In most cases, an amicable relationship with an ex is major goals. If there’s no bad blood post-breakup and you still mean a lot to each other, there’s a chance you probably still want to have your ex in your life in some capacity, whether that be a coffee every once in a while, or having them as a regular staple in your friend group. But none of that is possible if your ex is still hung up on you. If you've ever had trouble getting over someone, you know it can be hard to just make that clean break and transition into something platonic. Even when you think you're playing it cool, strong feelings are hard to hide. “It's usually quite obvious when an ex is still hung up on you,” Trina Leckie, breakup coach and host of the Breakup BOOST podcast, tells Elite Daily. “I would say that the signs are usually more obvious than subtle.”
Knowing when an ex is having trouble letting go is important for a couple of reasons. First, if you're open to the idea of getting back together, recognizing that you're on the same page can help make that happen. "If you're still hung up on them as well, you could talk to them about possibly getting back together (as long as the relationship didn’t end from something like cheating or abuse)," says Leckie. On the other hand, if you're sure you're ready to move on, these behaviors can confirm your ex is, well, definitely not. And although knowing someone is still pining over you can be uncomfortable, understanding their feelings can help you gently nudge them in the right direction (in this case, away from you), ask a mutual friend to step in, or give them some necessary space. Either way, here’s what the experts say to be on the lookout for if you suspect your ex may still have feelings for you.
1. They Text You Out Of The Blue.
If your ex seems to find excuses to text you at unexpected times, Connell Barrett, a dating coach for the The League and founder of DatingTransformation.com, tells Elite Daily that’s a clear sign they still have some lingering feelings. “If they text you randomly to ask innocent questions, [like] ‘How’s your day?’ it means you’re still very much on their mind and they’re trying to keep even a tenuous connection,” he explains. “A huge clue is sending you drunk texts. That’s a dead giveaway.”
2. They're Still Interacting With You On Social Media.
Simply following you on social media isn't necessarily a sign your ex is still interested in you. But if they're going out of their way to engage (i.e: liking all your photos and DMing you after every Story), consider that a more obvious indication they haven’t moved on, says Stef Safran, matchmaker and founder of Stef And The City. “If your ex is still continuing to follow you on social media and making comments, that may indicate interest."
3. They’re Showing Off On Their Social Media.
If you haven’t disconnected from their social media after the breakup, Barrett says an ex who still has feelings may take advantage of that fact by trying to show off and catch your interest. “A clear sign [your ex is still hung up on you is when] they seem a little too active, posting more pictures than usual of activities, social events, or updates on their dating life,” says Barrett. “This is their way of trying to impress you with their new and improved life, hoping that it might make you want to take them back, or make you miss them as much as they miss you."
4. They Try To Remain Physically Present In Your Life.
Does it seem like you keep running into your ex everywhere you go? According to Leckie, that might be by design. Exes who still have feelings may want to hang out with you and will frequent the places you go in order to cross paths with you.
By showing up in your life and remaining present, they may also be trying to run interference on your new dating life, says Safran. “If they seem to try and ‘block’ you from meeting someone else by showing up at places they know you frequent for social outlets, [it’s a sign they aren’t over you],” she explains.
5. They Talk To Your Friends About You.
If your ex is still trying to pump your friends for info on you and your life, Safran says they're still hung up. “[For example,] if they still ask your close friends a lot of questions about you and if you're dating,” take note.
What To Do If Your Ex Is Still Hung Up On You.
If your ex still is holding onto hope of a reconciliation, and you are open to it, then all these signs can provide a starting point for making that happen. However, if you’re ready to move on and your ex isn’t, that can be a lot trickier.
“Assuming you don’t want to get back together, the easiest move is to not make a move. Do nothing and give them time to let go of the past and move on,” says Barrett. “Now, if their behavior becomes extreme — such as dozens of drunk texts or borderline stalking — you will want to confront them about their behavior. Otherwise, leave it alone, and have some empathy. They miss you and they need time to heal and move forward."
Letting go after a breakup can be hard, and sometimes that can be, well, pretty obvi. So, as long as your ex isn't crossing any lines and making you feel unsafe, treating them with empathy (at arm's length) may be the kindest move for everyone. And if their behavior does make you feel uncomfortable, don't be afraid to ask for help.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1(800) 799-SAFE (7233) or visit thehotline.org.
Connell Barrett, dating coach for the The League and founder of DatingTransformation.com
Trina Leckie, breakup coach and host of the Breakup BOOST podcast.
Stef Safran, matchmaker and founder of Stef And The City.