By Chris Seiter

Updated on October 14th, 2021

Today, we’re going to talk about how to tell if he’s not over his ex.

Now what’s really interesting about this topic is that on our website, Ex Boyfriend Recovery, we mostly deal with people coming at it from the other side of the equation.

Meaning they’ve been broken up with by an ex, they’re trying to get that ex back or trying to move on from an ex.

But I thought an interesting way to thread the needle is by looking at it from the perspective of someone who’s actually dating a boyfriend and has suspicions that this boyfriend is still into their ex.

So this is kind of this interesting way of threading the needle between both encampments, whether you’re currently in a relationship with someone and you have a suspicion that they may still be harboring feelings for their ex.

Or you’re coming at it from the perspective of you have been broken up with by your ex-boyfriend, he’s moved on to someone new, and you’re trying to figure out if he’s still into you.

Let’s get started.

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The 8 Definitive Signs He’s Not Over His Ex

So today we’re going to talk about the eight definitive signs that he’s not over his ex and these definitive signs are not just taken out of a hat.

I’m famous for trying to use real life research to back up every assertion that I make. Now, luckily on Ex Boyfriend Recovery, we’ve had a wealth of success stories from people who have gotten their exes back.

And what’s interesting is we learn a lot by talking to the individuals who got their exes back and asking those individuals, if they actually asked their ex what their perspective was during the breakup.

So specifically I want to hyper sort of look at our success stories in which another woman was involved, because I think that will help us understand how to tell if he’s not over his ex, when he’s dating someone currently.

And we found eight definitive sort of signs that you need to keep an eye out for and some of these signs, if you’re not new to this website, and you’ve read a lot of our articles will not be anything new to you.

But if you are coming to our website and kind of devouring the content for the first time, I’m sure a lot of these signs are going to be incredibly interesting to you. So let’s just get started.

Here are the eight definitive signs that he’s not over his ex.

  1. Time Investment From A Texting Perspective
  2. Time Investment From An In Person Perspective
  3. They Come To Her Rescue Every Chance They Get
  4. The Avoidant Side Gets Triggered When You Bring Her Up
  5. They Fixate On How Their Past Relationship Went Wrong
  6. They Grow Jealous When Their Ex Dates Someone New
  7. You Catch Them Using Pet Names With Their Ex
  8. They Become Overly Protective Of Their Phone

Sign #1: Time Investment From A Texting Perspective

Sign number one, time investment from a texting perspective.

All right, so what’s kind of interesting about this is we know based on a lot of different scientific research out there, there’s this concept called the interdependence theory, which posits that human beings commit to one another based on a cost and benefit scenario.

So in essence, human beings are always trying to find the best deal for themselves from a relationship perspective. And usually they use three types of criteria to determine whether or not they’re going to maximize the benefits and minimize the costs.

And those three bits of criteria are how satisfied they tend to be in the current relationship that they’re in. If they feel they’re not very satisfied, what typically happens next is they start thinking that there’s a better alternative out there for them.

They think I can do better than the person I’m with.

And then of course, they look at investment from a monetary perspective, but more important, from an emotional and time perspective.

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Now what’s really interesting is they’ve done a lot of research on these different facets, these different tenants.

So we have,

  1. Satisfaction
  2. Alternatives
  3. Investment

And what’s interesting is they definitely seem to find correlations between investment and everything else.

And what I mean by that is let’s imagine you take a pretend scenario here.

Let’s say that you’ve been married together with someone for 25 years, and you’re incredibly unhappy with the relationship, you feel unsatisfied.

And every day you wake up thinking to yourself, I can do better than this.

I need to find someone better than this. I need to leave this person. And what’s interesting is that person in this pretend scenario never leaves that person. Why? Well, it’s really from a investment standpoint.

They have found that even if you are unsatisfied in a relationship, and even if you feel like you can do better than the person that you’re with, you tend to not to change your situation if you have invested a lot into it.

Because people don’t want to feel that their time was wasted ultimately.

So what we’re looking for here is a time investment from a texting perspective. So if you were one of those people who is very comfortable, very secure with yourself, and you’re okay with your current boyfriend texting his ex, and you start to notice that that boyfriend is spending more time texting his ex than he does texting and spending time with you, this is a sign that he is feeling more feelings towards her.

It’s not a good sign.

It’s a sign that he’s not over his ex essentially.

Sign #2: Investment From An In Person Perspective

Now staying on the same investment standpoint this leads us to actually sign number two, which is time investment from an in-person perspective.

So texting is pretty much the thing that all couples do nowadays.

Usually we’re finding that across all age brackets, texting is probably the easiest way of communication, but it’s not the most meaningful way of communicating.

If you notice that your ex or your current boyfriend is spending a lot of time with his ex, what that typically means is he is investing a lot of meaningful time with this person. And it is not a good sign. Generally speaking, people who are happy in their relationships do not spend time with their exes if they can help it.

And what I mean by that is there are always, those constraints revolved around sharing kids, or if the person works for you or works with them, or what have you, circumstantial things like that don’t really count.

We’re talking about him spending time with his ex when he doesn’t have to, and an in-person perspective.

So the one sort of tricky thing here is it’s really easy in sign number one to say like, okay, if he’s spending more time texting his ex than he does texting you, not a good sign. It means he’s still not over his ex.

With sign number two, what we’re looking for here isn’t necessarily the guy’s spending more time with his ex in person, but rather we’re looking for, if he’s spending as much time with this person as he is with you, he still has feelings for that person.

Sign #3: They Come To Her Rescue Every Chance They Get

Let’s move on to sign number three.

They come to her rescue every chance they get. Now, what’s interesting about this one is it really backs up what we’re finding with regards to the damsel in distress text message.

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So if you’re not familiar, Ex Boyfriend Recovery was originally conceived as a strategy website for helping people who are trying to get their exes back, actually accomplish that goal.

Over time, as it has evolved more into a self-help development type of a strategy, which if done correctly can help you achieve that goal.

But more than anything, it’s helping you gear your time towards repairing yourself after a relationship, kind of picking yourself up off the ground. But what is kind of cool about all of our experience in helping individuals get back with exes, we’ve kind of learned tricks of the trade.

We’re kind of learning what works when exes are kind of engaged. And what we found works better than anything seems to be these damsel in distress type text messages.

So a prime example of this is we had a client once in our coaching practice who wanted to find a way to get her ex to see her in person. So it turns out that her air conditioning was broken in her apartment and she didn’t know how to fix it.

And she didn’t have the money to hire an air conditioning repair guy. And it just turns out her ex was really handy around the house with things like that.

So she sent him a text, “Hey, could I get your help on something?” And he dropped everything and came running.

If you’re noticing that your boyfriend keeps running to repair things for his ex, it is a good sign that he harbors some feelings for her. Otherwise he would just sort of say, “We’re not dating anymore. I don’t care about that. Figure it out yourself. I moved on to someone new.”

That’s what you want to see happen. What typically does happen in situations where your boyfriend has feelings for his ex is he will literally drop everything at the drop of a hat and go fix whatever she needs fixed.

Sign #4: The Avoidant Side Of Him Gets Triggered

Let’s move on to sign number four.

All right, so sign number four is the avoidance side of him gets triggered when you bring her up. You are not dumb. I realize that’s a very simple statement to make. You already know that.

And what I mean by that is when you are in a situation or scenario where you are worried if your current boyfriend has feelings for his ex, you are most likely going to bring this up to him, not in necessarily the most calm manner or in the ideal manner, but you will bring it up to him.

What you’re looking for here is to draw on your past experience and look and see how he reacts. What you don’t want to see is his avoidance side getting triggered. What you do want to see is him not see me bothered by it.

Him just simply explaining that it’s not true and I’ll explain why.

What you don’t want to see is the avoidance side getting triggered.

So what do I mean by that?

Well, we really talk about attachment styles a lot on this website.

So attachment styles, basically there’s four core main attachment styles:

  1. secure attachment
  2. anxious attachment
  3. avoidant attachment
  4. fearful attachment

Avoidant attachment style is what we’re looking at here.

We’re finding most ex-boyfriends that we deal with on our website tend to have avoidant attachment styles. That means they really value their independence. So when they feel like they become threatened or their independence becomes threatened, they tend to push people away out of their lives.

Well, in this odd way, you bringing up the boyfriend triggers or can trigger this side because it feels like an assault on his independence. And this is kind of a weird sort of thing. So what you don’t want to see happen is him to withdraw and almost disappear.

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This would indicate he’s still harboring feelings for his ex, because what we notice happens with avoidant people is they tend to only allow themselves to feel nostalgia for past relationships when they are sure that they can never get that past relationship back.

So this happens one of two ways.

The first way is the way we recommend to people, which is try to project that you’re moving on after your breakup, even if you don’t feel like it because this will help that nostalgia come out.

The second is if that avoidant begins to date with someone new, AKA you, and they can think back positively on their past relationship. So this is what we’re looking for. We’re looking to see if his avoidance side gets triggered. So what are some avoidant things to do?

Well, I gave you the most common one, which is they simply shut up and sort of very slowly disappear. You’re looking for any type of withdrawal aspect coming from them. This is not a good sign.

Sign #5: Fixating On How Their Past Relationship Went Wrong

Let’s move on to sign number five.

Sign number five is they fixate on how their past relationship went wrong.

Okay, story time.

When I was 19 years old, maybe 20, I had gone through my first breakup and I’ll never forget this.

I was really upset about how the breakup ended, because I felt like I could have done better in the relationship.

I felt like I was given an unfair scenario. I felt like her friends ganged up on me. I felt a lot of stuff. What’s kind of interesting about this is I was not over the breakup clearly. So after about like eight weeks or so, I meet this girl, really lovely girl, nothing but great things to say about her.

I consider her to be prettier than my ex. She was basically more intellectual than my ex.

She was, in my eyes, better in every single way. There was a attraction, there was a mutual attraction there but I was still not over my ex.

And so what ended up happening is as we began dating and going on dates, I just could not help myself and fixate on how my past relationship went wrong. And I almost did these comparisons between her and my ex in front of her.

That was an immature 19, 20 year old kid. I can’t remember. It’s been so long ago now.

But I was this immature kid that literally did these comparisons in front of her. And nothing screams you are still into your ex more than if you spend more time talking about your ex than you do about any other aspect of the relationship.

So if your current boyfriend is fixating on how their past relationship went wrong, what either they could have done better. But most of the time there’s going to be a lot of blame.

They’re going to blame their ex.

Their ex was this, their ex was that, their ex was this.

And they just fixate on that and they can’t let it go. It’s a good sign that they have some type of feelings and they’re not over their ex completely.

Sign #6: They Grow Jealous When Their Ex Dates Someone New

Let’s move on to sign number six. Sign number six is they grow jealous when their ex dates someone new.

This is probably the most obvious sign that there is. There’s a clear cause and effect happening here. Your boyfriend notices that his ex-girlfriend begins dating someone new and they immediately say that they’re not jealous, but they exhibit all the jealous type of behaviors.

They try to rub the fact that they’re dating someone new, AKA you, into their ex’s face.

They specifically pick arguments with their ex and just seem upset for no reason whatsoever. And usually what happens is you don’t find this out in such a simple manner.

What usually happens is the effect comes first before you can find the cause. So if all of a sudden your current boyfriend is doing out of character things like, hey, take this picture with me here.

Hey, take this picture with me here. And then after some research on your part, you find out, oh, the ex of my boyfriend is now dating someone new. This is not a good sign that he’s completely over his ex.

Remember the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference.

What you’re looking for here weirdly enough is you want your current boyfriend to be indifferent about whatever his ex is up to.

Sign #7: You Catch Them Using Pet Names With Their Ex

Let’s move on to sign number seven. You catch them using pet names with their ex.

This always bugged me. And I think it still does to this day. I have not been in a situation where I’ve had to worry about that, thank goodness.

But let’s say you start dating someone new.

And there’s always this weird question in your mind on how much you can trust this new person, because you’re opening yourself up to them.

You don’t want them to hurt you. And then we kind of come up with the pet name scenario, which is babe, or honey, or hon or whatever the pet names we use are in our relationships.

And this thought enters your mind, which is, do they only do this with people that they’re intimate with or close with, like romantic with?

Or do they do this with everyone?

I was taking a trip down to my parents, I drove kind of like a cross country trip down to my parents and I got to Alabama. So I live in Florida. My parents live in Texas so I had to drive all the way from Florida to Texas. And we go through Alabama. Go through Alabama, and the people there are just like very Southern, very sweet, but they always call you hun. And this almost becomes like this cultural thing in Alabama.

So I would stop. I think I stopped at like a Chick-fil-A and this woman kept calling me hun. And I started thinking about this concept of pet names. It almost like devalues the pet name.

So you need to kind of account for pet names. And if it’s normal for your current boyfriend to use it with everyone.

And for some people, this may not seem like a big deal. For other people this is the biggest deal in the world. I think though, what we’re looking for here is the intent of the pet names.

So if your ex or if your current boyfriend is calling their ex by pet names and you know, or you catch them doing this, and you know that they only do this with people who were their romantic with, that’s a bad sign.

Like a really bad sign.

Sign #8: They Become Overly Protective Of Their Phone

Let’s move on to our final sign, sign number eight, they become overly protective of their phone.

Now I’m not suggesting you pick up your boyfriend’s phone, look through it, nothing like that. In fact, that’s wrong.

You should not do that. But what you’re really looking for here is if, when you and your boyfriend are in the same room and they immediately like … They’re on their phone, they immediately kind of put their phone down or try to hide it from you. It’s not a good sign. And I think this is kind of like the gut check type thing.

Everyone knows when they’re doing something wrong. And probably the litmus test for figuring this out is, are you willing to … I mean, let’s just use you as an example, and let’s not just throw your boyfriend under the bus.

If you’re doing something that you think is wrong, you will feel the need to hide it from people.

Usually you hide it from people because you want to protect their feelings because you’re afraid of them. Maybe it’s even an ego thing. You want to protect their feelings, but you’re also at the same time afraid of how it will look on you. What you’re looking for here is this type of thing.

If you can notice the subtle shift in energy when you’re around your boyfriend and you notice that they’re becoming overly protective of their phone, usually it means … I mean, we all have things that we don’t want our significant others to find out about us.

But usually in cases like this, when you already suspect that he’s not over his ex, it doesn’t take a hard cause and effect line to figure out what’s going on here.

So pay attention to how protective your boyfriend becomes of their phone.

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