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30 Significant Signs Your Ex Wants Your Attention

According to Brie Schmidt, a leading relationship expert, “Mind games are behaviors that lack authenticity, mislead someone else, and are typically used as a strategy.” That’s why sometimes, ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends might decide to play a little game with you. Trying to get your attention. When my friend James asked me, “Ryan, what are signs your ex wants your attention?” I thought, well I know!

Here’s the unfortunate thing—no matter what you do, these little games that people play with each other aren’t really good. They aren’t signs of a healthy relationship. And they are actually signs of an unhealthy relationship! They would indicate some type of personality disorder, usually. Where someone is incapable of communicating with you very clearly.

According to Pennsylvania State University, good communication is a key part of building trust. Effective communication shows two people are willing to think selflessly and engage in what the relationship needs.

But if you need some signs that these games are getting played with you. Try out some of these.

just a crumb of attention please gif

30 Significant Signs Your Ex Wants Your Attention

—Significant signs your ex wants your attention!

Signs they want your attention on social media

  1. They post about places that you’ve both been together.
  2. Stories are getting added that allude to listening to sad songs or sad movies.
  3. They’re posting poetry or other reflective material.
  4. They are posting lots of pictures of themselves having a little “too much” fun.
  5. There’s pictures of them wearing things that you liked or talked about.
  6. Their account is starting to follow other accounts that you are interested in.
  7. They’re messing you a lot or messaging your friends a lot.
  8. Posting stories or pictures of things that relate to you or relate to the relationship.
  9. They are just generally more active on social media than they ever have been before.
  10. Attention is getting put into their social media account, like a new picture or update bio.

See also: Signs your ex misses you

Signs your ex wants your attention because they want you back

  1. They’re talking to friends about you hoping that it gets to you.
  2. They are telling friends that they want you back and how big of a mistake they made.
  3. Text messages are getting sent to you in the morning or at night.
  4. They are professing how sorry they are without actually learning how to apologize.
  5. They’re following you and then unfollowing you multiple times on social media.
  6. You blocked their number and they found another way to text you.
  7. Places you frequently visited together are getting visited by them once more.
  8. There is an attempt to try to out on dates with you again.
  9. They are “putting on a show,” displaying how they are very different than they once were.
  10. You are hearing rumblings of how sad they are from friends—yet you don’t have to believe it.
give me attention gif signs your ex wants your attention

General signs a guy/girl might use to get a reaction out of you

  1. They are trying to dress differently or look differently.
  2. Once you broke up, they are immediately behaving a certain way (like the way that you wanted them to).
  3. A guy/girl might immediately date after you, trying to get your attention by hurting you.
  4. They might start talking to your friends more.
  5. Family members of yours are getting more attention than they once were.
  6. They’re visiting concerts of bands that you showed a general interest in.
  7. They are taking a lot of provocative selfies of themselves.
  8. In public spaces, they are conversing with more men/women hoping that you’ll notice or hear about it.
  9. The person is always smiling brightly and more openly when you’re around—trying to show you that they’re better off without you.
  10. You’ve noticed them on dating applications way too quickly!

See also: Signs a guy is falling out of love

attention everyone gif

My advice on ex’s wanting your attention…

Here’s the thing—I think this type of game playing is really immature. Depending on what age you are… You might be okay with it. But in reality, no matter what age you’re in, you should realize this is very bad behavior.

What I’ve learned is that this simply isn’t the way that you’re suppose to treat people. Even if you’re hurt or unsettled by something that happened in a relationship—the best thing to do is simply move on!

And that’s my advice to you… Don’t engage in these games. They will simply continue over and over. And it’s not like anything is going to change. You SHOULD NOT spend your time trying to change someone from who they are.

Who they are is simply who they are… Don’t waste your effort! Find someone on your level who matches your values.


Fact checked:
Board reviewed by Marianne Tomlinson, LCSW (Couples and Family Therapy). Content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact checkers. Learn more.

About the author

Ryan Sanderson (LCSW) Ryan is a game and relationship enthusiast who enjoys all things quizzes, games, fun, love, relationships, and family. He's a licensed social worker and helps families, couples, and children in need. He's spoken about love and relationships on Salon.com, Forbes, and Mirror, to name a few.

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