How close is too close?

What Are Signs That a Guy Isn't Over His Ex-Girlfriend?

by Parker Janney

You're dating a great new guy and you think he might be the one, but you know that he, like all of us, comes with his own share of baggage and past failed relationships. Before you get too serious, you want to know if he has been able to fully put the past in the past. There are a number of signs that could suggest that your boyfriend is still in love with his ex.

He Talks About Her Too Much

If he's constantly mentioning her name or things that they used to do together, or if he accidentally calls you by her name during conversations, she is probably still very much on his mind. While he might be telling you that he's over her, his heart might be singing a different tune.

He Doesn't Talk About Her at All

If your man refuses to talk about his ex at all, this may be a sign that the relationship is still too fresh and too painful for him. If mentioning her name makes him wince, he may have some grief, which he has not resolved, over the loss of the relationship.

He Can Only Say Good Things About Her

When your boyfriend idealizes his ex, making her sound like a demigoddess with no flaws and lamenting the loss of the relationship, he definitely isn't over her. Seeing his past relationship "through rose-tinted glasses," he glosses over any character flaws and unhealthy relationship dynamics and he does not paint a realistic picture of why they broke up in the first place.

They're Still in Close Contact

If your beau is constantly and openly texting, emailing, messaging or hanging out with his ex -- even when these interactions are not obviously romantic or sexual -- he may not be over her. "Being buddies" with his ex may just be an excuse to keep her in his life in some form because he is not ready to completely let her go.

He Does Favors for Her

Does your man's ex call him when she has a leaky faucet or a broken computer, or perhaps when she needs someone to help her buy a new car? If your boyfriend jumps at the opportunity to do a favor for his ex, he may still be emotionally dependent upon her. Doing favors is a way to continue feeling valuable and important to someone.

He Can't Let Go of the Mementos

Does your boyfriend have a box in his closet with his ex's name on it containing all the photos, ticket stubs, teddy bears and love letters from their time together? Worse, does he display these items around his bedroom in plain sight? Does he still love to wear the sweater she bought him with his initials on it? If your boyfriend is hoarding the physical leftovers of his last relationship and is reluctant to let them go, he may still be in love with her.

He Won't Introduce You to His Family

You've been dating for several months and you still haven't met his family or even his close friends. A reluctance on his part to introduce you to his clan might be a sign that he is not ready to face up to no longer being with his ex. Maybe his family is still under the assumption that they are together. If so, your guy may be stalling in introducing you as his new partner because he hopes that the old one will reenter the picture before he has to publicly remove her.

He Is Upset She's With Someone New

When your guy hears through the grapevine that his ex has found new love, he should be happy for her. If he spends a week acting depressed and irritable as he numbs out in front of YouTube, he is probably not over her.

He Can't Introduce You to Her

If you and your boyfriend run into his ex at a party or at the grocery store and he suffers a major social meltdown, this can be a red flag that he is not yet over her. A man who is over his ex will be prompt and polite about introducing you -- he will not turn beet red while tripping over his words like a child caught stealing. If he suddenly forgets that you exist and launches into "catching up" without acknowledging your presence, this is a bad sign.

He's Rushing Things

You've only known him a few weeks and already he's pushing for an exclusive relationship. This is a telltale sign that he is suffering emotionally from his breakup with his ex and wants to soothe himself with a quick, fresh "rebound" relationship. These relationships, built as they are on a feeling of fundamental lack rather than mutual abundance, tend not to last.

About the Author

Parker Janney is a web developer and writer based in Philadelphia. With a Master of Arts in international politics, she has been ghostwriting for several underground publications since the late 2000s, with works featured in "Virtuoso," the "Philadelphia Anthropology Journal" and "Clutter" magazine.

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