When you still care for your ex it may seem there is a chance of getting back together but you wonder, is my ex stringing me along? Something is telling you they may be and it is wise to listen to your instincts to avoid getting hurt.
Maybe you suspect your ex is stringing you along because one minute they’re all over you, saying they love you, maybe even having sex with you. The next, they’re cold and distant, not answering texts or calls.
You may suspect your ex is stringing you along because they want your advice about everything, a shoulder to cry on, someone they can “really talk to,” and again, sometimes sex. It seems like they really can’t live without you – you’re important and special – until your ex says they just want to be friends.
Either way, mixed messages from an ex are hurtful and confusing, particularly when an ex is now with someone else. What do they want?
- It could be that your ex is indeed stringing you along as a back up option for sex or a relationship.
- They may have no idea of how confusing and misleading their behavior is. They may genuinely want to be “just friends” not realizing how hard it is for you – you want to be much more than friends.
- Perhaps your ex wants to be more than friends too – they just don’t know it yet, or don’t know how to say it.
Whether your ex is guilty or innocent of deliberately stringing you along, you need to know where you stand and draw a line to protect yourself from being hurt.
So how can you tell if your ex is stringing you along, or if they really do have feelings for you. If there there is a chance they want to get back together too?
One thing you can do is weigh up the evidence.
Another thing you can do is stop guessing and arrange to have a talk with your ex. When you actually meet, tell them that you are confused about how they feel, what they want and what the future holds. Explain that you need to know because you need to move on. To do this you need to know exactly what the nature of your relationship is.
Their response will give you some clues to their intentions.
- If your ex is stringing you along: There is a good chance they will try to persuade you that they can’t help themselves. That they have feelings for you that they have tried to put aside but can’t – that they are confused too. This is an all-too-neat and conveniently flattering – “you’re irresistible” – excuse for the hot-cold behavior of an ex who is stringing you along. The flattery is the giveaway (be on the alert for charming smiles and dewy eyes) and their “confusion” buys them time – it keeps you on the hook. Do not accept this. Insist your ex makes a decision about how they feel and that in the meantime, that they respect clear boundaries between you.
- If your ex is not stringing you along – their behaviour has been misinterpreted: They will be genuinely surprised and apologetic about how they have made you feel. They will happy (anxious, even) to explain exactly what their feelings for you are so that the two of you can move ahead with no misunderstandings. You must be prepared for the fact that their feelings may not be what you want them to be. That they have no intention of getting back together – that your ex just wants to be friends.
- Finally, if your ex does still care for you: If they have already decided they want to get back together, your talk will result in a solid step in that direction. If your ex still cares but remains genuinely uncertain and confused about getting back together, they will seem confused. They will be hesitant and wary, not wanting to commit themselves one way or the other – neither overly flattering nor outright telling you there’s no hope. As soon as you sense this genuine confusion, ease off. Suggest a casual meeting in a month or so and in the meantime, give your ex time and space to discover what they really feel about life without you.
In summary, do not live in limbo land wondering, is my ex stringing me along? You may be setting yourself up to get hurt – or missing an opportunity to get back together with your ex sooner rather than later. Until you get some answers, treat yourself with respect. If nothing else, draw a line when it comes to sex with your ex.