Signs Your Ex Is Pretending to Be Over You (19 Signs He’s Only Acting Like He’s Over You)

Last updated on July 4, 2022 by April Maccario

Matters of the heart can be confusing, as you can probably tell from experience. There is no manual to this love thing, especially when it comes to healing after a relationship ends. Science says it takes about three months (11 weeks to be exact) for someone to feel better after a breakup.

Another study puts the healing period after a marriage or a committed relationship around 18 months. Because different things factor into this recovery process, it is safe to say it cannot be the same for everyone. So, if you can’t go by time alone, how do you determine where your ex stands with you, feelings-wise?

Have you particularly been getting some signs your ex is pretending to be over you, or do you just wish that to be the case because you want your ex back? Perhaps you don’t even know what these signs look like, so you assume they are indeed moving on or have successfully done so.

Whatever your situation, at the end of this article, you should be able to strike the uncertainty surrounding how your ex feels towards you off your list of problems.

19 Signs Your Ex is Pretending to Be Over You

1. They maintain contact with you

While I am still friends with some of my exes who I have exactly zero feelings for, it took a minute before we got there. If your ex started pushing to remain in your life before the metaphorical body of your dead relationship got cold, there might still be some attachment there.

You may find them calling out of the blue to check on you during the period when most ex-couples usually observe the no contact rule. If this happens often, and they usually initiate conversation, it’s not just likely that your ex still loves you, it’s also a sign he may want to get back together.

2. They remain in touch with your friends

Your ex may not try to stay directly in touch with you for reasons like shame, ego, etc. But if they still feel something for you, they won’t be able to stand not having any form of connection to you. He may try to get one of your mutual friends to keep tabs on you or simply feed him information on how you’re doing. 

If he wasn’t really close to any of your friends before, that’s a sign that he’s pretending to be over you.

3. They move on right away

Unless your ex is a serial monogamist, jumping into another relationship right after you broke up can be a sign that your ex is still emotionally attached to you. If your ex-boyfriend starts sleeping with everything in a skirt, he may be trying to fill the hollow you left behind.

He may seem unfazed by your absence, but rebound mates are usually either there to help forget an ex or make them jealous. As long as his actions continue to contradict his words, it’s a sign he may still be very much into you.

4. They refuse to move on

On the other hand, if your ex chooses to stay single or celibate longer than they typically would, then they probably still love you. While some hung-up exes resort to rebound relationships because they can’t stand being alone, the thought of starting over or even having a fling with someone else repels others.

If he’s still in love with you, no other lady, no matter how attractive, will interest him. He’ll always compare potential partners to you, and since the simple fact that they aren’t you will eventually disqualify them, your ex will find it hard to move on.

5. Their new partner has a lot of qualities you do

their new partner has a lot of qualities you do

Your ex may not be able to find another you, but if they’re anything like the guy in #3, they’re sure going to try. One of the not-so-obvious signs your ex is pretending to be over you is when they start seeing someone that reminds even you of you.

I mean, the mere fact that they seem to have moved on makes you think it’s officially over between you, right? But why does the new girl have to dress, walk, talk, and even look like you? Unless, of course, your ex is like Christian Grey with his specific pale brunette taste in subs.

6. Their new partner is jealous of you

If it is true that your ex is only pretending to be over you, the rebound partner will notice. Nothing she does will ever feel right. He’ll complain a lot, seem unfulfilled in their relationship, and unless he catches himself, he might end up comparing her to you occasionally.

The poor woman wouldn’t be able to bear all that without directing her resentment somewhere. The more she loves him, the deeper her hatred/jealousy/envy towards you will run.

7. They uncharacteristically flaunt their happiness on social media

Another giveaway of an ex who is only pretending to be doing fine without you is when they suddenly develop habits that are out of character for them. If your ex was never crazy about posting their slay pictures on the gram while you were together but does it every other day now, there’s your sign.

Do they post thirst traps on their Insta story showing off their gym body, or suddenly feel the need to carry their followers along on their happiness journey? Or perhaps, your ex’s posts always feature beautiful women they hang out with. If you think they’re only doing this to make you jealous, you’re probably right.

8. Their social media pages still look like you’re together

Has your ex refused to change his relationship status on Facebook back to single? Is the picture of you two together on vacation still their Twitter header? Refusing to delete romantic posts featuring the two of you may be more than them trying to maintain the online image they are known for.

Your ex might be holding on to those pictures as a silent symbol of hope that you may still want to get back together. Either that or they’re using it to keep people looking for a serious relationship out of their DMs.

9. They remain active in your social network

It’s one thing if your ex continues following you on your fav social platforms, and another if they start stalking you on them. While the former implies there is no bad blood between you, the latter can be a sign they are still hung up on you.

Now, a pro stalker will probably not give themself away by interacting with your posts. But if your ex isn’t one, you may find them liking your pictures and leaving comments all over the place. Although, since love can make even pros act like newbies, they may not be able to help it.

10. Your ex holds on to your stuff

your ex holds on to your stuff

If your ex acts like he is done with you yet won’t let you pick up your things from his place, it’s possible he’s pretending. The more attached you are to the items you have with him, the more likely he knows you’ll be thinking about him.

If you were the one who ended it, he might keep postponing returning your stuff for fear of becoming irrelevant to you once you have them. 

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11. They refuse to pick up their stuff

Trust me, an ex who is over you has no reason to leave their favorite shirt at your place. If he refuses to pick up items of value to him, he probably plans to use them as an excuse to hit you up sometime in the future.

Your ex may also be avoiding coming over to your place because seeing you would be too much for him to handle.

12. Your ex starts drinking a lot or doing drugs

While some people resort to casual sex when they’re heartbroken, others use drugs and alcohol to cope. Does your ex belong to the latter group? Does he now party harder and more frequently than he used to?

Has he perhaps drunk-dialed you after a wild night to tell you he misses you or that “you ain’t shit”? These unhealthy indulgences show you’re still very much on the guy’s mind.

13. Their friends suddenly take an interest in you

Though he may put on a façade that he’s okay, those closest to your ex know the truth about how he’s doing. Just like you wouldn’t sit by and watch your friend crumble if there’s something you can do about it, your ex’s pals might do the same.

If they start reaching out to you from nowhere asking how you are doing and whether you’ve moved on yet, they may be acting as double agents. Perhaps, they’re trying to see if there’s a chance you want to get your ex back so he can stop being a mess.

14. Your ex always has “that look” when you see

Relationships end, but life goes on, right? If you run in the same circle as your ex, you’re bound to run into each other sometimes. If every time this happens, your ex wears a look that’s somewhere between smitten and a puppy face, he’s still beat by the breakup.

He may avoid talking to you or not say more than hello, but his body language will definitely give his feelings away, especially if he makes eye contact.

15. They hang around your favorite spots

they hang around your favorite spots

If you keep bumping into each other at your favorite hangout places, it’s one of the signs that your ex wants you back. We can rule it an accidental run-in if it only happens once in a while, but when it starts becoming a pattern, you know someone is making an effort to be there. It would be an even clearer sign if they didn’t care much for the place when you were together.

16. Your conversations always lead back to the breakup

You may not talk often, but if your ex finds a way to bring every conversation you have back to your split, you know he still feels strongly about it. Out of the abundance of the heart, they say, the mouth speaks.

17. Your ex acts miserable or like they hate you

Anger, hatred, and deep sadness, these emotions, and others that tend toward the extreme usually have something in common underneath them – care. Sometimes, the signs that your ex isn’t nearly over you aren’t the ones you look out for.

If he gets super angry at the mere mention of your name or goes out of his way to convince anyone listening that he hates you, chances are he really doesn’t. It’s just pretense stemming from pain.

18. They get jealous when they see you with a potential partner

Most people, especially guys, keep up with their ex’s friends to get insider information when they’re starting to move on. It, of course, goes without saying that only those who still care do this.

Does your ex-boyfriend surface every time he catches wind of you getting extra-friendly with a guy? Does he get jealous or overly critical of any man he thinks you like? Those are signs he sees them as competition.

19. Your ex keeps playing the hero

Men often express their affection by helping out however they can, whether that means offering a shoulder to lean on or lifting heavy stuff. It’s something that’s apparently ingrained in their psyche. It’s one of the ways they show love.

If your ex is always there when you need someone or something, even when it’s not convenient for him, he still loves you.


How do you tell if your ex is pretending to be over you?

One of the major signs your ex is pretending to be over you is when they go out of their way to convince you that they are. Someone who genuinely doesn’t care anymore couldn’t be bothered by whether or not you believe it.

How do you know if an ex still cares?

Short of telling you directly, you know a former partner still cares about you if they’re still as invested in your well-being as they were when you were together. They hold on to bits and pieces of connections they have with you, even if that means getting on your nerves.

How do you know if your ex is regretting you?

If an ex regrets breaking up with you, they’ll find a way to wriggle back into your life, even if only as a friend. They will speak fondly of your time together and behave better towards you. But if they regret dating you, they may want nothing to do with you, not even friendship.

How do you know if your ex is desperate?

You know your ex is desperate when they enlist friends and family to beg you to reconsider them. Some go the other way by pretending to hate you if they know you can’t stand it. They may also find any excuse to stay in contact with you.

How do you know if your ex secretly misses you?

Your ex misses you if they are unable to move on or do so too fast. They may try to stay close to you under the guise of friendship but get jealous when you date other people. They may also call you at odd hours or engineer accidental run-ins by hanging around your favorite places.

To Conclude

There, you have it, signs don’t lie. I hope you enjoyed reading this and that you can tell by now if your ex wants you still. Whether you’re looking to get your ex back or not, no knowledge is a waste. You never know who needs this, so kindly share the post right after telling me what you think of it in the comments.

Do you hate it how everything seems to always revolve round him while you just seem to be an afterthought sometimes?
We hear this all the time from women that contact us asking for help with their relationship.

It almost makes you wonder whether he actually likes you or whether he's just stringing you along.

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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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