12 Signs Your Ex Is Testing You and What It Means

Last Updated on May 31, 2022 by Alexander Burgemeester

Have you been asking yourself, what are the signs your ex is testing you?

They will make it obvious by sending you messages from fake accounts, asking you questions about your current relationship, and trying to sleep with you.

There are several reasons why your ex will decide they want to get back with you, but it might take them a while to reach out. In some cases, you would have moved on, and in others, you have no interest in rekindling the relationship.

But if you do, or you’re on the fence about it, you’ll need to know what signs to look for to determine whether your ex-partner is trying to resurrect your former union.

Here are thirteen signs your ex is testing you and what it means.

Why Is Your Ex Testing You?

Whether your ex was the dumper or you dumped them, they will not try and get back with you without testing the waters first.

No one likes feeling rejected, so your ex won’t ask you directly, but their actions will let you know that they’re trying to see where your head is at.

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Why Is Your Ex Testing You

Do you want to know the answer to’ how do you know if your ex is testing the waters?’ Here are five signs:

#1 A Casual Check In

You’ll get a random message by text message or email, saying something casual like, “How are you? Or, “What’s up?” The goal of a message of this nature is to see if you will respond. 

#2 Checking If You’re Still Single

If you respond and you start talking again, their next test will be to find out if you’re single or if you’ve got your eye on someone.

Your ex won’t want to make it obvious they’re interested in whether you’re single, so they won’t ask you directly whether you’re seeing someone else.

But they’ll ask questions like: “What did you get up to this weekend?” “Was anyone interesting there?” “Are you going to XYZ event? Are you going with anyone?” 

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Before proceeding with their mission to get you back, your ex needs to know that it’s worth the investment. If you’ve got a new partner, it could be a sign you’ve moved on.

Most people will be respectful and leave you to it. But others might see it as a challenge and try even harder to win you back. 

#3 Your Ex Will Ask Direct Questions

If you’re not giving enough information away with their indirect line of questioning, and they can’t determine whether you’ve got a new partner, your ex will ask you outright whether you’re seeing someone else.

#4 Hypothetical Questions

Another way of testing the waters before diving in is by asking hypothetical questions. Using this approach, your ex eliminates the risk of rejection by getting you to tell them what you want.

So instead of saying, “I’ve changed my mind about us not being together, I want to try again and see if we can make things work this time.”

They will say something like, “What would you say if I said I was thinking about us getting back together?” 

#5 Asking About The Future

Your ex will vaguely ask where you can see yourself in five years. They hope that you’ll say you’d like to think you guys had worked out your differences by then and that you could get back together.

If they don’t get the response they were looking for, they’ll take it up a notch and ask whether you see them in your future and in what capacity.  

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How do you know if your ex is confused about you?

If your ex is giving you mixed signals, it’s a sign they’re confused about their feelings for you. When someone is confused about their feelings, their mind tells them one thing, and their heart tells them another.

How do you know if your ex is confused about you

In other words, your ex-partner is still madly in love with you, but logic is telling them that they can’t be in a relationship with you.

You may have had a tumultuous relationship, or there was a lot of family pressure to end things because they didn’t like you. 

How do you know if your ex is trying to get your attention?

When someone is trying to get your attention, they might not necessarily reach out to you directly.

Still, they’ll make it obvious they’re trying to get your attention by asking your mutual friends questions about you, posting obvious posts on social media, and intentionally being in the same places as you. 

How do you know if your ex is trying to get your attention

#1 Talking About You To Your Mutual Friends

Your ex might start doing things like talking to your mutual friends about you knowing full well that they’re going to run back and tell you.

They’ll ask questions such as, “So is my ex seeing anyone at the moment?” Or they’ll say stuff like, “I really think I made a huge mistake ending the relationship, but I just don’t know how to get things back on track.

What do you think I should do guys?”  

#2 Posting Obvious Posts On Social Media

Suddenly, your ex will start posting nostalgic posts on social media about how much they miss being in a relationship and the pain of ending a relationship.

To make sure you really get the hint, the picture will be of a place you visited together, and if your ex is feeling brave, they may also tag you in the post to ensure you see it. 

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#3 Intentionally Being In The Same Places As You

Ultimately, your ex wants to reopen lines of communication with you. If they’re the persistent type and they’ve tried everything else, and nothing worked, they’ll make sure you are both in the same place at the same time.

Since you were once an item, your ex knows your schedule; they know you go to the grocery store at 12 pm on Saturday or go to the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so they’ll start showing up at these places acting like it’s a coincidence. 

Is my ex testing me to see if I’ve changed? 

Most likely, your partner broke up with you because there was something about your character they thought was flawed.

Granted, there’s no such thing as a perfect person, but everyone has their limits when it comes to compromising on character traits in a relationship.

Is my ex testing me to see if I've changed

Let’s say your partner dumped you because you’re too argumentative. You were the type of person who felt the need to argue over every last thing. But after each argument, you promised to change but never did.

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Eventually, your partner got tired of it and dumped you. But in their head, they knew the break-up wasn’t permanent.

The hope was that you’d see how much damage your attitude was doing to the relationship and change.

12 Signs Your Ex Is Testing You

How do you know if your ex is testing you? That’s a good question, and there are plenty of signs that will alert you that your ex is indeed testing you.

They will include sending you messages from fake accounts, asking you questions about your current relationship, and trying to sleep with you. Here are 15 signs your ex is trying to test you.

#1 Sending You Messages From Fake Accounts

This is a very childish and over-the-top way of testing you, but it’s something that ex-partners do when they want to find out whether you’re ready to start dating again.

This is typically something ex’s do when you break up with them and gave the excuse that you’re not ready or don’t have time for a relationship.

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If that’s the case, you can expect a DM from some random person trying to start a conversation. If you respond, they’ll let you know they’re interested in you and see how you react.

They’ll flirt and see if you flirt back, and if they’re brave enough, they’ll ask to take you out on a date.

To put the icing on the cake, they’ll surprise you by showing up at the meeting spot, and this is where you’ll hear their wrath.

Your ex will call you a liar for saying you wanted to end things because you didn’t want to be in a relationship, but here you are ready to go on a date! 

#2 Asking You Questions About Your Current Relationship

Although you post on social media about how happy you are with your new partner, your ex will want to know whether you really are happy or if it’s all for show.

So when you speak, they’ll be asking you plenty of questions about your new relationship. They’ll know exactly what to ask you because your ex knows what makes you tick.

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They’ll also know if you’re lying if they know you really well. The hope is that you’re not happy in your relationship, so they can come along and save the day. 

#3 Trying To Sleep With You

If your ex dumped you because you did something to break their trust, one of the ways they will test you is by trying to sleep with you.

I know this sounds strange, but let me explain. You should only expect this if you’re in a relationship. Even if you didn’t cheat on your partner, you might have done something that led them to think you have cheating potential; they panicked and dumped you.

Trying To Sleep With You

But after thinking about it for a while, they realize they went overboard by dumping you, and now they want you back. But according to your social media account, you’re in a relationship.

Your ex-partner isn’t happy about this, but they also see it as an opportunity to test you. 

Your ex isn’t trying to sleep with you because they miss having sex with you; they want to know if you are trustworthy.

If you make the mistake of sleeping with your ex, they won’t want to get back together because you’ve proved you’re not trustworthy.

If your partner is the messy type, they’ll let whoever you’re dating know they slept with you, and that will be the end of your new relationship. 

#4 Your Ex Will Play Mind Games

One of the many narcissistic trait is to play mind games. As you would have experienced, your narcissistic ex-partner would have won you over by love-bombing you at the beginning of the relationship.

They whispered all the right sweet nothings into your ear, bought you gifts, and took you to fancy restaurants. Once they hooked you, they turned nasty.

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Well, after you walk out, the narcissist will 10X this and add a twist. Instead of love-bombing you and then turning nasty and never love-bombing you again, they’ll alternate between the two.

It will be love-bomb, nasty, love-bomb, nasty, love-bomb nasty. This is the narcissist’s way of testing how far they can push you. If you tolerate it, they know they’ve got you. 

#5 They Will Stalk You On Social Media

In today’s social media era, stalking is an effortless task. People can sit in the comfort of their homes and watch your every move simply by observing your life on social media.

Your ex will test you by liking and commenting on all your posts and viewing your Instagram stories. The aim is to see whether you’ll start doing the same.

They Will Stalk You On Social Media

If you do, it’s a sign you’re still interested; if you don’t, they’ll either leave you alone or move on to another strategy to try and get your attention. 

#6 They Will Check On How Well You’re Doing

This is typically the way a female will test a guy who dumped them. If she’s into status, she’ll try and find out whether you’ve started that business venture you were talking about and, if so, how much money it’s generating.

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She will want to know things like whether you’ve got a new car, or if you’ve bought a house. Basically, they’ve got a new partner, and they want to know whether their new man is doing better than you.

If so, she can sleep peacefully knowing she’s upgraded. 

#7 They Will Test Whether They Can Still Rely On You

A reliable person is trustworthy, dependable, and responsible. Reliability builds trust in a relationship.

When dating someone, a person will often go out of their way to be reliable to ensure the trust is established.

If you can still rely on your ex-partner after you’ve broken up, it’s a sign they still care about you and that there’s a possibility you could get back together.

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Your ex-partner will test you by asking for your help on something major. It won’t be a small request either; it will be something that you’ve got to go out of your way for.

However, people often do more for their partners than their friends. And if you’re not planning on getting back together, you’ll probably reject their request to show you’ve withdrawn that privilege from them.

#8 Your Ex Will Bring Up The Past

Any time your ex sees you or speaks to you, they’ll talk about all the fun you had when you were together.

They’ll remind you of the vacations, the wild nights out, and anything else that will hopefully get your pulse racing.

Your Ex Will Bring Up The Past

The idea is to get you to reminisce about how great things were when you were a couple so that you’ll change your mind and decide you want to try again.

#9 Your Ex Will Push Your Boundaries

If your ex was a narcissist, they will test you by violating your boundaries. Since you’ve most likely already experienced this, you will recognize what your ex is trying to do when it happens.

Narcissists don’t respect boundaries for several reasons, and one of them is because they believe they’re superior beings. They think that rules and regulations are for everyone else apart from them.

So the narcissist doesn’t care when they’re invading someone’s space. Additionally, they don’t see what they’re doing as boundary violation; they think they’ve got the right to be there.

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The narcissist will push your boundaries to see if they still have control over you. If they do, they’ll walk right back into your life before you can even blink.

#10 Your Ex Will Test Your Loyalty

Loyalty is a character trait; it’s not something that you turn off and on when you feel like it. But if your ex-partner wants to get back together with you, they’ll want to test your loyalty.

One way of doing this is by using a decoy; they’ll send an unsuspecting mutual friend to have a conversation about them. The conversation will aim to see if they can get you to speak negatively about them or reveal secrets that only you know.

So the decoy might call you up and pretend that they’re no longer speaking to your ex because of an argument about money.

Your Ex Will Test Your Loyalty

Choosing this subject is intentional because you broke up with your ex because they were too irresponsible with money, and the final straw was they asked to use your credit card for a large purchase and never paid it back.

This person will say something similar: your ex owed them money and didn’t pay it back. If you spill the beans, they know they can no longer trust you.

But if you keep the information to yourself and don’t say anything negative about your ex, they’ve hit a home run. 

#11 Your Ex Will Pretend They’ve Moved On

Although your ex hasn’t moved on, they spend their nights crying into their pillow because they miss you so much. They’ll pretend as if they’ve moved on. Your ex will do this by ceasing contact.

They’ll go from zero to one hundred overnight. One minute, they were calling and texting and begging you to get back together; the next, they’ve gone missing in action.

Your ex realized that their first strategy wasn’t working, so they’ve moved on to the next. By withdrawing their attention, they’re hoping that you will either start missing them or worry that something happened.

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If they’re really desperate, your ex will stop posting on social media to intensify your worrying. If you take the bait, you’ll call to find out whether they’re okay. 

#12 Your Ex Will Try And Make You Jealous

Nothing tells an ex you’re still interested better than a jealous reaction. So to test you, they’ll start by posting pictures on social media of them having a wild night out.

They’ll make sure the pictures are full of the opposite sex, so you’ll wonder if they’ve met someone else. To ensure they get to see your reaction face to face, they’ll turn up at places they know you’re going to be with someone of the opposite sex hanging off their arm, acting like their new partner.

Your Ex Will Try And Make You Jealous

When your ex sees you, they’ll stop and have a conversation so they can watch your reaction in real-time. You’ll probably be shocked and may trip over your words and act flustered.

Your ex will then go for the kill and call you the same evening, pretending they’re checking on you because you seemed slightly off-balance when they saw you today.

The true aim of the phone call is to see if you ask about the person they were with. If you do, they’ll know they’ve got you, and they can start working on reeling you back in. 

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What To Do If Your Ex Is Testing You

What to do if your ex is testing you will depend on whether you want to get back together with them or not.

But you should play it cool, don’t act the same way you used to, and have a conversation with your ex. Keep reading to gain more insight into what to do if your ex is testing you. 

#1 Consider Your Emotional State

Before responding to your ex-partner, think about where you are emotional.

If you had a painful break-up, you might not be over them just yet, and responding too early may lead you to get back together with someone you’re not destined to be with.

Consider Your Emotional State

One of the wounds failed relationships inflict upon us is unanswered questions. You’ll be tempted to respond so you can get some answers. If you know that you’re on the right path, that you’re healing, and you don’t want your peace disturbed, don’t respond.

When you think about it, what is closure? Your ex-partner telling you why they ended the relationship? What’s the point? It’s over now, and looking in the rearview mirror of life isn’t going to help you move forward.

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In fact, the answers you get might keep you stuck in the past. You will know in your gut whether it’s the right time to start communicating with your ex again, and if it doesn’t feel right, take a step back. 

#2 Play It Cool

Regardless of who did the dumping, when you realize your ex-partner is testing you, play it cool, don’t freak out, and don’t let them know you’re being tested.

As mentioned, one of the reasons your ex is testing you is because they want to know whether you’ve changed. So if you were the type who argued with them about everything, they’d push your buttons to see if you’ll start a fight.

No matter what they say, don’t retaliate. 

#3 Don’t Respond Immediately

When your ex-partner reaches out, they’re hoping you’ll respond. Don’t. You may feel extremely emotional, anger, joy, or sadness.

In which case, you’ll feel a sense of urgency to respond, and your fingers will type quicker than your brain can process what’s happening. But in order to ensure you don’t say something you’ll regret, the best course of action is to wait.

Your Ex Will Try And Make You Jealous (1)

Relationship therapist Lindsey Pratt advises that you take a step back before replying so that your response isn’t reactionary. Additionally, don’t pour your heart out; keep things light so you can figure out what their intentions are. 

#4 Don’t Keep Going Back 

Yo-yo relationships are when two people keep breaking up and getting back together. It happens because, in your mind, you both know you’re not right for each other, but your hearts are connected.

This type of toxic relationship is dangerous for your mental health. By the time you find the strength to leave, your self-esteem will be at an all time low.

You must remember why you broke up in the first place. Suppose you are seriously considering getting back with your ex.

In that case, you need to make sure you’ve both changed, acknowledge why the relationship failed, and be willing to put the work in to ensure the relationship is a success this time around. 

#5 Think About Your Current Partner

There are many people involved in your decisions, and when your ex comes crawling back, you must consider their feelings.

If you’re single, then responding to your ex isn’t going to hurt anyone but you if things don’t work out. However, if you’re dating someone new, you’ll need to think about how they’d feel if they knew you were communicating with your ex.

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Depending on how close you are to your partner, you’ve probably told them all about your past relationship, how in love you were, and how heartbroken you were when the relationship ended.

If this is the case, they’re not going to be very happy about you re-connecting. Your new partner will be afraid that you’re considering getting back with your ex.

So before you hit that send button, have a talk with your new love interest and see how they feel about it.

#6 Go No Contact

If you are thinking about getting back together with your ex-partner, go no contact. This is because you want to make sure you’re making decisions based on logic and not your emotions.

This is especially true if your ex dumped you and you’re still suffering from a broken heart. Since you broke up, you’ve probably been devastated and had plenty of sleepless nights wondering what you could have done that was so wrong that your partner didn’t want to be with you anymore.

Go No Contact

So when your ex contacts you again, you’re ecstatic because that’s exactly what you wanted. But now isn’t the time to make such decisions because you’re too emotional.

Relationship expert Paulette Kouffman Sherman states that you should wait for at least one month before dating again. The average person needs at least two months to mourn, process, and learn lessons from the break-up.

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Kouffman adds if you were in a long-term relationship, you should stay single for around three to four months.

If your ex is serious about getting back with you, they will respect your wishes about going no contact. No contact means you don’t have any communication whatsoever during this time.

It will give you the opportunity to process your emotions and make intelligent decisions, so you don’t end up in a toxic relationship. 

#7 Don’t Act The Same Way You Used To 

If want to get back with your ex and you broke up because of your bad attitude, at that moment, think about how you would have reacted and decide you would do the opposite.

No matter what scenario they present to you, don’t react in the same way you did when you were together. In this way, your partner will be impressed with your new attitude, and they’ll have a stronger desire to want to get back together with you.

You’ll have absolutely no chance by acting in the same way you used to!

#8 Have A Conversation With Your Ex

If you don’t want to get back together with your ex-partner, have an adult conversation about it when you realize they’re testing you.

Now, your ex will probably not admit to testing you, but you need to let them know you have no intentions of getting back together with them.

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In this way, your ex-partner will stop wasting their time and move on with their life. 

Final Thoughts

So now that you know your ex wants to get back with you, the question is, what are you going to do about it?

Your first step should be to think about why you broke up in the first place. If nothing has changed, stay away, but if you think it’s worth giving it another shot, go for it.

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Alexander Burgemeester

Alexander Burgemeester has a Master in Neuropsychology. He studied at the University of Amsterdam and has a bachelor's in Clinical Psychology. Want to know more?

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