By Chris Seiter

Updated on January 14th, 2022

In todays post I’m going to show you the signs that your ex is unhappy in their new relationship.

In fact:

What I talk about in this article has been verified by our own independent research using real life clients or psychological concepts from reputable sources.

Let’s dive right in.

  1. Frequency of conversation time with you
  2. Relying on you for emotional support
  3. Having them attempt to make you jealous with the new person
  4. The item exchange hasn’t occurred yet
  5. They spend more time with their friends than they do with the new person
  6. Their new person becomes intimidated by your secure attachment
  7. The new person reaches out telling you to back off
  8. Paying attention to how quickly they like your social media posts
  9. The avoidant phantom ex syndrome
  10. An uptick in their frequency of social media posts since dating the new person

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Sign #1: Frequency Of Conversation Time With You

Really the key to this entire article is about showing you authentic signs that your ex is unhappy with their new person. Unfortunately our experience has been that they usually aren’t unhappy with the new person right away. In fact, we’ve seen the opposite occur.

Usually when your ex starts a new relationship with someone else they go through this type of honeymoon period (even if that new person is a rebound.)

The most obvious question people have when they learn this fact is, “well, how do I know the rebound period is over?”

Generally speaking paying attention to the amount of conversations they are having with you and paying attention to what stage the person is at with this new person.

I’ve talked in depth about rebound relationships throughout this website (and my YouTube channel as you’ll see below.)

Researchers have found that the more “serious” the relationship is with the new person the less likely your ex is to reach out to you. That means if your ex is in a relationship where they are nearly engaged or married they usually aren’t going to reach out to you.

Of course, it’s a different story if they are casually dating the new person.

The very same researchers above who said it was rare for an ex to reach out to you if they were in a more serious relationship found that if you did find them reaching out to you on a frequent basis it is a potential sign that they are unhappy with their current relationship.

So, what does this mean?

Simply put I want you to pay attention to how frequently your ex is reaching out to you.

Our commitment research tells us that there are six tenets you want to pay attention to,

  1. Satisfaction
  2. Alternatives
  3. Investment
  4. Fear of Loss
  5. Scarcity
  6. Urgency

Yet one of those factors reigns supreme over all, investment.

So, literally if your ex is investing time into talking to you, more than their current partner, it usually is a sign that they are unhappy in that relationship. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will leave that person and come back to you but that’s an entirely different topic.

Let’s move on.

Sign #2: Relying On You For Emotional Support

I’m not going to get too detailed here because in a way this one is among the most obvious signs within this list.

Everyone should be aware that there are certain things that are ok to talk about outside of a relationship and there are certain things that aren’t ok.

Ask any of my clients who have been cheated on how it usually starts.

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Fun fact, most of the women that come into our orbit who have been cheated on will tell me that it was with someone that they were aware of.

  • Sometimes it was an ex
  • sometimes it was a new coworker
  • sometimes it was a friend that they always knew their partner had the hots for.

Very rarely do I come across a situation where the person cheated with some rando (though it has happened so I’m not discounting it entirely.)

Yet when I interview these women and asked them how the cheating started with the person they were aware of the response is almost always the same,

He started confiding in her emotionally.

Just to illustrate my point I decided to pull an example from our private facebook group from a few months ago,

Here’s my ultimate point. Where the last sign was all about the frequency of the conversations your ex would have you, this sign is all about the quality of those conversations. If you notice your ex confiding in you things that he/she should really be only telling their current partner about it says something about their internal mindset about that relationship.

Sign #3: Having Them Attempt To Make You Jealous With The New Person

Again, this is a sign you usually can use your common sense for.

If you are happy, and I mean truly happy, you wouldn’t ever feel the need to rub your relationship in your exes face.

In fact, never once have I been tempted to do that when I’ve been in a happy relationship. I just simply was more worried about keeping my girlfriend with me at that point.

In 2020 we had an interesting year on Ex Boyfriend Recovery. Weirdly, it was maybe our best year ever from a traffic and financial standpoint which is pretty awesome that we were able to keep all of our employees on board during that really difficult time.

Yet despite how happy I was about the great year all I can remember from that year from a work standpoint was one specific situation in our private facebook support group.

A woman in there wrote this long post with pictures attached to it and it literally went viral because of how horrifying it was.

The gist was pretty simple.

  • She had followed our advice to a T.
  • Started focusing on herself, making all of these positive improvements in her life
  • Her ex of course had moved on to someone else and just when she was working up the courage to contact her ex
  • When he decided he was going to send her a picture of him making out with the new girl.

Only it wasn’t “making out” it was…. well, you can read between the lines and imagine the worst.

I can honestly say that in the ten years since I have started this business I’ve never seen such appalling behavior from an ex.

Here’s the thing. An ex doesn’t do that if he’s happy with the new person.

On the contrary, they do it if they want to get revenge or “win the breakup.”

In my experience the most insecure people in the world are the ones that tell instead of show.

If you have an ex who feels the need to constantly prove to you that he’s so much happier without you then what he’s really telling you is how unhappy he is without you.

Sign #4: The Item Exchange Hasn’t Occurred Yet

There are certain tropes that all breakups have.

  • Usually you have the knock out drag out fight punctuating the end of a breakup
  • You have one party begging for the other party back
  • Sometimes you have the crazy ex who burns all the clothes or smashes all the pictures

And then you have the most sacred trope of all time, the item exchange.

Now, I hope I’ve made my opinion on how to handle the item exchange clear throughout this website.

Of course, there are always those exes who won’t want to initiate the item exchange. Maybe you’ve left something at their place that you really want to get back and they agree to do so but when the time comes for the exchange happens they cancel at the last minute.

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  • They’ve clearly indicated to you that the relationship is over.
  • They’ve moved on to someone else.

Why won’t they give you their stuff back?

This is my hypothesis but one of the reasons is that to them those items that they have represent an opportunity to see you again. They don’t necessarily want you back “right now” but what if things don’t work out with this person they are dating now.

Man… it sure would be nice to have a nonthreatening excuse for an instant way to see you.

Now, I don’t know about you but I don’t know too many happy relationships where one person is already waiting for the eventual demise.

Sign #5: They Spend More Time With Their Friends Than They Do With The New Person

This is sort of like a “subcategory” to the first sign.

Except with that one we were studying how frequently they were spending time talking to you.

With this one we are studying how frequently they are spending time with their friends. Remember, I’ve already established that the most important tenet on the commitment circle is investment,

So, always paying attention to how someone is spending their time will tell you a lot about the inner workings of their mind.

Of course, there is a small flaw with this sign. Usually you aren’t privy to this type of information if you are their ex. So, the biggest flaw that I see with this sign is that you are usually relying on second hand accounts from their sphere of influence.

Sphere of Influence – The people who your ex surrounds themselves with that influence their worldview

And of course secondhand accounts aren’t the most accurate and dictating reality.

So, don’t put a lot of stock into this one.

Sign #6: Their New Person Becomes Intimidated By Your Secure Attachment

I’ve always looked at this website and the advice I give out as a living breathing entity subject to change.

Very rarely do we have to change any of the major strategies we recommend but a few years ago we went through a complete overhaul of our recommendations based on what to do if your ex moved on to someone else.

By accident we stumbled across a strategy that worked very well.

We called it the being there method.

I think this comment from our YouTube channel perfectly encapsulates the idea,

I am getting the same idea I had when I watched your discussion with your coaching partner Anna, and, now I know why. I keep thinking if one practiced the being there method before a breakup occurred, it probably wouldn’t have happened! And, now, it came through clearly that one must come from a secure attachment style! You could coach breakup prevention! The other idea is that I can handle anything and I know I can. Eureka! Perhaps I have truly healed from my dysfunctional childhood!

Basically the being there method centers around you achieving a more secure attachment style and simply being around your ex. Usually, if your exes new person is insecure they will grow intimidated by you and create all kinds of havoc within the relationship that can trigger your ex to have this moment where he realizes the person they are with is not all they thought they were.

The beauty of this is you don’t really have to do anything but be around and have a more secure outlook.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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Sign #7: The New Person Reaches Out Telling You To Back Off

I paired sign #6 and #7 close together because really they are connected.

If you become secure and simply stay around your ex (not even flirting or trying to get them back) that’s usually enough to cause the new person to implode. One of these epic implosions can occur when they reach out to you telling you to back off.

Why does this work?

Well, generally speaking we have found that most of your exes tend to be avoidant in some way.

This means that any kinds of unnecessary drama in their relationship lives is enough to create doubt and while it won’t happen right away it’s usually only a matter of time before they leave the relationship.

So, if that new person is reaching out to you telling you to back off it means they’ve already had a conversation with your ex about the fact that they don’t like it that they are still in touch with you.

Definitely not a sign of a happy relationship. Especially if, despite all the warnings and barking from your exes new person, they are still in contact with you.

Sign #8: Paying Attention To How Quickly They Like/Comment On Your Social Media Updates

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about the importance of paying attention to how quickly your ex is liking or commenting on your social media updates.

In and of itself it may not seem like that big of a deal but if you start noticing a pattern there might be something there.

So, if your ex is liking or commenting on every one of your pictures when they are in a new relationship usually it’s a sign of their unhappiness of that relationship. After all, they probably wouldn’t do that if they were happy, right?

One of our clients mentioned that she would post things right before she would go to bed at 2A.M. and right before she would drift to sleep her phone would ping her with a notification of a like. She decided to continue this test. Every night for three days straight she would post something before she went to bed and every night without fail her phone would ping her with a notification of a “like” from her ex.

Mind you this ex of hers was in a new relationship.

Sometimes paying attention to what time they like your things is important.

Of course, why would they do this? What’s the psychology behind it?

Sign #9: The Phantom Ex Syndrome

In my last article I wrote I talk a little about phantom ex syndrome.

Basically it’s this phenomenon common amongst many avoidants that they pine for “the one that got away” because there’s nothing more attractive and safe to them than a relationship they can’t have.

It’s the same reasoning behind why we see avoidants don’t tend to miss their ex until that ex has completely moved on from them or they’ve put themselves in a situation where they feel like they’ve moved on from the ex.

I talk more about that phenomenon in this video,

Essentially avoidants like to exist in situations where they can have one foot in the door and the other foot out of the door.

What’s a better opportunity to do that when you are in a new relationship than pining after “the one that got away.”

Usually this is done in private but eventually it does bleed over into their new relationship as the person they are with becomes increasingly more desperate to fix things which creates this self fulfilling prophecy where the more they try to fix the more your ex tries to run.

Sign #10: An Uptick In Their Frequency Of Social Media Posts Since Dating The New Person

This may initially seem like an odd addition to the list but if you sit back and really think about it, it’s not.

According to an article released by Purdue University,

A study of more than 1,700 U.S. young adults found that the amount of time and the frequency of social media use were both related to greater levels of depression.

So, here’s my argument.

Initially you may panic upon seeing that your ex is using social media more with the new person than they are with you. However, according to research the happiest couples usually don’t have time for social media. Instead, they find time for each other.

Yet here’s your ex over here going crazy with social media posts.

They may think they are happy but deep down inside the more they use social media the less time they are actually spending with their partner.

It’s only a matter of time before that spells disaster.

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3 thoughts on “Signs Your Ex Is Unhappy In Their New Relationship”

  1. Jelena Andjelic

    February 20, 2022 at 2:09 am

    Hi Chris,

    I was in a long distance relationship with my ex boyfriend for one year. He suddenly out of nowhere broke up with me and lied about the reason for the break up(he said his family doesn’t approve our relationship due to religion). I was devastated and decided to fly to my ex unannounced to try to convince him to get back together. When I knocked on his door another woman opened the door. I was in shock and he explained that he had lied about the reason for the break up to not hurt me more than necessary. He put me in a hotel for a few days because I was to weak to immediately fly home and during these days we hang out together every day. First I tried to convince him to leave this new woman, he didn’t want to. At the same time he said he was super confused and that he needs some time to think about everything so he can decide what to do. He told me he had already gotten involved with her and that she seems like a very good person. At the same time He told me he has feelings for me and that he doesn’t want to lose me, even when I told him that I should move on and that it’s ok if he wants to be with her. He asked me to wait for him for just a couple of weeks so he can decide what to do. I didn’t know what to do so i told him to think about everything very carefully and make the right choice.

    What do I do now? I haven’t been in any contact with him for 10 days. I really love him and want him back

  2. Clara

    January 25, 2022 at 10:06 pm

    Hi Chris,
    My boyfriend and I were together for 7 years.
    He met someone new and cheated. They are emotionally involved. I found this out by confronting the OW. Our relationship is over apparently. He said he still loves me but in a different way.
    He’s left home but came back one evening to ask if we can be friends. I said I don’t want to talk about it. He sat very close to me and tried to touch my arm. I told him not to touch me.
    I have initiated a 45 day ncr but he’s messaged twice
    1. Hope you’re OK..
    2. Have you thought about what we’re doing with the house
    What does all this mean?
    Seems like he wants rid of the house and probably wants the money to rent with the OW.
    So angry
    I just feel like the NCR won’t help

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 29, 2022 at 10:13 pm

      Hey Clara, you need to start your NC for 45 days and work on yourself during that time, if he “loves you” then he is going to miss you enough to freak out when you pull away. I would also suggest that you spend some time reading about the being there method. Ignore all messages unless he asks any questions about the property you share.