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17 Signs Your Ex Is Miserable And Wants You Back (The Truth)

by Sonya Schwartz

Are you hoping to get back together with your ex?

Perhaps you’re wondering whether he’s as miserable without you as you are without him? 

Maybe you have no way of telling how he truly feels about the break-up and are looking for clues about this? 

If so, this is the guide for you. It reveals 17 clearcut signs that your ex is miserable without you. 

However, before we get started, I urge you to carefully read the following sentences. 

It tends to be incredibly hard to get an accurate impression of how your ex-partner is getting on without you. 

Oftentimes, they will deliberately make an effort to create a false impression about their wellbeing. 

Men are taught to be put on a brave face, even when they are hurting on the inside.

The problem is: this makes it really difficult for women to know when to reach out and ask them to come back.  

This is why I’d like to tell you about this powerful yet discreet online communications tracker.

With just a handful of your ex-boyfriend’s basic details, this tool gathers his data to create an expansive summary of his past communications. 

You’ll discover who he has been in frequent contact with, what smartphone apps he’s been using, what alternate contact details he’s registered and that’s just the tip of the iceberg more.

To summarise, this tool can help to paint an accurate picture of how your ex is getting on without you. 

What’s more, there’s no way for him to tell that he is being tracked. 

Our list of behavioural hints that he’s miserable will also help. Scroll down to check them out.

17 Signs Your Ex Is Miserable And Wants You Back

1. He Breaks The No Contact Rule First

Here is one of the clearest signs your ex is miserable - he breaks the no contact rule. In case you are not familiar with the term, the no contact rule is sort of an unspoken rule that has been normalized. It is when you don't call, text, or message an ex in any way after the breakup. The rule does not involve just them, it also includes not talking to their friends or family about them or the breakup itself.

This is supposed to give you both time to get over one another, and there is no specific timeline for it. In the case of amicable breakups, some people actually make a mutual decision of how long the rule stands while others just go their separate ways. 

If your ex breaks the rule first, it is a not-so-subtle way of letting you know he's miserable without you and is also a sign he probably wants to get back with you, as well as the relationship. After all, absence, they say, makes the heart grow fonder.

2. He Holds On To Your Things.

Is your ex being particularly adamant about returning your things? Does he keep postponing his availability for some weird reasons? That man is most likely still in love with you and is likely very miserable. Why then doesn't he just come out straight to tell you? Well, you can answer that better than I could. 

One thing I can tell you, though, is that someone who doesn't want to get with you again will try as much as possible to avoid things that can initiate contact. If your ex chooses to hold on to your personal effects, it's because he doesn't want you to block his miserable ass and move on. 

Don't forget you were in a relationship with this person, so your ex still knows you well enough to understand what those things mean to you. Bargaining chip aside, they could also be holding on to your stuff as a way of staying connected to you emotionally. Either way, if those aren't signs that your ex wants you back, I’m not sure what is.

3. Maintains Contact With Your Friends And Family

Invariably, people develop a sort of rapport with the friends or family of their partners over the course of a serious relationship. If this is true for you, and your ex maintains contact with your folks, it could mean several things. On the one hand, it could be they formed their own bond with your people and are unable to let go even after the breakup.

On the other hand, it could mean they are maintaining their friendship with your loved ones as a way of staying in your face without communicating with you directly. It could also mean your ex trying to make your people see how much of a gem he is, especially if he knows their opinions hold sway over you.

In any case, your ex wouldn't go through that much trouble if he's happy being without you. It's most likely a sign that your ex is miserable and still cares and wants you to know it.

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

4. Stalks You On Social Media

Stalking is another one of the signs that your ex is miserable. Very few things say "I'm miserable without you" as loud as social media stalking does. I've been there, you probably have too, and your ex is perhaps doing it also. It's a coping mechanism that won't help, but you just can't help yourself, especially if there are still some unresolved feelings there.

If they're good enough, you may not even notice they are doing it. But even experts get sloppy. If you observe he is always one of the first set of people to view your social media status – Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, etc., that's surely a sign. This particular strategy is usually employed when he knows you're the type that pays attention to such details.

When the subtle cry for help doesn't work, they graduate to reacting to your posts. A retweet today, a comment tomorrow. It may not directly say "I want you back," but that's precisely the message they're trying to pass across and is a sign he wants you.

5. Tries Hard To Show You He's Doing Better.

For all our diversities, some human behaviors are quite similar. We are different in so many ways, yet so the same. If you want someone to see you in a positive light, you try as much as you can to present yourself in a way that appeals to them, right? The same goes for when your ex starts doing all the right things after a breakup.

"The right thing" in this context is subjective based on the dynamics of the relationship you had. But generally, it means he is doing all the things you wanted him to do before the breakup. He is working hard at being a better person, and he wants your attention one way or another. 

For instance, if your ex keeps looping you into his goals and what he's doing to achieve them. Those are indirect signs he's trying to show you the things you could enjoy by coming back to him because your ex is miserable without you and likely wants to get the relationship back.

6. Posting Sad Quotes

One of the most obvious signs your ex is miserable is the social media pity party, as I love to call it. He tries to balm whatever he is feeling by posting relatable sad quotes. He is all over the internet, so this one does not require a lot of effort. If he is poetically-inclined, he could even throw in some depth and create a few original pieces.

Some don't make it easy with their mixed signals, but others all but scream they want you back with the first few quotes they find that relate with their pain. If you still want your ex back and interested in having a relationship with him, this is a good sign. At the very least, it tells you they haven't moved on either.

So if your ex falls under this category, you can stop searching for "signs my ex-boyfriend still has feelings for me" and actually work towards getting your man back.

7. He Picks Up Habits That Are Unlike Him.

Breakups are no fun, no matter how maturely we try to handle it. This holds even truer for relationships that ended in a complicated way. In fact, studies have shown that an unwanted breakup can feel similar to physical pain or that of withdrawal from drug addiction. It is, therefore, not uncommon for people to develop habits that help them cope with the gaping hole a broken heart leaves you with. 

Such habits can range from healthy ones like hitting the gym or doing yoga to unhealthy choices like getting into fights randomly or numbing the hurt with drugs and alcohol. Some cope by partying harder than usual, others do by withdrawing from the world and becoming a recluse. 

Point is, if they start doing something they normally wouldn't do after you part ways, it could be a sign that your ex is miserable. Especially if their choice of coping mechanism is negative.

8. He Calls You On His "Low" Nights.

This could be a drunk dial after your ex has had one too many drinks or a deliberate move. The latter is a sad attempt at making you feel important. He wants to remind you how much he needs you and how you are the only one that can get him out of whatever low point he presents at the time. One thing that is true in either case is that they're both signs your ex wants you back.

Not to take anything away from the genuine ones, but many times when this happens, it's because they haven't found anyone else that compares to you. Your ex knows the emotional dependence will stir something in you and hopefully bring you back to him. 

At times like this, it is advisable to tread carefully. Even if you will take him back, let it be after they are out of whatever situation prompted the sudden call or text. 

9. He Resorts To Rebound Relationships.

This is another sign he really wants you. Speaking of emotional needs, some people try to fill the void their ex left by immediately jumping into a rebound relationship in no time. The truth about rebound is that it is one of the most common signs your ex is pretending to be over you.

It is either a plot to get you jealous enough to seek them out yourself or a genuine attempt at finding the connection they lost with you in another. (Un)fortunately, it fails more often than it works and may even make him miss you more than he did at the beginning of his new 'relationship'. 

So if you want your ex back and you see him jumping from one relationship to another, don't lose hope just yet. It may be a telltale sign he wants you back but hasn't worked up the nerve to tell you or is still working through whatever separated you in the first place.

10. He Remains Single

Matters of the heart can get confusing, even for the most enlightened of us. It's why I can tell you a rebound relationship is one of the many signs your ex is miserable and in the same breath say remaining single is another. As I mentioned earlier, people have different coping mechanisms. 

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

Some cope by putting themselves out there, some take their time to detox, while others just plainly refuse to settle for less. This doesn't mean that you are better than other ladies, but it may indicate your ex has seen there's no one else for him but you.

As long as the relationship did not end because you were toxic, remaining single alongside the coping mechanisms mentioned above are signs your ex will eventually come back to you. If it did, then you may have a bit more work to do to get your beau back than looking for signs he is miserable without you and wants to get back with you.

11. He Tells You He Is Miserable.

For reasons best known to them, some people prefer to suffer in silence than to speak out. Others, however, prefer to hit the nail on the head. Compared to many of the signs we have discussed above, speaking up is on the rare end of the spectrum. Many people would rather die than give their ex the satisfaction of knowing they're miserable.

That said, if your ex is the type that likes opening up about their feelings, then the bulk of your work has been done for you. He may or may not come to you directly, that depends on the dynamics of the relationship you had, how it ended, and a couple of other factors.

He may choose to go through mutual friends or your family or any other way really, you'd be surprised the lengths men would go to retrieve what they've lost. However, if your ex is the conniving type though, it is up to you to determine if they really want you back or just want to get down again.

12. Treats You Better Than He Did In The Relationship

Many of us have an ex that was mostly an asshole throughout the relationship but becomes the sweetest person after you call it quits. All of a sudden, your opinions matter, they listen more, and everything you say is funny. They also check on you more than usual, they're always there when you need them, etc. We have all been there.

Gestures like these are all signs that your ex is miserable and would do anything to get you back. Unfortunately, they are not always sincere, and it could be because they can't stomach the idea of losing the person that would have gone to the ends of the earth for them. Something about recognizing your worth when you are no longer around. 

If you must take that kind of person back, take your time to see if it's genuine this time and make sure to make him work for it.

13. Keeps Bringing Up Old Memories

You know your ex is miserable when he tries to remind you of all the sweet things that endeared him to you in the past. You will know he wants you back when he keeps driving your conversations towards some of the best moments you two had together. He will likely chip in how much he misses you and how he has not been able to fill the shoes you left behind.

Once they've successfully established contact again, and you entertain a little more than "Hi, how have you been," the first line of defense has been broken. This particular sign is easier to notice in men that normally don't swing that way.

The goal is to make you feel nostalgic, remember all the good times, and God help you; there are a lot of them. My advice? Pinch yourself back to reality when this happens, and remind yourself all the less palatable things that made you walk out in the first place. You are welcome.

14. Goes Out Of His Way To Remind You He Hates You Now

Is your ex going out of his way to let you know how much of a terrible person you are? Does he remind you he feels nothing but hate for you every chance he gets? Not once, not twice, but every time you have a conversation with him, or he talks about you with your mutual friends, it's always about how little you mean to him now?

I’m aware it's really easy to conclude those are signs he will never come back, but they really just signs your ex is miserable and is still deeply hurt by whatever you did. Odds are he doesn't really hate you. He may be disgusted at himself for wanting you back, so he projects it on you instead, but that feeling will phase out at some point.

The fact that he never lets you forget it means he's still interested in you. Whether or not he chooses to act on it is another ballgame entirely.

15. He Puts More Effort Into His Outward Appearance.

Have you ever wondered why your ex has a certain glow to them after you break up? No, it's not peace of mind as they will have you believe – although, in some cases, it is. Most of the time, it's because he is working extra hard on his looks to conceal just how miserable he feels within.

He doesn't just look finer, he dresses the part too. He might even hit the gym, sculpt that body you like so much more, maybe change his hairstyle and wardrobe. It may not be an upgraded fashion sense, it could be something else he knows you will definitely notice. Like how happy he is now. His social media is full of posts about how great it feels to be single again. How he is better off without you. 

Don't buy it, sis. It's reverse psychology, those are nothing but signs your ex is pretending to be over you. More often than not, they aren't, and will probably jump at the chance to get back together if you give the green light. 

16. He Seeks Your Advice Often.

When he tries so hard to stay in touch, you know that man is miserable without you. He might wrap it in sweet words like "you are the only person that truly gets me" or whatever other forms, but you know the truth. A classic way of making you feel needed is by asking you for advice. 

The more serious the subject, the better. It could be about a huge career decision or the kind of face wash that would work best for his sudden acne. Some exes even bring up provocative topics like asking for dating advice just to see how you react to the idea of them moving on.

Truth is, several other people around them could have easily taken up the advisor role, maybe even better than you could. But he chooses you to penetrate your defenses back, then he gradually works his way to telling you he wants you back. 

17. He Picks On Your New Relationships.

It is only natural that someone who wants their ex back will be miserable if they see they've found someone else. Imagine how you would feel if you invest your time and energy into getting close to your ex and making them feel comfortable with you again. Only for you to find out they have actually moved on with someone else – rebound or not.

Contrary to the toughness society associates with men, they are quite fragile at heart too, and some of them combine that trait with pettiness. They like they're okay with being just friends until the conversation drifts to a prospective boyfriend. If you feel like your ex never approves of other people you date, it's a sign that your ex still loves you and would rather you be with him instead.

They may, of course, disguise their true intentions with some noble speech like "you deserve better" or "he just doesn't seem right for you." But many times, it's coming from a place of sheer jealousy.

FAQs

How Do You Know If Your Ex Is Unhappy?

You can tell your ex is unhappy if you notice unusual behavioral changes. For some, it may be as apparent as posting sad relationship quotes on social media while others try to mask their sadness with unhealthy habits like drugs and alcohol. They also tend to try to find happiness by jumping from a relationship to the other. 

Does My Ex Feel Guilty For Hurting Me?

Whether or not your ex feels guilty depends on the circumstances surrounding the breakup. If your ex truly loved you, then chances are that they feel guilty for hurting you even though you are no longer a couple. But if not, they are probably too busy holding on to their own grudge to think about how you feel.

Does an ex ever regret leaving you?

Yes, an ex can regret leaving you. If the relationship was smooth and you were a great partner, the regret will probably set in as soon as they realize what they've lost. It is only normal to regret leaving someone you once felt a deep connection with, especially if you're having trouble moving on.

How Do You Know If Your Ex Is Over You?

An ex who is over you wouldn't get jealous when they see you moving on with someone else. Reduced communication is another way to tell that your ex is not interested in you anymore. They move on with their life too and don't seem flustered when you run into them. Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure as they could also be pretending.

How Do You Make Your Ex Regret Losing You?

Move on with your life as though nothing happened but also try to work on the things that made them leave you. Try as much as possible not to let them notice how much you miss them. Focus on being a better version of yourself, and your ex will almost certainly feel a tinge of regret the next time they see you.

All In All...

I hope you enjoyed reading through my list. Remember, there is no way an ex who wants you back would not exhibit some – if not all, of the signs explained above.  And if it’s you that wants your ex back, then these signs will also help you determine the possibilities. What you do with the information depends entirely on you - with time, things should certainly work out. 

Your feedback means a lot to me, so feel free to include some feedback in the comments. Also, share if you liked the article, a friend going through the same really deserves to see it too.

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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