Boyfriends can be pretty confusing. That, in itself, isn't news to any woman. However, after a break up that former boyfriend can be even more baffling. He may do or say things that leave you feeling completely bewildered. One day he might say that he can't live without you and then the next day he'll comment on how great it feels to be single. As a woman who still cares for her ex, you're going to feel as though he's leading you through a maze of mixed and differing signals. How are you supposed to know exactly where you stand when the man you still love won't be straight with you about what he's really feeling? There are certain signals that are easier to read than you may realize. Once you understand the generalizations that apply to your ex boyfriend, you'll be on the road to figuring out whether he's just playing with your emotions or he's looking to get back together again.
Read Between the Emotional Lines of His Words
“I miss you,” is one of those phrases that can be music to the words of a woman who wishes her ex boyfriend would come back to her. When your ex tells you that he misses hanging out with you or he misses the fun you two used to have it's very easy to read much more into that than was intended by him. You can tell how much value those words hold by paying close attention to the behavior that accompanies the words.
If your ex boyfriend truly misses you, as he says he does, he will make an effort to remedy that by spending time with you. If he casually expresses that he misses you and then never suggests that you two get together or talk things out, he's just spouting the words with little meaning behind them.
The same is true of an ex boyfriend who says he wishes things had worked out differently. When a man says this he is obviously alluding to the fact that he wishes you two were still together, right? You shouldn't jump to that conclusion unless there is some action on his part to back it up. In this case, he'll want to set aside some time to talk to you about what went wrong with the relationship and what you two can do now, as a couple, to fix things.
If he's just randomly telling you that he wonders what it would be like if you two hadn't broken up, don't place too much weight in that. He may just be trying to charm you or to gauge your reaction. If you show him too much emotion, it may be the food for his ego that he was looking for. It's important not to react too strongly to his words unless he's doing something that shows he really does want to get back together with you.
Don't Show Much Emotion in Your Responses to Him
When a couple breaks up there is typically one partner who takes the split much harder than the other. In this case, that person may be you. In order to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground and your heart out of the clouds, you have to temper how you react to your ex boyfriend and his mixed signals.
This not only is a good approach to take to protect your heart but it also shows him that you're not falling for the bait he's been throwing in your direction. In addition, it's a great way to measure how serious some of the things he says and does are.
For instance, if your ex boyfriend tells you that he still loves you and you immediately respond by saying you love him and can't live without him, he'll see that you're, in essence, waiting patiently for him to take you back. Conversely, if he says he loves you and you instead respond by asking how he's been or asking what he's been up to, that is going to push him to face the fact that you're not as eager to be with him as he may have first thought you were.
A good way to approach him is to view him as a friend. If you can keep him at arm's length and take what he says and does in stride that will keep you in a very strong emotional place. You won't be subjected to his changing mood swings and you won't inadvertently give him your heart again before you know if that's actually what he's looking for.
Push Him to Back Up What He Says and Does
It can be very hard to ride the emotional wave of dealing with an ex boyfriend who is constantly sending mixed signals to you. One day you'll feel that you're on the verge of getting back together and the very next day you'll realize that he has no intention of even discussing the idea of reconciling. If you're finding it hard to function because of all his conflicting signals it's time to give him an ultimatum.
If you suspect that your ex boyfriend is playing with your emotions like a yo-yo, you have to push his back to the wall and get him to express what he really wants. This is hard to do when you are scared that you'll push him away, but consider whether you can actually shoulder his behavior for the next few months, or even weeks.
The approach you need to take is very simple and straightforward. When he's on an upswing and telling you that he thinks about you all the time or he misses holding your hand, call him on it. Say that you think that it's time you two met in person to talk things out. Express to him that it's obvious, given what he just said, that he wants to be closer, so talking in person is the next step.
If he agrees and takes the lead by setting up a time, you will know that he truly does envision a future with you. However, if he stammers and says he needs time to think or he's too busy to meet, you'll know that he's guilty of playing with your emotions for his own gain. This will be the point where you'll have to decide, for yourself, whether engaging in his emotional games is of any benefit for you or not.