13 Subtle Signs Your Ex Wants You Back But Is Scared!

A relationship you thought was over might not be over after all. You have a feeling your ex wants you back – but at the same time, they seem unsure. 

These are big questions to ask and you might be feeling that you’re unable to move forward until you know the answer.

As marriage and family therapist Dr Callisto Adams points out, there are times when an ex will experience moments of self-doubt and express remorse for having broken up with you.

When this happens, they miss the relationship – and they’re too scared to move on from you. 

Fortunately, there are telltale signs that your ex wants you back but is too scared to make a decision.

Join us as we take a look at what these are. 

13 Signs Your Ex Wants You Back But Is Scared

1. Your Ex Is Posting About Relationship Trauma On Social Media 

If your ex stands by their decision to break up with you, they will have freed themselves entirely from the relationship. They might not even be thinking about it at all!

… And they certainly won’t be analyzing it.

So if your ex is posting about relationship trauma on social media, it means they haven’t let go yet. They’re hanging on and wondering if they’ve made the right call here. 

2. Your Ex Is Stuck Between Blocking And Unblocking You 

An ex will either block you on social media because the two of you have had a pretty bad argument or they’re struggling to get over you. Therefore, the only way to get you out of their mind and move on is to block you.

So what happens if they block you and then unblock you? And then block you again? 

It suggests that they simply can’t make up their mind. They want to get you out of their head but they care about you too much that they want to see what you’re up to. 

3. They Have Not Deleted Your Photos From Social Media 

If a person has decided to cut all existing ties with their ex, they will remove their photos from social media. 

After all, why leave them hanging around?

They’ll only bring back memories they don’t need anymore and they could inflame anyone new that they’ve started dating.

So if your ex still hasn’t deleted your photos off their social accounts, it’s a strong sign that they don’t want to move on from you just yet. A part of them is probably thinking that you know what, this might not have been the right decision after all. 

Of course, a person might have forgotten to delete their photos – but when it comes to relationships, this is highly unlikely. The truth of the matter is that they know your photos are still there and they’ve deliberately not deleted them. 

4. Your Ex Is In New Relationship But Is Still Talking To You 

Is it weird when your ex dates someone new … but still talks to you? 

Why would they hide their dating life if they don’t want to get back together.

Yep – it’s a bit unusual.

Of course, some people might say that it’s “nice” when an ex stays in touch with their former partner, even now that they’re with someone else. But the truth is that it’s not normal to do this and there’s usually a reason for it.

And that reason is usually that your ex might have someone new in their life but they haven’t properly moved on from you. They’re caught between two worlds and haven’t yet fully committed to their new partner. 

This means that if you did want to get back with them, all isn’t lost now that they’re seeing someone else. 

5. Your Ex Has Proposed The Idea Of Being Friends 

There’s no real reason for two exes to stay friends unless they have something that ties them together, such as a child or a pet.

Normally after a breakup, both people move on because it’s way too painful and emotional to hang out as just friends.

This might be the case for your ex, too.

They might find the idea of staying friends with you a little bit painful but because they’re unable to move on from you and secretly want you back, they decide to remain friends for now.

By remaining friends with you, your ex doesn’t need to experience the total heartache of cutting you out of their life altogether.

They’re also still in touch with you, which means that if one day they did decide to ask if you want to get back together, they can do that. 

6. You’re Constantly Receiving Mixed Signals 

So, your ex has broken up with you. It’s all over, right? 

So why do they keep bringing up good memories when you two were in a healthy relationship? Why do they look back fondly on the holidays you took together and the places you visited?

What is with that? 

And why do they ask you questions about who you’re seeing and what you’re up to these days?

This is a classic case of your ex sending you mixed signals. They broke up with you but still take a huge interest in your life and clearly can’t get over you. 

All this suggests that, while they perhaps wanted a bit of freedom when they broke up with you, they’re regretting their decision and maybe even want you back. 

These are subtle signs your ex wants you back but is scared of getting hurt.

7. Your Ex Is Asking Your Mutual Friends About You 

If your friends have come to you and said that your ex has been asking you questions, it’s a huge sign your ex wants you back but is scared of getting hurt. 

This is especially the case if they’re asking about your relationship status and if you’ve been seeing someone recently.

And while you think it’s nice that they’re also asking how you’ve handled the breakup, this question usually has more meaning behind it than you might realize. Yes, they care about you but they also miss you and want you back. 

Otherwise, they wouldn’t talk to your friends about you at all. They’d have no need! 

8. Your Ex Is Avoiding Direct Communication But Hasn’t Fully Rejected You 

Let’s say you’ve tried to phone your ex but they didn’t answer the phone. It’s probably because you guys broke up and they don’t want to cut all relations, right? 

But here’s the thing – they’ll still text you and send messages over apps like Messenger and WhatsApp. What does it all mean?

If your ex refuses to meet you in person or speak on the phone with you but is still willing to chat with you via text, it’s another sign that they haven’t fully decided what to do yet. They don’t think they should engage in direct communication with you – but they also don’t feel the need to fully reject you.

This can obviously cause you a lot of confusion. In such a case, your ex is just as confused as you are. 

In short, they don’t quite know what they want. 

9. Your Ex Is Staying In Contact With Your Family And Friends 

When a relationship ends, it’s normal for both people to cut all ties with each other’s family and friends.

Why not?

There’s no reason to stay in touch.

But scientific research shows that if an ex has stayed in touch with your “entourage” (your family and friends) it usually means they want to hold onto a mutual link. They hate the thought that they might lose you forever and so keep chatting with those around you in order to keep things alive. 

In other words, they’re hanging onto the hope that somehow the two of you will go back to the way you were. Your ex wants you back but is scared, they might not be ready to continue the relationship just yet … but they don’t want to let you go. 

10. Your Ex Has Shown Their Emotional Vulnerable Side 

When a person breaks up with someone, they’ll experience all kinds of emotions and feelings. They might feel regret, sadness and even grief. 

The last person you’d expect them to share all of this with, however, is the person they broke up with!

So what does it mean if your ex has come to you with their vulnerabilities? What do you do if they express regret about the breakup or confide in you that they’re been struggling since the split? 

By showing their emotionally vulnerable side like this with you, your ex is basically signaling that they are not truly over this breakup.

Yes, they were the ones who ended it but now they’re testing you to see if you wanted things to end as well. 

What’s more, they’re showing that they still trust you and that you’re the one person they turn to when they need help. This further reinforces the idea that they want you back. 

11. There Are Too Many Frequent “Accidental” Meetings 

Unless you live next door to your ex, it’s not normal to see them all that often anymore. After all, you live different lives now. 

So what happens when you mysteriously start bumping into them all the time? Is it an accident?

Or is it all done intentionally by your ex? 

An ex who suddenly starts popping up at the same places as you, such as the bar, the grocery store, the sports game and so on, is clearly doing it on purpose. 

Is it creepy? Is it weird?

Kinda. But it more suggests that, despite what your ex has said, they miss you and your ex wants you back but is scared to ask out. 

It’s just that they’re too scared to say so. 

12. Your Ex Tries To Flirt With You Subtly

There’s nothing wrong with two people flirting. You and your ex surely flirted when you first met!

And you surely flirted when you were together. Flirting is fun and creates great sexual chemistry and tension.

But should we really be flirting with an ex?

It depends. 

If we have no feelings towards our ex anymore and want to move on as quickly as possible, flirting is a big No-No.

If, on the other hand, we still fancy our ex and wouldn’t mind getting back together, we might subtly flirt with them.

So if your ex is trying to get you to flirt, no matter how subtly, it again indicates that they’re not over you. At the very least, they still think you’re hot.

If they are still flirting with your it’s a sign your ex wants you back but are afraid to admit it.

13. They Have Changed (And They’re Making Sure You See The Changes) 

Maybe the two of you broke up due to a bad habit of theirs. Maybe you thought they made no effort or maybe you didn’t like how much alcohol they drank. 

That’s totally fine and maybe they’ve addressed those issues now.

But while it’s one thing to address their issues and another to make sure you know they’ve addressed them.

In other words, if your ex is making sure you can see the effort they’ve made to change, it’s a huge sign that your ex is waiting for you to come back. They want you to see that the two of you can be together after all because the thing that broke you guys up is no longer an issue. 

How Should You Respond If Your Ex Wants You Back?

  • Assess Your Feelings

Before responding, take time to reflect on how you feel about your ex and the possibility of getting back together. Are you still in love, or are you simply lonely or nostalgic? 

  • Identify the Reasons for the Breakup 

It’s important to understand why the relationship ended in the first place. If those reasons haven’t changed or been addressed, getting back together may lead to the same issues resurfacing.

  • Consider the Changes

 Has your ex genuinely changed in ways that address the reasons for your breakup? Have you changed? It’s vital that both parties are willing to work on the issues that led to the breakup.

  • Take Your Time

There’s no need to rush your decision. Take the time you need to think things through and make the decision that’s best for you.

  • Communicate Openly

 If you’re considering reconciliation, have a candid conversation with your ex about your concerns, expectations, and the steps you both will take to avoid past mistakes.

  • Set Boundaries

If you decide to give the relationship another chance, it’s essential to establish boundaries. This can help prevent old patterns from recurring.

  • Seek Professional Help

 A relationship counselor or coach can provide guidance and help you navigate the complexities of reconciling after a breakup.

  • Prepare for All Outcomes

 Be prepared for the possibility that reconciliation may not work out. It’s important to protect your emotional well-being regardless of the outcome.

Remember, deciding whether to reconcile with an ex is a deeply personal decision. It’s important to make the choice that’s best for you, even if it’s difficult.


Just because your ex broke up with you (or vice-versa), it doesn’t mean it’s all over. They might still want you back – and if they do, they’ll show it through certain signs, such as finding reasons to talk to you and flirting with you subtly. 

With that all said, what truly matters are your own feelings. If you think you want to get back together with them, make sure you understand exactly why you broke up in the first place and what things you could do differently next time. 

More than anything else, be patient, talk to them and make sure to set boundaries so that the same mistakes don’t happen again. 

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About Will Titterington

Will Titterington is a highly sought-after relationship coach and author, with a passion for helping individuals and couples build and maintain healthy, thriving relationships. Will loves connecting with new people from all around the world and is always up for a good laugh, and takes joy in making others smile.

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