16 Signs Your Ex Is Pretending To Be Over You


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So, you’re going through a breakup and you’re trying to figure out whether your ex is missing you. Well, in this article I’m going to share the signs your ex is pretending to be over you based on my own experience and the testimony of other experts.

  1. Your ex is always offering to help.
  2. Your ex continues to talk to you.
  3. Your ex is trying to make you jealous.
  4. Your ex stalks you online.
  5. They act angry towards you.
  6. Your ex can’t stop looking at you.
  7. They refuse to return your stuff.
  8. They get jealous and envious.
  9. Your ex tries to prove that they’re over you.
  10. Your ex is sentimental and nostalgic.
  11. They fake being happy.
  12. They talk and ask about you.
  13. They over embellish their dating life.
  14. They break no contact.
  15. They’re rebounding with someone who is just like you.
  16. They remove any trace of your relationship online.

Before we get into each of these signs your ex is pretending to be over you, we need to talk about why an ex would pretend to be over you in the first place.

The main reason why they’re pretending is that they don’t want to look desperate, weak or needy.

It’s also a defense mechanism.

In the event that you are not interested, your ex can walk away feeling like they didn’t lose anything or face further rejection and humiliation.

The dumper doesn’t want their pride hurt since they initiated the breakup. The dumpee doesn’t want to look like a crazy lovesick ex who can’t find someone else.

Sometimes, an ex may care about you but doesn’t want to give you the wrong idea, especially if there’s no hope of a reconciliation.

So, they pretend to be over you as a means of actually protecting you from getting hurt.

Now that we have touched on the reasons why your ex is pretending to be over you, let’s talk about the signs your ex is pretending to be over you in more detail so we can deduce exactly how they look in real-life situations.

1. Your ex is always offering to help

People who break up and completely move on from each other aren’t involved in each other’s lives, period.

In fact, I’m willing to admit that there whenever I split from someone, if I was over them then they barely had much luck getting a hold of me.

The ones who I low key still had feelings for and pretended to be over were the ones I was way too willing to help.

Offering help was a way of getting close with them and creating a positive interaction to overwrite the bad ones.

Obviously, I’ve adopted a much different approach to my dating life since then but it’s difficult to avoid being caring and helpful to an ex when you simply still care.

Being helpful under the pretense of friendship or just for the sake of it are mostly nothing more than one of the signs your ex is pretending to be over you.

They want back in or to stay closely tied in with you.

2. Your ex continues to talk to you

Most people think the actual act of breaking up is difficult but what’s tougher is the period after the split. You’re never truly ready for the jarring effects of a breakup.

The longer you were together, the harder it is to transition into singleness.

Your entire routine changes, you no longer have daily love and affection nor do you have someone to share your inner most thoughts with.

It’s difficult to prepare for that change. Some people will claim they’re completely over their ex but then they can’t stop texting, calling or seeing them.

This is clearly a case of someone trying to pretend that they’re over their ex but in reality, they’re actually struggling to let go.

3. Your ex is trying to make you jealous

To elaborate on this sign, all we need to do is look within. I think everyone has, at some point, wanted to make someone jealous of what we have or what we are doing.

Some of this stems from a competitive nature but in respect to an ex, it’s usually a sign your ex is pretending to be over you.

There’s really no reason to go out of your way to show off to an ex unless you care about what they think.

There may share social media updates that are provocative in nature or flirty, knowing full and well that you are going to see this or hear about it. I think this applies more so when a breakup was very recent.

But, even in conversation, if your ex seems to be rubbing it in your face that they are having the time of their life dating but your gut is telling you that this seems like an attempt to make you jealous, believe it.

4. Your ex stalks you online

We live in a time when it’s easy to meet new people but hard to get over others. Why? I think it has to do with accessibility.

In the past, the only means of communication after a breakup was through in person interaction or to hear things via the grape vine.

Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to get much information about your ex unless you spoke to mutual friends and family or to your ex.

These days, we can fire up Facebook or Instagram and basically stalk people.

Exes are not immune to this temptation. If they still care about you and want to feel like they are still a part of your life, they’ll be all over your social media.

They may like your updates, comment on your content, speak about you to others, friend or follow people who seem interested in you and so forth.

5. They act angry towards you

Anger towards an ex is either based on hate or love. Either way, it a sign of caring.

The fact that your ex is lashing out at you, fighting or being temperamental even when you haven’t done or said anything to provoke their anger is just a sign that they care.

You’ll often hear a raging ex talk about not caring about you anymore yet the fact that they are raging is the undeniable sign of care.

When an ex seems uninterested or not phased by you is when they actually don’t care.

6. Your ex can’t stop looking at you

Men and women look have a tendency to look and stare at people they find very attractive. The fact that you were in a relationship with your ex is an indication that they held a positive level of attraction for you.

As such, when you see each other in person after a breakup, it shouldn’t be surprising if your ex keeps looking at you.

They’re curious to see if you’ve changed in any way. The more feelings they still have for you, the more they’ll look.

The desire to look at you is too strong to ignore for the majority of people. Most of the time, they will look when they think you aren’t conscious of it. The moment you look back at them, they try to brush it off or pretend like they weren’t looking.

Alternately, you might find your ex side eyeing while doing whatever it is they’re doing.

These are just some of the physical telltale signs your ex is pretending to be over you.

Also keep an eye out for body language. Your ex may be saying one thing but their tone of voice, body posture and expressions may be saying something completely different.

7. They refuse to return your stuff

Let’s say your ex claims to be over you or to be moving on but when it comes to returning your stuff, particularly items of sentimental value, they don’t get down to it.

Why? Why would anyone keep something that belongs to someone they no longer care about.

Unless it’s of significant value, there’s no reason other than sentimental worth. Which means, they still care! Nobody is sentimental about things and people they don’t care about.

You might find your ex is making a ton of excuses for why they haven’t gotten around to returning your stuff but in your mind, you’re thinking that these excuses sound fake.

They probably are fake.

Your ex is just not over you as yet and isn’t ready to return your stuff because it will make the split far too real and permanent.

Another reason ex’s don’t return items is to create a reason to see each other again in hopes of something happening.

8. They get jealous and envious

We don’t get jealous of people or things we don’t care about. It’s as simple as that. Jealousy is a sign of desire. Desire, from a relationship stand point, extends to physical and/or emotional connection.

An ex is someone who possessed and fulfilled both of those desires by being in a relationship with you.

If your ex then exhibits signs of jealousy and envy when you begin to move on with your life and meet other people, it’s a clear indication that your ex still has feelings of desire and attachment for you.

They want what you have or they simply just want you. If they deny it and go out of their way to talk smack about the people you’re dating or they are low key salty, then they’re jealous.

This is definitely one of the clearer signs your ex is pretending to be over you.

If they were genuinely over the relationship, seeing or hearing about you moving on would not trigger much of emotional response at all.

9. Your ex tries to prove that they’re over you

Perhaps your ex makes outlandish claims on social media that they’re so free and happy to be away from their old relationship, they may initiate no contact or pretend to be a friend.

But, if you dig into their demeanor, body language and statements, you can actually tell when they’re pretending to be over you.

What’s the reason for trying to prove that they’re over you if they don’t care? Why does what you think matter to them? Does it make sense to go out of your way just to prove to someone that you don’t care about them?

To me, not caring can be experienced and seen through a lack of any response.

10. Your ex is sentimental and nostalgic

Speaking from personal experience and the testimony of many, being sentimental and nostalgic with an ex is a direct influence on emotions.

First and foremost, those two feelings themselves are signs of caring. Sentimentality and nostalgia are feelings derived from the thought of things or people we value.

Emphasis on the word ‘value’.

By nature, I’m an extremely sentimental person. I battle with nostalgia on a regular basis. But, it’s only directed at experiences and people who I actually still care about.

When you find an ex bringing up the past often, reflecting on memorable experiences you both shared as a couple, it’s indicative of their true feelings.

That, in and of itself, proves that they still care about you to some extent.

11. They fake being happy

So you just went through a breakup, it’s fairly recent and the two of you have spent a significant time together.

There may be a forced or initial bout of happiness attached to a relationship change but that is only temporary.

Eventually, everyone has to deal with separation anxiety, sadness, uncertainty and even loneliness. But if your ex is trying to make it a mission to seem happy, it could just be a cover up.

They may not want you to know how they real feel, especially if you were the dumper.

The dumpee doesn’t want to look weak so they do their best to make everyone think that they are happy.

12. They talk and ask about you

If the two of you are no longer in contact, you may hear from mutual friends or family that your ex has been asking about you and whether you are seeing someone knew.

Alternately, his or her friends may reach out to you in an attempt to dig up some information to pass onto your ex.

This is just an obvious sign that your ex still cares about you. Otherwise, there’s really no point in checking up on an ex that they have completely moved on from.

Doing so would be counterproductive, especially if they are hellbent on moving on with their life and finding love with someone else.

13. They over embellish their dating life

I’ve had this happen to me a few times and I’ve been the one guilty of this as well.

It’s not uncommon for an ex to sell a facade that their dating life is the best it’s ever been. This is particularly the case soon after a breakup.

Your ex is trying to make you jealous and trying to avoid looking weak anymore.

They want you to view them as a high valued potential partner to others in hopes of reigniting your attraction or to challenge your opinion of them.

They may even do it to hurt you. Why? Because they’re hurt and still care too much about you.

If you’ve been acting indifferent towards them and maintaining strict boundaries, an ex may try to hurt you by throwing their dating life in your face as the last means to determine how you actually feel.

14. They break no contact

If the dumpee breaks no contact, it’s because they can’t handle the distance anymore and want to try and get you back. How do I know this? Well, breaking no contact is the number one thing you should never do if you’ve been dumped.

I don’t subscribe to the idea of the 30 day no contact rule. I’m a believer of using the indefinite no contact rule.

It’s the only way for the dumpee to assert their value, self-worth and control over the situation.

Breaking no contact goes against the very core reason for doing no contact. And the only reason someone would do that is if they cared too much about their ex.

If the dumper breaks no contact, it’s because they’ve either been rejected by someone else, struggling to move and genuinely still care.

This takes place when they experience all the hardship and difficult feelings following a breakup.

And if they come up with a fake excuse of reaching out, then it’s definitely one of the signs your ex is pretending to be over you.

Related post: 5 signs the no contact rule is working

15. They’re rebounding with someone who is just like you

Rebound relationships do not indicate a lack of feelings for an ex. On the contrary, it’s one of the strongest signs your ex is pretending to be over you.

Why would someone rebound?

To feel happy and avoid the dreadful phase after a breakup. Deep down, they’re trying to fix a broken heart by applying a band aid over it.

Unfortunately, a broken heart that still cares about an ex has to experience loneliness first before it can become whole.

It must enjoy a single status and find fulfillment within itself before it can truly move on to find new love.

Your ex may seem in love with their new partner but that does not automatically mean that they don’t care about you anymore. People get into relationships while still being hung up on someone else.

It’s not a good thing but it happens. That’s why rebound relationship mostly fail.

If you’d like to read more about what to do when your ex is in a rebound relationship, please check out this article.

16. They remove any trace of your relationship online

Ordinarily, when someone is ready to move on, they’re bound to remove pictures and videos of you from their social media.

What isn’t normal is the timing of this.

When an ex does this immediately after a breakup, then it’s actually just a sign they’re pretending to be over you. They’re trying to erase the relationship but in reality, they can’t run away from the memories.

If it didn’t bother them or if they didn’t care, they wouldn’t be so hell bent on removing all these memories just yet.

They probably wouldn’t even care about social media for a while until they’re ready to deal with the reality of such a big change.

The fact that your ex erratically started removing pictures and videos is just a sign that they are trying to avoid reminders of you because they still care.

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In Conclusion

Look, even if you notice these signs your ex is pretending to be over you, don’t dwell on it.

I tend to find that the dumpee over-analyzes everything their ex’s do in hopes of finding these signs.

If that’s the case, you’ll just end up convincing yourself that your ex isn’t over you even if there’s no real evidence to prove it.

Don’t use these signs as a means of grasping onto a permanently dead relationship.

On the flip side, if there is hope, you can monopolize on these signs and make a move on your ex, if that is what you so desire.

With that being said, I hope you found this article on the signs your ex is pretending to be over you to be insightful and helpful. Please feel free to share your thoughts or questions in the comment section below.

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