Wouldn’t it be nice if you could read your ex’s mind? It would be great to know what they’re thinking, what they want and how they feel about you.

Too bad it’s impossible…or is it? While you can’t read your ex’s mind, I’m going to give you a bunch of indicators that will let you know whether your ex is still thinking about you or not.

So, if you keep reading, you may not know exactly what your ex is thinking… but you will have a much better idea of what’s going on in their head, and how they’re feeling towards you and about the breakup.  

Factors To Consider

Now I need to begin with  a disclaimer: Truth is there are a number of factors at play when we’re trying to answer the question: “is my ex thinking about me?”…  In particular, there are three factors that we need to cover briefly.  

1.) The depth and intensity of your relationship with this ex.

This is just common sense. I know it may have felt serious but in the grand scheme of things, casually dating on and off for a month isn’t a proper relationship that will stick with your ex the way a more serious one would. 

Same goes for any sort of online relationship where you and your ex only met face to face once or twice. 

On the other hand, if you’ve lived together with your ex… spent almost every day together… maybe even had children together…. that’s a completely different story.  

Simply put, the longer you and your ex were together, and the deeper and more committed your relationship was, the more impact breaking up is going to have on both parties.

If you dated for a week then you’re probably not on their mind. If you were together five years, they’ll never truly stop thinking about you entirely because you were enmeshed in their life.

Not exactly rocket science, is it?  But you need to be able to realistically evaluate your own relationship and determine exactly how serious it was because that will impact what’s going on in your ex’s head.

2.) The length of time since the breakup. 

If your breakup with this ex was more than 2 years ago, then you can probably safely assume that your ex is not thinking about you right now, even if the relationship was serious and long-term.

They’ll think about you now and then, definitely, but not in any kind of regular way.  

On the other hand, if you broke up with your ex within the last month or so, that’s a very different ball game.

In most cases, the first month will always be a struggle for your ex just as much as it is for you… and I can guarantee that you’re on your ex’s mind constantly.

For those who were in a really long-term, serious relationship — your ex will still think of you daily for months after breaking up.  

See, one of the mistakes a lot of people make is to assume that the pain and heartache they’re feeling after the breakup are far worse than whatever their ex is going through at the same time.

It doesn’t work like that for 99% of breakups… regardless of whether you were dumped out of the blue, whether it was mutual, or whether you are the one initiating a breakup.

It’s always painful and difficult for both partners, and just because your ex is the one who decided on the initial breakup doesn’t mean they’re not struggling even more than you are right now!  

In fact, and a lot of people might be skeptical about this, but I promise it’s absolutely true — sometimes the “dumper”, or the person who wanted to break up and end things, actually has an even harder time than their partner who was dumped and didn’t have a say in the matter.

One of the main reasons for this is because your ex, or the person who decided to break up, knows you’ll likely say yes if they change their mind and decide, “actually no, I don’t want this, let’s get back together”… simply knowing you can take the easy road and numb the heartache at any time makes it very very difficult to stick to your decision and get through the worst of the post-breakup emotions.

If you’ve seen any of my videos you’ll know that this is one of the key techniques that I teach — how to maximize your ex’s internal struggles and second-thoughts to the point where they do indeed break down and beg to have you back… and of course, this only works because both parties go through the same painful recovery process after breaking up.

So, don’t delude yourself into thinking that you’re the only one crying about this breakup, because your ex is definitely suffering too, and that’s what is going to help you get them back.

3.)  Your ex’s rebound relationship

When I talk about externalities, I’m typically referring to a rebound relationship or another person in your ex’s life.  A rebound relationship, if that’s actually what it is, doesn’t stop your ex from feeling the post-breakup emotions and depression… all it does is change when those emotions are felt.

In a traditional rebound, the new person in your ex’s life is going to be like a shiny object that distracts them temporarily from the heartache that they’re enduring.

But because most rebounds are based on passion, physical attraction, and a desire to experience something new and different… they don’t usually last very long.

Once the novelty of this new person wears off, and the passion and excitement fizzle out, it’s normal for your ex to then realize that they’re not compatible anyway and that the relationship has no long-term future. 

Now, for anyone in this exact situation I just described — where you’ve been apart from your ex for a month or two now, and right after the initial breakup your ex jumped into a rebound relationship that is now coming to an end or starting to fizzle out — you can safely assume that your ex is actually going to be feeling even worse now than they would have if this rebound had never happened at all.

By jumping into a new relationship right away, they’ve essentially just deferred the pain and heartache of a breakup until later by distracting themselves.

But when “later” finally does arrive, and the rebound ends, your ex has to face the music and it can often actually intensify their sadness and loneliness. 

Why?  Well, for starters, they’ve now essentially gone through two breakups, even though the second was much less significant.  But more importantly, as I’ve mentioned before, humans also have a natural tendency to let go of negative thoughts and memories and fixate or even amplify the positive ones.

So unlike right after the breakup, when your ex had all the negative aspects of your relationship on their mind and being apart seemed like the right choice, at this point your ex will have a harder time remembering all the things that led to them deciding to end your relationship, and be more likely to have begun focusing on the positive aspects that make them miss you and want to get back together.

And finally, because this new rebound person isn’t likely as compatible with your ex was you were, it also gives them someone to compare to you — and most of the time, that’s only going to further crank up the feelings of doubt and regret in the back of your ex’s mind, because now they’ve just had a fresh reminder of how “special” and rare the connection you shared really was.  

So, what’s the verdict on what your ex is thinking if they’re still in a rebound relationship right now?  Honestly, they’re likely distracted by this new person, and they’ll be thinking about you sometimes, but not as often as you think of them.

But on the other hand, if this rebound has already ended, then your ex is going to often be in an even worse state of emotional health than you were in the immediate aftermath of the breakup… and I can guarantee you’ll be on their mind constantly if this is the case.  

Now for the bad news regarding rebound relationships…  not all relationships that begin soon after breaking up are a rebound.

Most are, but some are more serious.  And perhaps more importantly, sometimes they begin before the actual breakup even happens.

It doesn’t have to be an official ‘relationship’ or involve anything physical initially, it could simply mean that your ex was working closely with someone of the opposite gender on a big project at work in the weeks before you broke up… and, as they became closer to this new person and started to imagine themselves as a couple… that’s typically when the seeds of the breakup are planted.  

Having someone new to run off to and quash the post-breakup heartache is also something that can often give confidence to anyone who has been wondering for some time whether the relationship they’re in has a real future.

Add an intriguing new person of the opposite sex to this existing doubt about things, and that’s often enough for someone to get the courage to break up and run off with this new person they’ve been falling for.   

This is probably the most painful and difficult breakup situation you can face, quite frankly, if you’re on the receiving end of this sort of scenario where your ex has essentially dumped you for someone else..

Especially if you’ve seen signs of this happening long before the breakup, and you were aware of the new person in your ex’s life long before breaking up.  So if you are in this boat, I really am sorry and I empathize with what you’re going through.  

Sadly, this is one of the only factors — aside from the two I mentioned earlier, the seriousness and length of your relationship and the amount of time since you broke up — that will likely mean your ex is NOT thinking about you as much as you’re thinking about them.

Having a new relationship to talk into immediately after breaking up, especially if it’s pre-planned and your ex has been slowly drifting into the new person’s arms even while you were still together, is an effective way to avoid the worst of the heartache that typically affects everyone after breaking up.

Now, that’s not to say they’re never thinking of you at all anymore, so don’t assume you magically disappeared from your ex’s thoughts all of a sudden one day.  It just means that you likely had, or have, a longer and more difficult recovery to get over your ex.

Also, in this type of situation, they’ll usually not think about you that much in the immediate days or weeks after breaking up… the peak of their feelings of missing you and thinking about you will likely come after they’ve settled into the new relationship, once it becomes less exciting and more routine. 

Even then, you can expect to pop up in their mind from time to time, but unfortunately not as often as you might hope.  

When Your Ex Will Definitely Obsess Over You

Finally, folks, there’s a couple of times when you can be absolutely certain that your ex is thinking about you and missing you as much as you miss your ex.  

The first is when your ex really hits rock bottom after the breakup.

Depending on how serious your relationship was, this is usually 2-4 weeks after you broke up… at this point your ex, or the person who initiated the breakup, no longer has any feelings of excitement about the prospects of being single.  They’re also likely less convinced that they made the right decision in breaking up.

The reality has sunk in by this point, they’ve felt enough heartache already to be second-guessing their choice to end things, and their friends and family are no longer around 24/7 to keep their mind off the breakup…this is a bad place to be.

If your ex is in this phase right now, you can be damn sure they’re wishing you were around and they’re thinking about you frequently.  

The second situation where your ex is almost guaranteed to think about you is when they’re out and about, living life… and then they see or hear something that reminds them of you

Usually it’s very specific –a smell that brings you to mind, for example.  Or seeing an ad for a restaurant you visited together on your first anniversary as a couple.  Or, for the most cliche example… when they hear “your song”.

I imagine you know exactly the type of situation I’m talking about, where you think things are fine and you’re feeling better… and then, bam, out of the blue you suddenly see or hear something that you can’t help but associate with your ex.

There’s absolutely no question that your ex will experience this type of thing too… and in fact, you might both be feeling it at the same time.

Dave Barker

Breakup Coach

About the Author

Dave Barker is a breakup and 'ex back' coach with over a decade of experience helping clients repair and improve romantic relationships.

View Articles