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How to like your current boyfriend when you still love your ex

Last weekend, after braving a darty and dancing for two hours at a dive bar, my overtired friend asked everyone in our Lyft if they still had feelings for their first love. Although most of my friends had Marie Kondo’d their high school boos years ago, the sentiment started an interesting conversation: Can you be in love with your current partner and still love your ex?

If my poly friends have taught me anything, it’s that having feelings for someone doesn’t negate your feelings for someone else. Even in a monogamous relationship, you can love a lot of people in a lot of different ways. Still, if you’re newly in love, it’s natural to wonder what it means when you feel some heat for an old flame.

“You can certainly still be in love with your ex and also be in love with your current partner — this is actually a very common theme for many people,” Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent couples therapist in Los Angeles tells Elite Daily. “This is particularly true if there are some genuinely good things you miss. That is completely normal.”

According to Brown, if you met or started seeing your current partner soon after your last breakup, it’s actually likely that you will still have some feelings for your ex. Breakups can be painful and disorienting, and sometimes the heart takes a while to fully heal. While it’s totally natural to be in love with your current partner and still have feelings for your ex, Dr. Brown shares the importance of being honest with yourself if you do notice these feelings. “What you want to do is to acknowledge your fondness for your ex, but also realize that that relationship has ended,” Dr. Brown says. “Accept that it is over, and also accept that, depending upon how deep your love was for your ex, that they are likely going to own a piece of your heart for a long time.”

If you dated your ex for a while, they were your first great love, or you just really clicked, a piece of you may love them forever. Of course, whether you realized that you worked better as friends or the relationship just didn’t work out, it can be important to be honest with yourself about how and why it ended. You can love your ex and not want to date them anymore, and you can love them and still be incompatible as partners. Reminding yourself that the romantic part of your relationship has ended can help you understand your feelings for your ex while being open to new relationships.

Of course, if you’re seeing someone new but you’re not sure that it really is over with your ex, or you’re secretly-maybe-kind-of hoping you and your ex will get back together, Dr. Brown shares it may be time for a check-in. “That’s the rub: Is it really over for you and our ex? It has ended, right?” Dr. Brown says. “That doesn’t mean that you can’t fall in love again. On the contrary. If you were able to fall in love with your ex, then you are certainly capable of falling in love with someone new.” According to Dr. Brown, having feelings for your ex is proof that you will be able to love again. Still, if you’re actively hoping to rekindle your old relationship, it’s important to be honest with yourself and your new partner about it. You don’t want to be stringing your new boo along or building up feelings of resentment.

Additionally, if your last relationship ended amicably or you and your ex are still friends, Dr. Brown shares that it’s totally possible to have love for your ex without feeling in love with them. “You don’t have to be in love with your ex to still love them for who they were and what they meant to you,” Dr. Brown says. “Even if enough things between the two of you made it not possible for the relationship to survive, there may still be enough positive things about them that you do love.” If your ex was the first person you felt you could really open up to or you went on amazing trips together, you may remember them fondly forever. As Dr. Brown shares, it’s totally possible to hold space for the good times in past relationships, while building new memories with a current partner.

In the aftermath of a breakup, it’s natural to wonder if you’ll ever get over your ex. And after lots of tears and long baths, when you’ve fallen in love with someone new, it’s normal to wonder if it’s OK to still have some old feelings. It’s totally possible to be in love with your current boo and still love your ex. Healing from heartbreak takes a lot of time, and holding space for people in your past doesn’t mean you can’t move forward. Of course, if you think you’d rather be with your ex or you’re hoping to get back together, it may help to talk to your current boo about where you’re at. The heart can love a lot of people in a lot of different ways, but being open and honest is always the way to go.

After the end of a relationship, it’s totally normal to feel depressed and think that you’ll never find anyone you like or love as much. There may be days, weeks, or months during which you listen to Adele’s “Someone Like You” on repeat and sleep with a sweater that still smells like your old flame.

But what if these thoughts and feelings become overwhelming? At a certain point, you have to ask yourself: Am I still in love with him or her? Instead of tossing and turning all night trying to figure it out, check out our list of six ways to know if you’re definitely not over your ex.

Note: None of these items is a sign that you’ll never get over him or her, or that you should try to get back together. The topic is complicated, so make sure to talk out your feelings with a friend or therapist before making any decisions.

1. It’s been a long time, and you’re still thinking about him or her

You’ve likely heard someone say that it takes about half the time the relationship lasted to recover from the breakup (and some psychologists actually support that idea). But the truth is that the time it takes to get over an ex depends on a few factors, including the intensity of the relationship and your role in it. In general, though, if it’s been years since the end of a six-month relationship and you still feel attached to your ex, you might want to seek professional help.

2. People are sick of hearing you talk about him or her

It’s unrealistic to think that, after a breakup, you’re never going to think or speak about your former partner ever again. But if you’re constantly finding reasons to mention his or her name and the experiences you shared, it’s a sign that you probably aren’t over your ex, according to marriage and family therapist Joan Sherman, L.M.F.T. Since it can be hard to gauge how much you talk about your ex, go by what friends, family, and even new romantic partners say. If they think it’s a problem, it probably is.

3. You’ve been in romantic relationships with other people, but still feel bound to him or her

Research suggests that starting a relationship with a new person (when you’re ready) can help you get over a breakup. If you find that you’re having trouble with this new relationship because you’re constantly comparing your current partner to your old one, it could indicate that you’re still attached, Sherman says. Similarly, she adds, “If you start to feel feelings for somebody, and then you squash them because it gets too scary,” that could also be a sign that you’re hanging on to your ex.

4. Your ex is the first person you think of when you’re upset

When you date someone for a while, you start to rely on him or her for emotional support. After you break up, you have to find new sources of that same kind of care.

According to relationships researcher Samantha Joel, “the main telltale sign that someone is still attached to their ex is how readily their ex enters their mind when they are anxious or upset.” In other words, if after a bad day at work, all you want to do is call your ex and vent (even though your mom and your BFF are first and second on speed dial), it might be an indication that you still have feelings for him or her.

5. You can’t see anything negative in the relationship

Even the healthiest relationship is bound to have some weak points. One way to know if you’ve started to get over an ex is if you’re able to evaluate the relationship realistically. That means recognizing its negative as well as its positive qualities.

Says Sherman, “If you’re not willing to look at how that relationship helped you and also didn’t help you … then that’s a little bit of a question for me.” In fact, one study found that people who were able to think something negative about their partner a month after breaking up were more likely to have an easier time adjusting to the end of a relationship.

6. You’re really busy, and you still feel like something’s missing

When you’re grieving the end of a relationship, keeping active and working toward new goals is crucial, says psychologist Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D. It’s not that you want to completely distract yourself from your negative feelings, but having too much time on your hands can make it harder to remember that there are other parts of life you actually enjoy. If your calendar is filled with training for a half marathon, happy hours with pals, and volunteering at your local soup kitchen, and you’re still pining for your ex, your feelings might be stronger than you’re willing to admit.

Want more of Bustle’s Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our new podcast, I Want It That Way, which delves into the difficult and downright dirty parts of a relationship, and find more on our Soundcloud page .

We’ve all been in the post-breakup limbo phase, where you feel likeВ you’ll never be whole again without that person in your life.

There’s a hole in your chest where the one person you thought was always going to be there for you, and it leaves you heartbroken and searchingВ your memories for reasons as to why.

There’s nothing you can do to bring this personВ back, even if you desperately wish there was.

He or she hasВ clearly moved on with his or her life, but your world remains shattered.

You know you need to continue on, but certain thoughts of false hope remain in the back of your mind.

You can tell yourself over and over again you’re ready to move on, but here are some signs you’re still into your former significant other:

1. You still want your exВ in your life.

You want your exВ to play a significant role in your world, even though he or she walked out of it.

2. You think you’ll one day be together.

You find yourself holding on to a sense of false hope that one day, you’ll get back together.

3. MoviesВ remind you ofВ your ex.

Every time you watch a sappy rom-com, you instantly think of your ex.

4. You’re jealous of couples.

You can’t watch couples hold hands without getting jealous.

5. You compare everyone toВ your ex.

Every time you’re at a party and someone new approaches, you immediately compare him or her to your ex.

You think this person couldВ never possibly fill that immenseВ void.

6. Your ex is dating someone new, and you’re stilling hung up on him or her.

Your exВ has a new significant other and has clearly moved on, and you’re still waiting to wake up from the nightmare.

When thinking about his or her new significant other, you can’t escape the jealous rage that overtakes you.

7. You CONSTANTLY CHECK your ex on social media.

Every time you go on social media, you immediately check his or her page for new developments and whether or not his or her relationship status has changed.

You look at pictures of the new person in your ex’sВ life, and you immediately wonder what he or she has that you don’t.

8. You get emotional whenВ you’re around something that reminds you of your ex.

Every time you go to a place where you two used to hangout, you feel a twinge of pain or sadness.

Every time a song comes on the radio that you two used to listen to, you have to fight back tears or prevent your mind from wandering to the amazing memories.

9. Your ex is still always on your mind.

He or she is the lastВ person you think about before you fall asleep, and the first person you think about when you wake up in the morning.

You say his or her name more times a day than you say your own.

10. Your ex is still the first person you want to share THINGS with.

You can’t wait to tell your ex about all the exciting things happening in your life, even though he or she probably no longer cares.

11. You’re not ready to date someone new.

You’re uninterested in moving on because your ex stole your heart.

You prevent yourself from starting new relationships because you’re consumed by the love you still feel for him or her.

12. You still wonder ifВ you two have a future.

You can’t stop wondering if you’ll ever end up together in the future, and maybe your breakup was just a rough patch.

13. You still care about what your ex thinks.

Before starting a new project or adventure, you wonder if he or she would approve.

14. You miss the undeniable chemistry.

You still miss the sparks you felt every time your lips met his or hers.

15. You miss being just being around your ex.

You crave your ex’sВ company, even though your exВ made it clear he or she no longer enjoys yours.

You can’t stop your mind from wandering to all of the nights spent wrapped in his or her arms and how safe and at home you felt.

16. Whenever you’re around your ex, you go nuts.

If you decided to try to remain friends, your heart skips a beat every time you’re with him or her.

17. You wonder if you’ll ever find that same happiness.

You look through all of the old pictures you took together and think you’ll never be that happy again.

18. You still cry thinking about your ex.

You’ve cried at least once in the past month, wishing he or she was still by your side.

19. You question why you broke up.

You wonder if he or she really lost feelings for you, or if he or she is simply suppressing them for unknown reasons.

20. You overanalyze everything you did

You replay the breakup over and over again in your mind, wondering where things fell apart.

You eventually drive yourself crazy because you can’t find the answer.

You can’t stop re-reading through your old text messages to prove to yourself you once meant something to him or her, and you didn’t just imagine it.

21. You still talk about your ex with your friends.

You still gossip with your friends about all of the good times you two shared, even though you know those times are now forever in the past.

22. Your ex’s smile brightens you up.

The thought of his or her smile can brighten even your darkest days.

23. You consider the time of yourВ relationship “the good ol’ days.”

You miss your exВ and long for the days when he or she was yours.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

Sometimes, when a relationship ends, both of you feel that calling things to a close was the right thing to do.

This isn’t always the case though, if you didn’t want things to end and you still have very strong feelings for your ex it can be a real struggle to move on. Indeed, part of the problem may be that you don’t want to move on – what you really want is for your ex to change their mind and come back.

We speak to a lot of people who are in this situation – particularly on our free online counselling service Live Chat. And although there’s no single, simple solution, there are a few things that might help you gain perspective and – with time – begin to accept what’s happened.

Feeling stuck

The process of getting over the end of a relationship often mirrors the famous ‘loss cycle’. This cycle ends with ‘acceptance’ – being able to understand and acknowledge the truth of a situation, even if it’s painful. However, this is often much easier to understand in theory than it is to accept emotionally.

You may be perfectly aware that your partner no longer wants to be with you. They may have even said this. But somehow, you just don’t feel things are over.

You may go over and over things in your head, thinking that if you’d just done one thing differently then the outcome might have been different. Or maybe you just want to make contact one more time so you can understand why they don’t want to be with you.

You might also wonder – sometimes obsessively – about how they’re coping with all of this: whether they’re also upset, or whether they’ve completely forgotten about you. These thoughts can be reinforced by social media, which can imply someone is having a great time and is completely carefree even when this isn’t always true.

Accepting what’s happened

A lot of our work in these situations is focused around helping people move towards a more realistic understanding of what’s happened.

Sometimes, this process can be difficult. It can be blunt. Ultimately, you may need to accept that it does take two people to be in a relationship. And if one of those people doesn’t want to be in it, then there is no relationship.

If you feel like you and your ex can have an amicable discussion about the end of your relationship and that having this would be genuinely helpful, then there are circumstances when this can work. But it can also mean putting yourself in a potentially painful position. Often, hearing why a relationship ended can be as unpleasant as the end itself.

It can be useful to get an outsider perspective – or even a few – before doing anything. Talk to friends and family. People you can trust and who you know will listen to you. If you feel like you’d benefit from a truly objective opinion, there’s no shame in seeking professional help with a counsellor.

Getting the wider perspective

One thing that can be helpful when struggling with unresolved feelings following the end of a relationship is thinking back and consider the bad sides as well as the good.

There can be tendency to ‘cherry pick’ and only think about the stuff you miss. But no relationship is perfect. Recognising this can be an important part of understanding why things ended. It can also mean avoiding similar situations in the future. Obviously we only have so much control over what happens in relationships, but if there were any behaviours that contributed towards things ending this time, being aware of these can be very useful.

Looking after yourself

Of course, this is all easier said than done. Being in love with someone who doesn’t want to be with you is painful. Sometimes it’s hard to cope.

If you’re struggling, it’s important to focus on yourself and make sure you’ve got the support you need. You may want to think about coping strategies. What helps you to feel better in the moment? Some people want to be by themselves, some like to give themselves something to do to stay busy.

Sometimes, the end of a relationship can be an opportunity to do some of the things that you didn’t have time to do before, like concentrating on your hobbies or seeing people you haven’t seen in while.

Again, talking to your friends and family can be really important – reminding you that there are people who care about you and want to make sure you’re ok. Although wanting some time to yourself is natural if you’re finding things difficult, isolating yourself is not a good idea. If you’re finding it really hard to cope, do get in touch. Sometimes the act of talking things over is enough to relieve some of the pain.

And sometimes, re-negotiating boundaries in terms of your social network may be necessary. You and your ex may have shared a lot of friends, or have been close with each other’s families. It’s going to take time to figure out what things are going to look like in the future, but for now, the focus needs to be making sure you’ve got the space to regroup and recover. Sometimes, seeing different people for a little while can be necessary.

What if I need more support?

Relationship counselling isn’t just for couples we see lots of people who are getting over a break up – having someone you can talk to openly can really help.

Ex-boyfriends can be hard to get over, total a–holes, bitter-sweet memories, one of the most important people in your life, weird martians, just about the worst people you’ve ever met, someone who will always be in your heart or even. your current crush.

Are you STILL in love with your ex-boyfriend or is he now your worst enemy? What do you think of your ex? What should you do with your ex? Burn him or kiss him? Take this quiz and you can find out if your ex can be dismissed or kept!

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How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

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Does Your Ex Still Love You? Take This Quiz To Find Out

Your relationship is toast, but is there a glimmer of hope that things will get going again? Take this true or false quiz to find out whether or not your ex is still in love with you!

When was the last time your ex reached out to you?

A couple days ago

Like. almost a year ago

I can’t even remember, it was so long ago

When they DO reach out to you. do they have a reason to? Or is it to just say hello?

Just to say hello usually

It’s always for a reason, to ask a question or something like that

They don’t reach out to me

After you broke up. did they apologize and ask to get back together?

No. it was a done deal

Yes, they basically begged to get me back

They hinted at getting back together a few times.

You ran into them several times after the breakup. seemingly by coincidence

When you meet up (if you meet up) they try to touch you

They’ve texted you at least once while they were drunk

They haven’t dropped off your stuff yet

They’re still in communication with your friends and family

Yes! Your ex still loves you

Yes! Your ex still loves you

Not sure if you WANT this. but your ex is still in love with you. Beware. and don’t assume that every time you see them is a total coincidence.

Sorry. your ex doesn’t love you anymore

Sorry. your ex doesn’t love you anymore

Your ex has long forgotten you. Maybe that’s a good thing, or maybe you’re hoping that things are going to get re-started again. We’re here to tell you. just forget about them. You’re better than that.

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if you’re really over someone. You might think that you’ve moved on — and really believe it — but, suddenly, you realize that you’re still thinking about your ex. Ideally, you know when you’re ready to date again and, when you do, your ex is completely out of the picture.

“You’re not ready to be in another relationship until you don’t think about your ex for at least one day and you are comfortable being alone,” dating and breakup coach, Laurel House tells Bustle. “In your lonely moments, moments of emotional weakness, or late at night, be honest — do you still think about your ex?” But other times, missing your ex can sneak up on you when you’re already with someone else.

So what happens if you realize that you can’t stop thinking about your ex — but you’re already dating someone new? What if you thought you were over it, but then they pop back into your mind? Well, just because you’re thinking about your ex doesn’t always mean that you’re not ready to date again — you might just be working through some unresolved feelings about the relationship. Sometimes, however, it might mean that you actually haven’t moved on.

It’s time to do some soul-searching, and if you can’t stop thinking about your ex even though you’re with someone new, here’s how to handle it.

Figure Out What Your Feelings Are

Firstly, don’t panic and assume it means that you actually want to get back together. There are a lot of different reasons your ex might still be on your mind. Are you thinking about them because you wish you were still together? Were you just together for so long that thinking about them is a habit? Or are you still angry at how the relationship ended? There are endless reasons they might be knocking around upstairs, so you need to be clear with yourself about how you feel.

Even if it doesn’t feel like you’re still in love with them, having them on your mind constantly — even if you think you hate them — can be a sign that you’re not over them. Or at least that you’re not over the relationship. After all, the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. “Anger is a form of connection, but disinterest is a form of release. If they don’t pique your interest, you’re over them,” April Masini, New York-based relationship expert and author, tells Bustle.

Sometimes, we get so obsessed with how much hate our ex that it becomes impossible to move on — as impossible as it would be if we were still in love with them. And sometimes, it can be tricky to know the difference. If they’re on your mind frequently, something may be up, so it’s important to figure out what that is.

Talk To Your Partner Once You’ve Figured Out Your Feelings

Once you know how you feel about your ex, you should talk to your partner. You don’t want to open up a conversation if you’re not sure where you stand, but as soon as you become sure then it’s only fair to them to bring it up and talk about it.

Whether it’s “I’m really struggling to let go of my anger toward my ex,” “I’m not sure I’ve really moved on,” or “I’m not sure I’ve really moved on, but I want to,” your partner deserves to know.

It’s also important to try to talk to them with a game plan in mind — or at least a plan to make a game plan. When you talk to them, come up with a path forward that works for both of you. If you are still talking to your ex, you may want to take a step back, at least for a while.

You also may want to consider counseling or being more open with your current partner about your past relationship. Sometimes, a professional can help give you a new perspective or allow you to process feelings that you’re having problems moving past. Either way, come up with a strategy together.

Decide If You’re Really Ready To Be In A Relationship

Finally, it’s important to decide whether or not you’re actually ready to be in this relationship. That will come down to the way you’re still feeling about your ex and the past relationship, and how your current partner feels about this. It’s one thing for you to think that you’re ready to move on, but it takes two to tango — and your partner might not agree. Plus, there’s a difference between being over one person and being ready to be with another.

“Getting over your ex and being ready to be in a new relationship are often two separate things,” Masini says. It may be that you and your partner decide that your feelings still mean you can be in a relationship. If the issue is that you’re still feeling hurt or angry at your ex and can’t stop thinking about that, your partner may understand — or even have been through the same thing. It might be that you can work through your issues together and help each other.

But, if the reason you’re still thinking about your ex is that you still have strong feelings for them — and you’re basically using your new partner as a placeholder — that’s not fair. It may be time to consider ending it.

Knowing whether or not you’re over your ex isn’t easy, especially when you’re already with someone else. If they suddenly pop into your mind again, try not to panic. Just think seriously about why they’re still relevant in your life and talk to your partner about those feelings. You may not be ready for this new relationship or you may still be hurt and have to find new ways to work through it. Either way, your best bet is to be honest about how you’re feeling.

April Masini, New York-based Relationship Expert and Author

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

We might seek the X-factor in a man, but the “ex” factor is undoubtedly the bane of every woman’s existence.

It’s that horrid moment when you start to realize you’re in a relationship with a man that you love, but who may still have feelings his ex that he simply can’t seem to let go of.

Does he still love his ex?

It’s said that, as women, we are gifted in our abilities to instinctively sense when something is wrong. If you’re honest with yourself, there may have been a few red flags in the beginning if you’ve fallen for a guy who’s not over his ex.

Even smart women miss these signals because there are lots of reasons people may share the painful memories from past relationships that made them into who they are today. But sometimes love drapes a cloth so dark over our eyes that we ignore even the most obvious warning signs.

Wouldn’t it be splendid if you could avoid that heartbreak and prevent the humiliation of being his rebound — a mere replacement — by paying closer attention to a few of your boyfriend’s habits? It’s never too late to begin, and we’re here to help.

Here are 10 signs he still loves his ex and doesn’t really want a relationship with you in the long run.

1. Every little thing reminds him of his ex.

Imagine this: you get all dolled up and meet him for a romantic dinner and the moment your food arrives, he comments that his ex-girlfriend always ordered the very same item. You let that slide, but as the evening progresses, the references just keep increasing and when the night ends, you probably know more about her than you know about him.

This is surely a sign that she is always on his mind. If you continue dating him, you might see that he finds excuses to talk about her and casually slips her name into every conversation you have. You don’t need to be okay with this because it is not okay.

2. He talks about her when you’re in bed.

Even if you forgive him for ruining dinner, talking about her while getting physically intimate is a deal breaker.

There is nothing creepier than reminiscing about being of inside he while he is inside of you, or telling you about the “cool stuff” she taught him.

3. He tells her things before he tells you.

Whether it’s a new job or a promotion at work or even something as innocuous as getting a haircut, you should be the one to know about it first. But if he tells her before he does you, then things are definitely fishy. If you complain, he will bring up the age-old “but she is still one of my friends” excuse.

4. He listens to songs about lost love and spews hateful things about her.

Your music preferences can say a lot about your state of mind. If he keeps listening to doleful songs about past lovers, he is the quintessential lovelorn swain.

Now, the moment you make a joke about this, he will get immensely angry and say the meanest things about her. Don’t be fooled by his apparent animosity. He only says those because he can no longer be with her. Grapes are sour, remember?

5. He stalks her obsessively on social media.

Liking her photos is not a crime. But if he keeps liking everything she posts, no matter how inane or stupid, and keeps tabs on her activities across all social media platforms, he has not forgotten her.

This becomes especially apparent when he does not do the same with your posts and fiercely defends himself (“I liked it because she said something intelligent!”).

6. He still has photos of all his other ex-girlfriends, except her.

Maybe he is the kind who remains friends with his exes and adorns the wall with their photos. Then why is her photo absent?

It could be because he harbors feelings for her and looking back on memories they shared is nothing short of painful.

7. He behaves weirdly when talking to her.

He talks to all his friend in front of you, but when she calls, he slinks into the nearest empty room and locks the door. If you try to hear what they are talking about, you cannot.

He will whisper like he is finalizing a clandestine deal. Once the call is over, he will be distant and distracted and even act jumpy if you ask him about it.

8. He gives her personalized gifts for her birthday.

Birthday gifts are normal, but not if he is giving her something that has special meaning. It’s even worse if he gives her something that belongs to him — like his t-shirt or a photograph of the two of them with a personal message.

9. He’s still close with her family members.

He will continue visiting her family or engaging with them on Facebook. He will have conversations about her with her mother, share secrets with her brother and continue schmoozing her father.

This is one of the major signs he still loves his ex and is merely finding ways of being a part of her life in some way.

10. He cries and tells you about his feelings for her when he’s drunk.

Drunk dialing and texting are common, often harmless things. Taking things one step further, he will cry and pour his heart out. You might think he is inebriated and therefore his words mean nothing. You might even console him and tell him you are there for him.

But pay heed to all that he says. If none of the above signs makes you run, this most certainly should!

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Abhinanda Datta is an editor at 22nd Century Media LLC. Her reporting has been featured in Chicago Magazine and The Telegraph. Follow her on Instagram.

Does Your Ex Still Love You? Take This Quiz To Find Out

Your relationship is toast, but is there a glimmer of hope that things will get going again? Take this true or false quiz to find out whether or not your ex is still in love with you!

When was the last time your ex reached out to you?

A couple days ago

Like. almost a year ago

I can’t even remember, it was so long ago

When they DO reach out to you. do they have a reason to? Or is it to just say hello?

Just to say hello usually

It’s always for a reason, to ask a question or something like that

They don’t reach out to me

After you broke up. did they apologize and ask to get back together?

No. it was a done deal

Yes, they basically begged to get me back

They hinted at getting back together a few times.

You ran into them several times after the breakup. seemingly by coincidence

When you meet up (if you meet up) they try to touch you

They’ve texted you at least once while they were drunk

They haven’t dropped off your stuff yet

They’re still in communication with your friends and family

Yes! Your ex still loves you

Yes! Your ex still loves you

Not sure if you WANT this. but your ex is still in love with you. Beware. and don’t assume that every time you see them is a total coincidence.

Sorry. your ex doesn’t love you anymore

Sorry. your ex doesn’t love you anymore

Your ex has long forgotten you. Maybe that’s a good thing, or maybe you’re hoping that things are going to get re-started again. We’re here to tell you. just forget about them. You’re better than that.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

In This Article

Whether the divorce was your idea or your spouse’s, most people find themselves experiencing negative emotions when their ex-spouse starts dating again. Does this mean you still love them? Are these feelings normal? These are common questions you may ask yourself when your ex starts dating again.

Here are six tips that will help you process those negative emotions.

Your Feelings Are Perfectly Normal

You spent a large part of your life with this person, and during the years you were together, dating and married, you came to think of that person as your true significant other. You two were a couple and to see your spouse with someone else will trigger feelings in you that may be surprising and unpleasant.

It does not mean you are still in love but rather you are witnessing the evidence that your spouse now has someone else in the place you used to fill. Though you may not understand the feelings you are having, they are a natural part of moving on after a divorce. When you meet someone new, you will have a better perspective on how your ex is feeling about you and the relationship you both once had.

Expect to Feel Jealous

Most people are puzzled as to why they are jealous of someone they didn’t want in their life any longer. It’s a common reaction. This was your spouse, you expected fidelity, and now it may feel like cheating to see them with someone else.

Remember what you think and what you feel can sometimes be at odds, but it’s perfectly normal to feel some jealousy and even look for things to criticize in your ex’s new partner. And, if you’ve not moved on to a new relationship of your own, your jealousy may stem from the mere fact that they have.

Remember Why You Divorced

Divorce is not entered into lightly, and you probably have valid reasons for the divorce. Keeping this in mind will help you to accept the changes that have come as a result and the confusing feelings you are having over your ex dating again.

Every time you experience a negative reaction to your ex dating, stop and go through the list of reasons you are no longer married. Remembering the negative aspects of your marriage can go a long way in helping alleviate any the unpleasant idea of him/her dating again.

Move Forward in Your Life

Is it possible you are uncomfortable with the idea of your ex dating because you are stuck and unable to move forward?

I’m sure you’ve heard that saying, “The best revenge is living well.” Well, it’s true. If you feel jealous, the last thing you want is for your ex to know. Instead of focusing on what they are doing, focus on living the best life you can and before you know it, you won’t be concerned with whether or not your ex is dating.

No Two Relationships Are the Same

The relationship that you had with your ex will never be reproduced with anyone else. Each relationship between two people is different, and what you had together during your marriage will never be reproduced with someone else.

The special things you had together were unique to the two of you. So, when you feel jealousy or discomfort over your ex dating, remember that no one can really take the same place in your ex’s life that you had. So, keep in mind how unique you are and that you will also have someone new to share your life with one day.

Remember That Your Ex Deserves to Be Happy

No matter how much conflict you lived through during the divorce process, if you search your heart, you really don’t want your ex to not move forward. You also don’t want to stay stuck yourself. You really don’t want them to be miserable. Letting go is a process, and it will take some time and effort to get there.

The time will come when you are happy again. More than likely, with a new partner. When that time comes you aren’t going to waste time worrying about who your ex is with. Why not start not worrying about that now, instead of later?

Seeing your ex-spouse with someone else can be a shocking experience, but ultimately you will come to accept it, just as your ex will have to adjust to seeing new people in your life. Concentrate on the good memories you had and the good times to come.

I know two reader’s dilemmas is on one day is unprecedented, but I couldn’t wait the whole weekend to get back to this girl!

A Save the Date reader using the pseudonym “Mrs. Not Over It” writes:

My best friend is getting married and I’m the matron of honor. My ex is the best man; he’s the brother of the groom. My ex and I are both happily married, but the breakup was very tough and very emotional. Although he is for sure over me, I definitely still think about him. Given the chance, I’d probably take him back in a heartbeat. I’ve never met his wife, but I’ve been told she hates me.

How do I remain calm and collected at the wedding? I want to make him feel bad for not fighting for me, but I don’t want to make myself look like an idiot. And I don’t want him—or anyone else—figuring out that I’m still in love with him. (I’ve told everyone I’m completely over him.)

What do I do? How do I act? How do I respond if he brings up the past to get a reaction out of me? How to I keep from wanting to be near him, look at him, and hear him talk all night? How do I avoid looking like I’m still in love?

Here are my thoughts:

Stay away from your ex. Stay far, far away.

When the wedding comes, make sure of two things all night: 1) That your hand is always holding your husband’s—you have a husband, for God’s sake! And 2) That your back is always to your ex.

Any interaction you have with your ex—especially if you try to force an interaction—is just going to lead to drama. And I

you you’ll regret it if you cause a scene at your best friend’s wedding.

I’m kind of okay with you wanting to make your ex feel bad. What girl doesn’t want to run into an ex when she’s having a great outfit/great hair/great skin/great life day? But in this situation I’d say being happy is the best revenge. So look your absolute best, get your guy gussied up, and plaster a big ol’ smile on your face. Then don’t so much as look at your ex unless it’s absolutely necessary. (Say, when you’re walking up the aisle arm in arm. Gulp.)

I’d spend the days leading up to the wedding reminding yourself why you love your husband. (Again, you have a husband!) Go on romantic dates, spend some quality time between the sheets, and get in extra cuddles. You’re I’m-so-happy! act will be even more convincing if it’s not, um, an act.

If your ex really is over you, he’s not going to bring up the past to try to get a reaction out of you. On the off chance that he does, be the bigger person and

Clearly you and your ex have a volatile past. I don’t think there’s any need to revisit it—especially when two marriages (AND your best friend’s wedding) are at stake.

Oh, and lay off the booze at the reception. A glass of wine or two will help you relax. But anything more than that and thoughts like, “I’ll just corner him in a bathroom stall . ” will start crossing your mind. As much as you regret losing your ex, you don’t want to also regret being the drunken bridesmaid who made a fool of herself at her best friend’s wedding.

Ladies, please back me up on this one! NOTHING good is going to come of “Mrs. Not Over It” confronting her ex, right?

Have a wedding-y dilemma of your own that needs solving? Click here to e-mail me!

More reader’s dilemmas, solved!

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

1. He doesn’t compare you to her. Do you frequently compare your current and ex-boyfriend? No, right? Stacking people up against each other like that is reductive and a waste of time.

2. They chose to end it. It’s not like they were Romeo and Juliet — nothing was keeping them apart. They just didn’t want to be together anymore.

3. She’s moved on. It’s not like she’s still clinging to him. And if she is, that’s a whole other ball game. A really sad ball game that you worry makes you seem like the nasty girlfriend who wants to cut the ex out of her boyfriend’s life. But hopefully, she has moved on. And even if she hasn’t, that doesn’t mean he reciprocates the feeling.

4. He’s moved on. Because he’s with you! If he didn’t want to be with you, or be serious, he wouldn’t have committed.

5. They rarely talk, and when they do, it’s just surface-level “catching up.” About their jobs and whatnot. Boring stuff. Not exactly The Notebook.

6. He talks about her just enough to indicate he’s not hiding anything from you, but not so much it makes you question his feelings. There is a perfect amount to talk about an ex, and it’s that sweet spot right there.

7. He does sweet little things throughout the day that show you how much he likes you. Like texts you after a big meeting you had at work or just asks how your day’s going. And calls you every night before bed. And does other things that make you want to use the obnoxious #LuckyGirl hashtag.

8. He’s not hiding your relationship from anyone, including his ex — he’s proud to be with you. Dude’s not sneaking around and keeping your couple status a secret. Of course, this doesn’t mean he’s giving his ex all the details (Who does that, you ask? Sociopaths.), but he’s certainly not pretending he’s single when he talks to her.

9. You have intimate inside jokes and a language that’s just yours and his, and nobody else’s. She will never know that you call each other the name of a Pokémon as a term of endearment. (Uh, actually, don’t tell anybody you do that.)

10. He’s choosing to be with you. He could still be with her! Or single! Or having sex with a household object! He’s not doing any of those things because he wants to be with you.

11. She’s not present in your relationship and you are basically worried about a ghost. Unless you are dating Mr. Rochester and he has his crazy wife hidden in a wall, you are emotionally bringing someone into the room who doesn’t have to be there. Why make it harder for you?

12. If you keep worrying, it will cause a rift in your relationship and maybe even end it eventually. Seriously, it will turn you into an insecure bundle of crazy and he will realize there’s nothing he can say or do to make you feel safe. And that makes for an unhealthy relationship. Or a broken-up one.

13. He honestly answers any questions you have about her/his past relationships. Even the ones that you don’t really want to hear the answers to.

14. The vast majority of ex-girlfriends are normal, logical people who are not scamming to steal your man. She’s not a crazy bitch or anything. Imagine your ex’s current girlfriend assuming that about you. Incorrect, yes?

15. He handles your ex-boyfriends in a healthy way. And you should trust him as much as he trusts you, or your shit is doomed.

16. He tells you if he ran into her or heard from her. And they talked on the street for four minutes, did an ass-out platonic hug, and walked away from each other. They didn’t have awesome standing-up sex in a doorway.

17. He never references her or their relationship unless you bring it up. Talking about her all the time, like she’s still a major part of his life, is not necessary to him. Because she’s not a major part of his life.

18. If you run into her together, it feels more like running into an old high school buddy than an old flame. There’s no sexual tension; only platonic affection is left between them. You’re getting all the good stuff.

19. You don’t feel anything romantic for your exes, so clearly the concept is more than possible. He’s not lying to you when he says any spark between them is gone now. Aren’t you over your exes? Yes? Imagine if he didn’t believe you no matter what you said. And there you go.

20. Everyone has a past. It doesn’t have to dictate the future unless you let it. Sure, he’s cared deeply about girls before you, and you’ve cared deeply about guys before him. We’re people. It happens.

21. She’s awesome. It’s easy to be threatened by the idea of someone, but maybe if you met her, you would adore her and become fast friends. She’d go from a threatening abstract to a warm, super-approachable, funny grad student with very shiny hair who you want to go to drinks with.

22. You’re awesome. And don’t forget it.

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How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

At first glance, you might think the reason your ex keeps coming back to you after his or her failed relationships is because they’re just oh so in love with you. However, that might not be the case at all.

Sometimes when we break up with someone, we think someone else will give us something we couldn’t find from our ex, only to find out that we actually miss our old relationship. Of course, though, there is always the possibility that two people truly love each other, and after breaking up and dating other people, they realize how much they miss each other.

Here are nine reasons why your ex might be knocking on your door, over and over again.

1. They’re bored.

So your ex just broke up with his or her partner, and now they are alone. Instead of taking time to work on themselves and learn from the relationship, they would rather jump back into the relationship with you. Though you both know that you don’t belong together, it gives them someone to hang out with, being intimate with, and talk/text all day.

2. They’re afraid of being alone.

Being alone can be scary, no doubt. Instead of taking the time to be the best person they can be, they try to just keep moving along to different relationships because they would rather be in one than by themselves. This will never work out for someone, as the most important lesson you will learn from this pattern is that you have to love yourself first before you can love anyone else.

3. They feel guilty about leaving.

If your ex knows that they really hurt you, they might come back to try and “fix” things the second time around. Perhaps they cheated, and are now trying to make it up to you and prove they have changed. Maybe they left you for someone else, thinking that you two were arguing too much, only to realize they still love you and that they were mostly contributing to the arguments.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

4. The relationship is comfortable.

If you two have a long history, such as being friends before dating, or if you dated for a long time, it might be a matter of comfort. Instead of breaking up with their current partner and looking for a new one, they’ll come back to you as a safety net. In fact, it might even just be a temporary thing until they decide they have the strength to go out and find someone else.

5. They don’t like the dating scene.

Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, you name it. Dating can be hard, especially for millennials in the digital age. We meet people, get attached, and then watch it fall apart. Sometimes we want a relationship and someone else is looking for a hookup, or vice versa. It can be very hard to go through this over and over, and it can be incredibly emotionally exhausting. Instead, they may opt to just come back to what is familiar.

6. They like being in control.

Your ex might have left you because they felt like it, and knew that when they decided to come back in their own time, you would be willing to take them again. This kind of dynamic signals a power struggle. Your ex might have just not wanted to deal with a difficult patch in your relationship and ditched, but now that he or she feels like committing again, they’re back on your doorstep.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

7. They miss the intimacy.

They might just be back for the goods, you know. Perhaps you two could not get the relationship on track, and argued a lot or realized that you are two very different people. However, if the chemistry is bomb between you two, there is a chance your ex will come back just to experience that again.

8. They’re afraid of rejection.

As mentioned, dating can be hard. If your ex is really prideful, or has a low-self esteem, they may not be up for all the rejection that comes with dating. If they’re unwilling to go through the downs, along with the ups of dating, they’ll probably just find their way back to you. At least if they know you will take them back. People will treat you the way you let them treat you.

9. They want to make things work.

There is always the very realistic chance that they are coming back in order to make it work. Perhaps they needed space and time to be outside of the relationship to realize how much you mean to them. This dynamic isn’t necessarily ideal, but for whatever reason, them being apart from you did inevitably bring them back to you. As they say, “If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, its yours forever. If it doesn’t, then it was never meant to be.”

It is quite normal to dream about your ex-boyfriend. Even if you have not dated for years, you still have memories of being together. Because of this, it is normal for dreams about your ex to happen at any point. Your dreams are made from your subconscious mind and just show your own thoughts, feelings and desires. While it can mean that you still have feelings about your ex-boyfriend, this is not necessarily the case. It could mean that you have unresolved feelings about the ex or that you need closure. Dreams about an ex-boyfriend are especially common if you have had to go through a difficult break up.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

What Does It Mean When You Dream About An Ex?

Most of the time, dreaming about an ex-boyfriend does not mean that you are still in love with them. Your subconscious may make these dreams at random because of the memories that you have. The dream could also demonstrate what you want in a new relationship. Your subconscious may have chosen your ex-boyfriend to represent the love or affection that you want in the future. It may have also chosen your ex-boyfriend to show the fear that you feel about having a relationship that was just as bad as the last one. An ex-boyfriend could be a symbol of your hope for love that you are missing in your current relationship.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

It is also important to look at what your ex-boyfriend is doing in the dream to figure out the meaning. A dream with an ex-boyfriend dying means something far different than a dream that your ex-boyfriend is having sex with you. You have to consider the context of the dream to discern its real meaning.

Specific Dream Meanings About Your Ex-Boyfriend

1. Dreaming That Your Ex-Boyfriend Is Dying

Death is often a sign of transformation in dreams, so dreaming about your ex-boyfriend dying probably does not mean that he is actually going to die or be injured in real life. Most likely, it shows that your subconscious is starting to move on. You recognize that he is no longer a part of your life and that he could move on to someone else. This type of dream is often a good sign that you are getting the closure that you need to heal and find a partner who is better suited to you.

2. Dreaming That Your Ex-Boyfriend Is Cheating on You

If your ex-boyfriend cheated when you were together, this type of dream could just be a throwback memory to the past. It could also represent your fear that the same type of thing could happen in your next relationship. Cheating dreams may not mean that your ex cheated though. They could also indicate that you feel betrayed by him. Since he left you, this is a natural feeling. You expected to be with him for years, and he betrayed you by leaving and no longer being someone that you could depend on.

3. Dreaming About Your Ex-Boyfriend and His New Girlfriend

This dream can represent fear or closure depending on the general ambiance of the dream. If you have moved on, then the ex-boyfriend may seem happy in the dream and you may not care that he is with another girl. If you have not actually moved on yet, the dream may indicate that you recognize that he could be with someone else and you are uncomfortable about that thought.

4. Dreaming About Your Ex-Boyfriend With Another Girl

This dream has a similar meaning to the previous one. Since the girl might not be his girlfriend, it could represent a fear that someone else got in the way of your relationship or that you are worried he could have cheated in the past.

5. Dreaming About Your Ex-Boyfriend Getting Married

Dreaming about your ex-boyfriend getting married could symbolize that you have completely moved on from the relationship and hope that he does as well. If this dream occurs immediately after a break up, it could represent a fear that he will have completely moved on in life before you can truly heal and move on yourself.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

6. Dreaming About Your Ex-Boyfriend and You Getting Back Together

As you may have guessed, this dream generally shows that you still have feelings for your ex-boyfriend. It may represent a desire to be with him again or just a wish that things could have worked out differently. Unfortunately, a dream can only show your own thoughts, feelings and desires, so there is no way to know if your dream could even be possible in real life.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

7. Dreaming About Your Ex-Boyfriend’s Family

When you date someone, you become an integral part of their life. After spending so much time with your ex’s friends and families, it can feel strange and lonely to suddenly be cut off from that part of your former life. This type of dream generally represents the fact that you may miss his family or that you miss being such an important part of someone’s life.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

8. Dreaming About Your Ex-Boyfriend Having a Baby

A baby represents new life, hope and family. In this context, it could show that you are afraid that your ex-boyfriend will move on or that you accept that he has moved on. It could also show a fear that he will be willing to commit to someone else in a way that he was never able to commit with you.

9. Dreaming About Your Ex-Boyfriend Trying to Kill You

Death can be a transformation, but being killed in a dream is slightly different. Often, this type of dream shows that you feel like your ex limited you in life and “killed” off parts of you while you were together. It could also show that you figuratively feel as if the old you must be killed before you can move on, get closure and become the new you.

10. Dreaming About Your Ex-Boyfriend Crying

This could show that you hope or feel like your ex-boyfriend is unhappy about the break up. Often, dreaming that your ex-boyfriend is crying indicates that you feel depressed or sad about the end of the relationship, and you want him to feel just as bad about it. Unfortunately, the dream can’t show how he actually feels, so there is no way to know if he is just as broken up over the break up as you are.

14 Obvious Signs That Prove Your Ex Is Still into You

There is no scientific method to know if somebody loves someone. But love is an emotion hard to conceal. Not everyone gets closure, or a clean break, so far too often, people still have feelings for each other long after a relationship is over. Here, we list a few telltale signs which mean your ex still cares for you.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your ExImage source

They make excuses to see you.

If your ex makes it a point to drop in every time they’re in the neighbourhood, or is increasingly concerned about returning the earring you left at their place six months ago, then they just wanted to see you. No one cares that much about their ex’s things.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your ExImage source

They say they miss you.

If your ex openly tells you that they miss you, it means they still want you. However, they might not say it in an obvious way. Many people employ the use of vague phrases like “Delhi misses you” or “My dog misses you” to mask the fact that they’re the ones doing the missing.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your ExImage source

They always bring up old memories.

If your ex constantly brings up memories of the time you guys were together, and paints an excessively rosy picture of those memories, they clearly miss those times, and you. This means that they would definitely want those times back, and would like to rekindle your romance to make more memories.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your ExImage source

They keep telling you about the new people in their lives.

In a bid to make you jealous, your ex might constantly discuss every new person that they sleep with, to see how you react. Sometimes, they might even make things up just to see if you’re still interested.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your ExImage source

They are abnormally curious about your dating life.

If your ex is always asking about who you’re seeing, and asking you for details on the people you date or sleep with, then they aren’t just doing it out of detached curiosity. They want to know whom they are up against, because they are not used to being sidelined.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your ExImage source

They keep apologising for the mistakes they made.

If your ex keeps apologising to you despite being forgiven already, what they really want is another chance. They are not just doing it to be forgiven for the past, but also so that they can have a shot at having a future with you.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your ExImage source

They keep checking up on you, your parents, your dog.

If your ex is still interested in the tiny details of your life, which no one else even cares for, then they are still very much into you. Moreover, if they are still friendly with your parents, and keep checking up on them, their emotions are still invested in you.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your ExImage source

They send shirtless photos.

A lot of exes do this because of acute boundary issues even after a breakup. This is because they still have the hots for you. While you both may know you are wrong for each other, and a bad couple, sex is another matter altogether. So, if they are sending you topless snapchats, it is quite possible that a booty call might be on the cards.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your ExImage source

They reach out regularly, a long time after you have broken up.

You broke up years ago, but your ex still texts you. While it is possible that sharing everything with each other is a force of habit for some couples, it is also possible that they just can’t live with the fact that they are not an integral part of your life anymore.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your ExImage source

They keep asking your mutual friends about you.

If they are constantly asking about you, especially whether you’re seeing someone or not, then it is pretty obvious that they are still into you.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your ExImage source

They keep picking flaws in the people you date.

If they never have anything nice to say about the people you go out with, including your dreamy current beau, then they are jealous, and don’t want you to be with anyone but them. So, they think picking flaws in these people will change your feelings and make you go back to your ex.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your ExImage source

There is still sexual tension between the two of you.

If you both stare at each other a little too long, linger during what started as friendly hugs, or are awkwardly turned on around each other, then it is possible that there is unfinished business between the two of you.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your ExImage source

They ask you to hang out with them.

If they want to see you, it is clear that they want you. Most people avoid their exes, are indifferent to them, or never want to see them again. Wanting to meet someone whom you shared so much with, is awkward for most people, except those looking to rekindle things.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your ExImage source

They try to flirt with you.

If you don’t know how to decode this no-brainer, let us spell it out for you: Your ex is still very much interested in you, so don’t think he is just “being nice,” unless you think falling into bed with someone is also being nice.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your ExImage source

If your ex does all these things, and you still have feelings for them, then rejoice. If, however, you have no feelings for your ex, and are happy to have gotten rid of them, then you need to sit them down and talk about boundaries.

Are you still hung up on your ex? Take this quiz to find out.

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How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

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Congratulations! You’re completely over your ex and should feel ready to take on the world. You’re putting yourself out there, staying true to your wants and needs and opening yourself up to the possibility of finding love. You aren’t letting your ex keep you from living the life you deserve, and when it comes to meeting the right person, this past relationship has made you stronger and mindful of what you want from a partner in the future. In fact, being over your ex will help you enjoy a more meaningful connection with someone else.

At this point, it’s important to keep opening yourself up to new experiences and new people. Don’t be afraid to keep putting yourself out of your comfort zone. There’s no better time to enroll in a new yoga class, sign up for a pottery lesson or join a bowling league. When you focus on improving yourself, opening your mind in different ways and expanding your horizons, the sky’s the limit!

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You’re almost over your ex, and you should be proud of the progress that you’ve made. Being fully over your past partner is a process, and you’ve taken steps to open yourself up to the people around you. You’re not sitting at home pining over this person, and that’s a wonderful thing. However, it’s important to recognize that your ex still plays a role in shaping some of your actions. Dating may feel a little uneasy. Hearing stories about your ex may leave you unsettled. Sometimes you can’t help but wonder what your ex is doing.

The good news is that now that you’re aware of the ways that your ex is still playing a part in your life, you’re in a far better position to change your behavior and finish this journey. It’s time to get back to the point where you can be your authentic self and be 100% over your ex. That means fighting past any anxiety and putting yourself out there again. When you open yourself up to new challenges, a new and fulfilling relationship is not far off.

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You’re just starting on your journey toward getting over your ex, and this is a key step toward improving your emotional health. Yes, your ex still plays a large role in your life, especially when it comes to your thoughts. Maybe you cry sometimes thinking about him or her. Maybe you go on Facebook just to look at pictures of the happier times you had. And while your ex may not be on your mind 24/7, your actions are still being influenced by this person.

The good news is that you have the power to counter your ex’s lingering presence in your life. Instead of using your time to mull over your ex, refocus this energy toward self-improvement. Getting over an ex is like taking a new start on life. Clean your kitchen. Get a massage. Reorganize your bathroom drawers. Hit the gym. It’s time to treat yourself like the amazing person you are. This is the perfect opportunity to work toward living the life you deserve and presenting the best version of yourself to the world. Start now!

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You’re not yet over your ex and are still coping with the loss of this person in your life. Your emotions are raw, and it’s perfectly normal to take time to grieve. You’re allowed to miss this person. You’re allowed to wish that the two of you were back together. And you’re allowed to take time for yourself. After all, this person was important to you, and it’s only logical that you would feel some sadness when this person is no longer around.

However, while your instincts may be telling you to shut yourself off and spend your days moping, it’s time to take action to get out of this negative place. The most important thing that you can do is let your friends and family be there for you. They can be the ideal support system and sounding board who can help you jumpstart this journey to move on. In fact, your friends can help you find the strength to get over this person, and when you open yourself up to the people in your life who care about you, the healing process has officially begun.

Is your budding relationship doomed?

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

When you’re kicking off a new relationship, a variety of love-life saboteurs can rear their ugly heads. While many of these obstacles are surmountable—a couch potato-ish guy can happily get on your go-go-go level, for example—one in particular can turn into a deal breaker faster than you can say, “Adios, dude.” If your new romantic interest isn’t over his ex, the relationship could end in a way that’s decidedly not happily ever after.

“When you fall in love, you go through a biological process that welds you to another person,” says Lisa Marie Bobby, Ph.D., marriage and family therapist, a lead expert at Exaholics.com, and author of Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to an Ex-Love. “The same biological and neurological systems that are implicated in love are also implicated in things like heroin and cocaine addiction.” Huh. No wonder it can be so hard to kick the ex habit.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

If you’re dating someone who’s three to six months out of a significant relationship, Bobby has some words of caution. “Unless he explicitly says he’s over his ex and is pleased to be out of the relationship, assume he still has some attachment,” she says. It obviously varies from person to person, but in that timeframe after a big breakup, people are usually still on the emotional mend. That’s not to say it’s impossible for you two to make it. But to figure out whether you should stick it out or cut your losses, ask yourself the following questions.

1. How Does He Talk About His Ex?
If he can’t get her name out without his eyes getting a little misty, it’s clear you have a problem on your hands. But there are also more subtle conversational clues that can hint as to how healed his heart is. “If you hear idealization or fondness when he talks about her, that can be an important indicator that there’s still an emotional attachment,” says Bobby. Another tell is if he often blames himself for the breakup in a way that seems like he’d change the past if he could. “If he alludes to that, he may feel like if he had just been better, they could have continued being together,” says Bobby.

That level of wistfulness or what-if thinking can stand in the way of a budding relationship, even if you two would normally be Disney-movie perfect together. “When people are addicted to an ex, they still feel like their ex is their person,” says Bobby. “Even if they’re out in the world talking to other people or going on dates, they’re not available emotionally.” The thing is that having residual feelings for an ex is completely normal, so how do you know if he’s emotionally available or not?

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

One good sign is if he can talk about his ex in a pretty objective way without assigning blame, getting worked up, or sounding regretful. While there’s always a chance he could be putting on a show, it’s also possible he’s well-adjusted and ready for something serious. He should also be showcasing genuine interest in you, making it clear that he wants to spend time with you and be sensitive to your feelings and needs, says Bobby.

2. Is Everything Moving Too Quickly?
It’s easy to get caught up in a whirlwind romance. Going from singledom to hanging out with someone 24/7 can be pretty thrilling, especially if you throw in things like last-minute getaways and meeting each other’s friends. Unfortunately, it’s an unfair truth of the universe that, when relationships burn so bright in the beginning, they can often fizzle out faster than you’d like. That’s especially true if he’s fresh out of a relationship. “People who are feeling more vulnerable do tend to rush in very quickly,” says Bobby. “If he’s trying to do that with you, he may still have an attachment to another person and be attempting to recreate that experience.” That’s not exactly ideal—neither is him eventually having a lightbulb moment that he’s not over his ex, which is sometimes what happens in this scenario.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

3. Was He the Dumper or the Dumpee?
Even if he dumped his ex recently, he could be further along in the recovery process than another guy who got dumped by his ex a while ago. “It’s possible to process grief and make peace with a relationship ending before it actually ends, and many times that happens for the person who’s breaking up with the other,” says Bobby. “In that context, it’s much easier for someone to truly connect with a new person.” If you don’t already know details about what went down with his ex, ask. Talking about how they ended will probably give you some insight about whether you two are beginning in a good place.

4. Can You Give Him Space?
If you know for a fact he’s not over his ex but you still think you two could have something real, you have one main course of action that will help things to eventually work out: “Give him time and space,” says Bobby. “The biggest mistake you can make is trying to force it.” As hard as it may be, focus on filling your life in ways beyond him. See other people if you’re not exclusive, spend time with your friends, work on your running habit, and generally don’t hang your romantic hopes on him. You can keep him in your life, but don’t get hooked on someone who’s emotionally unavailable, says Bobby. If he eventually makes some headway and is ready to date seriously, chances are he’ll let you know.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

Alexi Wasser is a writer, director, and actress. She’s also the founder of IMBOCRAZY.com, the host of weekly call-in advice podcast BoycrazyRadio.com, and produces her talk show series ‘Alexi In Bed.’ All month, she’ll be answering reader questions about all things related to love, relationships, and sex.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

Photo: Everett Collection

My name is Sophia, and I’m 25. I’ve been dating this guy for almost half a year now, and he’s been really sweet and respectful of the pace I set. A few days ago, we had a conversation where I learned about his ex of three years. (He was only a few months out of that relationship when we started dating.) I couldn’t help myself and found her Facebook, and she seems much more extroverted and experienced than I am.

I know it’s terrible to look up an ex—it just makes me feel insecure and second-guess our relationship. It’s been great with him so far, and he’s definitely looking at this “long-term” Even as much as I want to concentrate on our relationship though, I can’t help but thinking about him saying the same things to his ex.

I understand that at this age, most guys have been in serious relationships, that she was once a special person in his life, and that they broke up for a reason, so I should just move on. But I don’t know why I’m feeling so confused right now. I would love to hear your advice on dealing with learning about ex’s and how not to second-guess things that my guy says now.

Well, congratulations—you’re human. And you’re in love. And you’ve discovered your ego. Your note couldn’t have come at a better time, given how pervasive the issue of web stalking searching a boyfriend’s ex is. Doubting yourself and feeling jealous over someone’s old girlfriend isn’t new, but—between Instagram, Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc—the tools with which we do our detective work (and spiral) are so much more expansive.

While you’ve already answered all your own questions—this shows me you can check in with the logical side of your psyche—you’re clearly being swayed by the pull of your emotions, which are never as logical or rational.

So, let me remind you of a few things: You have to realize that you’re the one dating your boyfriend now, not her. His last relationship is over. He’s with you now and you’re with him. There’s a reason for this. You’ll only do harm, push him away, and ruin what sounds like a great thing if you continue to compare yourself to this stranger.

And believe me: You’re choosing to do this. You have control over what you do, think and where you put your energy. Even though he said things with his ex were serious, things didn’t work out. And they may not with you either. So what? All that’s important is that we give things a go and give ourselves the best chance we can. Why add unnecessary drama based on nothing but the fact that he has a past? We all do! And you will too.

Imagine, years from now, that you’re single after a slew of failed relationships and you meet a new guy you’re really excited about, who makes you super-happy. How would you feel if, after you mentioned a distant ex, he got weird, crazy, obsessive, or angry? You’d probably think he was an insecure jerk, right?

I’m not saying your feelings aren’t real. I’m just saying, you’ve acknowledged them and now put them to rest. Don’t bring it up with your boyfriend. Only bring up problems when something’s bothering you that can be fixed. In this case, he isn’t guilty of anything.

How about, instead of spiraling and feeling sorry for yourself, you reroute that energy and put it towards accomplishing personal goals in your own life that’ll make you more confident? That way, you’ll be way too distracted to even care about his ex. Move forward, be in the moment.

Also, be thankful your guy has had past relationship experience to draw on! It probably makes him a better boyfriend to you and less of a clueless bonehead. And who knows—maybe his ex is feverishly Googling you right now.

How to Like Your Current Boyfriend when You Still Love Your Ex

Does your boyfriend or girlfriend still have a relationship of a platonic nature with his or her ex? Does this relationship with the ex keep popping up in your relationship to the point where you feel threatened by the relationship? Do you worry about their past, and their history together? Do you feel inadequate or insecure about their conversations and interactions?

I want to turn your attention to a concept known as Starvation Economics. This concept was introduced to me by a book on open relationships, Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt. The basic concept is that love is endless, and there is no allotment of love. Love is not to be rationed.

But the basic premise when dealing with, for example jealousy, the kind that pops up when we worry about our partner cheating on us, or still being in love with their ex boyfriend or girlfriend, is that there is no cap on the amount of love we can give or recieve.

We believe that just because he is in love with me, he mustn’t fall in love with another, for if he did he would fall out of love with me.

When in fact most people are capable of loving many, and most people who do fall in love with another, at the other person’s expense, probably fell out of love long before falling in love again.

The basic point I am trying to make is that the capacity for love is infinite and ownership and possessiveness are prescribed by society. For some reason we have been taught that we can only be in love with one person, fall in love with one person and that one person will fulfill all of those needs.

And this may be true for many, however this does not diminish the fact that the ability to love is endless. It’s not as if we only have a 100% of love to give and then it will run out. That simply is not the case.

It is unrealistic to think that an ex boyfriend or ex spouse does not hold a spot in our hearts and in our history. It’s part of where we were and lends to where we have come in life, and where we are now. We should not feel threatened by small innocent interactions.

When we are full of loving we will tend to realize and understand that our partners love for us is most likely quite different than the love they have with their ex. True, with not as much history, perhaps, but nonetheless, special in it’s own way. Not better. Not worse.

Don’t be jealous of all the dirty water under the bridge of their old relationship.

Learn to accept it as a part of your partner’s package and move on. Nit-picking over the relationship your partner has with his or her ex has more to do with you than it does with them. Not everyone believes that they have to cut off all ties with their exes. That is okay.

Focus on your relationship, not on the other relationships your partner has. If he is not breaking your trust by doing something dishonest, then his relationships are his business, and part of his package when coming into a relationship with you. We do not own our partners.

However, if you are truly worried that your partner may leave you for his ex, or concerned about the bond they have, ask yourself is this a realistic reason to be upset or are you just jealous?

Jealousy always has more to do with you and your unrealistic fears, such as your fear of loss, abandonment, being alone and being rejected/left behind for someone else.

Jealousy stems from feelings of internal inferiority, from a lack of love for yourself first, which leaves you incapable of wanting only the best for others, and in the end loving others. When you have the love for yourself, you can recognize that jealousy does not have to do with being realistic about the stability of your relationship, the bond, and trust you have with your partner.

It does not lend to wanting the best for your partner. If however, there is something else going on, and your fears are actually based in reality (be honest with yourself, and remember you can get professional help too, it always helps to talk about these things) then before you make any sudden moves make sure you recognize the true nature of your emotions.

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Mou is a sex therapist based in Los Angeles. Visit her website at www.LASexTherapist.com. This is an excerpt from her book, Marriage, Money and Porn, available on Amazon.

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