10 Signs Your Ex Is Manipulating You [Be Warned]

I have written so much about how “no contact” as a strategy to get an ex back is often an attempt to pull someone who has walked away back into an unhappy, fulfilling, dysfunctional and even toxic relationship.

When someone is using “no contact” to get you back, it is not an expression of caring and concern for you, but an attempt to play on your vulnerabilities, fears, pain or goodness of heart, and get you back into a relationship that’s not good for you.

“No contact” is just one tale-tell sign of a desperate ex trying to manipulate or control you. Here are a few more signs your ex is desperate — and not in a good way:

1. Despite you telling your ex that you’re no longer together, they act like the relationship never ended or as if nothing has changed.

2. Your ex is telling you that no one will love you more than he or she does, or predicting all kinds of doom for you without him/her in your life. He/she even tells you that he/she knows you better than you know yourself.

3. Your ex says and does things that imply he/she thinks very little of you or your ability to think for yourself, or know what you want in life.

4. Your ex apologizes a little too much, and when he/she does not get the response he/she hoped for, they act out angrily or tell you to “get over it” and take them back.

5. Your ex acts like they had an epiphany and overnight woke up a whole new (changed) man or woman.

6. Your ex’s so called “changes” are conditional to you taking him/her back, and he/she makes sure you know how much they’re “sacrificing” to make those changes FOR YOU!

7. Your ex is promising you a “too good to be true” relationship if you take him/her back (e.g. be more open, spend more time with you, take you to romantic getaways, make dramatic life changes, and even proposes to you). If it’s too good to be true or if it feels like your ex is trying a little too hard to show you he/she has changed, see it it for what it is.

8. Your ex creates some kind of drama to make you contact him/her e.g. send you a text, email or call saying they have something important to tell you, or someone you know is in trouble etc.

9. Your ex avoids making direct contact because he/she wants to make it look like you’re the one who is pursuing him/her. He/she communicates to you through social media, friends or relatives but not directly, or pretends to return your stuff that they have, asks you to return something of theirs that you have or to repay money you owe them (stuff or money they really don’t even want back).

10. Your ex is threatening to “move on” if you do not make up your mind and take him or her back.

Manipulators have an agenda when they deal with others and take advantage of those who are inexperienced to see through their games.

You have the upper hand here– and the opportunity to take the relationship the direction you want it to, so don’t fall for the manipulation. Falling for your ex’s mind games only gives your ex a heightened sense of superiority and a license to do it again, and again.

If your ex’s attempts at manipulation is something out of character, that is, he/she was never controlling in the relationship, he/she was never someone who was needy and clingy, or he/she is generally not a drama queen or someone who is addicted to emotional stress, then they’re just acting that way out of hurt or desperation. If you still care about him/her, and believe that there could be a future for the two of you, then make them work to prove themselves over a period of time. If he/she acts consistently in ways that show you they truly have changed, and the change is permanent, then give them a chance.

But if your ex’s attitude, words, actions and behaviour are just a continuation of his or her controlling nature, neediness and clinginess, or drama, it’s probably best to walk away now than later. You only have yourself to blame if you go back to the same exact relationship that you walked away from.

More from Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

We Select Questions To Post. Please Read the Comments Policy On How to Ask Your Question.


It took me a long time for me to admit – even with my wise friends’ warnings and upon reading this article – that my ex has been one such person. I only have myself to blame for giving him a license to take advantage of giving him – multiple – 2nd chances. Now I have come closer to knowing just what kind of self-respect I need to attract the right man, but most importantly, being aware of how to better myself to be the right partner. Your blog has been such a blessing when getting through my hard times!

View Comment