My Boyfriend Won’t Stop Talking About His Ex-Girlfriend!

I am dating this guy I really like. We have been dating since November of last year. 

We both believe in being up-front about things so he made it a point to tell me he wanted to take it slow because he has rushed into relationships in the past. We do have sex and it is great!

The main issue I have with him however is that he talks about his ex-girlfriend a lot; I feel like he is still hung up on her. She is a drug user and he knows he’s better off without her, but is still drawn to her. Should I bail on this relationship or talk to him at length regarding this issue?

Lerene

Dear Lerene,

You’re probably asking the wrong person.

I’m serious.

I’m one of those people who doesn’t see anything wrong in dredging up the name of ex’s for one simple and obvious reason: THEY’RE EX’S!!! There’s a reason I’m not with them and whether they dumped me or I dumped them, it amounts to the same thing: the case is closed.

And if I’m in a committed relationship and I want my girlfriend to really understand me, she needs to hear my crazy stories. This is my history, this is my rocky path, this is my life. The mere concept that I shouldn’t mention how crazy this ex was, or how devotedly misguided I was to another ex, is silly. But again, I’m not pining for them, putting them up on a pedestal, or talking to them four times a day. I’m sharing a very important part of my past, like talking about the way I was in high school, or my deceased father. These are the facts; I hope you choose to accept them.

To my girlfriend’s credit, she is a virtual Rolodex of Evan’s ex- stories. And it doesn’t faze her in the least. Because she knows it has nothing to do with her. And I know, when she gets emotional or vulnerable when sharing the pain of her failed marriage, that it has nothing to do with ME. She doesn’t miss her ex-husband. She misses the innocence, happiness and security that she felt when she was in that relationship. As a result, I do everything I can to make her feel special, including not getting jealous if she talks about the good times she had before the marriage fell apart.

While it may not feel good to know that your guy has latent feelings for someone else, as long as you don’t think he’s going to act on them, you should probably get over it.

This is all about removing your ego from the equation and looking at the facts in front of you. You didn’t give me many details so it’s really up to you to decide:

Is he talking about her because he wants her back? Or is he saying that he really cared about her, but she was fatally flawed? Because those are two different things. While it may not feel good to know that your guy has latent feelings for someone else, as long as you don’t think he’s going to act on them, you should probably get over it.

 

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Comments:

  1. 61
    Star

    I’m not listening to any man talking about an ex. If he wants to relive the past….possibly because he can’t let go, then he can go and talk to a counsellor.
    There is a difference between sharing experiences, and talking about relationships that no longer matter. I keep reading that men live in the present, so LIVE in the present and stop talking the past. :-)

  2. 62
    J

    #60- yes you should question your relationship. And if you decide to have a threesome, don’t let it be with one of his exes for crying out loud!

  3. 63
    Angel

    I just got dealing with this same situation. Each date little it’d bits would come up, the. After a few more dates lots more it’d bits then lengthy conversations. My best advice, too is that you can’t change these guys. Yeah sure they will stop, for awhile about their exes, but only temporarily.

    It really was a buzz kill, he ruined our relationship with the comparisons of his wife to me, and even her daughter to my son. Whatever. I told him goodbye, go hire a therapist,I don’t want to nurse anyone that lives in the past.

    I think some guys talk about their exes to turn us off. To build a wall so we cant see them, just their exes, I started feeling sorry for his ex, felt like I knew her better than him. What a drag,he was a cool guy except for the ex talk.

    Goodbye ex talker.
    :)

  4. 64
    Anais

    I agree with Angel #61. I don’t see anything wrong with mentioning an ex every now and then, or even remaining in touch after a break up. Sometimes people are better off as friends and it doesn’t mean you aren’t over it/want the person back, especially if it’s been years.

    But if she comes up EVERY SINGLE TIME you’re together, that’s a red flag to me especially when you’re working on building a new relationship. I found myself in that situation expecting it to change. It didn’t. I understand where he may have been coming from but he didn’t respect how I felt about it. He pretended to and would go back to it. Plus he seemed like he may have been emotionally unavailable, another red flag. So I had to let him go.

  5. 65
    Gidget

    I have fallen for this man who was engaged and his fiancé cheated on him. He’s been single for a year. I was single for 6 years. We’ve been together for 4 months. He talks about his ex and other exes allllllllllllll the time.
    Initially I asked him not to, and then I had to adapt as he wasn’t able to share enough. I’ve told him to go for it, that it will be hard for me, but that I want him to be able to talk freely.
    I was getting on the treadmill yesterday, and he told me that his ex had a step counter and that she had walked 18 km at work in one day. I just said really, got off the treadmill and went and poured myself a glass of red. I don’t need to know trivial information like this. At all. What’s the use of it!!!!!
    I didn’t tell him how angry and hurt I was. Some stories have been of a sexual nature and I’ve asked him to stop. I don’t want to talk about my past with him, because there are parts of my past that I am not proud of. It’s embarrassing when he meets my friends because he talks non stop and brings up stories about their life together. I need to talk to him and ask him to find a happy medium. Every time he talks about her, it pushes me away. Sometimes I’m okay with it though, especially if he’s bagging her, or if I am feeling strong! I don’t want to feel this negative energy about her. I feel like I could write a book about her because I know soooooo much. It’s so rude, inconsiderate and inappropriate. Sometimes I’ll come straight back with an ex story, just to give one back, ha.:)
    What’s the saying? Don’t talk about your ex or I’ll be your next! Or focus on your next! Ex files. Should stay in the past. I know too much. My mind gets clouded and weary from your pain. It’s enough now.

  6. 66
    fiona

    i hate it when my boyfriend starts to talk about her ex-girlfriend. it really shows that he is not over with his past. he usually thinks about her. i feel was just a rebound. until such time i let him choose if who is worth for him, me or his ex. he choose me but i was bother if i was really meant to be choose for. i cant help myself thinking about his ex or his past. but when i read this site <a href=”http://www.mypartnerspast.com/”>can`t stop thinking about</a> i do now understand and realize that theres no need for me to think about her past. for her ex is just a portion to his past and i am the present, i should be take as a whole and be focused.

  7. 67
    CJ

    I dated a guy who constantly talked about his female room-mate. She was 10+ yrs older than him, a neighbor whose lease ran out same time as him and they wanted to save $ so got a 2bed apartment together. She worked nights and was hardly there at the same time as he was, so he said it was great – almost like living alone. Purely platonic. But he talked about her ALL THE TIME. It was ridiculous. We would be shopping and he would say things like, “Julie would love this, I should buy it for her”. He would call and text her to see where she was and what she was doing so we could go join her or would start chatting with her while I was sitting there. He told me her relationship problems with her exes and her current BF, her health issues, her job, her income, her family history….EVERYTHING! She was a horrible, narcissistic, depressed b—- who made sure to tell me all the time how my BF would do anything for her. She would tickle, kiss, and hug him in front of me. She would also call him names when she was in a bad mood and treat him like a slave, sending him on errands, yelling at him like he was a child if he didn’t do something the way she wanted it done. I got so sick of hearing about this selfish jerk and being forced to hang with her that I asked him, is there something going on with you and Julie because you talk about her waaaaaay too much and something is not right here. He acted indignant and said they were friends, period, how dare I ask that, he would NEVER be interested in her, they are just being good friends and room mates. But he continued to talk about her, on and on and on for another month. So I asked again. This time he got mad and accused me of being jealous of her because she was “so hot”! WTH? Um, no, not jealous and hello, she was not hot in the least. One MORE month of chatter about this chick and I was done. Confronted him one last time and would not let him make me feel bad about asking! He finally admitted they had been F-buddies on and off for a couple years! She had wanted more but he just used her for drunk sex and something to do when bored. She had known it but had hoped that would change so now she was bitter, in her mid 40s, no kids, no more attention from a young guy, and no ring in sight or ever likely from anyone. No wonder she was such a shit to me. So sometimes it’s not just “ex” talk you need to be careful about. I’ve found there really is a difference: you can talk about an ex in a frank open way, tell stories about something you did together like a trip, just talk to express what’s happened in your life. Then there is ex talk that is indicative of a still existing desire to stay connected whether sexually or emotionally. In this case I think he really was just too stupid to see that he was staying way too close to a toxic person, and she was desperately trying to hang on to the attention he once paid to her that was fading because of me. She was so pissed he never cared about her except as FWB. I think quality and quantity are the words to keep in mind when a BF/GF talks about their exes (or anyone else of the opposite sex for that matter). If you feel something is off, you could be right. I should have trusted my gut and saved myself months of stress.

  8. 68
    meercat

    I wanna ask the person first, is it okay to tell you my history? Do u care to listen? Do u wannahear it?or as simple as do u mind? And if anyone talks about ex overtime without even an anemic attempt to ask your permission is a sure sign of disrespect. Remember what it feels like when we are in a classroom and the topic is boring? We cannot tell the teacher to stop because we respect her. So jeannie, think about it. If he doesnt give a damn on how youre gonna react or feel about the the past, he sure doesnt and will not be with u in the future. You will end up as sponge. And that is going to mess u up.coz u had sex.
    A lot of men would want u to hear their ex to either lure uwith the money they spent, make u feel theyre the victim, or boosting their ego by telling how beautiful the ex was.

  9. 69
    MB

    I just read this whole blog and there are very interesting points. I generally do not agree with discussing an Ex, unless it is done respectfully and in the spirit of I care about you and I have learned from the past or relating stories without the agenda of making comparisons or keeping you at arm’s length. I dated a man for 9 months who had many qualities that worked well for me AND who divorced ‘the only woman he had ever loved.’  He shared some things about himself that apparently I and Sandra were the only ones he had ever told.  So, I thought we were building trust and that I was important to him. However, he spoke about their special times at points when WE were having a great time or about to become closer because we shared something important. I was patient, but truly, the behavior damaged my confidence in our growing relationship. For example we were in New York City, glowing happy, about to see a show and a man came up to us and asked if we were movie stars.  It was exhilarating. He then said, ‘This happened to Sandra and me! She has been compared to Darrell Hannah.’  He also made a point to drive me by their first house and pointed out the screened in porch where they shared morning coffee in the sun. They share teenage children, so he was on the phone with her a lot and his voice was like honey. I saw a therapist at the time and recounted numerous stories and how I felt.  She told me it didn’t mean he didn’t care about me. Her feedback made me question my instincts that he had not moved on or he wanted to keep me from getting close. I have also had loving boyfriends and special experiences, but never shared those stories because frankly, why? Did he need to know about the times I was happy and in love? – I was with him and wanted to be present and let him know he was special and we were building our own memories  – every time he talked like that, a piece of me crumbled.  The last straw was when we were at a music festival and he described how beautiful a woman’s physique was who was lying on the lawn and then later with a grin, said another woman was flashing him. When I talked with him about it, he made me feel like I was crazy and unreasonable, that ‘it was over with Sandra, but we will always be connected due to the children.’ It ended and the overwhelming feeling was relief. So, my thought is to trust your instincts, communicate how it feels, and if you get the – “What, that’s crazy, you’re insecure or unreasonable” – then walk…..
     

  10. 70
    Virginia

    This post has really helped me. Seeing my bf talking about how bad his past relationships/exes were and the elaborate stories of how they used him had really made me insecure. I agree with Evan that people do need to talk about past relationships because it does shape what you do with your current one, I just wish my bf wouldnt keep on bringing up the same old story over and over again of how they all used him.
    But Evan is right, its like talking about a father who has passed on or what you did in high school. What a great analogy that is.

  11. 71
    Angie

    As I see no one minds hearing about ex BS, I do, I don’t care what he has done with ex’s, nor will I tell him what iv done with my ex’s, I have never ever shared that with any boyfriend, or my present husband, I find all this sharing past love, and love making very odd, but we are all different.
    None of my ex’s have ever shared anything about their ex’s ether.
    Im looking at this site and others because my friends new husband is still after 3 years talking about his ex non stop, every commercial is about her some how, every tv show is about her some how, he still calls her by his ex’s name in bed.
    I have told her this is not normal , but after viewing all your comments, wow im in shock that anyone thinks this is acceptable.  where is the respect for one another feelings & why spend precious time on earth sharing past relationships with your new relationship.
    If you have a need to express your ego maybe do it with a friend, not a new love.

  12. 72
    Elizabeth

    I don’t, and will never, understand the need to perpetually mention an ex. When it comes to talking about the vital parts of a relationship, yes, sometimes those things have to come up. But to mention them regularly and habitual stories involving them, that’s so horribly disrespectful to the new girl. The fact that this girl is a “rolodex of his ex stories” says a lot about him, and nothing good. Clearly he can’t focus on his present with her if she knows that much about his past girlfriends.

    1. 72.1
      Garret

      I prefer not to talk about an ex at all. But, then one woman I dated asked and I said I preferred not to talk about it, so this only made her want to dig and dig. She wouldn’t let up. What is it with women sometimes? If you talk freely about your past, it’s a problem. If you don’t want to talk about it, you must be hiding something.

      Truthfully, the past is the past and is better left in the past. Worry about the here and now.

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