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20+ Signs Your Ex is Testing You… and You Shouldn’t Lead Them On

20+ Signs Your Ex is Testing You… and You Shouldn’t Lead Them On

Updated on Oct 04, 2023

Reviewed by Julianne Cantarella, MSW, LSW , Certified Relationship Coach

20+ Signs Your Ex is Testing You and Know Why is Your Ex Testing You

So, you want to know about the signs your ex is testing you

I know you have toiled a lot, and tried to guess what’s actually going on in their mind, but it’s not that easy. Especially, when you have no one to help. Don’t worry, this time you have chosen the right place for assistance.

In this think-piece, I’ve listed some 20+ signs for you to help identify what your ex really wants and accordingly find your way ahead.  

20+ Signs Your Ex is Testing You and Know Why is Your Ex Testing You
20+ Signs Your Ex is Testing You and Know Why is Your Ex Testing You

20 signs your ex is testing you

Your ex may or may not be trying to test you. You need to be able to read his body language and the signs to know for sure.

But how would you do that if you don’t know what to look for? Don’t worry, here, we’ve curated a list of the signs that your ex is testing you so that you can clearly distinguish if they still have genuine feelings or they’re just playing a dirty mind game.

Let’s get started!

1. Will you be friends-with-benefits?

This reveals the indecisive nature of your ex. They want to be with you but only as friends with benefits. They are not willing to commit to an actual relationship.

If this is the case with you, it’s a clear sign that your ex is trying to test you. This is like expecting a relationship without commitment.

These indecisive dumpers don’t want you for life but also don’t want to lose you. They will try to lure you with sugar-coated words, like: I want to be with you, but I am scared to commit. I don’t want to hurt you all over again!

Bro! Like seriously! You want the same person you dumped to still be with you, and at the same time, you want to be single for a while. And if you are so confused in your life, why the hell are you bothering someone else?

2. They promise to come back

This happens when your ex feels stuck. The situation has truly confused them and they don’t know what to do or how to proceed with the matter. They want to solve the issues but their mind is not supporting it any further.

They will assure you that they will come back after a while. This break period is specifically planned to test you, and most of the time they do not return as promised. All this for nothing!

Your ex does this because they don’t want to invest in you. They enjoyed the fruits that you gave them and now when it is their turn to give back, they simply bail on you by going on an indefinite break and desert you forever.

So, it’s nothing but a confusing disaster.

3. They trigger jealousy within you

If your ex is trying to test you, they will try to spark jealousy in you and see how you react. This is just to make sure that you’re still hanging in between.

And a very hilarious fact is that the amount of effort they invest in making you jealous is double the amount of effort they could have invested to run the relationship on a smooth track!  

In the process of doing so, they will intentionally create situations or initiate conversations that can make you jealous.

Maybe you will catch them walking alongside the opposite gender, purposely and frequently.

They will try to show that they have moved on with someone who makes them a lot happier. They will post pictures in close proximity with them and that is how they are gonna provoke you.

4. They push your tolerance level

In the process of trying to test you, your ex is going to push your temper and tolerance to the extremes.

For example, say that you made a mistake. They won’t forgive you easily. They will dig the matter deeper and deeper, until and unless they get an awkward revelation from your end. Based upon that revelation, they are going to backfire.

You can also find them self-sabotaging. So that you come consoling them and make them feel special because they are really scared of you walking away.

But they don’t realize that the more they pressurize you, the easier it becomes for you to walk away.

5. They pretend to ignore you

Look: if you love someone deeply and they ignore you, it’s definitely going to affect you. And this fact is clearly understood by your ex.

So, don’t you think they are going to take advantage of it? Of course, they’ll make the best use of this opportunity!

They will try to avoid you as much as possible. This will all be in an attempt to trigger some response in return and help you realize your love for them.

They will constantly put pressure on you until the wall you built around you comes crashing down. You have to understand your situation and reflect on how you want to respond.

6. They provoke you

They will directly counter question you about how you feel or what your next step will be. You tend to be honest during the interrogation and that somehow makes the whole matter crystal clear before both of you.

But if you see them try to play with questions, like not being direct, then something is definitely going on in their mind.

There can be some underlying plans that they’re not ready to unveil… at least not yet.

I am not saying that all the ex(s) who test you are bad humans, but hey, they are confused and they are confusing you as well!

You may wonder why they are suddenly so interested in knowing things about you. What is the point of all this? Well, the point is, your ex is testing you.

7. They make assumptions and judgments about you

If they make an assumption and come to a judgment without a valid reason, just to see how you retaliate: they are just testing you, darling.

They want to see how long you can control your emotions without firing back. They want you to justify yourself and jump into a debate. When you are angry and argumentative, then you will obviously spill the beans that were supposed to remain under covers.

And what happens after this? Well that only depends on what you say and how they perceive.

8. They ask you to help them

Another way they can test you is by seeing whether or not their actions still hurt you the same way it did before.

Suppose, they are having a rough time and the only support they need is from you. They will ask you if you can come over, they really need you… and then, they will wait and see what you do.

A poor fact, even if you help them in a particular situation, they are not going to be satisfied. They will keep testing you, time and again.

9. The emotional trap is waiting for you!

Here they will put on the show of being the most honest person to ever exist. They will confess their heart out to you.

Buddy, they’re just trying to test the waters and know if you still give them a chance to sort everything out.

If they get some hints of the fact that you are trying to move on, they will try to display a wonderful version of themselves, so that it becomes difficult for you.

This time their actions would speak more than their words, so see whether or not you want to accept it.

They will be genuine in their acts and prove to you that you won’t regret giving them a second chance.

All this is not going to be so easy. In the name of giving them a second chance, you might be in for another heartbreak. And trust me, this one would be even worse!

10. They haven’t been so “casual” in a while

When exes are trying to test you, they behave really weirdly and try to keep things casual. They will randomly text you but at the same time also not be that chatty and would keep the message short.

They will see how you respond or whether you even respond or not. If you can’t see what they’re up to here, I really don’t know what to say.

This text is to know your current status and feelings for them.  

If you really want a way out, be observant and find out whether these tactics are based on honest intentions or not.

If they are doing it just to test you, then it’s better to avoid them and give your mental peace the priority.

11. They’ll take you back to the good-ol days

Of course, they want to know what you feel currently and what impact the breakup has left on you… and they’ll use every trick in the book to do that.

After they break up, if you both are still in touch and strike a “normal” conversation, they will try to bring up the topic of how things would have been or turned out to be had things not gone south.

They are just doing this to see how you respond and if you also point towards something positive… they’ll take it as a cue to find a way back in your life.

12. They’ll go hot and cold

Another tactic they follow to test you is by being ambivalent in their opinions. They will neither show you a stubborn side, nor the meltdown. They will just make the situation more complicated.

For example, one moment they will be swearing to do everything how you like and the very next, they’re gonna tell you how singledom is a calm space to be in.

You just don’t know what they really want from you. Told you… your mental peace is up for a roller coaster.

At this point, you have to be clear about what you want. Do you want to go back or not? Your next course of action entirely depends on your answer.  

13. They touch you here and there

In cases when you and your ex talk frequently and things are running pretty smoothly.

All of a sudden you see they start flirting with you, or let’s say even you started flirting with them, and things take a sexual turn.

Further, every time both of you have a conversation, it turns out to be a sexual chat.

If your ex is a man, then he does this just to see if you’re ready to sleep with him once again. Poor ladies don’t refuse because they want him back. But does he return? Never!

And if your ex is a woman, then she is putting you under the sex test because she wants to know if you were in a relationship with her only for physical pleasure. That’s called the sex test.

14. They take career advice from you

When nothing seems to work, your ex is going to play this card. Your ex knows that they are not doing well career wise, and maybe that’s the reason they broke up with you.

Now when they meet you, they will ask you about your point of view on their career.

How important is your partner’s career to you? How much do you want your boyfriend or girlfriend to earn? What are your aspirations?

Or maybe, they’ll lay a complex career related confusion in front of you, and ask you to suggest something on the same.  

They are trying to show that they are dealing with a lot on their career front, and they want you to cooperate, while they can find a stable position in life.

15. They ask about your love life

All right, now this is a very well understood sign that your ex is trying to test you. They will try to determine if you have a potential partner, who is more worthy than them.

Basically, they are trying to gauge your relationship status, and if it’s “Taken”, then they are trying to compare themselves with your partner.

They are going to behave extremely low key, without giving you hints that they are actually interested in your love life.

Maybe, they’ll ask you questions like: What is your plan for this weekend? Who is joining you? Etc…

16. They ask you about your future plans

So now, after dumping you, they take a very deep interest in your future plans…

After all, they are planning to make a not-committed comeback in your life, so why won’t they fish for your future plans!

They want to know: how do you see the future? What do you expect from life? Honestly, they are trying to see how the breakup has changed you and your perception.

They are hunting for hints of reunion. And in that case, they may directly ask you: where do I stand in your life now and in future? Do you think we will ever reunite?

17. They will pursue you again

Well maybe they genuinely want to reunite… but that’s extremely rare.  

Most of the time honey, I repeat: 99/100 times, it is just their ego that they want to feed.

Don’t expect them to beg you… they will beg you only if they love you.

Otherwise, they might simply ask you to return by making alluring promises. They might give you dozens of proof that they’ve changed.

They want to confirm that you are still incomplete without them, you crave them and you are the one suffering without them. 

Once they’re sure about this fact, they’ll desert you just like before… because their EGO is satisfied now and they got what they wanted. So, this pursuer will disappear yet again!

18. They’ll try to relive the past with you

This is a very clever trick where your ex is going to unveil all that you feel for them, without confessing anything.

In fact, this is the safest way to test you. But it is not as safe for you, my darling.

They will probably take you to places where you have spent the most wonderful days of your relationship, they will try to revive the rosy incidents in your memory, and in short, they will make you relive the past… the beautiful past!

After this, you are definitely going to show some reaction or some expression.

Of course, they can read your face, after all, they have known you for some time now. Maybe it tingles your tummy and rattles your heart.

…but don’t ever think that confessing this is going to bring them back forever… no, it won’t.

19. They’ll keep you updated about irrelevant things

So, you get updates on trivial matters of their life. You simply cannot relate to the news but you still have it, notified by your ex.

In fact, they never spoke about these things when both of you were in a relationship. But now, they are discussing every random fact of their life with you.

Lots of effort, but why? Especially when both of you have already parted ways… and they were the one to dump you! Maybe because they are testing you.

20. They pretend to be your partner

Are they acting as if the breakup never happened?

This type of behavior suggests that your ex likes you, maybe they love you, but they cannot accept you for who you are. So, all the liking and loving goes in vain!

If they’re a good human, they care about your feelings and they don’t want to leave you alone with the separation anxiety. At the same time, they are not willing to commit to this relationship.

This may seem like a good act but instead it’s creating more harm. They are unintentionally playing with your heart and emotions.

Their intentions may be pure, but it is only going to result in your disrupted mental state.

It may also be possible that they are just trying to test you, all while behaving like nothing happened.  

Now, when you know the signs that your ex is testing you, I am sure you want to know why they do this. Here’s a quick sneak-peek into it.

Why is your ex testing you?

There are three reasons why your ex might want to test you.

1.They’re curious

They just want to know how you are doing without them in life. They want to see your reactions and also gauge the possibility of your return.

They don’t want to lose hope and try until things take a toxic turn. This is all because they’re not ready to let you go… not as yet.

2. They want you to feel low

I know it’s very hard to accept, but they will stoop down to any level just to shake you from the core.

They will show you that they are much happier now and have moved on in life. The fact that you are no longer a part of their life brings joy and satisfaction to them.

If you are the reason why this breakup happened, then they will show you the mistake you’ve made. They will boast their better and improvised version that will make you regret your decision. It’s just a trap, honey!

3. They want you back

They will drive you to various roads that lead straight to them. Now it’s up to you whether or not you take the bait and follow the path.

The main motive behind these tests is to make you realize “what” you’re missing in life without them.

After knowing these reasons, and the signs, maybe you need a suggestion that guides you on what to do next. So, here’s a

A word from ThePleasantRelationship

If your ex is leaving the door open for you, then they don’t need to test you. And if they are testing you, then just know that the door is not open for you. I know it’s confusing, but your instinct is going to be your best guide.

Understand that your ex is giving you false hopes, thereby stopping your recovery.

Don’t let these mixed signals confuse you. Prioritize what you want in life. Distance yourself from your ex, and live a life on your own.

Don’t worry about them, they are going to be just fine. And since both of you have parted ways, there is no need to worry about them anymore.

Remember, if they really want to return, they will on their own… without having to test you.

Are you interested to know more about ‘How Divorce Changes A Man’ then click here?