This article is my negative counter-point to the more upbeat signs your ex is coming back. This time we’re dealing with the ugly flip-side of the relationship experience. Deciding whether or not it’s really, actually, over this time.
So, if you’re confused by your ex’s behavior, perhaps these signs your ex is never coming back will help you solidify your future romantic chances.
1. They Stop Initiating
Don’t confuse respect or politeness with romantic interest.
An ex who cares and respects you will likely answer your calls and texts (eventually), but this is not a firm indicator of interest.
On the other hand, an ex who continues to seek validation, asks questions and initiates contact is signaling they aren’t quite over it yet. This may not mean reconciliation is an option, but it does mean they are still emotionally connected.
2. They Are Emotionally Detached
Of course, if your breakup was rocky, there’s a chance they’re just defending themselves by walling their feelings off from you, but either way, you’ve been cut off.
3. They Bid You Farewell
It’s easy to treat the hot and cold Olympics after a breakup as an extended manipulative game where both partners struggle to find their own personal closure.
But not everyone plays games.
If your ex is notorious for their emotional honesty, their no contact letter probably wasn’t an attempt to get you to reach out in desperation but was a straight-forward adieu.
4. They Avoid Talking About The Past Relationship
If there is no will to repair the old relationship, your ex will avoid confronting any past issues. The reconciliation process is an intense experience that demands a great deal of emotional commitment. An ex who has checked out will want to use that emotional currency on their new lives instead.
Simply put, they’ve been through it internally, and reconciling went down for the count.
5. Their Anger Overwhelms Their Feelings For You
Now, I usually have an issue labeling anger as a sign an ex is never coming back. Largely because, to me, hatred is a sign of caring deeply. You don’t waste that kind of energy on something you care nothing about. With this in mind, I’d say indifference is a far more telling sign of romantic detachment.
However, if this anger is specific, and is the result of something that springs to mind immediately (you cheated on them, for instance), then perhaps it is enough to justify a breakup, feelings-be-damned.
They may still have strong feelings for you, but it is no longer worth risking further pain.
6. They No Longer Trust You
A flagrant lack of trust and respect is a clear sign your ex no longer sees themselves as part of the team. This can manifest in many ways:
- They act spitefully.
- They humiliate you publicly.
- They entrust responsibilities you once had to others.
- They stop being honest and forthcoming about their feelings.
- They talk behind your back.
While every relationship will feature some crumbs of spite, usually as a way of channeling stress or resentment, if these caustic actions are accompanied by emotional distance, I think it’s fair to say you’re not making their top 10 anytime soon.
7. They Stop Communicating
By communicating I’m not just talking about their tendency to let you know what they’re up to. I’m talking about their tendency to let you know how they feel.
Much like the point regarding emotional detachment, your ex’s lack of communication will make them feel like a stranger (sometimes literally overnight).
It is profoundly unnerving to no longer have access to your old familiarity and it’s one of the more common and painful aspects of breakups that I’ve witnessed people struggle with over the years.
8. Your Gut Instinct Tells You So
You may not be able to objectively pin the blame on anything concrete, but if your gut instinct just knows the show is over, chances are it’s onto something concrete.
We often interpret cues and behaviors subconsciously. You know your ex so well that even small differences in behavior and language can tip you off to emotional transformation or romantic detachment, even if you can’t consciously explain why.
I’m a firm believer in trusting our gut instinct. Below our layers of confusion and pain, there’s often a grain of truth that our subconscious mind has picked up on and is waving before our eyes saying “look here, look here“.
9. They Have Committed To A New Life
Moving on is a physical phenomena as well as a mental one.
It isn’t uncommon for an ex to break ties with the past by tearing themselves from old triggers and responsibilities. This is partly about life going on, but is mostly about healing.
If your ex has committed to a new set of routines, references, and responsibilities, the prospect of reconciliation is becoming slim indeed because it isn’t just about their feelings for you anymore. You aren’t just asking them to trust you again, you are asking them to abandon all the forward progress they have made after the breakup.
Building a new world is a huge investment that is almost impossible to back away from once set in motion. The ball is rolling and unfortunately, you are on top of the hill.
10. They Overwrite Painful memories
The post-breakup landscape is a minefield of painful triggers.
Every street has a memory attached to it and every face is a haunting reminder. This can make completing even the most mundane task a draining experience.
An ex who wants to move on will attempt to let go of the past by shattering these painful emotional hiccups by overwriting their old experiences with new ones.
They might stop revisiting places that were a fixture of their old relationship. They might stray from mutual acquaintances and develop new social circles. And they may even switch out their job for a new one. All of these are clues about their intention moving forward.
11. It’s Been Years Since You’ve Seen Them
Some feelings last a lifetime, but let’s be honest here, if you’ve been pining for years for that movie-moment, it might be time to admit the chances of a magical meeting are close to nil. If it does happen it will be because you made it happen.
Do people get back together after months, years, or decades? They absolutely do. But it involves taking a risk few are willing to take. Especially after having spent years trying to move on. That’s even if the underlying feelings are still mutual and strong.
Are you willing to break years of silence and create that tear-streaked movie-moment?
No. I wouldn’t be either.
12. They Cut You Out
If the breakup has been on the menu for a while, it is likely that your ex did some house-cleaning before letting you go.
This usually means slowly cutting you out of their lives.
- They distance their family and acquaintances from you.
- They move their belongs back “home” (wherever home is).
- They plan their post-breakup retreat.
- They slowly reprioritize their lives without you at the top of the list.
This isn’t always a conscious process, and it can be extremely painful to realize how systematic and methodlical being sidelined in this way can be.
My main point here is to emphasize that the breakup process begins earlier than we think.
If we’re willing to bite the bullet and face some horrible truths, we will see that this distancing process begins a long time before the relationship itself ended.