Do Exes Come Back? Yes! (+Signs Your EX Will Eventually Return)

On-and-off relationships aren’t anyone’s cup of tea. Even so, many of us decide to get back together with an ex, mainly due to lingering feelings. 

So, without judging you, let’s get right into the article.

Do Exes Come Back?

Yes, exes come back. According to data collected in 2021, 44% of all people surveyed have gotten back with an ex once or twice. Over 22,000 Americans participated in this survey, out of which Millennials and Gen Xers showed a higher tendency to rekindle old flames.

What percentage of couples who break up eventually reconcile and maintain a long-term relationship?

Thanks to this study, we now know the answer. The numbers have spoken: Some exes do come back, and some of them stay for good. Only 14.94% out of 3512 participants from America and Europe (80%), and the rest of the world (20%) were successful at reuniting and staying in a healthy relationship within one year after the breakup.

11 Signs Your Ex Will Eventually Return:

A) Behavioral based signs that indicate your ex will eventually come:

1. They reach out to you more often

Here’s what you should look out for in terms of communication:

  • Your ex communicates with you via text, call, or social media
  • They respond to your attempts to contact them and talk to them
  • Your ex initiates conversations more and more often
  • They refrain from making small talk only
  • They try to touch on more meaningful topics

Now, don’t get your hopes too high!

Our former partner could try to be your friend or they might test the ground. At this point, their mind is probably not made up. 

2. They open up to you and are vulnerable

To tell for sure whether they’re interested in rekindling things with you, ask yourself the following questions:

Are they expressing their emotions more openly or keeping you at a distance?

Do they trust you with their feelings or are they trying to hide them?

Does your ex show a willingness to talk about the breakup and what happened after or not?

Do they talk about their life and feelings since the breakup or avoid the topic?

Try to answer as sincerely as possible. If they can’t talk about the past or don’t want to, it could mean they’re trying to hide their real feelings.

3. They express regret or become nostalgic

Your ex will eventually come back to you if…..

… they express regret about the breakup or mistakes they made in the relationship

… they reminisce about the good old times in your relationship

… they talk about how they have changed since the breakup

… they mention what they’ve learned from the breakup

As mentioned before, regret and nostalgia are two very powerful emotions that can revive a relationship with an ex.

4. They act differently around you

Look, not everyone has the chance to interact with one of their exes on a constant basis. 

However, if you are lucky enough and that happens to you frequently, then you should analyze their behavior!

What you’re looking for is proof that your former partner is becoming more attentive or considerate of you.

You should also watch how he or she reacts in social situations. Do they show any signs of jealousy if you talk to another man/woman?

Are they behaving in a way that somehow mirrors the time when you two were together?

5. His or her body language gives them away

Do you have a shot at restarting your relationship with a former partner?

Notice what he or she does with their body and you’ll know for sure:

  • Your ex makes and maintains eye contact during conversations, which is a huge sign of attraction
  • Your ex leans in when you’re talking to them, a fact which indicates interest and engagement
  • His or her arms are uncrossed, which means they are open to you
  • They nod when you talk and genuinely smile when they see you, a fact that suggests they’re receptive to you

6. They take an interest in your personal life

What does it mean when an ex is showing interest in your life?

If they ask about your friends, family, work and so on, it means they care and they miss being part of your life.

What does it mean when a former partner shows concern for your well-being? It means they still care; at least they care enough to ask.

What does it mean when they respect your personal boundaries? They value your comfort and only want to do things you consent to.

B. Situational Signs that indicate your ex will eventually come:

7. Mutual friends notice changes in their behavior

Sometimes, the fact that we’re too involved emotionally makes it impossible for us to correctly read other people’s actions. 

That’s why relying on your friends’ opinions is not a bad thing to do. They could tell you whether your ex is talking about you more often. 

Also, your friends could observe positive changes in your ex’s behavior, if any. They can also analyze his or her reaction when your name comes up. 

If they’re doing this already, that’s great! Finding out that your ex-girlfriend/boyfriend is asking about you is definitely a sign they’re interested again .

8. They want you to know they’re single/not dating

Listen, if an old flame is single and they’re not dating either, that could be a sign you have another shot with them. 

Your chances increase a lot if they…

… tell you that they’re single

… mention they’re not dating

… don’t post pictures with possible love interests

… they delete any social media content that may give you the wrong idea

9. Your ex is genuinely happy about your success

Pay special attention to this sign! The way a former bae reacts to your success may indicate his or her intentions with you. 

It might come as a surprise to you, but being genuinely happy about another person’s achievements is rare these days. 

Why? Because no one is able to feel that about another person unless they love them. On top of that, many people in committed relationships are very competitive.

And the worst part? They compete against each other. 

That’s why good signs your ex might make a return due to their feelings for you are:

  • They show genuine happiness or take pride in your achievements
  • They reach out to your to congratulate you on your successes
  • They show interest in your personal growth and/or your desire to change

10. They pick up on old habits and hobbies

Is your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend looking back more often lately? 

If they do, then maybe they miss parts of it and want to give it one more try. To know for sure, ask yourself the following questions:

Does your ex revisit places where you used to go together?

Is he or she picking up hobbies or habits that you shared during the relationship?

Are they listening to “your” song or watching “your” movie?

If they do all of the above, then the answer is clear: You might get them back soon (if you want them).

11. They interact with you more, especially on SM

Last but not least, this sign should reveal whether your ex is experiencing a newfound interest in you:

  • He or she likes, comments, or shares your social media posts more frequently
  • He or she posts content that is somehow related to you or your past relationship
  • He or she reaches out through social media platforms after a period of no contact

Although the above could qualify as shy attempts to get your attention, they still count! Remember, taking initiative is hard and so is showing vulnerability. Actually; that’s scary.

Are you curious about where you stand with your ex?

To get a better understanding of your situation, let me talk to you about the factors that influence an ex’s return.

Don’t miss out on the signs your ex might be making a return either (or, maybe, your ex is waiting for you to reconnect!)

After all, handling the possibility of an ex coming back is not an easy feat and you should be prepared.

Let’s begin!

7 Key Factors That Affect the Likelihood of Reconciliation with an Ex-Partner

1. Why and how things ended between you two

Depending on why and how you two broke up, an ex may or may not want to come back to you. Also, another thing to consider is how long it’s been since the breakup. 

Let’s take them one by one:

Why did you break up? Did you naturally grow apart or one of you did something unforgivable?

How did you break up? Were there heavy things said, or was it an amicable breakup?

How long ago did you break up? Experts don’t encourage exes to reunite unless they’ve grown and done some healing.

You see, for someone to want to continue from where they left off with you, certain conditions must be met. 

2. The length and seriousness of the relationship

Here’s the thing: the length of your relationship before the breakup increases your chances to reunite with a former partner. 

According to one of the aforementioned studies, you have better chances to get an ex back if your relationship lasted between 2 to 5 years before it ended.

How so? During that time, you supposedly had enough time to form deep bonds with your partner, which in turn, may lead to a stronger desire to reunite.

On top of that, you should know that lingering connections are usually created with the help of multiple shared experiences and milestones. The more you have – the better.

Last but not least, some people in serious and committed relationships often buy different assets together, properties, and so on. 

After they split, they still have to interact for those reasons, a fact that often leads to reconciliation.

3. How much you’ve both changed and grown

I’ll let you in on a secret: Most people decide to reconcile only if they feel they’ve grown and matured.

What does this really mean? It means that an ex, as well as yourself, should work on your individual development and learn from your mistakes before you even consider reconciliation.

Individual development plays a major role in the success of a romantic relationship. That’s why both parties need to change in ways that will improve their future relationships.

Whether you both learn from the past is also essential. An ex may not be influenced to return to you if they didn’t learn anything or think you didn’t. 

Ultimately, a former partner needs to recharge his or her batteries before getting emotionally invested with you again.

Emotional readiness is equally important in this process, as shown in this study.

4. Whether they’re open to the idea of coming back

An ex’s return could be due if they still have feelings for you and they suspect that you also have feelings for them. 

However, the love they feel for you might not be enough to fuel their drive to get back together with you

Other factors, such as the ability to forgive and forget, and a genuine interest in trying again, matter a lot. 

To be more precise, if past issues and hurts cannot be resolved, they will continue to cause problems. So, there’s really no point in giving it another shot.

Or, if the desire to reconcile is based on feelings of loneliness and despair, that’s a red flag. It means they don’t want you for you; they simply don’t want to be alone.

5. Feelings of regret, nostalgia, and/or loneliness

Feeling remorse, reminiscing the good old times, remembering emotional support & the physical intimacy, and feeling lonely are strong factors that may also influence an ex’s come back.

In case your ex mistreated you, betrayed you, and so on, at some point, they will realize what they’ve done. That’s when they’ll feel regret and want you back.

After feeling drowned in resentment and anger, your ex’s mind could clear out and good memories of the two of you might resurface. 

If that happens, they’ll be more vulnerable to the idea of having you back as a girlfriend/boyfriend.

Feeling lonely can push your ex back into your arms again. However, as I mentioned earlier, that’s not the healthiest reason for wanting to be together again.

6. Friends, family, or various life changes

An ex’s decision to return to you or not can be influenced by external factors. 

Mutual friends and family: Let’s say your ex’s friends and family adored you. If that’s true, they might say good things about you and try to convince them to fight for you and chase you once more.

Current relationship status: If none of you is dating or in a new relationship, then your chances to get back together with ex increases significantly.

Miscellaneous life changes: Your former partner’s personal circumstances may have changed, a fact which could determine them to reconsider returning to you.

For example, let’s say that they had to move to another city because they got a promotion at work. However, things didn’t go as expected and now they’re back in town.

7. The advice of a professional or a new skill

In case your ex is the type of person who would seek professional guidance when it comes to matters of the heart, then that person’s opinion could influence their decision about you.

A counselor may think that it’s worth giving it another try with you and suggest steps for your ex to take in that direction. 

Or, your ex may take inspiration from various online sources and even learn a thing or two. 

They might focus on becoming better communicators or empaths, which could make them feel confident enough to give your previous relationship a new chance. 

How to Handle the Possibility of an Ex Coming Back?

Are the signs pointing to a truth you’re not prepared for? The possibility of an ex coming back could feel overwhelming. 

But, if you handle it properly, you should be safe from heartbreak. Here’s what you need to do:

A. Self-Reflection and Emotional Preparation 

  • Assess your own feelings and desires – Ask yourself, “What do I want?” 
  • Weigh the pros and cons of getting back together – Make a list and be as realistic as possible.
  • Prepare for potential emotional challenges – There are still countless ways that can go wrong, so you should be prepared for them.

B. Work on your Communication skills with Your Ex

  • Express how important clear and honest communication really is – Create a safe space where both can be completely honest and transparent with each other.
  • Set boundaries and talk about expectations – Make sure you respect each other and are on the same wavelength when it comes to healthy relationship goals.
  • Discuss why you broke up – Unresolved issues can creep in. Don’t let anything unsolved if you want to start anew.

Note: Here are the alternative signs your ex is never coming back to you.


Statistics clearly indicate that exes do come back show. However, there are many factors that contribute to an ex’s return. On top of that, in terms of healthy relationship and success, the numbers don’t look too good: only 14.94% out of 3512 people got back together and stayed together.

If your ex is already in a rebound relationship then you should learn from your past mistakes and heal yourself for a new relationship.

The secret? Self-improvement seems to be the key for happy love life. So, before you even consider reuniting with an ex, prioritize yourself and work on your emotional, mental, and physical well-being.

Don’t give in if your ex shows signs they’ll be making a return too soon. Take the needed time to heal first. You’ll both benefit from this!

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Daniela Duca Damian
About Daniela Duca Damian

A journalist by profession, Daniela has been sharing her knowledge and personal experience in the psychology of love and relationships for the past 5 years. Her work is based on facts, practical advice and is meant to help everyone achieve their romantic goals. When she isn’t writing, she challenges her friends with meaningful questions about life.

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