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I get it. You’re curious about the signs your ex will eventually come back so you can more easily pinpoint your chances of reconciliation. I commend you for your commitment.
However, here’s some sobering advice: the more you obsess over these signs — or if your ex will return in general — the likelier it is that you’ll make unnecessary mistakes that could harm your emotional well-being and sabotage re-attraction, lowering the odds of mending your relationship.
So while it’s okay to be aware of the signs your ex may return, it’s crucial to recognize and curb any obsession with them. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start from the beginning and go from there.
Do Exes Even Come Back
Yes, exes do come back — but it’s rare.
According to a 3000+ participant study from ExBackPermanently, as well as my anecdotal evidence from coaching people on reconciliation for the last five years, only 30% of exes get back together. And only half of those 30% stay together for good. The remaining half parted ways shortly after getting back together. (1)
A crucial aspect to note here is that individuals who managed to rekindle and maintain a relationship did not simply sit back and hope for their ex to return. Instead, they took the initiative, invested in themselves, and addressed and resolved the major underlying problems that caused their breakup.
Moreover, these people didn’t waste time chasing after their ex. Especially not if the ex was cold and unreceptive or didn’t put much effort into mending the relationship. Instead, these people moved on. And it wasn’t until they’ve given their ex enough space through moving on that the ex came back into the picture.
Sounds paradoxical, but letting go of your ex truly is the best way to get them back.
The Signs Your Ex Will Eventually Come Back
Below are 30 signs your ex will eventually come back. To be clear, just because your ex displays any of them, doesn’t necessarily mean they actually will return. Think of them more as signals of high interest and not necessarily guarantees for reconciliation.
1. Your ex initiates contact
This is most definitely a sign they’ll come back if their contact is a) about you as a person, b) isn’t about logistics (children, pets, living arrangements, work, shared possessions), and c) isn’t indirect (social media tagging, liking your post, commenting under your profile photo). An example of such a contact would be when your ex tells or texts you something like, “This restaurant reminded me of our first date,” or when they ask, “Hey there, how are you? Just checking up on you.”
2. Your ex contacts you regularly and responds quickly and enthusiastically
This is usually a sign they’ll come back, but approach the situation cautiously and don’t jump to conclusions too quickly. This potential sign could mean different things to different people, so there’s always context to note. For instance, if you’re talking about a shared work project and your ex responds quickly, it’s likely not a sign of interest. Yet, it probably is if they respond quickly when discussing what you’ve done over the weekend.
3. Your ex is curious about you
For example, they keep asking how you’re doing, whether or not you’re still hurting, how your studies are going, how your career is unfolding, or how your dating life is turning out. The more questions they ask and the more personal and inquisitive they are, the more they’re probably interested in coming back.
4. Your ex keeps contacting you even though you’ve told them to stop
Translation: they’re panicking. Perhaps they’re even desperate. On the one hand, this is good. It’s a clear indicator of interest. But on the other, it can be downright disastrous. After all, you can’t build a stable and healthy relationship on a bedrock of panic and desperation.
5. Your ex drunk-texts or drunk-calls you
You know those 1 a.m. monologues your ex unleashes about how much they hate you yet miss you, but only because they want to fuck you, but then again, would consider something more serious? Good sign. Especially if your ex keeps doing it.
6. Your ex reaches out on special occasions or holidays
Birthdays, anniversaries, Christmases, Easter, and Thanksgiving being the most common culprits. Note, however, that if your breakup happened a long time ago, this probably isn’t a sign your ex will come back but only a simple gesture of kindness.
7. Your ex keeps creating excuses to talk to you
For example, “I just remembered I left XYZ at your place?” Or “How are the apartment renovations coming along?” If it’s not obvious already, your ex couldn’t care less about these things. Chances are, they’re just using them as excuses to get in touch with you because they miss you but are too afraid or embarrassed to be upfront about it (see: signs your ex is pretending to be over you).
8. Your ex apologizes for what went wrong
That is, they own their mistakes and admit them. For instance, they say, “I’m sorry I acted so controlling when we were together. I know I have a problem. I’m getting help tomorrow.” Or they say, “You know, I really did neglect your needs. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you. I wish I could go back and fix my mistakes.”
9. Your ex prolongs your conversations
Meaning that whenever you’d like to end a conversation, they come up with more questions to keep you from getting away. Now sometimes this doesn’t mean anything. But if you notice your ex is repeatedly prolonging conversations that should’ve ended five to ten exchanges ago, it’s a good sign.
10. Your ex brings up past hurts
For example, they tell you, “When you spent the entire week working, only coming home to bed, it made me feel really inferior.” Or, “I got really upset when you pulled out your phone whenever we had lunch together. It felt like I wasn’t interesting anymore.” Statements like that indicate that your ex still cares, so it’s wise to interpret them as indicators of attraction.
11. Your ex brings up old memories in good light
Like when they say, “Remember when we took that spontaneous road trip and explored new places together?” Or, “Remember when we had that amazing picnic in the park and laughed so hard we couldn’t stop?” Or, “Remember when we went to that park, and I snorted cocaine off your tits while you were having an epileptic seizure? Good times.”
12. Your ex places themselves into your orbit
Meaning they purposefully go to places and venues where they know you’ll be at. So if you keep seeing them wherever you go, it may be because they’re deliberately placing themselves there to make it easy for you to strike up a conversation and re-attract them.
13. Your ex makes non-accidental eye contact
Humans are wired to make eye contact with whatever they find interesting and are curious about. So if your ex keeps giving you glances or checking you out when you’re near them, or if they stare at you more than usual while you talk, they’re probably still interested. (2)
14. Your ex displays positive Social cues and body language
For instance, whenever you’re interacting in-person, they face toward you, lean in, smile a lot, laugh perhaps a bit too much at your jokes, lightly touch you, stand closer to you than usual, or keep their arms relaxed and at their sides, gesturing with open palms.
15. Your ex ditches their friends for you
Meaning they cancel their plans and leave their friends behind so they can spend more time with you. This is often a difficult thing to do, so consider it a huge sign they’ll come back.
16. Your ex stays in touch with your family
Always consider context here. If they don’t have any good reasons to stay in touch, it’s probably a good sign. But if they’re simply close with your family, it probably means nothing. They just care about them, that’s all.
17. Your ex stays in touch with 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, if you miss them, still love them, and whether or not you ever talk about them, or at least mention them.
18. Your ex defends you
For example, they take your side when people are talking shit about you. Or perhaps they get into physical altercations with those wanting to do you harm.
19. Your ex blocks and unblocks you
Normally, these block-unblock gestures are simply made out of kindness or confusion, so I wouldn’t think much about them. But if your ex keeps blocking and unblocking you — perhaps week-in, week-out — then that’s a good sign of interest.
20. Your ex keeps making social media posts related to you
For instance, they’re splattering their profiles with cringeworthy inspirational quotes, sayings about relationships, empowerment, independence, breakup motivational fluff, or posts directly addressing you.
21. Your ex tries to make you jealous
Maybe they start posting pictures with attractive people of the opposite sex on social media. Maybe they share updates about how much they’re dating. Or perhaps they start bragging to their friends about how great they’re doing and how much fun they’re having, hoping the news eventually reaches you.
22. Your ex gets jealous when they find out you’re dating other people
A dead giveaway. If they didn’t have feelings for you, they couldn’t care less about your love life. An offshoot of this sign is when they try to sabotage your new romantic or potential romantic relationships.
23. Your ex keeps or shows off something that was yours or that you have given them
This is most commonly a piece of clothing, jewelry, or a random trifle you gave them. Think of it as a comfort object. That is, an item used to provide your ex with psychological comfort while you aren’t there with them. (5)
24. Your ex is second-guessing the breakup
We all second-guess our breakups. So it’s normal if your ex does it from time to time, and it doesn’t mean anything. But if they keep second-guessing to a point where it becomes a borderline obsession, it’s a sign they’ll eventually come back.
25. Your breakup was never official
If your ex never told anyone that they broke up with you, it could indicate that they’ll return. But then again, they may be just embarrassed about sharing the news (which is typical for teens and young adults).
26. You had an on/off relationship with your ex
This is a relationship where two people continually break up and get back together. And while cultivating such a relationship does mean your ex will eventually come back, as is the typical pattern, it is a pretty toxic dynamic to get caught up in. So I suggest you eventually end things for good.
27. You broke up in the heat of the moment
Sometimes emotions make us say and do things we didn’t really want to say and do. One of which is ending our relationship prematurely or unintentionally getting our ex so riled up that they end it. People usually get back together relatively quickly after such mishaps.
28. Your ex talks about a future with you
For example, they bring up cool date ideas, plans about trips you’d go on in the future, or even more serious stuff like buying a pet someday, getting married, having kids, or settling down. All solid signs you still have a chance of mending things.
29. Your ex expresses pride about your achievements and growth
Meaning they congratulate and compliment you often. The more, the merrier. However, note that if it’s been a long time since your breakup, this could just be a polite gesture devoid of any romantic interest.
30. Your ex shows the painfully obvious
They’re all over you, keep touching you, keep being affectionate, buy you gifts, write you notes or poems, sprinkle many affectionate emojis through their texts, compliment you profusely, seek your approval and validation, tell you how much they love and miss you, ask you to meet up, or express how they want to get back together.
Why Obsessing Over The Signs Your Ex Will Come Back Sucks
As I alluded in the beginning of this article, it’s because it usually harms your emotional well-being and sabotages re-attraction.
Starting with well-being, it encourages panic and stress, and can even lead to rumination: a tendency to spend an inordinate amount of time worrying, figuring out, trying to understand, analyzing, or clarifying a breakup-related thought or theme.
- Spamming your ex’s phone.
- Begging them for another chance.
- Breaking the no contact rule.
- Showing up at their place unannounced.
- Sending them cheesy love letters.
- Overanalyzing their responses.
- Attempting to “game them.“
- Stalking them on social media.
You get the idea.
A Better Way Of Determining If Your Ex Will Come Back
Instead of holding onto your chances or the signs I listed earlier, shift your focus to something more important than getting your ex back. This something can be anything — fighting for a cause you believe in, following some life purpose, investing in another relationship, excelling in your career, etc.
The theory goes that once you find something more important and meaningful than your ex and shift your focus on it, you experience the following benefits:
- You preserve mental capacity that you can then direct to a more productive direction than obsessing over an ex. For example, getting your emotional baggage aired out, kicking ass at work, or figuring out what mistakes you’ve made in your last relationship and how to avoid repeating them.
- You become less reactive, needy, and desperate towards your ex and thus more attractive, often dramatically increasing the odds of getting your ex to miss you and reach out.
- You stop constantly getting lost in mental vomit, like when you keep asking yourself, “Will my ex come back,” “Do exes give second chances?” or “What are the chances my ex will eventually come back.”
Need I say more?
It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s only when you find something more important than your ex and hone in on it that you can curb your obsession and raise your chances of getting them back.
And if they don’t come back?
More Resources For Determining If Your Ex Will Come Back
- The Re-Attraction Cheat Sheet: a guide with quick information about every step of getting an ex back, including how to know when they still have feelings for you.
- Top 16 Signs Your Ex Is Pretending To Be Over You: an in-depth guide on whether or not your ex wants you back covertly and how to respond.
- 16 Striking Signs Your Ex Will Never Come Back: the inverse of this article. It’s always wise to read the other perspective, so give it a stab.
- How To Get Your Ex Back And Actually Keep Them: the definitive guide on the topic. If your ex ever shows any interest in coming back, this is an absolute must-read.
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