I Want A Man Who Thinks Highly Of His Ex

There’s a huge difference between still being into an ex and having respect for what they meant to you and who they are as a person. I definitely don’t want to get involved with someone who’s still hung up on his previous relationship—that’s obviously a recipe for disaster—but I do want a man who respects women, and that includes his ex.

  1. Slander is never sexy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “My ex was totally crazy.” It didn’t really bother me until I got older and reflected on some of my own less than classy moments—I might have been in the wrong but I wasn’t crazy. His ex is a person, and regardless of what happened, she deserves respect. Hearing little comments and digs about her gets old fast, and they impact my feelings for him. In fact, they make him look like a jerk, and I want none of that.
  2. It says a lot about his character. If he’s fine saying those things about an ex, who’s to say what he’ll say about others people—friends, parents, random coffee barista that screwed up their order that one time, or even me?  Sometimes it doesn’t stop with his ex, and that opens up a whole lot of things to worry about.
  3. That kind of negativity will creep into other aspects of the relationship. If he has that many unresolved and negative feelings about someone he once claimed to love, that’s a serious problem. Not only that, but his bad attitude can segue into a black cloud that will destroy THIS relationship too. I’ve been there before so I know. I dated a guy that could never find the good in just about anything. I’d suggest a movie and I’d be given a list of a dozen reasons why that actor sucked or the plot didn’t make sense and how silly I was for liking it. The two things probably seem unrelated, but a guy who’s down on the people in his life is likely down on a lot of other things too.
  4. If he can see the good in an ex, he can see the good in other things. On the opposite end of the spectrum, someone that can find nice things to say about their ex if the opportunity presents itself is usually able to find the positive in other things in life. You didn’t get the right entree on date night? Hey, they got the extra guac, anyway! Sometimes it’s the little things that make the difference in an otherwise unpleasant situation. When he focuses on the good aspects of things, it can really elevate the relationship (and his life in general) to a much better place. No one wants to be around a Negative Ned 24/7, anyway.
  5. If he has kids, it keeps things civil. I’m at an age where a lot of men I meet have kids, and that means they have to deal with an ex on a regular basis (I wouldn’t date a guy who didn’t care about his kids, so this is pretty much a guarantee). Having a courteous relationship with the mother of his children makes things a lot smoother. He doesn’t come home angry when he drops them off because she said something “annoying” and there isn’t any stress when there are events that require the presence of both parents (and possibly me). It’s a huge weight off.
  6. It’ll keep me from doubting our relationship. If I’m constantly wondering what happened to them to make him feel so angry toward her, I’ll start to question a lot of things about OUR relationship. That’s difficult to live with—I want ease in my relationship. There will be enough hurdles to jump over the longer we’re together and his unresolved issues with his ex shouldn’t be one of them. Even if they didn’t part on good terms, if there’s at least a courteous acceptance, I probably won’t even have to hear about her.
  7. I have no problem leading by example. If I sense my dude is not exactly smiley when his ex-girlfriend’s name comes up then the next time mine does, I’ll take that opportunity to say something nice about him. I recently reconnected with one of my ex-boyfriends and though there is nothing romantic between us anymore, it’s nice to remember some of his better qualities. It can be a fine line and with the wrong guy, he may pull the “are you still into him?” card on you. However, that says more about him than me. I can show respect without giving my guy the impression that I’m still pining for my ex, and if I’m dating someone mature, he’ll understand that if he feels secure with me.
jordan is a writer from salt lake city who enjoys a good steak, her dog, and conversations about how radiohead is awesome. she hopes to be a talking head on some VH1 pop-culture show someday and can curate a playlist for any occasion. when she grows up she wants to be an olsen twin.