The main problem I find with many articles written on the same topic strewn around the Internet is that they tend to deal with absolutes.
For instance, some articles will claim that the resurgence of contact is a solid indication they want to keep their foot in the door, others claim the opposite and urge dumpees to be wary of being friend-zoned or used as a self-confidence boost on behalf of the dumper.
As far as I’m concerned, actions need to be weighed against your breakup and relationship history and not simply based on some grand universal constant of grief.
Don’t forget that you have a far better understanding of the person in question than any self-proclaimed relationship expert!
Having said that, and not without a sense of awkward irony, I wanted to give the subject a personal shot because I do feel that according to my own experiences there have been several patterns that lead to a chance at reconciliation.
Without further ado, and armed with a few grains of salt, I present you my very own compilation of signs your ex wants you back.
E-Mails Just Don’t Quite Cut It Anymore
While contact of any kind when initiated by the dumper is usually good news (but not necessarily regarding reconciliation), my opinion is that the sheer volume of contact is less important than it’s quality.
If your ex truly misses you there will come a point where they will want to escalate the contact to a more personal level, to get a better feel for the situation. This means that if you’re currently shooting e-mails back and forth, they may ask you to switch to an online chat, or if you’re texting, they’ll ask if they can call.
If you are interested in the possibility of reconciliation and the offer to escalate to a more personal platform emerges, make sure you keep contact sparse, light-hearted and concise, at least for the time being.
Because They Tell You So
Perhaps the most overlooked sign that an ex misses you is the fact that they tell you so directly.
It is natural to second-guess and over-analyze a simple “I miss you” and due to the fact that trust may have bottomed-out, you are absolutely right in being skeptical. However, the post-breakup wasteland is often a game of cat (dumpee) and mouse (dumper), where the mouse will look to pull away, and establish distance and emotional clarity rather than muddle the waters. This is particularly true if they truly did love you at some point (and you’d know if they did).
The fact that they are now seeking to pull you closer together is a sign that they miss you at some level. But be advised that reconciling may not be on the agenda.
They may wish to alleviate guilt, re-integrate your friendship in their life, or simply wish to remind you that you were special to them. None of these are bad things for the dumpee to hear, despite the often advertised horrors of being in the “friend-zone” (and I’m sick of hearing it), there is really nothing wrong with it, at all. Friendship leads to trust. If you can’t learn to trust each other again reconciliation will never happen.
Always take contact at face value, and be transparent in your reactions. If they say they miss talking to you, it’s a cue for you to open up. If you’re going to do it, do it with a smile and a sense of humor and show them how strong, independent and considerate a catch you are.
You’re History Pal
Exs who have little to no interest in reconciling will turn their back on the past and take decisive steps towards a new future of their choosing. This does not mean that they don’t want to talk to you (they might still like you and wish to remain platonic friends), but this change will be reflected conspicuously in their language and actions.
An ex who is still wondering whether or not they made the right decision will be very conscious of the way they appear to you, however. While they may attempt to impress you by having changed positively (getting in shape, working on character traits that annoyed you), they will not want to run the risk of appearing alien to you. They will want to make sure that as far as you’re concerned, they are an improved version of the person that you fell in love with. This is mostly an unconscious process.
What is the best way to accomplish both at once? Why bring up your good history of course! Not only are they bringing you closer by conspiring with you, not only are they making the conversation more intimate, but they are also getting the chance to see how you react! If your ex is laughing about the good times and invites you to share your thoughts, they simply don’t want to, and more importantly, don’t want you to forget what you had.
Be wary of exs who bring up the negative aspects of your history together. They may be seeking to gain closure at your expense (an often futile practice, I find due to the fact that it will only lead to them resenting their own actions). If the tone is not accusatory, it may be a good sign that your ex wants to mend some fences, but not necessarily that reconciliation is on the menu.