If you’ve just broken up with your significant other, you may be wondering if you two will get back together and if he’s still thinking about you, too. Maybe you don’t want to get back together and are just looking for closure. Moving on can be challenging, especially if your ex is still hung up on you. People handle breakups in numerous ways. If your ex wants to save face and hold onto his pride, he may pretend he’s over you when he really isn’t. He may be holding onto feelings of bitterness or regret or wants to get back together. It can take time for both parties to bounce back after a relationship ends. How can you be sure if he’s really moved on or just pretending? Here are 11 signs your ex is only pretending to be over you.
1. He Tries To Make You Jealous
Trying to get over a breakup is hard enough without your ex doing everything they possibly can to make you jealous in a bid to show you what you’re missing. Is his social media overwhelmed with pictures of him and new girls? Is he suddenly posting a million gym selfies when he’s not usually the type to do that? Is he hanging out with girls you don’t like? Even if you stopped yourself from talking about how much these other girls annoyed you when you were together, he knows who they are and how they make you feel. Is he obnoxiously and uncharacteristically spoiling his new girlfriend? Behavior like this is probably a clear sign he’s working hard to make you regret splitting up.
First off, ignore it. It’s annoying and hurtful to see your ex-boyfriend purposely trying to make you feel this way when you’re trying to move on after your split, but don’t engage with him. Don’t post vague statuses about his behavior and complain to mutual friends. He’s trying to get a reaction out of you. Don’t give him one. If he doesn’t get the reaction he was hoping for, he might step it up and act a little crazier. Just keep ignoring him and unfollow him! You don’t need to see what he’s posting because he’s not in your life anymore. You had your reasons for breaking up, and you need to remember them. If anything, the childish way he’s acting should be enough to keep you from wanting to get back together with him. Even if he’s doing this because he’s not over you, someone who deliberately tries to hurt you in this way is not the kind of person you want to be with again.
2. He Maintains Contact With You
For most people, breaking up means taking a literal long break from each other. This means that they enter a period of no contact with their ex. If your ex is still texting or calling you, he’s not over you. Maybe he tags you in old pictures of the two of you on social media or comments on a post of yours with a fun memory of your relationship. He might tag you in a conversation with mutual friends and try to interact with you on the post. He sends you congratulations for achievements you’ve made and brags about you on his personal page. It may seem like he’s being amicable, and perhaps he just truly is excited for you, but he also may be keeping in contact because he isn’t ready to let go and wants you to know it. If he’s making excuses to text or call you, “Remember that trip we took to the coast? What was the name of that restaurant we ate at?” instead of doing a Google search, then he’s trying to get your attention in the hopes of starting up again.
He uses social media to try to get your attention. He doesn’t come right out and mention your name, but you and your mutual friends know that he’s talking about you. He posts pictures on Facebook of places you’ve visited together or inside jokes that only you would recognize or posts “your” song in his Instagram stories. That Twitter post about old memories? Yep. That’s about you. It’s his way to subliminally broadcast the fact that he’s still into you.
Maybe he’s not maintaining direct contact with you, but he’s still in touch with your close friends. He tells them ‘happy birthday’ or congratulates them if your friend announces they have a new job on social media. If he runs into them, he talks to them instead of ignoring them. He could be a nice guy who genuinely likes your friends, but if he’s overly concerned about how you’re doing and if you’re seeing someone new, then he’s likely still carrying a torch for you.
3. He Goes Out of His Way To Fight With You
It may seem like a contradiction; how can he want you back if he wants to fight with you all the time? But people don’t usually go through the trouble of fighting with people they care nothing about. He might blame you for the breakup and willfully ignore any part he played in its disintegration. He could try to sabotage you or do everything he can to prevent you from being able to move on. He’s likely not trying to win you back, but he’s having lingering feelings for you, and lashing out is his way to deny those strong feelings. He might be fighting with you to prove that breaking up was the right thing to do but is still plagued by uncertainty. Maybe he thinks any kind of attention from you, even anger, is worth it if it means he’s still on your mind. Any reaction you give him will reassure him that he still has an important role in your life and haven’t forgotten him yet. If he’s saying negative things about you and your relationship behind your back, but saying them to your mutual friends, he’s doing it with hopes that they’ll report back to you. He’s trying to get a rise out of you, so don’t react. Ignore and block him. You don’t need a person who plays those kinds of mind games in your life.
4. He Flirts With You
Flirting is one of the most obvious signs your ex still has feelings for you. It might be the same type of flirting he did before you started dating, or he might try a completely different tactic. He may try switching it up to get your attention and convince you that it’ll be different and better than before if you get back together. It’s up to you to decide if this is a road you want to go down again. Do you catch him stealing glances at you at a party? Does he find ways to initiate physical contact, such as standing close to you, touching your shoulder or arm, or giving prolonged hugs? If he’s finding excuses to touch you, likely, he’s still hung up on you. Maybe he’s overly friendly to you and doing you more favors than he did in the relationship. He might be doing favors because he feels guilty, wants something from you, or wants to get back together. An excellent way to tell if the reason he’s being so nice is that he wants to get back together is to track his investment. If he’s investing lots of time, money, and emotional effort, it’s safe to assume the motivation behind his thoughtfulness is that he wants you back in his life.
5. He Doesn’t Change His Routine So He Can Still Run Into You
You see him at the coffee shop near your apartment you two used to visit every morning together, even though it’s nowhere near where he lives or works. He’s still shopping at the grocery store he always complained was too expensive. You run into him on your way to the gym and he insists he happens to be in the neighborhood. You feel like you’re seeing him too much since the breakup. He’s likely going out of his way for the possibility of running into you. Sounds like an episode straight out of You, huh?
It doesn’t matter how much time has passed. Bumping into your ex can still cause physical reactions such as increased heart rate, sweating, stomach cramps, or tightness in the chest. It can be confusing to react so strongly when you know you’ve moved on and are completely over them. The physical reactions you’re experiencing aren’t necessarily because you’re still in love with him. The rush you feel may be the manifestation of anxiety or nervousness.
Running into your ex can be overwhelming and bring up a lot of emotions for both of you. No matter how you feel about them, it can bring up feelings of bitterness, regret, nostalgia, or anxiety. The most important thing is not to lose control. Prepare yourself for the inevitability of running into him by deciding how you’ll react now.
6. Drags His Feet On Tying Up Loose Ends
He hasn’t asked for his stuff back and might be making it hard for you to come and get your things. If he were over you, he would be eager to tie up these loose ends as quickly as possible. If he’s not ready to move on, he drags his feet. He may avoid your phone calls about getting your stuff back or cancel last minute when you were supposed to meet up to swap your boxes of belongings post-breakup. He could be holding onto your stuff for sentimental reasons or pushing it off because he’s in denial that you two are really over.
So, how do you get your stuff back? Decide what you actually need back. If you can easily replace it, forget about it. If you can’t easily replace an item, send a text, then get in and get out. Avoid interaction with your ex so you don’t end up fighting or backsliding. Let him know when you’re on your way and ask him to leave the box of your belongings outside his door.
7. He’s Not Moving On
He may stay single and take a lot of interest in whether or not you’re still available. He isn’t moving on with anyone else because he’s leaving the opportunity open for things to be rekindled between you. When he learns that you’re single, he might take bolder action and ask you to get back together or talk about the things he’s been working on to be a better partner.
If you don’t want to get back together, make sure no mixed messages are hanging around you. Mixed signals are when you desire to remain broken up, but your actions are saying you still want a relationship with your ex. These mixed messages give your ex false hope that there’s a chance for reconnection. In this situation, the best course of action is to acknowledge that you’ve given mixed messages but that you don’t want to get back together. Suggest that you both unfollow each other on social media and agree to no contact. Give yourselves time to let go of any negative feelings. This will give your ex the space he needs to clear his head and move on.
8. He’s Constantly Moving On
If he got together with another girl immediately, then he likely already had another partner lined up and could have possibly been seeing her before you two called it quits. If your ex is moving on with many other girls, it could be because he’s terrified of being alone to deal with his feelings about your breakup and trying to get in all the rebound relationships he can. People can tell when they’re the rebound, so his other girls probably aren’t sticking around because of that. Or, he’s trying to broadcast the fact that he’s over you to you and the world. They’re dating so much to force the process to move faster, but he’s going to have to deal with those feelings sooner or later.
Your ex may be moving on quickly, but it’s a good idea for you to stay single for a while. Don’t follow suit and jump into a rebound relationship. Give yourself time to heal and get over your ex. Your future mate will thank you for not bringing that baggage into your new relationship.
9. His New Girlfriend is Insecure Around You
For some reason, his new girlfriend hates you. Even if you haven’t even really talked to her, she acts like you are mortal enemies. If your ex hasn’t moved on from you, there’s a good chance his new girlfriend has picked up on it, and it makes her feel threatened because she feels like she can’t compete with the memory of you. Every time he or his friends mention you, her insecurity grows. This is worse if you and your ex have remained friends. Everyone has a different opinion about whether or not staying friends with your ex is a good idea. If you’re ready to move on, do his new girl a favor and step back. Give him space to get over you and focus on his new relationship.
10. Turns His Friends Into Spies
You may notice some of his friends starting to be interested in your current love life and if you still have feelings for your ex. Maybe they’re interested in asking you out and are testing the waters. But perhaps your ex has recruited them to spy on you. If you suspect the latter, keep your answers short and sweet and don’t give too much away because anything you say can and will be used against you. Not that it should matter (you’re not on trial here!), but it could save you a lot of drama. Your ex’s ego is bruised because you haven’t reached out, and he uses his friends to find out why. Your friends might unintentionally be used as spies as well.
11. Upset By You Moving On
One of the biggest signs your ex is pretending to be over you is how he reacts when he finds out you’re in a new relationship. Even if your ex is totally fine flaunting his new relationships, when it comes to you moving on, he’s livid. He may act cool and calm if he happens to bump into you, but you may hear the buzz that he’s been asking about your new flame. He may confront you on your own and casually throw shade about your new guy or make jokes at his expense.
Breaking up is hard, and learning to move on afterward is even harder. Acceptance is the biggest obstacle we face after a breakup. Some of us find ourselves constantly pining for our ex or hoping that he’ll want to get back together. If you notice any of these signs from your ex, you first need to decide how you feel about it. Decide if it’s worth getting back together and if the reasons you broke up aren’t that important anymore. If you decide that you have no interest in starting up again, set clear boundaries with your ex. A heartfelt and direct explanation such as, “I don’t want to get back together. It would be great if we could give each other the chance to move on“. In any case, if you’re hoping to get back together or want to get far from him, it’s helpful to know the signs your ex is pretending to be over you to help you see things more clearly. Give yourself time to heal to be ready for new love because you deserve it!