Question: I just wanted to say thanks for all the advice, it is truly a great help. I am in a situation with an ex where I am not sure what it all means. My ex broke up with me in April of 09. We both agreed that we’d stay in contact. During all that time I messaged him once every week or every other week and sometimes he’d respond and sometimes not. Then for a few weeks he went quiet on me. I waited then texted him and again he responded. He was all friendly and being really nice to me.
Since November, he’s been responding more frequently although he is still responding very slowly and only in response to my texts to him. He asks me questions about how I’m doing and tells me about his work.
Last week he re-requested me on Facebook and I accepted. I feel like he is warming up to me but he has not directly said anything to suggest he wants me back nor has the conversation on the break-up come up yet. I do not want to ask him if he wants to get back together yet. Do you think he wants me back? He obviously knows I want him back. Are there some tell tale signs that say an ex is becoming interested again?
The Love Doctor’s Answer: I agree with you that there is very little to suggest that he actually wants to get back together with you. However, as you’ve experienced, these things move progressively over time. Tomorrow things could change, who knows.
In the initial stages (which can take from a couple of weeks to months), some of the signs that show that he/she is becoming interested include:
1. Open to regular contact
It does not mean he wants you back, it just means he does not “hate” you or wants nothing to do with you (for whatever reason).
2. Initiating contact
If you’re the one who initiated contact, him starting to initiate contact (regularly) is a good sign that he is warming up to you and taking responsibility for keeping communication going.
3. Open to face-to-face interaction
If you’ve been in contact via text, email or phone calls, moving things to face-to-face meeting is an encouraging sign. Again it does not mean you’re back together, it just means you’re both comfortable being in each other’s personal space.
4. Comfortable with physical touch
The amount and degree of physical contact in some instances suggests a level of comfort with each other. This however is a little tricky as ex-sex can be very tempting even for people who have no intention whatsoever of ever getting back together. So don’t just assume because someone is getting all “hot for you” that he (or she) is emotionally warming up to you as well.
5. Letting you in on his/her emotions
Another sign (probably the most telling of all) is the tone, content, depth and emotion of the contacts. If he’s letting you into details of his everyday life or future plans or intimate news about people he deeply cares about, that’s usually a good sign, especially if he seems to have previously suddenly cut you off from this information.
Listen for words like “remain friends”, “I don’t want us to hate each other”, “whatever happens”, “I only wish the best for you”, “You’re a special guy/woman, any person would be lucky to have you”, etc. These are words common with exs who want to remain “friendly” but not looking to get back together and those looking for closure and getting ready to move on. It’s not always the case, but more often than not.
All this said, until you’ve had the “let’s get back together” talk, you’re officially not back together. Treat this whole experience as “Dating Your Ex”, that is, as if you’re just starting dating only this time it’s someone you’ve dated and had a relationship with before.
Take it slowly and see where it leads. Do not worry whether or not he is responding in time. Just make sure you’re not repeating past mistakes but creating new pleasant memories. You have a better chance of getting back together if you take a “do over” approach rather than trying to continue from where the last relationship ended (fix/mend a broken relationship). The old relationship didn’t have a strong enough foundation that’s why it broke down. It makes no sense trying to rebuild on a weak/faulty foundation however beautiful, and nice and cozy the inside was.
But most importantly, keep working on yourself. The more centered, confident and positive your vibe the more relaxed and attractive you’re to him. The less confident (and insecure) you feel, the more fearful you’ll be and will feel the need to control things which in turn will make him not feel like coming back.