The confusion that arises after the breakup is usually related to the unresolved feelings that either you or your ex have.
When an ex wants you back but is scared, they will constantly go back and forth and in and out of your life.
From contacting you constantly to dating other people, getting jealous of you to being supportive leaves one to understand that they still love you.
Hence, what holds them back from reconciling the relationship might be fear of rejection, commitment, they’re hurt, or because of low self-esteem.
To understand better your ex’s behavior and know whether to reconcile or not, here are 12 signs that your ex wants you back but is scared:
1. They are interested in your life
How your ex approaches you to get information about your life depends on their personality and their attachment style.
If you notice that your ex is slowly getting interested in your life and you’re well-being, they’re pondering their decisions.
- They ask frequently about your activities and weekend plans.
- They genuinely ask about you and if there is anything that they could do to support you.
- They make an effort to be more around you.
- They also ask about your family and friends.
Hence, be careful how they approach you and if their intentions are honest.
Because your ex might do all of this just to hinder your healing process or just has a codependent personality.
Don’t rush immediately to go back to your ex. Try to assess your feelings by spending time alone, and be open to them but keep your boundaries too.
So, after the breakup or after some time, your ex will reach out to you as a friend.
It might be because of their fear to commit to a relationship, they are unsure of their feelings, or just want to keep you around.
In my experience, my ex lacked self-confidence and was dealing with a lot of personal issues at the time.
Because he needed time to work on himself, he asked me directly to stay friends.
We managed to have limited contact until he was ready to work on our issues and see where the relationship goes.
3. They try to be around you a lot
When an ex is scared but wants you back, they will try to reach out to you indirectly most of the time.
The fear of not being able to commit, the are scared that they might hurt you, or the fear of rejection keeps them in the background.
- You will meet your ex “randomly” in the places that you used to go or at the places you go now.
- You notice that they try to interact with you more on social media.
- They might like your posts or stories, or like one of your friends’ comments on your profile.
You will notice that many indirect signs can easily arise confusion.
Hence, if you feel like you can’t heal while interacting with them then you might either communicate with them or start using the No Contact Rule.
4. They’re in and out of other relationships
Sometimes an ex might want you back and can’t communicate their feelings, doubts, or fears with you.
Based on a scientific study, a man finds it difficult to be vulnerable when in a relationship and after a breakup.
Therefore, to fill the void of their longing and to express the feelings they have for you, they try other relationships.
Yet, you might notice that these relationships don’t last long.
I am aware that this sign is quite confusing because you won’t know yet their true intentions.
In this situation, it is better to focus on yourself and your healing journey.
Until there are no clear signs of them wanting you back, you shouldn’t reach out to them.
5. They’re flirtatious and compliment you a lot and then pull away
In this case, your ex will use flirtatious or suggestive language that will make you reminisce.
In general, they will use specific words to compliment you, words that will trigger you.
~If they know that you like to be complimented about your eyes, they might text you something like:
“Those eyes of you are the brightest ones in that photo that you posted yesterday.”
~Or if they meet you in person, they will try to be near you and use their limited physical touch.
Like touching your hand gently, brushing your shoulder, or touching your hair.
Yet, their communication and effort will stop there but they will do it enough t get your attention and break the ice.
6. They try to convince you indirectly to get back to them
When an ex tries to convince you indirectly to get back together, they will try to create a positive environment.
They will try hard to impact you positively, by supporting you at the hardest times and trying to help you with everything.
Yet, this time is the most confusing time and you’re stuck.
As the psychotherapist, Rachel Buchan claims you don’t know whether this “thing” you have right now is going anywhere.
On the other hand, they like to use metaphors and allusions to let you know what would it be if you would spend more time together.
Other than this, they try to spend more time with you and fill it with more happy memories.
- They will surprise you with any type of gift or make sudden surprises for you.
- Also, they will try to highlight the fact that they have changed.
- They try to reminisce and recreate those memories.
7. They continue to be affectionate
An ex that wants you back but is scared will tease you and maintain more physical contact with you.
Especially, if you still hang out with a mutual group of friends they will try to sit near you and flirt.
They will use sweet words or will try to tase you while challenging you to drink or eat something that you don’t like.
Moreover, they use positive affirmations and compliments to put you on a pedestal.
Thus, their subtle flirting and support might be taken as a sign of your ex wanting to get back together.
But be careful and don’t take these signs as a sure thing that they want you back.
Sit back and continue your journey. If your ex wants you permanently back, they will try to overcome any type of fear and show why they want you back
8. They have been working on themselves
This is an indirect sign that an ex might want you back but is scared.
Yet, it’s the healthiest sign because instead of putting the focus on you, they put the focus on themselves.
If they do this, then their intentions are genuine. It means that they want you back but are struggling with their inner self.
So, at this moment, they’re just building up themselves.
They don’t want to mislead you or lead you on for something that they aren’t sure about.
Thus, they’re also giving you time and space to work on yourself too.
9. Tries to spend more time with you alone
When an ex wants you but is scared, they will behave differently when they’re alone with you.
If you are in a group of people, then they will try to not give you attention because they might be afraid of how you’ll react.
Then they will try to find any opportunity to be alone with you and learn what you think and feel about them.
After this, they will show attraction and be flirty with you but still, they won’t do it in public.
Well, I also advise you to contact other relationship coaches and decode their behavior.
Because they might do this to keep their options open and keep you on the back burner.
10. They ask for advice from others regarding your relationship
They don’t know what they want and are trying to get the opinion of others to help them make a decision.
It’s hard to decode one’s behavior after a breakup because one reacts according to their attachment style.
When you notice that they want you back but they’re struggling to make a move, you might chat with a therapist.
Thus, they ask for the help of others- they might vent to their friends, family, or a therapist.
This doesn’t mean that they don’t love you or aren’t sure about their feelings.
They just need a second and third opinion to sort out their feelings and thoughts and be subjective.
You will know that they want you back because they’re willing to do anything to improve and keep in contact but yet there is no other action.
11. They mention plans with you but don’t put those into practice
An ex that gives you millions of hints and still won’t be direct with you means that either they want you back or are just playing around.
What makes the difference is that you will notice them struggling to put these plans into practice.
An ex that is scared to be back isn’t always the villain of the story.
It’s important to know that they’re struggling with their feelings, thoughts, and decisions.
For example, they reminisce on the past but never ask you to experience the same.
Or, they flirt with you on social media but never approach you in person.
12. They don’t block you in any platform and leave the door open for you to go back
One of the most fundamental signs that an ex wants you back but is scared is telling you everything about their relationship.
They might do it because they want to make you jealous or they want to tell you that now is the time for you to try again.
If they’re in a relationship that is not functioning properly, they will let you know about it.
Hence, be careful because they will not say it directly that they want you and they want to end this relationship.
They’re telling you all of this because they want to see your reaction and know whether you want them back or not.
A few more books to read, so you can understand better when an ex wants you but is scared:
Spotting the signs when your ex wants you back but is scared can be quite challenging.
So, to have a better idea of what your ex is thinking and feeling, you need to start from the genesis of dating and human beings.
~The most important thing is to understand how the male and female brain work while dating.
Before dating, it’s important to know what they think and feel before and while in a relationship.
So, by learning to talk to strangers first, you will get a grip on that person, their attachment style, and their personality.
~Other than this reading If Buddha dated, you will date with the guidance of Buddha’s wisdom.
You will learn how to connect first to your spiritual self and then define what you’re looking for in a partner.
~In the end, the book Chatting or Cheating by Sheri Meyers will help you to understand more about emotional sex.
When an ex reaches out to you because they need your emotional support and your attention, not because they want you back.
- 1. Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell.
- 2. 8 dates by John M. Gottman.
- 3. If Buddha Dated by Charlotte Kasl.
- 4. Chatting or Cheating by Sheri Meyers.
How do I deal with my ex wanting me back but being scared to make a move?
The first thing that you should do when your ex doesn’t state clearly that they want you back is to take it slow.
You can slowly let them know about your boundaries and your current stance towards them.
Ask them about their stance but also give them time to work on their feelings.
If they need time and space then you should allow them yet you should focus on yourself and heal.
Then you need to reflect on your past and check out the reasons you broke up.
If these reasons are fixable then you should reflect on yourself and what could be done differently.
Other than this, keep track of whether your ex has been working on themselves and if anything has changed.
Lastly, just let things flow while you focus on yourself and respect your ex’s boundaries too.
Avoid putting pressure on them to make an instant decision and try to focus more on your life.
The final statement!
When an ex wants you back but is scared will be stuck between wanting to mend the relationship and being in their comfort zone.
They will initiate contact, be jealous of you, and even rarely ask you to meet up sometime but they will never make a clear and final direction.
Most of the time they’re confused because they’re either avoiding getting hurt again or are not sure about their feelings.
To conclude, they keep you by a thread and sometimes operate from a passive-aggressive mode.
To know if you’re on the same page and they want you back, try to be honest with them and set your boundaries.