Signs Your Ex Is Moving On (Has Moved On)

The process of getting back your ex takes time. It’s also a process filled with uncertainty and frustration. Many of my clients tell me they don’t know if things are moving at a slower pace or slowly fading out. They worry that while they are trying to get their ex back, their ex may be moving on.

This is a reasonable concern. You don’t want to waste time, effort and emotions on someone who is moving on, or has already moved on.

Over the years, I have noted that most exes tend to send clear signals before they completely move on. The signals each ex sends is unique to the relationship and to the individual. I have however found that there are two main patterns that most exes seem to follow prior to completely disengaging and moving on.

The first one is what I like to call the “silently gone”. The second is the “presently absent.”

The “silently gone” tend to respond less and seem less interested or “unusually busy” as time goes on. After a while they completely stop responding and just fade away from your life. Like many, you may panic and think you said or did something “wrong” and pushed your ex further away, but if all you did was contact them (not too much, of course) and you didn’t have any major disagreements or incidents that could cause someone to pull away, don’t torture yourself. Your ex simply moved on. Silently gone.

“Presently absent” exes don’t fade away. They maintain contact, respond to texts, but are emotionally “not there”. They are like a worker who reports to work as usual but does no work. Some of them even tend to be unusually loving and caring just before completely disengaging.

It’s a weird phenomenon. Maybe it’s guilt, or maybe the anxiety of moving on.

If you see this sudden and unusual response behaviour and your gut tells you “‘something is going on’, look into the depth of their responses.

  • Even if they are responding immediately, are they opening up more or somewhat closed off?
  • Do they answer your questions like they used to?
  • Do they ask you questions beyond how are you and how is your day?
  • Has their ‘schedule” suddenly changed so that they are unusually ‘busy’ or unavailable at certain times only?
  • Are they now suddenly (and what seems from nowhere) talking about not being “ready” for a relationship (a.k.a. I need to work on myself or get my life together)? Are they telling you they want to “see” other people?

The key to any relationship is ‘engaged communication’. By ‘engaged”, I mean give and take, almost in equal amounts. It doesn’t always have to be 50/50 as some people tend to want more contact than others or just talk more. Also, in the initial stages, as I have mentioned several times in my articles and book, the person trying to get the other back tends to do a lot more initiating contact and trying to sustain conversations. In many cases, it evens up when things pick up.

But if over time, your communication is less ‘engaged’, your ex is sending you clear signals.

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  • This is exactly what happened with my ex. We were together 4 years, I was doing my PHD program and tried to spend as much time with him, it wasn’t enough for him and he became needy. I told him us fighting all the time was stressing me out, and his response was to cut me off. I tried to reach out but he would not respond. He recently reached out after 3 months asking how I am. I guess he waited until I completed my PHD program to reach out. I told him I was doing great but would prefer that maintained the no contact he instigated. I don’t love him anymore and I have no respect for him but I had the decency to respond when he reached out.

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  • Hi. I have read your articles and blogs and found these very helpful and it makes more sense to build bridges with communication than with no-contact. My question is, how and in what ways do I create an emotional connection? We have been texting but it’s surface level communication. I can’t seem to get it to the emotional level. I’m stuck and he’s a stubborn man so it’s even harder to crack his emotions. Any advice is appreciated.
    Thank you!

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    • Enter “emotional connection” in the search tool and there are several articles on how to emotionally connect with an ex. My book ‘Dating Your Ex” also has examples of how to go about making an emotional connection. But if you want more specific advice tailored to your unique situation, your ex’s personality and your ex’s attachment style, I am happy to coach you on how to emotionally connect with him and move things forward.

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