How to Make Your Ex Jealous (21 Surefire Ways)

by April Maccario

Making your ex jealous isn’t exactly the healthiest of approaches, but I’m guessing you’re not here for moral judgment. 

Breakups hurt and we process it differently, so it’s understandable if you want to get back at your ex for putting you through such pain.

Do you get to see your ex physically, or is your interaction limited to social media? Regardless of your preferred means of communication, this article covers different ways you can get his attention and how to make your ex jealous. 

Hopefully, you can utilize the points well enough to not only make them jealous but also serve the other purposes you hope to achieve, including getting back together. Now, without further ado, let’s get into it, shall we?

21 Ways to Make Your Ex Jealous

1. Implement the no contact rule

In case you are not already familiar with it, the no contact rule is basically cutting off all forms of communication with your ex after the breakup. You don’t call, text, or comment on their social media posts, and absolutely do not visit. How long it lasts is entirely your prerogative, and you can also choose whether to include their friends and family or make it just them.

This primary purpose of this rule is to help you heal and hopefully start to move on. However, it certainly does not hurt that not having access to you will leave your ex wondering what it is you’re up to either.

2. Jazz up physically

jazz up physically

While it’s okay to take a while to mourn over your failed relationship, it doesn’t do you much good to put your life on hold pining over what’s lost. Spend the no-contact period doing something that improves you physically. The go-to advice and an excellent one is to hit the gym if you feel you’ve been slacking off in that area.

Get in the best shape of your life, do something major like a new haircut or a wardrobe overhaul, if you can afford it. The point is to make yourself feel great, and what better way to start than to look it?

3. Improve your resume

Jazzing up physically is effective, but it’s only a start. The trick is to extend that great feeling into every aspect of your life so that your ex getting jealous is only a teeny-tiny cherry on the cake. Caveat: if you go with this method, by the time you finish, you may end up in a place where you couldn’t care less about how to make your ex jealous.

That said, try and add a new feather in your cap professionally, academically, or mentally. Take that online course you’ve been putting off, write a professional exam, do something that you can point to as an achievement, and see how you feel afterward.

4. Limit their access to you

Now, let’s say your no-contact period has ended, and your ex is trying to pick up where you left off. I know this seems counterintuitive, but you have to nip that sense of familiarity right in the bud. You want to make it clear that they lost their right to see or talk to you anyhow when the relationship ended.

Therefore, start by setting mild boundaries. Send an indirect message across by being selective in the way you respond when they reach out. Let their texts sit in your inbox for a while before you reply. Also, don’t pick their calls on the first ring or call back right away. Don’t agree to meet up unless it’s extremely important, and keep your interactions strictly to the daytime.

5. Keep up with mutual friends

If your ex’s friends have grown to become mutuals, it wouldn’t be fair to discard them just because your relationship didn’t work out. Plus, someone has to get the word back to him on what he’s missing out on, and you can be sure his friends will be more than happy to.

So, hang out with them when you can and keep the interaction natural and ‘ex-free’ (don’t bring up his name or make it all about him.) Remember the message you’re trying to pass across is that you’re doing great. They can only convey what you make them believe, so get your game face on.

6. Get out there more

If you are the type that gets so engrossed with your partner you forget to have a life of your own, now’s your chance to change that. You’re single now so spending time with your boyfriend is no longer an excuse to miss out on all the fun.

Plus, since you’re trying to make him jealous, one of the best ways to achieve that is to live like he’s been holding you back all along. Go clubbing, join an adventure, go on a friendcation, whatever rocks your boat, just get out there.

7. Meet new people

I think it goes without saying that the point of putting yourself out there more than you used to is to mingle with others. But I’m saying it anyway, meet new people! You won’t make your ex jealous by staying down.

There’s a time to mope, and the time to shake it off and open yourself up to new friendships and opportunities. So, as you get out more, make sure to socialize and blend, don’t be a ‘Debbie Downer’, no one likes that. It’s okay if you’re not all the way ready to become the life of the party yet, what matters is that you try and have fun.

8. Update your relationship status on social media

If your online followers knew you were in a relationship either because you posted #couplegoals pictures or updated your status to taken, consider changing it back to single. You don’t have to do this if you’re not comfortable letting people know you’re no longer together, but it can trigger your desired emotion from your ex.

According to Mary C. Lamia Ph.D., jealousy occurs when you think you [stand to] lose affection or security from someone on account of another person or something else. Seeing you tell the world you’re single again lets him know you’re taking steps towards moving on from him. That ought to do it.

9. Return their stuff

You probably want to hold on to every single personal item he left behind at your place (especially that hoodie that still smells like him.) Notwithstanding, letting them go would be a small sacrifice if it makes you stand the chance of getting the real thing back in your arms.

Pack it all up (or most of it 😉) and send them to him. If you don’t send everything, make sure the box that goes to him includes the item he knows you’re most attached to. This tells him you’re either completely over him or are making space for a new man in your life. Either one will make your ex jealous and push him to try and get back — if there’s even an iota of interest left.

10. Do away with the sad quotes

Posting sad song lyrics or deep breakup quotes serves no one except maybe your ex’s ego. If making them come back is your goal, a sudden and atypical newfound appreciation for art that conveys emotional pain would be counterproductive. Here’s why:

It lets them (and every other person that sees your post really) know that you’re still profoundly affected by the heartbreak. This suggests they still have a hold over you and you’re spending a considerable amount of time thinking about them, leaving no motivation to get jealous.

Plus, on his birthday, rather than acting oblivious, post your ex, and keep the messagesimple. Something like, ‘God bless your new age,’ should suffice. Remember not to include anything mushy or sad, that’s not how to make ex jealous.

11. Do something you’ve always wanted to do

In the same vein as jazzing up and upgrading your style, try not to leave too much room for dulling so you don’t go back to obsessing over your ex. Keep things interesting by creating new challenges for yourself, and I’m not just talking mentally.

Think about something you’ve always wanted to try, maybe a new recipe, a road trip, or even a great thing you always planned to do together but never got around to. Cross that off your bucket list by actually making it happen by yourself or with other people. At the very least, the excitement of achieving that alone is a win in my book.

12. Post about it online

post about it online

Who says you can’t win personally and still score one in the game? Nevertheless, there is a method to this, and a very simple one at that.

Not to police what you do with your account or anything, but posting about finally doing something you’ve always wanted online will bring you closer to your goal than sad quotes ever could. To drive your point home, don’t acknowledge your ex’s connection to that stuff in your caption. 

That way, if he brings it up, you can pretend he didn’t even cross your mind while you were planning it as opposed to making it too obvious it was about him. 

13. Act neutral when you meet your ex

The secret to making this guy jealous is to be systematic in your approach. It can be an effortless feat to achieve, especially if you meant a lot to them while you were together. However, it can also easily blow up in your face if you let what you’re doing slip.

The trick is to always maintain plausible deniability by not being too direct in your method. If you meet in person, don’t entertain any personal conversation topics like your current love lives, let alone try to oversell being happy with someone else. Don’t be mean either or too nice, just act like you would with an acquaintance. 

14. Post pictures of you enjoying yourself

The best way to make an ex-boyfriend jealous isn’t simply by showing them you’re unfazed by their absence, but that you’re doing even better than when you were together. This may come as a surprise, but your ex is probably spending as much time stalking your timeline as you do his.

Male or female, people like to keep up. So, unless you’ve blocked each other on your favorite social media pages, give them something worth seeing when they scroll through your timeline by posting nice jpegs from your outings.

15. Don’t keep up with his life

See how I slipped the stalking thing into my last point? Don’t give me too much credit for catching you, the best of us do it. However, knowing when to give it a rest is the first step towards moving on (or at least pretending to.)

Put his post notification off if you have it on, and stop stalking his mutual followers with the strange girl he tagged on his last picture. More so, if his updates appear on your timeline, don’t engage. Like most of the other points, this helps you sell the “I don’t care” attitude.

16. Be more intentional about looking good

If you’re like me, comfort is a priority for you in everything, including your looks. This is a good thing, as long as you don’t use it as an excuse to let yourself go too much. It may have worked for you so far, but remember you have a project underway.

If you want to get your ex back, looking the part is key to the success of your mission. They’ve probably seen you at your best and worst, but not recently. If there’s a remote chance of running into your ex somewhere, even if it’s at the grocery store, it’s a chance to remind them how gorgeous you are. 

Seeing you “effortlessly” looking like a whole meal is sure to spark a sense of loss in them.

17. Pick up a new hobby

Breakup 101: stay engaged. An idle hand is the one that gets tempted to stalk and sulk, don’t let that be you. Make better use of your time by spending it on activities you enjoy. If you’re not much of a social animal and partying every time you’re free is a little unrealistic for your personality, find something that matches yours.

It could be a sport, video games, yoga, cooking, anything constructive and healthy will do. In the end, even though you're not making your ex jealous, you would have gained a new skill and spent your time on yourself.

18. Consider dating again

Depending on your motive for trying to make your ex-boyfriend jealous, you’re either still in love with them or just being petty. If it’s the former, dating other people is probably the last thing that appeals to you right now, and that’s okay.

However, as a tried and true method that has worked on exes countless times, you may want to consider casually entertaining the idea. Go on dates, enjoy yourself and post cryptic pictures hinting that you did. What’s the worst that could happen? you fall in love with someone else and leave your ex in the past.

19. Sync your non-verbal communication with your words

In simpler terms, let your body language match your words and actions. You don’t want to put so much effort into acting like you’re over him and making moves to make him jealous just to let your eyes betray you before it’s done.

I used eyes specifically because it can be such an easy tell, especially for someone who knows you so well. Therefore, from eye contact to your general demeanor, guard your body so it doesn’t betray your true intentions until you at least know where you stand with him.

20. Act busy

act busy

Putting the breakup 101 above in other words: look like you’re busy. If we’re being frank, doing a bunch of new things can feel like you’re becoming another person. No matter how much you want to get your ex back, you won’t always be motivated to pursue your new hobby or do something fun.

But what if I told you, you don’t necessarily have to be busy all the time? All you need is to sell the idea by not making yourself too available where they can see you. And when you do, have something to show for what you’ve been up to. 

21. Focus on yourself, Queen

Ultimately, the surest way to make people, including your ex, regret leaving you is to focus on yourself. Live your life like it’s yours because, in the end, it is the one thing that solely belongs to you.

By all means, put yourself out there, make exploits, post your achievements, but relationship psychology expert, Mariana Bockarova, Ph.D., says to do it for you. That way, you win whether your ex notices them or not.

FAQs

How can I make my ex jealous and want me back?

Making your ex-partner jealous and getting him to want you back is all about restricting their access to you. Take a break from all that concerns them and focus on improving yourself in every way. You can use social media to your advantage by posting your accomplishments; both big and small so that they see what they are missing.

How do I make my ex regret?

This may not sound like much, but letting go may be your best bet at making your ex regret. Put the time and energy they would ordinarily expect you to spend pining over them, into something tangible. Then find a means of letting them know about it without directly informing them yourself.

Is it OK to make your ex jealous?

Your ex getting jealous should be a by-product of what you’re doing for yourself. Although it has become normalized, actively putting plans into motion with the primary purpose of inciting jealousy from a past partner is not a healthy thing to do.

How do I make my ex jealous over text?

If you want to be direct, you can make them jealous by ‘mistakenly’ sending them a message meant for someone new you’re seeing. Else, you can indirectly hint at a date you went on or have soon without necessarily using the word.

How can I attract my ex?

To attract your ex, you have to tone down the attributes that they had issues with while you were together and amplify the ones they liked. Become a version of yourself they couldn’t possibly resist and then play hard to get by mingling with other people while remaining unavailable to your ex.

In Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed reading through this list on ways to make your ex-boyfriend jealous. Remember, this is a habit you don’t want to get used to as experiencing its blowback can be worse than the pain of a breakup. Yet, if you must, arm yourself with the above points and do them right. As always, feel free to share the article and leave a comment below, I would love to hear your opinion on the matter.

April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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