15 Signs He’s Not Over His Ex

Dating experience | | , Writer
Updated On: May 29, 2024
Signs He is Not Over His Ex
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You have been in a stable relationship for a while now, but there is still something bothering you deeply. You’re noticing signs he’s not over his ex, but you are not sure how seriously you should be taking them. Are these signs for real, or are you just overthinking?

Well, have you noticed him still referring to his ex in conversations, talking to her when you are not around, and seeming lonely even though you are with him? What do these signs imply? Is he still in love with his ex-wife or ex-girlfriend? In a survey conducted by 93.1 FM Wzak, 71% of the respondents said they think about their ex too much. Narrowed down to singles, the figure goes up to 81%. So then, are you wondering how to know if your boyfriend still has feelings for his ex? We’re right with you on this one.

Perhaps, it is the comforting familiarity that keeps us gravitating back to old partners, even when we know there is nothing left in that connection. With that being said, now that he is in a relationship with you, craving the old and comfortable isn’t a good enough reason for your partner to keep pining for his ex. His inability to snap that connection will get in the way of your relationship. Don’t take your suspicions too lightly. Read this article to know if he is still in love with his ex.

15 Signs He Is Still In Love With His Ex

How many times have you thought to yourself, “I think my boyfriend still loves his ex-girlfriend”? Being with a person who still clings to his past relationship makes you question your place in their life. You even begin to question whether this relationship is going to last, or is the man you’re with a walking red flag.

Confronting him without knowing for sure that he’s up to something shady will just portray you as a jealous and suspicious girlfriend. This conundrum can leave you wondering, “How do I confirm my suspicions before confronting my partner over them? Does this mean my boyfriend still loves his ex but loves me too?”

Here’s what a Reddit user had to say about this kind of a situation: “If your partner can not make the choice, if they can’t give up those feelings and it interferes in your relationship you need to take appropriate action. Communicate your feelings and come to a resolution.”

If you’ve been grappling with the thought of how to know if your boyfriend still has feelings for his ex, pay attention to the signs. Because if you have a hunch, there might be a good chance you are right. Here is a lowdown on 15 signs he misses his ex-wife or girlfriend:

1. The relationship is long over, but he still talks to her

signs he wants to get back with his ex
His friendship with his ex takes precedence over your relationship

Wondering how to tell if he still loves his ex? The lingering presence of the said ex in their life can be the first clear indicator you need to watch out for. Here are a couple of examples:

  • He’s still in touch with her: Your boyfriend and his ex might have ended their relationship, but they are still on talking terms. But this can be okay in many cases, especially if they had been long-term friends and had broken up on a good note
  • He lies about it: Being friends with his ex is okay, but the problem arises when your boyfriend or husband tries to hide the fact that he is in touch with her

My friend Tara was devastated when she chanced upon a text conversation between her boyfriend and his ex-girlfriend. Even though he had told her that they were just friends and hardly spoke to each other, those messages pointed to the contrary. The signs he wants to get back with his ex were written all over his heartfelt confessions of how much he missed having her in his life.

At that moment, Tara found the answer to, “My boyfriend still loves his ex-girlfriend. What do I do?” She chose her dignity over a relationship where she always felt like the second fiddle. So, if your partner is friends with an ex, remember that this friendship is not a free pass to lie to you. There have to be some boundaries.

Related Reading: How Do I Cope With My Husband’s Deep Friendship With His Ex-wife?

2. He hasn’t removed her pictures from social media

What are some of the signs he wants to get back with his ex? Well, this one is one of the definite red flags. So you’ve been in this new relationship for 8 months now. And if your boyfriend still keeps his cozy and lovey-dovey pictures with her on his social media, he’s not over her. 

Moreover, when you confront him, he tries to stall you by making excuses like “It’s a good picture”, “She’s just a friend now”, or “It will look rude.” Treat it as the warning sign it is: you may just well be a placeholder until he can figure out a way to get back together with his ex. That’s not how you deserve to be treated in a relationship.

3. Bringing up her name in conversations may be a sign he wants to get back with his ex

Picture this: whether you both are on a date or are spending quality time together at home, he somehow always brings up his ex. If his ex seems to be in 60% of his conversations and this puts you off many times, it’s a cause for concern and one of the signs he misses his ex. I guess someone still has unresolved feelings about their past relationship.

Even when you both are hanging out with his friends, he might talk about the fun episodes he had with his ex. It is as if you are still an outsider to him. This is another alarming one among the signs he’s not over his ex.

This Reddit user shared her experience: “He brings her up in conversations a lot, but randomly. For example, we would talk about our past school days and then he would be like X had a teacher who didn’t like her and tell me a random story about her. At first, it just put me off, but now it starts to annoy me because I seriously don’t care.”

Related Reading: 21 Core Relationship Rules To Deepen Your Bond

4. He stalks her online

This is one of the signs he loves his ex more than you. Have you noticed that when you sit beside him while he is on his phone, he gets all jumpy or nervous? You do a little snooping around to find out what he was checking and there it is: the profile page of his ex, staring right at your face and mocking you. He tries to give excuses, but you know what’s going on. He has been stalking his ex!

The first thing you’re going to think after this is that your boyfriend still misses his ex because he is probably still in love with her. And if his ex’s social media handles are the most visited pages in his web history, you don’t even need to bother figuring out how to know if your boyfriend still has feelings for his ex. You probably already know he does.

Related Reading: Ex In Your Dreams? Find Out What Does It Mean When You Dream About Your Ex

5. He sometimes calls you by her name

What makes a man think about his ex? Probably, the memories of the good times that he spent with her makes him think about her so often. It’s no surprise if he calls you by her name. It could possibly mean:

  • He misses her: He has, in his mind, built up an idealized version of her. He has very conveniently forgotten about everything that went wrong with her and only remembers the good times. He even misses her and is still emotionally attached to her, and this could be one of the signs he still loves his ex
  • You have not carved a space in his life yet: It could also be one of the signs he is using you like a rebound to get over his ex if they had a particularly bad breakup, and that you do not mean much to him
Infographic on he's still in love with his ex
Surefire ways to know if he’s still in love with his ex

6. You don’t feel like you are in a new relationship

When you notice all the signs he wants to get back with his ex, you won’t feel the rush and excitement that is characteristic of the early stages of dating. Rather, you will feel a bit uncomfortable. The nervousness and the giddy rush of looking forward to a future together are just absent, and it could well be because your partner isn’t 100% present in the relationship. It is as if the honeymoon period in your relationship ended before it even started. It could be one of the signs he loves his ex more than you.

A coworker, Sabrina, who has been dating a guy just out of a 5-year-long relationship, says, “Here is how I noticed the signs he still loves his ex. My boyfriend still continues to help his ex-girlfriend with anything and everything. I’ve tried to be understanding of their rapport, but at this point, it feels like helping her is just a convenient excuse for him to be by her side. His face lights up at the prospect of meeting her. I’ve not seen him bring half that enthusiasm to our relationship, even though we’re in those early stages that are all about the can’t-keep-hands-off excitement. At this point, I’m pretty certain my boyfriend is not over his ex. What should I do?”

7. He still has all her personal belongings

He might just be holding onto his lost love in any way that he can. My cousin, Ava, found her fiance to be distant and withdrawn, more often than not. Even though he’d dismissed her concerns, she felt something was amiss. Then, one day, she was looking for something at the back of his closet and found his ex’s old outfit neatly tucked there.

When she confronted him about it, he once again brushed it off as a case of his forgetfulness. But Ava knew the truth in her gut. He still has her stuff because he is not ready to let go of her and her memories. It’s one of the signs he still misses his ex and reminisces about her. He still has her things because they are too precious for him to throw away, as they are the only things that still connect him to her. To Ava, this was one of the clear signs he was not over his ex, whether he wanted to admit it or not.

On the flip side, if your boyfriend has one or two stray things that once belonged to her, it could be a coincidence. Or maybe he kept them as a keepsake. This alone may not be one of the signs he wants to get back with his ex, especially if the things he kept around don’t seem that important. But if this happens in tandem with other indications of him being emotionally connected to her, then the writing is on the wall: it is one of the biggest signs he’s not over his ex.

Related Reading: 20 Signs He Is Not Into You

8. He hasn’t told his parents about you

So, you have been in a relationship with him for quite some time now and still haven’t met his parents. His parents don’t even know that you exist as a friend. Did it take this long for him to tell his parents about his ex too? If not, then it’s because, in his mind, he feels that his old flame was the one for him and he’s still unsure about what he feels about you. It might be one of the signs he still loves his ex.

Moreover, if he hasn’t introduced you to most of his friends, it’s time to sound the alarm bells. One of our readers, Nancy, a 32-year-old banker, started dating John a few months after his divorce. She wrote to us, saying, “I saw a few signs his ex-wife wants him back because she wasn’t happy with the divorce. I found out a bit later that he was pining for her too. This was when I learned that none of his friends knew about me though we had been dating for about half a year.”

9. He compares you with his ex

One of the most alarming signs he’s not over his ex is when you find him comparing you to her. This is the clearest indication of his unresolved feelings, and maybe you should even stop talking to him if he does something so humiliating to you. Watch out for these signs:

  • He has no idea he is wrong: What’s worse, since he’s probably lying to himself about not being in love with his ex, he won’t see anything wrong with bringing her up in conversations all the time
  • He does not change: If you call him out for talking about his ex too much or pointing too many fingers at you, he will tell you it is just open and honest communication and that he is not criticizing you
  • He does not appreciate anything about you: Imagine you baked him a strawberry cheesecake and he tells you that his ex always made him lemon cheesecake. It’s like you cannot get one positive remark from him
On-Ex

10. He speaks about his ex during intimate moments

Well, this is how to tell if he still loves his ex. If he mentions the ex during your intimate moments, clearly, his past relationship is still ruling his mind.

Imagine your boyfriend uttering her name instead of yours when you both climax. It couldn’t get any worse! You may be able to forgive him for comparing your cooking skills with hers but not this! If it’s gotten to this point, we sincerely hope you’re no longer wasting your time trying to figure out, “My boyfriend is not over his ex, what should I do?”

Related Reading: Even After Discovering That Her Husband Was Sexting With His Ex, She Didn’t Lose Her Cool

11. Your gut just knows something is off

Thinking “My boyfriend still loves his ex but loves me too” is not going to keep you both on good terms but will cause a lot of trust issues between the two of you instead. As his new love, do you feel threatened or jealous easily? Even though he is fully committed to you and you are in a serious relationship, do you just have a gut feeling that he is unsure about you and could be emotionally attached elsewhere? Watch out for these signs:

  • Did his friends mention ‘her’ casually at the last party at your house? Even his friends may have spotted the signs he’s not over his ex and therefore bring her up like he was with her yesterday
  • Did you see her name flash on his phone as a text message?
  • Many weird instances have crept into your subconscious and your body knows something is off. What your body tells you is also an important consideration when thinking about the signs he still loves his ex

12. He is in touch with her family members

Remember that time your boyfriend’s ex’s mother called him before his mother did on his birthday? While it was indeed nice of her to call him, it was just a little odd, especially the way he answered. And you noticed that he is far too close to his ex’s family and even asked her mother how his ex was doing. This might make you want to probe whether the two of them are still in touch or if your boyfriend still has unresolved feelings for his ex.

13. He doesn’t talk about the breakup with you

You know he has an emotional connection and is still in love with his ex when he has continued to stay silent about what happened between the two of them. These are red flags you cannot miss. Are you still wondering how to tell if he still loves his ex? A man who is over somebody and is no longer emotionally attached will easily discuss the whole thing with you and not feel uncomfortable sharing what happened.

But if he is still awkward about telling you the truth about what went wrong with his past relationships, there might be an emotional attachment still lingering there. Most people can open up about a past relationship with their current partner. But when they don’t, they might still be in love with someone from their past.

Related Reading: Men After A Breakup- 11 Things You Didn’t Know

14. Making no future plans with you

A sign that a big part of him is still with her is when he does not discuss the future with you. Your hunch telling you, “My boyfriend still loves his ex-girlfriend” might be right if he acts like a commitment-phobe around you. Watch out for these signs:

  • He treats you like a rebound: He is still in love with her, which is why he does not want to make any false promises to you. Perhaps he is just treating you like some kind of a rebound relationship
  • He dismisses your future plans: When you say things like you might move cities or that you don’t want kids, he does not really have much of an opinion on anything. This could be because he does not see himself going that far with you
  • He does not meet your friends or family: You’ve called him over to meet your family tons of times and he always has a white lie handy, or he has to work late
Cheating Counseling

15. The spark is lost

This could feel like a little thing in a relationship or just a minor rough patch but is a good sign he is still in love with his ex. Look out for signs such as these:

  • Maybe you’ve seen him look at old photos of himself and her, and he looks at those in a way he has never looked at you
  • You two do not even indulge in any big fights or have major arguments, and that is because your emotional attachment is weakening
  • There is not a lot left to fight for anyway, because the spark between you two has just fizzled out as well

This could also make you think “My boyfriend still loves his ex but loves me too”, a situation where he is confused between the two of you, and that is why is unable to give his best to the relationship.

Related Reading: Best Ways to Rekindle Romance in A Relationship

What To Do If Your Partner Is Still In Love With His Ex 

Now that we know how to tell if he still loves his ex, here’s what one should do next about the same. This might be a difficult thing for you to grapple with and come to terms with, but kudos to you for staying calm while reading this article. If your suspicion is indeed confirmed, here is what you can do next: 

  • Talk to him: It’s quite simple. The best way to deal with this situation is to confront him and ask him if you are right about catching all the signs he still loves his ex. If he acts evasive and startled, he might be lying to you
  • Leave him: If he says he is, in fact, not over his ex, it is clear that you should walk out of this relationship. And if he does not agree but your gut feeling just tells you otherwise, you should leave him then too. You see if you don’t believe in this relationship, it won’t go anywhere 
  • Go to therapy: Consider therapy, with or without him. If you think you could be wrong about pointing out the signs he’s not over his ex and the real issue is something else, couples therapy might help. And if you just feel broken after your breakup, you might need a little help yourself. Luckily, Bonobology’s counseling services are only a click away.

Key Pointers

  • Knowing or doubting that he is still obsessed with his ex can take a huge mental toll on you and ruin your relationship, especially if you do not discuss it with him
  • If he evades talking about his last breakup with you or his friends mention his ex often, chances are he still has feelings for his ex
  • If he does not include you in his future plans or in his life by making you meet his family and friends, he is not as serious about this relationship as you thought
  • To deal with this situation, it is necessary that you talk it out with him and ask him to come clean with you

Being in a relationship with someone who is still in love with their ex or is stuck in a time loop of the past is a harrowing experience. It deals a severe blow to your self-esteem and can leave you with a lingering feeling of not being enough. That’s why, when you find yourself in such a situation, always, always, ALWAYS prioritize self-preservation over saving your relationship.

No matter how strong your feelings are or how emotionally attached you are to your partner, you need to put yourself first and do what’s best for you. If you find yourself feeling a little lost as you navigate the messy realities of loving someone who loves their ex, seeking therapy can work wonders in helping you gain a better perspective.

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Readers Comments On “15 Signs He’s Not Over His Ex”

  1. My Fiancee who got married to another woman he impregnated when we were dating and also got married to her is right at my door. He wouldn’t leave until I accept him back, He has divorced her.

  2. Daliborka Dimovski

    My husband is not good to me as before… marriage sex life sux! I got told I am a bad mother suffer with depression – post natal disease it’s been hell. His family not are supportive. Should I stay married for long time or start thinking of leaving him…he also cheats I feel in my heart…I don’t think I make him happy anymore…my weight is also really bad and fat.

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