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9 Ways your ex will try to manipulate his way back into your life

9 Ways your ex will try to manipulate his way back into your life

For years, over a decade, I found myself in an on-again, off-again situationship. In the off times, I’d always evaluate the relationship and ask myself ‘How did we end up speaking again?’ To the young, naive mind, it seemed like his tactics were so slick and smooth that they were hard to decipher.

But now that I’m older, I see that they were repeated patterns. And the more I talked to other women, the more I realized that there must be some type of script more than a few men are following. Because the strategies to worm their way back into your lives are tried and true. 


Instead of reaching out to have an actual conversation about what transpired in the relationship, these are some of the more passive, “test the waters” type of ways men may try to not only gauge your level of interest or attachment, borrow some of your energy or gently coax their way back into your life. Check them out and let me know if you’ve experienced any of these before.

Leaving a comment on social media

These days, you don’t have to exert much effort to see where someone’s head is at. You don’t have to craft the perfect text explaining your feelings, writing a letter pouring your heart out, or even pick up the phone so someone can hear the sincerity in your voice. Nope. Instead, you can do something as simple as leaving an emoji under a recent post and you’re sure to get your ex’s attention. You know how it is when you’re not on the best of terms with someone and they have the nerve to interact with your most recent post. The messages speak volumes. And what they are loudly screaming is “Are you still thinking about me?”

Sliding in your DMs

For the classier gentlemen who might want to carry on an extensive–yet private conversation, the DMs are where it goes down. It’s more casual than a text and the whole world doesn’t have to know he’s reaching out. Plus, if it’s on Snapchat or a media message, it will disappear in a few hours and there will be no record of his efforts, should you decide to ignore him altogether–which is probably what you should do.

Using family

I knew my ex was getting ready to reach out to me whenever he paid my mom a visit. It was our pattern. He’d visit her, ask about me, my mom would call me to tell me about their conversation and then a few days or a week later, I’d get a text. And the floodgates were open again. At the time, I didn’t see anything wrong with this. In fact, I’m sure I thought something about it was cute or chivalrous. Now, I see that it was another way to test the waters and build up the encouragement to reach out to me. But The Emotions gave us a real word when they said, “Don’t ask my neighbor. Come to me.”

Wishing you a happy holiday

Holidays are about reunion and communion. Our desire for connection is at an all-time high during this time of the year. Chances are if you’re chilling with or trying to avoid your family, you’re more likely to respond to a Merry Christmas text because you’re in the holiday spirit or need a break from your auntie’s probing questions. Either way, that Happy Thanksgiving can easily turn into “So how are you doing?” And then you’re back in it. Don’t think this tactic is relegated to the winter months either. The same can be said for your birthday. Stay woke.

Utilizing a tragedy

If there’s an injury or death in the family, the kind and appropriate thing to do would be to reach out and let someone know that you’re thinking about them. But that doesn’t mean the condolences or well wishes stop there or are entirely well-intentioned. As sick as it sounds, someone could be using your moment of pain for their “in.”

Broadcasting a breakup

This is a lesser used tactic because no one really likes to admit that someone dumped them or their relationship ended. But we all know a select group of people who get real deep and real forthcoming when their relationship has ended. As much as it could be a way to solicit sympathy, it could also be a way to alert you to their new singleness. This more subtle tactic leaves the ball in your corner. And if you happen not to pick it up, don’t be surprised if this announcement is soon followed up with one of the other methods on this list.

“Accidentally” bumping into you

For the old school lover who knows or happened to gather some intel about your whereabouts. While this one can seem harmless, more than a few women have been placed in real danger by a man just popping up.

Asking for help

This is for my nurturers out there. Men can smell women like this from a mile away. Whether he’s hitting you up asking for resume help, tutoring for his daughter or a website for his cousin, these requests and the increased face time could lead to a conversation about how y’all shoulda never broke up.

Asking for old property back

Of course, Angela Bassett burned her husband’s belongings because she was seeking revenge but if it’s been some time and you’re sure you never want your ex to darken your doorway again, this is a good way to ensure it doesn’t happen.


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