them.

To help answer the question, think about what you might have left at their house or in their car. If they brought it back to you right away, it could be because they don’t feel close to you anymore.

But if they still have it, that could mean they want to have something of yours close to them.

You can try asking for it back if you’re on speaking terms. They might not want to give your things back, though. So look for the kinds of excuses they make.

They might say they’re too busy to bring their stuff to your new place. Or they could say they aren’t going to be home at a time when you want to pick up your things.

They could even say they threw your things away — but they probably didn’t. It’s a way to get you to stop asking, so they can keep your things and have those reminders of you.

There are times when you need to demand your things back, like if they’re really expensive or sentimental.

But for most things, you may have to accept that your ex just isn’t going to give them back to you. At least that can help you answer the question if you’re asking, “Is my ex still emotionally attached to me?”

3) How many apologies can they make?

An ex who’s still emotionally attached to you may have tried to make things right. That could mean apologizing to you for any harm they caused. While it’s nice of them to do that, make sure you consider their motives.

If they’re really sorry for hurting you, it could be because they still have a lot of emotional attachment to you. They might even want you back and are hoping an apology will help with that.

Whether you consider taking them back has to be up to you, if that’s why they’re apologizing so much.

If your ex still has an emotional attachment to you, they might not just apologize once or twice. They might keep making apologies nearly every time they see you.

Social media, texting, and other forms of communication also give them more ways to reach you with apologies, too.

After a while, it can really get frustrating. Apologies that just keep coming don’t seem sincere, and you may have to tell them to stop saying they’re sorry if they’re still emotionally attached to you.

4) Why are they “liking” all your posts?

Stalking you on social media is a common way for an ex to show that they’re still emotionally attached to you. Sometimes they’ll even accidentally like something, and unlike it quickly for fear of getting caught creeping your profile.

If you suddenly gain new followers whose profiles don’t have much information, that could also be your ex.

They might create profiles just to follow you, so you don’t know it’s them. But it’s usually easy to tell, and it could mean they’re still emotionally attached to you.

Some exes just keep following you around social media, and it’s easy to see them doing it. Others aren’t as obvious, but they still want to see what you’re doing.

You can block them, but if they really want to keep an eye on you, they’ll just make new accounts to do that.

If you’re asking, “Is my ex still emotionally attached to me?” and you’re seeing new followers after a breakup, the answer to your question is probably going to be yes. Your ex may also get friends you don’t know to follow you, so watch for those, as well.

5) Are they asking your friends about you?

Your friends can help you answer the question, “Is my ex still emotionally attached to me?” by letting you know when your ex is asking them about you! Exes frequently do that, especially if they have mutual friends and are still emotionally attached.

If your ex runs into one of your friends somewhere, they might ask how you are, if you’re seeing anyone, if you miss them, and all sorts of other questions. Good friends will report back to you, so you know your ex has been asking them about your life.

The more information you get from your friends, the more you can tell if your ex has been asking about you a lot, or just casually.

There’s a difference between your ex asking how you are, and that same ex asking a whole bunch of questions about your life now.

Make sure to ask your friends to tell you the details, and if there’s something specific your friends should be saying, tell them that, too.

Maybe you have specific answers your friends should give if your ex asks them questions about you and what you’re doing.

6) Who’s calling you from random numbers?

One of the ways you might be able to answer the question, “Is my ex still emotionally attached to me?” is by looking at your phone calls.

Sure, there are plenty of spam calls and those annoying people who want to talk to you about your car’s extended warranty. But along with them, there are the call-and-hang-up numbers, and the local numbers you don’t recognize.

Your ex may be calling from a new number to see if you’ll answer the phone, especially if you won’t take their calls or have their number blocked.

An ex who’s still emotionally attached to you might also have their friends calling you, to see if they can get you to answer. Those friends might try to plead your ex’s case for them or get you to tell them why you two broke up.

If you’re not sure about a phone number, you can definitely just let it ring. If it’s really important, the caller will leave you a message. Of course, if you want to get back to your ex, it could be a good idea to answer the phone.

At the worst, it’s a spam call, and you can just hang up on those.

7) How many drunk dials have you had?

Drinking is pretty common after a breakup because it’s one of the ways a lot of people drown their sorrows. If your ex is someone who drinks, you can expect to get some drunken phone calls.

Answering the question, “Is my ex still emotionally attached to me?” may be easier after a few drunk dials. People are more vulnerable when they drink, and they’re more likely to say what they’re really feeling.

That may mean you’ll be getting drunken confessions and questions from your ex if you answer the phone.

You can always let it ring, and see what kinds of interesting voicemail messages your ex leaves for you. But whether you answer the phone might depend on if you want to get back together with your ex or not.

Sometimes they’re your ex because you’re both having a hard time with life. Other times, they’re your ex because they did something bad, or you just can’t get along.

Thinking about why they’re drunk dialing you and what it really means can help you decide if you want to answer their calls or even block them.

8) Are they trying to be your “buddy” now?

If you and your ex broke up without a lot of fighting, you may still be trying to be friends. Or at least, your ex may be trying to stay friends.

Answering the question, “Is my ex still emotionally attached to me?” is easier when you see how your ex acts toward you, now that you’re not a couple anymore.

If they still have an emotional attachment, they may try to be “buddies” with you. They do that so they can stay close to you, and there are a couple of reasons they might want to stay close.

First, they may be staying close to you because they genuinely like you as a person. They’ve developed an emotional attachment to you that they don’t want to break.

Even if it hurts that they aren’t your partner anymore, if they truly like you, they may want to try being friends. They could feel like it’s better to be your friend than to not be in your life at all.

If they didn’t have an emotional attachment to you, though, they probably won’t want to stay friends after a breakup.

The second reason they might be staying close to you is that they want to get back together. In that case, they’re still emotionally attached. It’s just that they also have strong romantic feelings for you, too.

It’s hard to be friends with someone who wants more than that, especially if you used to be more than just friends.

Not all exes can break up and stay friends, and only you and your ex know if you can (and want to) do that. But emotional attachment might complicate it if your ex wants you back.

9) Where did they go, anyway?

If your ex has completed disappeared from your life, and you don’t see or hear from them at all, they may still be emotionally attached to you. When things like this happen, it’s usually because your ex just finds it too painful to be around you.

They can’t have you, and it hurts, so they don’t want to see what you’re doing. If they see you with someone else or accidentally run into you somewhere, it could make them feel bad.

Until they get over the emotional attachment, being around you doesn’t work for them.

Trying to answer the question, “Is my ex still emotionally attached to me?” isn’t always easy, but with some investigation, you can usually tell whether your ex is trying to stay in your life.

They might want you back, or they might just be nosy, but either way, it’s pretty clear that they haven’t emotionally let go of you just yet. In time they will unless, of course, you both decide to get back together again.

Can a relationship coach help you too?

If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.

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