Your relationship ended a while ago. However, even after all this time, still your ex is hot and cold.
There are times when they act like they love you and want to get back together with you.
Periods when they keep on texting you, when they’re jealous of your new life, and when they tell you how much they miss you.
Then, the next day, their behavior changes. All of a sudden, they stop responding to your phone calls and text messages and start ignoring you.
If this is something you can relate to, your ex is definitely playing a hot and cold game. They’re playing mind games and consequently, you have no clue about where you stand.
You keep on wondering how they feel about you. What are their intentions? Does your ex experience the same kind of doubt you do?
Well, you’ve come to the right place because you’re about to get all the answers you need. Here is everything you need to know about what to do when an ex is hot and cold and why they behave like this.
9 Reasons For Your Ex’s Hot And Cold Behavior
The first reason for this type of hot and cold behavior is the fact that your ex still hasn’t processed the breakup in a healthy way. This can be the case even if they dumped you.
You see, many people think that the person walking away always knows what they’re doing – that they’re 100% certain about their decision and that they have no doubts about ending the relationship.
Theoretically, this makes sense. After all, they’re the ones who chose to call it a quits so it doesn’t seem logical for them to have second thoughts.
However, in practice, things don’t always go as smoothly as you might expect. Maybe they broke up with you impulsively or maybe they’re regretting their decision.
Either way, the point is that your ex is still not fully aware of the fact that you’re no longer together.
There are days when they still consider you to be their partner and when they act as if you are still in love.
On the other hand, there are days when their boundaries are clear. Days when they’re sure about your break up and when they treat you like their ex, which you actually are.
If this is the case, there is no doubt about one thing: this person hasn’t accepted that it’s over. They’re doing their best to process some post-breakup emotions, which can change by the hour.
There are moments when they’re angry with you for some mistakes you made while you were together, or even angry with themselves for having not known better and for allowing your relationship to go downhill.
Moments when they’re disappointed and can’t accept the fact that your romance didn’t succeed. Moments when they feel like a victim and moments when they feel guilty for leaving you.
On the other hand, there are also times when your ex feels all the love they felt for you in the past. Moments when every issue you had seems resolvable and silly.
Each one of these dilemmas going on in their head reflects their behavior toward you. They’re going through a rollercoaster of emotions right now and they’re behaving accordingly.
Self-struggle is real
I’m sure you’ve been in a situation before where your heart was telling you one thing while your mind advised you otherwise.
In a situation where, deep down, you knew what the right thing to do was but your emotions wanted to go their own way.
Well, there is a real possibility that this is exactly what’s going on with your ex right now.
They are not only struggling with you – they’re also struggling with themselves, which is much more difficult.
Your ex is in a constant state of dilemma. They know they still have strong feelings for you but on the other hand, they firmly believe that getting back with you would be a horrible idea.
They’re aware that you are not compatible with each other, that you probably wouldn’t last much longer if you were to reconcile, and that you can never find the middle ground.
On the other hand, every time they see you or just hear from you, the strength of their emotions overwhelms them.
So, they wonder what would be better. Would it be better to walk away from you and find someone they’ll get along with better and to let go of this enormous love you both feel?
If they do this, will they ever get over you completely? Will they ever fall in love with someone so deeply again?
On the other hand, are their feelings worthy of doing the wrong thing? Are they ready to spend the rest of their life next to someone they’ll never get along with?
These questions are the reason why your ex is hot and cold. There are times when their mind wins over – they ignore you and act like they couldn’t care less about you.
That’s when they act heartless and when they manage to pretend that they’re completely indifferent.
On the other hand, there are times when their heart gets its way. Times when they can’t control themselves and when their emotions take over.
That’s when the “hot” phase begins. This is when they act like they love you, when they’re texting you, trying to reach out to you and want to talk things through.
You are taking a test and you don’t even know it
Is it possible that your ex walked away from your relationship because they felt like you weren’t giving them enough attention? Because they felt like your second choice and last resort?
Well, if that is the case, it’s very likely that they’re acting hot and cold because they want to test you. They see this break up as a chance for you to learn your lesson.
They don’t want to actually continue living without you. Instead, they want to use this situation to make you grow fonder to them.
The bottom line is that your ex is using reverse psychology here. They assume that the only way for you to start appreciating their presence is to sense their absence.
They think that once you realize they’ve abandoned you, you’ll understand what you’re losing. Only then will you be aware that you want them by your side, and only then will you figure out their worth.
Their cold and hot behavior is actually nothing more than a test you need to pass in order to get back with them.
Are you finally ready to fight for them? Will you be the one to make the move toward your reconciliation?
Or will you just let them go, without lifting a finger? Will you just sit there peacefully, and watch them leave you for good?
The choice is all yours. Trust me – they won’t change their behavior until you show some initiative and action.
Basically, what your ex wants is for you to try a little bit harder. They want to see that you’re ready to put some effort into winning them back.
Your ex wants you to fight for them. They want to see that you want them back and that you’re ready to do whatever it takes to be a part of their life once more.
In other words, they do want to get back with you eventually. However, they refuse to do it without putting up any sort of fight.
They don’t want you to think that you can have them whenever and however you like. Instead, they want to be appreciated and fought for.
It’s not that your ex-girlfriend or boyfriend wants to see you begging them. They just want you to put in at least the minimum amount of effort into winning them back.
This is especially true if they were the ones who left you. It would mean admitting their mistake if they were to get back with you just like that, without you even lifting a finger.
You threaten them
The next reason why your ex is hot and cold might be the fact that they feel threatened by your presence.
You see, your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend is afraid that you’ll find a way to fool them back in your life and give your relationship another go.
So, they put up a shield around their heart. They build thick walls around themselves, which serve to keep you out.
Therefore, every time you come near them, they feel threatened. They’re terrified that you’ll manage to break their shield and that you’ll find a way back into their heart in no time.
They’re not running away from you here – they’re running away from themselves and from the emotions they still have for you.
Remaining friends is an option
Is it possible that you’re misinterpreting your ex’s behavior? That you’re seeing something that isn’t there?
Is it possible that you’re making a big deal of your ex just calling you or liking your social media posts?
I hate to be the one to burst your bubble but it could be that your ex is just trying to be friendly.
Maybe they are being polite and nice to you, not because they want to get back together but because they want to remain best friends.
At first glance, this might seem utterly impossible. After all, you were in a serious relationship and there is no chance in hell that the two of you can be best friends after everything you went through.
However, this is just your point of view. You still have deep emotions for this person so it is expected that you’ll feel like this.
On the other hand, for them, it makes perfect sense. They still have feelings for you but not the same type of feelings you have.
They don’t love you romantically any more but that doesn’t make them completely indifferent.
After all, you’re the human being they spent so much time with, so it is natural that they can’t forget about you overnight. They remember all the good memories and everything you shared together.
They especially don’t want to see you as their arch enemy. They don’t hate you –they want the best for you.
In fact, your cold ex still wants to be a part of your life. They want to at least know how you’re doing and if there is anything they can do to help you.
However, you misinterpret their acts of kindness and see them as mixed signals or as signs that they’re still in love with you. Every time they reach out to you, you see it as a chance for getting back together.
Nevertheless, this is not their intention. For you, it’s enough to see their name on your screen phone to think that they’re trying to win you back, while they’re just trying to be nice and kind.
Deeply rooted trust issues
Maybe your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend has the desire to be back in your life but they simply don’t trust you enough yet to make that happen.
Please, be realistic and think about the things you did wrong in your relationship. Think about your mistakes and wrongdoings.
You see, your ex still has deep feelings for you. However, you did something to violate their trust.
Whether you’re aware of doing so or not, the fact is that you caused some trauma for them.
You made them expect the worst from you so now they’re scared of letting you back in their life and giving you another chance.
So, now it seems that your ex is hot and cold. However, this is nothing but them attempting to see whether you’re trustworthy or not.
They can’t give you a second chance without being certain about you.
They can’t give you a second chance until they’re one hundred percent sure that you won’t repeat your mistakes and that you won’t hurt them again.
Therefore, they see this period as a kind of test. They don’t want you out of their life but they don’t want you in it just yet, either.
Instead, what they need is to see that you’ve changed. It’s up to you to show them that you’re a different person who won’t break their heart all over again.
It’s your job to convince them that they can rely on you this time. That by giving you another chance they’re not giving you a green light to keep on hurting them and doing them harm.
It’s up to you to regain their trust. They don’t want you to back out as soon as they return – they want you to keep on fighting even harder and to show them that your relationship is worth the risk.
If this is the case, please don’t play them once you regain their trust. Don’t prove to them that breaking up with you was a good decision and that taking you back was the mistake of their life.
A new relationship
I hate to be the one to break it to you but the bitter truth is that your ex-girlfriend or boyfriend might have a new relationship you know nothing about.
Either way, the point is that the new serious relationship they’re in is dictating the tempo of your communication.
So, while it seems like your ex is hot and cold because of the mixed emotions they have for you, the fact is that their behavior depends on what it’s going on in their relationship.
Whenever their new romance is going great, there is no sign of them. They stop returning your calls, there’s no texting at all, and they don’t even keep track of your social media activity like they used to.
Consequently, you’re left wondering what went wrong. Did you do something that caused them to cut ties all of a sudden – without any explanation or closure?
Then, out of the blue, they reappear in your life. It’s possible that their new relationship has entered a crisis.
Maybe they figured out that their current boyfriend or girlfriend will never love them like you did. Or maybe they have just gotten into a fight.
Beware of the possibility that your ex is doing all of this on purpose. Maybe they’re trying to make their current partner jealous of you, without you being aware of what they’re doing.
Either way, this is the period in which your ex is constantly present in your life. They’re not directly pressuring you to reconcile but they’re all over you.
They give you the impression that you’re one step away from getting back together. However, what you don’t know is that you’re only serving as a way for them to overcome the crisis in their relationship.
Naturally, they won’t be honest about their relationship status with you. Instead, they’ll try their best to hide everything from you.
After all, they want to keep you around, just in case. They can’t afford to lose you if their current relationship falls apart, so they’re keeping you as their safety net.
Abuse of power
Whether you like to admit it or not, when your ex is hot and cold, they gain some kind of power over you.
You’re the one waiting for them to reach out the whole time, hoping they’ll come back to you.
You put your life on hold, while they’re out there making their mind up about you and not worrying about your well being.
Basically, you have no say in this entire situation. They’re the one who needs to make the decision and you have no way of influencing it.
Well, the truth is that in some cases, your ex is pretty much aware of all of this. They know that currently, they’re the dominant one and they take advantage of that.
They consciously play with your mind and heart. They reach out to you when they feel alone and abandoned and when there is no one else to turn to.
On the other hand, as soon as their life gets back on track and as soon as everything starts to go smoothly, they’re nowhere to be found.
Suddenly, they’ve forgotten all about you and start acting like you never existed.
Don’t fool yourself and think that this is their emotional unavailability talking. You can be certain that they’re doing all of this on purpose.
They don’t want to give you a chance to fall out of love with them. As soon as they notice that your emotions are fading away and as soon as they see that you might forget them, they go into attack mode.
So, the next day they give you hope that reconciliation is possible. They say that they miss you and that they can’t imagine living their life without you.
However, all of these are just empty words that are never backed up with action. The fact is that they’re not doing anything about actually reviving your relationship.
In fact, as soon as they see that you’ve caught the hook, they’re nowhere to be found. They disappear, leaving you in agony and abandoning you when you need them the most.
At first, you suffer because of their absence and the fact that they’re acting hot and cold. You miss them and constantly overthink your entire relationship and everything that went on later.
However, after a while, you accept that they’re gone. You no longer try to contact them and you give up on the idea that you’ll ever be together again.
Nevertheless, when you’re just one step closer to finding peace, there they’re again. There they’re with their sweet words and empty promises.
Before you know it, you’re trapped once more in this endless cycle from which you see no way out. So what is this if it’s not them using their power over you?
They fell out of love but are nostalgic
Here is another thing you might have trouble accepting – there is a great possibility that your ex has sadly stopped loving you.
The first question then is, why have they contacted you at all if they’ve fallen out of love?
Well, sometimes, despite having no more feelings for a person you used to love, you are still nostalgic for the good memories and the times you spent together.
Maybe your ex is scared of moving on. You’re their comfort zone and they feel some kind of security as long as they have you around.
Even though they’ve stopped loving you, they have a hard time admitting their indifference. They simply can’t let you go and they don’t feel ready to continue their life without your presence.
So, every time they go through a rough time, they seek comfort in your company. They still ask for your advice and opinion.
Naturally, you consider this to be a hot and cold situation.
7 Things To Do When Your Ex Is Hot And Cold
Figure out if you’re being used or they’re confused
Before acting on your problem, all relationship advice will tell you that first and foremost you have to get to its bottom.
Now that you’ve read all of the possible reasons why your ex is hot and cold, rethink your situation for a couple of days and try to figure out what reason you relate to the most.
The most important thing is to understand whether you’re being used or they’re confused. Are they doing all of this involuntarily, without being aware of the impact their behavior is having on you?
Or are they behaving like this on purpose, with the intention of hurting you even more? Are they doing all of this without giving a damn about your well being?
I know that answering this question might be painful but trust me, it is crucial for you to know the truth. Be as realistic as possible and disregard your desires and hopes.
Naturally, you shouldn’t react the same way if your ex is struggling with their emotions rather than consciously playing mind games with you.
In the first case, you should definitely be understanding. After all, this person loves you but they are having trouble reconciling their brain and their heart.
On the other hand, if you know you’re dealing with a jerk who is playing you, they don’t deserve any sympathy.
In fact, what they should get is a taste of their own medicine or you should immediately kick them out of your life.
Whatever you decide to do and whatever approach you choose, please always put your emotions first. Don’t engage in anything that might end up hurting you even more.
Don’t be clingy
Another thing you shouldn’t do is be overly clingy. You see, once you realize that you’re losing someone you love, you may have the impulse to keep them by your side, no matter what.
As soon as someone ignores you, you have an even bigger desire to get their attention. The same is true of you and your ex – this is just a part of human nature.
The less they respond to your text messages, the more you double and triple text them. The less they return your calls, the more excuses you find to reach out to them.
The more they ignore your social media activity, the more photos and status updates you post.
This actually makes sense at a first glance. You’re subconsciously trying to keep them from leaving you and more importantly – from forgetting you.
This is your attempt to remind this person of you. An attempt to keep them in your life, at all costs.
Well, let me tell you one thing: you’ll actually only achieve the opposite with your extreme clinginess. By doing this, you’re producing a counterproductive effect.
Instead of pulling this person closer, you’ll only chase them away. You’ll make them feel suffocated and trapped and they’ll want to run for their life.
Besides, this approach will make your ex lose all their appreciation for you. You’re sending them a message that they can treat you however they want.
No matter what they do, you’ll always be around. In fact, the worse they treat you, the more you’ll love them.
So, why exactly would they change their behavior? There is nothing they can do to make you stop loving them so they can keep on acting like this for as long as they want.
Show them that you can make it without them
The most important thing about this situation is to show your ex that you don’t need them. I’m not saying that you need to act like you don’t care about them, though.
However, there is a difference between loving someone and being dependent on them. That is exactly what you need to prove to them: that you want them in your life but you won’t be doomed if you lose them.
Basically, you need to show your ex that you can make it without them. So, instead of making phone calls, asking for favors, or asking for their advice, show them that you’re independent.
Use this time to work on your self-confidence and on becoming the best possible version of yourself. Invest this time and all of your energy into pampering yourself and improving yourself.
Instead of obsessing over your ex and over your failed relationship, reconnect with some old friends. Hang out with people and see it as a chance to meet someone new.
Work on your education and career. Read books, watch movies, and find a new hobby.
Besides nurturing your mind and heart, work on your physical appearance as well. Hit the gym or engage in some kind of physical activity.
This will be beneficial for your mental health and self-confidence as well. It will relieve you of stress and negative energy as well as getting you in shape.
However, you shouldn’t do all of this to spite your ex. Your final goal is not to show them what they lost.
Instead, you’re working on yourself for your own sake. You’re doing it to show yourself that you don’t need anyone and that you’re the creator of your own happiness.
Mirror your cold ex’s behavior
According to a lot of relationship advice, the thing you should do is mirror your ex’s behavior when it comes to cold and hot games.
This person’s intention is to confuse you and to bring you into a situation in which you don’t know what to think or where to stand.
Well, why don’t you outsmart them for the first time ever? Turn the tables and beat them at their own game.
What you should do is mirror their behavior. When they ignore you, give them even colder treatment.
However, don’t let them in as soon as they try to reenter the hot stage. Instead, make them work for it.
Ignore them for a little while after they start reaching out to you. Then, start acting like everything is in perfect order and make them believe that you’re crazy over them.
After a while, out of the blue, be the one who gives them the silent treatment. Just like that, reduce your communication to the bare minimum and start showing a lack of interest.
Or you can just disappear, without giving them a proper explanation. Do that before they start to ignore you and anticipate their intentions.
Believe me – this is how you’ll turn the situation in your favor. Now, they’ll be the ones wondering what is going on.
The ones trying to decode your mixed signals and the ones who will spend all of their time overthinking your moves.
However, I have to warn you about one thing: by doing this, you’ll play with their head.
You’ll probably even hurt their feelings. Nevertheless, there is also a great chance of hurting yourself as well here.
The point is that you’re ignoring them on purpose, so you end up missing them as well. To put things simply: you’re breaking your own heart just so you can break theirs.
Tone down your social media activity
Social media is a big part of modern dating. So, even though you’re not actually dating this person anymore, your social profiles can still help you a lot.
When you first break up with someone you still love, you have the same impulse as the rest of us. You stalk your ex’s profiles, you want to find out where and with whom they’re spending their time.
Moreover, you use your profiles to send them a message. You post sad status updates and quotes about missing someone, songs which might remind them of your relationship, and so on.
On the other hand, you might use your profiles to make them jealous. You put photos of you having a great time or status updates about how being single rocks.
Well, let me tell you that neither approach works. Even if you post your happy photos, they’ll be aware that you’re doing all of that in spite of them.
Besides, both approaches are beneficial for your ex. Either way, they know where you’re spending your time and what you’ve been up to.
So, the best thing to do is to tone down your social media activity to the bare minimum. Keep yourself quiet and make them wonder.
Do the same with your mutual friends. Don’t reveal your plans or emotions and especially don’t ask about them.
If possible, it would be best if you could cut all ties with anyone connected with your ex. If they want to hear from you, force them to be the ones to reach out.
Don’t let them get the information they need without moving an inch – through your friends or social media. Force them to make an effort or give you access to their life.
Don’t react when they go cold
The most important thing is to stay calm once your ex enters “the cold” phase. Naturally, your first impulse here is to get angry but this is not how you’ll get your ex back.
You want to call them on their actions. You want to yell at them and argue with them about their unfair behavior.
However, this is the last thing you should do. Trust me: your reaction is what your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend wants.
They want to see that they’ve accomplished their goal. They’ve managed to hurt your feelings and to affect you in the worst way possible.
Nevertheless, what will hurt them the most is if you give them the silent treatment. They expect you to chase them, as much as they run away from you.
They want you to beg them to come back every time they leave. They want you to get angry, even, because that is a sign that you’re not indifferent.
However, if you ignore their cold behavior, you’ll make them lose their mind. They’ll wonder why there is no reaction from you and whether it’s a sign that you don’t care for them at all.
Trust me, before you know it, your ex-girlfriend or boyfriend will come knocking on your door. They’ll come crawling back to you, just to check what’s wrong and whether they still have a place in your life.
Talk to them face to face
Finally, if you’ve had enough of this situation, it’s time to bring the subject up and talk to them face to face. After all, the two of you are mature human beings and I’m sure you’ll be able to find the middle ground.
Don’t be emotional and don’t show them your weakness and vulnerable side.
However, don’t be arrogant either if you want to get your ex back. Just be as realistic as possible and talk to them about your situation.
Be honest and tell them that you’re not stupid and that they can’t play you for a fool anymore. You won’t put up with this behavior a second longer and you want to know where you stand.
Don’t be scared of telling them that you’ve wanted to get back together this whole time.
Don’t cry or beg them: just tell them that you still have feelings for them and that you would like to give your relationship another shot.
Don’t make them give you the answer right away or the next day.
Instead, give them a certain period of time – a couple of days or more to make up their mind.
Apply the no contact rule until they make a decision. If your ex is hot and cold after no contact, everything is clear.
Nevertheless, don’t give them a lot of time. Set a date and be firm about it.
If they don’t give you an answer in that period of time, leave them for good. Don’t allow them to keep playing with you or to keep you on hold.
When your ex is playing hot and cold and you decide to take this approach, be certain in your decision and be sure that you can do it.
Don’t do all of this if you’re going to fall for them the first time they contact you.
There is no point in bringing the subject up if you’ll be too weak to stick to your decision.
Don’t allow them to keep on playing games with you because that way, you’ll just show them that you’re nothing but a fool and that your words mean nothing.