You called it quits weeks ago, and you thought those strings were cut forever.
However, you’re getting some major signs your ex is pretending to be over you but isn’t anywhere close. The facade is definitely there, but it’s wearing thin. Could the split have been less amicable than you thought?
Today, we’re here to put an end to the questioning, the second-guessing, and the up-all-night worrying. Read on to learn the top 10 signs that your ex is playing a role and is still feeding that flame you thought had long extinguished.
1. They’re Playing the Jealousy Game
If there’s one thing social media is insanely good at, it’s providing a platform for bitter exes to parade their latest fling around in a passive-aggressive move to make their ex green with jealousy.
Immediately after you broke up, you saw your ex on Instagram with a bevy of attractive mates. Or, they posted vague love song lyrics and used a hashtag like #acleanslate just to mess with your head. If you get the feeling that all of this is for show, it probably is.
2. Their Eye Contact Game is Strong
Sometimes, you have to interact or be around your ex on a regular basis, even when it’s awkward. This is especially the case if you go to the same school, have children together, or work as business partners. Have you caught your ex staring at you lately?
It isn’t a coincidence. Science reveals that we look intently at other people to read their body language so we can react accordingly. It could be that your ex is holding onto hope that you’ll return the gaze and give a signal of reconciliation.
3. They’re Ultra-Considerate
You bump into your ex at the grocery store, and they can’t stop asking about you. All of the signs your ex is miserable are there, but there’s no mention of how they’re doing. Instead, they lay on the charm and act overly interested in your well-being.
Don’t be confused and mistake this for genuine concern. Instead, this is most likely an opportunity to probe the situation and see if you’re falling apart or feeling the same way that they are.
4. They Act Beyond Happy
It takes only a few seconds to share a meme about finding peace and happiness. Have you noticed that your ex posting a ton of poetic or profound quotes or graphics about moving on with his life or how happy they’ve been lately?
Remember how easy it is to hide behind a keyboard. For every Shakespearean sonnet or poem about enlightenment they post, you can bet there are dozens of angry posts they’ve written over and over again before promptly deleting.
5. They Act Angry Toward You
While there are some exes who grieve by masquerading as happy-go-lucky, there are also those who take the opposite approach. Have you been noticing signs he pretending not to like you at all? If you’re wondering, “Is my ex pretending not to care on purpose?”, there’s a good chance that the answer is a resounding “yes”.
If you work together, this might mean getting the cold shoulder at the workplace. Or, their corner of the internet might suddenly be filled with spiteful language and angry lyrics. They might even bad-mouth you to any mutual friends you share.
This is typical, third-grade, pull-your-hair-because-they-like-you behavior. While it can be easy to take such actions personally, consider the real meaning behind the malice.
6. They Left Their Things
Still holding on to that pair of jeans that your ex left at your house months ago? Abandoning insignificant items like that might point to laziness more than anything. However, it takes on a different meaning when the items have sentimental value.
If they still haven’t picked up their guitar, jewelry, or valuable electronics, that’s one of the many signs your ex is not over you. They’re waiting for you to call and ask them to come by to get those items. Then, they’re hoping that conversation will open the door to more and you can spend time together again.
7. They Won’t Let You Get Your Things
The opposite situation can occur when an ex refuses to let you pick up anything you’ve left at their place. Or, they make it incredibly difficult to do so. You keep texting and you can even see a read receipt, but there’s no reply.
You need to get back that book you loaned them, or your favorite sweater, but you can’t reach them to do so. This is another sign that your ex is still holding on to any piece of your relationship they can salvage.
8. They’ve Erased You…Almost
It isn’t uncommon for exes to do a digital detox after a breakup and totally purge their profile of any signs of the relationship. Doing so gives them room to move on and meet someone new.
In that case, don’t be surprised if your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend follows suit. However, it’s eye-raising if they don’t completely follow through with this cathartic process. Did your ex leave one image of you two together on their Facebook page? That could be a sign that they’re not ready to completely close the door on your chapter together.
9. They Turn Their Friends Into Spies
Late one evening, you suddenly get a DM from one of your ex’s friends that you never really spoke to. They’re friendly enough, but asking a ton of questions about what you’re up to and what you’ve been doing.
It’s possible that this person is simply making a move and pursuing you now that you’re single. However, it’s most likely that they’re playing spy on behalf of their friend. Keep your answers brief and don’t give too much away, or you could send hot and cold signals that you never intended.
10. They Don’t Change Their Schedule
Most of the time, amicable exes will alter their routines just a little to avoid any awkward run-ins they may encounter. However, one of the signs your ex wants you back is sticking like clockwork to a schedule you can recognize.
If you’ve been together long enough, you know when your partner goes to work, visits the gym, even eats at certain restaurants. If they make it a point to hit up their favorite haunts even it means risking an uncomfortable confrontation, they’re actually expecting, and hoping, to run into you.
Recognize These Signs Your Ex is Pretending to Be Over You
Breaking up with someone is challenging and overwhelming enough. You don’t need to be sidetracked with mixed signals and confusing signs your ex is pretending to be over you.
These 10 examples above demonstrate how easily an ex can slip into damaging behavior. If you both want to give the relationship another try, that’s one thing. However, if their pestering or persistence is causing you even more pain, it’s time for a clean break.
For advice and encouragement as you navigate your grief and start this new journey, get in touch with relationship coach Greg Behrendt. I’ll help you find the inner fortitude you need to move past this roadblock and embrace your future, one step at a time.