Does she want you back or doesn’t she?
It can be hard to say.
Especially when you think she’s giving you a sign.
Part of you, the rational part kinda nods your head with the wan half smile like “yeah, okay buddy, sure” as you try to dismiss the false hope and get back to surviving.
But deep down, the raw and emotional part of you can’t help but wonder – is this the sign I was looking for to roll the dice one last time? To take one final stab at getting her back?
Today – we’re going to take a deep dive into 15 of the most common signs that your ex-girlfriend may want you back.
I’ve created this list based on firsthand experience from my coaching clients, and where possible and appropriate I’ve included peer-reviewed, scientific studies.
In other words, don’t expect this list to be about horoscopes, voodoo or any of that shit. As I always do here, we’ll keep it grounded in the facts and science.
Anyway, I’ve teased you enough. Here are the 15 clearest signs that she wants you back but is scared.
I won’t waste your time here – so here are 15 of the most telling signs she is scared to admit she wants you back.
- She apologizes for the breakup (out of nowhere)
- She stays in your physical orbit
- She finds small ways to demonstrate her affection
- She compliments you (for no reason)
- She overcompensates
- She shares her future plans and is curious about yours
- She’ll reach out, but back off if you chase
- She goes cold when you act needy
- She’ll meet up, but won’t talk about the relationship
- She gets angry at you
- She gives you mixed signals
- She’s uncomfortable when you’re around other women
- She really wants to be friends with you
- She tests your boundaries
- She indirectly seeks your approval
I do want to caution you before we dive in – even though these signs can indicate she wants to get back together with you, that path is far from certain and fraught with many difficulties.
Keep that in mind. Just because she is thinking about getting back together with you does not mean the relationship will work a second time.
With that said – let’s fuck around and find out if she really does want you back.
As a side note, if you suspect she does want you back you’re going to want to check out my complete guide to getting back together with her before you try anything. I promise it will set your ass straight.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way…
Let’s start with one of the strongest signs:
1: She Apologizes For The Breakup (Out Of Nowhere)
If your ex-girlfriend has gone out of her way to apologize for the breakup, take note: there’s a chance she regrets her actions and wants you back.
There’s an excellent study from July 2017, first published in Evolutionary Psychological Science that supports this claim. The study asked 74 men and women which strategies they prefer to smooth over conflict after a major relationship argument.
The top strategy favored by women?
A few weeks ago, one of my clients was chugging along on no-contact. He was 4 months into it, when he got a long email from his ex, where she apologized for all the shit she put him through at the end of their relationship.
And I mean it, she put him through it.
But like I teach in my course on how to get your ex back, he met her apology with empathy instead of anger. They just went on their first date as of writing this. So far, so good.
2: She Stays In Your Physical Orbit
If you notice that your ex-girlfriend often lurks in the background wherever you find yourself, it could be a sign she wants to get back together with you.
While the term stalking is often thrown around to describe this behavior – it doesn’t really fit.
Stalking feels threatening – and the studies I’ve seen suggest that it’s rare for men to be stalked. One CDC study suggests that 1 in 17 (~5.8%) of men get stalked during their lifetime by an ex-girlfriend. 
Staying in your physical orbit is far more subtle than stalking. She’s around but not necessarily making you feel uncomfortable.
If you share a friend group, a community, or a shared activity that gives her plausible deniability to be around you, this happens more often.
I have a client who’s ex keeps showing up to watch his pickleball matches. Fair enough – she also plays pickleball and the community in his area is relatively small. It’s when she started showing up at the same house parties that he began to wonder.
And with good reason.
A couple of weeks ago they hooked up, and she let it slip: she made a mistake, and wanted him back.
Just goes to show – if she makes herself available to you (even indirectly) she may be thinking about you.
3: She Finds Small Ways To Demonstrate Her Affection
An affectionate gesture is any action or expression that conveys a level of care, warmth, or fondness. These are small gestures – stuff that has plausible deniability if you call her out. What separates a gesture of affection from a simple gesture of kindness? Emotional leverage.
A gesture with emotional leverage is something she knows you will appreciate – because the specific gesture has a unique meaning to you.
The first woman I fell in love with did this after our breakup.
She knew I valued sharing knowlege as a form of intimacy. She was (and still is) smart. She’d send me thought provoking articles, often without context.
In hindsight – this was an invitation to talk more. But I was too young and too avoidant to know any better.
There’s a study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science that gestures of affection like this can increase feelings of love and attachment to another person. 
Probably not a bad idea on her part if she wants you back, huh?
4: She Compliments You (For No Reason)
If you notice your ex-girlfriend seems suspiciously complementary to you, it could be a sign she wants you back.
While men tend to use compliments more often that women to say “hey, I fucked up” women do it too, although considerably less often.
The type of compliment also matters in my experience.
A compliment that is about something that is innate to you (your personality, your attitude, how you act) more often reflects a desire to get back together then a compliment about something external to you – such as if she tells you that you look good.
Another type of compliment to watch out for – gratitude. If she tells you she’s grateful for you, pay attention. Why is that the case?
A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology identifies gratitude as one of the key variables in forming strong attachment bonds (AKA relationships) 
Think about the last time someone told you how grateful they were for you. How did you feel about that person?
Warm and fuzzy, right?
5: She Overcompensates
Your ex-girlfriend may act as if she’s content and happy about the entire thing to obscure how vulnerable she feels – because it frames her as a more attractive and desirable option.
In his 1995 book “Self-Presentation: Impression Management and Interpersonal Behavior”, Duke neuroscientist Mark Leary explores how we all make an effort to control how we’re seen by others – particularly in relationships and social situations.
Leary explains that most of us show layers of ourselves to others – based on our interpersonal goals in any given situation and how we think we can best achieve them. 
Let’s imagine she is scared of your reaction but wants to get back together with you. What do you think is more attractive: her coming to you from a position of strength where she’s happy without you, or her coming to you sniveling and crying about how shitty her life is without you in it?
While I’m sure you’d rather have the second scenario, I’m sure you can begrudgingly admit the first strategy feels like it’d be more effective.
After all – it’s what you’re doing right now, isn’t it?
And from that position of strength, she can see how you react without showing vulnerability.
6: She’s Shares Her Future Plans (And Is Curious About Yours)
When your ex-girlfriend shares her dreams, aspirations, or even her fears for the future, it could be a sign that she’s testing the waters for a potential reunion.
Ditto if she’s curious about your future.
I was reading a thread on reddit from a woman who explained how this curiousity feels (and the impact of it).
Recently, he moved to the other side of the country for a job opportunity and it’s sent my mind into a frenzy. I worry about him like crazy and miss him a lot. The day that he left, it’s like a scene from a movie kept playing in my head where I thought about going to the airport and holding him and telling him not to go…
I’ve made plans to fly out and see him sometime in the summer after he settles in a bit. I really want to tell him how I’m feeling and see if there’s any possibility of mending our romantic relationship, but I’m also afraid it would be far too selfish to bring it up to him when he seems to be moving on with his life.u/ubuubaa
As an aside…
A study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found that couples who discuss their future plans together, even hypothetical ones, tend to be more satisfied and committed to their relationships .
What does that say about your relationship, then?
By talking about the future, your ex-girlfriend might be seeking reassurance and trying to gauge your level of interest in getting back together – just like our girl from Reddit.
So, if you find your ex-girlfriend bringing up the future or discussing her ambitions, take it as a subtle sign that she might be interested in mending your romantic relationship.
7: She Reaches Out, But Backs Off When You Push Too Hard
She reaches out to you without you doing anything and seems enthusiastic overall. However, she backs off and stops contacting you when you push her too hard for something as opposed to giving her the option.
What She’s Scared Of:
Being pushed to do things she isn’t ready to do yet. Getting your ex-girlfriend back can take time. She needs space and time to think about how she feels without you. Pushing her for things ahead of when she feels comfortable giving them will lead to her ghosting you.
How To Not Screw It Up:
To have success with your ex-girlfriend you need to stop playing checkers and start playing chess. Strategy motherfucker!
You need to think LONG-TERM. To really boil it down to the simplest form, getting your ex-girlfriend back is about the following sequence.
She reaches out -> you set a date at your place -> you have a fun time and avoid discussing anything serious -> you have sex -> repeat.
It’s really that simple.
Getting your ex-girlfriend back is a long campaign where it may take months to earn her trust again.
So why rush?
Take the time to embrace the process. In the meantime, enjoy the freedom to date and improve your skills with new women!
“But Jack” you say “I want her back now!”
Don’t be weak only to push her right into the arms of another guy.
No matter how much you’ve changed she’s not going to see you once and then immediately want to get back together with you like nothing happened.
That’s just not how it works.
Your ex-girlfriend needs time and space to allow her feelings towards you to return. And it’s up to you to have the self-control to give her space to do so.
Trust, love, and attraction grow with repetition.
The two biggest ways men screw this up are as follows:
A: You finally use the no-contact rule and start getting your life back together. But, it all falls apart the second she reaches out to you. Immediately, you send her 15 incredibly needy messages basically begging her to take your ass back.
Predictably, you get no response.
B: She agrees to get together and everything goes well. After the date, you immediately start pushing her to get back into a relationship with you. And guess what happens? “Suddenly” she drops off the face of the earth again.
You’ve taken her signs of interest and taken it too far, too fast.
Think about this from her perspective. She wants time to feel you out again. She wants to see if you’ve changed.
What does it say to her if you immediately push her for something? It tells her you’re not confident in yourself because you’re worried she’ll turn tail and run if you don’t lock her down. It tells her that you’re reactive when she really wants you to be proactive.
Chances are, you were lazy and failed to lead your relationship with her in the first place. This likely played a big part in her leaving you.
What she really wants to see is for you to be calm and assertive. She wants you to understand that it takes time. She also wants to see you slowly lead her back to trusting you.
Emphasis on lead.
To avoid screwing up when she reaches out or agreeing to go on a date you need to play it cool.
To keep it simple: Focus on having fun! Don’t worry about anything else. If you two have fun, she’ll do all the pushing for you.
Her Reaching Out Is A Good Sign – Don’t Screw It Up
Her reaching out is a good sign if you want her back – so it’s important not to push her away. If you are having trouble with her backing off after reaching out, I strongly suggest you book an email coaching session with me below. Click the button below, give me some more information about your situation, and I can help you diagnose what is going wrong.
Otherwise, if you don’t need tailored advice, read the posts below to get a more general idea of how to approach her reaching out.
8: She Goes Cold When You Act Needy
She’s willing to talk with you and go on dates. But the second you act needy (talking too much, not giving her space, and not letting her come to you), she’s gone faster than the Brown’s chances of winning a Superbowl every year.
What She’s Scared Of:
To build trust in you again, your ex-girlfriend needs to know that you’re confident and reliable. Being needy immediately destroys any confidence she has in you because it shows her that you’re afraid of losing her.
How To Avoid Screwing It Up:
Don’t be fucking needy. Simple answer.
Don’t text her unless she texts you first. If she texts you first, only use the phone to make a date.
Don’t slobber all over her on Instagram. Leave the liking and commenting on her posts to the other hapless guys who aren’t getting any.
Date other women!
It’s very easy to scare off your ex-girlfriend when you’re in the initial stages of re-attraction.
You have to contend with her emotions, her friends, and her doubts, all of which are against you.
Having done this multiple times myself, I can tell you that one of the fastest ways to lose your ex-girlfriend for good is to be needy.
When you feel needy, you’ll feel the need to force things. When you have to force something, nothing good will come of it.
Write that one down, and make it part of your life. You’ll thank me later!
As we’ve already established, getting your ex-girlfriend back is a long term game. You need a healthy dose of patience if you want her back.
You also need plenty of outcome independence which is the single most attractive characteristic you can have.
Outcome independence is even more critical with your ex-girlfriend because you have even less room for error than you do with a new woman.
The best way to avoid being needy is to do the following:
9: She’ll Meet Up, But Won’t Talk About Getting Together
She’s open to hanging out and talking with you, but doesn’t bring up getting back together even if you are sleeping together frequently.
What She’s Scared Of:
She’s afraid that your relationship will immediately go back to the way it was when she broke up with you. She’s still attracted enough to want to see you, but not comfortable enough to bring up a relationship label.
How To Not Screw It Up:
Don’t push relationship labels! Who cares if she’s officially your girlfriend or not if you’re having a good time? Enjoy it for what it is, and keep the door open for her to walk back into your life.
Seriously, see if you can think of one purely logical reason why she has to have the girlfriend label.
Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Pretty difficult, right?
The most common objection I get to this is something along the lines of “If she’s not my girlfriend what’s stopping her from getting someone else?”
But will just calling her your girlfriend stop her from doing that if she really wants to?
Nope. If you think otherwise, you’re just going to get burned.
It’s not the label, it’s how she feels about you that matters. She could be head over heels in love with you, whether she calls you her boyfriend or not.
Relationship labels are her thing. Instead of trying to push her to be official again, let her be the one to bring it up.
Let her try to push you into a relationship. If she’s trying to push you into a relationship, she’s not dumping you, or replacing you with someone else.
If you follow the ex-recovery formula correctly, she’ll bring it up to you eventually.
And then all you have to do is say yes.
That’s not that bad, now is it?
10: She Gets Angry At You
She directly or indirectly gets angry at you for something you did during your time together or something you’re currently doing.
What She’s Scared Of:
Being disappointed. Anger is a cover for other emotions. Women often use anger to hide the fact that they’re feeling vulnerable. She’s still attracted to you enough to care, and that care leaves her feeling scared that you’ll fail to meet her expectations again.
How Not To Screw It Up:
When she’s actually angry, don’t try to get into an argument with her. You’re not going to convince her of anything.
The only thing you can do by arguing is push her further away.
Logic won’t work either. Have you ever tried to “logically” convince an anti-vaxxer that vaccines work? What about convincing a socialist that capitalism is good?
When logic meets emotion, emotion wins.
So don’t waste your breath.
Take note of what she’s angry at, and then read this article about why her anger is a good thing, and how you can use it to build a stronger relationship going forward.
If she has a logical concern behind her anger, make sure you take action to address it. For example, if she’s pissed off because you constantly go back on your word, stop going back on your word.
Once you’ve made the change, let her see it in your actions. For example, set a date with her and then follow through on it. Keep showing her you’ve changed, and eventually the source of that anger (her vulnerability) will become a non-issue.
One important thing to note: don’t tell her you’re changing it. Remember the number one cause of her fear is you talking too much.
She doesn’t want to hear you talk! She wants to see you act.
However, if she’s angry about something totally ridiculous like how much time you spend in the gym, don’t do anything. Don’t change.
A lot of times women will get angry about things just to test you. Your ex-girlfriend is no different. She’ll test you to see how strong you are.
More on that in a minute. Stand your ground, but don’t rub it in her face. Chances are if it’s something ridiculous she’ll eventually back off.
Once she backs off, don’t mention the area of contention. If she brings it up, pay her lip service and change the topic.
Good women know when they’re being ridiculous. Anyone that tells you otherwise is lying.
If she doesn’t, you probably want to avoid her before she really goes off the deep end, because you’ve got yourself a ticking time bomb.
11: She’s Giving You Mixed Messages
Sometimes she’s excited about the prospect of seeing you, while other times she doesn’t seem to care that you exist. This can also include periods where she reaches out to you all the time but then stops randomly with no explanation.
What She’s Scared Of:
Her own feelings. Assuming you’re doing everything right (which you probably aren’t), when a woman goes back and forth it means she’s questioning her own judgment and is scared to make a decision. Does she really want you? Or does she want someone else?
How To Not Screw It Up:
I’ve got some bad news for you. If she’s hot and cold with you, chances are you’re screwing something up right this second.
If You Give Me More Information – I Can Help You Figure Out What
It’s impossible to diagnose exactly what is going wrong without having more detailed information about your unique situation. If you’re not willing to risk guessing, I strongly suggest working with me to find out the most likely cause.
If you’re willing to guess, it’s possible you could be doing things like:
- Reaching out to her, instead of letting her reach out to you.
- Not working to demonstrate how much you’ve changed without having to tell her.
- Not communicating properly.
- Not acting congruently. For example, you might act confident sometimes, but needy other times. This causes her to doubt.
- Pushing her for a relationship, instead of letting her bring it up.
- Getting too serious too fast. See her once a week initially, and continue that indefinitely until she brings up seeing you more.
- Talking too much, and not making dates. Whenever you talk on the phone you should be making a date! No exceptions.
- Not using no-contact correctly. It’s not a defined time period. There’s no rush to break it.
If you’re doing any of these wrong – stop doing them.
Now, if you’re doing everything right and she’s hot and cold, chances are she’s either confused, or seeing someone else.
If you’re doing everything correctly, there’s nothing more you can do. Keep your options open by dating other women so you’re not needy. Give her time and space to miss you.
When it comes to other men, chances are her other guy will screw something up. If you’re doing everything right, she’ll have no choice but to choose you over him.
Focus on making your time together as enjoyable as possible, but other than that there’s not a ton you can do if she’s genuinely confused.
Make sure all the emotions she gets from you are as positive as possible. Stay encouraging, stay happy, and stay fun. If something is bothering you, don’t talk to her about it. Bring it elsewhere.
Keeping the focus positive can cause her to associate you with good emotions, which will make her more likely to choose you.
12: She’s Uncomfortable When Other Women Are Around You
If she catches you around other women her body language immediately tightens up. This can also be commonly expressed as her showing resentment or asking questions if you post a picture of you with another woman on your social media.
What She’s Scared Of:
That you’ll replace her with someone better, even if she’s just keeping you as one of many options. It’s also possible she’s jealous that you’re treating someone else better than you treated her in the relationship.
How To Not Screw It Up:
Keep doing what you’re doing. In fact, do more of it!
Your ex-girlfriend lost the right to complain about the women you’re around when she broke up with you. It’s not your fault that it makes her uncomfortable.
No matter what, don’t stop spending time with other women. If you cave and go celibate for her, she’ll happily put you in the friendzone as a backup option while she moves on to someone new.
If you’re in marketing you’ve probably heard of the concept of perceived value. Perceived value is the amount of value each person puts on something, independent of the knowledge of its actual value.
Now, all else equal people will pay more for something they perceive to be worth more.
Furthermore, if a lot of people want something, the perceived value goes up, especially if there’s a limited amount of supply.
When your ex-girlfriend sees you with other women, your perceived value goes up because there’s only one of you. And clearly, if there are other women in the picture, you have demand.
See where I’m going with this? If she wants you back, she’s going to have to act fast before someone else snaps you up.
So don’t stop dating. If she wants you to stop, she’s going to have to offer herself instead.
13: She Wants To Be Friends First, And Then See What Happens
She says something to you along the lines of “let’s take things slow and start by being friends again”. She might offer you an excuse about wanting to see how you both feel. She could also link it back to trust.
What She’s Scared Of:
You. You’ve done something to hurt her where she wants to really take things slow. More likely though, she’s trying to be friends as a “compromise” option because she doesn’t want to hurt your feelings by dumping you. She may also be afraid of losing you completely.
How To Not Screw It Up:
Being “friends” is a bad deal for you, whether her intentions are honest or not.
A lot of times when she wants to find a new guy, she’ll bring in an old guy that she can use for validation while she finds someone that really gets her wet.
Not all women do this, and most women who ask to be friends do so for the right reasons.
Regardless. Do. Not. Accept. Just. Being. Friends.
Read that again. Don’t fucking do it man. If you want a relationship with her, you need to make a stand for what you want.
Tell her the truth. Say something along the lines of “Baby, I love you too much to be your friend. I want to touch you/kiss you/etc. If you want a relationship, you know where to find me”
That’s it. Then you go no-contact and don’t contact her again until she reaches out.
Do not be friends under any circumstances. No matter what she tells you, being friends will not help your chances.
You want her to think of you as a boyfriend that sexually ravishes her, not a “best friend” who she complains about her period cramps to.
Stay out of the friend zone.
14: She Tests Your Boundaries
If your ex-girlfriend starts testing your boundaries, it could be a sign that she wants to get back together but is afraid of looking vulnerable.
So instead, she rolls up with one of our best friends here at Men’s Breakup: a good ol’ shit test.
Welcome to $h!t test city, hope you enjoy your stay.
This includes includes shit like:
- Texting or calling late at night to see if you’ll respond
- Telling you “you’re the only one I trust with this”
- Venting her negative emotions and her fears to you
- Asking about your dating life (more on this later)
- A sudden request or ask for some small favor
- Inviting you to do something with her
By pushing your limits, she’s trying to gauge your reactions and determine whether you still care about her.
I had one client who’s ex called him at 2 in the morning because she’d been sippin’ on too much henny at the club. Predictably, my client showed up because he still cared about her.
Not all heroes wear capes. Some of them drive Escalades.
She was a mess, but their drunken reunion led to hot and heavy makeup sex. A week later, they got back together (though they eventually split up for compatibility reasons).
Being able to exercise the self-control to not back down in the face of your boundaries being tested is a key element in rebuilding an all-important element of the relationship: trust. Boundary testing can be a tactic to measure your level of commitment and willingness to engage with her. 
So, if your ex-girlfriend starts pushing your boundaries, pay attention.
She may be testing the waters to see if you’re still interested in her, without directly admitting her feelings or intentions.
Just remember to approach these situations with patience and understanding.
She’s likely scared of rejection and may not know how to express her feelings openly. By responding to her boundary tests with care and empathy, you’ll show her that you’re still a reliable and supportive presence in her life.
15: She Indirectly Seeks Your Approval
If your ex-girlfriend is subtly seeking your validation or approval, it might indicate that she wants to get back together but is afraid to make her intentions clear.
There are a lot of ways she may indirectly seek your approval to test the waters for getting back together. These include:
- Talking up her accomplishments to you (or broadcasting them via social)
- Talking about how much progress she’s made
- Showcasing how much better her life is now
- Asking what you think of her decisions
- Mentioning who she’s dated
Feeling cared for, loved, and supported is vital to any relationship, and your ex may be testing you to see how support the new version of her.
Or she might just be chasing validation.
Approval seeking is generally a great sign that she wants you back. Why would she give a shit what you think if you aren’t important to her?
Moving Forward: Watch For These Signs But Don’t Get Carried Away
Has your ex-girlfriend been showing you any of these signs?
You’re in a good spot.
Just make sure you don’t read into it too much – at the end of the day signs are just signs. They could mean anything – or nothing. You’re always better off focusing on yourself and not on what she’s doing.
Keep the focus on yourself, your grind, your craft and your mind.
That’s the way forward – with or without her.
Stay dangerous my friend,
PS: PS: Got a burning question about your ex-girlfriend or your unique situation that you want my expert advice on? Click here to learn how I can help you.