Is Your Ex Still Interested In You? 17 Signs Your Ex Is Testing The Waters

You broke up with your partner, but they won’t leave you alone.

Or maybe they dumped you, but now they suddenly have an extreme interest in you and won’t stop texting.

So what gives?

Most likely, your ex still sees potential in you two as a couple, and they’re trying to gauge your interest.

If your ex keeps popping back into your life, they’re testing the waters to see if there’s any chance of reigniting your relationship.

Why Is My Ex Checking Up On Me?

Having an ex who keeps checking up on you can be confusing and even annoying.

You’re trying to heal from the breakup, but how are you supposed to do that when your ex doesn’t leave you alone?

couple hugging in park signs your ex is testing you

Maybe you’re wondering, “Is my ex-girlfriend testing me or ex-boyfriend?” If so, the following reasons will help you better understand your ex’s behavior:

  • Your ex is trying to get back with you. This is the most common reason he or she checks up on you. Be careful about getting back together too soon, though. If it’s unsuccessful, it could set your healing back and put you in an even worse position than before.
  • Your ex just wants to see what you’re up to. He or she is simply curious, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they want to get back together. After being a part of their life for so long, they just want to see how you’re doing.
  • Your ex wants to make you jealous. Sometimes an ex will check up on you just to get your attention. Because they still feel bitter over the breakup, your ex wants you to notice how great they’re doing so you feel worse about yourself.
  • Your ex is trying to see if you’ve changed. If the breakup was your fault, your ex might be checking up on you to see if your behavior has improved. They want to get back together, but they’re unsure if they can trust you fully.
  • Your ex is playing with you. Unfortunately, some people are just jerks. Maybe they feel resentful after the breakup and want to get revenge on you. So, they’re checking up on you to mess with your feelings and keep you from moving on.

17 Signs Your Ex Is Testing You To See If You’re Still Interested

So how do you know if your ex is still interested in you? Here are 17 signs they’re testing you to get your attention.

1. They ask how you’re doing.

If you find yourself wondering, “Why is my ex asking how I’m doing?” chances are they’re trying to get you to reflect on the breakup. Your ex is prompting you to think back on the relationship in hopes that you’ll realize how much you love and miss them.

They think if they can get you to feel your emotions about the breakup and reminisce on your good memories together, you’ll conclude that your relationship deserves another shot.

2. They ignore you.

You break up, and the next thing you know, you’re cut off completely! Maybe you’re trying to get closure or even just arrange a time to get your stuff back – but the only response you’re getting is radio silence.

You start to think, “Is my ex testing me by ignoring me?” Chances are, they’re ignoring you because they know it’ll get you worked up. They want you back, but they don’t want to admit it. If you give in and text them first, they’ll know you’re still interested.

3. They won’t give your stuff back.

If your ex is delaying giving stuff back, that’s a sure sign they’re still interested in you. Your ex believes they can delay the inevitable by coming up with excuses not to return your possessions. After all, the more they stall, the longer they have before you cut them off.

This behavior also forces you to contact them regularly, which is exactly what your ex wants. Keeping your stuff gives them the leverage needed to keep in touch while they try to figure out if you’re still interested.

4. They lurk on your social media.

Maybe your ex hasn’t tried to reach out since the breakup, but you notice they’ve been lurking on your social media profiles – viewing your stories, liking your old posts, or even playing the unfollow/follow game with you.

This action is an indicator that your ex is trying to get your attention. They don’t want to contact you directly, so instead, they use subtle behaviors on social media to see if you’re still interested in them.

5. They try to get a reaction out of you.

Your ex knows you well – which means they know what will trigger you. Don’t be surprised if they do things to get under your skin purposely. It may seem cold-hearted, but they’re probably not trying to hurt you. They’re just trying to get a reaction.

If you react negatively and are upset by their actions, that’s a clue you’re still interested in them. If you don’t seem bothered, your ex will know that ship has sailed.

6. They find reasons to show up where you are.

You get a knock at your door late at night, and it’s your ex with some lousy excuse for why they needed to come over. Or perhaps they show up at your job. Whatever it may be, an ex who is testing the waters will find the tiniest reasons to show up where you are.

They are paying close attention to your initial reaction to seeing them again and will use it to determine whether or not there’s a chance you’re still interested.

7. They check in randomly.

If your ex often sends you short messages entirely out of the blue, that’s a significant sign they’re testing you. They might pop up to ask how you’re doing or simply say, “Hey.”

It’s not that they’re trying to make conversation with you. Your ex is throwing the ball in your court to see how you respond or if you even reply to them. They also do this to stay in the back of your mind.

8. They try to make you jealous.

This is one of the most common and painful indicators that your ex is testing you. It’s a surefire way to determine whether you still have feelings for them. After all, if you still want to be with them, you’ll be devastated to find out they’ve been seeing someone else.

Your ex will likely exaggerate how amazing their dating life is or post mysterious things on social media that lead you to believe they’re in a new relationship. If you message them to find out what’s up (or ask mutual friends), that tells them you still care.

9. They make casual conversation.

Whether it’s chatting about the weather or the new restaurant that just opened in town, your ex seems always to have something to talk to you about. It might be because they want you back, but they’re too scared to say it outright.

So instead, they keep talking to you casually. Whether you engage with your ex and how invested you seem in the conversation tells him or her all they need to know about whether you’re still into them or not.

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10. They lean on you for support.

Of all the people they have in their life, your ex keeps coming to you whenever they need a shoulder to lean on. It can be confusing at first, but it’s a useful testing technique they can use to see if you still care for them.

Maybe you offer to bring them dinner or come over to watch their favorite movie to cheer them up. If you are always there for your ex, it’s a sign that you still have feelings for your ex. 

11. They ponder on “what-ifs.”

If your ex seems overly interested in your opinion on the breakup and what went wrong, it’s probably a tactic to test your interest.

They’ll ask you hypotheticals such as “Do you think we would have broken up if…?” or “How do you think things would have turned out if…?” Your ex wants to get you talking so they can gauge your response to determine whether your relationship still stands a chance.

12. They ask you questions.

Asking you questions is a tactic your ex might use if they feel bold. They might straight up ask you how you feel about the breakup and whether or not you still think there’s a chance it could work out.

The questions might also be more subtle. If your ex asks about how your dating life is going, for example, they are trying to figure out if you’ve moved on without directly asking you that.

13. They try to make amends with you.

If your ex wants to see if you’re still interested in them, they’ll likely try to make amends with you. Maybe the breakup was their fault, and they apologize for hurting you in hopes that you’ll forgive them.

Or, perhaps you ended on a sour note, and they approach you to try and clear the air. By breaking down the barriers preventing you from having a successful relationship, your ex hopes you’ll be open to trying again.

14. They get vulnerable with you.

A less common tactic your ex might use to gauge your interest is honesty. They get straight to the point and aren’t afraid to open up. They miss you and want you back, so they spell it out clearly.

It can come as a surprise if your ex lays their cards on the table like this. However, it’s often a good sign that they have worked on their flaws and your relationship deserves a second shot.

15. They make the changes you asked for.

Maybe you broke up with your ex because they weren’t meeting your needs. But now that you’ve split up, they’re suddenly making all the changes you begged them to make before.

Your ex is trying to show you they’ve changed hoping you’ll come back to them. Don’t be fooled, though, because this is often just an act. Once you show that you are still interested in repairing your relationship, they’ll be back to their old ways.

16. They jump to conclusions.

Another strategy your ex might use to test you is purposely making assumptions to see how you react. Maybe they joke about how fast you moved on or how amazing your dating life must be to see what you say.

If you indicate that you have moved on, your ex can simply brush off the questions as light-hearted joking. But if you give them the response they were hoping for, it gives them the green light that you’re interested in getting back together.

17. They go back and forth.

If your ex is giving you mixed signals, that’s another clear sign that they’re testing you. One minute, they’re professing their love and begging for you back. Then the next, it’s like you don’t even matter to them.

They go hot and cold with you to see how you react. Do you become more clingy, or do you start to pull away? How you respond will tell your ex a lot about how you feel about them. It’s a cruel game to see if their confusing behavior hurts you or not.

What to Do When You See Signs Your Ex is Trying to Get Your Attention

If you notice signs your ex is testing the waters, what should you do? The truth is, there’s no right answer to this question. It all depends on why you two split up and whether or not you left on good terms.

The following are some ideas for how you can handle the situation.

Put your healing first.

Being single is the perfect time to discover yourself and cultivate self-love. Just because your ex is reaching out and trying to get your attention doesn’t mean you should give it to them. Breakups are painful, so make sure to protect your heart. Put yourself and your healing first.

Decide if you want to respond.

You might feel pressured to respond because this is a person you used to care about. But you’re not required to give a reply just because it’s your ex. Decide if you want to engage in a conversation with them or if you’re better off ignoring their attempts.

Get closure.

Instead of being annoyed that your ex keeps reaching out, look at the situation as an opportunity to get closure. Talk through your relationship and what led to the breakup. This talk can give you peace of mind that you made the right decision and help you grow, so you don’t make the same mistakes in future relationships.

Decide if you want to get back together.

Maybe your ex is trying to get your attention because they want to get back together. So, decide if starting up your relationship again is a possibility. Perhaps you broke up over trivial matters, but your relationship was otherwise strong. If so, you may realize you’re open to trying again.

Consider cutting off all contact.

If you see signs that your ex is testing the waters and you don’t feel ready to talk again, don’t feel bad for cutting them off entirely. Your ex isn’t entitled to your attention, and your healing should come first. So don’t hesitate to block and move on if that’s what’s best for you.

If your ex keeps popping up in your life after the breakup, it’s a strong indicator that they’re testing you. They’re still interested in you and want to determine if you feel the same.