Some of our ex’s behaviour can be very confusing because of the history we have with them. And it doesn’t help that there is all kinds of conflicting interpretations and advice out there.
I’ve seen clients go deeper and deeper into denial because they want to believe what they want to believe. I’ve also seen cases where someone gave up on a relationship when their chances of getting back with their ex were very good, and cases where someone completely ruined their chances because they interpreted things wrongly and acted based on a wrong interpretation of their ex’s behaviour.
When dealing with situations that are murky with emotions, it helps to try to remain rational, to keep an open mind and not run with an interpretation because that’s what you want to believe.
Here are 10 of the most misinterpreted ex behaviours and signals.
1. If your ex is still angry or upset with you, it means they still have feelings for you.
It’s a fact that negative feelings last longer than positive feelings. Intense feelings of anger towards you, being mean or spiteful is your ex’s way of trying to deal with those feelings and emotions. You are just collateral damage and by association, the one who responsible for him/her having those feelings and emotions. In other words, anger, being mean or spiteful are not signs of love, but signs of someone not doing a good job of processing his/her negative feelings.
2. If your ex cuts off all contact with you or avoids seeing you in person, it’s because they’re afraid they’ll fall back in love with you.
If the break-up was due to bad timing or external forces and not because of something happening in the relationship, some exes may indeed force themselves to stay away so as to move on. But someone avoiding you may also be because 1) they think it’ll help you with the grieving process or 2) they’re trying to trigger fear of rejection/abandonment in you; to cause you anxiety and panic so that you run back to them.
If they maintain contact but refuse to see you in person, it may be 1) they are not ready to take things to that level or 2) they’re keeping you on a leash for their own reasons.
3. If your ex contacts you, it means they miss you and want you back.
Don’t always assume that an ex contacting you means they want you back. There are several reasons an ex suddenly contacts you out of the blue. They missed you, to see if you still love him/her, to ‘offer’ you the opportunity to try to get them back, guilt for breaking up with you, own ego reasons, loneliness, horniness, alcohol, etc.
In short, an ex contacting you doesn’t always mean they miss you, let alone want you back.
4. If you disappear for a while, your ex will forget the bad memories and remember only the good ones.
Remember that time when you had a fight and you thought all was forgiven and both of you had moved on?
Contrary to common belief, time does not heal all wounds. It may ease the intensity of an emotion but it does not make it go away. Disappearing for a time is not going to make your ex forget how you acted so needy and desperate that he/she felt the need to cut you off or report you to the authorities.
In most cases, disappearing after doing something to upset someone does two things: 1) Makes your ex very happy that you finally left them alone, and 2) Increases feelings of resentment if the person was expecting you to apologize or take responsibility.
5. If your ex says he/she wants to be friends, they are not ready to let you go.
If you were good friends before you became a couple or were each other’s best friend in the relationship, your ex may indeed not be ready to let you go. Their head may be telling them to let you go but their heart is still hoping that things can change.
However, “Let’s be friends” is also another way for someone to release you gently. “Let’s be friends” can also mean “friends with benefits” or a way for someone to use you to get over you (keep you around for emotional support until someone else come along).
6. If your ex acts jealous over you seeing someone else, it’s because they still have feelings for you.
Jealousy is, and always will be about the person feeling jealous. Jealousy is about their issues, about their insecurities and about their fear of rejection or abandonment. It’s never about you.
7. If your ex hides or withholds information about him/her dating someone else, it means your ex still has feelings for you.
There are many reasons why your ex may not tell you that he/she is seeing someone else:1) They do not want to upset or hurt you more than they already have, 2) They just began dating and he/she is not sure how they feel about the new man or woman, 3) They think it may hurt their chances of getting you back, and 4) It’s none of you damn business.
8. If your ex posts something on Facebook, it’s their way of reaching out to you.
Sometimes what your ex posts on Facebook is about not you, and sometimes it is not. Reading too much into Facebook status updates is like chasing the wind; here now and gone the next minute. It means very little if they are not reaching out to you and talking to you directly.
9. If your ex acts warm and friendly towards you, it means they are interested in you.
Not all exes are mean, vindictive, angry and sad beings. Some people (mostly well-adjusted individuals) consistently act warm, friendly, loving and caring no matter what the circumstances are. It’s just who they are. You can only tell an ex is interested if they are actually doing things that show that they are interested.
10. If your ex still calls you by the pet names or “sweet” names they used to call you, it’s because they still want you.
Sometimes endearments are a sign that your ex still feels for you and still sees you the way they did before the break-up. You can only tell if they want you back if they act like they do, otherwise, endearments, pet names or “sweet” names may just be something they say out of habit.
Keep an open mind and don’t run with an interpretation because that’s what you want to believe. Like I said, I’ve seen men and women completely ruined their chances because they interpreted things wrongly and acted based on a wrong interpretation of their ex’s behaviour.