Should you try to make your ex jealous? Is it an effective way to get them back?

Breaking up is painful. You are feeling rejected and hurt, and it’s tempting to think about turning the tables on your ex by making them regret breaking up with you. Maybe you can even get back at them for hurting you, and spur them into wanting you back.  Surely it must be worth a try?

After a breakup it’s good to get out and be social, rather than sitting at home moping and dwelling on your problems. Seeing your friends will lift your mood and remind you that there is still a world outside your relationship. And spending time with new people, especially MOTOS (members of the opposite sex), will boost your confidence and make you feel more attractive.

Better still, news will get back to your ex that you were seen out flirting with a hottie. This will drive up your desirability factor, and may even make your ex jealous.

And then they might start to wonder if they have been a bit too hasty in losing such a prize.

So should you try casually dating a few people just to make your ex jealous? This might be just the spur they need to decide that they don’t want to lose you after all.

But does this tactic actually work?

The truth is that it can be very effective. But it is a high risk strategy and you should use it with care. Jealousy is the counterpoint to infidelity, which makes it a powerful emotional force. And like all highly charged emotions it should be treated with great respect. It’s important to understand the triggers behind jealousy, and how and why they differ between the sexes.

What Happens When You Set Out to Make Your Ex Jealous?

Women find emotional infidelity the hardest to forgive, whereas men fear physical betrayal.

This is perfectly in line with basic biology – women need to know that the father of their children will stand by them and help to raise them. This is most likely to happen if the man remains emotionally committed to them.

That’s why the ultimate deal breaker for women is illicit fatherhood. There’s many a man whose wife or girlfriend has tolerated his serial infidelities for years, and lulled him into a false sense of security. Then he goes too far by fathering another woman’s child, only to find himself out on his ear.

Men, on the other hand, need to know that the children they are raising are actually theirs. It is also the ultimate act of disrespect to a man. And no man wants to stay with a woman who doesn’t respect him. So although it can be very effective to make your boyfriend aware of the possibility of you finding someone else, you may get quite a different reaction if he believes you have actually done so.

So bear in mind that when you set out to make your ex jealous, you are stepping into a potential minefield. You need to tread carefully here, and to follow a few simple rules to keep the situation from becoming explosive.

Avoid the Losers

You want to make you ex aware that you have other options, which means you won’t be waiting around indefinitely. And it’s important that these options really exist. If your ex thinks you’re pretending or making it up, then you will just look desperate. So make sure your date is a real person who your ex will see as a genuine rival, not just a bid for their attention.

Although you are not looking for a serious relationship, don’t let your standards drop and choose the first person who comes along.

Making your ex aware how attractive you are to others will increase your value in their eyes, and make you a more desirable prize to win back.

But dating beneath you is more likely to convince your ex that they were right to dump you, than to make them jealous enough to want to get back together with you.

Get the Balance Right

The positive side of your new dating life means that your free time will be limited, while at the same time your confidence is boosted. This is great, and it will reduce the temptation to keep contacting your ex and begging them for another chance.

But you still want to get back together, so you don’t want to be seen too much with a new love interest. You don’t want to convince your ex that you have actually moved on to someone else. You just want to arouse their possessive feelings towards you to make them aware of the possibility.

After a time apart from your ex, you should try to rack up some sexual tension by seeing them casually and flirting with them. But this won’t work if they think you have found someone else. Then they will think you are just playing games with them, and be annoyed.

Your aim is to show your ex how much you are in demand.

It’s not to show them how easy it is to forget them.

Don’t Lead People Astray

Don’t go overboard with your casual dating. Make it clear to the people you are seeing that you are not looking for anything serious. It is only fair to be honest with them, and you don’t want to get involved in any heavy scenes.

Explain that you have just ended a serious relationship, and you don’t want to rush into anything new. Saying you want to pace things with them will give you time to find out where your ex stands without giving your other dates false expectations.

Don’t Slam the Door on Your Ex

Make sure you are doing lots of others things as well as dating. You don’t want to give your ex the impression that you are in the middle of a scorching love affair.

Keep your interests varied, and keep the lines of communication with your ex open. You want them to know that you are having a good time, not that you have definitely moved on.

After a few weeks apart, it is a good idea to try to catch up with your ex by having a few casual dates, such as meeting up for coffee. You will have a chance to talk and flirt with them and see how they respond.

This should give you an idea of how they are feeling.

You can also tease them with the idea that they still have a chance to win you back.

Dating other people to make your ex jealous is a high risk strategy. You are walking a tightrope from which it is only too easy to fall. You want to make your ex jealous without convincing them that you have actually moved on.

Remember that they will be highly suggestible, and may rush to believe the worst on the slightest evidence. So err on the side of caution, or you could find that that you have walked straight into a minefield. Things could easily get out of control, and you may find that when you make your ex jealous the consequences are quite different from what you hoped.

If you want to find out the complete strategy for getting your ex back, you need to know about The Ex Boyfriend Guide. Click here to find out more.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Jaycie

    Isn’t there a possibility that your ex will be thrilled that you’re seeing other people, because it means you’re no longer their problem?

    1. Sarah

      Possibly but only if the relationship is over for him.

  2. Nicola

    My ex and I broke up a month ago but we have been communicating every day since. Last night he saw a picture of me and a guy friend at the bar (just sitting side by side, nothing sexual at all) and my ex completely lost it and said it’s all over between us since I’m out with other guys. I told him the guy is just a friend but he hasn’t responded. I think it’s really OTT how he’s behaving but is this the kind of response I should expect?

    1. Sarah

      No, it does sound extreme. Extreme reactions in anyone are red flags so you might want to think about whether this man is really such a good choice.

  3. Celia

    I cheated on my ex and he dumped me. Why wasn’t he jealous enough to try to get me back?

    1. Sarah

      If you cheated then it’s not as simple as that. Go here to find out why.

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