10 Red Flags You Should NOT Take Back Your Ex

Question: I need your help figuring out whether I should go back to my ex or not. I don’t want to go back to the way things were. My question is: How do I know it will be different? How can I tell he has truly changed? Are there any signs I should be looking for?

Yangki’s Answer: Great question. I’d need more details of your relationship e.g. how long were you together before you broke up, what kind of relationship you had (in terms of give and take), why did you break up, what do you think needs to change for things to be different etc. for me to give you a more detailed response.

In the absence of such information, I’ll give you some of the obvious red flags that tell you you should NOT take them back. This list applies to men and women alike.

1 – They have not truly and completely accepted the break-up

This is a red flag because if your ex still talks to you like you’re still in a relationship and/or acts like you owe them contact, a response, your time etc. it means that they have not yet accepted the break-up. Someone who has not truly and completely accepted the break-up is unlikely to be working to change anything.

2 – They are trying to convince you to take them back (because they’ve changed)

When every text or email is about how your ex has changed, that’s a red flag right there.
Real change takes time, even when your ex has indeed changed it’s advisable to wait and see if the changes stick. But you’re getting the feeling that all your ex wants is for you to take them back, it’s a sign that they have no real interest in a better relationship,

3 – They haven’t changed one bit

Same drama, same neediness, same controlling, same everything is a flashing red flag. From a distance the same old ‘issues” may not be like a “big deal” but when you get back together, it’s same-old-same-old all over again.

4 – They haven’t taken full responsibility for their role in the relationship ending

If your ex is blaming the break-up on you, your friend(s), family, your ex, work, therapist, etc., and may even still be blaming them for the two of you not being able to “get back” together, don’t take them back. If they can’t take responsibility for their role in the relationship ending, they can’t see what they need to do to be a better partner to you. If you take them back, you are going back to the same old relationship – or worse.

5 – They are obsessed with “fixing you”

This is probably one of the biggest red flags that you should not take back your ex. An ex who believes the reason you are not together is because of something “wrong” with you, and if you can fix you, everything will be alright is not only not taking responsibility for their role in the break-up, but they are also putting all the responsibility on you.

And if your ex talks like they know you better than you know yourself and you feel like you’re constantly being “coached” or “counseled” by a life coach or relationships “expert”, you are not taking back an equal, you are taking back someone who thinks they are better than you.

6 – They don’t want to talk about why the relationship ended

It may feel good when your ex says things like “You were great, I’m the one who messed up” or “You’re a wonderful person, I made you do x and y”, and they may be right. Most of the time however, this is “emotional bribery”. They want you to think they owned up to their ‘wrongs’ and just forget everything they did and take them back. Nothing has really changed.

7 – They are using your family or friends to get to you

Your ex talking and being “friendly” with your family and/or friends is not necessarily a red flag. It’s great to have someone who gets along with your family and friends, but if you are hearing things from family and friends that your ex should be talking to your directly about, it’s a manipulative attempt by your ex to force you to take them back by getting everyone close to you on their side.

8 – They are still playing stupid mind-games

There is no place for mind games in a healthy relationship. People who play mind games know that the only way you can take them back is if they can manipulate you into taking them back. They are not trying to work on a better relationship they are trying to trick you back into the old relationship.

9 – They are rushing you into making a decision

If when you express your concerns, doubts and fears about getting back together, your ex doesn’t want to hear any of it or dismisses it as you being afraid of love/commitment/getting hurt again etc., they’re rushing you into a relationship because they know if they take things slow, you might see that nothing is any different.

10 – You have doubts about your ex

If you have concerns or doubts about your ex not being the right person for you, don’t ignore those doubts. Listen to what your gut feelings or intuition is telling you about your ex being the wrong person or it being the wrong relationship or wrong timing. Our intuitive self knows things that our conscious mind is trying to convince us aren’t real.

Related: 8 Toxic Relationships that Feel Like Love (Red Flags)

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  1. says: Serenitydiva

    My ex called me out of the blue. I broke up with him 11 months ago because he acted like a jerk at times and I really did not see a future with him. Anyway we had a chat and he asked me if I to go out on a date with him. I’m still not over the way he was when we dated and not sure whether to accept the date or just say no thank you.

    1. If the way he was when you dated wasn’t life threatening, you don’t feel threatened now and part of you really wants to go, then go and see what happens. If anything, use this opportunity to tell him you’re still not over the way he was when you dated. But if you feel you’re not yet ready for a date/or don’t want to date your ex ever again, then just tell him, no thank you. In other words, this is something no one can tell you either way. Only you can decide what’s best for you (not best for him but best for you).

  2. says: Jorge

    Thank you so much Yangki, ever since I read this and got back with my ex it’s been nothing but happiness, thank you so much

  3. says: Lillian

    Thank you so much for all the wonderful information. After reading all the reasons not to take and ex back, and the ways that an ex may be manipulating me, I realized that I’m that ex. What an eye opener! I do love my ex; he’s a really good person, but I haven’t been the emotionally mature woman that he needs. Before I try to get him back I think I need to take a hard look at my own behavior both in and out of the relationship.