Ways to Tell Your Ex Wants You Back Badly and How to Handle It

It started out great and then things went south.  The two of you broke it off but things never stay the same.  Now, it seems as if your ex may want you back.  Is it meant to be or are you meant to say apart?  Here’s how to tell they want you back and a few things to think about before moving forward.

Anti Rebound

Usually, after a breakup, people go out with other people, deemed the ‘rebound’ boyfriend/girlfriend.  It’s seldom that the rebound relationship works out.  Sometimes, a rebound relationship is convenient to get back out there or to help forget a previous love.  However, if you hear that your ex refuses to see others or is shying away from opportunities to meet new people, it could be because they haven’t gotten over you.  They are waiting for you to call, to run into you, etc.

Subtle Signs

In a world filled with social media platforms, it’s difficult to totally shut out your ex.  You may still be friends on Facebook, see each other’s pictures on Instagram, or view their tweets in your Twitter stream.  Some signs are subtle, like tweeting, “I have not been as happy as I used to be,” while others are more forward like, “My life is over.”  If they upload your favorite song to their YouTube channel or won’t change their Facebook relationship status, it’s likely that they’re still holding on and want you back.

Frequent Calls


Some relationships end yet people agree to be friends.  However, a friend acts differently than a boyfriend/girlfriend, or even an ex boyfriend/girlfriend.  If they call more than your friends or are often a bit too friendly, these are signs your ex wants you back.  More obvious, if they continue to bring up the past or ‘us’ during the conversation, it’s likely that they want to be more than your friend.  There’s nothing wrong with being friends with an ex, but unless both parties are ready to be friends, it won’t work.

Tender Moments

The beginning of a relationship is considered to be the ‘honeymoon phase.’  Each partner is on their best behavior and each one does their utmost to be sweet, caring, and tender.  However, when two people break up, all that is over, unless one person wants the other back.  Then, the initial tenderness will return as one partner wishes for things to go back to what it was like at the very beginning of the relationship.  Some couples need time apart, yet in most cases, you can never rekindle relations; you can only move forward.

Shared Memories

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Sure, there is a time and place to remember the past – on a birthday, an anniversary, etc.  However, while they can be enjoyed, most exes do not share memories for no reason. If your ex often talks about places you’ve been, things that were said, or feelings that were shared, the past is not behind them.  If you find your ex brings up the past too much and it makes you feel uncomfortable, you can point out that you appreciate the opportunity to have shared those experiences but you’re trying to stay focused on your present and future.  If they don’t get the hint, then you can try being more direct about your level of discomfort.

Observed Motions

If your ex wants you back, they may keep tabs on you.  They may inquire about you, or even more creepy, follow you from afar.  They may somehow know that you’ve been talking to someone else, you have a new job, or know exactly what you had for dinner every night last week.  While following or stalking is an unhealthy notion, be gentle with an ex who has been keeping (distant) tabs on you.  Perhaps it is easier for you to move on then it is for them.   While that’s not your fault or your responsibility to help them, you could be empathetic.

Bold Talk

Lastly, if your ex really wants you back, they may adopt the bold approach and tell you exactly what they’re thinking.  They will admit they miss you and even suggest that you get back together.  No one can tell you how things will go.  You’ll have to listen to your heart.  As long as your relationship did not involve a form of abuse, it could work better a second time.  On the other hand, some believe that you can’t rekindle a flame once it’s out.


Melissa Lawrence is a relationship therapist turned agony aunt. Her relationship articles appear around the web on lifestyle and relationship websites as well as in print.

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