He Can Mention His Ex But I Don’t Want To Hear Her Entire Life Story

I was totally fine with the first couple of times my boyfriend brought up his ex. It’s something that just naturally happens in the beginning phases of a relationship and is totally expected. What I didn’t expect, however, was how regularly he’d bring her name up in conversation. He’s not saying anything negative necessarily, just bringing her up a lot and I gotta say, it annoys the crap out of me.

  1. It makes me think that he still has feelings for her. The most obvious reason I don’t want to hear about my boyfriend’s ex is that it means that he’s still thinking about her. Maybe it’s not even in a romantic way, but nevertheless, she’s someone who still pops into his mind. This worries me. If he’s still thinking about her on a daily basis, maybe there isn’t enough room for me in there.
  2. I’ll just say it: it makes me jealous. I’m not above admitting that when my boyfriend mentions his ex, I go full-on green-eyed monster. I’m not usually the jealous type and if I am, I keep it on the DL. But when he brings up his ex over and over again, I can’t help but think, “OK, what about me, though?” Every time he mentions her, I just get this jolt in me that I’m not good enough.
  3. I’d really rather NOT know than know… you know? Catch my drift? I would be incredibly happy for the rest of our relationship if he never mentioned her ever again. I don’t get any kind of pleasure in knowing about his ex. She’s not relevant to our relationship. Maybe the breakup is, but not her as a person. I don’t care if she likes mojitos or tried skateboarding once. I really don’t.
  4. One or two times over the course of our entire relationship is more than enough. I’m not going to be totally closed off to hearing about the ex because I know that it can be important to know what kind situation he’s coming out of. The more serious discussions surrounding her don’t really bother me, it’s the random quips throughout the day that just put a damper on whatever we’re doing. It’s honestly a bit too much at this point.
  5. Even if he’s saying I’m better than her, I still don’t wanna hear it. He might think that I would appreciate hearing that I’m prettier or nicer or a better girlfriend than her, but it actually makes me see him as a shallow, insensitive, disrespectful guy. He’s only saying these things because she dumped him or whatever and he’s all hurt from it. She’s probably not a bad person, and I would hope that if our relationship ended that he would respect me and my privacy with the next person he’s with.
  6. You know what they say—ignorance is bliss. You know how everyone is pouring over their feeds nowadays and getting high on the fear that the news sites are pumping out? That kinda stuff just makes me stressed. I’d much rather live in ignorance than know about all the bad things that are happening in the world. Same thing goes for my boyfriend’s ex. The less I know about her, the better.
  7. It makes me think he wants me to change. Even though his remarks are probably coming from an innocent place, I can never be sure that he’s not saying these things because he wants me to change. He might say, “Oh, my ex used to wear 3-inch heels everywhere she went.”  So, is he subtly saying that he wishes I would do that too? Or is he glad I don’t do that? If it isn’t followed by an opinion, I don’t really know what his angle is with these remarks.
  8. What if I meet her one day? How awkward would it be if I met her one day and knew all this private stuff about her? It doesn’t seem fair that I get this front row view into this girl’s life and I don’t even know who she really is. It’s like my boyfriend picks and chooses the things he says because it’s just the way HE remembers her as being his ex. It just doesn’t feel right.
  9. It almost can come off as bragging. At this point, I’m not totally sure if he’s talking about his ex so much because he’s trying to prove himself to me, like, “Look, another girl dated me so I’m good enough for you too,” or he’s just outright bragging, like, “This other girl dated me, so you should feel lucky to be in my presence.” It’s just confusing.
  10. There are way more interesting things to talk about. When a lot of our conversations end in “ex-talk,” it can be worrying, but even more than that, it’s just plain boring. The only thing I can say in response to anything he ever says about his ex is “cool,” or “that’s nice,” or “hm.” I have nothing to add and if I ask any questions back it might make me come off as being jealous, so I just sit and listen. We should be talking about us and not her.
Jennifer is a playwright, dancer, and theatre nerd living in the big city of Toronto, Canada. She studied Creative Writing at Concordia University and works as a lifestyle writer who focuses on Health, B2B, Tech, Psychology, Science, Food Trends and Millennial Life. She's also a coreographer, playwright, and lyricist, with choreography credits for McMaster University’s “Spring Awakening,” “Roxanne” for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, and “The Beaver Den” for The LOT, among others.

You can see more of her work on her Contently page and follow her on Instagram @jenniferenchin.