You’re probably just minding your own business when one day out of nowhere, your ex says he still loves you.
His strong message likely confuses you beyond belief so you don’t know how to respond. You’re probably thinking whether you should say “I love you back” or perhaps ask your ex out for a coffee date.
Since your anxious brain gives you unimaginable anxiety, you start coming up with thousands of different things to say and do similar to the day of the breakup. But somehow none of them seem good enough.
All your viable responses to your ex seem either too needy and demanding or non-caring and cold. That’s why in the end, you probably decide to just play it safe by going with something that doesn’t sound excessively caring or too disinterested.
In this article, we’ll reveal what “I love you” from your ex really means and how you can properly reply to your ex in order to minimize your anxiety. Please note that this article is written from a female perspective and that it applies to both genders as long as your ex is the dumper.
My ex still loves me
If your ex said he still loves you and you find yourself utterly confused and worried, try not to get too excited and hopeful.
Your ex could be sending you breadcrumbs and attempt to extort what you likely already lack – validation. You must understand that when your ex says he still loves you, he could, in reality, be projecting his weakened emotional state onto you.
This means that your ex could be after your emotional strength and approval—which would empower your ex immensely.
Keep in mind that the “I love you” from your ex could actually be a cry for help as your ex likely doesn’t really love you. He instead doesn’t love himself enough and is looking for your love in order to feel better about himself.
So when your ex says he loves you and doesn’t mean it, your ex is using a very basic technique most people use. It’s called reverse psychology.
He is basically playing you for a fool, thinking you will do or give him what he needs.
You see, love creates exceptionally powerful emotions of acceptance. So when your ex feels appreciated, acknowledged and deemed as prominent, your ex’s self-esteem rises.
Your ex thinks it does anyway.
In reality, all that increases is his ego. And ego, unfortunately, always fluctuates up and down as opposed to one’s stable self-esteem.
This means that your ex’s attempt for self-empowerment is essentially a temporary boost to his external happiness. But, unfortunately, your ex just doesn’t realize or want to realize that it’s derived from an external source of happiness (you).
When your ex says he still loves you but actually doesn’t, your ex basically projects his fears and insecurities onto you.
That’s why the most sensible explanation for this sort of behavior is that he feels unloved, unworthy, disrespected, rejected or anything despondent.
In simpler terms, something or someone lowered your ex’s perception of himself—and now he is hungry for love.
Assuming your ex recently experienced something painful, his dispirited and depressed emotional state most likely speaks for itself.
As a result of pain, your ex is, therefore, expressing himself in a form of projection—which is essentially an indirect request for love.
Because people are emotional beings, we project what we feel onto others all the time. For example, when we’re having a bad day and we feel angry and impatient—others will surely notice.
The same principle applies to our fears and insecurities. The stronger we feel about them, the more we will project them onto others.
Another great example is a cheating spouse who suspects that his partner is being unfaithful. Since the cheater is extremely anxious and worried about getting caught, he, consequently, projects his fears onto his partner and accuses her of what he’s most guilty of.
This behavior is very, very common.
People accuse others of cheating, lying, stealing, and even flatulating when they are in fact, guilty themselves.
Cheaters project their fears to reduce suspicions, liars to keep lying, bullies to feel better about themselves and ex-partners to alleviate their guilt and restore self-esteem.
My ex told me he loves me. Does he mean it?
There’s a difference between being loved and actually being loved.
The former is a friend-like love—an appreciation for existing and for being a part of your ex’s life. As for the latter, it’s the kind of admiration where your ex wants you close to him at all times.
So if your ex loves you, he wouldn’t risk losing you and seeing you with someone else. He’d make sure you are his by possessing your undivided attention and demand exclusivity from you.
Moreover, your ex wouldn’t just say he loves you, he would show you that too. He’d invite you out, ask you questions, flirt, and appear happy to be a part of your company.
Here’s what “should” happen after your ex told you he loves you.
Please remember that your ex-boyfriend’s, ex’s girlfriend’s, husband’s or wife’s love is no rocket science. As long as a person loves you, he or she will express himself or herself in a way that he or she feels most comfortable.
So if your ex-partner expresses love to you, he or she will do so in the same manner as he or she did when you were a couple.
That’s why you must remember that ex-partners are human beings with certain attachment styles. And since you’ve already gotten to know your ex-partner romantically and the way he or she expresses love, interpreting your ex’s love is very simple.
Don’t feel. Look instead!
When your ex says he still loves you, you can quickly tell if he’s serious about you. But you must be willing to truly observe his actions from the third-person point of view.
You have to be willing to do the following:
- Forget about your ex’s “I love yous” and look at his actions. Do they match what he’s saying?
- Analyze your ex’s behavior by using your brain and setting aside what you feel toward him. You must remember that your feelings are irrelevant as your ex probably doesn’t feel what you do.
Once you’ve done that, your image will become clear and your ex’s confession either genuine or guilt-ridden.
So whenever the thought “Does my ex still love me and how do I find out” crosses your mind, remember the following picture. It should tell you everything you need to know.
For you to comprehend your ex’s intentions, you must be willing to dig deeper and find out why your ex came back. Don’t ask your ex directly. Alternatively, try to get him to open up and share what he’s been up to.
As long as your ex doesn’t feel threatened, he will eventually cough up everything you need. But for that to happen, you will need to be patient and understanding.
My ex is with someone else. Does he still love me?
When you’re wondering if your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend still loves you, all you have to do is look at your ex’s actions.
For example, if your ex is dating someone else and appears to be happy, then your ex likely doesn’t love you. If he loved you, your ex wouldn’t be dating another person and taking his sweet time to get back to you.
When your ex is dating someone else, your ex feels strong feelings of attraction for the new person. And although he might not love this person yet as love takes time to develop—he nevertheless feels pulled toward her—which coincidentally, makes you less appealing.
This occurs because your ex’s magnetic attraction toward the new person quickly kills his remaining feelings your ex may still have for you.
So if you’re asking yourself, “How was my ex able to let go of his love for me and attach to someone else so quickly,” you now have the answer.
Most people can’t love two individuals at the same time. If they try, they find themselves utterly confused and usually choose to go with the person who makes them feel the greatest.
That person is normally their new partner because the newness of a new relationship creates the biggest attraction.
New is more interesting than old.
My ex still loves me but wants to be single
If your ex told you he loves you but can’t commit, then your ex doesn’t really love you. It’s really a no brainer.
Your ex may respect you and care about you as a person, an ex-partner or as a decent human being, but your ex doesn’t love you. Not as long as your ex is single or with someone else.
This may be the harsh truth, but when your ex says he still loves you but wants to be single to “find himself,” your ex’s actions speak for themselves. Your ex doesn’t love-love you. He just wants you to be healthy on your own because he hates seeing you angry, sad, hurt, or emotional.
Please understand that no ex ever wants to be single. I don’t know your ex personally, but I can confidently proclaim that staying single is the last thing your ex wants.
When your ex says he loves you but wants to be single, your ex is really just using one of the typical breakup excuses dumpers often use to make a smooth transition out of the relationship.
So the moment your ex finds someone whom he gets along with, your ex will take that opportunity and “be single” in a relationship with that person.
So is your ex lying when he says he wants to be single? I strongly doubt it.
What your ex wants is to be free from staying committed to you and eventually (when the time is right or when the opportunity presents itself) find someone else and date her.
When your ex says he loves you…
If your ex told you he loves you but quickly vanished into thin air shortly after—you have all the evidence you need to make a rational conclusion.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, people project their insecurities onto others and your ex likely does too. So when your ex says he still loves you, he does so for two reasons.
- To alleviate his guilt.
- To make you feel better and leave him alone.
You see, the words love and single don’t work well together. They don’t compliment each other as they don’t make your ex want you any more. In fact, they do quite the opposite. They wedge a huge wall between you and your ex and drive your ex far away.
The same can be said when your ex tells you he loves you but isn’t in love with you. It’s the exact same thing because the “I love you but not in love with you” is just a justification for your ex to abandon your relationship and become single.
Women especially know very well what using this excuse feels like as for some reason—they tend to be the main culprits of this saying.
My interpretation of love
Everybody defines love differently, so here’s my interpretation of it.
Love is a strong emotional desire to be wanted by the person you admire. When you love a person, you, in essence, expect love in return. And since you like a person so much, you want to spend your life with him.
Since you unknowingly develop certain expectations, you become incredibly emotionally attached and dependent on him.
So in order for you to be happy, you, therefore, need this person to acknowledge your significance, give you his attention, and make you feel loved.
How do I know if my ex still loves me?
If your ex regrets letting you go and is pretending to be over you, he would soon come back with an infatuated determination to make your broken relationship work.
He probably wouldn’t give you subtle signs and hints that he still loves you or misses you. He just wouldn’t have the patience to play mind games with you—and would instead listen to his heart—which is to get close to you.
And even if your ex was 100% pretending to love you and was incredibly skilled at hiding his feelings, he would eventually succumb to the pressure of rejection.
His own mind would play tricks on him and give him the impression that he’s not loved—which would make him feel insignificant.
When that happens and your ex feels undesirable, your ex would then become desperate and act out of desperation.
He would shortly start making a lot of rookie mistakes and appear overly interested in everything you do.
So if you’re curious about your ex’s intentions, here’s how you know if your ex still loves you.
So if you’re wondering, “How do I know if my ex still loves me,” look at your ex’s emotions toward himself as well as you. Are they desperate, decisive, needy, melancholic, inauthentic, forced or overly optimistic?
If the answer is yes, then your ex is likely in the early stages of feeling something toward you.
My ex really loves me
Hypothetically speaking—if you messed up really really badly and your ex eventually sees that you’ve changed for the better, it will be your ex’s deliberate intention to get back together.
Your ex will make sure his words leave no room for confusion by showing you that he loves you through words and actions that demand exactly the same kind of love and attention in return.
Love works this way because it’s based on the infamous give and take premise. This means that love can’t exist when only one person invests in the relationship without taking. Likewise, love also can’t exist by only taking from the other person.
There must instead be a healthy balance between giving and receiving so that love has both appreciation and space to grow.
When your ex says he loves you, he might first feel you out for a minute or two just to find out if you love him too. And once he gets his answer, he’ll then make plans with you and quickly apologize for his breach of trust and the damage he’s caused.
So even if your ex isn’t the most expressive person in the world, you would still notice his eagerness and determination to work on the relationship.
And the reason for that is because people will always show you what they feel toward you.
Ex-partners will especially show you how serious they are by becoming desperate to get your love back.
And this is the reason why dumpees technically don’t get their exes back.
Alternatively, dumpers are the ones who get their exes back by apologizing and fixing everything that they’ve broken.
What do I do when my ex says he still loves me?
Now that you know that exes express their unconditional love out of guilt and pity for you, you can probably discern whether your ex really loves you or just says he loves you. The difference is like day and night so all you need to do is be patient and pay attention to what your ex does—not says.
You must remember that when your ex says he loves, it’s basically just him saying he loves you. In other words, it merely means that something is going on with him internally.
So if him professing his love is stage 1, then him proving his love and commitment is stage 2.
That’s why your objective is not to take action and tell your ex you love him back—but rather to sit tight and observe the show your ex is putting on for you.
You see, by telling your ex that you love him, you immediately cancel out all the work he’s supposed to do to get you back. You immediately accept him and his past misdeeds and tell him you don’t respect yourself enough—and that all you want is him.
So here’s what you do when your ex says he loves you.
When your ex gets the idea that he > you, things could fall apart really quickly.
He might quickly get what he’s after and leave the moment you reciprocate his feelings.
Or if he actually comes back and says how sorry he is, then he could still leave shortly after his heart has healed and his ego replenished.
So to prevent devaluation from occurring again, follow the advice above and have your ex work had to gain your trust back.
My ex says he truly loves me and is dead serious about me
Once you’ve come to the conclusion that your ex truly loves you for you and the person you are, your ex will have to put in a lot of work.
People just don’t appreciate things that are served to them on a silver platter. They ignorantly prefer to work hard for anything that brings value to them.
So even though your ex will not tell you he wants to work hard to earn your trust back, he secretly really does. That’s because your relationship can’t exist without rebuilding the basis of the relationship which was so ruthlessly destroyed.
Without trust, respect, admiration, anxiety, and knowing your true value, your ex can’t attach to you again.
If your ex walks back in the relationship as if he hadn’t destroyed your trust, he will come back selfishly to take what you have left to offer. And since he’d take and take and take without giving back enough, a huge imbalance would soon threaten the relationship.
If you give your love out as if it’s not worth anything, your ex will feel as if you are on a bargain—trying to sell yourself short.
He will nonetheless get what he wanted in the first place which would make him feel much better, but as far as love and attachment go—he’d feel absolutely nothing.
He can’t feel anything as long as he isn’t compelled to invest in you.
That’s why love can be selfish. When your ex says he loves you, you need to understand why he said that.
Did he say that to steal validation from you because he can’t get it elsewhere?
In 99.9% that’s the case. But you might still be able to turn this around provided you play your cards right.
Reconciliation happiness depends on your ex’s investment
If your ex realizes your worth and comes back, your ex will likely be in a desperate state—ready to put his big-boy pants on and get serious.
This is why your future relationship doesn’t depend on how often your ex tells you he still loves you—but rather on how much effort your ex puts into you.
Sure, telling you he loves you can give you the assurance that you need to trust him again, but that’s just the beginning.
You need to hear much more than just a few empty promises and apologies about how he’d failed you. You need absolutely everything from him. This includes his “I love yous,” promises, commitment, and long-term personal-improvement plans.
This means that if you reckon your ex needs therapy to better himself and correct his shortcomings, you have every right to suggest what you think would help him and your future.
If your ex truly regrets losing you, then he would quickly, without thinking accept your proposal. And that’s the kind of decisive response you need from him.
When your ex still loves you, and I mean truly loves you, he will willingly restore the relationship back to how it should be. Not only that, he will make it better and show you his undying determination to erase any doubt you might have about dating him.
If the reconciliation process had a written order, your dumper ex would behave somewhat like this.
- Break no contact.
- Confess his undying love.
- Apologize for treating you like dirt.
- Ask to meet up.
- Show up and look at you with puppy eyes, appearing nervous.
- Express remorse again and focus on the date.
- Ask to see you again and make plans shortly after the date.
- Get back together with you and continue working on his flaws and shortcomings.
- Show improvements by taking the necessary steps.
- Help you overcome your doubts and insecurities.
- Improve communication and relationship killers.
- Grow love.
These 12 points are what it takes to restore order to a broken relationship. And you, dear dumpee, are responsible that your ex follows through.
You must basically follow your own rules that allow and encourage love, attraction, trust, and respect to grow.
Here’s what you must do when your ex says he loves you.
- Keep your self-respect and avoid giving out your love.
- Control your anxiety, love, and the overwhelming need to reconnect.
- Avoid giving your ex what he’s after. He could be feeling guilty for his horrible post-breakup treatment or expect you to fix his broken ego.
- Let him make plans with you.
- Hear him out and listen to what he has to say.
- Allow your ex to express the wish to see you again and make plans with you.
- Wait for him to talk about commitment.
- Tell him what you absolutely need from him.
- Be strict with what you “demand,” but also appear accepting and forgiving.
- Leave the past behind.
- Focus on strengthening the relationship.
- Demonstrate your improvement.
A broken relationship takes much more work than a new one. So if you’re serious about your ex, you must overcome your fears and insecurities and work on the relationship harder than ever before.
The first steps
When your ex first realizes he still loves you, he will likely let you know verbally or non-verbally. Your job is to make sure he’s not just breadcrumbing you.
You can do that by protecting your heart from the worst possible scenario.
Here are a few ways you can reply to your ex’s breadcrumbs in disguise.
|I love you||What’s up?|
|I’ve made a mistake||I don’t know about that|
|I want you back||You do?|
|When are you free to meet up?||Tomorrow after work at 6|
Dumpers often say they love you and disappear right after. This is why you must reply in a way that shows you’re okay without your ex.
If he’s anxious, he will want you back no matter what. And if he doesn’t make plans with you, you will at least keep your dignity and be so glad you didn’t resort to begging and pleading.
When your ex truly loves you and wants you back, he will take control of the situation by taking the lead.
Your ex will want to see the reconciliation process through so badly, he will feel incredibly motivated to give his absolute best. He will be empowered with desperation—which is the strongest incentive for self-improvement and reconciliation there is in this world.
Dumpees especially know that desperation empowers them to the moon and back to get a second chance with their ex. That’s because anxiety, pain, and a fear of loss is the most effective motivation there is. Nothing else comes even close to it.
Multiple studies show that the most successful people first had to fail miserably to change their direction and get out of a rut. And that’s exactly why anxiety can affect the dumper’s mind as well.
The irony is that if your ex is serious, he will voluntarily put in all the work you need him to. This means he will initiate conversations, organize dates, bring you presents, ask your family for forgiveness, and do whatever it takes to make you happy.
The reason for that is simple. Dumpers more often than not come back with an anxious emotional state and a burning desire to work on the broken relationship.
And that’s what makes the reconciliation process very simple.
Guidance and cooperation
The last but not least is the ultimate step that allows your new relationship to truly start over.
When it gets to this stage, your ex will hopefully be sweating to gain your recognition. If he is, he will obviously need some help from you.
You must remember that your ex is no slave and that he doesn’t deserve to be belittled—no matter how badly he betrayed you.
That’s why you must offer your ex a hand and guide him through all the lessons you need him to go through. In doing so, you will re-build trust and respect and enable your ex to grow as a person in the areas that he lacks in.
During this important time, you must remain respectful and patient, but nonetheless extremely committed to seeing your ex improve his shortcomings.
The reason why this part is so important is not just because you want your ex to respect you again. It’s so important because your ex might not have the willpower to better himself and stay true to his promises.
That’s because your ex is dependent on anxiety and a fear of loss to motivate him to become the best version of himself. Without it, your ex wouldn’t feel the need to pass your test and could instead quickly revert back to his old ways.
So guide and encourage your ex to improve himself for his sake as well as yours—so that you can finally have the relationship you should have had prior to the breakup.
Does your ex still love you or do you want him to? Did this article give you the insight to aid you with your case? Consider making my day by commenting below. 🙏