After a relationship ends, you might not think you’ll ever talk to your ex again. But one day, they might send you a well-thought-out text or email that makes you wonder if it’s a sign they might want to get back together.
First of all, it’s good to take a moment before you answer. You might be able to tell, maybe by the way they say it, that your ex is trying to get in touch with you because they are bored, lonely, or finding it hard to move on. If that’s the case, or if they weren’t good for you but always found a way to get you back, you’re probably better off ignoring them.
A certified health coach, Isadora Baum, CHC, says that there are times when a relationship from the past can work out well in the future. She says that it depends on a lot of things, like why you broke up, how much time has passed, and whether or not you’ve both changed and grown.
If you think there’s a chance you could get back together, look out for signs that your ex quietly wants you back, but don’t get too excited before you talk to them. Licenced clinical psychologist Jaclyn Lopez Witmer tells Bustle, “I would encourage [a client] to bring that up with the ex so they can know [for sure] and not keep wondering and making up things in their mind that aren’t true.” Even though some signs are clearer than others, it’s important to be realistic and wise about how your ex acts.
“Signs can be helpful sometimes, but if they’re not ready to open the door, be vulnerable, and say directly, ‘I want to get back together, how do you feel about that?’ then signs won’t help. Witmer says that a person shouldn’t spend too much time or energy trying to figure out what small signs mean.
So before you do a Bennifer 2.0 and let an ex back into your life, think about why you broke up in the first place and how things might be different now. You might find that your ex is in a different place, has learned from their mistakes, or is willing to do what it takes to be a better partner. No matter what, it’s always best to be careful when looking for signs that you’ll get back together.
If you’re not sure, here are 24 minor signs they might be interested in getting back together with an old flame. If you see a few of these signs, you should talk to your ex, figure out how you feel, and go from there.
They want to get to know you better.
Not every text from an ex means that they want to be with you again. They might just be saying hello or checking in as a friend. But if they keep texting you and you get relationship vibes, it could mean there’s more going on.
Shlomo Zalman Bregman, a rabbi and matchmaker, says that you should look for good dialogue, such as signs that they want to get to know you again. Is your ex just saying “sup” at 2 a.m., or are they asking about you, like your job or your family? The second choice is clearly the better one.
2. It’s them who is reaching out.
Bregman says it’s also a good sign if they’re the one who starts all the conversations and responds quickly to your texts. This shows that they’re really interested.
3. They’re talking about what’s happening in their lives.
Bregman says it might not mean anything if your ex only texts you on Friday nights because they’re lonely or if you only talk about the weather or current events. But if your ex tells you about their life and gets personal, it’s possible that they want to get back together with you in a loving way.
4. They ask how your love life is going
If you look at someone’s social media, it’s pretty easy to tell if they’re in a relationship or not. However, if your ex wants to get back together, they might keep bringing it up anyway, says Bregman. So if someone asks you about your dating life, it’s probably because they want to know if you’re open.
5. They seem envious
If your ex just wants to be friends, they won’t care that you’ve been on a bunch of Tinder dates lately. Instead, they will be glad and may even wish you well.
Bregman says that if they sound a little jealous or sad, it’s likely that they still care about you and were maybe even hoping for a reunion.
They talk about their relationships.
Bregman says that if your ex starts going out of their way to tell you they’re single, there’s probably a reason they’re doing this. If you’re interested, take this as a sign to suggest getting coffee to see where things go.
7. They keep in touch through social media
A relationship counsellor tells Bustle that the things your ex does on social media might also give them away. If they want to get back together, they might like your pictures or stories more often or look at them again. “It means they’re at least thinking about you,” he says. And if that’s true, it’s possible that they still care about them.
8. They keep making me think of cute times
Bennett says that if your ex finds ways to talk about good times from the past, it could be a way for them to hint that they want to get back together. They might even want to get back together, but they are too scared to make the first move.
9. They make up reasons to talk to you out of the blue.
If your ex suddenly texts you things like, “Wow, I’m eating this great pizza and thinking of you,” or “Do you know of any good Thai restaurants?” it could mean they’re looking for a way to talk to you. A marriage and family therapist named Kiaundra Jackson, LMFT, tells Bustle.
10. They try to make you want what they have.
Does your ex post about who they’re meeting, and does it seem like it’s about you? Jackson says it’s not always the case, but sometimes an ex will try to show they’ve “moved on” and are seeing someone new when they really want you back.
When this happens, you should think about how old they are. Mind games and jealousy have no place in a healthy, solid relationship. If your ex’s only way to get your attention is to make you jealous, you may be better off moving on.
11. They want to talk about what happened.
On a more positive note, if your ex wants to talk about what went wrong and why you broke up, it could mean one of two things. Either they want closure or they want to see if it’s worth trying again and getting better together, says Rhonda Milrad, LCSW, a relationship therapist who spoke to Bustle.
“Maybe they’ve been working on themselves, want to apologise for their behaviour, or just want to explain what was going on for them at the time,” she says. “Either way, the fact that they want to talk about why the relationship broke down opens the door to healing.”
12. They Leave Things at Your House
If you broke up a while ago and your ex still hasn’t asked for their favourite hat back, it could be because they forgot, or it could be on purpose. Milrad says, “If they don’t pick up all their things, they leave the door ajar so they have a reason to get in touch with you in the future.”
13. They do what they need to do
As a way to move on, your ex might reach out and take responsibility for their part in the split. A marriage and family therapist, Christie Tcharkhoutian MA, MFT, tells Bustle that they might do this if they care about you and don’t want to lose you. You’ll have to figure out what they want.
14. They ask other people they know about you
Tcharkhoutian says that if your ex wants to know how you’ve been doing and asks your friends, it’s another sign that they might want to get back together. At the very least, they are thinking about you. But it could also be a way for them to test the seas and see if you’re free.
15. They always try to help.
Don’t let an odd Wednesday text take up too much of your mind. But if an ex starts texting you often, you should think about whether you want to let them back into your life and maybe even date them again.
Laura Richer, MA, LMHCA, NCMHCE, CHT, a therapist, tells Bustle that in some cases, an ex might want to stay in touch because they miss the comfort. She says that people often find it easier to go back to what they’re used to, even if it’s not the best thing for them, than to let go and move on.
16. They act like they don’t know how to do something.
Again, it’s important not to put too much weight on any one sign or assume that your ex wants to get back together just because they reach out. But if yours seems to be making up reasons to see you, like saying “Hey, can you help me screw in a lightbulb?” you should ask what they really want.
They say that their relationship just broke up.
When a relationship ends, we’re sometimes pushed to look at our lives and decide what’s most important. Then, your ex might realise what they had with you and try to get in touch to see how things are going.
18. They let you know how well they’re doing.
A licenced psychologist, Dr. Markesha Miller, tells Bustle that an ex might come right out and say how much they’ve grown and changed, or they might just drop hints about how well they’ve been doing.
“This could mean that they want you to know how much they’ve changed,” she says. “It could also mean that they’re in a place where they could be a stronger, healthier partner if the relationship were to start up again.”
19. They’re always around with their new partner
You can totally be friends with an ex. And when you are, they might start coming to group hangouts with their new partner, and it won’t seem like a big deal. But Miller says to read between the lines if it seems too much. “Let’s face it, we all know when someone is going out of their way to prove a point,” she says.
20. They are very excited.
Say you’re the one calling out to say hi, ask for help, or see how things are going. Does your ex answer you quickly and with a lot of energy? Chris Seiter, a relationship and breakup expert, told Bustle that this is often a sign that an ex still likes you. Exes who have moved on may respond, but you’ll get a totally different, less interested vibe from them.
21. They try to make things right.
If your ex tries to make up with you and take responsibility for how they hurt you, it’s likely that they’ve been thinking a lot about you. Jaclyn Lopez Witmer, a licenced clinical psychologist, says, “This shows that they’ve been thinking about how they hurt you and want to make things right, maybe by getting back together. With a heartfelt apology, there is responsibility, and that can go a long way.
22. They keep in touch with you and your family
If your ex stays in touch with your mum or sends ‘Happy Birthday’ texts to your brothers, it could mean that he or she is trying to find ways to stay in touch with you. Your family might want to stay in touch with you because they want to be a part of your close circle.
23. They ask if they can talk about what they think about the breakup.
Lopez Witmer says that this could be a good sign. “This shows that they care about your feelings, space, and boundaries and want to make sure you’re ready to meet them there and maybe share some of your own,” she says. If they ask your permission before talking about what happened between you two, it shows that they value your time and mental space.
24. They depend on you for help.
Your ex reaching out to you for comfort or support can mean a lot of things, including that they realise they need you in their life. This could be because they’re going through a hard time mentally or because they’ve lost someone close to them. If they want to get back together, they should come to you when they’re feeling weak. This will help them reconnect emotionally.
Each of these signs might not mean much on its own. But if your ex wants to be with you again, you’ll probably see a trend. But before you do anything rash, you should think about what it would be like to date them again.
Miller says, “It’s important to make sure that you’re giving a relationship a second chance because there are signs that it could be better, not just because you want it to work.” Because most of the time, it’s best to forget about an ex and move on.