7 Reasons Your Ex Is Hot And Cold – And How To Deal With It

Suffering and Healing | | , Copywriter & Sports journalist
Updated On: December 19, 2023
Reasons your ex is hot and cold

Out of the blue, your ex shoots a “Hey!” your way and immediately your mind starts racing. Possibility of a rekindling romance? The long walks, long talks, and long hugs come rushing back again? Could it be that they miss you? So you shoot a “Hey!” back. Poof, they’ve now disappeared for a week. All of this can leave you wondering, what does it mean when your ex is hot and cold?

Or it could even be something as simple as your ex not replying to your messages, but making sure s/he watches every story you upload on every social media platform. We’re pretty sure something like that is bound to get you thinking “My ex is hot and cold!”

It happens to the best of us. We get hung up on our ex and sometimes they might take advantage of that. It can be frustrating and disheartening. As you are already struggling with moving on, you don’t need the constant interference and the subsequent disappearance. So, what to do when an ex is hot and cold?

7 Reasons Your Ex Is Hot And Cold — And How To Deal With It

It could be a power play, or s/he could be doing it just for the hell of it (yes, true evil does exist in the world). A hot and cold ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend is going to leave you sitting in front of Netflix trying to find your answers at the bottom of that ice cream tub.

“Why is my ex hot and cold?” If you decide to tackle this question alone, you’ll soon figure out the energy invested trying to solve this mystery isn’t worth the payoff. Your avoidant ex’s hot and cold behavior can leave you racking your brain only to find no real answer.

Getting mixed signals from an ex? We understand exactly what you’re going through and the world of pain it might lead you to. Here’s a list of the possible reasons and what to do about it:

1. They’re taking you for granted

being ghosted by your hot and cold ex
Stop waiting around for your ex to text you back!

One minute they’re your best friend. The other you see your hot and cold ex-girlfriend/boyfriend ghosting your messages. If you’re receiving mixed signals from an ex like this, it may mean they’re taking you for granted. They may realize that they have a little bit of power in this dynamic and may misuse it to keep you around whenever they want to and forget about you when they’re busy.

This often stems from you being way too available for your ex. You’re at their beck and call and you put everything you’re doing on hold to reply/pick up the phone. Your hot and cold ex will take advantage of this and you. If you’re looking for examples of hot and cold behavior from ex, it’s the time they made plans to go out with you and planned out the whole day with you, but stood you up when the time came around.

Related Reading: How To Win Your Ex Back – And Make Them Stay FOREVER

Solution: Put yourself first!

When you see the dumper sending mixed signals like this and start taking you for granted, you need to prioritize yourself first. You have to tell yourself that staying at their beck and call will do you no good and might end up hurting you. Just telling yourself that isn’t enough, you have to believe it! Look away from your phone’s screen. Don’t spend time pondering “my ex is confusing me” and find a life away from your ex. A social media detox will do you good anyway.

2. They don’t realize they’re being hot and cold

Alright, there’s a good chance this isn’t the case but you still have to give them the benefit of doubt. If they’re the kind who stays friendly and available for everyone, they might not realize that they’re leading you on. It will seem baffling and leave you asking “why is my ex hot and cold?”

They might be the kind of people who’re trying to be friendly with anyone and everyone in their life, just because they pride themselves on being a people person. If that ex’s hot and cold behavior has got you stuck in a box, it might just be because she doesn’t even realize she’s leading you on.

It’s unlikely, we agree. But it is possible. Especially if you haven’t let your feelings be known to your ex. That’s exactly what to do when an ex is hot and cold.

Solution: Communicate!

If you think your ex might be hot and cold towards you without them even realizing they’re puzzling you, you need to talk it out with them. They’re unaware of the confusion they’re causing in your life so it’s your job to tell them about it. Be upfront, tell them what’s bothering you and solutions will arise.

3. Your ex is not sure about their feelings

While you’re asking yourself, “my ex is confusing me, what should I do?”, it’s just could be they might be confused themselves. It’s possible they may have lingering feelings, but aren’t too sure about them. So they seem to be very friendly sometimes and other times seem to want to have nothing to do with you.

Not only this is extremely frustrating for you but also not good for your ex. This may result in a bunch of awkward conversations post-breakup. If your ex is confused, they might sound like a completely different person on different days. So what should you do when your confused ex is hot and cold? 

Solution: Are they confused or are you being used?

If it seems like your ex might be confused, you need to figure out as soon as possible if it’s genuine confusion or they’re just using you because you’re always around. You can talk to your ex straight up about this or have a friend talk to them about it. Trying to figure out if your ex is into you will leave you racking your brain for other signs. It will make getting over your ex even harder.

If it does turn out to be genuine confusion, ask your ex to make up their mind or just distance yourself. If they’re using you, give that muscled brother of yours a call. He’ll take care of the rest.

4. Your hot and cold ex is keeping you on the hook

When your hot and cold ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend is keeping you on the hook, it means they’re leading you on trying to make you think that they still want you, so you don’t drift away and always remain an option. They may flirt, may seem extremely interested and then become cold again. They’re keeping you around, appearing interested enough for you to start dreaming, but never really committing to anything.

Now why would they keep you on the hook, you ask? Well, they want to keep you around, just “in case” they want to do something. Keeping someone on the hook stems from a sense of gross entitlement. It can turn out to be a disastrous experience for the dumpee since they will be at the receiving end of the deal and it’s not pretty.

Nobody likes being a backup. Not theatre actors, not athletes, and definitely not lovers. Your ex-lover is basically playing god, keeping a backup ready for the theatrical rom-com that is your life, just in case the main actor falls ill. In situations like these, “my ex is hot and cold” should be the last thing on your mind, what’s more important is blocking them everywhere, ASAP.

Solution: The no contact rule

If you’re sure your avoidant ex is hot and cold with you because they’re keeping you on the hook, there’s only one thing you can and should do — bring in to play, the no contact rule. Do not let them dictate the ups and downs of your dynamic. Do not give them the power to throw you around, building you up, and tearing you down.

Employ the no contact rule immediately. Not only will it teach your hot and cold ex to not mess with you, but it will also do wonders for your mental health.

5. They miss the sexual intimacy

It’s more likely that an ex-boyfriend contacts you for sex, but a hot and cold ex-girlfriend can do it too. After a few months of breaking up, you may receive a drunken booty call at 2 A.M. 

This is extremely common and can sometimes last longer than just that drunken call/text. It may seem like genuine care and love lay behind those texts you’re receiving and we hate to break it to you, but it might just be lust.

Related Reading: Does The No Contact Rule After Break Up Work?

Solution: Abort! Abort! Abort!

You already know this, yet you still read the solution thinking maybe we’ll say you can go ahead and indulge, just once..?

Nope, sorry. Don’t do it. It’s not a good idea. Hooking up with an ex (especially a hot and cold one) was never a good idea, still isn’t and never will be. If you do end up doing it, you’ll be left with an intense amount of conflicting feelings that’ll turn out to be too hard to deal with. So what’ll you do then? Yeah, you’ll hit up your ex again. Nip this vicious cycle in the bud, don’t do it!

Take a page out of Ted Mosby’s book and tell yourself what his mom always told him: nothing good ever happens after 2 A.M. So the next time you receive a sloppy “WYD?” from your ex late at night, just avoid that hot and cold ex-boyfriend. A night of binge-watching How I Met Your Mother will be better for you any day.

6. Your ex wants to be friends with you

It’s very easy to misunderstand friendship for genuine feelings of love. Friends call each other, care about each other, make sure they’re doing okay and look out for each other. Well, so do people in relationships.

Post the breakup, your ex may still care about you and want to remain friends with you. The love may pass, but they still might want the best for you. The dumper sending mixed signals might just be you misconstruing friendship for love.

On Ex

Solution: Make your mind up and give them a reality check

Very rarely do two exes successfully remain friends. It would take the healthiest breakup in the world and two mature people to be able to pull off a friendship with zero awkwardness post-breakup.

If you think your ex is trying to be friends with you, you need to ask yourself if you can be friends with them without letting feelings get in the way, or making things awkward. The answer to that question for most people is a hard ‘No’. When you realize that, you need to be a little cold yourself and give your hot and cold ex a reality check.

7. Your ex may be in a new relationship

Buckle up, this one’s going to hurt. If your avoidant ex is hot and cold, it may be because they’re already in a new relationship and the way that relationship goes, governs how they talk to you. When their relationship is going well, you don’t seem to exist for them. If a hurdle eventually comes along the way, you’re number 1 on speed dial.

Mixed signals from ex in this scenario will definitely hurt. Especially when you realize they’re in another relationship and still trying to lead you on as and when they want to. It’s almost as if they’re keeping you around as a backup plan.

Solution: Focus on yourself and maintain distance

If the dumper is sending mixed signals even when they’re in a new relationship, chances are they think they have power over you. You need to distance yourself from their childish tactics (the block button will do wonders for you, we swear) and start working on yourself.

It’s completely normal to feel blue if you see that your ex is in a new relationship. Seek help from your friends or a therapist to understand how you should move on. The important thing to remember is that you don’t let your ex have power over you.

Related Reading: 18 Definite Signs Your Ex Will Eventually Come Back

To wrap it up, we’ll leave you with the best thing to do when your ex is hot and cold: communicate. If your ex is being hot and cold with you, the simplest way of dealing with it is through communication. Talk to your ex about what’s bothering you. Why you think they’re leading you on, and ask them why they’re doing it. Through communication, you can then choose your next step, even if it involves blocking your ex. Don’t let your hot and cold ex have power over you, and show them who’s the boss.

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