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7 Subtle Signs Your Ex Wants You Back, But Won’t Admit It

If you’re looking for clues from the Universe that your ex wants you back, you’re likely to see them. We see what we want to see, right? You’ll collect them close to your heart and reassure yourself that you are desirable, cared for, and missed. I don’t know what clues you’ll see, but there are some concrete, subtle signs your ex wants you back but won’t come out and admit it.

These signs are sometimes overlooked. Are you paying attention? 

7 Signs Your Ex Wants You Back But Won’t Admit It

They haven’t said they want you back. You can’t know for sure that they do. Yet, there are clues that they want you back – even if they won’t admit it. There are reasons why, but first, let’s talk about the signs they still carry a torch for you. 

Why listen to me? I’m Crystal Jackson and I was a master’s level licensed therapist. I worked with couples and individuals and specialized in relationships, trauma recovery and empowerment. I now write content about love, self-improvement and psychology. My work has been featured on large publications such as Elite Daily, Your Tango, Positively Positive, Mamamia, and The Good Men Project.

1. They Won’t Cut Off Contact Completely

The ex who wants you back seems incapable of cutting off contact with you completely. Even though you two are no longer a couple, they’re still in your life somehow. 

If they work with you, that doesn’t count. Otherwise, if they stay on your social media or occasionally text you, it’s a sign that they haven’t completely closed the door to the possibility that you’ll get back together.

Some people prefer to stay in contact with all their exes. In this case, it’s not necessarily a sign they want you back. It could be a sign that they have difficulty letting go and moving forward. 

2. They Reach Out Between Relationships

Another sign your ex wants you back but won’t admit it is when they reach out to get in contact any time they’re single. This is a significant clue that they see you as a potential romantic possibility even though you’ve broken up. 

If the ex contacts you only when they’re single, it’s possible that they want you back but doesn’t want to admit it. It’s possible they fear rejection or have doubts, but it’s still telling that they contact you when they’re single. 

Keep in mind that this can also mean you’re just the backup plan. Love, you’re no one’s backup plan; at least, you deserve to be someone’s main choice, their first-round draft pick.

Someone who only reaches out when single but loses interest when someone else comes along is not a person who truly wants you back. 

3. They Still Follow Your Social Media Accounts

You’re not together anymore, but they still follow your social media accounts. They watch your reels and stories or comment on them. You know they’re still paying attention to the content you post. 

They haven’t unfriended, unfollowed, or blocked you. You still see them interact with what you put out there. This is a subtle sign that may indicate that your ex wants to get back together. 

4. They Say They Miss You

If they say they miss you, they might want you back but not be able to admit it. This could be a way of finding out how you feel.

It could be the first step to admitting that they wish the two of you could work out your differences and get back together. It’s possible they miss you but don’t want to get back together, but it’s equally possible they’ve considered it. 

5. They Reminisce About Old Times

It’s also possible that your ex wants to get back together with you when they reminisce about old times. Reliving the good times you had together is an indicator that they’ve been mulling them over.

Your ex might be wondering if the two of you are ready to try again. A walk down memory lane could be a way of speaking that idea out loud and seeing how you respond to it. 

6. They Get Closer Only to Pull Away

If your ex gets closer to you and then abruptly pulls away, it’s possible that they’ve considered getting back together with you but can’t admit it.

This hot and cold behavior could be a major turn-off, but it’s also a subtle sign that they’re struggling with complicated feelings.

They could genuinely want you back but have some fears and doubts they need to address first. 

7. They Try to Make You Jealous

One of the signs your ex wants you back but won’t come out and admit is they’ll often try to make you jealous. You’ll see them in pictures with other people they date, or they’ll let you know just how much they’ve moved on.

If they’ve moved on, they wouldn’t have to reassure you. It’s telling that they need to point it out in an attempt to make you jealous. 

The Real Reason Behind Their Reluctance

There are reasons they won’t admit it. These reasons may not be comfortable, but you need to hear them. 

They’re Still Hurt

If you hurt your ex, they might still be dealing with their feelings. The pain might be more potent than any pleasant memories they have with you.

They don’t want to be hurt like that again. They could still be getting over you and don’t want to have to start all over. 

They Don’t Trust You

They’re not admitting they want you back because they don’t trust you. Breakups often involve broken trust. Even if trust issues didn’t damage the relationship, how you handled the breakup could have impacted their ability to see you as a person they could trust. 

It might hurt your feelings, but it could explain why your ex won’t say they want you back. The broken trust might be able to be repaired — but only if you’re both willing.

If he’s not willing, it doesn’t matter how willing you are to repair it. 

They Don’t Trust Themselves

They might not trust themselves either. After all, they chose you before, and it didn’t work out. They might not trust their feelings or choices anymore.

Losing you might have damaged their ability to trust themselves in ways that you might not understand. 

The People in Their Life Think It’s a Bad Idea

It’s also possible that your ex’s friends and family think getting back together with you is a bad idea.

They may be seeing something toxic about the connection, but it’s also possible they saw how hurt your ex was when it ended, and don’t want to see them go through that again.

Understandably, your ex wouldn’t say they want you back when everyone in their life is against it. They might even have a point. 

They Miss You But Know You Aren’t Right for Each Other

Your ex might genuinely miss you but doesn’t say they want you back because they know, deep down, that you aren’t right for each other.

You like each other. You’re attracted to each other. But you’re not compatible. They know it, and they’re sure you know it, too. It’s tempting to want to try again, but they’re mature enough to know it won’t end well if you do. 

They’re Not Sure How You Feel About Them Now

It’s also possible that your ex doesn’t confess that they want you back because they’re not sure how you feel about them now.

Your ex might think you’ve moved on, you hate them, or you would never consider reuniting to try again. Your ex is afraid of rejection and doesn’t want to risk it. 

What You Can Do Now

If you think they want you back but won’t admit it, you can do a few things. This could also involve some discomfort, but you’ll only grow through the experience. 

Communicate Directly

If you think your ex wants you back, ask directly. Talk to them about their feelings. Be open and honest even if it risks rejection. Communication is a skill you’ll need to improve if you truly want to try to reunite with your ex. 

Address Past Problems

There were reasons you broke up. Are they still valid? Talk about past problems.

You might have to be willing to go to couples counseling or figure out a way to rebuild trust. It can be healing to talk about what went wrong and to express how you each feel about it even if the two of you never get back together.

You won’t know anything unless you’re willing to talk it out.

Let Your Ex Know How You Feel

Be honest about your feelings. Your ex might be waiting for you to take a risk. This is especially true if you’re the one who hurt them. Be honest if you want them back.

Be honest if you don’t. And be honest if you’re unsure you want to get back together but are open to talking it out. It could feel awkward to state it outright, but it’s time to clear the air. 

Consider the No Contact Rule

Another way to handle this is to initiate the No Contact Rule where you don’t talk or contact each other in any way for 30 to 60 days.

This could give you both the chance to address your feelings and heal. It’ll give you a chance to find out if you’re dealing with lingering feelings related to attachment or if you genuinely want to get back together. 

Respect Their Feelings

Your ex might want you back but would never actually consider a relationship with you again. Whatever you do, respect their feelings — even if you don’t agree with them.

Your ex might have genuine feelings for you and yet still be set in their determination to live life without you. That’s their prerogative. Don’t try to change their mind.

Accept their feelings, and respect them. Your feelings about it are your own to deal with. 

In Conclusion

We’ve all had those relationships where we look back and wonder what might have been. We might be tempted to revisit those connections even if we never do it. Our exes just might feel the same. 

Breakups are hard. Even if we know the separation is for the best, our hearts can stubbornly hold on to the people we care about long after the relationship is over.

It’s a painful truth that not every relationship will resolve in the way we hope. We learn to live with it, heal from it, and move forward. 

But sometimes, the past circles back around. A person you once loved could come back into your life and want to try again.

If everything that broke you apart is no longer an issue, it might be something you want to consider. Second-chance love stories can work out in the end — assuming you’re willing to work on them. 

Sometimes, second chances just don’t come. In that case, you can know in your heart that your ex wants you back, but you can also accept that it’s not going to happen.

Your feelings are valid, and you might find that you have to recover from the breakup all over again. That’s okay. Healing takes time.

Know that you deserve someone who isn’t afraid to take a risk and choose you. If that’s not your ex, it’s better to know that now and move on. 

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