How do you know if your ex is just pretending to be over you?
We asked experts to provide some signs to look out for.
Dating Expert, Dating Scout
They show off their new “person” and make sure you’re aware of it
This is classic showmanship of a bitter ex. They want to show you that you have been replaced—that you can easily be replaced! Especially during a party or a gathering where both of you are invited and your ex has arm candy and seems to flail his or her arm candy around.
They make a big fuss about their being there, shows him or her off to people a little too much. All the more when your ex makes sure that you see every bit of their actions, that’s a sign that your ex is pretending to be over you.
Making sure that the whole Internet knows they’re single
Is your old flame posting a tad too many photos and status that scream “single and ready to mingle?” There’s a big chance that the very person they want to mingle with is you.
You see, your ex may be testing the waters to check if you’ll react and reach out. They may pretend they’re over you by loudly declaring their singlehood, but a part of them knows they’ll always be available should you send a DM.
They constantly ask about you
The thing is, they really don’t have to. Information about your life will neither help nor enrich their own life. But if they still ask your mutual friends or acquaintances how you are doing, it is an indication that they might not be too casual about your past relationship than you might think.
When they genuinely want to know what you are up to these days and how you are doing, they are not just being polite and friendly. That is real, burning curiosity to get the more inside scoop about you.
They refuse to return your stuff
You’ll know your ex is faking it when they won’t give you back your things even after the breakup. Instead of voluntarily returning them, your ex asks you to come by and take it on your own.
They may say otherwise, but somehow, they think you’ll come back for these things. They think that you coming back physically to take your stuff might create an opening for a conversation and ultimately, a reconciliation.
Clinical Psychologist | Inspirational Speaker |
Author, But It’s Your Family: Cutting Ties with Toxic Family Members and Loving Yourself in the Aftermath
Ex’s who really want you to think you are over them will go nuts on social media posting their new life as if it’s the life they’ve always wanted. They are likely sad, in mourning still and trying to make you see what you’re missing.
When your ex tries to talk to you hang out as friends
It means he or she is missing the relationship and still pining away. When your ex tells you that you can be friends, that’s not true, at least not right away.
All couples need time to heal before they can be friends rather than hanging on the sidelines in your life as a ‘friend’ when the reality is that their agenda is to get back into being in a relationship as either your boyfriend or girlfriend. They still haven’t let go.
When your ex moves on right away into a new relationship
When the ex-moves on right away it’s more based on trying to cause you jealousy or is a revenge tactic and neither of these approaches will work because at the end of the day, the new relationship usually makes your ex miserable and they want you back more, which only makes them look needy and crazy which makes you want them less!
They say they are over you, excessively
When it comes to one sign that your ex may be pretending to be over you, the one big red flag I often see is that they state they are over you, excessively.
A lot of times if they have a need to say that they are over you often, that is a clear sign they are trying to convince themselves that it is true versus it actually being true.
LGBTQ Relationship Expert | President, H4M Matchmaking
To block you on social media, it first feels as though they are taking steps and using helpful tools to move on. However, you can be unblocked for 48 hours, for example.
For your ex to toggle back and forth in blocking you may be helpful to eventually ween off of you. But a permanent block is a more concrete sign.
Deleting you as a contact
From your email addresses to your cell phone, is a good sign, but not deleting your close family or friends is lacking. There is no reason for your ex to continue to check in with your mom, sister, or BFF if they are truly moving on and getting over you.
Removing your couple photos
That romantic beach sunset photo or music festival couple selfie has no reason to be on your social media platforms. To no longer have your mutual friends seeing those on occasion helps no one move on. So it’s good if those photos gently disappear.
But if mutual friends notice those photos may still be on their personal device or screen saver is not good. Even a photo of your personal pet has no place in their daily view if they are truly moving on.
Wishing you belated well wishes
When you can make it past midnight on the day of your birthday, or your dog’s birthday, or what would have been your couple anniversary, you may feel as though, finally, my ex-partner is moving on.
But on the next day, when you get belated well wishes to still mark the date, it appears they managed to suppress their feelings for a limited 24-hours. Two steps forward, one step back, evidently.
Erica McCurdy, MCC, YPF, CBC, MBA
Life Coach | Founder, McCurdy Solutions Group, LLC
Setting their hair on fire to see if the smoke bothers you
Are there places you always wanted to go or things you always wanted to do but you could never get your ex to agree to do them?
If you suddenly see your ex doing things that you could never get them to do, it might be that they are doing them just to get a reaction from you. Caring about your reaction is a sign that your ex is not quite ready to walk away.
Using Social Media as a weapon
The difference between pretending to be over someone and actually being over someone can usually be seen on social media. If your ex hasn’t removed you from their social media, chances are they want you to see what they are doing.
By tagging your friends in their posts, they want their activities to be easy for you to find. When your ex is really over you, they will be OK moving on and allowing your lives to go in separate directions.
Certified Mental Health Consultant, Enlightened Reality | Relationship Expert, Maple Holistics
They show around
One surefire yet hurtful way to tell that your ex is pretending to be over you is if they suddenly start parading around a new guy or girl very soon after your breakup.
This might be your ex’s way of trying to make you jealous while making themselves feel better, a clear indication that they haven’t moved on from all of their feelings yet.
Another indication is through social media. For instance, your ex might stop talking to you completely yet accidentally like a photo of yours from 2011 or watch your Instagram story (all 6 parts!).
In this scenario, your ex is basically pretending on the surface to be over their feelings, while deep down they still want to be a part of your life.