It can be hard to move on after a breakup. When we truly love someone, we love them forever. A piece of us remains in their hearts forever, and vice versa. For some, that leftover love is too much to leave behind.
Is your ex still in love with you? We aren’t skilled at hiding the attraction that we feel. Think that they’re still holding on? Make sure you understand the subtle signs that your ex is still holding on to the relationship you had.
Sneaky signs your ex may still be in love with you.
A former partner still in love is a person leaving a trail of breadcrumbs. With such strong emotion still attached to the connection you shared, you might find that your ex has a hard time letting go. So they drop little hints and leave little signs. They want you to know but are (perhaps) afraid of rejection. For exes still clinging to love, these are the sneakiest and most subtle signs and signals they want you to see.
Has your partner moved on with someone new? Someone who is suspiciously similar to you? If your ex hasn’t quite moved on or closed the door on their relationship with you, you can find them looking for partners who offer what you once did. They might look like you, and do a similar job. It’s not uncommon to see your partner move on with someone who has a personality or lifestyle just like yours. It’s all an attempt to bring back what they lost, but still value.
Does your ex have a habit of making Freudian slips? These are small comments that reveal they’re really still in love with you — without stating that love directly. Usually, this happens by talking about you or making comments that refer to you as their partner. You may even see someone who trips into embarrassing drunk dials, revealing their care under the influence of beer goggles.
We all ask around about our ex from time to time. Curiosity is natural, but it goes to another level when deep emotions are still involved. Maybe your ex is stalking your social media and digging into your current love life. They don’t have to ask you directly (although they may). What you may find is someone who asks around to loved ones about your current love life. They keep an eye on you, not unlike a satellite, because their romantic interest is still strong.
When your ex is still in love, they can find it hard to stay away from you. So, they stage little meet-cutes or put themselves in your path throughout the days or weeks ahead. Look out for the ex who is intentionally popping up wherever you are. Maybe they’re making appearances at your favorite coffeehouse, or showing up at work or social engagements. It may be a sign they can’t stay away.
In a healthy relationship, there are healthy bonds between not only the partners but their friends and family, too. Even after a breakup, these bonds remain. Both your ex and your family may maintain some familiarity. The ex who is still holding on to you, though, may go above and beyond to maintain the connection with your family. Especially if they weren’t that close before. Look out for a partner who attaches themselves to your loved one once you’re no longer an option.
What is contact like between you and your former partner? Have you cut ties and said, “Good riddance”? Or have you made an effort to keep the channels open and positive? If your ex is still in love with you, then there’s a good chance that they still keep a lot of contact with you (or try to). Texts, calls, coffee breaks. All of those things add up to maintaining an emotional connection.
Inability to move on
You can also look for signs in other aspects of your ex’s love life. That’s especially true of the partner who doesn’t move on at all. Has your former love found new love? Or have they refused to even consider a new connection? When they haven’t moved on with anyone else, it could be because they’re still hung up on you. They may also go out of their way to take care of you in any way that they can (like a partner). They could also work hard to include you in their life as a partner.
Close physical touch
You and your ex may maintain contact because you share children or just a general fondness for one another. But what happens when you do? Is there a lot of flirting? A lot of close physical contact? Physical touch is one of the biggest and most concrete signs of attraction. If your ex can’t keep their hands off of you, it could be a signal that there’s still an attraction.
Why are they still holding on?
It can be easier to reconcile the above signs when you understand the underlying reasons why. If your ex is still holding on to you (see below) then action will have to be taken. Whether you decide to set stronger boundaries or you move to turn the clock back will depend greatly on the motivations behind their feelings.
It’s easier than the alternative
Relationships fill up a lot of space in our lives. The longer those relationships go on, the more space they tend to take up. If they end suddenly, or on bad terms, the breakups can leave huge holes in the lives of those involved. Patching up those holes and moving on is hard work. Some people would rather hold on to the past and what “was” instead of doing the heavy lifting of looking forward toward a new horizon.
They’re feeling very guilty
Some relationships end poorly. People make poor choices and push the other person away. Things happen and things don’t work out the way they’re planned. That can leave the stain of conflicting feelings behind. If, for example, your ex cheated on you so you asked for a divorce, the person getting divorced can be left with a lot of unresolved grief. If those feelings aren’t faced honestly, they can result in a person pursuing something they want to “fix”…something that is already gone.
It’s all about a game of control
Is your ex a toxic person? Maybe you had an old habit of picking narcissists. Or perhaps you have a history with a cheater or a liar. There are many different ways that a toxic partner manifests. Either way, a pattern of jealousy and control is often found in these personality types. Even after a breakup, they can feel a sense of possession and a desire to control their former partner.
That’s where the emotional hangover comes into play. This can serve as a powerful tool in keeping their exes close and making them feel bad. A toxic person, a manipulative person, is not above crying about their “missed chances” in order to keep someone (they don’t really love) stuck on in them and under their control.
They’re truly still in love
Of course, there is sometimes a very simple motivation behind someone’s failure to let go. It doesn’t have to be insidious, manipulative, or wrong. Your ex may be clinging to you not because they want to cause you harm or control you. They may genuinely still have feelings for you that will never quite go away. Perhaps they’re still in love and don’t have the ability to resolve those emotions.
What you have to do about it…
Is your ex still in love with you? It can be difficult to let go of a partnership we once cherished. Things change, and communication breaks down. We want different things at different moments in our lives, and that’s okay.
Maybe your ex is ready for a reconciliation. Maybe they aren’t. The only person who can interpret the signs and apply them to your life is you. At the same time, it’s important to be aware of the fine line — because some of the behaviors above could be used by manipulative people in fooling you.
Toxic people and narcissistic personalities will spin complex webs of signs, signals, and dog whistles meant to carry you back into their clutches. Make sure you are rooted in reality. Don’t read between the lines so you can see what you want to see. Be honest with yourself, whatever the outcome. An ex is an ex for a reason, they always say. Be clear on your feelings and your intentions, then get clear on theirs.
Love can move us in mysterious ways. Get level in your head, then have a conversation with your heart, and go from there. Crazier things have happened. You never know what’s just around the bend.