16 signs your ex wants you back but is scared of getting hurt

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Does your ex want you back?

You may be looking for signs to prove yes or no. 

But this gets harder when your ex wants you back but is scared of getting hurt and is therefore hiding their desire. 

Here’s how to tell if that is the case. 

1) They still talk to you 

First and foremost the biggest of the signs your ex wants you back but is scared of getting hurt is that they don’t want to cut off contact. 

In my case it was different, which I’ll get to, but here you’re dealing with an ex who still wants some contact. 

They want to know how you’re doing, they still answer texts and they are open to maintaining communication and at least being friends. 

Being friends may not be what you have in mind, and you may even be scared of getting “friendzoned.”

But just remember that words are not the important thing to focus on here. 

Whether you call it friends or more, there’s either romantic potential or there’s not. 

And if there is then it’s likely to eventually bloom into something… 

Friends is a very variable term that can end up turning back into a relationship eventually if the spark is still there. 

Now I’m not saying that them talking to you is proof they still have romantic or sexual feelings for you.

But it’s certainly a good start!

2) They want to meet and do things together 

Next up in the signs your ex wants you back but is scared of getting hurt is that they still want to meet.

This means they are the very least comfortable with you still being a big part of their life and having a role to play. 

Again, it doesn’t guarantee they want to get back together but it’s definitely a good sign. 

Your ex wouldn’t want to spend time with you or go to grab a coffee if they didn’t want to still have you in their life in some way. 

The fact that they are OK to still talk and meet is definitely proof that you’re going to remain friends at the very least. 

And like I said previously, friends is a great first step to many relationships and many exes who end up getting back together

3) They’re all over your social media

Next up in the biggest of the signs your ex wants you back but is scared of getting hurt is that they’re lurking on your social media. 

If they blocked you, like my ex Dani did when we broke up, then this won’t be happening, at least not visibly. 

I later found out, however, that she was still lurking after me via her friend’s profile. 

The way I knew, was that I suddenly saw my Instagram stories and Facebook posts being watched and even liked by a friend I hadn’t been in close touch with for over a year. 

It was a friend who didn’t really “do” the social media thing.

Yet now here she was liking my stuff? It was Dani. 

If you’re wondering whether your ex wants you back but is hiding it, watch their social media behavior. 

When I realized what was happening with Dani I was confused, to say the least. 

Was she just morbidly curious or were there still feelings there?

The way she’d cut me off made me think it was over, but on the other hand she was still watching my stories through a friend!

It was at this point that I connected up with a dating coach online at a site called Relationship Hero.

I’d had a friend recommend them for busting through relationship issues and they completely exceeded my expectations. 

My coach was understanding and had really sharp insights into what was going on with me and with Dani. 

I am extremely glad I reached out to Relationship Hero because they’re a big part of the reason that I believe Dani and I ended up getting back together. 

Check them out here

4) They’re posting a lot of relationship trauma material

If you still follow each other on social media, pay attention to what your ex is posting. 

One of the big signs your ex wants you back but is scared of getting hurt is that they’re basically working through the breakup online. 

They’re posting memes, articles, videos and lots of other content relating to what went wrong. 

Reading between the lines, look for what the main point is of what they’re posting:

Is it regret and anger? Sadness? Or is it also a desire to see if it could work next time?

Many times, exes will post content about the difficulty of relationships and dealing with breakups as a way of talking to you indirectly.

They’re signaling that yes they still want to understand what went wrong and potentially try again…

But also that they are worried about getting hurt again.

5) They’re asking mutual friends about you 

On a related note of signs your ex wants you back but is scared of getting hurt is that they’re asking mutual friends about you

Dani using her friend’s profile to follow me was basically a way of doing this. 

The more direct way is for your ex to ask your friends in person or by text about what you’re up to and how you’re doing. 

How would you know?

You may hear it through the grapevine. 

A mutual friend of mine told me Dani had been asking me a month after our split. 

“She said we were definitely done and not to keep trying,” I protested.

“Yeah, well…” my friend said.

That’s kind of how it goes. Falling out of love doesn’t happen overnight and many times your ex may still be into you but just be hesitant about trying again or need time to heal. 

6) They’re evasive but don’t reject you fully if you try to talk to them

Now we get to the next of the signs your ex wants you back but is scared of getting hurt: they don’t actually reject you. 

When you try to talk to your ex what happens?

In my case nothing (at least not for a few months). She’d blocked me and wouldn’t talk to me when I personally went by her house and asked if we could go for a coffee. 

That avenue was out of bounds, at least until Dani healed on her own. 

But in many situations it’s different: 

If you find that your ex is not actually refusing to talk to you, but just hesitant or somewhat evasive, it’s often a sign that they’re still into you. 

They want you back but they’re scared. 

So they don’t say much or act uncomfortable, but they don’t actually tell you to get lost. 

Thinking about it, Dani herself never actually told me to get lost. She just told me she couldn’t “talk right now.”

There was no door slamming or angry words when I approached her for a coffee meet. That was a bit of a clue right there, because if she was truly done she could have been a lot tougher on me. 

7) They’re really into talking, then really absent 

When we’re highly attracted to someone it can be scary.

The reason is simple: the stakes are raised enormously. 

If you talk to someone you don’t care much about, then them potentially rejecting you is just “meh.”

But if you’re talking to someone who you’re very into or even falling in love with, then them rejecting you is devastating. 

This is how it is for an ex who’s still into you but also scared of getting hurt.

It will often manifest as them talking to you intensely and being very available, and then disappearing. 

They go from being totally “on” to being basically absent and nowhere to be found. 

You may almost feel like that deep chat you had the other night on Facebook messenger never happened.

But it did. They’re just scared. 

8) They waffle between blocking and unblocking

Being blocked on social media is really rough. I should know, because it’s what happened with me and Dani. 

When she eventually did unblock me and we ended up getting back in touch, I had almost given up. 

She blocked me for a few months and didn’t go back and forth changing her mind. 

But it’s different for many ex couples, who end up going through dramatic cycles of blocking and unblocking. 

But this is important as well, because many times an ex will block and then unblock you various times. 

This is them changing their minds in real time and deciding what to do as they go. 

One week they’re all into you, the next they are blocking you and not wanting to talk again. 

This is a definite sign that they are still attracted to you and maybe still in love

But also deathly afraid of being hurt or let down by you once again… 

9) They keep in touch with your family

Next in the list of signs your ex wants you back but is scared of getting hurt is that they stay in touch with your family. 

This definitely happened with Dani and I. 

She cut off contact with me for a few months before we eventually got back together, but she never cut off contact with my mom, who had become her close friend during our relationship. 

My girlfriend and my mom as close friends? Who knows what Freud would think of that one, right?

In any case, maybe she’s just still good friends with your family…

Much more likely is that she or he still wants to maintain some ties with you, even if they’re indirect. 

“She may feel like she’s still a part of your family, even after she has ended her relationship with you,” is what relationship expert Sylvia Smith writes about this. “This could be one of the signs your ex wants you back but won’t admit it when this is the case.”

10) They apologize a lot for the breakup

Regardless of who was to blame for the breakup, one of the biggest signs your ex wants you back but is scared of getting hurt is that they take the blame.

Even if it seems like there’s enough blame to go around to all parties, they are there saying that they wish they’d done things differently…

Your ex is apologizing for hurting you and somewhat stewing in the past. 

If they were over it they’d just be moving on, but instead they’re relitigating what already happened. 

This is definitely the behavior of someone who’s full of regret. 

But it’s also the behavior of someone who’s afraid to get burned. 

They’re stewing over the past and wishing things had gone down differently. This is a desire to try again coupled with a fear that things may not work out once again. 

11) He or she jokes about trying again

Every joke has a grain of truth and that’s certainly the case here…

When an ex is joking about getting back together it’s usually because there’s a part of them that really is considering it. 

The humor is kind of like a shield:

They can always say “yeah, right!” if you bring it up as a serious thing. 

They can use the tactic of humor to retreat back into their shell or pull away again. 

This is a common defense mechanism, because when you use joking and humor in this way you’re basically testing the waters. 

If your ex is doing this then you can be fairly confident they’re thinking about getting back together with you but they feel scared as well because of what went wrong the last time. 

12) They upgrade their life massively

Another of the big signs your ex wants you back but is scared of getting hurt is that they upgrade their life massively. 

The insecurities and bad habits that were plaguing them become a thing of the past. 

You may notice that they also go through career changes and other life shifts that signal a switch into more self-sufficiency and personal power. 

This is often coming about because of a desire to upgrade and be a better man or woman for you. 

They want to patch up the mistakes and weaknesses that they perceive in their own behavior, especially in regard to what happened in your relationship. 

This is their personal “comeback time,” and they’re making sure to get stronger in all the ways that hurt them in the past and be potentially ready for another go in a relationship with you. 

13) They stay single for a long time 

Another of the top signs your ex wants you back but is scared of getting hurt is that he or she stays single after you date and makes a point of not linking up with someone new. 

This is one of three things:

It’s either that he or she simply hasn’t met anyone new despite wanting to;

Or that he or she is still not healed from you despite being sure they don’t want to be with you;

Or that he or she still loves you and wants to get back together with you

There’s definitely always a chance that it’s option three, so you shouldn’t give up on the chance of this. 

14) They date someone new but still talk to you often

Another of the most crucial signs your ex wants you back but is scared of getting hurt is that they are dating an insurance policy. 

What do I mean?

They are with someone new, but they’re clearly not that into them. 

They are with somebody who is “safe” and predictable. Somebody who won’t hurt them. Somebody they can trust not to cheat or be erratic.

Yet you can tell very clearly that your ex isn’t really in love with this new person: the new person is just a fallback, an insurance policy. 

What’s more, your ex is still talking to you, and potentially in ways which their new partner wouldn’t entirely approve of. 

This is definitely along the lines of a person who still has feelings for you but is also wanting something secure while they explore whether getting back with you could be feasible. 

15) They make a point of going wild

On the flip side of these previous behaviors I’ve listed is when an ex goes wild. 

They’re done with you and they want the whole world to know it. 

Their face is splashed across 100 social media pages with beautiful people draped all over them…

They’re downing shots like it’s Oktoberfest every day…

They look happier than any human being has a right to be…

Well, maybe they’re just out there really enjoying the single life, right?

More likely is that they are out there trying to forget you by any means possible when in reality they know they haven’t. 

This may mean they’d really like you back but are scared of being hurt. 

When you think about it, this makes a sick kind of sense. 

Sometimes when we’re afraid to get hurt we chase sex and random fun times to try to forget the pain and risk of love. 

We try to satisfy ourselves with something shallow. 

But it never works…  

16) They still try to keep you safe and check you’re OK 

Another of the signs your ex wants you back but is scared of getting hurt is that he or she still checks in on you

They make sure you’re more or less doing OK and that things which were bothering you are being dealt with. 

For example, if you were moving and needed help finding a place they may send you a few listings…

Or if you had a health concern which had been stressing you out, he or she is there recommending a good clinic or checking in that you’re getting help with the problem.

Now this may just be the concern of a person who was formerly close to you having basic decency, but it’s also often a mask for their desire to get back together with you. 

As Cyril Abello writes

“If your ex still acts protective towards you, it shows that his affection has never left. He still thinks of you as the love of his life. 

“If this is the case, it means he did not really want to break up with you.”

How long gone is your ex? 

Is your ex gone for good or will they be back? 

That’s something only a fortune teller can tell you. 

But I do encourage you to watch out for the signs I’ve pointed out in this article and to move at a steady but not over-eager pace. 

I recommended the love coaches at Relationship Hero earlier because they helped me immensely in getting back together with my ex Dani. 

I encourage you to check them out. Never give up in these kinds of situations. 

Remember that relationships and breakups are intense and difficult for everyone, no matter how experienced or mature. 

When you care about someone it’s very difficult to accept it not working out, and when you’ve been burned once it’s very hard not to worry about getting burned again. 

If you still have feelings for your ex, they may well feel the same.

Making it better this time around

Deciding whether or not to get back together with your ex is a hard decision. 

If you do still have feelings and want to try, I salute your courage and optimism!

The only note of caution is to pay attention to what split you up the first time around. 

Even if it seemed random or like it spiraled out of control, this can easily happen again. 

Make sure that you and your ex don’t repeat the same mistakes or head into another relationship without having dealt with the insecurities and conflicts that came up the first time. 

Provided you are being honest, communicating and willing to work on things together, there’s every chance that you can get back together and grow proactively together this time around.

Clifton Kopp

Welcome to my writings on Hack Spirit! I'm a bit of a "polymath" in that I like writing about many different things. Often I'm learning from the process of writing. I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment on one of my articles.

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