Last Updated on August 15, 2023 by Angela Vaz

It can be very painful and challenging when a relationship ends – especially if one of you is still heartbroken and still emotionally invested.

For that 1 person, moving on is difficult because they may not be ready to accept that the relationship has really ended.

They will still want to get back together or pick up things from where you both left off.

This can lead to a lot of mixed signals and confusion and if you’re struggling with this – where you don’t know whether he doesn’t want you to move on or he’s just playing games, I’ve got you covered.

In this post, I am going to cover 7 clear signs he doesn’t want you to move on.

Let’s begin.

But before that really quick, get my free guide on how to really reset your life.

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1. He is contacting you frequently

he frequently calls you

If he is unable to stay clear of you or stop communicating with you, it’s obvious he isn’t over you.

And he is still trying to get you to remember him by establishing contact.

He may keep things subtle like liking your photos on Instagram or sending you a heart emoji or just asking, “How are you?”

He may try to ask you questions and keep it super casual.

Or he’ll try to bring up old times so you remember all the good times together.

It will look innocent and you may think that he cares, but deep down he just doesn’t want you to move on.

If your ex is still following you, liking your photos, leaving comments, or texting you, it’s very obvious that he doesn’t want you to move on.

In this case, ask yourself if this is healthy.

If you genuinely want to move on, end contact.

You shouldn’t feel bad about it because you need to put yourself first.

In my post on how to get over heartbreak, I talk about how important it is to end all contact with your ex if you want to move on.

It’s not out of revenge or spite – it’s just creating space so that you can heal and focus on your life.

2. He tries to make you jealous

he is trying to make you jealous

If he’s trying to post photos of himself with a new person or constantly going out to events and parties and going out of the way to show the world how much fun he’s having, understand that this could be his way of showing you that he’s moving on.

Even though he’s not really moved on.

Please don’t feel bad about it because he’s going out of the way to prove to the world he’s happy when deep down, he probably isn’t.

If he’s talking to everyone about his new partner and posting selfies of both of them, know that he’s trying to get a reaction from you.

This is simply immature behavior and he’s trying to make you realize what you’ve lost.

He wants you to remember him and think of him.

It could also be that he feels the need to rush into a new relationship because he doesn’t want to face his feelings of losing you.

And this is a sign that he has not healed from the breakup and has a lot of issues to process.

Either way, nobody should rush into a new relationship when they’ve just ended one because you should give yourself sufficient time to heal and recover.

It’s alright and completely normal to feel pain and sadness after a relationship.

It means you both really put in an effort and they actually meant something to you.

So, if at all your ex is trying to make you jealous – ignore it.

Don’t let it get to you.

Do not give them that satisfaction by reacting.

It’s not worth it and you’re not going to gain anything.

It’s okay to feel jealous or feel pain – just talk about it to people you trust and love.

Find a way to release that pain healthily like journalling, meditating, and confiding in close friends and family.

3. He is asking you for tiny favors

he is asking you for favors

If your ex is asking you for favors and requests (things he can definitely do himself), then it’s not really about the favor, but more about how he can still keep in contact with you.

This is a very subtle form of emotional manipulation.

He may ask you for help with tiny tasks, like trying to remember certain things or running errands, or he’ll call because he wants to help a mutual friend.

Please note that 2-3 of these requests after a breakup are normal.

But if this is becoming a habit, it’s definitely intentional. And you can’t let it slide.

He obviously doesn’t want to move on and doesn’t want to let you go.

It’s a big sign he doesn’t want you to move on.

If your relationship ended mutually and cordially, it’s okay to help each other out in times of need.

But if this is becoming too frequent, please understand that both of you are going to have trouble moving on and getting over each other.

This is only going to slow down your healing.

4. He shows up randomly and unexpectedly

he shows up randomnly

If your ex is constantly showing up at your workplace or home or social events, it’s definitely more than a coincidence.

He’s either not able to move on, or he wants to keep seeing you.

This borders on the line of being obsessive. And it’s definitely not healthy.

He is trying to keep tabs on you and see what you’re doing or how you’re moving on because deep down he just cannot let go.

No, this is not romantic.

It’s not love. Please don’t mistake this for him caring about you.

He simply feels like he still owns you and feels like he has the right to see you. And this is not okay.

It doesn’t matter if he ended the relationship or you did or it was mutual.

What matters is, the relationship is over.

By not respecting your boundaries and not ending things properly, he is showing you that he wants to be in your life.

He may even try starting conversations with you just to see how you react. And yes, these are mind games.

He wants to see how you are doing and if you really miss him.

Please know that this is not healthy and if it is becoming too much, you do have a right to tell him that you need your space.

5. He gives you mixed signals

he is giving you mixed signals

If your ex ended the relationship, then he needs to cut you out of his life so that both you and he can move on.

But if he’s constantly texting you things like:

  • How are you doing? What is up with you?
  • I miss you so much. I do care about you.
  • Do you want to talk?
  • I do want to be with you, I just need time.

Please know that this is not okay.

My ex did this after he broke up with me. He broke up with me because his parents were not okay with him dating a divorcee. It was a very painful breakup.

My ex didn’t have a backbone so ending the relationship was difficult for him too.

He would drop by unannounced and would give me mixed signals before ghosting me again.

It made getting over him so much harder. And after 1 and a half months of this back and forth, I ended it.

I knew there was no future and he was never going to be with me for fear of his parents finding out – so I asked him gently to let me go so that both of us could find peace.

He needed a woman who would fulfill his parent’s criteria for him and I needed someone who was okay with my past and who could stand up for me and love me for who I am.

I knew I needed to move on and I knew that I was not going to be able to do that if I saw him every week.

I told him it was over. He’d made his choice and he’d chosen to end the relationship, it was now time to focus on myself and my healing.

I talk about it in this post about how I thought he was the one and what I did after losing him.

It was unbearably difficult. I talk about how to get over heartbreak in this post.

I have several other posts related to breakups which I will link below.

But all in all, please know that it’s not okay for your ex to keep contacting you even after the relationship is over.

They do this because they can’t have you and they don’t want you to move on and meet someone else.

They want to have their cake and eat it too.

And no, it’s not okay – it’s very selfish.

Please understand that after a relationship ends, you have every right to take care of yourself.

It is your duty because nobody else is going to do this for you.

And you will go through drug withdrawal-like symptoms because you have to get used to facing life alone again.

It’s far from easy and doesn’t get talked about a lot.

6. He martyrs himself constantly

he martyrs himself

If he says things like:

  • I am not okay, please call.
  • When will you be free? I need to talk.
  • I need help, please call me.
  • I can’t handle losing you, this is too hard for me.
  • I am really taking this breakup very badly, please can we see each other one more time?

Please understand that this is not okay and you shouldn’t feel the need to be his confidante.

Breakups are hard.

Nobody in the world finds it a walk in the park.

Breakups happen for a reason – they happen when 1 or both partners are not getting their needs met.

If the relationship was meant to last, the breakup wouldn’t have happened.

It’s as simple as that.

So, if he’s taking the breakup hard, you can definitely sympathize. But you shouldn’t be the one that should feel obligated to make him feel better.

He can talk to his loved ones, his friends, or a therapist if he needs to process his feelings.

You shouldn’t be his therapist.

Please know that it’s okay to say no or put an end to the conversations between you so that both you and he can move on.

Maybe talking to him might feel better for both of you, but it’s actually counter-intuitive in the long run because both of you will start depending on each other for comfort, and neither of you will be able to move on.

7. He criticizes your new relationships

he criticizes your new relationship

If your ex is talking about your new relationship or partner in a negative way, then know this is not okay.

You have every right to date whomever you want to date.

You don’t owe your ex anything because the relationship between you and your ex is over.

So, your ex has no right to talk about your new relationship or your new partner in any way.

It’s morally wrong and just shows how immature he is. It’s a huge sign he doesn’t want you to move on.

So, please put an end to it because it’s not fair to:

  • You
  • Your new partner
  • Your relationship


In the end, if your ex is exhibiting any behavior that is making you question if it’s right or wrong, simply ask yourself if it’s healthy. You can ask yourself questions like:

  • Is this making it difficult for me to move on?
  • Maybe this is making me feel better now, but is this really helping me?
  • Is there a future in this relationship? Or is this preventing me from finding the right person for me?

You need to create space and distance with your ex so that you can move on.

This will help you become stronger, and you will learn to love yourself.

Here are a few more posts you may find helpful:

Angela is a 30 year old Illustrator and Blogger living with her 2 adorable labradors in Bangalore, India. She has a degree in Psychology and Human Relationships from the University of Toronto. When she's not writing her heart out or drawing, you'll find her sipping chai and reading non-fiction books.

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