Breaking up with someone you loved is never easy. And while it’s hard enough to deal with the aftermath of a split, it can be even harder to navigate when you’re not sure of the signals your ex is throwing at you.
You might be trying to move on, but your gut tells you that they’re just pretending to be over you. Maybe they’re saying all the right things, but their actions don’t quite line up.
Or maybe you’re just picking up on subtle cues that they’re not as over you as they claim to be.
Many people find themselves in this position after a breakup. It’s a confusing and frustrating place to be. “But why does it even matter? If they’re not over me, that’s their problem.”
And while that’s certainly one way to look at it, the truth is that dealing with an ex who isn’t fully over you can be a major obstacle in moving on and finding closure for yourself. This is why we’ve compiled these surefire signs to expose any pretense or hidden intentions of your ex.
1. They continue to contact you
If your ex was truly over you, they would probably be focusing on moving on and finding new relationships or other things to occupy their time. But if they’re still reaching out to you, it suggests that they’re still thinking about you and want to keep you in their life in some way.
Maybe they’re texting you to see how you’re doing or sending you memes and articles they think you’ll like. Maybe they’re even trying to make plans to hang out, even though you’ve broken up.
Whatever the case may be, the fact that they’re still making an effort to contact you indicates that they haven’t fully let go of their feelings for you.
They might try to convince you that they just want to be friends, but the frequency and tone of their messages will tell a different story.
Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule. Your ex could be reaching out for completely innocent reasons, or they could genuinely want to be friends and maintain a connection with you.
Another thing to keep in mind is that sometimes, people pretend to be over their exes as a way of convincing themselves that they are, in fact, over them.
By staying in touch with you, your ex might be trying to prove to themselves that they can handle a friendship with you without feeling anything.
But if they’re constantly initiating contact or seem overly eager to spend time with you, it could be a sign that they’re not as over the relationship as they claim to be.
2. Holding on to your possessions
There are a lot of reasons why your ex is still being on to some of your possessions and one of them might be that he’s finding it hard to let go of the past.
It could be that these possessions hold sentimental value and your ex is clinging onto them as a way to hold onto the memories of your relationship. Or maybe they’re hoping that by keeping these things, it will somehow keep a connection to you alive.
But here’s the thing – holding onto possessions can also be a way for your ex to keep you within arm’s reach. If they know that you’ll eventually want your things back, it gives them a reason to reach out and initiate contact with you again.
Of course, there are other reasons why someone might hold onto possessions from a past relationship. Maybe they just really like the couch and don’t want to get rid of it. But if your ex is actively holding onto things that have a clear connection to your time together, it’s something to keep in mind.
[Related: Dreaming About An Ex You Don’t Talk to Anymore? This is What it Means]
3. Bringing up old memories
A clear indication that they’re still hanging on to something is if they’re constantly bringing up old memories.
Do you know how sometimes you go through old photo albums and relive some of your fondest memories? Well, imagine your ex doing that with memories of the two of you. It’s not exactly a promising sign that they’re done with you, is it?
When you’re truly over someone, you’re not constantly revisiting the past. You’re focused on the present and the future, rather than dwelling on what once was. That’s if indeed you’re trying to move on.
By reminiscing about the good times you had together, they’re keeping the possibility of a future together alive, even if it’s just a glimmer of hope. But the thing is, it’s not healthy for either of you to constantly be stuck in the past.
It’s important to move on and grow from the experiences you shared. If your ex is struggling to do that, it might be time for them to take a step back and evaluate their feelings.
4. Stalking your social media
I listened to a podcast where a lady was talking about how she was going through a guy’s IG account. She was fascinated by him. She decided to go through his pictures and mistakenly liked an old picture posted a few years back, which was not included in her plans.
Our reaction to an impulsive move like this would be to “unlike” the picture quickly since it wasn’t part of her agenda to be noticed by him. But the thing about social media is that notification is sent immediately after you hit that like button, and you “unliking” doesn’t unsend the notification.
Now imagine this move was made by your ex who claims to have moved on with his/her life. You’re scrolling through your social media feeds, minding your own business, and all of a sudden you see a notification pop up.
It’s your ex who you thought had moved on, liking a photo of you from a year ago. What a way of moving on, right?
Let’s be real, if your ex is constantly stalking your social media, they’re not over you. It’s almost like they’re trying to convince themselves that they’ve moved on, but they just can’t help themselves.
They need that constant reminder of what they’ve lost, and it’s all there for them to see on your feed. It’s like they’re living vicariously through your photos, reminiscing about the good times you shared.
They might try to play it off like they’re just curious about what you’ve been up to, but the truth is, they’re still emotionally invested in you. It’s almost like they’re trying to keep tabs on you, without actually communicating with you directly.
5. Trying to make you jealous
While this may seem like a harmless tactic, the truth is that it’s often a clear sign that your ex is quite the opposite of moving on.
Think about it: why would someone who’s genuinely moved on with their life feel the need to try and make you jealous? If they’re truly happy with their new situation, they shouldn’t feel the need to validate their choices by making you feel bad.
After all, if they’re happy, they should be content to let you be happy too.
Of course, there are some situations where making you jealous might be unintentional. Maybe your ex is genuinely excited about their new job or a new relationship, and they’re sharing that excitement with you without realizing how it might come across.
However, in most cases, trying to make you jealous is a deliberate act, designed to elicit a specific emotional response from you. And that’s where things get interesting.
You see, when your ex is trying to make you jealous, they might be trying to convince themselves that they’ve moved on, but deep down, they’re still harboring feelings for you. So, why would someone do this? Well, there are a few reasons.
For starters, they might be trying to get a reaction out of you – anything from anger to sadness to jealousy. They want to know that you still care about them, that you’re still invested in their life, and that you’re not moving on without them.
Also, trying to make you jealous might be a way for your ex to feel powerful. After all, if they can still make you feel something, they must still have some kind of control over you, right?
It’s a way for them to maintain a sense of importance in your life, even if they’re no longer with you. Of course, all of this is easier said than done.
When you’re in the midst of a breakup, it can be difficult to see things clearly – especially when your ex is playing mind games with you.
But if you can recognize these signs that your ex is manifesting you’ll be in a better position to move on and find happiness on your terms.
[Also read: He Ended It But Still Contacts Me. Here’s Why]
6. Maintaining close ties with your loved ones
After breaking up with someone, it’s natural to distance yourself from whatever has the potential of reminding you about your past relationships, like your ex’s close friends and family members.
I’m not saying you should ignore them when they say hi or pretend not to see them when you meet them in public places.
It’s normal to give them a little distance. But what if your ex continues to maintain a close relationship with your friends and family even when they know they don’t have to? It’s because they still want some sort of connection with you, even if it’s indirect.
They might keep in touch with your mom, and help her out with some work. They might still contact your siblings or even hang out with your close friends. Although, maintaining close ties with your loved ones after a breakup is not necessarily a bad thing.
However, when it’s clear that your ex is going out of their way to spend time with your family and friends, it’s time to take a closer look. It’s like they are trying to cling to your life and relationships even though the romantic aspect is over.
Why else would they be going out of their way to see the people who are important to you? It could be that they are trying to get close to you again or simply keeping tabs on you through your loved ones.
7. They avoid talking about their feelings
It’s like when someone’s hiding a secret, and they get all weird and awkward when the subject is brought up. They might change the subject, avoid eye contact, or just shut down completely.
The same thing can happen when someone’s pretending to be over an ex – they don’t want to admit that they still have feelings, so they avoid the topic altogether. And let’s be real, we’ve all been there at some point.
It’s not easy to come to terms with the fact that someone you cared about deeply is no longer a part of your life. So it’s not surprising that some people might try to bury their feelings and act like everything’s fine.
In the end, it’s just a temporary Band-Aid over a wound that hasn’t fully healed. Of course, it’s not a guarantee – they could just be a closed-off person in general.
But if they used to be open with you about their feelings and have suddenly become tight-lipped, it’s worth considering. After all, actions speak louder than words.
[Also read: The Types Of Breakups That Get Back Together]
8. Seeming too eager to move on
When you’re truly over someone, you’re able to let go of them without any rush or hurry. You might still have some lingering feelings, but you’re not in a rush to act on them.
You’re able to take your time, heal, and move on in your way. On the other hand, if your ex seems too eager to move on, it could be a sign that they’re trying to distract themselves from their feelings for you.
It’s almost like they’re trying to force themselves to move on before they’re ready to. Another reason why this could be a sign is that they might be trying to prove something to you.
You know how it is – sometimes after a breakup, you want to show your ex that you’re doing just fine without them. You want to prove to them that you don’t need them in your life to be happy.
So your ex might be putting on a show, trying to convince you (and maybe even themselves) that they’re totally over you and ready to move on. But in reality, they might still be struggling with their feelings for you.
It’s also worth considering that your ex might be using this eagerness to move on as a way to push you away. If they’re still hurt by the breakup, they might be trying to distance themselves from you to protect their own emotions.
So by acting like they’re eager to move on, they might be hoping that you’ll take the hint and leave them alone. It’s not the healthiest approach, but it’s understandable why someone might resort to this.
9. Becoming defensive or angry when you try to talk to them
Have you ever had a conversation with someone and noticed how quickly their tone changes once you bring up a specific topic? It’s almost like a switch is flipped and their entire demeanor becomes defensive or even angry.
If this has happened to you while trying to talk to your ex, it could be a clear sign of holding on. When someone is truly over a past relationship, they tend to be more open and willing to have a civil conversation about the topic.
They may even express empathy and understanding of how you’re feeling. However, if your ex is becoming defensive or angry when you try to talk to them, it could mean that they are trying to protect themselves from feeling vulnerable or hurt.
When we feel threatened, our instinct is to protect ourselves. Our brains go into “fight or flight” mode, and we may become defensive or aggressive as a means of self-preservation.
The same thing can happen when someone is trying to protect themselves emotionally. If your ex is still harboring feelings for you, they may feel threatened by the idea of discussing the relationship or anything related to it.
As a result, they may become defensive or even lash out in anger to protect themselves. Another reason your ex may be becoming defensive or angry when you try to talk to them is that they may feel guilty about the way things ended between you.
They may be struggling with the fact that they still have feelings for you, yet they know that the relationship can’t continue. This inner turmoil can cause them to feel irritable and on edge, which could manifest as defensiveness or anger when you try to talk to them.
[Also read: 5 Signs the No-Contact Rule is Working]
10. Always showing up in places you frequent
Does it appear that your ex keeps showing up in places you frequent? While this could just be a coincidence, some signs suggest your ex might not be ready to let go.
First of all, how often do you frequent these places? If they’re really common spots that lots of people go to, then it might not be that surprising to run into your ex there from time to time.
But if they’re more obscure locations, or if you only go there occasionally, then it’s a little more suspicious. Another thing to consider is whether your ex seems to be going out of their way to be at these places when they know you’ll be there.
If they’re always showing up shortly after you arrive, or if they’re constantly sending you messages asking where you are, then that could be a sign that they’re still trying to keep watch on you.
But why would your ex go to all this trouble? Well, one possibility is that they’re trying to maintain a sense of control. By showing up in places where you’ll be, they’re essentially trying to assert their presence in your life, even if it’s just in a small way.
Another reason is that they’re still hoping to get back together. By showing up in places you frequent, they’re putting themselves in your line of sight and reminding you of their existence. This can be a way to keep the door open for a possible reconciliation down the line.
What To Do About It
So, after noticing that your ex manifests some of these signs, and you’re sure they do all this because they want to connect back with you, what do you do about it? Here are a few suggested moves to make.
Firstly, it’s important to take a step back and consider your feelings toward your ex. Do you have feelings for them as well or have you already moved on? It’s crucial to be honest with yourself and avoid giving your ex false hope if you don’t have any interest in pursuing a relationship with them.
If you do still have feelings for your ex and are interested in giving the relationship another chance, it’s important to have an open and honest conversation with them. Express your feelings and concerns, and encourage them to do the same.
It’s important to discuss what went wrong in the past and to come up with a plan to avoid the same issues in the future. However, if you’ve already moved on from the relationship, it’s important to make this clear to your ex in a respectful manner.
Let them know that you appreciate their honesty but that you don’t have any interest in rekindling the relationship. It’s important to be firm but kind, as this can be a difficult and emotional conversation for both parties.
[Also read: 12 Signs He Will Never Come Back]