We’ve all been there. You and your SO have split, but he or she is still in your life somehow. Whether you are in the same bio lecture or share mutual friends, you’re constantly running into them. It’s awkward at first, but then you get used to it. Soon enough, you’re getting meals together and texting more frequently. All of a sudden, it feels like you’re veering back into relationship territory. But, you’re broken up…right? Well, maybe not for long. Here are four signs you might be getting back together with your ex without really realizing it.
1. You talk to each other when you’re out with a group of friends
Sign number one that you and your ex are on the road to reconciliation is that you two are only paying attention to each other when you’re out with a large group of friends. According to Lesli Doares, a licensed marriage and family therapist at Balanced Family, it’s not only the conversation that matters—what you discuss matters too. “Talking about or reminiscing about specific times you were together that were positive, or talking about things on a more personal, deeper level” could indicate you are getting back together, Doares says.
So, when that friendly chat turns from your favorite new Snapchat filters and a funny thing your professor said, to deeper matters like that incredible anniversary dinner you had or how your ex’s dad is doing after his surgery, the two of you might be moving closer to making up.
2. You start to spend more time together as a couple instead of a group
Sign number two, according to Doares, is that you and your ex are slowly starting to spend more one-on-one time together. Doares says that both men and women can initiate this one-on-one time through changing their plans to make themselves more available. “They invite their ex to events needing a ‘plus one.’ They go to the places their ex hangs out. They run errands for them.” According to Emily*, a junior at The College of William and Mary, she and her ex quickly initiated more time together. “Even though we had been broken up for months, my ex and I started texting again, and we went to a soccer game together, so I was pretty sure we’d end up dating for a third time,” she says. If your ex is inviting you to their fraternity’s date party “just as friends” or jumps at the chance to help you pick up groceries for the week, and you say yes, you all are looking more and more like couple material.
3. The two of you have frequent “check-ins”
If you and your ex are still constantly keeping up with each other over text or any social media platform, that is a major sign that you all are potentially getting back together. If these check-ins are innocuous, for example your ex texts you regularly about assignments for a class you are both in, you are probably still friends. But if they become more frequent or veer into territory that is more serious or sensual, that could be a sign the two of you are heading from breakup to makeup. Doares also cautions that “making flirtatious or slightly sexual comments” can be a signal you might be getting back together. Emily says that she knew she and her ex might get back together when they were in constant contact. “When we kept texting each other every day, I knew it was inevitable that my ex and I would start dating again,” she says. Bottom line is, if your ex is the person you interact with most on text or social media, that is a big sign, that you all could be getting back together!
4. You start to seriously discuss why you broke up
According to Doares, if you and your ex start to have the serious conversations about the cause of your breakup, this could be the biggest sign that you are headed for reconciliation. Actually sitting down and discussing the reasons you all went your separate ways is a mature (and sometimes uncomfortable) situation, so if you can handle this discussion with the necessary maturity, you could be ready to give it another shot. Doares says that discussing any concerns you have, whether about past behaviors or future commitment, are also indicators that you might get back together.
Getting back together with you ex is all fine and good (especially if you all really were compatible), but what if you don’t want this reconciliation to happen? Doares says that the best way to prevent this is to limit any interaction you have with your partner. “If the breakup was initiated by one person, it is cruel if that person keeps the other in their lives. If you work at the same place or still maintain mutual friends, it’s important to be clear about boundaries. It isn’t necessary to pretend you don’t know each other or that you were never a couple. It is necessary, however, to not give your ex false hope. Be polite, but not overly friendly,” she says. But what is the one thing you should never do if you don’t want to reconcile with your ex? “Do not have sex with them—ever” Doares says. In general, Doares says that it is best to exercise caution when it comes to remaining friends post break-up. “Be careful about remaining friends” she says. “This is often seen by the person who didn’t want the breakup as a way to try to get back together and keeps both of you from moving on.”
Overall, it’s up to you to use your discretion when determining if a reconciliation with your ex is the best choice. You are the one that knows yourself best, so listen to your heart and mind before you make the leap!
*Name has been changed.