“Does my ex still love me?” – 9 surprising signs your ex still loves you

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Image credit: Shutterstock - By Peter Berni

“Does my ex still love me?”

Are you asking yourself this question?

Maybe your friends are giving you hints and suggestions, or maybe your ex has texted or called one too many times, or maybe you just have a gigantic gut intuition telling you – your ex still has feelings for you!

But we all have feelings for our exes, right? The question is – are those feelings love?

In this article, we’ll explore the idea of whether or not your ex might still love you, the signs to look out for to truly see if they still do, and the ways to make sure that you aren’t seeing things that aren’t actually there.

9 Signs That Your Ex Still Loves You 

Figuring out if your ex wants you back isn’t so straightforward, but it’s not exactly rocket science either.

Even without “I love yous” and other affirmations, there will be signs and hints of lingering affection that can either be obvious or not-so-obvious.

And if you’re convinced your ex wants you back, it might be because you’ve been seeing some of these signs yourself. 

If asking your ex outright isn’t an option (you don’t want to come off presumptuous or embarrass yourself, after all), pay attention to the details below. These could be telling signs that your ex-partner still has feelings for you: 

1) Creating Excuses To Talk

Unless you and your ex share responsibilities (work, children, assets), it’s likely that you have no reason to talk to each other.

But even so, you still find your ex chatting you up about anything, and quite frequently at that.

From asking for stuff you’re pretty sure you’ve given back to asking for random information that they could easily figure out themselves, one way to tell if your ex is still into you is by understanding the intent behind these random conversations.

Do they talk for the sake of talking to you? How often do they try to come up with excuses just to talk to you?

If your ex is bugging you more than usual, take a step back and consider that they might be using this to attempt to reconnect with you.

2) Treating You Like This

Think about how your ex still treats you.

Do they still go out of their way to help you and protect you against the little and big things in life?

Most importantly, are they still trying to earn your respect by doing things for you?

If yes, then this is the clearest possible sign that they still love you deeply.

3) Prolonging Conversations

Conversations come to a natural end. You’re both adults with busy lives and sometimes there’s nothing left to say after two or three replies.

But if you find yourself continuing a conversation with your ex that should have definitely ended five or so exchanges ago, there’s a chance they’re just trying to talk to you for the sake of talking to you. 

The next time you’re talking to your ex, see if they make attempts to make the conversation longer. Whether it’s texting online or casually chatting up, it’s easy to see when someone is trying to spend more time talking to you. 

Test it out by giving short, curt answers. If they try to flesh more information out of you or change the subject to try and engage you, they’re definitely trying to prolong the conversation. 

4) Staying In Touch With Your Family and Friends

This might not be as intentional as the first two but it’s still a telling sign that your ex is into you.

Normally, exes would already move on with their lives, which also means they will no longer be in touch with your friends and especially with your family.

After all, there’s no point in keeping that connection if you’re already out of their life.

Staying connected with your family and friends simply means they’re still feeling connected to you on some degree.

They might not want you back outright, but they’re definitely feeling tethered to you on some level, which is why they’re finding it difficult to cut the connections you’ve introduced them to. 

5) Reaching Out On Special Occasions

Have you ever noticed that your ex has always greeted you a happy birthday or happy holiday without fail?

In normal circumstances, they’re probably just being nice but in this context, it might be a sign that you’re still on their mind. 

This only means something extra if your ex is going out of their way to message you on holidays, events, and special occasions.

If they’re doing it to pretty much everyone else, it might just be that they’re festive and want to spread the holiday cheer. 

To figure out whether these greetings have a meaning to it or not, try and compare the message you get VS the message your friends get from your ex.

Is it extra thoughtful in any way or just a generic group message? 

6) Fondly Bringing Up Old Memories

Is your ex constantly taking you on a trip down memory lane?

One or two mentions of fun memories from when you were together is probably nothing – something may have triggered that memory and now they’re just sharing it with you. 

On the other hand, if they’re constantly talking about “the good old days”, there’s a good chance that they miss it.

Watch what they say and how they say it. Do they talk about just the feeling of being in a relationship or are they talking about what it’s like to be in a relationship with you specifically?

If these talks end with a hint of “weren’t we good together?”, it’s a sign that your ex not only has feelings for you but is probably also thinking about getting back together with you

7) Opening Up To You

We open up to the person we’re in a relationship with – that is pretty much true. But it’s rare to hear about exes having such a strong connection even after the relationship. 

Telling you about their day is one thing, but being their go-to person for advice, jokes, and laughter is another.

If they’re still disclosing personal and intimate information or asking for your opinions and thoughts on things, it’s obvious your judgment still holds some kind of value in their head, which means they still respect you and that you still have a special place in their heart. 

8) Drunk Texts and Calls

In a world driven by hookup culture, drunk calls and texts aren’t always revelatory. A drunk phone call asking you where you are at 3 AM isn’t always a sign they want to get back together – maybe they’re just bored.

On the other hand, if the call or text is uncharacteristic in that they’re actually talking about the relationship, being apologetic or nostalgic, and just downright vulnerable, it could be a sign that your ex still has feelings for you. 

However, there’s no telling whether these feelings are strong enough to help the both of you get back together.

Sometimes feelings of nostalgia exist because we want to make it up to people in some way.

Before jumping the gun, talk to them about drunk calls and texts, without exerting too much pressure or harboring any expectations. 

9) You keep bumping into each other

Here’s the thing, if your ex keeps showing up at places where they know they’re going to run into you – like in front of where you work or at your favorite cafe – you can be sure that it’s no accident.

Think about it: They know that there’s a high chance of seeing you in these places. They could easily avoid them, but they don’t. And if it happened once, you could tell yourself that it was a chance that brought them there.

But twice? Three times?

I don’t think so.

I think it’s pretty clear that your ex is seeking you out on purpose. Maybe they have some unresolved issues, maybe they miss you, and maybe, just maybe, they’re still in love with you. It’s definitely worth exploring further.

How to Tell If Your Ex Still Loves You: 4 Actionable Tips

Going through a break up can leave even the most stoic and emotionally stable individuals in an emotional crisis, meaning you probably aren’t going to be in the best mental state of mind to objectively judge whether or not your ex still loves you. 

Why? Because your brain might be desperate to get back together with your ex, and you might end up seeing false signs and patterns that don’t really exist.

But you also can’t always rely on your friends to help you interpret all the signs for you, because some experiences are just too personal for other people to get, no matter how much you describe it. 

So how can you put yourself in a place where you can truly tell if your ex still loves you? Here are 4 steps you need to follow:

1) Give Them Space 

Answer this question: if your ex called you up right now and asked you for a coffee, how quickly would you agree and how excited would you be?

If you could imagine yourself rushing to pick up the phone, excitedly agreeing, and making sure you your best and already dreaming about the possibility of being in a relationship with them again, then you are probably still very much in love with your ex.

And that’s fine; that’s expected, even. The problem is that your ex can feel your enthusiasm and your eagerness, and this puts them in an unnatural position of having too much control over you.

Even if your ex is the kindest person with the best intentions, being in this position means that you and them are no longer equals, and that makes it more difficult for them to properly miss you, because you aren’t acting like the person they fell in love with.

You’re acting like a person who is still incredibly obsessed.

So take a step back – don’t be so needy, don’t be so “there”. Be natural, act normal. 

2) Spend Time With Others

If you’re still having a hard time figuring out if your ex wants to get back together with you or not,  try spending time with other people.

I don’t mean that you necessarily have to date them. But it’s important for your ex to see you with them.


To see if they get jealous of course!

You see, one way to find out how they feel once and for all is to show them that if they don’t do anything to get you back, they could lose you to someone else.

Trust me, a little jealousy might just be the little push that you ex needs.

3) Regain Your Inner Peace

On top of stepping back, it’s important that you know what to do once you’ve untethered yourself from your ex.

Even if you are no longer around your ex and excited at the chance of seeing them, it’s crucial that your ex knows – and more importantly, that you know – that there are other things going on in your life.

Pull yourself out of the emotional rollercoaster that your life has fallen into since the breakup, and try to find your own inner peace.

By growing into your own positive dynamic again and forgetting the pain and depression of no longer being with the person you love, you will be able to more objectively see the behaviors and actions of your ex and judge whether or not they mean that they still love you. 

Not only will this make your ex want you back more, but this will also make you a better and bigger person as a whole. 

4) Become Unavailable 

If you really want to trigger your ex’s signs of wanting you back, there is no better way to do it than by showing them that you are no longer romantically available.

So many broken couples find themselves in prolonged states of limbo simply because they still have feelings for each other but neither partner wants to make the final push to do anything about it. 

If your ex is on the fence about you, then show him or her that you’re moving on by being with someone else.

If they have any love left for you, they’ll know to show you whether or not they want to express it or not.

And if they don’t, then at least you are finally giving yourself the opportunity to try to find love again with someone new.

Why You Think Your Ex Might Still Love You

Breakups are never easy. No matter what two people break up over, at the end of the day they might always end up thinking about each other.

There’s always the feeling of, “I wish they would just apologize and try again!”, and both sides might be feeling this way.

In fact, it’s actually very natural for separated couples to get back together again.

According to one study, over a third of couples who break up get back together eventually and stick to each other long-term. Some of the most common reasons that couples end up getting back together include:

  • The feeling that their partners have changed for the better
  • An intense emotional investment in the relationship
  • The feeling that things will be different a second time around
  • Uncertainty and fear of what would happen without having each other
  • The commitment to stay together for the family
  • The unwillingness to build a new strong emotional connection with another partner

If you might be under the impression that your ex might still have strong feelings for you, you are probably not wrong.

After all, love is perhaps the strongest feeling we can have, and unless a couple experiences traumatic events that they can’t come back from – physical abuse or a long history of cheating – then it can be very likely that two people who intimately care for each other might find their way back into each other’s arms. 

In many cases, the reasons why we break up are due to communication and commitment issues, both of which can be fixed through personal growth.

For most people, the love we feel for our partner won’t just disappear the moment we end the relationship; it’s still there, as strong as it ever was, and the reason for the break up isn’t because the love is gone, but because there’s a greater sense to commit to ourselves and our own personal growth rather than to a relationship seemingly going nowhere.

If you think your ex might still be in love with you, then you might be right. But there are other questions you have to answer before you do anything about it. 

1) Are you really in the right state of mind and position to make the judgment on whether your ex still loves you or not?

2) Are you really seeing the right signs that your ex still loves you?

3) What do you want to do if you find out that your ex still loves you?

Are You Sure It’s Your Ex? Maybe It’s You

We get it – losing the love of your life can be incredibly difficult, and there’s nothing you want in the world more than getting a second chance at your old relationship. But sometimes in our desperation to reunite with our ex, we end up forcing ourselves to see patterns that aren’t really there.

Here are some clear indicators that you might still be too obsessed over your ex to really tell whether they still love you or not: 

1) You think about them constantly

There isn’t a single day where your ex isn’t the biggest thought in your mind.

You think of them when you wake up, you think of them before you go to bed, and you struggle to get them out of your mind even when you’re engaged in your other favorite activities.

I think it’s pretty clear that you’re in no position to be objective…

2) You chase their ghost

What does it mean to chase someone’s ghost?

It means you can’t get enough of your memories with your ex, so you try to relive them over and over again. Your favorite restaurants, your favorite date spots, places where you might have had funny or cherished memories like the spot of your first kiss. You revisit these places again and again, even if your ex is long gone.

3) You do everything to get their attention

You hate the possibility that your ex might spend a day without thinking about you, because you can’t stop thinking about them and you don’t want them to move on. So you do whatever it takes to get their attention. Maybe you post more often on social media, or you take pictures with your mutual friends so your ex is bound to see you.

4) You don’t think about the tough questions

Questions like, “Can you or your ex really forgive each other?” “Would the love still be the same if you guys tried it one more time?” “Is there any way back to a happy and fulfilling relationship with your ex?” You can’t stand thinking about these questions and avoid them at all costs, because you know that you might not like the truthful answers you might come up with. 

Signs That You’re Not Really In Love  

So your ex does have feelings for you; now the question is do you feel the same way about them? 

Sometimes exes have residual emotions about the relationship but it’s not always for the good. As the other half of this arrangement, you have the responsibility to figure out whether what you’re feeling is love or something else entirely. Sometimes we want to get back with our exes not because we want to be with them but because we want to get back at them. 

Doing so might make you feel like you were more in control this time, but all it really does is inflict more pain on you and your ex. Here are the most important things to watch out for:

  • You want them to take full responsibility for the relationship. You don’t actually want a relationship, you just want them to share the blame and take more of the hurt this time around. 
  • You want them to come to you but you don’t want to exert any effort. Whether it’s about pride or past pain, it doesn’t matter. If you’re unwilling to meet your ex halfway and try again, then it’s not love. 
  • You want to “win”. You’re not really in it to create beautiful memories and establish a strong relationship. Your motivation is to feel like you’ve won this time, like you have power, authority, or leverage over them.  
  • You don’t want them to get over you. You have no problem moving on with other people but the thought of them finding someone else bothers you. 

Your Ex Still Loves You, Now What? 

After looking at the signs and doing some of your own investigation, you’ve determined that your ex wants you back and is willing to give the relationship a second try. There are two ways to go about this:

Scenario A: They want you back and you want them back too 

Focus on creating an entirely new kind of relationship. The old one obviously didn’t work, so it’s important to figure out what went wrong and avoid those mistakes this time. Don’t get into the relationship just because you miss each other. Prioritize eliminating those bad habits or else you’ll fall into the same pit again. 

Scenario B: They want you back but you don’t want to be together again 

Communicate what you want to ease their expectations. Be clear about wanting to stay friends (or not) and not giving the relationship a second try. That’s not to say that you should list out all their flaws; remind them of your incompatibilities and disagreements in a non-accusatory way. Show your ex why it didn’t work and frame your new beginnings as an opportunity to learn more about other people and grow into better individuals. 

What To Do Moving Forward

At the end of the day, whether your ex is still into you or not shouldn’t be your main concern. The relationship didn’t work out for a reason, and both of you decided to go your separate ways in the first place. 

Before getting wrapped up in this, make sure you still prioritize yourself over anything else.

The relationship may not seem as bad or as complicated as it was, but there was a time when you thought breaking up was a good idea.

Before being roped into the relationship again, take a step back and evaluate your feelings: are you just feeling lonely or do you truly feel like your ex will add value to your life? 

Ultimately, you shouldn’t let what your ex feels dictate what your next move is. Only you truly knows, in your heart, what’s the best thing to do.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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