You’re in a new relationship, and all is going perfectly. Your boyfriend takes you out, surprises you in the morning with breakfast in bed, and whenever you text, he responds immediately. You couldn’t ask for more.
Except there’s this one little thing that’s been nagging at you. Sometimes it feels like your boyfriend is still not entirely over his ex-girlfriend. From what he told you, they mutually agreed to go their separate ways. They’re still friendly, but sometimes it feels a little too friendly.
The question you have is, “Are you being paranoid?” How do you know if your boyfriend is still in love with his ex?
Listen to What He Does, Not What He Says
Even exes on good terms probably had some animosity toward each other in the beginning stages of their breakup. If your partner constantly tells you things like:
- “I don’t have feelings for her anymore.”
- “I can’t stand her.”
- “Even the thought of her makes me mad.”
- Or one of my personal faves, “She is crazy.”
When guys say things like this, they’re attempting to throw you off the scent of their true feelings, or they’re in denial and actually believe they are over her. However, there are ways to know that he is definitely not over his ex yet.
1. He Constantly Revisits Old Memories
Does he say things like:
“This one time me and <> went skiing and had so much fun.” Situations like this can happen. Maybe he’s reliving how much fun the skiing trip was, and his ex just happened to be the person who accompanied him.
However, if he talks about how much fun Disney World was with <<insert ex name here>> or how he loved wintertime in Paris when he went with <<insert ex name here>>, it isn’t the trips that he’s reliving, it’s the time with <<insert ex name here>>.
It could be a one-off thing when a guy talks about his ex to you. He made a mistake, realized it, and ensured it didn’t happen again. In this case, I wouldn’t get too upset.
It’s when he constantly brings up the good old times with his ex. That’s one indicator that he’s still not over her. In that case, be wary.
2). He’s Emotional When He Finds Out His Ex Is Dating
He’s already told you they broke up and didn’t care what she did from here on out. But then he finds out she’s dating someone new and gets visibly upset. So again, this is why I say never listen to his words. Instead, watch his actions.
Let’s set up a scenario: Your boyfriend tells you he and his ex broke up months ago and have moved on. He insists that he has no feelings for her anymore.
However, his demeanor begins to change. He seems moody and upset, and you have no idea why. But you remember, a few days ago, he mentioned that his ex was dating. He seemed fine then, so what happened? Could that be the reason for his moodiness?
The answer is most likely. When your boyfriend initially told you about his ex dating again, he didn’t have the chance to process it. As the realization set in, it caused certain emotions to arise. But, again, this may not be the case here. I’m simply stating that it is a probability.
He’s Just Jealous
I did say his mood is due to his ex dating again, but that could be jealousy. However, I also said that he will likely have a mood shift because he’s still in love with his ex.
Sometimes it’s only about jealousy. Unfortunately, people can act out and respond immaturely when it comes to resentment. For example, your boyfriend might not still be in love with his ex. He just doesn’t want to hear about someone else being in love with her.
A guy being sad for a day is not a huge deal. However, after a week or so, it is apparent he still has feelings for her.
3). He’s Perfect in Every Way
As in the example above, he makes you breakfast in bed and waits on you hand and foot. If this guy seems too good to be true, he probably is. But how does that relate to having feelings for his ex?
When a “perfect” person comes into your life, it’s almost as if they’re acting. But, in the meantime, you’re trying to figure him out.
Is he simply walking through the motions, or does he care about you? He treats you like a girlfriend, but it’s almost like an android instead of a loving boyfriend. If this is the case, he may be using you as the rebound while he sorts his feelings out for his ex.
Unfortunately, people (ladies included) jump into another relationship to forget the last one they’re having trouble getting over. Does he do the same things with you that he used to do with his ex, like:
- taking you to the same restaurants
- cooking you the same meals
- surprising you with similar gifts (bracelets, necklaces)
- watching the same movies he used to enjoy with his ex
This can be a painful realization when you understand that the only thing that changed from his last relationship is you. Everything else appears to be the same.
If this is happening to you, he is clearly not over his ex.
4). Her Stuff Is Still Laying around the House
It’s one thing if everything she owns is in the boxes to the left. No biggie, she hasn’t gotten around to picking up her stuff.
However, if her things are lying around the place, that may be because he still needs to process the entire breakup. Another option is that he could be waiting on her to return. In either case, it’s not a good thing for you.
But you can also look at it another way; a breakup is similar to mourning in that someone “loses” a lover. He could be in the beginning stages and working his way up to remove her belongings, but he still needs to reach that point.
That said, if your partner has his ex’s stuff lying around and refuses your offer to help pack it up, it’s a definite sign that he misses her.
The same goes for photos on social media accounts. If it’s been some time (several weeks, a couple of months) and his social media contains several pictures of him and his ex, he may not be over her.
These huge red flags indicate that, nope, he ain’t over her.
5). He Still Talks to His Ex
Don’t assume the worse on this one. Just because your partner is still talking to his ex isn’t necessarily bad. Likewise, it is okay if there is an occasional message on Facebook (and by occasional, I mean one every month or so to check in on the dog).
So, when is talking to his ex considered excessive? First, consider three things.
- How much contact does he have with her?
- Is it necessary?
- Why is he still in touch with her in the first place?
These points are vital because you must consider whether they have kids together. In that case, it would be necessary to make contact.
But that contact should be about the kids only. For example, when to pick up the kids, how are the kids’ grades, health insurance for the kids. You can’t fault him for contact like this.
But suppose no kids are involved, and their relationship ended years ago. They both live in separate cities, but your boyfriend’s ex continues to text him to find out things like:
- how he’s doing
- did he get that new job he interviewed for
- is he seeing anyone
Those are topics his ex should not be privy to since breaking up. If you question him and he gives you the “We’re just friends” line, you are within your rights to give him an ultimatum if it bothers you.
Think about it, why would they still need to be in touch? How often are they in contact? Do they still meet up? You should know the answer to these questions, especially if you want an open and honest relationship with your partner.
6). He Compares You to His Ex
If he doesn’t still have feelings for her, he won’t compare you to her at all, saying things like, “That’s how (his ex) did it.” Those words are like a baseball bat to the gut and should never be uttered in any relationship.
We all make mistakes. If your boyfriend does this once or twice, consider it an error in judgment and move on. Maybe he’s accustomed to how his ex used to make the bed or how she folded his clothes. In this case, give your guy a pass.
But, if he does this regularly, he’s not over his ex. Instead, he’s comparing you to her and prefers you to do things as she did.
Comparing You to His Ex in the Bedroom
Comparisons to his ex in everyday life are annoying enough. But the buck stops here when it comes to bedroom comparisons. Oh no, not ever, never! This is not fair to you, and no good will ever come from this.
If your boyfriend asks you to do something different in the bedroom, don’t assume it’s because that’s what his ex used to do. Sometimes guys want to spice it up in the boudoir, so don’t take offense.
It’s different if he uses his ex’s name when suggesting a new move or position. For instance, “Why don’t you try this? I loved it when Karla did it.” (If Karla is not your alter ego name, you should feel offended.) This is not okay.
4 Reasons He Compares You to Her
- He’s still in love with her
- He thinks he’s making you better by showing you what he liked about her
- He can’t forget about her
- He believes she was doing something better/more than you
But I get it. Some guys are completely oblivious when it comes to things like this. If this is a relatively new relationship, you can assume you’re a placeholder until his ex returns. If that’s the case, exit stage left immediately.
However, if you’ve invested time in this relationship and this faux pas seems to be a one-and-done thing, make sure you voice your concerns. If he makes the error and does it once and you don’t confront him, he may think it’s okay to do it again, which it is not.
7). He Talks to His Ex behind Your Back
Whoa, Nelly! This is a big one. Not only is he still talking to his ex, but you also found out he’s doing so behind your back. It’s one thing if he texts her in the open. He honestly thinks there’s nothing wrong with that.
Some guys believe that’s okay, in which case, if you have an issue with that, you would definitely need to talk with him.
However, it’s a red flag if he contacts his ex behind your back or lies about it. He’s hiding it because he knows and understands he’s doing something wrong.
He still has feelings for his ex and may even hope to get back together with her.
Have you ever been in a long-term relationship with someone, and then it suddenly ends? Of course, there may still be lingering feelings. Emotions don’t just fade into thin air.
Don’t jump to conclusions if little things make you question whether your boyfriend still has feelings for his ex. It’s only a red flag when it becomes a pattern. Trust your instincts.
If his actions cause you to think he’s not over his ex, talk to him. Listen to what he says, but remember, actions speak louder than words. Ultimately, you decide whether or not to stay.