In a perfect world, all breakups would be amicable, and exes could go their separate ways on good terms. But that’s not the world we live in, unfortunately. The end of a relationship can bring on confusion, sadness, and resentment, among other complicated emotions, and both parties are entitled to whatever feelings they’re experiencing. If you suspect that your former partner may still harbor some hard feelings, you can look out for some common signs your ex is still angry with you.
Let’s start with the obvious. When your ex blocks you on social media or ignores your attempts to communicate, those are both solid indicators that they’re mad at you. The same can be said if they destroy your belongings, or talk sh*t about you to mutual friends. But sometimes, the signs that your ex is pissed are slightly more subtle.
There are so many reasons why your ex could be angry. For example, if they felt blindsided by the breakup or their trust was otherwise betrayed, they may feel bitter about it. Or, if they were displeased by how the split went down, and never got the closure they felt they deserved, that could be another source of frustration. Regardless of why they’re feeling this way, they can show it in a variety of ways. By recognizing these common signs that your ex is still angry with you, you’ll be able to give them the time and space they need to heal.
They're making your life more difficult than it needs to be.
A breakup can cause a number of inconveniences. If you were living together, one or both of you will need to find a new place to live. If you weren't cohabitating, you may have to pick up some clothes you left at your ex's place, or they may need to grab some items they left at yours. According to Michelle Fraley, a relationship expert, life coach, and founder of Spark Matchmaking, if your ex is making life more difficult than it needs to be, they're likely still mad at you.
Whether you're dealing with caring for a shared pet, or trying to figure out how to move out, intentionally making the situation more challenging indicates that they're holding on to a grudge about something and whether consciously or not, acting out in revenge.
They're leaving passive-aggressive comments.
Unfollowing you is one thing. In fact, taking that measure often doesn’t indicate that your ex is upset with you — it could just mean that it's too painful to see your photos and other life updates, because they still have feelings for you. But if your ex starts posting passive-aggressive or otherwise rude comments on your social media accounts (or their own), Fraley says they’re likely still holding on to some anger.
“This not only shows that they are still interested in your day-to-day activity and are not over the breakup, but that they want other people to see that there is friction or that you potentially did something wrong,” she adds.
Coach Lee, a relationship coach who helps people get their ex back after a breakup, notes that sarcasm is typically a major red flag.
"Sarcasm is often an attack from a feeling of mistreatment," he explains. "If your ex is sarcastic to you more than usual, they are very likely still mad."
If your ex is making passive-aggressive posts or comments, remember that you don’t need to subject yourself to this hostile online behavior, and you’re totally justified in blocking and reporting them on social media.
They're forcing mutual friends into choosing a side.
The unfortunate reality is, if you shared friends or close relationships with each other's family members, a breakup can make maintaining all of those bonds somewhat challenging. It's totally possible for you to keep mutual friends after splitting up, but that requires maturity on both of your parts. It obviously gets problematic if you start badmouthing each other to mutual loved ones and putting them in the middle. According to Fraley, if your ex puts pressure on your friends into choose between you two, that can point to some lingering resentment toward you.
"If your ex is making your mutual friends feel guilty for remaining close to you, that is a good sign they are still angry and may want others to be our their 'team,'" she explains.
In this situation, all you can do is let your loved ones know how much you cherish your relationships with them, and reassure them that you aren't expecting them to pick sides.
They’re rubbing their supposed happiness in your face.
Here’s the thing. If your ex really has made peace with your breakup and is living their best life, they won’t feel the need to flex. So, if they’re flaunting their supposed happiness by posting lots of social media content in an effort to prove how amazing they’re doing without you, Coach Lee says that it’s probably because they’re still bitter about your breakup.
“They’re weaponizing happiness in hopes at getting at you,” he tells Elite Daily.
This is especially true if they seem to be rubbing a new relationship in your face.
“If your ex is making sure that you know about it, they’re likely still mad — and possibly still into you,” he adds.
When dealing with an angry ex, Fraley notes that there’s one crucial thing to keep in mind: Everybody processes feelings differently.
“Some people are unable to show sadness and may display grief as anger or hostility,” she explains.
That being said, in no way do you deserve emotional abuse from an ex following a breakup, no matter how much they’re hurting. If you’re experiencing hostility that’s harming your well-being, Fraley advises letting them know you no longer wish to communicate, or simply cutting off all contact.
However, if you you want to leave the door open for either rekindling your relationship or becoming friends, Coach Lee says that it’s worth reflecting on whether there’s something they might need from you to feel a sense of closure or understanding.
Ultimately, what’s most important here is to take some time to determine your needs where your ex is concerned. You can’t control the way they feel or behave — all you can control is how you respond to it. Setting healthy boundaries and digging deep about what your ideal connection with them looks like can help to inform your course of action. Most importantly, though, remember to protect yourself. Your ex is allowed to be angry, but that doesn’t mean you have to expose yourself to it. And when you’re feeling bummed that they’re still mad at you, heed the old saying that “time heals all wounds."
The best thing you can do for your ex — and yourself — is to give you both a little breathing room to process whatever negative emotions you’re grappling with. The good news? Doing so will allow you to come out the other side even stronger and more compassionate than ever before.
Michelle Fraley, relationship expert and life coach
Coach Lee, relationship coach