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Think YOUR ex is still in love with you? Nine ways you’re probably kidding yourself (and the one question that really WILL tell you if there’s hope)

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Visit this website on any given day and you’ll see any number of celebrities admitting to being stuck on an ex.

There a few things more devastatingly miserable than desperately pining for someone we loved who left us.

Time does heal but it can be a slow, painful process – far quicker is getting a much-need reality check.

This is what this article is.

It might be painful to read but it might also shock you into facing this truth: if your ex wanted to come back, they would be by your side right now.

These are the reasons most people drag out as evidence there is hope of reconciliation – and why most mean nothing of the sort.

IT DOESN’T MEAN THEY STILL LOVE YOU IF…

They keep finding excuses to run into me

“He keeps parking his car next to mine”. “She always seems to catch the same train as me.”

Are they trying to run into you or just living their life?

The sad reality is that even if they did park near you, they probably didn’t even notice.

If you live or work in the same area as your much-missed ex, you’re desperately trying to spot their car so are much more likely to notice if they’ve parked close by.

They just parked the car where there was a space.

Beware reading too much into your exes actions – it’s nearly always wishful thinking and a great way to keep yourself stuck.

They call me when they’re drunk to say they still miss me.

The truth comes out when you’re drunk, right?

That’s debatable.

What’s not is that nearly everyone feels needy and lonely when they’re drunk and wants love, affection and sex.

If there’s no one else around, people have a nasty habit of reaching for their phones to drunk call or text their ex.

Remember, you aren’t the only one who romanticizes the past.

The only difference is, you do it when sober, they do it when they’re drunk.

What’s telling is what happens the next day.

Do they call you when sober to say, “Sorry about calling you drunk last night but I actually meant what I said”?

Or do they send a text apologizing and then swiftly backtrack when you ask if there was any truth to them missing you?

Something tells me it’s the latter.

They come over when they’re drunk and we end up having sex

If this happens on a frequent basis and it’s followed by them leaving in the morning and not contacting you until the next they’re drunk and frisky, you are simply their booty call.

If it happens once and then you don’t hear back, it could be they were going back in order to move forward.

It’s not uncommon for people to revisit exes before making a serious commitment to someone new.

If there is any residual feeling or doubt, people sometimes hook up one last time to see if they’re making the right decision.

In most cases, they decide they are and move into the future without looking back again.

The ex, on the other hand, feels abandoned (again) and even more confused than they were.

Don’t be.

If your ex came back and then disappeared again, they obviously decided the connection wasn’t there anymore.

You have your answer.

They’re still single – they can’t move on either

First up, how do you know for sure that they are single?

Friends told you? They’re not posting happy couple pics on social media?

Neither are reliable sources.

If you’ve only recently split, could be they’re pretending they’re single because they don’t want to hurt you further.

Either way, it’s irrelevant because there are many reasons why people stay single and not being over you is just one of them.

More likely is they’re enjoying playing the field or taking their time before committing again to ensure they don’t make the same mistakes.

Or they’ve been put off relationships for life after dating you.

Not a pleasant thought. No wonder you’ve turned it into something else.

They ask mutual friends how I am

Just because your ex doesn’t want to be in a romantic relationship with you, doesn’t mean they don’t care.

If they’re genuinely concerned about you, of course they will ask mutual friends how you are.

Don’t confuse caring with love.

Wanting you to be happy isn’t the same as wanting you back.

Other, less kind exes will ask friends what you’re up to because they like the thought that you’re still not over them.

Their ego gets a boost every time they hear it.

For others, it’s simply a polite question they feel they should ask to show mutual friends they aren’t the cruel person they fear you’re making them out to be.

They won’t say they DON’T love me

Sometimes, it’s not just you who finds it hard to let go.

If you’ve had a long, significant relationship that worked well for a while, it’s normal to have the odd ‘Did I do the right thing leaving?’ panic.

We learn from our mistakes and analysing past relationships is an effective way to avoid falling into toxic patterns of behavior.

The ex who won’t be badgered into saying outright ‘I don’t still love you’ either doesn’t want to hurt you or doesn’t want to completely close the door.

It’s the ‘I don’t want you but I don’t want anyone else to have you either’ at play.

If it’s the latter, you’re effectively their ‘back-up person’: the one they hold in reserve to go to if no-one better turns up.

Mr or Miss Second Best.

How does that make you feel?

If the answer is a sad ‘hopeful’, be aware that very few people end up with their back up person for one very logical reason.

We all want the first prize not the consolation.

They’re all over their partner whenever I’m around

There are reasons why – and most aren’t encouraging.

Most obvious is they’re aware you haven’t moved on and want you to see that they very much have (‘Look! See I’m in love with someone else now! Go away!)

The second reason is they’re all over their new partner all of the time not just when you’re around because they’re really into them.

How do you know what they do when you aren’t there?

Spying friends aren’t the most reliable sources.

They want to see you happy so have a vested interest in the two of you getting back together and also see things that aren’t there.

They follow me on social media

Just because your ex hasn’t unfollowed you, doesn’t mean they are poring over every picture you post.

Even if they are, it’s normal – most people are curious about what their exes are up to.

If curiosity isn’t behind them liking the odd picture or continuing to follow you, it’s probably them not wanting to seem impolite or genuinely wanting to check you are OK after they dumped you.

They’ve remarried but I can tell they’re not happy and it’s not going to last

Do you have real evidence to back up this claim? Or do you just ‘know in your heart’ that they’ll come back eventually?

If you genuinely believe this, how long are you going to wait for them to see sense?

A month? A year? Three years? Five? Ten?

What will it take for you to accept it’s over?

For most, a partner marrying someone else really is the nail in the coffin than finally lets them lay their ex to rest.

Why isn’t it yours?

THIS IS THE ONE AND ONLY QUESTION THAT REALLY MATTERS ABOUT EXES:

Do they know you still love them and would love to give the relationship another chance?

If they don’t know, write an email or letter right now.

Keep it brief and straight to the point: simply say you still love them and then spell out exactly why you think the relationship would work this time around.

(If you’re seriously struggling to write down why it will work now when it didn’t before, hopefully a lightning bolt in the shape of a reality check will cure you of the obsession instantly.)

If they do know and they aren’t contacting you directly to say ‘Yes I love you too. Let’s meet to discuss this’, it is not going to happen.

If you loved each other passionately once, there might well be a tiny part of their heart that still has your name on it.

But the nostalgic, bittersweet, memory-based love we reserve for exes that once meant something is not the same as the love we feel for someone we have a future with.

One looks back, the other looks forward.

Time for you to keep your eyes fixed straight ahead – to find your next love.

One that lasts the distance.

Visit traceycox.com for Tracey’s books, products and more advice.

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