The most protruding question on most people’s minds after their breakup is, “Does my ex still love me?”
Whether you already have a hunch about the answer, are confused about it, or have no idea what it is, this article will help you get to a clear and accurate one. In fact, I aim to do even more than that with it.
I will go as far as to list ways you can make sure you’re not deluding yourself that your ex still loves you when they don’t, give tips on how to move forward if they do, and, most notably, explain why you need more than love to make your relationship last the next time around.
So go and make yourself some hot cocoa, pour five shots of whiskey in it, and let’s do this shit.
Signs that your ex still loves you
First, a clarification. A lot of people equate their ex loving them as a sign that they want them back. Surprisingly, this is the wrong way to think about it.
Just because your ex still loves you doesn’t necessarily mean that they want to get back together with you. It does, however, mean that your chances of getting them back are higher than if they would feel no love for you at all.
Keep this subtlety in mind while you’re reading the signs below.
1. Your ex keeps texting and calling you. In other words, they keep chasing and pursuing you. If this is the case, it’s one of the biggest signs they still love you — assuming that they’re not simply looking for a fight but are instead trying to engage you in thoughtful conversations.
2. Your ex keeps texting and calling you even though you have told them to stop. Translation: they’re panicking. Yes, it is a glaring sign that they still love you, but proceed cautiously. If you get back together because of panic, you’ll likely break up again since neither of you had the time to work on yourself and overcome the personal issues that led to your initial breakup.
3. Your ex is curious about you. For example, they keep asking how you’re doing, how your studies are going, how your career is unfolding, or even how your dating life is turning out. The more questions they ask, and the more personal and enthusiastic and inquisitive, the more likely it is that they still love you.
4. They are excited to hear from you. There’s a lot you can pick up from someone’s tone. If your ex is excited to talk to you, it’s a sign that they still love you. But if they’re cold and detached and you can clearly see that you’re a nuisance to them, it’s a sign that they don’t.
5. Your ex displays body language that shows they still love you. For example, they look at you longer than usual whenever you’re around, stare at you, check you out, face toward you and smile a lot when you’re interacting, laugh too much when you’re telling them stupid or corny jokes that you deep down know aren’t funny.
6. Your ex keeps creating excuses to talk to you. They could say, “I just remembered I left XYZ at your place?” or “Have you seen my missing teddy bear?” or “I just want to know how your family is doing?.” Truth is, they couldn’t care less about those things. They’re just using them to get in touch with you because they miss you and are probably too scared (or don’t know how) to tell you that upfront.
7. Your ex keeps bumping into you. Meaning, they’ll go to venues where they know they could “accidentally” bump into you. So if you keep seeing your ex wherever you go, know that it may not be a coincidence.
8. Your ex wears something that was yours or that you may have given them. This is most commonly a piece of clothing. Think of it as a comfort object: an item used to provide your ex with psychological comfort while you aren’t there with them.
9. Your ex apologizes to you for what went wrong. In other words, they own their mistakes and express them to you. For example, they say something like, “I’m sorry I acted so controlling when we were together. I know I have a problem. I’m getting help tomorrow.”
10. Your ex brings up past hurts. For example, they tell you, “When you did XYZ, it made me feel let down/unloved/hurt.” Statements like that indicate that your ex still cares about you on some level and thus probably still loves you.
11. Your ex keeps drunk texting and calling you. For example, when your ex goes on a 1 am monologue about how much they hate you yet still miss you, but only because they want to fuck you, but then again, would consider something more serious, or anything of a similar shade.
12. Your ex ditches their friends for you. Meaning they leave their friends behind or even cancel their shared plans just so they can spend more time with you.
13. Your ex prolongs your conversations. For example, whenever you’d like to end a conversation, they come up with more questions that keep you from getting away. If this happens only once or twice, I wouldn’t think much about it. But if you notice that your ex is prolonging a conversation that should have ended ten exchanged ago continually, they probably still love you.
14. Your ex brings up old memories. For example, “remember the time when we went to that park, and I snorted cocaine off your tits while you were having an epileptic seizure. Yeah, good times.” Generally speaking, if your ex gives hints about how great things were in the past during your conversations, it’s a sign that they still love you.
15. Your ex gets jealous when they find out you’re dating other people. This is a dead giveaway. If they didn’t love you anymore, they couldn’t care less about who you’re dating, after all.
16. Your ex contacts your friends and asks about you. For example, they ask them about what you’re doing, how you’re feeling, what’s going on in your life, and whether or not you missed or mentioned or still love them. An offshoot of this sign would be when your ex gets their friends to contact you to tell you something in their name.
17. Your ex still keeps images of you two together on social media. Be that romantic and intimate images or those where you’ve hung out with mutual friends — both are solid signs your ex still loves you.
18. Your ex unblocks you for no reason. For the most part, this is only a gesture of kindness. Yet sometimes, it can indicate that they still love you.
19. Your ex keeps blocking and unblocking you. They do this because they’re confused about whether they want to talk to you or not. Or, put differently, whether they want to let you go or get you back. Another reason why they do it could be that they’re trying to stop themselves from cyber-stalking and texting or calling you.
20. Your ex becomes overly aggressive on social media. If they once posted only once a week, and now they’re posting at least three times a day, and most of those posts are overly optimistic or exciting, it’s a good sign that they still love you.
21. Your ex stays in touch with your family and friends. This is another sign with two contrasting meanings. On the one hand, your ex may keep in touch simply because they like your family and friends; on the other because they still love you.
22. Your ex reaches Out On special occasions/holidays. For example, when they wish you a merry Christmas, a happy birthday, a happy new year, and so forth.
23. Your ex gets angry at you often. A lot of people are shocked by this fact, but your ex being angry is often a sign that they still love you. For it is not anger that’s the opposite of love; it’s indifference.
24. Your ex tries to make you jealous. For example, they suddenly start posting on social media provocative pictures with attractive people of the opposite sex, they tell their friends how great they’re doing, how much fun they’re having, and how much they’re dating.
25. Your ex talks about a future with you. For example, they bring up marriage and kids or subtler topics like going on a trip or a concert together at some point.
26. Your ex shows a lot of affection when you meet up. For example, they stand and sit close to you, bump their knee into yours, touch your arm (or jump into them), grab your hand, kiss you, or are all over you.
27. Your ex shows a lot of affection when you’re away from them. For example, they buy you gifts, write you notes or poems, sprinkle many affectionate emojis throughout their texts, or compliment you.
28. Your ex is blatant about the fact that they still love you. For example, they want to make you happy, seek your approval, tell you how much they love and miss you, ask you to meet up, or even get back together.
Signs your ex is not in love with you
While there are many signs your ex still loves you, there are also a few that they don’t, which are beneficial to keep in mind.
1. Your ex displays body language that shows they don’t love you. For example, they don’t pay any attention to you when you’re near, don’t face you, smile, or even make eye contact. It’s like you don’t exist for them.
2. Your ex wants their stuff back. Whether those are their own things or the gifts they gave you, the underlying message is the same: they are trying to erase anything that you could use as an excuse to get in contact with them one day.
3. Your ex posts pictures of their new partner on social media. A lot of people consider this behavior as a sign your ex has a rebound. It’s probably not. It’s a sign that they’ve moved on with their life and are being vocal and proud about it.
4. Your ex blocks you. Self-explanatory. Why do people block others? Because they don’t want to hear from them again.
5. Your ex is hot and cold. For example, one day, they keep blowing up your phone, and the other, they grow silent and may even ignore your reconnection attempts.
6. Your ex tells you they see you only as a friend. In other words, they try to friendzone you. A lot of people consider this a sign of love, but in reality, they’re only letting you down gently.
7. Your ex stopped talking to you because of [insert reason here]. Maybe they’ve got into another relationship, maybe they got married to their new partner, or maybe they just need a fake excuse to get you off their back. In any case, when they tell you the reason they don’t want to talk to you anymore, believe them and stop talking to them.
8. Your ex shows no affection. For example, they reject your attempts at reconnection, don’t want to go out with you, always change plans if you do get them on a date, ignore and ghost your calls and texts, cancel plans, make wishy-washy excuses why they can’t see you and give you one-word responses.
9. Your ex got into a rebound. I read a lot of “Does my ex still love me” guides, and I never bought into the theory about how if your ex ever gets into a rebound, it’s a sign that they still love you. To my knowledge, the opposite is true. And no, it doesn’t matter if their rebound partner is radically different from you or almost the same, and if their rebound relationship ends shortly after being formed or becomes a toxic on/off relationship.
How To Accurately gauge if your ex is still in love with you
Now that you’ve gone over all of the signs your ex still loves you, including those that suggest they don’t, you need to piece together the freshly excavated information into a coherent picture. This way, you will get the clearest answer of whether or not they actually still do love you.
There are four methods through which you can do this. Below I’ll go over them one by one and explain how to implement them.
1. Observing how your ex’s signs of love add up over time
Sometimes people jump to conclusions too quickly. For example, they immediately think their ex still loves them just because they laughed at their joke two times in a row or because they brushed shoulders with them one time. This is the wrong way to go about determining your ex’s love level. You don’t figure it out by considering their one-off behaviors. You consider it by observing their behavior throughout a period of at least a week or two.
For example, if your ex initiated contact with you today, it doesn’t mean anything. But if they kept initiating it for the past seven days, you can be damn sure they still love you.
Whenever you’re in doubt, ask yourself, “Did my ex act like they loved me at this moment only, or have they been acting like this for a longer period?” That should do the trick.
2. Focusing on what your ex does and not what they say
Your ex could say that they’re free for a date next week, but when that time comes, and you call them to schedule it, they don’t pick up. Instead, all you get is a lonely text four hours later saying, “I’m so sorry, but I was swamped. I’m so sad we couldn’t meet up.”
If you honed in on your ex’s words exclusively, you could conclude that they genuinely felt sorry and still love you to a degree. But if you honed in at their action instead, you could see the reality: that they couldn’t care less about you. I mean, they haven’t kept their word, picked up the phone, or even offered a rain check.
Remember: actions always speak louder than words.
3. Giving Your Ex Space And Observing How They Respond
When you want your ex back, your first instinct is to chase after them or try to convince, manipulate, coax, or beg them to come back.
Not only are these unattractive behaviors to do, but they also enforce limiting beliefs about you needing your ex or them being better and worthier than you.
What you should do is give your ex space. Not only is this best for your mental health and self-esteem, but it will also bring out your ex’s true feelings. For example, if they reach out after three weeks of silence, you’ll know that they still love you. And if they don’t, you’ll know that they don’t love you.
4. Recovering From Your Breakup
Breakup recovery entails many factors: detaching yourself from your ex emotionally, accepting your breakup, finding peace of mind, getting your confidence back, overcoming rumination, anger, and negative self-talk, cultivating self-love, and finding yourself again.
Only achieve these things, you’ll be able to judge your ex’s behaviors more objectively and thus arrive at a more precise conclusion of whether they still love you or not.
As a side note, If you’d like to learn how to recover from your breakup in what I like to believe is the most efficient and healthy way, I suggest you consider purchasing my Radical Recovery Course.
How You Make Yourself Believe Your Ex is still in love with you When they’re not
A lot of people fall into the trap of loving their ex so much that they project some of that love onto them, and as a result, falsely think that they love them back with equal intensity and gusto.
Consequently, the person projecting that love begins to sabotage themselves by displaying inappropriate behaviors when interacting with their ex — behaviors suited for a long-term partner exclusively: talking about future plans, still acting like a couple, trying to stay in contact, professing your unyielding love and desire, etc.
What can help you figure out if deluding yourself about your ex’s love is contemplating the following questions:
- Have I recovered from my breakup and can think clearly whether my ex still loves me or not?
- Am I really seeing the signs that my ex still loves me?
- Have I considered the signs that my ex may not love me?
- What would my friends and family think about my situation?
- What will I do if I find out my ex still loves me?
On top of this, always undervalue your ex’s love when trying to get them back. For example, if you think your ex still loves you with the intensity of 10/10, mentally tone down their love to at least a 7/10.
This way, you’ll proceed more casually when trying to get them back, and therefore lower the odds of sabotaging the re-attraction process by coming off too strong.
Signs That You’re In Love With Your Ex In An Unhealthy Way
Let’s say you’ve concluded that your ex still loves you. Now, do you still love them? And if so, is it a healthy and sustainable type of love? The questions below will help you get to that answer.
- Do you love only the idea of your ex — what they could’ve been in your life.
- Do you love playing the victim and having your ex near you so you can accuse them of your pain.
- Do you simply want a warm body by your side, so you don’t feel less lonely?
- Do you simply feel as though you’ll never find someone better — as though your ex is irreplaceable?
- Do you want your ex back so you can avoid the jealousy that comes with the thought of them dating other people.
- Do you want them back only to dump them later and get your revenge?
Take a moment to brood over these questions. Maybe even write down your answers to them. If you conclude that the reason you love your ex is tied to any one of the questions — and is therefore unhealthy — I suggest you let them go and find someone else. Or, at the very least, shift your focus from getting them back to getting yourself back.
What do to after finding out that your ex is still in love with you
If, after observing the signs that your ex still loves you, the signs that they don’t, and carefully examining your situation in general, you conclude that your ex does, in fact, love you, you can move forward in three different ways.
When you know your ex still loves you and wants you back…
… Just be honest with them and tell them you want them back as well. From there on out, work on creating a new relationship with them. While this is difficult — for it demands mutual personal growth, introspection (what went wrong and how do we fix it?), emotional work, patience, and (usually) therapy — it is possible.
When you know your ex still loves you but doesn’t want you back…
… Again, just be honest with them and tell them you want them back as well. Maybe your honesty will polarize them to the point where they change their mind about getting back together with you. Maybe it won’t — but you’ll at least have closure in that case.
When you know your ex still loves you but you don’t want them back…
…Cut them out of your life and move on for good. Start dating other people. Throw yourself into your career. Get mad drunk with friends and wake up shitfaced on the side of the street. Snort cocaine off a hooker’s boobs. And if your ex keeps bugging you, assert your boundaries and set proper expectations. If you want them to stop contacting you, tell them that. And if they don’t respect your boundary, don’t be ashamed to block their number.
Your ex still being in love with you (and vice versa) is not enough
Despite the emphasis we put on love as a value and all the research surrounding the phenomena, there is one problem we usually grapple with when discussing it; It’s often over-idealized.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Love is useful and necessary, but prioritizing it as a “God value” will make you do some astonishingly fucked up shit. Let me paint a picture for you.
Let’s say that your ex cheated on you with your best friend. Now you probably value loyalty to some degree, but you value love way more. So in the name of love, you will give your ex one more chance, and after they cheat on you again next week, you provide them with yet another one. Then the cycle keeps repeating over and over and over.
Each time you give your ex another chance to rekindle things, you lose more of their trust and respect. But hey, you still love them, so you stay stuck in a toxic relationship and think that if you just keep loving them, their behavior will change someday. But since you’ve conditioned them that treating you like shit is okay, it never will.
If you ever conclude that your ex still loves you and wants to get back together (and you feel the same way), you both must put healthier values on top of love to keep them and make your relationship work — values like respect, trust, honesty, integrity, humility, empathy, and so forth.
You also shouldn’t take love too seriously, build unrealistic outlooks and expectations around it, or sacrifice your wants, desires, and needs for it. And, perhaps most importantly, you should be painfully aware that love does not fix every relationship problem, and betting on it to do so will only result in yet another breakup.
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