Breakups are hard and attachments run deep. It can be difficult to untangle yourself from a past relationship, especially one that you were seriously invested in. Everyone has a different coping mechanism and part of the recovery process usually and unfortunately involves the dreaded rebound. We’ve been there. While this isn’t always the case, here are a few tips to help distinguish whether your current partner is all in or if he’s still hung up on his ex.
Do you notice there are still a lot of pictures hanging up, lying around at your partner’s place or on his phone? Does your partner still look at them frequently? Does she come up as a regular topic of conversation? Or maybe you notice that his favorite blanket/CD/book/etc. were gifts from her. If you find that your significant other constantly refers back to his ex – whether as a point of reference of happier times or to complain about her incessantly – it’s likely that she is still in the forefront of his mind.
While people have mixed opinions as to whether or not you should (or can) be friends with an ex after a breakup – the truth is that it happens. However, friendly contact shouldn’t mean that he’s still at her beck and call or that she finds out about important milestones even before you do. It’s also important to consider how long they’ve been separated and who broke up with whom – if it’s still within a year, chances are he may be subconsciously trying to win her back or he never fully recovered from the breakup.
She’s always the meter
It might seem contradictory, but if he’s constantly telling you that you’re prettier, smarter, funnier or just overall better than his ex, it could be a sign that he’s still holding on. He should be able to compliment you in your own right without using her as a comparison.
He’s still a part of the family
When you’re in a long, committed relationship, you tend to develop a relationship with your partner’s family. That’s part of what makes those breakups so hard – you essentially are breaking up with a part of your life that expands beyond just the other person. But it’s part of the process. If your significant other still keeps in close contact and spends a lot of time with his ex’s family, it could be a sign that he hasn’t given up on the relationship yet.
It’s hot and heavy from the start
New relationships are generally a little more exciting and butterfly-prone than long-term established relationships. But if you feel that your relationship is moving too fast right up front, it could mean that he’s feeling vulnerable and trying to rush into a relationship he’s not ready for. Or that he’s trying to stick it to his ex.
Nobody does the relationship thing perfectly and we’re all prone to mistakes and heartache. These warning signs aren’t definitive but if you’re feeling unsure about your partner’s relationship with an ex, the best route is to communicate how and why you feel the way you do.