What to do when your girlfriend talks about her ex

There are people out there that say money is the best thing to have. But love is a strong contender when it comes to the most important thing in the world. There is nothing that comes close to that indescribable feeling you have when you are attracted to somebody else.

Having a relationship with the person you love is as good as it can get – or is it? Sometimes, a relationship doesn’t go as planned. Sometimes you find yourself in a relationship with someone you love, but that feeling does not go both ways.

What’s worse, your partner might be in love with -or have feelings for- someone else. A crystal-clear indication of this is when your partner talks about her ex. Is this normal? Is this happening because she can’t move on? Or is it the worst-case scenario? Does your girlfriend still love her ex?

It’s a complicated and complex subject, and one you must dwell on before you figure out how your next move can be the right move.

The first thing you want to find out

Love and relationships are like poetry. They are beautiful, spontaneous and an expression of everything that’s happening inside of you. It’s all sunshine and rainbows. But if your loved one keeps talking about her ex, the weather just got cloudy with a high chance of rain. You have to stop acting like a poet and get into a chess player mindset. Think 2, 3 and even 4 moves ahead.

If your girlfriend has talked to you about her ex, the first thing you have to figure out is how her previous relationship ended. Was it mutual? Well, it never is. You have to find out who broke up with whom and why. If she did it, that’s a good sign. It meant she wanted to move on.

But if he broke up with her, that’s not the end of the world, but it isn’t good either. She might be emotionally stuck in her previous relationship, unable to be involved with you in the present.

Another important thing you want to find out is when did the break up happen. If it was a decade ago, something is wrong. But if it happened a month ago, the wound might be fresh and talking about it might be part of the healing process.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If she talks about her ex a lot, you’ll eventually find your way into what happened. But don’t go looking into her phone without permission or become obnoxious with questions she may not want to answer. Find about it naturally. If she doesn’t want to talk about it how it ended at all, it might be a sign of psychological trauma (a terrible relationship) or a secret (she’s has unresolved issues with her ex).

The important thing is to gather as much information as you can and see what you can make of it. It’s one thing if she’s talking about her ex but she broke up with him. And another if she has a broken heart talking about what great things could’ve happened if her ex didn’t end it all. It’ll give you perspective.

How often does she talk about her ex?

If you are worried because your girlfriend is talking about her ex, you might have already answered the question in your head. But take a step back for a moment and think about the times she talked about her ex. Was it only one time? If it was just that once, then you might have a nothing burger in your hands. Don’t make a big deal out of it.

Everyone – women and men – are bound to talk about their past because it’s the one thing that made them who they are. Especially if you are in a relationship with someone else, you want to confide in your partner, the most important person you know.

If it happens every once in a while, let’s say, once every three months or so, it’s not that big of a deal. Men and women are different, that’s a fact. We behave differently. Men don’t like to talk about their exes unless they are in their close circle of friends.

Women are a little bit more social and don’t see anything wrong with talking about the people she was involved with. If it bothers you when it happens, you might want to talk with her about it so it doesn’t become a problem later on. If it’s a quick comment two or three times per year, you probably have nothing to worry about.

But if your girlfriend is constantly talking about her ex, she might as well want to talk with him, instead of you. If something reminds her of him, it’s one thing. If every single thing is somehow one ticket to the past, you have trouble. An obsession is never healthy and is unhealthy for you as well as it is compromising your relationship.

If she’s talking about her ex all the time, it’s code red and there’s nothing that can change that. The code red status, that is. You might be able to fix this relationship.

How is she talking about him?

If your girlfriend is badmouthing her ex all the time, that’s a good thing, right? Wrong. If she’s doing that, then it is not about her ex anymore. It doesn’t matter if he was the worst guy to ever walk this earth, nobody gets hung up on bad people. If she crossed paths with a terrible person, she should’ve forgotten him and moved on. If she keeps him living in her head rent-free, there’s something wrong with her as well. And more likely than not, the guy wasn’t that bad, but she is making it seem like he was.

If she’s talking about her ex like he’s the best thing since sliced bread, you have it even worse. She’s still in a relationship with him, even though they have broken up. He’s so good you’ll never reach his height and that’s not a relationship you want to be in. But hey, don’t get too fixated on this if it happens once or twice about something in particular.

If you are watching the Olympics with her and her ex was an Olympic swimmer, it’s a topic that it might come up, even favoring her ex. But if every little thing you are doing turns into a comparison contest, then why bother? You are not in a relationship to compete in silly games.

Why do you think she’s doing that? And what’s the real reason?

There are a lot of reasons as to why this is happening. Remember, as you have already read, women are more used to social activities than men. You talk about your ex when you are with your friends, in the middle of a card game or when you are drinking.

That’s it, then it goes back to your little box in forget-me-land. Women don’t work like that. They have no problem talking about their feelings or most aspects of their lives. And that’s okay. But there are compromises to be had in a relationship.

She might be talking about her ex for no other reason than just talking. But that might make you uncomfortable. And that’s something that deserves a little chat between the two.

Another reason she might talk about her ex is that they are friends. This is a double edge sword, honestly. They might be so completely over their previous feelings that they might be able to be friends. You can talk about your friends with your partner with no trouble, right? But the better question is: are you ever over your ex? Or are there feelings beneath the surface?

Friends or not, she might have feelings for him, after all this time. And that’s something that is not okay if she can’t stop thinking about him. The only reason you talk about something or someone all the time is because they are on your mind, all the time. This is, of course, a worst-case scenario.

And finally, the dumbest reason for it all: It might be a test. Your girlfriend might be testing you to see how you react when you are compared to her ex. She wants to see if you can handle the pressure. What you want to do in this scenario depends on how much you love her. I’d laugh my way through the door. But people are different.

What should you NOT do in this scenario?

Whether she still loves him, or if she just likes to talk about her story or if it is a test, there are a couple of things that you should never, ever do when this happens. Or better yet, never, ever do them in a relationship no matter the scenario. You shouldn’t blow up at her because she’s talking about her ex.

This usually happens when you bottle up your feelings until you crack and explode. Even if it’s hard, you need to talk about it. No matter if it bothers you. Tell her you to want to change the subject, in a firm yet gentle way. Don’t try to scream your way out of an uncomfortable subject.

You shouldn’t get mad. Even if you don’t scream at her, don’t let this burn you up inside. Try to laugh at it, don’t give it too much importance. Look, you are either going to solve this issue or you are not. It’s not the end of the world. It might be the end of the relationship if you let your emotions get the best of you before you solve the problem.

Don’t get back at her talking about your exes. This one happens a lot and it’s ridiculous. You are a man, not a child. Act like one. Say what you want, don’t expect it acting out in a passive-aggressive way. When you act this way, you are trying to negatively reinforce bad things in your relationship. It won’t work and it’ll only turn your relationship into a negative one.

What should you do in this scenario?

Now, how can you handle this scenario successfully? The first thing you want to do is wait it out. I know, it sounds dumb. But the best thing to do in this scenario is to breathe and let it pass. As you’ve read, she might be talking about her ex because it’s a fresh breakup. She might think it was a meaningless talk. Wait it out, it might be a one-time thing.

If this happens more than once, then it’s time to sit down and have a talk about it. Explain to her that you don’t want to talk about her past as much as she does. And tell her why. Let her understand you are trying to move forward, you plan for the future, you don’t dwell on the past. If she understands it, you might be able to move forward without much trouble.

If she doesn’t understand why talking about her ex is a bad thing, time to set ground rules. Even though you are in a relationship and theoretically things should be mutual, sometimes they are not. Sometimes she doesn’t like you put blue cheese on your sandwich before you kiss her and sometimes you don’t want to talk about her ex before you go to sleep.

Because, in practice, relationships aren’t always mutual. Most of the time they are built on top of healthy compromises and meeting your partner halfway.

If you waited it out and it kept happening. If you tried to explain why talking constantly about the past is wrong. If you told her you don’t want to talk about it and she still keeps going at it. Then it’s time to leave. Not every relationship is built to last.

And sometimes, walking out is the best thing for both of you – or at least you, that’s who matters in the end. Break things up nicely, like a gentleman, and expect she doesn’t talk too much about you with the next guy.