did your ex ever love you? here are three factors you can check

have you ever found yourself wondering if your ex ever truly loved you? maybe it’s a niggling doubt creeping in, or perhaps something your ex did recently that’s thrown you for a loop. i know it’s tough, especially when you’re grappling with a breakup.

don’t worry; i’ve got your back.

to help you decipher the enigma of love, i’ve broken it down to three parts:

  1. actions
  2. language
  3. presence

which i’ll explain below, so you can judge for yourself if what you had was real.

#1. actions

we’ve all heard that “actions speak louder than words.” it’s an oldie but a goodie because it’s true. so, i suggest you start by reflecting on the actions of your ex when you were together.

did they:

  • surprise you with gifts?
  • hold your hand in public or private?
  • frequently change plans to make space for you?
  • arrange special outings just for the two of you?
  • whip up your favourite meals?

you get the idea.

i suggest you look for as many action-based clues as you can.

the more you find, the more evidence you have of love.

you might find that some actions slowed down towards the end of the relationship, or even sooner.

if so, that’s a good indication of when things began to go cold, signifying the point when feelings of attraction and fondness slipped away.

tip: under the category of actions, you can also include any efforts they made in their overall appearance, and the frequency of taking showers, etc. yes, seriously. these are all clues!

now, it’s important to remember that as relationships mature, people often reduce some of these actions out of familiarity or comfort. it doesn’t necessarily signify a lack of love.

but if they abruptly stopped doing these things, it would indicate a shift in their feelings. we’re creatures of habit after all, and any sudden change will be revealing.

#2. language

next up, we’ve got language or, more broadly, communication. in other words, the “what did they say” part.

(while actions speak louder than words, words still convey a lot of meaning.)

so, think back to past conversations.

we’re more interested in “day to day” stuff, not the big arguments (which hopefully did not occur “day to day”…)

how was the conversation between you both?

were they interested in what you had to say?

to hear about your day?

did they express positive feelings for you?

did they give words of praise or admiration?

these are obviously signs of affection, of friendship, which forms a base for attachment and loving feelings.

on the other hand…

perhaps you don’t remember much kindness in their words?

maybe you remember critisism or coldness more than affection.

if so, see if you can remember what the ratio of good to bad was.

challenge yourself to unearth examples of both, just in case you have a bias for remembering the bad.


see if you can remember if the ratio of good to bad between you both changed, and when.

this can give you a hint of when things started to fall apart in the relationship.

there’s a lot to this…

with communication, you might recall subtle changes in telephone calls. not just in frequency (which is more of an action example,) but in the choice of words and general openness to communicate with you.

of course, we don’t just talk on the phone or face-to-face. so, you might also recall differences in their text messages to you, and in emails.

did the wording (and therefore meaning) change?

observe how the communication and language between you both evolved (or devolved) throughout your relationship, especially of late.

an open, sharing, and intimate communication style signifies trust and a deep connection, strong indicators of love. but remember, love comes in all shapes and sizes. for some, verbal affirmations may not be their go-to method to express love.

#3. presence

ever felt a disconnect even when everything seemed fine on the surface? that can be caused by a lack of presence.

your ex’s degree of presence when with you is like the undercurrent that ties their actions and language together. it forms the core of their behaviour towards you. when someone genuinely loves you, their presence feels warm, comforting, and real. if your ex seemed distant or preoccupied, it might have suggested a shift in their feelings.

this, out of the three, can be the aspect that is the most telling.

caveat: annoyingly, while feelings can be useful, they can also mislead. if you’re upset, or if something has happened to cause you emotional angst then their usefulness as a tool to guide diminishes. sometimes, we can have a negative bias undercurrent, where we interpret our partner’s actions and words in a less than kind light. watch out for that…

so, there you have it:

a trifecta of actions, language, and presence.

the three give a pretty good picture of a person’s real feelings for you.

but remember:

tread softly

it’s easy to misread signs, mis-remember the past, or project our desires onto realities, painting them in the hues we crave to see.

shifts in your ex’s actions, language, or presence might spotlight glitches in your relationship. yet, remember, correlation does not always mean causation. external factors can also interfere with the flow of love. health problems, work stress, depression, these –and other factors– can pour ice water on romance.

before you leap to conclusions, pause for a moment. mull over any elements that might have affected your ex’s behaviour. were they grappling with personal demons, drowning under stress, or wrestling with health complications?

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About the author: i’m a relationship coach specialising in breakup recovery. i’ve been doing this for 12+ years helping thousands worldwide. i created the Breakup Dojo, a popular program with over 1,000 members. i’ve authored several in-demand breakup recovery products, drawing from my deep fascination with psychology. i also publish the “ex-communication” newsletter that’s packed with actionable advice to over 10,000 subscribers worldwide.