Relationships are roses and sunshine while they last. Some relationships end with both parties still on good terms, but a lot of them don’t. If your relationship ended on a bad note, your ex might be bitter about the breakup, leading to more problems in your life. Your ex might even start "testing" you.
There are both obvious and subtle signs that your ex is testing you. They could be doing it to see whether or not you still care about them, or they just want to bother you. Why they're doing it doesn't really matter, how you react to them does.
This article contains all the necessary steps and know-how you need to learn about these mixed signals so you can read between the lines when they happen to you. Let’s dive into it!
10 Signs Your Ex Is Testing You
Your ex contacting you out of the blue can be a harmless attempt to reconnect with you again, but it can also be a symptom of an unhealthy obsession. Here are the ten signs your ex is testing you.
They reach out to you again
Picture this: you've just broken up with your ex. You're trying to move on, heal and forget about what happened when out of the blue, you receive a message from them. It could be a simple, "Hey, how have you been?" or a more elaborate message pouring their heart out. Either way, it catches you off guard.
When your ex sends you a message, they are trying to gauge your reaction, response, and your level of interest. They're basically experimenting to see if there's a chance you two can get back together.
They start interacting with your social media posts
It’s normal for people to lose contact after breaking up. However, if you notice your ex suddenly interacting with your social media posts, they could be testing the waters again. They are fishing for a response by liking your Instagram stories or reacting and commenting on your Facebook posts.
It's a subtle way for them to gauge your feelings and see if you're still emotionally invested. You need to take a step back and evaluate the situation. Do you feel at ease engaging in this type of interaction?
How you react is totally within your control. Remember that your needs come first. If you want to move on and have no interest in getting back together, don't let their social media antics faze you. Be firm on your boundaries. You can even block them, or make all your posts and profiles private.
You see them pop up in random places
One major red flag to watch out for is when they magically appear everywhere you go. It's like they have a secret radar tracking your every move. You might think, "Wait, isn't that just a coincidence?" Yes, it's possible. But it's highly unlikely.
Maybe it's nothing if they suddenly appear at your go-to coffee shop, favorite restaurant, or gym once or twice. After all, you probably visited those places often while you were together and they might genuinely like them, too. But if you're seeing your ex there more often than usual that it feels as though they are attempting to run into you on purpose, watch out. This constant "bumping into each other" is more than just a random chance. It's a clear sign that your ex is testing you.
Your ex is trying to get your attention. They are waiting for you to initiate a conversation or exhibit interest. If they live far away, you could be curious as to whether or not they've moved closer or are working nearby. Don't engage, not even by smiling or making eye contact. Just ignore them and keep going about your day. They want you to take the bait so they can make their move.
They try to make you jealous
Your ex might also try to make you jealous to gauge your reaction and see if they still have an emotional hold over you. It's a way for them to boost their ego and feel reassured because then they know that they still matter in your life.
It's crucial to remember that jealousy is a strong feeling that might impair our judgment. Is your ex intentionally trying to incite envious sentiments from you? If so, is it to reconnect, or are they simply teasing and trying to get under your skin? This major red flag says a lot. In particular, it speaks of a lack of regard for your feelings and mental health.
If it's their social media posts that are making you jealous, stop looking! They know you can see them and they're either trying to get a reaction from you or just want to ruin your day. There's no good reason. It's time to let go and break free of their hold on you.
They ask for updates about you from your friends
One of the signs that your ex is testing you is when they start asking your friends for updates about you. It's like they're trying to gather information without directly contacting you.
Why would your ex keep asking your pals about you if they are genuinely over you and have moved on? It's evident that they are still curious about what's going on in your world. They're wondering if you are still single, have begun seeing someone new, or are depressed following the split.
Just remember: it's a test. Your ex wants to see how you react when you find out they've been digging for information. Will you get angry or defensive? Will you ask how they're doing as well? If you show just a bit of interest, they'll think there is a chance for reconciliation, and they might do something about it. So, the next time your pals tell you that your ex has been contacting them, show as little interest as possible. Be clear that that door is bolted and shut.
They take digs at you on social media
Throwing shade at someone on social media is a relatively new trend. People hop onto this trend to take a dig at their ex-partners.
You might see your ex posting memes on social media. The memes may or may not mention your name, but everything about the post will imply that it’s about their ex, like talking about how ex-boyfriends lack emotional intelligence or have smaller dicks. In such situations, it’s best not to react because they are probably doing this to bother you. Worse, reacting will only confirm to her and her followers that the post is true.
However, if the posts are really bad and specifically mention your name, you can ask her nicely to stop. Tell her you don't harbor any ill feelings towards her and wish her the best in life. If the defaming continues, you can take it a step further by seeking legal help.
They keep talking about the past
If you ended on a good note with your ex and are still on talking terms, then one indicator of them testing you is when they just can't seem to stop talking about the past. They'll keep reminding you of past adventures and moments you shared together. While this might sound innocent, pay attention to the context and frequency of these conversations.
Your ex is testing to see if you're still emotionally involved. They want to know if you also revisit those memories, if they still have some control over you, or if maybe you still miss them and want to get back together.
Communication is key. If you feel uncomfortable that your ex is always bringing up the past, it's essential to have an open and honest conversation about it. Let them know how you feel and set your boundaries. Ultimately, you deserve to move on and find happiness with or without them.
They keep giving you mixed signals
Another sign your ex is testing the waters is if they play hot and cold with you. Those moments when they seem hot one minute and cold the next? It can be incredibly frustrating and confusing, but let me explain why this might be happening.
Let’s say you are at a mutual friend's party and your ex suddenly starts being extra nice to you. They tell you the sweetest things and compliments to give you an ego boost. You go to bed thinking that they might still be into you. However, when you send them a message, you get one-word replies or no reply at all.
Now, it's important to note that not all mixed signals from your ex mean they're testing you. Sometimes, people are just genuinely confused about their feelings and don't know what they want. However, if this behavior becomes a pattern and they consistently send conflicting messages, they're playing mind games. It's their way of seeing if you'll chase after them or react in a way that reaffirms their importance in your life.
They start asking for your help regularly
Has your ex-partner been texting you out of the blue and asking for help? That's definitely a sign that they might be testing the waters. When someone constantly seeks your assistance, especially after a breakup, it's worth paying attention to their intentions.
Generally, it’s a psychological technique used to get other people interested in you. According to research, if you help someone, you are more inclined to like them. Your ex knows you well, including your strengths and weaknesses. They're gauging your availability by requesting your help, even though you're no longer together.
Of course, this does not always mean your ex is trying to manipulate you on purpose. They could genuinely require help and have no one else to turn to. While asking for help once or twice is fine, frequent and increasingly insistent demands are not.
It is your right to set reasonable boundaries and be transparent about your comfort levels. Don't let them guilt you into thinking you're bad for not helping them. Your ex is an adult whose problems aren't yours to fix. Remember that caring for your emotional needs is equally vital to supporting others.
They inquire about your relationship status
If you are in contact with your ex-partner, one way they can test the waters is they might ask you subtly about your relationship status. There are multiple ways they can do this. If you both are part of a big group, your ex might drop specific questions indirectly about your current partner. They might jokingly say, “Hey, how's your new girl doing?” or, “Why didn’t you bring your girlfriend to this party?”
One reason they'd ask this is if they still have not moved on and are trying to determine if you're happy in your new relationship before they make a move. Or, they might do it purely out of spite, trying to compare themselves to your current partner, wondering if you are doing better or worse objectively. In other words, they want to see if it’s an upgrade or a downgrade.
So, the next time your ex asks you about your relationship status, gauge their tone before replying. You risk giving your ex the upper hand by divulging too much information. They may use this newfound knowledge to their advantage to make you jealous or manipulate your emotions. Tread carefully and be mindful of your responses.
Why Might Your Ex Test You?
Now that you know the signs to look out for from your ex, let’s take a look at why they might be testing you. Here, we will delve into their psychology and try to understand the intentions behind their actions.
Your ex may test you to see if you want to date again.
Testing you does not necessarily insinuate that your ex is trying to be malicious. It could be a sign they want to get back together. After a breakup, some people fail to move on. Maybe your ex is missing you and considering giving the relationship another chance.
If you see yourself in this situation, don't act rashly. Give yourself enough time to evaluate the scenario and process your feelings. What matters most is how you feel about your ex, and if you want to get back with them. What they want doesn't matter. You alone are responsible for your well-being and decisions.
They might reach out because they want to be friends.
Another reason behind your ex sending you mixed signals is they want to befriend you again. Most relationships stem from friendships. However, when a relationship ends, interactions get awkward even if you didn’t end on a bad note. She might just miss having you as a friend.
So, if your ex contacts you to become friends again, there’s no need to get defensive. Hear them out and consider carefully if you want to give your friendship another chance. If you think you can be friends with them without it getting awkward or complicated, go ahead.
How Do You Know If Your Ex Is in Pain?
A relationship ending hurts both parties. Both you and your ex might have a hard time adjusting to life alone, sometimes one more than the other. Your emotions may swing between bouts of extreme sadness and anger as you try to navigate your emotions and come to terms with the end of the relationship.
If you notice your ex withdrawing from social activities or displaying signs of depression, such as losing appetite or difficulty sleeping, these changes in behavior can be indicative of the pain they're experiencing. Talk to their friends and family about keeping her company or providing her with distractions while she's grieving. If it's really bad, urge them to get her professional help.
Can Lost Feelings Come Back?
Human emotions are not set in stone. People grow and evolve, and so do their feelings. It's common for lost feelings to make an unexpected comeback, especially if the right circumstances align. It could be a chance encounter, a heartfelt conversation, or a newfound understanding that reignites the spark once thought to be extinguished.
That being said, it's essential not to hang your hopes solely on the possibility of lost feelings returning. Be realistic and honest with yourself. While it's wonderful to entertain the idea of a rekindled flame, it's equally important to prioritize your own happiness and emotional well-being. Even if misplaced emotions never make their way back to your heart, there are times when moving ahead and welcoming new experiences is the best course of action.
What to Do if You Want to Get Back with Them?
If you find yourself longing to get back with your ex, there are a few essential steps to consider before taking any action.
First, pause and ask yourself why you want to reconcile. Are you truly in love and compatible with this person, or are you just pining for the security and familiarity of the past? It's important to distinguish between sentimental attachment and genuine feeling. Reflect carefully on your motivations to ensure they are based on a healthy desire for a fulfilling relationship.
Once you have processed your emotions, approach your ex-partner and have an honest conversation with them. Remember not to come off as desperate because that might make her feel uncomfortable. Instead, politely explain the situation and ask her what she thinks about it. Give her some space and time to think things through.
If she agrees to get back together, great! But if she decides otherwise, you should respect her decision and walk away.
Relationships are an important part of life. There's no better feeling than having the right person come into your life and sweep you off your feet.
However, despite how happy and compatible you are, there's always a chance that things will not work out in the end. If this happens, somewhere down the line, your ex-partner might drop signs to test you.
We hope our guide on signs your ex is testing you will give you a better perspective and help you make better decisions.