It's not rare that someone is pretending to be over you after the breakup when in reality they are still hurting and trying to heal. It can be difficult for an outsider to tell if someone is really over their ex or just faking it.
Fortunately, there are sure and clear-cut ways of telling whether an ex is over you and is ready to move on or if they still have lingering feelings for you and really just want to get back together.
Let's uncover the honest signs your ex is pretending to be over you!
9 Signs Your Ex is Pretending to be Over You But He Is Not
These signs I'm about to show you will give you a really good indication of what his true feelings are. By learning these signs you will also make better decisions about whether to completely cut off your ex from your life or maybe give them another chance.
1. WHEN YOUR EX TRIES TO MAKE YOU JEALOUS
One of the most common signs that your ex is still hung up on you and not over your break-up is when they do something to make you jealous.
You might find out through a mutual friend or his social media post that he's been talking about dating someone new. And then, for some reason, he'll call you and act like it's no big deal.
Or maybe he'll try to make you think that he's interested someone else and then does a complete about-face and tells you it doesn't mean anything. This could be a way of keeping their options open while still being in your life.
You could try to get an answer about where you stand by asking them straight out.
However, sometimes, that's what they want you to do, so it's like playing directly into their game. Also, it's not easy to get a straight answer, because exes are really good at pretending like they're over you even though they just want to get back together.
Maybe they're too proud to ask you outright, or just want to play it safe in case you say no.
It does seem a little too juvenile to make you jealous, but remember that guys aren't terribly mature creatures. This behavior could be like an "I'll pull your hair because I like you" thing from grade school. Which is childish and annoying.
What to do about it?
If your ex tries to make you jealous by ensuring that you hear about him being out and about with another girl, or by posting a picture with another woman on his Instagram account, just chill.
You don't want to give him the satisfaction of being right (even if you really are jealous).
The best way to figure things out is to be very observant. This doesn't mean that you need to stalk your ex and look at his social media account every other minute. It just means that when you do see him, observe his behavior and draw conclusions.
Your decision whether to let him go or give him another chance depends on how he behaves when you see him.
2. WHEN YOUR EX LOOKS YOU IN THE EYE INTENSELY
One of the indicators that your ex is clearly still not over you is his intense eye contact. If he isn't shy about looking at you and looking you in the eye, this means he's really not ready to let you go.
He could be looking at you to gauge how you're taking the break-up or your reaction to seeing him again. Or maybe he's looking at you because he can't keep his eyes off you.
No matter how many times he mentions that he's happy you guys broke up, his intense eye contact game will manage to contradict that statement anytime. As long as he can't stop looking at you, he won't be able to move on enough to be happy.
Maybe he wants you to believe that he's okay. Perhaps he wants you to at least rise to his bait (he keeps mentioning another girl's name in your conversations) and act all upset and hurt. And even if you are, try to refrain from showing your displeasure in front of him if you don't want to encourage said behavior.
3. WHEN YOUR EX KEEPS YOU CLOSE AT ALL TIMES
One of the signs your ex is pretending to be over you but in reality, he is trying hard to get back together with you, is when he tries his best to stay close at all times. You might notice that he's always nearby when you're out with your friends or that he invites himself along to any social outing where you'll be in attendance.
They do this because they want to keep an eye on you and know about what's going on in your life. It also gives them a chance to see how much better (or worse) off you are without them.
This means that they're not over you, no matter how much they try to pretend otherwise.
It's more likely than not that they would want the relationship to go back into full swing. And since they can't get over you, they'll be a little obsessed and will want to know about everything going on with your life.
However, some girls don't want to keep their exes close. In this case, he'll want to encourage your mutual friends to get together and invite you, or maybe he'll check out your social media account (a hundred times a day).
He could even go to your regular, old hangout places just to see if you'd come. And sure, you'll get more than annoyed at his persistence. This is one of the many reasons why break-ups need to be clean on both sides; to ensure there are no left-over hang-ups.
4. WHEN YOUR EX BRINGS YOU GIFTS
Another one of the tell-tale signs that your ex is still hung up on you and not over you is when he brings gifts around for you all the time. A lot of people think it's an innocent thing to do, but it's actually quite a calculated move. One might ask - if a guy gives you a gift, does he like you or just wants something from you?
He may be trying to butter you up, or he could genuinely want you back and feel like this is the only way to make that happen.
It might seem sweet at first when your ex brings around small gifts just for fun and wants to hang out on weekends, but it can soon become suffocating, and you'll feel like he's constantly trying to make up for the lost time.
What to do about it?
So if your ex is still buying you gifts, it might be a good idea to let him know that his behavior isn't going unnoticed and that this relationship probably won't work out.
Or, if you believe there's a chance to work it out, and if you want to, let's say, take him out for a test drive.
Just don't forget all the reasons you broke up, and make sure he doesn't, either. You are both grown-ups who deserve another shot at happiness, especially if you believe you can only be happy with each other.
5. WHEN HE PLANS FOR THE FUTURE IN TERMS OF 'US'
If your ex is still talking about the future as if you're going to be in it together or that 'we' will do this or that, then this is a pretty clear indication that he is not over you.
He might be doing this unconciously, or he might not be aware that this is happening. But it's still a sign of some deep-seated feelings for you. Even when he acts like the breakup is no big deal, her subconscious mind knows better.
For example, he might have a habit of saying things like "we should try this" or "I think you'll really love it, we can do it together".
That kind of talk is usually reserved for couples in serious relationships.
If your ex insists on talking about the future constantly even after you've declined the offer to get back together, then he's either really hopeful and stubborn or just plain manipulative.
What to do about it?
If your ex always brings up the future and mentions plans involving 'we', then make sure to set some boundaries in place.
Talk to him about what you want and where you see your future going. Spell it out, especially if you see yourself without him a year from now.
This is all about how he's thinking. If you don't feel the same way, then it's time to let him go for good so that you both can move on in life.
Related: Signs your ex will never come back
6. WHEN YOUR EX SAYS HE MISSES YOU
If your ex miss you, then the first thing that should come to mind is "why?".
Is he trying to make you feel bad for breaking up with him? Or is he trying to win you back with his words?
When he says this, it can mean a few different things:
- Most of the time, when he says he misses you, what he really means is "I need you back". He is still in love with you and he is most likely desperate.
- He can't find a new girlfriend and he's getting tired of being single. He feels lonely and he thinks the only way to fix this problem is by having you back in his life. Be careful in this situation as it will never end well if you choose to get back together with him.
- Or, he may be lonely and insecure. Your ex might say they miss you to test whether you still have feelings for him. If your ex does this, he's only doing so to make himself feel better. He wants to confirm that he is still attractive enough for you to miss him.
- If he was the one broke up with you, it's also a possibility that he is just trying to make you feel better about your break-up. He feels guilty and wants to be reassured that you're not hurting.
- If your ex is a malicious man, he may be saying this to hurt you and to see you suffer. He doesn't really miss you, just wants to remind you of the old days and such. He wants you to miss him so it would give his ego satisfaction.
Either way, it's always a good idea to consider what he said really means.
What to do about it?
It's important to remember that things can't go back to how they once were. You both have changed and if you're not careful, the relationship is likely to end up going down the path again. It might be worth taking some time on your own before you decide to either go solo, go back to your ex, or take a chance with someone else.
In the end, all you can do is be true to yourself and hope for the best. If your ex really misses you, then he'll probably show his feelings in a way that aligns with his words.
Related: How to make a man miss you
But before getting back together just because your ex tells you they miss you, take the time to think about what happened last time and how things were left between the two of you.
7. WHEN YOUR EX LEAVES HIS STUFF AT YOUR PLACE AND WON'T TAKE THEM BACK
If he left some of his stuff at your place and won't take them back, then it might be that he still has feelings for you. Especially if you'd already called him about him numerous times, and he says he'll get to it. And yet, he never does.
More than likely, this is just a way to keep in contact with you without feeling a little too desperate. Or maybe they hope there is still a chance for the two of you to get back together.
It is also possible that your break-up was too bad and hurtful that he doesn't want to come over again because it makes him feel hurt, vulnerable, miserable, or lonely. Maybe he doesn't want to keep his stuff there, and it's just that he can't face the thought of coming by to collect them and seeing you again.
Yes, it is possible that your ex still has feelings for you. However, if this were the case, then he would want to see you face-to-face and take things further rather than just stay in contact by leaving stuff at your place or sending messages.
Of course, he could be bidding his time until he's ready to up his game and to see you again.
What to do about it?
Your takeaway here is maybe he still feels intensely about you, and whether he's upset or still in love is beside the point. He is just not ready to sever your bond. Give him some time. If a year has passed and he still hasn't taken his stuff, you can give him another nudge then.
8. WHEN YOUR EX PRETENDS TO BE VERY HAPPY
If your ex is obviously pretending to be super happy, then it might mean he's still in love with you. He thinks if you see him happy, you'll want him back.
He might be trying to make you jealous by showing off every time he's having a good time.
Alternatively, he might be trying to make himself feel better about the break-up so it doesn't hurt as much.
He might also have been hurt by what had happened between the two of you and might want to take a swipe at you. If this is the case, he's lashing out because he feels like the break-up was unfair, and he doesn't want it to take.
Or maybe, after the break-up, your mutual friends could be more supportive with you than they are with him. He's trying to show them how well things are going for him, so their opinion doesn't change any more than it already has. Or perhaps it's with the hope that his happiness reaches your ears and will make you feel awful.
If he's only pretending for a short time before coming clean about how he really feels, it could be because he knows that if things had worked out between the two of you, he would have been happy for real.
Signs when your ex pretending to be happy
When your ex is not being honest about how happy he really feels, there are some definite signs to look out for.
For example, he might make a big show of laughing out loud unnecessarily. Especially if you are in the vicinity. He could also use words like "awesome," "amazing" or "wonderful" all the time.
This will probably annoy you and will make you want to avoid him even more. However, if you pause to think about it, annoyance is not the only reason you won't want to see him this way. You'll avoid him because he looks sad.
People who pretend to be happy just end up looking pitiful and sad, which, I am sure, is not how he wants to be looked at.
Related: How long should you give him space
9. HE ALMOST DELETES YOU
If your ex deletes pictures of you but leaves one or two, it could be because he doesn't want to be reminded of you every time he picks up his phone, but he doesn't want to completely cut you out of his life either. This could be a sign that he's trying to forget you. 'Trying' is the underlined word.
A social media purge is not unheard of after a break-up. After all, it is best to make it as clean a break as possible, which is why we return our ex's stuff (or burn them, depending on how upset you are) and delete their pictures from our phones. As an extra precaution, sometimes people don't post pictures of their partners on social media.
Some of them say that they just like being low-key because they are mature people. However, most people do this when they don't think the relationship is going anywhere. If a lady thinks this guy is not going to last a week, why post his face on her Instagram account, right?
If you are in a long-term relationship though, and if you're active in your social media accounts, you won't be able to help yourself post a picture, which will become pictures as the years go by. And if you break up, it means you'll have to either get rid of those pictures you've posted or get rid of your social media accounts.
This is normal. And while uncommon, it is also normal to leave one or two pictures. Maybe he just wants to hold on to the good memories he's had with you because that's part of his healing process. Or maybe it means he still likes you. You will never know unless you ask him, or until he tells you.
If he does all these and more, it probably means that he either wants to get back together with you, or he is only trying his best to make you feel comfortable post-break-up. They might be nervous about the situation because of what happened in your relationship before or how it ended, but they're willing to risk everything for a chance at being happy again. It's important not to brush them off too quickly even though you're not sure if it's what you want.
What if I want to get back together with my ex?
If you do, please remember all the reasons why you broke up in the first place. Mull it over, and then talk it over with him. If you believe you guys can fix what's broken, or at least, that you both are willing to do the work to fix things, go for it. If not, you both need to move on.
How do you know when your ex is truly done with you?
As a general rule, you know that your ex is truly done with you when he treats you poorly. He might give you the cold shoulder or start to avoid your calls altogether. If he has moved on from you and is dating someone else, it's also a clear sign that he doesn't want to get back together.
How do you tell if your ex is lying about being over you?
If your ex is lying about being over you, he'll be trying to do something about it. He will make an effort to contact you. He will care about you in one way or another and will want to know how you are doing. He'll be interested about your plans and what's going on with your life.
Does my ex deserve another chance?
If he made big mistakes such as cheating on you, or being abusive, he doesn't deserve another chance. However, if it's just a case of different opinions on things, or just an argument got out of hand, he may deserve another chance. Assuming you both love each other.
What if my ex is happy without me?
If he is happy for real, try to be happy for him. Don't hold on to the bad memories. Instead, focus on the happy ones, and take everything as an experience- both the good and the bad. You should also move on and live your life.
What if he wants to get back together, but I'm not ready to jump back into the relationship yet?
That's totally fine. You need time to heal after going through something as traumatic as a break up. You need to love yourself enough to heal, and give him time to heal as well. If he really wants to get back together with you, he'll understand you and wait for you.
What if he just wants closure in order to be happy again?
If he just wants closure, it's probably best to give it to him. This doesn't mean that you should let him back in your life, but if you two are on good terms and there is no bad blood between the two of you, this might be a great way for both of you to move forward with your lives. A clean break is something you'll only be thankful for down the road.
How do you know if your ex secretly misses you?
You’ll know this if he calls you at odd times, with reasons that range from the unbelievable to the ridiculous. He will also be making up excuses to see you, or perhaps even arrange a random meeting. He will appear as if he’s okay, but inside, he seethes when he sees you with another guy, or even just looking too happy.
How do you know if your ex is regretting dumping you?
Your ex will not be subtle about regretting dumping you. He will crawl, apologize, bring you flowers and gifts, and essentially do everything he can to get you back. Especially if he knows he did you wrong and hurt you by ending things abruptly. However, if he is prideful and won’t want to admit his mistakes, he will be a lot more subtle in his regret. Perhaps he’ll call you, or find ways to meet you by chance.
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Nicole Graham is a relationship expert at Womenio.com. She is helping women grow into their best selves so they can be confident and bring more love, passion, and purpose to their lives. Nicole enjoys studying the psychology of love and is passionate about writing on them. She offers helpful tips and advice to help overcome any relationship issue, whether you’re single or already in a relationship.