10 definite signs your ex is testing you (+ 5 ways to respond)

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

A relationship, particularly a romantic relationship, is like a dance.

And that dance doesn’t end just because the relationship has ended.

Unless both partners are completely done with each other, there’s always going to be some kind of post-relationship dance – a kind of posthumous “will they, won’t they”.

By testing your ex, you save yourself the embarrassment of being rejected, while still getting an understanding of how they feel about you.

So how can you tell if your ex has really moved on, or if they’re actually testing you to see how you will react?

Here are 10 signs that your ex is testing you:

1) They’re Very Open About Their Life With You

When it’s over, it’s over. At least, that’s how most people break up.

The healthiest way for both parties to move on with their lives is to cut each other out, cold turkey.

Because if you truly want the relationship to be over, then you both need to re-learn how to live as individuals.

So if your ex is doing almost the complete opposite – sharing every detail of their life with you even now after the relationship is over – then they’re obviously not trying their hardest to move on, and in fact they may be testing you.

They’re testing to see how you’ll react to certain bits of information, from the mundane (random things that happen to you throughout the day) to the extraordinary (a new relationship, a new job, a new achievement).

2) They Try To Get Closer To Your Friends

When you’re testing your ex, you’re secretly trying to get an idea of how they feel about you (and whether they still have any romantic feelings for you at all).

And aside from asking you yourself, what easier way to get a look inside your head than by learning from your friends?

If your ex has suddenly become all “buddy-buddy” with your friends now that the relationship is done, it’s very likely that the only reason they’re doing it is to stay close to you, albeit indirectly.

They want an insider’s look into your current state of mind, while also testing you in their own way.

Are you going to end up being jealous now that the person you once loved is spending so much time with your closest friends?

3) They Date Someone Completely the Opposite Of You

One thing we all love about relationships is the fact that they make us feel validated.

This amazing person, your significant other, has fallen in love with you and all the quirks and eccentricities that make up who you are.

You feel great about yourself, because qualities of yourself you may have once been insecure about now feel like traits that deserve to be loved.

So when an ex is testing you, one obvious thing they’ll do is start dating someone who is almost your exact polar opposite.

How is this a test for you?

Simple: your ex knows that word will get to you about their new partner; not just who the person is, but how different they are from you in almost every way possible.

Now it’s on you to either hold back your annoyance or to confront your ex and accidentally reveal all the feelings you still have.

Because how can you not be annoyed to see that your ex is dating someone who is as far away from you as possible?

How can they go from A to Z in a single relationship, if not just to pester you and get under your skin?

4) They Give You Opportunities To Contact Them

When a relationship is over, there’s absolutely no doubt that it’s over.

You and your ex won’t see each other or communicate for weeks or months at a time, and the only time you do have to interact with each other is when it truly can’t be avoided.

But when an ex might still want something to do with you, this isn’t the case at all.

An ex that is testing to see whether you still have feelings for them will constantly make opportunities for both of you to see and contact each other.

Maybe they’ll arrange parties for all your mutual friends that they know you have to attend; maybe they’ll end up entwining their life with your professional or school life in some way.

One way or another, an ex that keeps instigating contact is an ex that still wants you to do something.

5) They Put Themselves In Danger

We’ve all seen the classic scene from Twilight where Bella decided to hang out with bikers just to get Edward to come back to her.

So if it worked for a teenage girl trying to attract a hundred-year-old vampire, then surely it’ll work for anyone else, right?

It’s not just a movie trope – putting yourself in danger is a common tactic to get your ex to care about you again.

It’s a test to see if you still have any feelings for that person, because if you do, then you’ll be one of the first to rush to their aid and do something about it.

Unfortunately, some people abuse this behavior, and they end up getting deeper and deeper into it until they find themselves threatening self-harm every time their ex is about to leave them again.

6) They Ask Questions

Getting back together with your ex is a pretty big gamble; you never know how it’s going to turn out, especially if you didn’t end on the best note.

So what do you do? You test the waters before making your next move.

Your ex wants to understand how you’re feeling – where you currently stand, whether there’s someone else in your life – and the easiest way to get those is by asking what your thoughts are.

It’s easy to tell when the questions are out of curiosity or something else entirely.

When they ask questions, do they usually have a theme?

Does it seem like they already have a “destination” in mind?

If so, it’s highly likely that these questions aren’t just random.

7) They See If You Will Still Be There for Them

Do you ever feel like your ex is just talking to you to see if you’d answer back?

Another way that your ex may be testing you is if they bait conversations to see if you’d bite the hook.

Think about it this way: if they were truly interested in forming a genuine connection and winning you over, they’d be more consistent with communication.

Maybe they’d even say what’s really on their minds because their true intention is to rebuild the relationship.

But that’s not really the case with your ex.

The communication is sporadic at best and feels more like a game measuring who interacts more or who gets more attached.

They come and go unexpectedly and might even tease or hint at you not flirting with them enough or giving them enough attention.

8) They Jump To Conclusions

You might feel ambivalent about disclosing your life with your ex, and that’s very reasonable.

After all, you’re not at all obligated to tell them about your life even with their pointed questioning.

And yet your ex remains persistent.

When you don’t answer questions directly, they might jump to conclusions instead to see how you’d react.

For example, when asking about your dating life, they might say things like “Oh it took you so quickly to move on, didn’t it?” or “You must be tired from all those dates you’re going on!”

Making potentially incendiary comments like this is their way of testing your responses, hoping to infer some kind of concrete information from those.

9) They Ignore You

Of course, the tell-tale sign your ex is testing you: going hot and cold.

One day they’re affectionate and telling you about how much they miss the past, the next day they’re completely off the grid and you’re hearing about other people they’re dating.

Perhaps they’re testing by causing you to doubt whether to contact them or not.

One minute you feel like you’re the most important person in the world, the next you remember exactly why you broke up in the first place.

If your ex was really into getting back together with you, they’d be a lot more consistent with their efforts.

Otherwise, it’s easy to see that they’re doing an ego trip to either hurt you or just make themselves feel a little bit better.

10) They Try So Hard To Make You Jealous

When it comes to talking about their new “conquest” or that fun new date they’ve been on, your ex is suddenly the best storyteller, sparing absolutely no detail.

Even a blind person can see that they’re trying to make you jealous.

When you’re around, they just seem a little bit more enthusiastic about sharing what fun they’ve been having with other people.

From subtle stories on social media to outright conversations in person, the primary focus of interactions with your ex seems to circle around their amazing new dating life.

What’s funnier is that they’re very obviously looking to you for reactions.

There’s the usual side-eye and pause to check how you’re receiving their words when in reality you probably couldn’t care less.

How to Respond To an Ex Who Is Testing You

1) Be completely honest

Do you have any lingering hurts over your break-up? Do you think the way they’re testing you is frustrating?

It might be tempting to smile and pretend like everything’s fine, but that’s only going to cause more harm in the long run. All that resentment is going to simmer under the surface, and it will eventually burst sooner or later.

At worst, your issues might just come bursting out just when the two of you seemed like you were about to get back together.

They might say something to offend you, for example. And, because you never told them that you thought it was a problem in the first place, they keep on doing it until you lose your temper.

And before you know it, you are exes once more.

In the long run, it’s much better for everyone involved to be completely patient with their thoughts and feelings.

2) Get them a little jealous

If your ex is playing games and testing you, getting them a little jealous might just be the push they need.

When faced with the prospect of losing you to someone else, they’re going to want to act swiftly and decisively.

You don’t want to overdo it, of course, or otherwise you’re going to have them thinking that they have actually lost you for real and give up.

Get friendly with people—including those from the opposite sex— and post bold, confident pictures of yourself on social media. Or let them witness it in real life if possible.

The more your ex sees how much other people like you, the more they will realize what they are missing out on.

This could trigger them to finally make up their minds and have the courage to reach out. Or if you decide to reach out to them, it could make them more decisive, knowing that you have a lot of other options.

In the end, if you want to get them back, then you need to try some different strategies to re-spark their romantic interest in you.

That’s the ultimate key to getting back together with your ex -if that’s what you want.

I learned about this from Brad Browning, who has helped thousands of men and women get their exes back. He goes by the moniker of “the relationship geek”, for good reason.

In this free video, he’ll show you exactly what you can do to make your ex want you again.

No matter what your situation is — or how badly you’ve messed up since the two of you broke up — he’ll give you a number of useful tips that you can apply immediately.

Here’s a link to his free video again. If you really want your ex back, this video will help you do this.

3) Make them feel welcome

You should try to avoid making yourself look needy, but don’t ghost them! It’s better to risk it than to make them feel like they can’t talk to you anymore.

It might be tempting to turn your nose up and wait for them to grovel and beg for forgiveness if they managed to blow a bit too cold. But if they truly are struggling with their feelings for you, they’re going to think “I messed up, it’s too late!” and then give up.

Your feelings are valid, and the things they do are frustrating you, you should tell them as much. But at the same time, you should reach out and let them know you’re still willing to talk and work things through.

Should you decide to cut ties or ghost them, do it without any expectations that they’ll chase after you. Do it only when you have decided exactly that you have had enough of their games.

4) If things persist, let them taste their own poison

There’s no reason why you have to sit idly by because they are continually testing you.

Show them a little boldness and give them a taste of their own medicine. Pay attention to what they’re doing and try to do it better.

Throwing their own tactics back at them can help them be aware of just how bad it feels to be on the receiving side, as well as perhaps informing them that you’re interested too.

If they hadn’t been intending to blow hot and cold on you, they might just realize what they’re doing and ease up. Be a bit more honest with their feelings for you.

And, hey, that’s what you want right?

But don’t see this as something you should keep doing. Once you have their attention—maybe they would confront you about how you’re acting—use it as an opportunity to have a proper discussion.

5) Ultimately, tell them you don’t want games

There’s no real point for them to be blowing hot and cold. They still like you, and you want them back. It’s about time you stop playing games with one another and have a proper adult discussion.

Relationships are built on trust, respect, and good communication. Mind games like trying to make each other jealous or blowing hot and cold on one another is going to erode all of those.

These ‘games’ might catch their attention, and they might get you talking again, but they’re ultimately harmful to your relationship and the longer they go on the more likely it’ll be for you to end up exes again.

Don’t be afraid even if you have to be the first to walk up to them and talk. You know that they know and, if they deny it, then you can just tell them to stop doing it entirely.

You can either fix things and get back together, or take your break up more seriously. Games can mess up your mind and it’s just a total waste of time.

But if you really want to get your ex back, you’re going to need a bit of help.

And the best person to turn to is Brad Browning.

No matter how ugly the breakup was, how hurtful the arguments were, he’s developed a couple of unique techniques to not only get your ex back but to keep them for good. 

So, if you’re tired of missing your ex and want to start afresh with them, I’d highly recommend checking out his incredible advice. 

Here’s the link to his free video once again

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

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.

How being cheated on changes you: 15 positive things you learn

10 bad signs you are using someone (even if you don’t know it yet)