Even when both people have the best intentions, dating can still be super rough. So when you finally do click with someone, it's a drag when something is off right away, and if signs that your partner isn't over an ex are present in your current relationship, then it probably feels very off in some way or another. Even when your partner is in the same room, it might feel like their mind is a million miles away.
Really, attempting to pursue a relationship with someone who's stuck on an ex just isn't going to play out well for anyone. If "you're secretly trying to reconcile with someone while courting another, you're not bringing 100 percent to the table," said dating expert Julie Spira in the Chicago Tribune. If the new partner is knowingly trying to get back with an ex while pretending to give you the option of an exclusive relationship, well, that's not the kindest way to behave. And at the very least, the stuck partner isn't being totally honest, even with themselves.
So if these signs sound familiar, then it may be time for a serious talk with your current SO. Read on to see whether your partner may be living in the past.
1. Talks About The Ex Constantly
Yes, even badmouthing still counts. It's OK to bring up a past relationship from time to time, but if your partner constantly talks about an ex, then that previous partner is still top of mind, according to The Talko. Notice just how often the ex gets shoehorned into conversations, and decide whether that's something you can accept in the current relationship.
2. Recreates Memories From Past Relationship
Many couples develop their own routines and special memories, such as visiting a favorite bakery every week. But if your SO is only recreating happy experiences that they shared with the ex, then consider it a red flag. "If your partner keeps trying to get you to do very specific things and then saying things like, 'That's what me and [ex] used to do,' then you need to take pause," said therapist Tara Vossenkemper, MA, LPC, ACS in INSIDER. "Building new memories with your partner is different than recreating memories you used to have with an ex. One is meaningful and organic. The other is sad and full of baggage." Do you and your SO have your own little traditions, or is it mostly a recreation of the previous relationship?
3. Contacts The Ex All The Time
It's bad enough when a partner can't put the phone down for two seconds at any point during a date. But if they're also constantly texting with an ex, well, that's also a tough sign, as noted in Glamour. This is doubly true if your partner is at all shady about what those texts say.
4. Closely Follows Ex Online
OK, you don't have to go full scorched earth on all past relationships, deleting every photo and online connection. But if your partner closely monitors the ex's online activity, then this may raise some alarms, as explained on WebMD. Why is it so important to see those vacation photos, anyway?
5. Compares You To Ex
Even if the comparisons seem to favor you, this is really a competition that nobody wins. When compliments come at the expense of the ex, then the previous partner still holds a lot of sway over this person, as noted in Women's Health. Consider whether this is what you want in a relationship.
6. Keeps Ex's Stuff Around
It's one thing to have an ex's random t-shirt or headband lying around. But what about a mini-shrine to the ex? "If her photos or any of her personal belongings are still around, he's hanging onto the relationship through those objects," said Wendy Walsh, Ph.D., in Today. Think about what this means for your relationship.
7. Broke Up Very Recently
Sure, everyone moves on from a relationship at different speeds. But if your current date just broke up with a longtime partner, then consider giving it a little time, as noted in Thought Catalog. If you want more than a quick fling with this person, consider whether it's a rebound situation. In this and any other relationship, don't be afraid to advocate for yourself and avoid unnecessary drama.