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