What does my ex want?

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    Hi Luke!

    Me and this guy broke up 4 years ago. We dated 2 years. Since then, he had some girlfriends and so did I. After 1 year of being apart, I message him (because I still had feelings for him) and we talked for few hours but then stopped. Few months later he sent me a instagram request, which I denied. And he kept sending me requests non stop, which I never accepted because I didnt understood his intentions.
    This year, 2019, he commented something on a instagram page that I follow and I liked his comment because I found it nostalgic and cute (not because I wanted his attention again). He staight way sent me a friend request and I accepted because why not?
    He sees all my instagram stories. But recently I posted a photo on my feed and he didnt liked it. I found that weird but I didnt made a big deal out of it. We haven’t chat or anything. I just wanted to know your opinion on why he acts this way.
    One last thing: we had a long distance relationship.

    Thank you!!!


    Hi Madeleine,

    Your ex from a previous long distance relationship may be acting this way because he still has feelings for you that have continued on since the breakup 4 years ago.

    He still wants to know what is going on in your life.

    When you followed and liked the comment that he made on an Instagram page, he took that as a sign that you want him back in your life and may be considering taking him back as a partner.

    This is why he immediately sent you a friend request.

    He may not have given your most recent photo on your Instagram feed a “like” because he may be hoping that you notice that he didn’t.

    The fact that he has been watching all of your Instagram stories since you accepted his friend request may have been a strategy to get you used to him always giving you attention.

    He may now be hoping that in keeping that attention away from you in not “liking” your most recent photo, you will take notice and try to start engaging with him in conversation or in another meaningful capacity.


    Hi Luke,

    Thank you so much for your quick reply. 🙂

    If he thinks that I still have feelings for him, why doesn’t he send me a message instead?

    I will not send him because I feel that I always iniciate contact and I would like for him to make that move this time.

    I had some relationships after we dated and I know I’m capable of loving someone, but I never felt something like I feel for this guy. The thing is, 4 years have passed and I don’t feel like staying in this cycle if nothing will come out of this at the end.

    He’s single now and so I am. Is there a way to make him message me first? Or at least to find out if he’s truly interested in me again?

    Thank you! 😊


    Hi Madeleine,

    He may not necessarily want to get back with you, as in a committed relationship. A long distance relationship can be very hard to maintain and he may remember this all too well.

    However, this sentiment doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have feelings and wouldn’t want to get your attention.

    Oftentimes, guys will behave this way with an ex because they are single and still want to have some of their emotional needs met.

    If they find a new girl that helps to satisfy those emotional needs, they will often ditch the ex and focus their attention on the new girl.

    Sending a message to you first may be too much for him. He may simply enjoy knowing that you are noticing him and thereby acknowledging his existence.

    Getting you to message him first can add to his emotional satisfaction.

    He would much rather this on most occasions than having to message you first. This way, there are no expectations on him.

    Again, he may still remember the challenges that come with being in a long distance relationship and may not want to repeat the cycle in reestablishing a committed relationship with you.

    A way you could make him message you first may be to show him that you are too distracted with other people and activities in your life to pay attention to what he is doing on your social media.

    In other words, he would need to get the impression that you are not paying him any attention because you are so obviously consumed with everything else that you are doing in your life.

    This is how you can starve him of attention.

    If you are able to do this consistently and effectively, he may feel the need to message you first due to a lack of attention.

    To know that he is truly interested in you, he would have to put out the effort to message you first on a consistent basis and then proceed to truly become reacquainted with you.

    As long as he doesn’t do this, he is not truly interested in wanting to be with you again.

    Sure, he may want the attention that he gets from you on Instagram or social media, but nothing more.


    Thank you Luke, this really helped me. As much as I feel like this guy is special, I think I’m ready to let him go. I don’t want to put out that much effort just to have a message…
    Do you think stopping following him or blocking him is too much? I just want to stop seeing him on instagram so that I can move on. But I don’t want him to think that I care so much about him that I stopped following him or blocked him.

    What do you think?

    Thank you so much for your help, once again 😊


    Hi Madeleine,

    It is not too much to stop following him or to block him.

    If you truly believe that you are ready to let him go, it doesn’t matter what he thinks.

    All that matters is that you do what is necessary for you to move on without ever feeling the need to look back.


    I do think is the best option. I don’t want to put out the image that my life is super interesting and filled up with excitement when is not necessarily true. I mean, I travel and have great experiences but I also have a full-time job. How can that attract him into messaging me? Do you think the absence of my posts and instagram stories just makes him not interested in me? Or can that also make him wonder what is going on in my life and, therefore, curious about me?


    Hi Madeleine,

    We don’t seem to have made any progress here. This will be the last question I answer on this topic.

    You don’t have to fake a life that is super interesting. You can make your life super interesting and fun regardless of having a full-time job.

    It is just about time management.

    If you spend a good proportion of your free time on social media and watching what he is doing, ask yourself about all the other activities of a lot more substance that you could be doing at that time.

    You already stated that you are ready to let him go.

    If this is the truth, you shouldn’t care about getting him to message you or not.

    You should also not be worrying about whether the absence of your posts and Instagram stories will just make him not interested in you.

    Again, if you were being honest in being ready to let him go, none of this should matter.

    It also shouldn’t matter whether the absence of your posts and Instagram stories will make him wonder about what is going on in your life and therefore curious about you.

    The direction of your questions would indicate that you don’t appear to want to let him go at all.

    If that is the case, we are both literally going around in circles with this particular topic.

    I will not address it any longer.


    Thank you for helping me. I never talked about this with anyone in the past 2 years that’s why I made so many questions. I guess I got ashamed with talking about this subject with my friends. For the first time I unterstand whats going on in his head and this will help me a lot.

    Thank you for your patience and time. Keep up with the good work! 🙂


    You are welcome Madeleine.

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