10 Signs Your Ex Is Testing You

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Is your ex testing you? Do they still secretly have feelings and they want to gage where your heads at? Or maybe they’re just playing games? In this post, we’ll help you work them out, with the 10 key signs your ex is testing you (or certainly could be anyway.)

From this, you’ll then be able to better read their behaviour and what they actually want, which ultimately puts you in a stronger position to know what you then want to do from here too.

Just remember – breakups are tough. Heartbreak hurts… Literally. It’s inevitable.

But getting back with your ex (especially if there’s been 0 change to make anything different the second time around), usually isn’t the right thing…

And if your ex is testing you – it’s even more off a “STEER CLEAR, RED FLAG!” Okay?

Why Would Your Ex Be Testing You?

So first up, before we look at the signs your ex is testing you, let’s consider why they may be testing you. I mean, what is there to gain for them?

Well, usually an ex will try to test you if:

1) They Want To Get Back With You

Let’s start with the most common reason why an ex may be testing you and this is because they want to get back with you.

In fact, studies show “nearly half of all separated couples give it another go”.

Now this doesn’t mean they then STAY together. The success rate of this is actually pretty low. However, going back on the breakup and wanting to try again is pretty common.

This is because people will do anything to try to avoid pain… and like we said, breakups are painful. So just remember – if your ex wants to get back with you, it’s not always being driven by the right things!

2) They Want To See If You’ve Changed

Now, depending on how things were left between the two of you and why you broke up in the first place – your ex may also be testing you because they want to get back with you BUT they want to see if you’ve changed.

This is actually a really positive sign. They’re not just jumping back into things to avoid the hurt of the breakup. They’re simply seeing if the two of you could stand a better chance now.

See, they still love you, They want to be with you. But maybe you made mistakes in your past relationship, maybe they don’t trust you, or there’s changes they think you need to make in order to get back together…

If this is the case, they’re testing you to gain confidence that things really will be different this time around and they’re definitely making the right decision by giving things another go.

If you don’t “pass the test” and don’t act in the way they want / need, they simply won’t get back with you. But to be honest – this is good for the both of you. It’s the right thing to do.

So this is certainly one of the more desirable reasons you’d want to look for when it comes to why your ex is testing you.

signs your ex is testing you

3) They’re Curious

Now it could be that your ex is testing you, simply because they’re curious.

They’re wondering how you’re doing or what you’re like now – and won’t necessarily just take your “word” for it. They want to see for themselves.

Maybe your ex is over you, and so they don’t really think anything of these “tests” or see them entirely as tests. Or maybe they care about you and want the best for you, but know you’re better as friends so are looking at it in that respect.

See, they don’t mean any harm as such, but they also don’t necessarily want to get back with you.

In all honesty though, it’s not really their place to be testing you now, so it’s something that you should try to recognise and put your foot down on…

Especially if you’re finding it hard to get over them. Their “tests” won’t be doing any good at all!

4) They Want an Ego Boost

Your ex could also be testing you, to see if they can draw you back in. It’s a bit of a game, but is mostly done because they feel like they want or need the ego-boost.

They want to feel good, and they know that you have the ability to do that.

They’re hurting after the breakup… more than they’ll let on. In fact, if they’re wasting time trying to test you for this reason, it probably means your ex is pretty miserable.

See, if your ex has been waiting for you to come back – and if you haven’t – it will throw them off and become like an obsession to try to get that validation they crave.

If this is the case, you’ll notice more mind-games. They want you to chase them. They want you to want you.

But again, they just won’t actually necessarily want to get back with you so it all becomes rather toxic. This leads me onto my final reason…

5) They’re Playing With You

We’ve also got to throw out the prospect that they’re testing you to “play” with you.

They want to get a reaction out of you. Maybe it was a bad breakup, they want revenge, they want to mess you around a bit or get inside your head.

It’s a different motive to the last one, although you’ll notice similar types of behaviour. It’s a possibility anyway – although hopefully not the case in your situation.

Is Your Ex Testing You?

These are the main reasons why your ex may be testing you.

But it helps to be aware of what could be driving them, as this then allows you to better piece it altogether and better make sense of it all…

Game Playing after a Breakup

Signs Your Ex Is Testing You

So how do you know if your ex is testing you? What are the signs your ex is testing you? Well, you may notice that….

1) They Try To Make You Jealous

This is one of the most common signs your ex is testing you. Particularly if they want to know if you still have feelings for them, or – on the flip side – they want to stir up a bit of pain.

They’ll therefore purposely do or say things to make you jealous, and then see if they get a reaction.

If they’re trying to see if you’ve changed in the way of mellowing out a little, this will also be a common test. Can you keep your cool? They want to see.

See, trying to make you jealous can come in different forms.

  • From subtle stories that are posted on social media.
  • Hinting that you’re out with someone else or on a date. (So are presumably moving on quickly!)
  • To outright telling you they’re dating someone else, are on a date, or – in some cases – are in a relationship. (Although this is likely to just be a rebound relationship.)

2) They Push You

Another common testing technique is to push you – to say things they know will get a reaction, and to see how far they can push until you blow up.

So maybe you made a mistake, they won’t let it go, and they keep digging and digging, to see how much you will take. 

Or perhaps they’re self-sabotaging. They want you to want them, but they’re scared of you walking away again.

The thing is, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy as the more they push, the more likely you are to leave. (Or in this case – not want to come back.)

They could also push you by the things they do. This is heightened with all the emotion after a breakup. So excessive partying, constant questioning, making past problems bigger than they need to be.

You don’t know where you stand, you don’t know how you feel, let alone how they feel…

3) They Ignore You

What are the other signs your ex is testing you? Well, they could also ignore you. 

This in itself is a major test, as they’re waiting to see what you do, how you act and if you’ll leave things, or if you care enough to reach out. 

They want to know if you miss them, if you can’t live without them, and so they leave “the ball in your court” or so to speak.

This is always rather dangerous when you’re both as stubborn as each other, as you could both be testing each other, then ruin your chances of a reconciliation.

Your ex could also ignore you when you reach out to them – again, to see how much you can take and if you’ll stay calm or kick off about it or keep trying.

Maybe they’re hurt. They feel like they hate you in some respects. And they refuse to let you think they will come back easily, at a click of a finger, just like that.

Either way, ignoring you can definitely be a sign of testing you.

Either that or they just don’t care enough to respond – but that’s why you need to be aware of the situation and where the two of you are most likely to be at to better gage whether this is a sign your ex is testing you or not.

Is My Ex Testing Me?

4) They Ask You Questions

Questions are also commonly used if your ex is testing you. Especially if they’re trying to understand how you feel.

I mean, it’s a no brainer right? Questions are therefore a far faster way to the answers, providing – of course – that you are being honest.

So maybe they’ll subtly drop questions in there, maybe they’ll be more direct.

But if you notice they’re not just going with the casual “How are you? How are things?” and are delving in further – the chances are, there’s an ulterior motive.

After all, you’re no longer together. Your life shouldn’t really be of their concern. So this raises the question of, what do they want?

Does your ex miss you? Are they becoming interested in you again?

5) They Make Assumptions

Another sign your ex is testing you, is if they make assumptions or purposely jump to conclusions to see how you respond.

So instead of asking the question, they’ll make the claim and see if you deny or acknowledge it.

This is usually done in a jokey way so that they can brush it off if they don’t get the response they want. So for example:

  • “Ah, dating already then are you?”
  • “Haha. It’s all those dates you’re going on! It’s tiring you out!”
  • “Wow, sounds like life couldn’t get better then. It didn’t take you long to move on, did it?”

Sounds familiar? Uh huh, assumptions are an old classic when it comes to the signs your ex is testing you!

After all, they’re easy to do, and – as your ex will know you so well – they know exactly how to get a reaction from you!

6) They See If You’re There For Them

What else do we have? Well, here’s another major sign your ex is testing you…

Let’s say your ex is struggling. They’re hurting after the breakup. They’re finding it difficult to move on. If they share this, it’s like a cry out, a plead.

It will become a test as they’ll then see how you respond:

  • Will you offer to come over? Or give them a call even? Be there for them to text?
  • Are you there for them? Do you care? And how do you show that care?
  • Do you express how you feel? Does this encourage you to open up too?
  • Does it change anything? You see…

It’s not just a test for you, but a test for themselves – to see if you still behave the way you would have when you used to be together.

If you aren’t then there for them, this will actually help them to get over you and give them the clarity and closure they need… So not all tests are entirely about you.

Sometimes an ex will test them to prove something to themselves too.

Messing You Around After a Breakup

7) They Lay Their Cards On The Line

A surprising sign your ex is testing you now then, is if they open up. They’re honest with you, straight to the point and put all their cards on the line.

So maybe a few months go by, they miss you, they want you back – and so they just tell you. Maybe this works well for you too as you’ve been debating whether or not to tell your ex you still love them too.

But they step up. They give you the opportunity to reconnect, and see if you take it…

It’s a test, but not about game-playing anymore. It’s more of a genuine test for the two of you, to see if it could work this time.

In another way, maybe it’s been some months, they still miss you, but they need to have made changes themselves…

So if they have and they tell you all of this, they may then be testing you to see if you’ve stepped up in the same way, and feel the same way still, too.

In this case, you’ll need not just words, but also actions. And so will they. However you have that opportunity now and there’s no messing around.

These are the most common reasons for your ex testing you if they want you back and are putting it all out there.

Without this strong intention and purpose, they will probably just want you back but won’t be “testing you” as part of that.

8) They Casually Check In

Another sign your ex is testing you (more out of curiosity or to mess with your head) is if they drop you a short, out of the blue message… just to pop up again.

This is different to them actually making conversation and asking questions. They may simply say “hey” or “how are you?” They throw the line out – with not much there – and see:

  1. If you respond.
  2. How you respond.

They also want to stay on your radar, to throw a spanner into the works.

The thing is, there’s not much effort on their side…

They don’t build on the conversation significantly from there or give any sort of meaningful declaration or intention. That’s why you’re then unsure what to make of it. 

But think about it – if they wanted to try again, wouldn’t they do a bit better than that? Which is why it’s one of the key signs your ex is testing you as opposed to anything more positive…

In this case, it’s therefore probably better to then take control and ignore them! Don’t even give them the satisfaction of replying.

[Recommended Read: Should You Block Your Ex After a Breakup? Find Out Here]

Remember, you deserve more than a poxy hey! You’re not a stranger. You were once a partner. And if they want to be back in your life, they’ll have to up their game!

Signs Your Ex Is Testing You

9) They Ask You What You Think

Another common tactic your ex may be using, to test your response, is asking what you think. This is often done hypothetically.

So if you’re talking about your relationship and where things went wrong, they may say things like, “do you think it would have worked out if…” or “what if…?”

They don’t put themselves out there. They don’t say what they want or think.

In fact, they’re not very direct with what they’re getting at, at all. Instead, they put it on you, they want to know how you feel. 

This is because they’re trying to better gage the situation and – in most cases – whether they still stand a shot, or think the two of you can work this out.

10) They Go Hot & Cold

Last but not least, another of the signs your ex is testing you, is if they go hot and cold, or give you mixed signals.

So for example, they could go from saying they still love you and miss you, to saying, that they still want to be with you – and you should probably stop speaking… only you don’t.

One minute they make you think they still love you and it’s almost like nothing has changed at all. The next it’s like they have 0 interest. It can make you feel confused and insecure.

Why do they do this? Well, partly because they may be confused about how they feel, or reading your reactions wrong too.

It also goes back to them pushing you. And again, they want to see how you react.

  • Will it bring you closer?
  • Or does it push you away?

If it pushes you away, that’s probably when they’re likely to try to suck you back in again. After all, they don’t actually want to lose you. But it all becomes like a bit of a game.

Is Your Ex Testing You?

So there we have it – the key signs your ex is testing you, and why they might want to test you in the first place! What’s the verdict? Is your ex testing you, do you think?

See, this isn’t necessarily the most important question. What matters more is:

  1. How you feel.
  2. What you want.
  3. How you will respond.

Just make sure that you stay true to you, whilst still sticking with what you know you want and need.

Take care!


Signs Your Ex Is Testing 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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