The Ex: Should You be Worried?
Unless you’re somebody’s first, that somebody has an ex. Everyone has an ex, usually more than one. But there’s always ONE ex- THE EX- that you can’t help but fear. You might mask that fear with hate or dislike, or perhaps even with an overzealous attempt to become friends; regardless, the existence of THE EX haunts almost every current relationship, whether we like it or not. That’s why it needs to be addressed.
But Chiara, just because THE EX is there…does that automatically mean I have something to worry about? And where exactly do you look for the warning signs? Use the guidelines below to help you decode whether or not your suspicions are justified.
EX Behavior That Deserves a Second Glance:
Most of the time, you’re the crazy one mistaking innocent behavior for a plot to destroy your current relationship. However, there are few things that deserve a second glance. If they turn out to be innocent, you’ve still got the right to be vocal about what you consider intolerable.
- THE EX bad mouths you: If you haven’t been an asshole and deserve to be bad-mouthed, this could be a subtle attempt to ruin your good name – especially if you’re new to the scene.
- THE EX becomes part of your relationship: Imagine you being awesome and allowing THE EX to contact your partner freely as he/she goes through a hard time. But what begins as a one time thing turns into THE EX never going away; an extra leg to a now tripod relationship. This can indicate dependency and your partner’s willingness to contribute may mean a sense of obligation still exists.
- THE EX is everywhere: You know the scene: you’re getting ready for a night out and the doorbell rings. You answer it to find THE EX standing there, “Oh… I thought you were working late! Silly me!” If you’re seeing your partners EX more than you see close members of your family, it may be time to bring it up to your partner.
- THE EX isn’t shy about wanting a second chance: You know THAT EX – the one who jokingly teases you about winning your lover back one day. Yeah, it’s funny the first time.. and maybe the second. That’s about it.
- THE EX attempts to one-up you: This is the ex who claims to know your partner better than you or who constantly makes an effort to remind your partner of how awesome they’re relationship was. It’s fucking annoying more than anything.
Your Partner’s Behavior That Deserves a Second Glance:
- ..is always talking about THE EX: While past relationships should never be forgotten, they should hold little significance in your partners daily routine. If your partner won’t shut up, it may indicate there was never any closure.
- …doesn’t want you two to meet: Your partner shouldn’t force a lunch date upon you (unless he/she is REALLY close to the an ex) but if there is a notable reluctance to introduce the two of you, beware.
- …is constantly ditching you for THE EX: Deal with the fact that you should be okay with your lunch date being canceled because THE EX is having an emergency and needs your partners help. If this occurs often, however, it’s a red flag.
- ..had an AWESOME relationship and now there are standards for you to meet: Watch out for blatant comparisons. If you’re constantly being compared to THE EX it’s usually a sign that your partner is still holding on, tightly.
- ..had a TERRIBLE relationship: If THE EX still has a tight hold, and your partner is still traumatized this indicates unresolved issues. They need to be dealt with before the two of you can move forward, toward a healthy relationship.
Most of the Time, It’s ALL in your Head:
When people date, history is naturally created; experiences are naturally experienced. There is nothing you can do to change the past. While some jealousy is natural- as is curiosity about what attracted your partner to THE EX in the first place – you should beware of the power of your mind.Overanalyzing will only fuck you up. Even when checking out the guidelines above, be careful not to create something that isn’t there.
Remember that there’s a reason why your partner is now with you. Don’t give your partner a reason for him/her to go back to THE EX. Confidence is one of the sexiest traits, ever. And if, despite this article, THE EX still makes you squirm in your panties, talk to your partner about it. You’d be amazed at how willing they’d be to listen if they’re not getting attacked.