17 Heartbreaking Signs Your Ex Still Loves You (And What To Do About It)


Signs Your Ex Still Loves You

When one of my exes told me that he didn’t love me anymore, it shook me to my core. I simply couldn’t believe that this man who had been lovingly rubbing my back the night before had abruptly fallen out of love with me. I was so confused and devastated.

For weeks after the breakup, I stayed up late nursing my broken heart, endlessly googling things like, “signs your ex still loves you”, “does he still love me” and “signs your ex wants you back.”

I found out later that my ex still loved me, but when he told me it was over he was hurting and angry and a whole bunch of other emotions that took a lot of time to process.

One of the most painful things that happens during a breakup is that people say and do things that they don’t mean. Exes act in confusing ways that can be hard to interpret.

I’ve written before about why your ex won’t do a grand gesture if he wants you back. It’s worth talking about other signs your ex still loves you.

1. He maintains contact with you when he doesn’t have to.

One of the more obvious signs your ex still loves you is that he stays in touch.

He might text out of the blue or call for really flimsy reasons. Men don’t usually hunger and yearn for an exe’s attention if they have fallen out of love. It’s a definite sign your ex misses you if he keeps popping into your life.

2. He says he still wants to be friends and tries to make time for you.

Most of the time when an ex says he still wants to be friends, he is really saying that he’s not ready to cope with loss. It’s one of those normal things that people say when they breakup.

He might have genuinely might meant it in the moment.

In practice, trying to stay friends with your ex is painful, since it keeps reopening the wound. The real sign that he doesn’t want to let go of you is whether he tries to hang out after saying he wants to stay friends. Unfortunately this could also be a sign he’s seriously bad news, so be careful. You know your ex better than anyone else.

3. He has extreme emotions about you.

The more extreme his emotional reaction to your breakup, whether it’s love, hate or awful deep sadness, the more likely it is that love is below the surface.

Love and hate are two sides of the same coin. Too many people to count say that their ex was ridiculously angry at them after their breakup but suddenly admitted they were still in love.

Anger is a tricky emotion since it usually masks hurt. If your ex is really, really angry, that does not necessarily mean he hates you. The opposite of love is genuine indifference.

4. He keeps explaining your breakup.

Does he feel the need to keep rehashing the reasons for your breakup? Does he send you texts or emails about why he left? Does he keep bringing it up even when it doesn’t make sense? Does he discuss or “joke” about getting back together?

All of this “closure” means that he’s still trying to sort it out in his own mind. The fact that he feels the need to keep talking about it shows that you’re still on his mind.

5. He brags about self improvement and accomplishment.

Does he mention how great he’s doing at the gym? Does he update you on how incredible his new yoga class is? Do his new hobbies faintly echo things he knows you would approve of? Did he finally get off his ass and get a job? Does he give off the vibe that he’s showing off?

It could be that he’s trying to make you jealous. Or, more likely, he’s still hoping for your approval and wants you to be proud of him. We don’t try to show off for people we don’t care about.

6. He drags his feet on tying up loose ends.

Do you still have a lot of his belongings? Does he stall or drag his feet on finishing things up?

After one breakup, I became fixated on the fact that I left a shawl and a book at an exe’s house. The fact that he hadn’t returned these things made me believe that there was still hope for our relationship. I was completely wrong, but I loved him and wanted to believe that he still loved me.

Resorting to magical thinking is one way that people hold out hope that their ex still loves them after a breakup. It’s a super common sign that he probably still cares about you.

7. His people subtly try to convince you to talk to him.

It takes a village to support a man who is stuck on a woman.

If his people keep dropping hints that he misses you, he is probably not subtle about how he still has feelings for you. When your ex wants you back, his friends and family will gently try to push you toward each other both because they believe in love and because they’re incredibly sick of listening to him rant about you.

8. He’s not moving on.

Is your ex stubbornly not dating anyone in a quest to “find himself”? Is he doing the “hurt and wounded” fallen soldier of love thing?

When your ex doesn’t move on with someone new it can be a sign that he hopes you will get back together. He might also be so devastated by your breakup that he can’t imagine himself dating someone new.

9. He’s moving on A LOT.

Has he been hooking up with a lot of different women? Do you sense that none of these women have real long term relationship potential?

Maybe he’s picked out a particular woman that he does the whole “Netflix and chill” routine with, but won’t give her the title of girlfriend.

When he won’t move on after your breakup, you guessed it, he probably still loves you.

10. His rebound girlfriend hates your guts with a fiery passion.

This is one of the weirder signs he wants you back, but hear me out. Rebound relationships usually include a lot of emotional venting, since the recently broken up person has not had a lot of time to process the breakup before moving on.

As a result, his new girlfriend has probably heard a lot about you. She is probably supportive of him but she also has a lot of her own feelings about you. That doesn’t make her mean or evil, just human.

If he was over you, he would not have overshared as much. You would only be a curiosity to her and not inspire much of an extreme emotional reaction either way.

If she hates you, she probably feels competitive and is trying to stake her territory. The fact that this is an issue at all points to his unresolved feelings about you.

11. He stalks your social media.

Does your ex comb through your Facebook and like a bunch of your posts? Does he still comment and share things you post?

All of these are signs that he still might have feelings for you. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be monitoring your social media content like it was essential late-breaking news. He might also be posting a LOT more than usual about how amazingly happy and perfect his life is now. If you can, unfriend him even if you think you might want him back because having him in your face all the time isn’t going to help you feel better. The temptation to stay up late wondering what he’s up to can be really hard to resist.

12. He stays in touch with your people.

Guys with no feelings cut ties and move on from their old lives. If he’s still initiating contact with your people after the breakup, he might be trying to keep tabs on what you’re up to.

13. He treats you extremely well, even when he doesn’t have to.

The way we treat someone is a mirror for how we feel about them (and ourselves).

If he’s still trying to consistently show you his good side, he cares about your approval which is a sign he still loves you.

14. He wonders about his competition.

Does he ask you if you’re dating anyone new? And if he already knows there is someone else, does he keep bringing it up?

It’s completely natural to wonder if an ex has moved on after your breakup— whether you still love them or not. People are simply curious creatures.

The tell here is that if your ex misses you, he may act competitive toward your new flame or make weird comments about it. If you feel like your ex is acting weird about it, it’s probably because you can sense his neediness coming through.

15. He’s been going out and/or drinking a lot.

The heartbroken will often try to drown their sorrows in an attempt to forget about you. Going out a lot is not necessarily the behavior of a totally healed man ready to carefully sail into his future. He’s most likely trying to drink to forget you. That leads me to the next point which is what he does after he gets drunk.

16. He drunk dials.

Drunk dialing is annoying, but it shows that he’s thinking about you.

Regardless of how you feel about your ex or how he feels about you— don’t entertain it. Unless you have some kind of shared responsibility with him that requires you pick up, do yourself a big favor and ignore it.

Just don’t respond or answer the phone after say, 11pm. If he really wants to express something, he will eventually come out with it sober, so don’t believe anything he says if he chooses to call you when he’s drunk.

17. He’s still there for you.

Does he offer to fix things, do things for you or share his resources without being asked? Could you call your ex and both get ahold of him and have him help you?

It could be simply because he’s a good guy who cares about you, it can also mean he misses you. Men’s caring comes through in their actions more than any other way.

Is your ex doing some of these things?

Do you want another chance at creating the amazing relationship you know you can have with him?

Then you have to take action before it’s too late.

signs your ex wants you backIf your ex still loves you, then you have a pretty good chance of getting him back as long as you avoid several key mistakes.

In this video presentation, I explain 3 innocent mistakes to avoid if you want any chance of getting back together.

You have to see this— because so many women sabotage their relationships right when they could have gotten him back. Don’t let that be you.

Click here to go watch now.

About Elizabeth Stone

Elizabeth Stone is an author and founder of Attract The One.

Her popular program Ex Attraction Formula, has helped hundreds of women reunite with their men. She is thrilled to have helped so many people reignite the spark in their relationships.

Tirelessly focused on helping people improve their love lives, her work has been featured on Tiny Buddha, EHarmony Blog, YourTango, Thought Catalog, Fox News Magazine and more.


  1. Laurence

    October 20, 2016 at 5:15 am

    Oh my… My ex is still in love with me according to your list!!! As much as it is good for my ego, I have asked for no contact as he does not want an exclusive and monogamous relationship…

    • Adayah

      February 16, 2017 at 9:07 pm

      He wants a polyamory or open relationship…

  2. Sharon Aisha

    February 23, 2017 at 9:38 am

    Thanks For Your Message Because My Ex Stil Loves Me

  3. seattle

    April 28, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    What if a guy is this way with all his exes? His ex wife (who he talked about a lot when we were dating). His ex-girlfriend (who he talked about a lot when we were dating, helped out, spent time with). His female friends (some of whom wanted him as more than a friend). I had such a hard time dating him because I liked him so much and wanted to build something that felt safe, good, real, authentic and I felt so guilty being jealous of his ex wife, his ex-girlfriend, his pre-existing female friends. I could not deal with his harem of women and now that we’ve been broken up 6 months he’s getting in touch, telling me what he’s been up to, the trips he’s taken, the female friend he helped out by letting her stay with him for two months, how his daughter is doing, how is parents and grandma are and then he asks how I am, how my parents are. He offers to be there for me. As he is for all his exs. And it infuriates me. I have never felt such a prolonged, deep-seated, intense, toxic anger, resentment, and betrayal. And I have tried to explain it. And honest to God, he seems not to understand. I have to give up trying to understand him, us, the failure of it all. I don’t know why it would help me to be able to find an explanation but I do wish I could come up with some clinical reason for this like being able to think of him as autistic or having Asburgers (sp?) but I don’t think he was on the spectrum. He was this shimmery, shiny, exuberant, happy, oblivious, at times loving, distracted, boundry-less individual I grew to love and hate. I could never get from him what I most wanted and needed and he’s always willing to waltz back into my life to show me how he is able to have what I wanted from him with others; connect, respect, a relationship (maybe not a romantic relationship). I want to stop feeling so much about it. It’s been 6 mo since we last saw ea other and far more than that since things felt possible or good in the relationship. Why are we attracted to people who are so wrong for us. Why did he want someone who needed loyalty and boundaries if he’s a free-range kind of guy and why did I want things to work when I saw early on that he has no boundaries and loves everyone the same; the female friend has the same status as the girlfriend and the ex wife and the ex. I am still divided between beating myself up for not being able to be okay with that if that’s who he is and hating him for being that way and hating myself for being to scared of how the loss of him would feel, how the loneliness would feel, how the break up would feel. And it all continues to feel hard. Being in it with him was hard, being away, given the attachment, is hard. Psychology is a strange and messy business.

    • Elizabeth Stone

      May 1, 2017 at 2:40 pm

      Hi Seattle,

      Thanks for your comment. Try not to beat yourself up. These are the things we learn about people as we date and get to know them better.

      If someone is friendly with all of their exes, sure, that’s confusing, but since you’ve identified that you didn’t get what you wanted and needed from the relationship, it sort of takes the pressure off, right? I mean, who cares if he wants a friendship if you know he’s wrong for you. You can take it or leave it in that case.

      The other thing to remember is that people don’t usually know what they want, especially if they haven’t been in a situation that causes them to fine-tune their desires. Your ex is the same way, as frustrating and infuriating as that may be.

    • Judy a Moore

      May 2, 2017 at 10:46 pm

      I’m in a slime r reationship that impacticm is e

      • Elizabeth Stone

        May 4, 2017 at 11:03 am

        You might want to get out of the slime relationship Judy, that sounds awful and serious 🙂

  4. Sarah

    May 19, 2017 at 10:28 am

    So my boyfriend broke up with me about three weeks ago, the reasons are many but I was never one of them. It was small things that had to do with our relationship such as “buzz” from my family (and yeah that kind of sums it up). To point out a fact he had discussed breaking up a few weeks before but then made up his mind and said he wanted to be with me but then changed his mind the day after! He even slept with me twice just to break up with me a few hours later. This is so much more complicated than it sounds because he says he doesn’t want to have any contact with me until he’s “ready” but still calls me (to promptly say that he doesn’t want to talk to me) but after a few minutes he says he still loves me and always will, that he misses me etc. He has specifically told me that we are never going to get back together to later say that there might be a chance for it to happen. He constantly changes his mind and I’m extremely confused. He says that he wants to work on himself etc. but he loves me and so on, but at the same time ge updates his pictures on tinder. I don’t know what in the world I’m supposed to do because I still love him with all my heart…

    • Elizabeth Stone

      May 20, 2017 at 8:28 am

      Hi Sarah,

      What a difficult, excruciating situation. I suggest that you add more men to the picture by dating other people. Let your ex do his thing but make sure you particularly enjoy the company of other men. I know that’s simple but not easy advice. The thing is, your ex has no fear of actually losing you, which sounds bizarre but from his behavior it sounds like he knows you’re conquered, so he doesn’t feel like he has to worry.

      Make him worry.

  5. Dessy

    May 23, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Hello Sarah,

    My boyfriend and I broke up May 14th. And we talked again May 18th in person about the relationship. We have been together for 5 1/2 years there was no real reason for the break up. Our relationship has always been great. He explained that he loves me more than anything and I make him happy and that I have done absolutely nothing wrong that I’m perfect and an amazing girlfriend and everything he has ever wanted and so on. I know his feeling are true about me. I have never seen him cry ever and he teared up and cried while we were talking and it confirmed to me how much he cared. Basically we are very young early 20’s and what he said was that he sometimes thinks about being single because all his friends are and he doesn’t want me to get mad when he goes all the time ect and the other part of him loves me and wants to be with me and he feels like such an idiot for even doing this. I told him that I love him too but either we’re together or not I’m not just going to be his friend because that’ll hurt me more. I told him I needed to know if I should move on and leave out of state with my family. He said he just doesn’t know and he doesn’t want me to leave he loves me but is just conflicted. There was never really an answer he blushes and smiles every time he sees me says how cute and amazing I am and when I last saw him he gave me a huge long sweet hug and said I love you when I left and I said I love you back. I haven’t talked to him since then which was about 5 days ago I haven’t texted or called him that’s the longest we have ever gone without talking. I’m so conflicted because some people say give him space and time and he’ll come around but I feel like the longer I wait the more I lose him. At the same time I wish he would chase after me now but he’s a guy and well they don’t think the same. And the other part of me know how much he loves me and he said he’s happy when he’s with me. So I want to text him and try and reach out and say something like “I miss you and I love you and we make each other happy wish we could work things out” but I don’t know it’s so hard not doing anything and I don’t know what’s going on in his mind.

    Sorry is that was long I would sincerely appreciate a response.

    Much Love

    • Elizabeth Stone

      May 23, 2017 at 8:23 am

      Hi Dessy,

      I think your comment was aimed at me and not Sarah, the commenter above you?

      Anyway, here’s my take:

      5 days is NOTHING in breakup time. And, don’t reach out and tell him anything. I guarantee, he KNOWS you love him. He didn’t leave you because you don’t love him enough. You can’t make him change his mind by reassuring him of your feelings for him.

      Doing nothing right now is absolutely your best bet here, even though it’s literally the hardest thing. Distract yourself any way you can. Since it was his idea to lose you, it’s best to let him go so he can see what his decision to break up is like. 5 1/2 years is a long time. Men don’t forget about women they love, it’s just not the way it works.

      But, bring the focus back onto yourself and avoid serious, in-depth talks about the breakup with him from now on. You can’t convince him to decide the breakup was a bad idea, he has to do that on his own, with time and space.

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