How To Know If An Ex Isn't Over You

Interpreting signs an ex is still interested in us can be difficult if we have to contend with our own insecurity muddling the waters. Not only do we have our internal confusion to deal with, but also theirs.

Thankfully, there are signs that are difficult to objectively miss that tell us what their intent is. However, it does bear remembering that not being over you doesn't necessarily always mean there is a willingness to reconcile (though it is a good starting point).

Mixed Signals

I've read plenty of articles online that claim that mixed signals are our inability to think objectively and not the result of an ex being inconsistent.

I disagree.

After a breakup, there is usually a subconscious tug of war going on between the old routine and the new. And so I find it natural that this is some back and forth going on, between what you are leaving and the future (unless the breakup was one-sided). This is often reflected in an ex's behavior.

Even if an ex is absolutely sure that moving on is the right course of action, tearing themselves away from what was once a reference point will provoke some internal confusion.

The result is usually a series of mixed signals, as an ex juggles between a brave new world and their old comfort zone.

Some signs an ex is having trouble transitioning might be:

  • Hot and cold behavior. Drawing you in then pulling away repeatedly. 
  • Forfeiting appointments. They might want to organize things but fall short of actually following through. 
  • Being on the edges of your social circles
The main gist of this back and forth is simple; they remain in your life without having the responsibility that goes with it. It's a way of keeping their options open. It's the physical manifestation of their internal confusion. Which, I repeat, is only natural and does not necessarily mean they want to reconcile. Even moving on from patently unhealthy relationships will involve some degree of friction. 

Wanting To Reconcile

The difference between an ex who is having trouble moving on and one that wants to move "back in" is reflected in their actions rather than their words. 

An ex that wants to reconcile will be willing to negotiate and sacrifice their well being in order to seek mutual clarity. It is less about finding peace than it is about finding emotional common ground with you. 

In short, you will be subtly involved in their decision making

If you are invited to be part of their future-building process, chances are that they want you to be part of it. This might mean:
  • Wanting to spend more time with you, whether that means sending more Emails or trips to the beach. 
  • Seeking validation. They continue to value your judgment and to seek approval. 
  • They are consistent and present. Even if their presence is confusing, they won't risk you drifting off and moving on without them. 
What is actually said is secondary to what is done. Our innate fears can stop us from disclosing how we truly feel, but they can't mask our actions to the same degree. If an ex still has feelings they will be in the picture, not because we insist they are, but because they choose to be.