When I have genuinely liked (loved-but-couldn't-admit-it-because-I'm-emotionally-stunted) men in my almost-29 years, it's taken me on average two whole years to get over them. Not great — two years is enough time to get an MBA. Starting with my eighth-grade lab partner who got back together with his girlfriend three days after he gave me my very first smooch, I've never had the fortuitous timing of being the first to move on after a breakup. It takes time to get over someone, and your ex might have zero chill like me, so what are the signs he's not over you?
First off, it truly depends on what you mean by "not over you." I'm a firm believer that there are some people whom you simply never "get over," per se. These people are the exes that you do not want to get back together with, but whose Instagram posts you'll never be able to look at because that engagement photo will make you a little bit sad — even if you have a rock on your own finger. Feelings are messy.
On the other hand, an ex might show signs of wanting to be in your life because they are truly over you, but miss knowing you. You used to sleep next to each other nightly, put your private parts together, and share all of your hopes and dreams for five cheesy years — it's pretty weird if you both go radio silent for the rest of eternity.
So how can you tell if your ex is actually unable to get over you? Here are nine obvious signs that they Jackson 5-style want you back:
1. They Drunk Text You Emojis
Specifically, the crying emoji. If your ex is imbibing and texting, they are not over you. They might not be going about getting you back in the most evolved way, but they are most definitely still thinking about you in their life. From my own experience, only when I no longer text my ex at all am I allowed to say that I am over them without being a straight-up liar.
2. They Aren't Dating Anyone
If you've been broken up for a bit and it doesn't seem like your ex has moved on with another person, they may not be over you. Or, they're just having really bad luck on Bumble.
3. They Send You Flowers
...and not condolence flowers because you've recently suffered a major loss in your life. Whether it's a birthday or you just got into law school, if your ex sends you anything more than a simple, three-word text... they're not over you.
4. They Want To Keep In Touch Regularly
This is tricky. I feel like I've "dated" people in non-serious ways who got into relationships and wanted to keep our chill friendship vibes going. I don't understand how to keep a friendship going with someone I've never hung out with without kissing, so I don't understand this one. If your ex is hitting you up regularly, they might not be over the awesome being that is you. Or, they might just want to have their cake (new boo) and eat it, too (have you in their life).
5. They Unfollow You On Social Media
If I don't care about an ex anymore, I don't care about seeing their super awesome life on Instagram, because, you know, Instagram definitely represents exactly how perfect all of our lives are. If I am having a hard time getting over someone, like a really hard time, I have to be a self-preservationist and unfollow like an immature teenager.
Facebook friendship is forever, but seeing Instagrams of an ex's adorable ski trip is rough.
6. They Say Something Mean About Your New Person
Jealousy is real, and I am the first to admit that I have a "comparison problem" when it comes to finding out who people I have dated are now dating, but if your ex says something petty about the new person in your life 1.) tell them it's not a good look, and 2.) they're not over you, and they haven't been even for a minute.
7. They Slide Into Your DMs With Inside Jokes
Sending you a "you versus the guy she told you not to worry about" meme was fun when you were dating, but if your ex is still tagging you on the 'gram and DM-ing you things to bring you back to the time when you were together, they still want what you've got.
8. They Watch The Sh*t Out Of Your Social Media
OK, so this one is tricky. There have definitely been people who I have intentionally un-Snap friended so as not to be constantly reminded of how much they didn't think about me anymore while galavanting at Coachella. (Good riddance.) That said, if your ex is constantly the first one to like your photos, watch your Instagram stories, and comment on your new gig on LinkedIn, maybe they aren't over you. I feel like that Insta-story algorithm pushes the people you stalk the most to the front of your feed, so that you can watch it right away, but who knows...
9. They Ask For You Back
At the end of the day, if someone is not over you and wants you back, they will make it very clear. Whether that means asking you to be theirs again, or sending you emotional texts about why things didn't work out, they will make it clear.
The feeling of not being over someone and the feeling of wanting someone back are similar in that they suck, but different in that they don't always go hand in hand. Finding out someone from your past moved in with a girlfriend can sting, but doesn't mean that you want them back. In fact, if said ex broke up with their live-in, you might go on one date with them and realize the sparks are long gone, and you were just clinging on to the past.
If an ex doesn't make it clear to you (in a mature way) that they want you back in their life, they don't really deserve you. They might watch your Snap stories, send you silly messages, and drunk text you, but if they're not saying, "Hey, be mine?" then you can move on to the next one. It sucks, but it's the truth. Sometimes exes just like to keep you generally around for their own egos. You don't have time for that. When a person wants to be with you, they will let you know.
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