17 subtle signs your ex wants you back (and what to do next) 

You think your ex still has feelings for you and wants you back, but it can be hard to read their signals.

Throw into the mix of your own emotions, and the difficulty only increases.

Maybe you want them back so you interpret every move they make as a sign that they’re still in love with you. Or, you’re in a cloud of despair and hurt after your breakup, and you can’t make sense of their words or actions.

Sometimes, seeing things from a neutral point of view can help you determine how your ex really feels, even if they’re trying their best to hide their true intentions.

So, whether you broke up recently or a while ago, there are some subtle (and more obvious) signals that your ex hasn’t got over you, and still wants you in their life.

In this article, I’ll explore 18 signs that they want to patch things up, and what your options are going forward.

18 signs they want you back

1) They stay in touch

Does your ex still message you daily? Do they randomly call just to see how you are? If so, it could be a sign that they miss you.

Generally, after a break, it’s a good idea to have a little space. But, if your ex seems to carry on being in contact with you daily, they haven’t taken any attempts to move on (and probably don’t want to).

2) They’re jealous

Jealousy is a huge indicator that your ex still has feelings for you. No matter how much they try to mask it, their frustration and hurt at you dating other people will show.

Jealousy happens when we fear losing someone we love. It’s a natural reaction, and even though you and your ex are over, if they’re still harboring feelings for you they’ll still feel jealous at the thought of you with someone else.

3) They open up about their feelings

This is one of the more obvious signs, but if your ex starts opening up to you and wanting to discuss their feelings, they obviously still care and trust you with their vulnerabilities.

As well as sharing their emotions, they will probably be interested to know about you and your feelings, especially if they are longing to be back together with you.

4) They want to know about your dating life

Does your ex always seem to pop up when you start seeing someone new? Do they constantly check to see whether you’re still single or not?

If they had truly moved on, your dating life wouldn’t be their concern. The fact that they’re so interested in it is because they want to know what their chances are, and what the competition looks like.

They might also be hanging around to be the shoulder to cry on when things fail in your new relationship. This is just another way to keep you emotionally involved with them.

5) They want you to know about their dating life

In reverse to the last point, they may also want you to know their dating business. This is usually to provoke a jealous reaction from you or to pretend that they’ve moved on (in the hopes that you’ll start missing them).

The telltale sign that your ex is doing it just to get a reaction out of you is if they have a rebound relationship straight away and flaunt their new relationship everywhere.

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Someone who has moved on and is content without you wouldn’t feel the need to do that so soon after ending a relationship.

If your ex is doing this, especially if you had a very deep and meaningful relationship, know that it’s out of pain and longing for you. They’re at the point where they’ll do anything to get your attention, even if that means dating other people.

6) They often reminisce on the ‘good old times’ with you

We all reminisce about the happier moments of our past relationships, but most tend to do it alone, not with their ex.

By bringing up all those cute, love-filled memories, your ex is trying to remind you of how good you used to be together. They miss those times and they want you to miss them too.

7) They follow your social media

We live in the age of technology, and keeping track of what an ex is up to has never been easier. If they don’t want you back, your social media and life wouldn’t be of much importance to them.

But, if they follow you on every social media platform even after you’ve broken up, it could be a sign that they aren’t ready to move on and they want to keep your lives entwined.

8) They want to talk about the breakup

Talking about the breakup is normal – many people want some form of closure. But, this conversation usually takes place once both people have had some space, and are ready to discuss what went wrong.

The key to knowing whether they want you back or not lies in how often they want to talk about the breakup. If it’s quite regularly, it could be that they can’t accept things are over and wish to work through whatever issues led you to split in the first place.

9) They try to make you jealous

If your ex is trying to make you jealous, you can be sure that they still have feelings for you. Most people want to just move on with their life post-breakup, but if he or she is adamant on making you jealous, they are clearly testing you to see whether you still have feelings for them or not in return.

10) They find random reasons to talk

Do you find your ex gets in touch to find out the most random things? Getting in contact if you have valid reasons (like shared custody of kids, or unfinished financial business together) is fair enough, but sometimes an ex who wants you back will find any excuse to talk to you.

Either they miss your company, or they want you to miss them. Either way, they’ll find the most mundane reasons to text or call. They ask friends in common about you

11) They won’t pick up their stuff from your place

Most people can’t wait to get their stuff back from an ex, especially if they’re eager to move on with life and put the relationship in the past.

But, if your ex keeps delaying picking up their stuff, or leaves more stuff their post break up, it could be that they’re not ready for things to be completely over.

Leaving something of theirs in your house means you have a constant reminder of them, and they have a reason to come back around or meet up with you.

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12) They take the blame

People are much more likely to take the blame for a breakup if they regret that the relationship has come to an end. This gives them the opportunity to ‘correct’ their mistakes and show you that they’ve ‘matured’ and deserve another chance.

Are they just saying what you want to hear? Or have they truly reflected and acknowledged their role in the breakup? Only you’ll know, but the fact that they’re taking responsibility (whether genuinely or not) shows that they want to be on good terms with you.

13) They can’t help but touch you

This could happen purely out of habit, but more likely than not, if they can’t keep their hands off you, they still have an attraction (and feelings) for you.

Maybe they brush your arm as you sit next to each other, or wipe a strand of hair from your face as you talk. A lot can be said without using words, so you’ll have to trust your judgment on whether they touch you with affection or just out of habit.

14) They call you when they’re drunk

As the old saying goes ‘a drunk heart speaks a sober mind’. Alcohol lowers our inhibitions, and can often lead us to make decisions we wouldn’t have braved sober.

The classic drunk text or call can be a big indication that you’re still on your ex’s mind, even when they’re out having a good time.

And it makes sense. If you miss someone, you’d much rather be going home to them than home alone. Throw a few drinks into the equation and suddenly giving your ex a call seems like a fantastic idea (although they might not think so the morning after).

15) They’re still in contact with your friends and family

Friends and family can give a lot away, with the best of intentions. If your ex is still in touch with your loved ones, it could be that they want to keep updated on your life.

It could also be that they want to use your family and friends as a way to get information about them back to you. Or to increase the chances of bumping into you ‘unexpectedly’ (we’ve all seen the films).

You’ll know soon enough when your friends start mentioning that he/she has been asking about you.

16) They want to be friends

Being friends after a breakup can be done, but plenty of time and soul healing needs to happen beforehand. And, it’s pretty much impossible to have a platonic friendship if one (or both) people still have romantic feelings.

If your ex wants to be friends straight after the breakup, they aren’t really allowing you or them the chance to move on. This could be a clear sign that they aren’t ready to let you go, and that they want you in their life one way or another.

17) They’re everywhere you go

Does your ex mysteriously pop up wherever you go? It could be that they keep revisiting places they know you like, in the hope of seeing you. Or, they are in touch with your friends or are following your social media trail

Showing up unexpectedly is a way to surprise you and remind you of their existence. Maybe they hope to trigger happy memories that you once shared there, or they want to show you what you’re missing.

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Your ex wants you back – what now?

If some of the points above resonate with you and your ex’s behavior, and you’re certain they want you back, you have two options:

The first is to ignore these signals and continue moving on with your life if you have no interest in getting back together with them.

An ex becomes an ex for a reason, so you may be perfectly valid in feeling that you want to put the relationship behind you.

PsychologyToday puts forward a good question to ask yourself before getting back into a relationship with your ex:

“Is this really the best use of your energy? There are so many things that you can do to take care of yourself. Is repeating a relationship the way to go? Only you know the answer to this question.”

Unless something has dramatically changed in you or your ex, what’s to say the relationship will be any different to how it was before?

If this is the case, you might be wondering how you can make sure you have better, more fulfilling relationships in the future. I recommend taking part in the free masterclass on ‘Love and Intimacy’ by the world-renowned shaman, Rudá Iandê.

During the masterclass, you’ll learn how to deal with codependency in relationships, have healthier expectations, and address toxic behaviors that can ruin even the happiest of relationships.

The second option is if you want to give them another chance. Many couples break up for external reasons, or simply because the timing in their lives just wasn’t right.

When it comes to rekindling an old flame, changes must be made and the past needs to stay in the past.

Tom Bruett, a licensed psychotherapist explains how some couples make it work after a breakup:

“In order for the relationship to be successful, there has to be a willingness to forgive, grow, and evolve. If a couple can look at their past and use the pain as a catalyst for change, there is certainly potential for a different experience.”

So if you are considering taking them back, make sure that the mistakes which happened the first time around are resolved, and that you’re both willing to make the necessary changes to make it work.

Ladies – if you do decide to give your man another chance and you want to make significant changes to your relationship, it’s worth exploring the ‘hero instinct’. By making your man feel appreciated, valued, and needed, you can create a long-lasting, meaningful relationship the second time around.

Final thoughts

Taking back an ex can be scary – you’ve already been hurt once before so why would you put yourself through it again?

Ultimately, only you know whether it’s worth giving them a second chance and rekindling the relationship.

The signs above can be great indicators that your ex still wants you in their life, but it’ll be up to you to decide how genuine they are, or if they’re just bored and lonely.

When it comes to relationships, it’s best to take your time and work out what you really want. If you take a step back, put your emotions to one side, and really evaluate whether the relationship will be healthy and stable in the future, you’ll be doing both of you a favor (and saving you from more potential heartbreak).