How to Understand the Body Language of an Ex: 10 Steps

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How to Understand the Body Language of an Ex: 10 Steps
How to Understand the Body Language of an Ex: 10 Steps

Have you ever met an ex and been dying to know what he was feeling? Running into an ex after breaking up can be awkward, but a little body language knowledge can help you better understand what you're getting into. Your ex may not know what to say or how to talk about his or her feelings, but you can read his posture, movement, and facial expressions to see what he is thinking.


Part 1 of 3: Studying Facial Expressions

Read an Ex's Body Language Step 1

Step 1. Pay attention to the smile

A sincere smile is a good indication that he is happy to see you. If he's got a sparkle in his eye, it's likely that his attention is all on you. A fake smile, yellow, longer than five seconds, is a sign of disinterest.

Read an Ex's Body Language Step 2

Step 2. Notice if he frowns

If your ex frowns when you start talking, chances are he's no longer interested. A frown is a sign of disagreement, usually with what the other person is saying or doing. You can also ask him why he's frowning if you're in doubt. Otherwise, it's best to cut the conversation off.

Read an Ex's Body Language Step 3

Step 3. See if he avoids eye contact

While some people avoid making eye contact with others because they're shy, in the case of an ex you're dating or with whom you've had a long relationship, it's far more likely to be a matter of indifference. Not making eye contact can indicate a lack of interest, rejection, discomfort, or even a desire to get away from the situation. If you're trying to have a frank conversation with your ex, but he insists on looking elsewhere, chances are he's not ready to talk yet.

On the other hand, if your ex is interested and makes constant eye contact, chances are he'll be happy to talk to you, especially if he's smiling and engaging his whole body in the interaction

Read an Ex's Body Language Step 4

Step 4. See if he has raised eyebrows

Raising your eyebrows can be a sign of disagreement or discomfort. The gesture is usually accompanied by a grimace, or he may frown at the same time.

If he raises just one eyebrow, he may be confused or annoyed. Ask him if he didn't understand something you said. Be careful though: the last thing you want is to start another fight with your ex. Don't force the bar

Part 2 of 3: Observing posture and arms

Read an Ex's Body Language Step 5

Step 1. See if your ex has his arms crossed or relaxed

If he sits idly by while talking to you, he may be irritable, angry, or nervous. Maybe he's not ready for this conversation yet. Change the subject if he seems impatient and doesn't uncross his arms. Or leave to talk to him at another time.

Relaxed arms are a great sign. Relaxed shoulders and arms can mean your ex sees you as a source of reassurance rather than stress

Read an Ex's Body Language Step 6

Step 2. Notice whether he leans his body forward or backward

If your ex leans forward, that is, closer to you, it's a sign that he's interested and engaged in the conversation. It may be that he is trying to recreate the intimacy you had before by putting himself within your reach.

If he leans back, nothing is done. It is likely that he is no longer interested in what you have to say and wants to create physical and emotional distance. Cut off the conversation and leave to continue for another time

Read an Ex's Body Language Step 7

Step 3. Notice if he messes with his hair or other parts of his body

If your ex is touching or running his hands through his hair, he may be attracted to you. Fiddling with your hair and touch-sensitive body parts, such as your ears, can be a sign of attraction. This could mean that your ex thinks of you even when you are apart.

Sometimes, though, messing with your hair is just a nervous tic that has nothing to do with attraction. It's just an unconscious way to relieve stress

Part 3 of 3: Looking at the legs and feet

Read an Ex's Body Language Step 8

Step 1. See where his feet are pointing

If he has his feet facing you, it could be a sign of affection. Maybe he's still interested in you or at least wants to talk and be friends with you. Turning your feet toward the person you're talking to is usually a good sign.

Read an Ex's Body Language Step 9

Step 2. See if he has restless legs or tapping his feet on the floor

Shaking your legs and tapping your feet often indicate nervousness, impatience, or eagerness to move on to something else. If your ex is stomping his feet, he's likely to want to leave by now, even if you've only talked for a little while. It is also possible that he is nervous about seeing you again or that he feels uncomfortable.

  • Restless feet often reflect emotional turmoil. Don't try to force the conversation. But if you can alleviate the discomfort and anxiety by talking about something you both like, why not give it a try? Maybe he doesn't calm down? If it doesn't work, leave the conversation for another day.
  • If your ex seems to want to touch his feet to yours, it can be a strong sign of desire and attraction. Think carefully if that's what you really want.
Read an Ex's Body Language Step 10

Step 3. Make sure his feet and knees are facing you

If he turns his feet and knees away, he probably doesn't want to talk, even if he looks interested. When we have to talk to someone we don't like, the feet often reveal what the face hides.

If he's got his feet planted on the ground, he's probably trying to show confidence


The best way to know what your ex is feeling and thinking is not only to pay attention to body language, but also to talk. Don't just rely on your observations


  • This is not a guide for you to get back together with your ex. The aim is just to help you understand if your ex is even interested in talking to you. It's not because he's willing to talk that he wants to be friends with you or come back with you.
  • If your ex's body language seems to be saying something, don't be blinded by your own feelings. It's possible that he doesn't feel the same way you do.

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