If He Won’t Stop Talking About His Ex, Maybe He Should Go Back To Her

You really like the guy you’re dating, but whenever you’re together, it feels like his ex is the purple elephant in the room. He talks about her so much that you worry it’s going to lead to bigger issues that could destroy your relationship — and it very well might. Here are 11 things that can happen when he’s got a chronic case of Ex Mentionitis.

  1. You’re not in the same place. You’re basically trying to have a relationship with someone who’s stuck in the past. You’re focused on the present and your future together, but it feels like he’s still dating his ex because he’s always talking about her. It’s impossible to have a relationship with someone who’s always looking backward.
  2. He’s comparing you to her. Talking about her can easily become a way for him to compare you to her. This could be positive or negative. For instance, he might say you’re so much nicer than her or he could say that he liked how she was the most carefree person he’s dated (hinting that you’re not, which makes you feel inadequate). It’s not right to feel like you’re competing with someone who’s not in his life anymore.
  3. You feel insecure. And not just because you feel you fall short when pitted against her (yes, you saw her stunning pictures on Facebook). If your boyfriend’s always bringing her up in conversation, you’re going to feel like he doesn’t care about your feelings. It’s selfish — doesn’t he realize how harmful it is for you to hear her name every five seconds?
  4. His anger could be love in disguise. He might talk about her in a way that shows how much he hates her, but don’t be fooled into thinking he’s over her. Any extreme form of emotion shows that there are still unresolved issues present and possibly even strong passion. Remember, hate and love are often separated by a thin line.
  5. You’re a distraction from his pain. It might feel like your relationship is a way for him to distance himself from his ex’s memory or distract him from all the pain he went through. Oh, hell no. You should be with someone who’s happily left the past behind him and only has eyes for you.
  6. You feel like he’s not really yours. It’s hard to believe that this guy can love you and commit to you if he’s still got so many unresolved issues courtesy of his last relationship. He’s not entering this relationship with a clean slate or open heart. It’s still packed full of his emotional baggage. Too much drama!
  7. You’re not a therapist but sure feel like one. He might expect you to listen to him go on about his ex and all the pain she caused him for hours on end, but you’re not his therapist! You’re supposed to be his girlfriend here, not someone he can offload on to work through his issues. It’s inappropriate.
  8. Their friendship doesn’t feel platonic. It’s fine if he’s still friends with his ex, but if he’s always going on about her it starts to feel like more than friendship. Someone who’s on his mind all the time is probably also in his heart.
  9. He could be using you to get over her. It’s scary to think he might be trying to use you to get over her, but it’s possible if he seems obsessed with her. He might be pushing himself to enter a new relationship to help him move on from her, but it’s not fair for him to do this on your time. How can you tell if he’s doing this to you? A sign is if he doesn’t seem to be able to commit to you or he’s always stalling relationship milestones. He’s treating you like a rebound.
  10. It’s worse if the breakup wasn’t his choice. Find out more about his relationship with his ex if you’re worried that he could still have feelings for her. For instance, did he initiate the breakup or not? If he’s always talking about her and he didn’t want to break up with her, then that’s a huge red flag. He’s more likely to have unresolved issues, emotional baggage and perhaps miss her enough to want to get back together with her.
  11. He’s emotionally unavailable. He might’ve been single for a long time after his failed relationship with his ex or perhaps not (the latter is another huge red flag!). Whatever the case, a man who constantly speaks of his ex-girlfriend is showing you a huge sign that he’s not emotionally available to you, or anyone else for that matter. He’s too torn up by his breakup and can’t give you what you need: a committed man who’s over the past. Perhaps it’s time to send him back there and walk to your future without him.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.