Click play to listen to this article.
If you’re wondering why your ex is suddenly checking up on you, be it via text, social media, or phone calls, there could be any number of reasons.
The most common ones being nostalgia, curiosity, loneliness, jealousy, guilt, anger, a desire for an ego boost, a craving to fuck, a yearning for friendship, and the ever so boring feeling of missing someone.
These are all reasons I’ll unpack below. And on top of it, I’ll dish out X practical tips on how to proceed when your ex checks up on you to get the best chance of getting them back and explain why you shouldn’t be fussing over your ex’s check-ups in the first place.
Reasons Your Ex Is Checking Up On You
There are many reasons your ex is checking up on you. Below are merely explanations of the most common ones, listed in no particular order. So don’t take the list as exhaustive.
1. Your Ex Is Nostalgic
Maybe your ex checked up on you because they started to reminisce about the highlights of your relationship: the fun dates, the amazing sex, the feeling of having someone who cares for them in their life.
After one thought led to another, perhaps their mind got cluttered with them, each thought fighting to get out and reminding them of what they lost — you. Eventually, the pressure got so perturbing that they couldn’t help but check up on you.
2. Your Ex Is Curious
Whether or not your ex accepted your breakup and moved on, and whether or not you’ve ended things on bad terms, there is a possibility that they are still curious about you. They may wonder how you’re handling the breakup, if you have life in order, and perhaps most commonly, if you’re available.
If your ex is interested in getting back together, they’ll likely use this information to gauge your level of attraction and decide on their next move with more certainty.
3. Your Ex Is Lonely
Loneliness is one of the most challenging parts of a breakup’s aftermath. And while some people aren’t as affected by it in the same scope as others, most still suffer from some form of it.
So there’s a good chance your ex — whether they’re the dumpee or the dumper — are dealing with their fair share of loneliness. And that may also be why they got a sudden urge to check up on you.
4. Your Ex Is Jealous
I’ve written a lot about jealousy till now. It’s a nasty, useless emotion that plagues everyone pursuing reconciliation. In fact, it haunts everyone with even a slimmer of interest in their ex. And this pesky emotion may just be the catalyst for your ex’s check-up.
And if you’re playing the field, fucking around, and having a blast, there’s an even greater chance that jealousy is the main reason your ex is checking up on you.
5. Your Ex Wants An Ego Boost
Sometimes your ex checks up on you solely because they want to get some of your sweet, succulent validation, usually in the form of getting confirmation that they’re still cared for.
They essentially want you to make them feel better about themselves — to feel more worthy, lovable, and like they matter. Or they want to vindicate their own self-image if they know they’ve been somewhat of a shitty partner. Talking of shitty partners…
6. Your Ex Feels Guilty
Was your ex a cheater? A liar? An abuser? All three? Maybe they’re so ashamed of how they acted that instead of addressing their fuckups, taking accountability, and apologizing (at least), they check up on you — partly to show interest, partly to be forgiven.
Under this context, a check-up is a pretty immature reaction — a red flag. So even if it does mean your ex wants you back, I encourage you to reconsider reconciliation.
7. Your Ex Is Angry
When your ex checks up on you, especially if their check-up is intense, bitter, or feisty, it’s likely because they’re mad about the lack of attention. And as painful as it is to hear this, your ex being angry is actually a good thing. It means they aren’t over you yet.
Although, if your ex starts insulting, blaming, and condemning you or being passive-aggressive, quit mending things, and block them. In other words, put them in their place. You should foster enough self-respect to expunge assholes from your life — even when you love them.
8. Your Ex Wants To Fuck You
This is usually why a guy checks up on his ex. Sometimes people are just horn-dogs, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But remember: context is king when deciding how to respond.
I know you want your ex back, but you’ve got to avoid hooking up with them if they only want to use you for sex. You’ve got to have enough self-respect for that! Whereas if they want to meet up and that meet-up somehow leads to sex, it’s a terrific idea to give in.
9. Your Ex Wants To Remain Friends
I’ll be honest: this rarely happens, especially if your breakup happened recently. It’s much more likely that your ex will check up on you for every other reason than friendship. Yet, it does seldom happen.
But since you want your ex back, you’ve got to decline friendship if your ex brings it up. Being friends with them won’t help you get them back. On the contrary: it will only make the whole thing more challenging and tricky.
10. Your Ex Misses You
This is the most obvious reason, but it’s worth mentioning. If your ex is checking up on you, it’s likely because they miss you and want to reconnect.
But before you get your nipples all hard, know that your ex missing you may not matter. Don’t get me wrong. Your ex has to miss you for them to want to get back together with you. But sometimes, your ex will miss you and simultaneously want nothing to do with you. So don’t get your hopes up.
What To Do When Your Ex Checks Up On You
If your ex checks up on you, and it’s not about logistics like pets and kids or living/work arrangements, they probably still like you. It’s only occasionally that they’d check up on you only to control or manipulate you. And even then, how you respond is identical to if they genuinely liked you. Here’s some advice.
The main idea to remember when your ex checks up on you is to invite them out as soon as they do. However, you don’t want to be a robot and immediately ask them out. You want to ease them into it.
I usually advise people that once their ex check up on them, they initiate a short 3-5 text message long conversation (or 5 minutes if you’re on a call) and then ask them out by saying something like, “Nice hearing from you, tell you what, why don’t we get together again? I’d love to see you. What time are you free next week?”
For more information on how to ask your ex out and handle their responses, read this article. For now, let’s talk attitude. No whining, sulking, or trying to get pity. Your ex doesn’t want to go out with a downer. Get over yourself and approach your interactions with a calm, positive, and non-needy demeanor.
Also, be polite but firm in your replies. Be vulnerable and stand up for yourself when needed. Don’t be one of those suckers who does everything for their ex to avoid tension, conflict, disagreement, and, rejection.
And don’t forget to take things slow. Don’t just tell your ex you see a future with them or discuss shit like how you’ll name your kids. Now I’m not saying don’t be honest, i’m just saying don’t be desperate and toxic and share more than is appropriate.
In a similar vein, don’t form ridiculous expectations around the fact that your ex checked up on you. While it is a sign of interest, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll rekindle things.
Last, focus on yourself more than you focus on your ex. The more you prioritize and invest in yourself, the less shaken up, awkward, and panicky you’ll be when your ex checks up on you, and the higher you’ll raise the odds of getting them back.
Why You Shouldn’t Focus On Your Ex Checking Up On You
One word: anxiety.
Constantly being on your ex’s radar will increase it exponentially and make focusing on other aspects of your life a pain in the ass. On top of that, lots of anxiety will make you act out in various needy and desperate ways that decimate your chances of getting back with your ex.
Maybe you start calling them obsessively. Or begging them to come back. Or you opt for bribing them to return with gifts and favors. Or perhaps you wind up at their house one day and get a restraining order.
All shitty ways to go.
So instead of losing your mind over your ex’s check-ups, approach them with caution. Don’t just give yourself to your ex on a silver platter. Compel them to make an effort at getting you back. Make them fight for you, dammit. Your relationship will never work out if it’s only you fighting for its rebirth. After all, it takes two to make it work.
Further Resources For Handling Your Ex When They’re Checking Up On You
- My Re-Attraction Cheat Sheet: a guide with quick information about every step of getting an ex back. Most notably, how to respond and handle your interactions after your ex reaches out or checks up on you.
- How To Get Your Ex Back And Actually Keep Them: the ultimate guide on how to get your ex back. This resource will help greatly if your ex at some point checked up on you because it explains exactly how to handle this curveball.
- Do You Have The Right Attitude?: an article that illustrates what attitude to adopt when interacting with your ex and what attitude to avoid.
Change Your Mind About Getting Your Ex Back
For those of you who are stressing about getting your ex back, a few simple words of wisdom to shift your perspective.
Going No Contact With A Fearful-Avoidant
Going no contact with a fearful-avoidant is tricky. But this guide will simplify everything so you can mend your relationship faster.
The Inferiority Gap
The science and solutions behind arguably the largest and most common problem people who want their ex back face.
How To Overcome Anxiety When Re-Attracting An Ex
Learn what anxiety is, where it comes from, how it screws you over, and how to overcome it so you can be more confident and less fearful.
6 Signs Your Ex Is Testing You And How To Handle It
Learn what tests are, how they look, the signs your ex is testing you, whether those signs are real or not, how to deal with tests, and more.