32 Glaring Signs Your Ex Will Eventually Come Back - Max Jancar
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32 Glaring Signs Your Ex Will Eventually Come Back

By Max Jancar | Updated: May 17, 2022 | 20 Minute Read | Ex-Back

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I get it. You want to know the chances of getting your ex back, so you’re educating yourself on the signs that will help you determine those chances — the signs your ex will eventually come back. I commend you for your commitment. But here’s some sobering advice.

The more you obsess over these signs (or whether or not your ex will come back in general), the likelier it is that you’ll mutilate your emotional well-being and sabotage yourself when trying to mend things with your ex.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing bad about being aware of the signs your ex will eventually come back. The bad part is obsessing about them. Luckily, there is a healthier alternative to the whole thing. But before I get into it, let me start from the beginning so you’ll we’ll all be on the same page.

Do Exes Even Come Back

Yes, but it’s rare; most exes don’t come back. And even if by some miracle they do, keeping them is even less likely to happen.

According to a 3000+ participant study from Kevin Thompson of ExBackPermanently.com, as well as my anecdotal evidence from coaching people on reconciliation for the last 5 years, only 30% of exes get back together. And only 15% out of those 30% stay together for good. The remaining 15% part ways shortly after getting back together. (1)

The crucial aspect to note is that the 15% of individuals who managed to maintain a relationship did not simply sit back and hope for their ex to return. Instead, they took the initiative to address the underlying problems that caused their breakup, worked to resolve them, and invested in themselves so they grew as individuals.

There’s only one thing I’d add: in my experience, the lucky few who got their ex back and kept them didn’t waste time by chasing after them if they didn’t seem receptive to giving a second chance or weren’t putting much effort into mending the relationship in general.

Instead, these people moved on — like anyone with an ounce of self-respect should in their case. And it was only after giving their ex space to re-choose them at their own pace that they came back into the picture willing and able to rekindle things.

The Signs Your Ex Will Eventually Come Back

Below are 32 signs your ex will eventually come back. To be clear: just because your ex displays them, doesn’t necessarily mean they actually will get back together with you. Think of them more as signals of high interest and not necessarily guarantees for reconciliation.

1. Your ex initiates contact

And if it’s not tied to logistics (children, pets, living arrangements, work, shared possessions) and it’s not indirect (tagging, social media comments, liking profile pictures), it’s a sign they’ll come back.

Especially if its their reach-out (or check-up) is clearly about you as a person. For example, when your ex tells you things like, “This [insert source] reminded me of the time we did XYZ.”

2. Your ex contacts you regularly and responds quickly and enthusiastically

If your ex is consistently reaching out to you, responding promptly, and showing enthusiasm in their communication, it can be seen as a positive sign that they may eventually come back. However, approach the situation with caution and don’t jump to conclusions too quickly.

This sign can mean different things to different people, and there’s always context to remember. 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, if they respond quickly while you’re talking about what you’ve done over the weekend, it probably is.

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. On the one hand, this is good; it raises the odds of your ex returning. But on the other, it can be downright disastrous. For you can’t build a stable and healthy relationship on a bedrock of anxiety and desperation.

5. Your ex drunk-texts or drunk-calls you

You know those 1 am monologues you get about how much your ex hates you yet misses 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, Easters, and Thanksgivings are the most common culprits here. Note, however, that if your breakup happened a long time ago, this probably isn’t a sign your ex will come back but a mere gesture of kindness.

7. Your ex keeps creating excuses to talk to you

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 and are too scared 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 when we were together. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you.”

9. Your ex prolongs your conversations

Meaning, whenever you’d like to end a conversation, they come up with more questions to keep you from getting away. As a rule of thumb: if you notice your ex is prolonging conversations that should’ve ended five to ten exchanges ago, it’s probably a sign they’ll come back.

10. Your ex brings up past hurts

For example, they tell you, “When you spent the entire week working, only coming home to sleep, it made me feel really inferior.” Or, “I got really upset when you pulled out your phone whenever we ate together. It felt like I wasn’t interesting anymore.” Statements like that indicate that your ex still cares, so always interpret them as an indicator they still foster feelings for you.

11. Your ex brings up old memories in good light

A few examples:

12. Your ex places themselves into your orbit

Sometimes they’ll purposefully go places where 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 looking at you when you’re close or if they stare at you while you talk, they’re probably still interested. (2)

14. Your ex displays positive body language

For instance, whenever you’re around, they check you out, face toward you, smile a lot when interacting, and laugh too much when you’re telling them stupid or corny jokes that you know aren’t funny.

15. Your ex is standing close to you while you’re talking to them

If they’re standing slightly within your bubble of personal space, you could consider it a sign they want you and might come back. Although this one does differ from person to person, so it’s not always accurate. Some people just like to stand closer than usual to others. Always take your ex’s nature into consideration.

16. Your ex approaches you

This goes without saying, although a lot of people are oblivious to it. If you’re going about your day and suddenly your ex approaches you and wants to hang out and spend time with you — and they’re NOT interested in logistics or need something from you — it’s a surefire sign they’ll come back.

17. 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 for your ex, so consider it a huge sign they’ll come back if they do it.

18. Your ex stays in touch with your family

Always consider context here. If they don’t have any good reason 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 your family, that’s all.

19. Your ex hangs out with or 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.

20. Your ex defends you

Maybe they take your side when certain people are talking shit about you. Or they get into physical altercations with people wanting to do you harm. Or perhaps they simply sub-communicate when interacting with you that they’re on your team and you can trust and rely on them. All of this sub-communicates that they not only still foster feelings for you.

21. 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, then that’s a clear sign they might eventually reach out and come back.

22. Your ex keeps making social media posts about you/the breakup

Basically, they’re splattering their newsfeeds with cringeworthy inspirational quotes or sayings about love, empowerment, independence, and heartbreak or content that directly addresses you.

23. Your ex tries to make you jealous

They start posting pictures with attractive people of the opposite sex and updates about how much they’re dating, or they begin bragging to their friends about how great they’re doing and how much fun they’re having.

24. 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. Another offshoot of this sign is when they try to sabotage your other romantic or potential romantic relationships.

25. Your ex keeps and shows off something that was yours or that you have given to them

This is most commonly a piece of clothing or jewellery. 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)

26. 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 the point where it becomes a borderline obsession, it’s a big sign they’ll eventually come back.

27. 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 shy about telling others about it. This is usually the case for younger couples.

28. You had an on/off relationship with your ex

This is a relationship where two people continually keep breaking up and getting back together. And while cultivating such a relationship does mean your ex will eventually come back, it’s a pretty toxic dynamic to get caught in. So I suggest you end things for good.

29. 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 rilled up that they end it.

30. Your ex talks about a future with you

For example, they bring up plans relating to trips you’d go on at some point, or even bigger things like buying a pet someday, getting married, having kids, or settling down. All solid signs you still have a chance of mending things.

31. Your ex shows a lot of affection when you meet up and when you’re away

For example, when you meet up, 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. And when you’re away, they buy you gifts, write you notes or poems, sprinkle many affectionate emojis in their texts, or compliment you profusely.

32. Your ex is blatant about still having feelings for you and that they’ll eventually come back

For example, they want to make you happy and often express this desire, they seek your approval and validation (to a healthy degree, that is), they tell you how much they love and miss you, they ask you to meet up, or they express how they want to officially get back together.

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Why You Shouldn’t Obsess Over The Signs Your Ex Will Eventually Come Back

1. You Can Quickly Misinterpret Them Due To The Quantity Of Shoddy Information On The Subject

Below are four signs indicating your ex will eventually come back that keep popping up across many breakup-advice sites. These are the sort of signs I would deem inaccurate at best; dangerous at worst.

1. Your ex will come back if they express happiness about your achievement/growth. Meaning they congratulate, compliment, and tell you how much you’ve changed for the better. Why did I christen this sign as bullshit? Because lots of people (including myself) have no problem expressing happiness towards their exes, even when they don’t want them back.

2. Your ex will come back if they’re nostalgic. Again, bullshit. People get nostalgic about their exes all the time, even when they don’t want them back. Hell, we get nostalgic of all sorts of things we would never want to repeat: sloppy one-night stands, shallow parting buddies, waking up in the middle of the street, shitfaced.

3. Your ex will come back if you had a good relationship and a lot of chemistry with them. Sometimes I wonder if breakup advice is written for glue-eating 12-year-olds. It just doesn’t make sense sometimes.

4. Your ex will come back if you both understand what lead to the breakup. One last time: bullshit. You or your ex knowing what went wrong in a relationship is by no means a sign that they’ll come back. I know most of what I’ve done wrong in my previous relationships, including what my exes done wrong, and I still wouldn’t go back to any of them.

2. Obsessing Over Them Only Opens The Doors To Unnecessary Stress And Self-Sabotage

There’s a general consensus in psychology: the more you obsess about something, the more stressed and frustrated you’ll feel. And the more stressed and frustrated you feel, the higher the likelihood of displaying irrational, needy, and self-destructive behaviors.

In your case, these behaviors include: spamming your ex’s phone, showing up at their place unannounced, sending them cheesy love letters, overanalyzing their responses, attempting to “game them“, or stalking them on social media, and accidentally liking a post from 2015.

Sometimes obsessing over the signs your ex will come back can even lead to rumination: a tendency that causes a person to spend an inordinate amount of time worrying, figuring out, trying to understand, analyzing, or clarifying a thought or theme. It’s also one of the core characteristics of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). (3)

If you can’t get your ex out of your mind, consider seeing a therapist. Preferably one specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy.

3. Obsessing Over Them Often Warps Your Expectations For The Worse

I was terrified of flying as a kid. I thought it was only a matter of time before the plane’s engine malfunctioned and made us plummet into oblivion.

And the more I focused on the explosion and fire and smoke and the screaming people that swooshed out of an airborne plane like confetti, the more my fear expanded, blinding me from reality. Suddenly, things like turbulence, flickering lights, and tired expressions of crew members quickly became signs of impending doom.

The mental vomit I’ve gone through in my childhood is the same mental vomit you’ll go through if you keep obsessing over the signs your ex will eventually come back.

For example, when your ex asks you for their stuff back, chances are, you’ll idiotically jump to the conclusion that they still love you and want to come back. When, in reality, they probably just wanted their stuff back. But no; that idea will rapidly pass your mind, and you’ll start acting like a desperate psycho and only push your ex further away.

(Optional) Top Questions About The Signs Your Ex Will Eventually Come Back

How do you know if your ex will eventually come back for sure?

Out of all the signs, if your ex is reaching out regularly, is enthusiastic, talks about the future, shows affection when you meet up or when you’re away, and is blatant about still being interested, they’ll surely come back. But you never really know how these things pan out, so it’s best if you just get better at handling uncertainty.

How do you know if your ex secretly wants you back?

I wrote an entire article on this topic that you can read here. But here’s a rundown of the most glaring signs: your ex is pissed off at you, they keep your stuff, they place themselves into your orbit and pretend like it was an accident, they tell their friends to spy on you and gather intel, they keep checking your socials, and they don’t disconnect you from shared online services (i.e., Netflix or Apple Music).

How do you know when your ex is truly done with you?

Again, I wrote an article about this topic that you can read here. But here’s another rundown of the major signs: your ex told you to move on, blocked you, is avoiding you, removed you from their social media, is cold and indifferent toward you, doesn’t want to meet up, speaks badly about you, and returns your stuff.

What Influences The Odds Of Your Ex Coming Back

Plenty of factors, the most common being the length of your relationship, the age bracket you fall into, the amount of mutual respect and trust, the degree of compatibility you shared, the intensity of your commitment level, and the attraction level your ex currently has for you.

How long does it take for an ex to come back?

From what I’ve seen, it takes about 1-6 months post-breakup. But note that this number only takes into account couples who were in long-term relationships. Most that were in short-term ones (excluding those in toxic relationships) almost never mend their relationship.

A Better Way To Determine If Your Ex Will Come Back

Healing, rebuilding your life, and getting the best chance to get your ex back is a bitch when you’re using most of your mental capacity and waking energy to focus on the signs they’ll come back.

To improve the chances, just stop obsessing about these signs. Omit them. Fuck the odds. Focus on yourself and find something more important than getting your ex back. And I know this shift is difficult, but it’s worth it. Consider the upsides of the whole thing:

Paradoxically, it’s only through letting your ex go and investing in yourself that you get the best chance of getting them back. And it’s the identity-level changes you make in yourself (and the identity-level change they make in themselves) that keep you together once you rekindle things.

So stop fussing over signs your ex will come back. If they want you back, they’ll let you know. They’ll in some way, shape, or form, communicate that they want to try again. Be that in the form of a committed relationship, friends with benefits relationship, or casual dating.

If that happens, just be honest and tell them you want them back as well. From there, invite them on a date and start mending your relationship. While this is difficult — for it demands mutual personal growth, introspection, emotional work, patience, and (usually) therapy — it is possible.

But even if your ex never contacts you again or rejects your reconnection attempts, it’s still a win. Because them not coming back creates a space in your life for an even better person to take their place. And, although you might not believe me, there’s always a better person to take your ex’s place. Always.

Additional Resources For Figuring Out If Your Ex Will Eventually Come Back

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This free cheat sheet will explain every step of the re-attraction process, cut out all the confusion, and catapult your chances of getting back with your ex sky-high.

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