If you have recently gone through a breakup then you are probably no stranger to jealousy.

Often, I have found that most breakups contain some aspect of jealousy.

But perhaps the most interesting thing out of everything I have seen here on Ex Boyfriend Recovery is that most women want nothing more to learn how to make their exes jealous.

You see, they believe that if they can make their ex jealous he will have some sort of epiphany that will cause him to suddenly wake up and smell the roses (the roses being you.)

But women often forget that while making an ex jealous can be powerful it’s even more impressive to have an ex try to make you jealous and that is what seemed to happen to Kate, a reader of this website.

Now, Kate was kind enough to leave me a voicemail and ask me a question on my speakpipe page.

And here I am answering you, Kate, with a 20 minute podcast episode 🙂 .

But before we get to the meat of this episode and I teach you why an ex would try to make you jealous I have a bit of a favor to ask.

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What I Talk About In This Episode

  • The reasons for why I think Kate’s ex is trying to make her jealous.
  • An interesting study I found relating to selfies and insecurity
  • Understanding the positive side of jealousy
  • Why some men don’t even have a plan to make you jealous

Interview Transcript

  • Hey, what’s up and welcome to another fantastic episode of the exboyfriend recovery podcast. We’re really glad to have you here today.

    Today we’re going to be talking specifically about jealousy but we’re going to have kind of an interesting twist on this one because normally when people ask me about jealousy and how it relates to break ups and exes, they’re asking, “How can I make my exboyfriend jealous?” and of course they’re doing so in a way that hopefully will improve their outcome of success.

    They’re hoping that if they make their ex jealous, he’s going to realize that he still has feelings for the girl and ultimately comes back but today, we’re going to kind of reverse engineer and talk about an ex who maybe are trying to make you jealous with his actions and what that means and why he does that.

    We’re going to be hearing from a woman named Kate who asked a question about that very topic but before we get into that I have a bit of a favor to ask you. If you haven’t already heard, I’ve been making kind of a big push lately to try to get you to subscribe and leave an honest rating or review on this podcast on iTunes.

    Now, if you haven’t done so already, I please highly recommend that you do that because in order for this podcast to survive, we really do need ratings, reviews and subscribers.

    So, I know in the past, I haven’t really done a really great job of promoting the iTunes page or this podcast on iTunes but that’s something that I’m trying to improve.

    So, even though it will probably only take you about 4 or 5 minutes out of your entire day. If you’re enjoying this contact, if it’s helping you through your break up, if you want to to hear more of this episodes, please just take 5 minutes out of your day, and leave an honest rating or review on our iTunes page which I’m going to link to in the show notes of this episode and also subscribe so you can get daily updates whenever I put out a new podcast episode.

    Ok, now that that stuff is out of the way, let’s actually get to the fun part and talk about jealousy.

    So, I’m just going to throw it right to Kate.

  • Hi Chris,

    My name is Kate and I’ve got a quick question for you.

    So, I’m day 20 of no contact and I’ve not heard from my ex which is fine. However before I unfollowed him on social media, around day 10, I saw that he went out drinking with some work mates for Halloween and posted it on Facebook.

    He knows how to make himself look good in photos when he wants to accentuate certain features, etc. And I noticed that about half of the photos were with him posing with female work colleagues which obviously didn’t make me feel very good. I didn’t react to it.

    I really wanted to make things hard for a few days but I didn’t.

    Anyway after reading about making your ex jealous on Facebook etc, I felt that this was the aggressive tactic that you mentioned, and I’m just wondering why he’s potentially trying to me feel jealous when he broke up with me. I know that he definitely didn’t expect for me to silent this long and I’m wondering if his behavior is a good sign or a bad sign, any insight would be great.


  • Hey, I want to take a minute to thank you so much for you question Kate and I had a chance to kind of prep before we actually did or before I actually hit record on the podcast episode here and I found some really interesting things that even

    I didn’t know but before I get to that, let me do a kind of really, really, really quick recap of your situation since that probably will help people who skipped the voice mail that you did because I know some listeners do that.

    They want to get right to the meat.

    So, basically your situation is really straight forward. 20 days into your no no contact period which congrats you’re almost there.

    So just keep it up and you’ll make it through but you haven’t heard from him in those 20 days but around day 10, you noticed he started posting photos with other women and you’re wondering if he’s trying to make you jealous and you’re wondering why he would do that and if it’s a good sign or a bad sign.

    So, really I just want to tailor this and this is going to be kind of a quicker episode than normal because there’s not a ton of stuff to really sink my teeth into here but let’s talk about jealousy.

    So, ok, I think the best way to tackle jealousy is specifically by looking at the double edged sword nature to it. So, not a lot of people realize this but there is actually a very, very big positive side to jealousy but it’s  a lot about weighing your options and weighing if it’s the right thing to do for you.

    So, the best way to look at jealousy is not as this horrible, horrible thing because jealousy can have a positive side. In fact, jealousy can be kind of a double edged sword.

    So, on the one hand, jealousy can be this great thing that you use to really understand, how much your partner means to you and it’s an indication to them on how much–how are their feelings for you.

    Because think about it, if you feel jealous about someone, then you must love them. The worst thing that can happen is if you’re indifferent about your mate’s activities.

    In that cast, you’re expressing that you really don’t care all that much about them and that’s not a good sign. So, the positive side to jealousy is if you used it and your partner or mate or whatever or have you or whatever adjective you can use to describe your significant other–hey there’s another one.

    If they jealous about it, then it does mean that they care about you and that is something that we can work with.

    Now, on the other hand, jealousy can have a bit of a negative downside because if you over play your hand, if you use jealousy too much or you’re a little bit too aggressive about jealousy which I had noticed you had read one of my articles where I started talking about aggressive jealousy, I’ll get to that in just a second.

    But if you’re too aggressive, the jealousy, it can actually be the catalyst for a break up. So, often times, with jealousy it’s about walking this fine line.

    Now, let’s about aggressive jealousy.

    What are these types of jealousies, that even though I know this topic is not necessarily talking about how to make your ex jealous. It’s if he’s trying to make you jealous and what that means.

    Let’s assume that you are trying to make your ex jealous, well, the wrong way to go about that is be very, very aggressive in how you go about it.

    Taking pictures with other women, kissing other women in pictures, holding them by the waist, looking like you’re essentially a couple.

    You want to look like you’re friends, nothing more, nothing less. Often times, you just need to give your ex  or whoever you’re trying to make jealous, enough rope to kind of hang themselves so to speak.

    Because if that happens, they’ll start to realize, how much that they actually feel for you. Now, let’s look at some of the reasons for why your ex trying to make you jealous.

    So, you had mentioned, he’s taking pictures with other women and I’m assuming from your reaction, this is not  a normal behavior for your ex, which probably means that on some level he is trying to make you jealous.

    Now, I thought a lot about this and I was trying to think specifically about some of the reasons why he might want to make you jealous.

    The first thing, ultimately, I came up with two really, really good reasons that I could actually find statistics to back up and also to draw from my own personal experience in trying to make women jealous and also my friend’s personal experience.

    So, let’s start first with reason number 1, reason number 1 is because he knows he’s going to irk you. He knows it’s going to annoy you.

    Essentially this is the na na na boo boo effect where he’s just doing this to show, hey look where I am, look what I am doing. I’m not broken from this break up.

    You’re broken from this break up.

    Now is your ex doing this to you?

    I would actually border on saying no, I don’t think he’s doing that to you because a really high candidate target for this, someone who’s probably most likely to act this way is someone who’s emotionally immature.

    Now, how do I know this? How do I know that men or boys, as I’ll call them who are emotionally immature will act this way?

    Because this was how I would definitely use jealousy in my late teens and early twenties. I wasn’t emotionally mature yet. I didn’t really understand what it took to make a relationship work.

    In essence, you go through a break up, you post pictures and sort of the na na na boo boo look what I’m doing kind of effect there.

    I’m often reminded of this that–this is kind of  a weird story and a little off topic but I remember a few years ago, I was in my car driving to a college class in the morning and when I would do that in the morning, I would always have the radio playing.

    And there would always be this radio show where they talk about interesting things, mostly about pretty stupid stuff but there was one particular time they started talking about correlation between insecurity and the amount of pictures people have of themselves on Facebook.

    And what they found is that girls and men who are constantly taking selfies of themselves and constantly having thousands of photos of themselves are actually more insecure than those who don’t.

    And I’m often reminded of this because him doing that, him posting pictures of himself with other women is a way of him showing you his insecurity that he’s actually very affected by this break up, that he’s actually very hurt by this break up and the fact that he has to do the na na na boo boo type thing just shows that, proves that he’s hurt and this is his way of coping with it.

    He’s emotionally immature. He doesn’t know the proper way to cope with it. He’s just sort of deal with it. It’s a way of life. Do I think this is your ex? No, I really don’t this is your ex Kate.

    So, what do I think?

    Which category do I think your ex falls into?

    Well, I think he’s trying to elicit reaction out of you which is reason number 2, for why he would want to make you jealous. Now, why would he want to try to elicit a reaction out of you?

    Well, the thing you need to look at here is your circumstance, your situation. Not a lot of people look at it this way but whenever someone comes to me with their situation, I have a sort of template of a strategy that you need to follow to either get them back or you move on.

    Usually moving on is a lot easier than getting him back but let’s assume for this case and I’m pretty sure you want your ex back here Kate. I have sort of the general template to follow but the thing that really kind of dictates what you are doing is the situation you find your self in.

    So, I noticed that you said, you’re 20 days into no contact and he had never probably anticipated you ignoring him like this and so, he’s probably to stubborn to reach out to you which is very, very normal and it’s not abnormal at all but his way of maybe reaching out to you.

    In his mind, he’s having a stop process go like there’s no way I’m reaching out to her, she’s going to have to reach out to me first, and that’s fine but one thing that I kind of I think solidifies the fact that he’s having this thoughts in his head is the fact that he’s trying to take this pictures with other girls to try to elicit this reaction out of you.

    You’re 20 days into no contact, he hasn’t heard from you, he wants you to talk to him probably, but he doesn’t want to be the one to actually sort of throws down the gauntlet and say I give up, I’m going to try reaching out to you. Instead he’s going to try to elicit this reaction out of you, so that you’ll blow up.

    So, that he can kind of get some confirmation on his hypothesis. And his hypotheisis is, hey this isn’t normal. This is the first break up I’ve ever gone through where my ex is actually flat out ignoring me. Like that’s not normal. This has to be affecting her too. I can’t have meant nothing to her. I know what I’ll do.

    I’ll do something to try to elicit a reaction. And I feel though, that sometimes in situations like this, I don’t even think men are absolutely planning to have this happen. I think they’re just reacting to a situation and bam!

    They get this idea in their head. So, your ex is out at this halloween party you said, he didn’t go into this halloween party immediately thinking, “Ok, I’m going to find a girl. I’m going to take a picture with her. I’m going to post it on Facebook. I’m going to make her jealous.”

    I think often times, it’s more of a reactionary type unfolding mechanism where he gets into this party, he gets some alcohol, he’s dancing around, he’s chatting some girls up.

    Maybe he finds one of the girls attractive and then you pop into his mind because of course you pop into his mind. You pop into his mind and he’s sitting there thinking, “Oh wait. I know what I can do. I can show her that I am not broken by this break up. I can be the one that gets the reaction out of her. I’m going to ask this girl to take a picture with me. ”

    So, it’s not that he went in there with a plan. I think more of it’s a reactionary type thing.

    So, if you know me, I’m a big believer in statistics and actually having science or proof to back up any claim that I make. So, one of the big claims that I’m making here is, he’s trying to make you jealous to get this reaction out of you which ok, we know that.

    But what does statistics say?

    Well, lots of scientists have done lots of studies in jealousy and a couple of guys named sheets and colleagues in 1997 released this book where they were looking at jealousy and they reported that for those who have intentionally tried to make their partner jealous which is what my hypothesis is with your ex, 87% had done so, to get attention from their partner.


    That’s a huge number.

    Almost 90%, ok we’ll say 87% but let’s round up and say 90.

    Almost 90% chance that your ex is trying to get some type of attention from you and I think we can really kind of put our stamp on this because you’re in no contact and it’s such an abnormal thing for you to do because he’s used to break ups where maybe girls are freaking out afterwards, or maybe girls are tripping over themselves or begging for him back or he’s got this god complex where he thinks there’s no way I didn’t mean anything to her.

    This can’t be true. So, that’s what I think is going on here. I think he’s simply trying to elicit a reaction out of you and the best way to approach this is to simply not give him a reaction. The important thing here is to move forward, to march forward doing so in your terms.

    That was a pretty quick episode I admit but very educational I hope.

    So, we’re going to be doing lots of this fun little bite sized in addition to a lot of success story interviews and also expert interviews where I’m going to take clients that I’ve worked with who have gotten exes back and interview them about what they did that works versus what they did that didn’t work.

    I’m going to be talking to experts about some of the best things that you can do to get your ex back and even looking at different philosophies. Some of the experts have their own interesting ideas that I’ve actually taken and put into my own strategies because they have just been so revolutionary.

    Sometimes I learn things from my own clients that I just never thought of. There’s one person that comes to mind immediately, and she’s on our private support group.

    She has this really interesting way of looking at conversations and how really there’s only four types of conversations that you can have and the best way to get to the conversation that you want to have with your ex is you have to start off small and then build up using this specific topics and she had this really interesting theory behind it.

    And I’m looking into it and thinking about talking about here in a few episodes for you but if you haven’t already, I highly, highly recommend you go check out our iTunes page and either subscribe to this podcast and leave an honest rating or review. Again we need this ratings and reviews to survive.

    That’s the only way that I can keep doing this podcasts is if we get enough ratings and reviews to stay relevant on iTunes, to get new listeners.

    So, if you haven’t already, just take a few minutes out of your day. I know many of you who are listening to this probably will never do this.

    Many of you who are listening to this probably has never left a review on anything their entire life.

    You’re probably exactly like me but I do want to say, if this is helping you and if you do want more, I beg you please, please, go to Itunes, it’s as simple as leaving a rating, a review, be honest, whatever yo think about this, I promise my feelings will not get hurt and subscribe to this particular podcast if you really enjoy the content.

    I’ll be leaving links to the iTunes page where you can subscribe and leave  a rate and review in the show notes of this episode on exboyfriendrecovery.com  and if you just still are having trouble finding this particular episode or the particular link, just go to iTunes, type in exboyfriend recovery and you will find our podcast where you can leave us that rating and review or even subscribe.

    That is going to do it for this episode. I really enjoyed it guys and I will see you guys next time!

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8 thoughts on “Why Would An Ex Try To Make You Jealous?”

  1. Avatar


    August 4, 2017 at 8:50 am

    So my ex and I had a nasty break up. We were together 3 years have a child tog he and live together. My child and I are moving states away back home so I’m following two articles on what to do. I just recently started no contact even though I still live with him til the end of the month. He went away to his drill station for the week and I guess noticed I was on snap chat with the baby but ignoring his text. So he started posting that he was getting random sexual questions from this new app and was apparently “drunk at a bar” these were all on his snap story. Is he trying to make me jealous and what should I do when he comes back and gets mad about why I ignored him.

    1. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      August 6, 2017 at 7:40 am

      since you have a child, it’s ok to talk to him about the child only.. tell him you’re busy.. if he’s angry, let him be.. just maintain your composure and be indifferent.

  2. Avatar


    June 29, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Hi Amor,
    I had just about started giving up on my ex, after failed attempts of texting (despite successful no contact) and he has reached out to me again. He’s in hospital again (chronic illness) and he has been trying to get me to visit him. I wanted to, but never had the courage. I kept responding neutrally to his messages, like he did before I gave up. He always tries to keep the conversation going. Today he might have started trying to make me jealous, but maybe he isn’t; I’m not sure. He’s started talking about other girls he met in hospital and one of them is an old friend from grade school (backstory: my ex and me were in the same class in grade school and I already had a crush on him back then. We found each other years after) Therefore, I’m even more sceptical about visiting him.
    I hope you can help.

    1. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      June 30, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      You have to decide.. Either you go or you dont because nothing will happen if you don’t decide