We’ve all been there. You’re with a new guy and you find out that he had a bad breakup recently. What’s worse, he’s still hung up on his ex.
All the best guys will have high quality women in their past but when the ghosts of girlfriends past are still haunting your relationship, you need to take action.
Two Possible Scenarios
These are the two possible scenarios when guys aren’t over their ex.
The first scenario is that he has feelings for her. They have unfinished business or they broke up in a way that left things feeling open-ended.
For whatever reason he still holds out hope that it’s not over or at least there’s some part of him that is still in love with her.
The second scenario is a bad breakup that is still affecting him. This means he had a bad experience that made him question whether or not he wants a relationship at all.
The good news is that he probably wouldn’t touch his ex with a ten foot pole but the resulting intimacy issues can be a bigger problem in your relationship moving forward.
Seven Ways To Tell He’s Not Over His Ex
1. He still talks to her
If he’s still in regular contact with his ex, he still calls her on the phone, texts her, comments on her social media, likes all her posts, helps her move, this is a red flag.
Unless things are ancient history, this is a sign that things are not quite finished between the two of them.
2. He talks about her
People from our past are a part of our story and there’s no reason to hide that but if all of his stories begin and end with his ex then she’s still on his mind.
Even if it seems like he has a good reason to be talking about her, the real truth is that he can’t help it because he can’t stop thinking about her.
3. He compares you to his ex
Comparing you to his ex or any other women, even if the comparison is favourable, is a bad behaviour that speaks to his character in more ways than one.
We all do it on occasion, it’s human nature but the fact that he thinks it’s okay shows a lack of respect for you and the women in his past.
You wouldn’t want him to be talking about you with other girls, right?
4. They have unfinished business
Did one of them cheat? Did they have a terrible breakup? Is her stuff still hanging around at his house? Whatever loose ends are still holding the two of them together, this continued connection is often a sign of continued feelings.
5. He hates her
Love and hate really are two sides of the same coin. You may think that him being angry at his ex is a great sign for the two of you but in fact it may mean that he still has feelings. Think of your exes that you have no interest in being with again. You don’t hate them. You could probably have a cup of coffee together and feel nothing in particular. This is because you don’t feel anything for them anymore.
6. Their breakup was recent
The more recent their breakup was the more likely he’s not quite over his ex, even if he’s not aware of it.
In this case, it’s understandable. Avoid spending every waking moment together and fulfilling his every sexual fantasy if you don’t want to fall into the role of rebound girl.
Take things slow and build something real or you may find yourself becoming his latest ex.
7. He’s told you he’s not over her
This one is super important. If he’s open about not being over his ex it can mean a few different things.
Obviously he could be being honest but some guys will use a recent breakup as an excuse to be disrespectful, noncommittal, or otherwise shady.
And in the long run, whether he’s doing it out of true heartbreak or just using it as an excuse, if he isn’t able or willing to treat you right then you shouldn’t stick around.
I know that it’s hard but in the long run this will show him that you have self-worth and that you won’t be a consolation prize. The right kind of guy will respect that and rise to the occasion.
Helping Him Move On
So how can you make him forget about her and commit to you fully?
Getting over his ex is his journey but there are some important things you need to do and others you need to avoid to get the result you want: a man who puts you first and thinks about you, not his ex.
Remember that time heals all wounds
It’s a cliche for a reason. The biggest thing that will help him get over his ex is time. What he does with that time is up to him. The important thing is that you remain a constant positive in his life.
Never bring up his ex
You don’t want to be part of the problem so keep her name out of your mouth. It will just make you look insecure or like you’re trying too hard to be cool about it. There’s really no good that can come of it.
Learn from their mistakes
Obviously don’t break the second rule by asking about what went wrong but if he freely offers information about why they broke up, listen carefully. This information can be very valuable moving forward.
Don’t try to compete with her
If you start competing with her, you’ve already lost. All you’re doing is making her a part of your relationship. You’re giving her power and that’s not helpful. He’s with you, not her. Remember that.
Don’t be his therapist
It may seem like you can help him by being a shoulder to cry on and letting him vent about his ex to “get it out of his system”. In reality, this is doing damage by allowing her to dominate your time together. You don’t want him to associate you with her in any way.
With that in mind, make sure he knows that bringing her up all the time isn’t okay with you and that if he has unfinished business with her he should talk to his friends or a therapist about it.
Give Him Space
One of the things that makes a guy pine for his ex is that she’s unattainable. This is a powerful psychological motivator for certain guys. But you can use this trigger to your advantage too. Don’t ignore his messages for days but do spend time apart and make him work to see you from time to time by having plans and other things in your life to keep you busy. Just a little bit of a chase might be what he’s missing.
Don’t nag, pout, or yell but make it clear to him that you’re not interested in talking about his ex.
And if he still has a close relationship with an ex it’s okay to express your concerns and tell him that it upsets you. Sometimes this is the wake up call guys need to realize that their relationship with their ex isn’t healthy or fair to you.
If all else fails, walk away
If significant time has passed he won’t stop talking to his ex all the time or he clearly isn’t over her and it’s interfering with your relationship despite you doing everything right then cutting him off is your best move.
You’re never going to convince him to get over his ex by clinging to him and giving him everything he wants.
If a guy won’t commit and is being wishy washy with you, you need to send a strong message that you’re not someone who will be treated that way.
Be upfront about your expectations and if he isn’t willing to meet them then walk away from the relationship.
This works especially well in this situation. This is because the kind of guy who gets hung up on his ex is the kind of guy who wants what he can’t have.
The fear of losing you will make him realize that he can’t take you for granted and he will correct his behaviour and start treating you right.
Here’s the language to use in this situation:
“I want to be with you but I deserve to be with someone who feels the same way about me. Breakups are tough and it seems to me that you have unfinished business with your ex that you need to sort out before you’ll be able to love again. No hard feelings. I care about you a lot and I just want what’s best for the both of us.”
Don’t leave it open-ended. Don’t tell him that you’ll be waiting for him to come around or you’ll be waiting forever. You need him to know that you’re not angry at him but that you can’t be together because of the way he is acting.
This also sends the message that you have other options and that if he isn’t careful, he could lose you. If he really cares about you, this will make him realize the error of his ways and fight for you.