signs your ex will eventually come back (even if they’re stubborn)

like a ship at sea, relationships sometimes hit choppy waters and get thrown into the rocks. and if the damage is bad the relation-ship breaks. ouch. but now what? if you want to repair the damage, you could do worse than look for signs your ex wants the same (to come back.) below, you will find the best signs your ex will eventually come back.

should i have hope?

it’s normal to feel you are looking for signs of hope against all the odds.

love can amplify the good and the bad in people. and in the chaos of a breakup, we may not want anything more to do with our partner.

but if you think the bad has left a mark too big for your ex to ignore, reconsider.

the reality is that ex’s can come back because humans are remarkably forgiving. we often find the breakup to be a turning point in our understanding of each other. with help, this event can become a catalyst for an even better relationship together.

in short, it’s worth finding out.

signs an ex will come back

you can look for signs to better gauge whether your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend is missing you from their life.

learning what these signs are and how to spot them is the focus of this page.

types of signs to look for:

  1. apparent signs
  2. real signs
  3. realistic signs
  4. little signs
  5. big no-doubt-about-it signs
  6. universal signs

— apparent signs

these are signs that seem to show your ex is missing you, but not necessarily for the reason you think. that makes these type of signs more noteworthy than predictive. you should use them to help build your confidence.

a good example of an apparent sign is when your ex takes an interest in your life after the breakup.

has your ex taken an interest in your social life lately?

if your ex asks about your friends, family, work, hobbies etc., they apparently want to keep in touch. but why?

when your ex continues to give you attention, it could mean they miss having you in their life. but, it could just mean they want to know you are struggling, too. it is not always obvious which it is.

for example, if your ex asks if you are dating anyone, or gets their friends to ask?

it might suggest they are worried they are losing you (especially if they are not dating.)

but, it could also just be curiosity or insecurity. all we can determine here is that it shows you are on your ex’s mind.

— real signs

these are signs that strongly show your ex is missing you and for the reason you hope. any hint that your ex explicitly misses the intimacy or shared-history is a real sign they might come back.

are they showing signs of regret?

do they mention fond memories from the past?

bringing up happy memories shows a desire to put aside the mistakes that were made.

when your ex speaks of the good times, they could be suggesting to you that your relationship has a chance.

have you found your ex to be nostalgic and clingy?

— realistic signs

these are signs that reveal your ex is really considering coming back to you, no ifs or buts.

for example, if your ex opens up to a friend to confess they are having second thoughts and may have made a mistake?

that is clearly a realistic sign your ex could eventually come back.

assuming this friend is willing to share this revelation with you, of course.

look for clues from mutual friends who want to give you hope. they may not be able to tell you word-for-word due to loyalty. but that does not mean they can’t drop you some breadcrumbs to follow…

now, before we look at the most clear signs of all, we should address:

— little signs

there are times when you will pick up on little telltale signs that suggest your ex could be changing their mind. little hints that tell you to hold on a little longer.

going back to the example above, if a mutual friend seems keen for you to “hang in there” or they push you to make a move, it could be a small sign they know something you do not.

perhaps they know your ex is having doubts and will be open to hearing from you.

perhaps they know your ex wants to come back but is too stubborn or afraid to make the first move?

or, your friend may have seen signs that your ex is just faking they are over you and thinks that if you try, something could happen.

so, you might get small hints about this.

of course, these are subtle signs. and it is no wonder you’d missed them.

which brings us to the opposite of subtle…

— big no-doubt-about-it signs

it seems silly to have to write this, but here goes:

the number one sign your ex will come back after a breakup is them telling you they want exactly that.

if your ex-girlfriend or boyfriend flat out tells you they want you back, then that is all you need to know.

it takes courage for your ex to state their desire so clearly. pride can get in the way because asking you to take them back could be seen as admitting they made a mistake.

there are other big signs, too. though none as significant as that.

lesser signs which are still significant include:

when your ex is communicating to you how they have changed or improved. which is huge. after all, why else seek your approval?

relatedly, when your ex readily points out the changes you have made, which shows they have a heightened interest in you.

— universal signs

it is human nature to want to stay close to those we like.

if your ex is making an effort to involve you in their life by:

  1. calling and messaging you;
  2. inviting you to hang out together;
  3. asking you for advice;
  4. making contact with your friends and staying close to your social circle;
  5. staying in touch with your family.

then they are making excuses to stay close to you.

frequent contact is a universal sign. we will not willingly spend our time with people we are not fond of.

will my ex come back?

it’s impossible to know upfront if they’ll come back. such is life. all we can say is it’s possible. and if you want that outcome, you efforts are better spent improving that possibility than asking will they or won’t they?

take heart in the fact that even your ex won’t know what they’ll eventually want, as people do change their minds.

look at the classic breakup story:

one minute your partner is telling you how they can not live without you. the next, you learn they want nothing more to do with you.

and the reuniting story is just as confusing:

one minute your ex is adamant they do not want you back. the next, they do.

my point?

people change their minds. and your ex is no different.

why your ex won’t tell what they want

if you detect clear signs your ex wants you back, you may wonder why they don’t just tell you.

let’s cover this quickly:

— embarrassed

men and women alike can feel embarrassed to admit their true feelings.

especially when they have a change of heart.

if your ex wants to come back, they may loathe to admit it as it can reek a bit of, “i’m crawling back to you.”

this is pride.

never underestimate what we will do to protect our pride.

— guilt

your ex may feel guilty over the breakup and what they put you through.

guilt is a powerful force.

some exes will sacrifice a second chance because they do not believe they deserve one.

if your ex feels responsible for causing you pain and anguish, don’t be surprised they are reluctant to let you know they have changed their mind.

— fear of rejection

put yourself in your ex’s shoes.

imagine calling off the relationship, causing tremendous heartache and drama where nasty things were said.

dirt has been thrown. friends and family divided. complete turmoil.

and then…

you change your mind.

well if you can navigate the embarrassment and guilt, you will still have to face the fear of rejection.

the one who “makes a move” is in the most vulnerable position.

rejection hurts, and that can be a reason to keep a lid on how we really feel.

hesitation to enter an uncomfortable conversation is healthy if you think about it.

or certainly reasonable at least.


how can you really know if your ex will ever come back? indeed. and in truth, we can never really know for sure. even your ex will not know what they will want in the future.

even if you could read minds, it would only tell you what your ex is thinking at the time you read it.

this is not something many know or consider.

as a parting gift to you, here is a lesser-known lesson:

our thoughts and decisions are driven by the context of our feelings at the time.

e.g., “argh! i hate you. i never want to see you again. please never talk to me again.”

(extremely negative emotions forming the context for the angry, negative outburst.)

as our emotions are not set in stone and will change over time, so too will the thoughts and decisions to match.

e.g., “hey, i was wondering if you would like to meet up sometime? i miss you.”

(warmer positive-emotions forming the context for warmer, positive communication.)

so yes, your ex may feel differently about you in time, as their emotions “move about” — just as their emotions changed to make the decision to break up with you in the first place.

people take score too soon, in my experience.

remember: your partner changed their mind once, and so they can do it again.

finally, don’t freak out if you can not see any signs your ex wants you back. it could well be they are hiding their feelings well. or they just need more time to soften.

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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.