Right off the bat, yes, that’s an awful lot of signs, so I did have to get a little creative at times. Nevertheless, I do believe in what I’ve written, even if some of the examples are oddly specific (ahem).
1. They’re angry. If their anger seems illogical and overblown, chances are it has little to do with reason and everything to do with emotion. Anger is a draining investment to indulge in, if they didn’t care or were moving on, they would do exactly that. An angry ex might not be willing to reconcile, but they are still apparently having difficulty letting go.
2. They’re hot and cold. Ah, yes, the carrot and the stick. Hot and cold behavior is a reflection of indecisiveness. The indecision itself can be caused by a lot of things:
- Their feelings towards you.
- Their fear of rejection (fear of reaching out and getting negative feedback).
- Their emotional stability (a.k.a their mood).
While there is usually a manipulative element to hot and cold behavior, it isn’t always a sign you’re being led on. It’s only natural to fluctuate emotionally on the heels of a breakup.
One thing all avenues have in common is that, once again, indulging in a game of romantic tug of war is not something someone who has zero interest does. It’s time-consuming. If there were better outlets for their emotions, they’d be using them.
3. They hate you. Here’s a controversial one. Much like my point about anger, broadcasting hatred is only something someone who is feeling something intense would ever do. Liking something isn’t important, what is important is that whether we like it or not, we continue to have strong feelings about it. Love often masquerades behind a smokescreen of anger and hate if it has no way of being channeled.
Look closely, and you’ll find that everywhere you find a resentful ex, you’ll find a well of hurt at its core. This doesn’t always bode well for reconciliation, but it does signify that the ashes aren’t cold yet. Only true indifference (it can be hard to tell when it’s genuine) is an indicator that emotions have flatlined.
4. Their Facebook Statuses Are A Highlight Reel. Moving on can turn into a game where exes try and win the closure war to salvage their fragile self-esteem. This manifests as a transparent and rather manic display of newfound hedonism that attempts to show an ex-partner, acquaintances and themselves (primarily this) just how much better off they are.
The truth? If things were truly as magnificent as advertised, there wouldn’t be the need to prove anything. An out-to-prove ex is usually attempting to outrun their feelings. Good luck with that!
5. Crumbs Of Contact. If the risk associated with communicating directly is too raw, an ex will attempt to get you to do the dirty work by fishing with manipulative bait.
That picture of their dog they sent you? Yep, that’s bait.
What it really is, is a way to gauge your intent by your reaction. If you ignore it you will force them to either break the act or suck it up. Your choice.
6. They Want To Spend Time With You. A no-brainer. Time is the most valuable resource we possess. Wanting to share it with you is the most genuine sign that your presence does wonders for them. Either that or they really do need that favor.
If you can’t spot and ulterior motives for their attempts at narrowing the gap, chances are high that romance is blossoming.
7. They bump into you a lot. By bumping into you I don’t want to imply that your ex is hiding behind every street corner waiting for you to pass. I’m referring to the unconscious process by which they might be falling into living their old relationship routine because it remains a source of subconscious comfort.
Moving on means physically moving on. It means generating a new routine. If they fall back on the past by reliving their old lives in a physical sense, it might mean they are a little nostalgic.
8. They keep track of time. An ex that cares deeply about your past relationship will be keenly aware of time passing. In some cases, quite literally counting the days.
But it can also mean that they pay close attention to dates because dates mean memories.
One of the most subtle telltale signs an ex still loves you is that every day is an anniversary of something.
Not So Subtle
9. They tell you so. Overanalysis is counterproductive because we bombard out brain with variables, which often leads to a state of confusion rather than clarity. In this muddled state, it is easy to overthink simple communication or to allow our insecurity to get the better of us.
Simply put, much of the time we misread direct messages and add needless complexity. If our ex tells us they miss aspects of the relationship, it means exactly that. It means that while reconciliation may not be on the table, there are aspects of the past they remember fondly.
The problem here is juggling our intent with theirs because having two sets of feelings will lead to resentment unless intent is communicated clearly on both sides. If your ex shows a willingness to open up, it’s usually an invitation for you to do likewise.
10. They flirt. Flirting is an open invitation to play. While flirting is usually a casual sign of interest, the fact that it’s your ex makes the sign a little more intense because it isn’t aimed at getting to know you. It’s more a way of sharing something positive and fresh, a way of rekindling certain touchy-feely aspects of your relationship and building rapport.
Beyond that, who flirts with an ex they are hellbent on forgetting? Seriously.
11. They Ask You For Advice. Or did you think that your input was really that critical (unless it is, in which case disregard this point entirely)? That’s right, it usually isn’t. The only thing that’s critical here is their need to include you in their lives in some capacity. Even if in a way as indirect as this.
As an added bonus, asking for your input is also a way of communicating trust and respect, the two foundations of every functional relationship.
12. They Try And Impress You. If your ex is obviously making an effort, they still care enough to try. This can mean attempting to impress you directly such as dressing above and beyond what the occasion requires, or it can mean indirectly, such as by joining a gym.
Ultimately if the impression you are left with is that there seems to be something to prove on their end, you may well be right.
13. They compliment you. So simple yet so overlooked. Unless your ex is notoriously free with their praise, complimenting is reserved for objects of interest. However, more telling than flattery on its own is the nature of the compliment. Friends don’t generally compliment each other the way couples do. The difference is the amount of intimacy and affection involved. It should be fairly obvious which is the case.
14. They’re All Smiles. While it’s easy to hide meaning behind words, it’s quite something else to bury our hormones. Unlike the things we say, our body language is a fountain of involuntary communication that others are silently judging.
If our ex is a beacon of good vibes, chances are it isn’t a natural state. We’re just bringing out the best in them!
15. They bring you things. There are three main reasons why this could be a sign of love.
- If it’s a small token or gift, it’s a sign that they were thinking of you.
- Lending you something means having a future point of contact. This is why leaving that toothbrush at your house is so convenient, because it gives them a reason to meet you in the future. An ex that still has feelings will be uncomfortable with an open-ended future without the promise of contact of some sort.
- Giving you something means including you in their lives. It’s a primordial transaction. The question is, do they expect anything in return?
Signs An Ex Loves You
16. They’re Willing To Sacrifice. When parting ways the decision to no longer negotiate our needs has been made. Conversely, a sign there’s been a change of heart is that there’s a fundamental willingness to make an effort to make ends meet.
17. They Are There. I’ve mentioned all kinds of behaviors in this article, from joy to hatred and everything in between. The only thing that counts, the one true lowest common denominator, is that no matter what they say, and how they say it, they continue to be present. And not just because we invoke them, it’s because they refuse to budge.
It doesn’t matter if what they say is negative if it means reminding you that they exist. Only their efforts to remain a fixture in our lives counts.
18. They Talk About You Constantly. Taking is a reflection of what we think about, although not necessarily what we think. If your ex just has to mention you every five minutes, even if they do so negatively, it means that you continue to dominate their consciousness.
19. They Seek Clarity. Whether it’s close or reconciliation, an ex that has feelings will endlessly seek clarity to heal. The grey area associated with letting go is undigestible because the overanalysis machine in our heads just won’t turn off.