I have been doing this for half a decade now and have pretty much seen it all.
The list goes on and one.
Heck, I dare you to come up with a situation that I haven’t seen. (Seriously, in the comments section let me know if you think you have a situation that I have never seen when it comes to breakups.)
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But one of the most prevalent things that I have been seeing lately are men whose ex girlfriends are playing mind games on them.
Now, what is a mind game?
Well, for the purposes of this article we are going to define a “mind game” as such,
Mind Games: a largely conscious struggle for psychological one-upmanship, often employing passive–aggressive behavior to specifically demoralize or empower the thinking subject, making the aggressor look superior; also referred to as “power games”.
Specifically, I want to pick apart the different types of mind games that your ex girlfriend is playing with you.
But it wouldn’t be very fun if I did what everyone else out there did.
You see, when I was coming up with the concept of this article I decided to do some research to see what my peers had already written about “mind games.”
I was not impressed…
One of the things that I like to do before I write any article is get in the same mindset as the people who will be reading it.
And the more I did this for you with this article the more I felt that you would probably want mind games that your ex girlfriends played specifically on you.
Which is something a lot of my peers out there failed to create.
Yes, they had created an article around mind games (some of them were even kind enough to list those mind games out.
But the mind games they talked about had nothing to do with exes.
They were just broad and that’s probably not very interesting to you. No, what you probably want is for someone to create something that covers the major mind games an ex girlfriend will play on you after a breakup.
And that’s where this article comes in!
I spent an hour brainstorming all the mind games I have seen ex girlfriend play and have compiled that list for you below.
But like I said, I don’t want to be like my peers.
I want to go above and beyond.
So, instead of just telling you,
Hey, this is a mind game your ex girlfriend could be potentially playing on you
(Which if I am being honest is kind of easy and a little boring)
I figured I would make things a bit more interesting by dividing this article up into two parts,
PART ONE: Defining The Mind Game
PART TWO: Explaining Why The Mind Game Was Played
In other words, I don’t just want to define “the mind game.”
I want to go way beyond that. I want to get into the “why?” and explain what she’s trying to accomplish by playing that mind game. Oh, and as you may find out once we start really diving into these mind games that she isn’t trying to accomplish anything. She’s just doing it because she can.
(Women are weird that way.)
So, here’s how this article is going to function from this point on.
First I am going to list out all of the mind games that we are going to cover in this article and then after that I am going to start defining each individual “mind game”
Of course, like I mentioned above that’s where most people end the article. But I want to explain the “why” behind why the mind game was played so immediately after defining the mind game I am going to explain what your ex girlfriend is trying to accomplish by playing that mind game.
The idea here is that you gain a better understanding as to what is going on in her head.
Let’s get started!
Here Are The Mind Games Your Ex Girlfriend Will Play On You
I’m not going to lie to you.
What I am about to show you may be a little hard for you to digest… However, I promise you that I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that in about twenty minutes or so you walk away from this article with a much better understanding as to what’s going on in your ex girlfriends mind.
So… mind games.
Let’s talk a bit about that.
Currently I have identified a total of 11 mind games that an ex girlfriend may play on you after a breakup.
They are as follows,
- Stringing You Along On Purpose
- Hot & Cold
- Friends With Benefits
- The Spy
- Trying To Make You Jealous
- Never Texting You First
- Ignoring You On Purpose
- The “Accidental” Text
- Acting Sad Or Depressed To Get Attention
- On Again/Off Again ON PURPOSE
- Staring At You Without Actually Saying Anything
Ya…. I really want this to be comprehensive so I am going out of my way to make sure that all of our bases are covered.
Let’s take this from the top!
Mind Game #1: Stringing You Along On Purpose
What does this look like?
Well, let’s pretend that we have two imaginary people who just went through a breakup together.
Let’s call them…..
Bob and Christina!
Oh, and let’s just pretend that Bob is my identical twin and Christina is my wife’s identical twin,
So, what would happen if Christina was stringing “Bob” along.
Well, one thing that you have to realize is that a breakup has first occurred between Christina and Bob. Only after this breakup has Christina started “stringing Bob along” by bringing up old memories and hinting at the fact that Bob may still have a chance with her.
The truth is… he doesn’t.
But why would Christina do this?
Why This Mind Game Was Played
Breakups are among the worst things that a human being can go through in their personal lives. So, as a way to cope we can sometimes string our exes along knowing full well it’s what we intended to do all along.
It’s not hard to see the benefits.
Take Bob and Christina as an example.
During their time in a relationship there were certain routines that they both got used to and now that they are broken up those routines are gone.
Christina misses those routines.
She misses talking to Bob about her day and having someone be very caring.
So, in order to get those things back without a commitment being involved she resolves herself to string Bob along.
In other words, if she makes him believe that there are feelings still there he is going to remain interested and provide her emotional support.
It reminds me of that hilarious How I Met Your Mother episode that revolved around the phrase “right now.”
Tell me if this clip brings up any memories for you,
If you didn’t have the patient to watch the clip then allow me to expand a bit on whats going on.
Ted Mosby (the main character of How I Met Your Mother) falls for Carrie Underwood (who guest stars as some blonde bimbo.) And as a way of winning her over he does all these nice things for her.
Of course, when push comes to shove Carrie Underwood tells Ted Mosby that,
She’s just not into him…. “RIGHT NOW.”
Essentially leaving the door open for something to happen in the future.
This is the same thing as stringing Ted along because ultimately she wants him to keep doing all of these nice things for her without getting a commitment as a result.
She gives him a little hope and that’s all it takes for him to continue doing all these nice things.
The same principle applies here to why your ex girlfriend would string you along.
Let’s move on to the next mind game women tend to play on men,
Mind Game #2: She Is Hot & Cold With You
I feel like this is the one “mind game” that you probably want to hear about.
But before we get into the “why” we must first examine the “what.”
So, what does it mean when your ex girlfriend is hot and cold with you?
Well, for this purposes of this article we are going to use a method I designed to make determining “hot and cold” very easy.
The Actions Vs. Words Theory: In order to determine what a person really wants or means you must first look at their words and compare what they say to their actions (what they do.)
Think of it like this.
If your ex girlfriend is being “hot and cold” with you then her words and actions won’t match.
I’ll give you an example.
Let’s pretend that your ex sends you this text message,
Getting a message like this would make you think that your ex girlfriend is starting to miss you again, right?
And it’s definitely a step in the right direction if you are trying to get her back.
Your exes actions don’t really back that up.
Whenever you see her in person she doesn’t act like someone who is really starting to miss you.
She doesn’t run up and hug you.
She doesn’t flirt…
Hell, she doesn’t even talk to you in person.
She is very standoffish and it’s confusing you.
She’s hot one moment (telling you that she misses you) and cold the next (not even talking to you in person.)
And all you have to really do to determine this is to look at what she says (her words) and see if they align with her actions.
But what are some examples of hot and cold mind games that an ex girlfriend may play on you?
- Agreeing to a date with you and then at the last minute she cancels on you
- She says that she misses you but her actions don’t exactly back that up
- She gives off sign like she wants you back but when it comes down to it she refuses to commit
- She will tell you that she isn’t ready for a relationship but she keeps acting like she is with you
- You go on a date with her and things go well (hugging, kissing, etc) and then the next day she completely ignores you
Why Your Ex Girlfriend Is Hot & Cold
Notice how in most of the examples I gave you above the mixed signal started out with words or actions that were hot and then ended with words or actions that were cold.
I feel like this is an important phenomenon to understand because more than anything you are wondering why she acted “hot” with you in the first place.
As an ex boyfriend of hers I don’t think you can have any trouble understanding why she acted cold with you.
Your exes and exes fight.
It’s a law of nature, right?
But why would she act “hot.”
Could it actually mean for a moment that she wanted you back or that she was remembering a good time that you had together?
Let’s get scientific for a moment.
When your ex girlfriend remembers your past relationship together she probably remembers it as culmination of all the ups and downs, right?
Have you ever heard of the “peak-end rule?”
The Peak-End Rule: Is a psychological theory that basically states that human beings remember an experience based largely how they felt at it’s peak and at it’s end. This bucks the popular belief that human beings remember an experience based on the total sum of all of it’s parts.
So, in the case of an ex girlfriend who gives you mixed signals in the form of a hot and cold action I think you can turn to the peak-end rule to describe why it happens.
Take a look at the graph below,
Let’s pretend this is the sum of how your ex girlfriend felt throughout your relationship.
According to the “peak-end rule” when she remembers your relationship she is going to remember it by two points,
The peak… and the end…
So, what I think is happening when your ex girlfriend is hot and cold towards you is that she begins to remember the peak of your relationship and it makes her feel good.
So good in fact that she is willing to reach out to you in a positive way or embark on some action that makes you think that she is into you again.
Of course, eventually as time goes on she remembers that end.
And as you can see from the graph above the end wasn’t so pretty.
And that’s where the cold words or actions come into play.
Mind Game #3: Friends With Benefits
It sounds like a dream to you, right?
Sex without strings…
Except here’s the deal, it’s almost impossible not to attach strings to sex. I mean, it’s essentially the most intimate thing that a woman can give you. Now, before you get on my case about the fact that it’s extremely rare for a woman to initiate a friends with benefits type of relationship let me just tell you this one thing.
More people have sex with their exes than you would think.
I mean, if you were to sit me in a room, hold a gun to my head and say,
Chris, you need to guess a percentage of people who sleep with their ex after a breakup
Chances are that I would throw out some low percentage like 10 or 12 percent.
Would you like to know, on average, how many people sleep with an ex after a breakup?
Well, according to a recent poll conducted by the Associated Press,
36% of people admitted to having sex with their ex after a breakup
That’s a lot of people!
Now, why am I throwing statistics out at you?
Well, I want you to understand that women can enter into a friends with benefits type of relationship too. It isn’t just men. Keep that in mind because it’s going to be an important concept to grasp later on when we start talking about why your ex will enter one with you.
For now, let’s define what I mean when I talk about “friends with benefits.”
Friends With Benefits: Simply means that you and your ex girlfriend are having sex outside of being in a relationship. In other words, you are f*ck buddies.
Now, the thing I want you to understand is that when it comes to FWB it isn’t a one time thing.
In other words, you aren’t having sex just one time and then never talking to each other again (that’s a one night stand.) A friends with benefits scenario is one that is ongoing where you are continually having sex.
But let’s dive deeper and try to understand why an ex girlfriend would even want to enter into a FWB relationship with you.
Why Your Ex Girlfriend Is Friends With Benefits With You
Do you remember that thing we talked about above?
You remember it…
It’s a little thing called “The Peak-End Rule.” Well, turns out that it’s applicable to friends with benefits too.
Look, when I was doing my research on this there was one thing that continually kept bugging me.
Your situation is different than the average guys out there.
Well, oftentimes when research is done on friends with benefits people are assuming that you hadn’t dated that person before.
That’s a problem for you because you have dated your ex girlfriend before and you have probably had sex with her.
But should that change things?
Absolutely, friends with benefits will probably have a little more meaning for your situation than for another situation.
Now, with that being said I want to be upfront and honest with you.
The odds aren’t in your favor of having things work out. Statistics do say that more often than not a FWB relationship will end disastrously.
But that’s not what we are here to get into. No, we are here to look at why they even happen. What compels your ex girlfriend to want to sleep with you after a breakup and then continue doing it.
Well, I think it has to do with the peak-end rule again.
Think of it in these terms.
Your ex girlfriend starts remembering your relationship and she starts remember how she felt during the peak of the relationship,
It makes her feel good. So good in fact, that she wants to feel that way again.
It’s easy to see how she can sleep with you then, right?
But there’s a problem.
A little while after she does “the act” with you she starts remembering the end of the relationship and how nasty you were to each other,
It scares her…
So much in fact, that she won’t commit to you.
But here is where things get really interesting.
Do you remember what I said about how a friends with benefits scenario is one in which the two people continually sleep together.
Well, that’s when this viscous cycle starts over again.
She remembers the peak…
Sleeps with you…
Then remembers the end…
Won’t commit to you…
And then remember the peak again…
And this goes on and on until eventually it becomes boring to her or she works it out of her system.
In the end her main motivation for playing this mind game is the fact that she wants to feel good. She wants to feel like she did during the peak of your relationship again but she can’t ever seem to get there.
Mind Game #4: The Spy
To be honest with you I am not entirely sure that this is a “mind game” but I felt like it was important enough for me to include in this article because it is something that a lot of women will do after a breakup.
So, what is “The Spy?”
Alright, let’s pretend that after the breakup with your ex you decide that you don’t want to remain friends with her on Facebook,
You no longer have those conversations that last into the night.
You aren’t her “go to” call anymore.
Hell, the two of you don’t even talk that much anymore.
After some time a curious thing starts to happen in your exes mind.
She has a singular thought,
“Hmm… I wonder what he is up to?”
This thought consumes her for days until it reaches a point where she has to find out what you are up to.
But what’s the best way that she can do that?
She isn’t your friend on Facebook anymore and since you keep everything pretty private she isn’t getting the exact “up to date” information that she desires.
Well, her best bet is to get a spy.
A Spy: In this context it is someone who your ex enlists to keep an eye on you and report what you are up to.
Generally the perfect spy for your ex is someone who knows you but is loyal to her.
In other words, a mutual friend.
Why Your Ex Girlfriend Would Even Enlist A Spy
Let’s look at the facts.
We know “for a fact” that close to 90% of people “Facebook Creep” their exes after a breakup. So, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that your ex girlfriend is very curious to see what you are up to after a breakup.
It’s just that the only thing that is really stopping her is the fact that she either isn’t friends with you or you have her blocked.
Thus, she goes to a mutual friend, who is friends with you, and asks that friend to report on your whereabouts.
What is her motivation for wanting to see what you are up to?
Well, I think it boils down to one big thing,
She is curious to see what you are up to.
There are probably 10 or 20 little questions swimming around in her mind that she is dying to find out.
Is he dating someone else?
Is he held up in his house like a hermit depressed from the breakup?
How active has he been on social media?
Is he acting like he misses me?
Curiosity is an amazing thing.
Let’s move on and talk about another mind game that women can play after a breakup.
Mind Game #5: Trying To Make You Jealous
If you are familiar with my brand, Ex Girlfriend Recovery, then you would know that in addition to running this website I also run another website, Ex Boyfriend Recovery . It’s essentially like this website except it’s aimed towards women.
On that website I run a pretty interesting podcast where I take calls from women and answer their questions.
Well, a few weeks ago a woman called in with a pretty interesting situation.
Her ex boyfriend basically broke up with her while she was pregnant with his child (kind of a di*k move in my opinion but I digress.) A few months later he was curious to see his child (after it was born) so he reached out to the girl,
To which she responds,
Here’s the thing, she really didn’t have a date that night. She was lying and attempting to make her ex boyfriend jealous. If you are curious to watch/listen to the whole podcast episode I suggest you check out the video I recorded of it,
Here’s my point, it’s completely normal for an ex to try to make you jealous.
In fact, we have found that in a lot of our success stories jealousy plays a vital role in re-attraction.
Why would an ex girlfriend attempt to make you jealous?
Does it mean she want’s you back?
Does it mean she just wants to mess with you?
Why An Ex Girlfriend Will Try To Make You Jealous
It makes sense that an ex girlfriend who is trying to make you jealous probably still has feelings for you, right?
Personally, I think that is the case.
However, there are some rare occurrences where an ex girlfriend will attempt to make you jealous because she knows it’s going to hurt you.
Allow me to explain.
Imagine that you just went through a breakup with your ex because she found out that you were cheating on her. The minute she found out her heart broke.
Her view of you was completely shattered,
In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that you hurt her more than any man has ever hurt her in her entire life.
Ah, now we can start to see a motivation for her trying to make you jealous.
So, in her pain and anger she decides that the best way to get back at you is to get another guy and to throw him in your face.
In other words, she actively wants to hurt you by making you jealous.
Now, it’s important to remember that this is pretty rare. Generally, you’ll find that most women who actively go out of their way to make you jealous are still harboring some feelings for you.
Mind Game #6: Never Texting You First
First off, I want to say that I am totally guilty of this.
Essentially what happens here is that after a breakup your ex girlfriend becomes so angry at you that she thinks to herself,
If he wants to talk to me then he is going to have to text me first.
Now, what purpose does this even serve?
Well, in order to grasp that you must first grasp the fact that texting is kind of like a chess match between two people. Especially when you are talking about relationships. One of the big things that I talk about in The Texting Bible is how when you are building rapport and attraction with someone you are looking for a 50/50 split.
What does that mean?
Well, a 50/50 split is essentially achieved when you text your ex first half the time and she texts you first half the time.
Subconsciously I feel like everyone understands this but they never verbalize it.
Why An Ex Girlfriend Would Play This “Mind Game” With You
I feel like I can bring a lot to the table here since this is something that I have actually done in my life.
In my case, I had just went through a breakup and I was pretty angry at my ex.
I remember thinking,
All throughout our relationship I was always the one that texted first. That is going to end right here, right now. I am going to make HER text me first.
And I did!
It took a total of three days before I got a text like this,
You see, I felt like I was giving up some sort of power if I were to text her first.
I felt like I was putting in more effort and that’s why I didn’t want to be caught in that position.
The same exact thing is probably happening with your ex girlfriend. She is probably sitting there thinking,
I am going to be giving up some power if I text him first. I am going to make him text me first.
But not texting you first pails in comparison to this next mind game.
Mind Game #7: Ignoring You On Purpose
This one isn’t really hard to explain.
You text your ex girlfriend…
She ignores you…
You call her…
She ignores you…
You see her at school and wave to her…
She ignores you…
Does this sound familiar?
No doubt, I find that men who have an ex girlfriend ignore them start freaking out and think the world is ending.
If this is happening to you I want to assure you that the world isn’t ending.
Here, I’ll prove it.
I want you to stop everything you are doing and take a look out the window.
Does it look like this?
Then the world hasn’t ended yet.
Why Your Ex Girlfriend Would Ignore You On Purpose?
Two reasons pop into my head almost immediately.
- She Is Angry
- Self Preservation
Let’s expand a bit.
She Is Angry
Anger is a powerful motivator for making someone ignore you completely.
Now, do you remember our findings on the “peak-end rule” above?
How human beings remember an experience based on the peak and the end of an experience. What has happened here is that for the time being the end of your relationship has overtaken the peak of your relationship.
In other words, instead of remembering the best part of your relationship together she is remembering the worst part (it’s end.)
Now, this is pretty normal for a woman who has just experienced a breakup.
Eventually I feel like the ship will right itself and she will start to reminisce on those peak moments but for a certain amount of time she is only remembering the end of the relationship.
Do you know what self preservation is?
Self Preservation: The protection of oneself from harm or death, especially regarded as a basic instinct in human beings and animals.
What I am insinuating here is that she is ignoring you to protect herself.
In fact, some would argue that they are among the most painful experiences in the world.
So, by preventing herself from talking to you she isn’t going to run the risk of being hurt by you again.
It’s a pretty simple concept to grasp.
Mind Game #8: The Accidental Text
There you are…
Minding your business when one day, all of a sudden, you get this text from your ex,
There’s just one problem…
Your name isn’t “Tony!”
It appears as if your ex girlfriend “accidentally” texted you instead of a person named Tony?
Or did she?
In my humble opinion, it’s very rare for people to accidentally text someone they didn’t mean to.
Can it happen?
Does that mean that it is happening to you?
I am a big believer in looking at the big picture. Sometimes when you look at the scope of a situation you can pick up on things a lot better. So, let’s do that for you.
- You and your ex just went through a breakup
- Assuming you use my advice you are probably using some form of the no contact rule
- She probably reached out to you directly a few times and you ignored her
- She then “accidentally” texts you something that is supposedly meant for someone else
Did she mean to do it?
Well, the stars look like they are aligned for her to.
So, let’s go out on a limb and say that she sent you this “accidental text” on purpose.
Why would she do that?
Why Your Ex Girlfriend Sent You An Accidental Text
Two thoughts immediately spring to mind.
- She is trying to get a reaction out of you
- She is embarrassed to talk to you directly
Let’s take a good look at each of these thoughts.
She Is Trying To Get A Reaction Out Of You
This one is especially likely if you are using some form of the no contact rule on her. No one likes being ignored and they will do some crazy things to get a reaction out of you if that’s the case.
I had one woman buy a man a $500 guitar just so he would respond to her.
But when you look at it in those terms an “accidental text” seems pretty light, right?
She Is Embarrassed To Talk To You Directly
Talking to an ex…
Trying to get one back…
These are things that are looked down upon by society.
I mean, you hear people saying things like,
“You should never get back with an ex.”
“There are more fish in the sea.”
“Once done, always done.”
It’s entirely possible that your ex girlfriend is embarrassed by the fact that she wants to talk to you. So, instead of reaching out to you directly she tries to accidentally do it so it seems more natural or acceptable if that makes any sense.