10 Signs Your Ex Is Pretending To Be Over You

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Is your ex actually over you, or are they just pretending? How do you know how they really feel, or where they’re truly at? Well, in this post, we break down the 10 key signs your ex is pretending to be over you.

Why Your Ex Is Pretending To Be Over You

So before we look at the signs your ex is pretending to be over you, let’s consider why they might be doing this in the first place. Like, why not just tell the truth? Be real about it?

Well, they may be pretending to be over you because:

  1. They think you’re over them. This is a big one! If they think you’re over them, they certainly don’t want you to think they’re still hung up on you. It’s embarrassing, an ego-knocker!
  2. They don’t think you should get back together. It could also be that they’re not over you, but they don’t want to get back together. So instead of giving you false hope or making the situation more difficult (or tempting to slip back into), they act like they no longer care. (Feeling torn on this yourself? Wondering if you should get back with your ex? If that would even be the right thing? Click here to find out.)
  3. They’re still hurt and angry. Breakups are tough. It’s likely that a lot has happened. So they put their wall up, they act like they’re over you (maybe act like they hate you even) – even if there are still feelings there deep down. (Want to know if he’s struggling more than you may think? Then click here for the key signs.)
  4. They want you to want them. People can be stubborn. They also know what they need in order to feel loved. So it could be that your ex isn’t over you, they want you back, but they don’t want to lose their pride by being the first one to “make the move.” They want it to come from you. And in some ways they think that if they act like they’ve moved on, they’re doing fine, they’re coping well without you – they hope it will make you miss them even more.
  5. They’re lying to themselves. Last but not least, your ex could actually be kidding themselves! They want to be over you, they think they’re over you, but they’re rushing the process so in all honesty, they’re not completely. This often happens in the early stages of a breakup.

There could be many reasons why your ex is pretending to be over you. Breakups are often complicated, messy. And on top of that – human emotion is also a complex thing.

Are You Kidding Yourself?

Understanding how your ex feels and what they really want, can be relevant in some situations. But it really depends. 

  • Do you want to get back to them?
  • Does this actually make a difference?
  • Why are you trying to work it out?
  • And what would it mean? How do you feel? 

See, the chances are, if you’re wondering if your ex is pretending to be over you, there’s likely to be some sort of emotion there from your side too.

You therefore want to be careful that you’re not clutching at straws, seeing things that aren’t there and are just HOPING your ex is pretending to be over you, because you’re unable to accept the truth.

To help you with this, I recommend having a read of:

The first article in particular will really help to make things clearer. Is your ex actually over you, or are they just pretending? Because there’s some key differences…

Signs Your Ex Is Pretending To Be Over You

So now we’ve started to explore things a little further, let’s really look at the key signs your ex is pretending to be over you. What little things give it away? What will you probably notice? Well…

1) They Find Reasons To See You or Speak To You

First up, one of the biggest signs your ex is pretending to be over you, is if they say one thing, but they do another. 

  • They say it’s over, but they still want to see you and spend time with you, acting – pretty much – in the same ways they were before.
  • They say they’re over you, and yet they still seem to ask SO MANY QUESTIONS, taking far more of an interest in your life than any normal “friend” would.
  • Maybe they say they hate you – yet they still speak to you (even if it is anger-fuelled!) 
  • They may also cling on by saying they need to meet because “you need to speak about things.” Things that have probably been talked over and over before, or could be cleared up in a call or text. It’s an excuse. A secret hope to reconnect and work things through.
  • It could be that they ask to get their things from your house, but always seem to leave something there. Or come back to get something that’s really not necessary. Like their toothbrush for instance – like they actually need to come back for that!
  • Or maybe it’s drunk texts that reveal the truth… Drunk texts where they just say anything and everything because they want to speak to you.

The truth is, they’re not quite ready to let go. The situation may be difficult, a lot may have been said and done. But if they’re still clinging on instead of breaking free, whether they like it or not, it’s a major sign they’re not actually over you.

Recommended Read: 15 Signs Your Ex Misses You

Signs Your Ex Is Pretending To Be Over You

2) They Bring Up Old Memories

If your ex does still have feelings for you, they’re likely to reminisce. And not just on their own – with you.

They miss you, they want to think back to the good times. Maybe there’s a part of them that also brings up the old times, to try to remind you of what you both had and how great you were (at times!)

But it’s a sign that they can’t quite let go. Instead of focusing on moving forward, they’re still looking back.

Maybe it’s sending you old photos or videos, tagging you in Facebook memories, or even having the conversation – in person or via text, and bringing memories up then.

Of course in order to do this, the two of you must be on speaking terms. But even if you’re speaking – if your ex had truly moved on, they wouldn’t choose to speak about the two of you.

So it’s one of the major signs your ex is pretending to be over you – whether they realise it or not!

3) They Keep Going Over The Breakup

Another major sign your ex isn’t over you is if they can’t quite let go of why or how you broke up.

  • Maybe they’re angry. This is a major sign in itself, as anger is one of the starting stages of letting go… which means they’ve still not moved on. They’re stuck in that phase.
  • You may also find they blame you. This ties into the anger, but essentially – they’re frustrated. They didn’t want this to happen, they didn’t want you to fall apart. And they feel like it’s out of their control. Of course a breakup is never one person’s fault alone, but they’re unable to see it clearly, they’re not yet thinking rationally.
  • They can’t seem to get closure. They haven’t come to terms with the breakup, they haven’t accepted it. They’re asking you lots of questions – trying to get answers. They keep going over the same things, searching for explanations that make sense to them, explanations that sit right with them.

Ultimately, they’re unable to let go, which means (as much as they may deny it or argue) they’re not quite over you yet. They’ve still got some internal work to do.

4) They Try To Show You They’ve Changed

Whatever broke the two of you, if your ex is pretending to be over you but secretly wants you back, you’ll find they get back to being their “best self”.

They’ll try to impress you – like in the early days when you were first dating.

So if there were reasons the two of you broke up and things that needed to change, they’ll try to show you that difference in themselves. They’re also likely to tell you. They want you to know.

You’ll also find they seem to suddenly be very HAPPY. Not necessarily because they want to make you worried, but because they want you to want to be around them.

Inside they could still feel broken and sad. They’re probably not happy about the situation and just want it to change. But they’re on a mission – a mission to get you back (even if they can’t tell you that!)

Recommended Read: 20 Signs Your Ex Is Interested In You Again

The thing is, this is partially an act, and so you may find a sudden change BACK in behaviour, or a slip in this happy front. If they keep trying and nothing seems good enough, they’re not getting anywhere, it won’t last forever. Especially if you start to move on…

Signs Your Ex Is Pretending To Be Over You

5) They Hate The Thought Of You Being With Other People

As cool as they may be trying to play it, if your ex is pretending to be over you, the cracks are likely to show when it comes to you moving on.

So you may find they slip in the odd jokey question, trying to find out if you’re dating yet. Or maybe if they have their suspicions, they may do the odd “dig” at the fact that they are.

Ignorance can be bliss, which is why – on the flip side – you may find them avoiding the topic of others completely, and staying in their own bubble of pretending its still just you and them.

Unfortunately however, if they do get it into their head that you ARE with someone else (let’s say you’re busy on a Friday night and aren’t responding), their reaction will not always be nice.

They’re hurt, that’s all. But this is why no-contact is so important in the early stages after a breakup, and why not having each other on social media is a good idea too.

The thing is, if your ex is pretending to be over you, they may kid themselves (and you) that you can just be friends. Very rarely however, this doesn’t work out.

Recommended Read: Can You Be Friends With Your Ex? Click Here To Find Out

Signs Your Ex Is Pretending To Be Over You

Do you find your ex is shouting from the rooftops how much they’re over you? Do you find they keep telling YOU how much they’re over you?

Perhaps you hear they’ve been slating you incessantly? Well, any extreme behaviour like this is in fact, one of the signs your ex is pretending to be over you.

Think about it – when you’re at peace with a person or situation, do you have anything to prove? When you’re at peace with a person or situation, do you keep talking about it? No!

So if you want to know if your ex is actually over you, or just pretending, always look at what’s rational, what’s reasonable, and what’s probably more emotionally fuelled…

6) They Try To Make You Jealous

Ahhh, we’ve just hit the half-way point, so now for another major sign your ex is pretending to be over you – the whole jealousy trick. See, if your ex was genuinely over you, they wouldn’t try, they wouldn’t care. But if they aren’t, you may notice:

  • They’re constantly posting on social media, showing what they’re doing, saying how happy they are.
  • They’re featuring other new people in their story. Other people who are “potential threats” or “old flames” to try to get you thinking.
  • Or maybe they go down the classic “quote” or “song lyric” sharing route. Empowering single quotes, or “living my best life” kind of quotes, to try to get a reaction.
  • Perhaps they openly post things that “hint” that there’s someone else. Even if there’s not, they want you to wonder if there is. They want you to come running back.
  • Maybe they flat out tell you things about their life (or love life) that you don’t need to know. Things that they think will hurt, or make you try to get them back.
  • In some cases, they could even jump into a new relationship to try to get a reaction. Although this is a risky strategy as for some, it’s simply the final “close of the door” on that chapter. If they do – your ex will almost definitely hate you. This is probably because he / she doesn’t make them feel fully secure, or they can see there’s still something between you.

Essentially, they want to get a response. They want to get your attention. They’re testing you.

Recommended Read: 10 Signs Your Ex is Testing You

They also want to see that you do feel something – you do still care. As behaviour that tries to ignite jealousy is often led by insecurity.

7) They React To The Things You Say or Do

You’re not together, they get that. But another one of the signs your ex is pretending to be over you, is if they can’t keep in how they feel.

So all of these things they may be doing to try to make you jealous – if YOU do them (whether intentionally or not), you’ll get a reaction. This could be in them:

  • Directly saying something to you about it. So let’s say you post a drunken instagram story, and some guys are in it, you may find a DM like, “nice to see you moved on so fast”, with a thumb up.
  • Getting “off” or “funny.” So let’s say you do want to get back with your ex, you’re still speaking, you feel like you’re making progress. But then your ex see’s something he doesn’t like and gives you the cold shoulder. He doesn’t message for a day or so, or cancels when you’re supposed to see each other next. Even if he’s the one who is unsure about the two of you getting back together – if he’s reacting to little things, and you’re hitting a nerve, it’s a big sign he cares far more than he’s letting on.
  • Retaliating. You may also notice he retaliates. So let’s say he’s not a big user of social media. You on the other hand have always been active online. You’re sharing your life, are genuinely moving on. But you notice he starts posting more, with those jealousy-intended captions. It’s almost like, “two can play that game”, and shows he’s definitely not over you just yet.

These sort of reactions can come from something they see you do. It can also come if you have a conversation and say something that they don’t like, something that hurts.

Then you’ll get reactions, not so much to get at you, but in their attempt to move on. So for example – you say it’s over, you mean it, and tell them you don’t love them anymore… So straight away, they hook up with someone else.

It’s unhealthy behaviour, but it’s driven by pain. They don’t want to feel this way, but they do. And that’s why they’re pretending not to. They don’t want you to know they’re struggling more than you right now.

Does Your Ex Still Have Feelings?

8) They Keep You Holding On

How else do you know if your ex is pretending to be over you? Well, another sign your ex is pretending to be over you, is if – secretly – they don’t want you to get over them.

For this reason, you’ll probably find that they don’t openly say they’re over you. They also won’t tell you they don’t want to be with you. And, they won’t completely close the door to getting back with you.

They want you to chase them, they want to feel like they have the upper hand, and some of the things they say DO sound like they’re over you, not to mention some of the things they may do.

However, they’ll be very careful, as they won’t want to push you away completely.

  • Do you find they can’t give you straight answers when you talk about the two of you, the breakup or your relationship?
  • Are they often hot and cold? Saying things to draw you in, then pushing you away?
  • Do you find every time you start to pull back, they come running back?
  • Does their mood often change? As if they too are torn, undecided?

Because that’s the thing – it’s not always about game playing here. Like we said at the start, your ex may be pretending to be over you, because they’re torn and genuinely confused.

It can be a bit of a mind-field, but if your ex was fully over you, they wouldn’t be afraid to tell you they’re over you and tell you to move on.

They’d know that you need to, they’d know that they need to, and that’s what they’d be doing. Instead of trying to keep you holding on.

9) They Want You In Your Life

If your ex isn’t over you, or hasn’t fully accepted that this is the end for the two of you, you’ll find that they still want you in your life. They’re not able to have the time and space apart to properly let go.

So whether it’s reduced contact or not, when you do speak or see each other, they’re likely to still have that closeness and familiarity with you – acting in a way, like you’re still together.

Maybe there’s not physical intimacy, but the way they speak, the way they look, the way they act around you – that’s all the same. Maybe – deep down – they’ve always thought you’d get back together. (They’re just waiting for the right time and for it to come from you!)

If you’re not on speaking terms, it could be then, that they still follow you on social media. They’re also – most likely – one of the first to view your story, and / or engage with it when they can – sending a reaction or dropping a message, to try to strike up conversation from it.

Yes, it could be friendly, but if it’s not been very long since your breakup, it’s likely that it’s just an excuse.

They miss you, they want to still feel involved with you, which is why it’s also one of the key signs your ex is pretending to be over you. If they were fully over you – they wouldn’t do that. They don’t need to. So it’s a big sign there’s still something there. They’re holding on.

10) You Feel It

To finish off the signs your ex is pretending to be over you, I want to raise the point of – sometimes – you just feel it. You know your ex. You was with them for, well, however long. This means you can probably read them better than anyone!

You know when they’re lying, you know when they’re hiding things, you know when they want you. Damn, maybe at times, towards the end, they also made you feel like they didn’t want you. But that’s why you know the difference.

So maybe it’s the lingering looks, the lasting eye contact, the physical closeness when you’re together. You feel something between the two of you still, and you know they feel it too.

Notice their behaviour, notice their body language, notice the little things they let slip that reveal their true feelings or intentions. And trust your judgement.

Because so long as you’re not fantasising or trying to see something that’s no longer there, you’re probably far closer to the truth than they may realise.

Is Your Ex Pretending To Be Over You?

So there we have it – 10 key signs your ex is pretending to be over you, and does in fact, still have feelings.

What do you make of this? What do you do? Well it depends on how you feel and what’s actually best.

Perhaps you’re still holding on, unable to move forward – clutching at things like this which is stopping you from truly letting go. Or maybe you do think you could work out, and knowing that you still stand a chance, is all you need to know to work things out with your ex.

Just make sure, whatever you do from here – you’re doing it for the right reasons.

What you want to do and what you need to do, often aren’t the same thing…
Forgetting Fairytales

Breakups are hard, for both people involved. But do what’s right, what’s for the best – not just what would be the easiest thing to free yourself from the pain in this moment.

You’re strong enough to get through this, trust me. Hang on in there.


Signs Your Ex Is Pretending To Be Over You
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Ella Stearn
Ell is a Breakup, Dating & Relationship Specialist & Coach, with over 3 million annual readers, globally. As the Creator of Forgetting Fairytales, her mission is to help you learn to love yourself, find the right person to give your love to, then make it a love that truly lasts.

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