Author: Kyrsta Anderson & Renée Shen
What’s one of the first things this generation does post-breakup? Take to the social media feeds.
Social media has changed a lot of things, but the dating scene might be one of the most significant.
With the popularity of dating apps, mystery messages sliding into the dms, and “thirst traps” - social media has become the dating scene. So it's no wonder you're looking for signs your ex is trying to get your attention on social media!
It’s definitely made breakups and dating more complicated:
A study done by the Pew Research Center concluded that 70% of social media users aged 18 to 29 use their social media to check up on their exes and talk about their love life online.
Which is kind of a large percentage, don’t you think?!
Another thing that has come from social media is what I like to call “post-breakup social media behavior”.
Because it’s totally a thing, whether we’re conscious of it or not.
Our posting habits tend to change after a breakup, and this change usually manifests as us posting a lot more than we previously did, or a lot less - ie: we go radio silent.
If you’re reading this, it’s probably because your ex has started having some unusual social media behavior after your breakup.
Well, with the interconnectedness that today’s social platforms provide, there are multiple ways that social platforms can be used as a tool to get the attention of a former flame.
So, is your ex trying to get your attention?
Let's find out with eight telltale signs your ex is trying to get your attention on social media.
Table of Contents
If your ex’s social media habits change drastically post breakup, this is one of the big signs your ex is trying to get your attention on social media.
When you were together, their social media presence was negligible…
Now they’re posting every single detail about their life.
A lot of the time, people will become more active on social media post breakup because:
Breakups can leave a massive hole in one’s life, and even the least active social media users can fall victim to the distraction of social media, just to cope with their feelings.
In general, I look at it like this:
The more excessively someone posts on social media, the more they have to prove.
So what does your gut say? Does it say that your ex is posting just a little too excessively? And is your gut saying that their behavior does not feel congruent with who you knew them to be?
Well, then that’s one of the signs your ex is trying to get your attention on social media.
Ah, this is a classic.
A couple weeks into the breakup, you start seeing your ex’s new fling all over their social media.
Again, this is especially significant if your ex was not a big social media user when you were together.
Your ex is likely in the beginning stages of a rebound relationship called the honeymoon stage, and they’re using this new relationship on social media to:
Or maybe they’re just posting more outings with their friends, like on a beach day, but with tons of bikini clad girls around.
They may not be entering a full blown new relationship, but they’re trying to flaunt their fun activities with those who you may feel threatened by.
Honestly, they could at least try a little harder to make it less obvious that they’re trying to get your attention.
But if your ex is still in love with you and wants you back - expect this kind of seemingly transparent behavior.
Expect them to not appreciate how their behavior appears to onlookers, because love is blind and therefore they won’t be acting rationally.
Do you ever scroll on Instagram and see a caption like:
“Inhale the future. Exhale the past”
“Better on my own”?
This is the classic revenge post.
It’s the “look at how good I look and how good I’m doing without you” message to the ex.
It’s kind of a rite of passage, I mean I’ve sure been there and it does feel good to write a sassy caption towards your ex.
But it’s really just a way to get your attention, and it’s all about preserving their own ego.
However, perhaps your ex isn’t being sassy with their cryptic posts, but rather, melancholy.
So instead of the vengeful post, maybe your ex’s social media has gotten slightly.. well, depressing.
All of their content seems to be about struggling, heartbreak, or sadness.
They’re trying to show you that they aren’t okay in order to try to reel you back in and to get comfort from you.
Perhaps they’re also using a low value tactic to try to get you back (or maybe not get you back outright, but rather, get your attention on them for a little while longer).
It’s a common tactic of people who are low value and who therefore have little value to add to your life! Which is probably one reason they’re your ex in the first place.
Don’t expect posts like this to go away quickly, because someone who is prone to posting like this likely has shattered self esteem from your breakup, likely blames you for it, and is trying desperately to regain whatever self esteem they can.
Feel for your ex if you want to (I mean if you're nice enough to feel for them, go ahead), but also never forget who they really are and why you actually broke up in the first place - likely because they’re not good for you!
Likes, comments, dms -the whole sha-bang!
Maybe they want you to remember the old times and feel a sense of connection with them (or a sense of loss, maybe).
This is one of the pretty blatant signs your ex is trying to get your attention on social media. Thank God it’s not as manipulative as some of the other signs.
There’s no hidden meaning associated with this one, if your ex is blowing up your notifications with likes of old posts they are absolutely trying to get your attention.
It’s totally fine to be amicable with an ex after a breakup, and talking here and there surely isn’t the worst thing.
But if your ex keeps trying to start a “casual” conversation by:
They’re totally trying to get your attention and keep them in your mind.
Because “out of sight, out of mind” is definitely a real thing, and they’re afraid you’ll put them in that basket.
See: when people first break up, it can be a shock to the ego when the person you thought was your special someone starts to move on and forget about you.
Let’s face it:
If your ex was keen to move right on and forget about you, they would never do this.
When someone is serious about the breakup and want the breakup, they wouldn’t reach out. Ever. In any way.
But if your ex is, then there’s definitely something in it. And it’s important to ask yourself what it is they could possibly want!
It might feel nice that they’re still hung up on you, but do they really want you for (ie: do they really care about you?)
Or do they just miss the feeling you once gave them?
Don’t let it suck you in again if you already know that your ex is bad news.
So, your ex is now an avid social media user. Which you’re probably thinking is super cool.
Are they posting a bunch of throwbacks from your relationship? Maybe not pictures with you in them, because that’d be a little… excessive.
But they’re posting that picture you took of them from your family vacation, scenery from you guys' favorite spots, even that song that was “your song”.
Maybe they’re even putting your old inside jokes as their photo captions.
It’s all a ploy to grab your attention and get you to remember these times in the relationship.
You have to give them points for thoughtfulness I guess.
But how much energy does it really take to just post a few throwbacks?
Answer: not much.
Your ex could genuinely be missing you a lot. Or in all honesty, they could also just be horny and want to pull at your heartstrings to get what they want - your attention.
They just hit their benching goal at the gym, got a promotion, bought a new car; whatever it is, they’re posting all. of. it.
If your ex has suddenly started using their social media as a platform to promote every achievement, they’re trying to get your attention.
They want to impress you or they’re doing it to spite you, get you back -whatever the reasoning- they’re trying to get your attention!
As I mentioned earlier, breakups can leave people feeling rather empty - of love but also self esteem.
So perhaps you broke up with your ex and they hate you for it, and think that the only way to get you back is to raise their perceived value as a partner by being loud about their achievements.
One or two posts about one’s achievements is pretty normal. Almost everyone does that.
But if your ex is suddenly posting about even the seemingly less important achievements that people don’t care about - then that’s a definite sign that they’re not only trying to get your attention, but that they desperately need your attention (or the attention of some other poor unsuspecting soul).
(...Even if no man has ever given you any love and all you've encountered so far are pen pals, ghosts, booty calls, and incredible duds!)
Ok, this has got to be another one of the biggest signs your ex is trying to get your attention on social media.
Did your ex never have a Snapchat? Facebook?
Then one day, you’re minding your own business and all of a sudden you see your ex’s name pop up as a connection on your LinkedIn… WTH?!
So, did they really just want to connect on these platforms now or are they trying to get your attention? Probably the latter, especially if it’s on LinkedIn.
This might be their move of desperation if you haven’t engaged in their other attempts to snag your focus on socials.
Gotta admire the perseverance I suppose!
If your ex is trying to get your attention on social media, the reason behind it can be confusing - are they just lonely? Bored?
Or is your ex actually becoming interested in you again?
Social media behavior is one way to tell, so now that we know the signs your ex is trying to get your attention on social media, let’s get into some more definitive signs that your ex is becoming interested in you again:
If they’re hitting you with the “you up?” or “sup” texts, it’s clear they aren't putting a lot of effort or thought into the communication, and you can expect that they’re not serious about connecting with you, but just looking to take from you. (Booty call anyone?)
But if they seem genuinely interested in how you’re doing and what you’ve been up to, they could be trying to rekindle the flame.
Does your ex need to know about who you’re talking to, who you’re dating and every other little detail about your love life?
If so, then they either want to know how much of a threat your new date is to them, or they want to know if you’re still available! This is one of the big signs your ex is interested in you again.
So how do they react if you tell them you are in fact dating someone new?
Do they seem nosy and ask some competitive questions when it comes to your new romantic partner(s)?
Real jealousy is hard to hide. If your ex genuinely still cares about you, or still feels attached to you, they will feel jealous.
A jealous reaction can definitely be one of the signs your ex is becoming interested again. And a complete lack of jealousy usually means they couldn’t care less about you.
But be smart and learn the discern the difference between self-serving and competitive jealousy, and genuine romantic jealousy.
What do I mean here?
Your ex can feel jealous for the sake of feeding their own ego and competitiveness, or:
Your ex could feel jealous because they truly want you to belong to them again.
Learn the difference, because you could fall into the trap of a narcissist all over again if you don’t.
In general, there’s more value in it for you, if your ex is feeling jealous because they’re possessive of you and want to earn back your affection and investment.
There’s little to no value in it for you if your ex just wants to know that they’re “better” than anyone new you can have in your life. (Let’s be honest, this option has nothing to do with you!)
One of the definite signs your ex is becoming interested again. If they want to talk about the relationship, then it still matters to them.
With all of these signs, it’s important to consider the timeline of when you guys broke up and when these behaviors started.
If it’s been a couple of months and your ex is asking to talk about what went wrong in the relationship, take this as a sign that they’ve been doing some soul searching and healing.
They may want to talk about it to get the conversation started about what could’ve been done to fix it, and also to talk about how they’ve changed!
Most people take their memories and experiences for granted….until they’re gone.
So if your ex is bringing up old memories, this is totally a sign he or she has been missing you.
Not only have they been reminiscing about the relationship, they’re making sure you remember the best parts too.
Kind of like the song lyrics from “Someone Like You” by Adele: where she sings:
“Don’t forget me, I beg…I remember you said…."
Yes, it’s very possible that they genuinely just forgot about it, but also possible that they used it as a strategy to stay in contact.
It’s hard to let go sometimes, and some people will do anything to hold on to what was.
It’s sad, but it’s a reality of the pain of a breakup.
This can be a huge sign, especially if they had issues taking accountability in the past.
While they may just be doing it to make themselves feel better or to make peace, it can also be an attempt to reopen communication.
Honestly, for some people it takes an enormous amount of pain to ever become accountable.
Not everyone has the luxury of having people in their life who give them adequate “feedback” and pain in response to their toxic or hurtful behavior.
Perhaps your breakup has been the “feedback” that they needed in order to make a real shift in their life.
But then again, maybe not. That’s up to you to decide.
They might be interested in rekindling things, but how can we tell that an ex really misses us?
Your ex may be missing you if:
Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
If your ex is making jokes about missing you, they’re doing so because:
According to breakup coach and podcast host Chelsea Prescott, drunk calls or texts usually stem from one of three motives:
Alcohol lowers our defenses and causes any suppressed emotions to arise, and it also makes us more impulsive.
Whatever the exact reason, your ex is definitely thinking about you.
If they’re seemingly keen on not dating anyone else in addition to any of these signs, it could be because they’re hung up on you!
Do you keep running into them at social events or at your favorite coffee shop?
Coincidences can happen only so many times, folks!
It could just be that they really care and want to make sure you’re doing okay… or they want the downlow from your friends about how you feel and who you’re dating.
It can be really hurtful to see your ex move on with someone else quickly.
But chances are they’re trying to fill the hole by recreating what they had with you - but with someone else.
Read “14 Signs You Are in A Rebound Relationship and FAQ” to see if your ex is actually moving on or just filling the void.
Now that we know the telltale signs your ex is trying to get your attention on social media, you may be wondering what the heck you should do about it!
The first rule of thumb is to answer two important questions.
Question one: why are they doing it? Be honest with yourself here!
While your ex's social media behavior can definitely mean they want you back, there could be a few other reasons why they’re trying to get your attention, namely:
They’re mad about the breakup and are trying to hurt you.
(In which case, having them on your friends list or social media feed is a bad idea).
If their social media behavior is coming across malicious and angry, chances are they’re doing it to try to:
In other words, they gotta do what they gotta do. But is what they’re doing really of any good to you?
Question two: Is your ex a toxic person?
Take a step back and think about the quality and nature of the relationship you had with your ex, where their actions may be coming from, as well as how you feel about it.
Maybe you’ve been hoping to get back together too, or maybe the social media orbiting is too much and you want to move on.
If you have hope that they’re not just a toxic person and you want your ex back, then it’s important to communicate openly and honestly to your ex.
If they’ve been exhibiting the above behaviors, try asking them how they’re doing, if they're ok, or if you’re really game, you could ask them where they’re coming from.
On the other hand, if you’re trying to move on, blocking your ex on all social platforms may be the best way to go.
You have to do what’s best for you. You may feel guilty or your ex may be bitter about being blocked, but when it comes to toxic people, distance is what helps you heal and move on.
Kyrsta is a graduate from Chapman University, where she majored in Business Marketing. She resides in Los Angeles with her boyfriend. In addition to blog writing, she is currently working as an agency signed model and a nanny. Her passions are fashion, health and fitness (especially yoga) writing, reading, and spending time in nature.
Author For National Council for Research on Women
Author & Editor For National Council for Research on Women. Founder of the popular women's dating & relationship advice website, The Feminine Woman.
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