Skip to main content

Is He Not Over His Ex? How to Tell (and What to Do)

My passion is writing about love, sex, dating, and relationships. I write based on my own personal experiences and those that I relate to.


When Your Boyfriend Isn't Over His Ex

When a guy is not emotionally over his ex, this will definitely become an issue . . . for you.

The problem with most men is that they will deny, deny, deny that they still have feelings for their ex—even when you ask them directly. Here's a tip, a guy who constantly talks about his ex means that there are unresolved feelings.

It doesn't matter if he's talking about her in a negative or positive way—if he mentions her a lot, that's a red flag there are feelings that he still needs to deal with—and should find a therapist STAT.

"Here's a tip. A guy who constantly talks about his ex means that there are unresolved feelings."

Many times an ex's name is brought up because the relationship that ended was either fairly new or one that lasted many years that didn't end well—like many relationships. What I find interesting is that even if it was the man who emotionally pushed (causing the demise of the relationship) his ex away (and because of this she ended things)—this break-up will become emotionally hard for him (his ego) to get over. Really?

If a man seriously wants a woman and the relationship to work he would do everything in his power to save what he has versus checking out—giving up or emotionally pushing her away. Why does it take a woman to finally get tired of dealing with a man's bullshit, to realize she does deserves better, and/or to finally end the relationship, for a guy to realize that he really wants her? Repeat after me, "It's his ego!" Men want what they can't have. Wanting you back is usually temporary. Don't be fooled.

No one likes to be dumped; however, there are many men whose egos really can't handle it. They will come up with stories in their head to convince themselves that the relationship they had—and obviously didn't appreciate—was actually more loving or special than it really was. Or, they will do the opposite and tear a woman's character down in order to justify why they aren't together anymore. Regardless of what they say, if a guy can't stop mentioning his ex . . . ladies, this becomes your problem.

Often we don't ask the right questions in fear of hearing the answer we don't want. However, you can also ask all the right questions, but if the person you are asking is in denial, you will never get the truth.

"You can also ask all the right questions, but if the person you are asking is in denial, you will never get the truth."

My Personal Experience

Many years ago I dated a guy who couldn't stop talking about his ex. When we first met and he brought her name up it was understandable to me since they were married—divorced five years—and shared joint custody of their kids. However, being supportive and listening to him vent about his ex—past and current frustrations—started to become an issue and frankly an ex-wedge in our relationship.

Every time I would see this guy "her" name would come up. This was never a quick conversation he needed to have about her, but instead, a long-winded story—mostly complaining—that would always follow with the fact that he would never, ever consider getting back together with her. He was great at reassuring me of this because "they weren't a great fit, they fought all the time and they didn't appreciate each other." Since this guy was very open and honest, he also admitted freely all the things that he did that contributed to the demise of their relationship—never fully blaming her, which I have to say was not only refreshing to hear but also made me trust him. It takes a mature man to be able to admit when he is wrong—and this, I find very sexy.

The more time we spent together, the closer we became. We not only had intense romantic chemistry, we also had developed a strong friendship. When this guy told me he loved me, wanted to build a future with me, and even talked about living together . . . hearing all this was exciting . . . until it was shortly followed by another ex-situation he needed to share with me. Honestly, as much as he talked about his ex I felt as if I knew her—even though we had never met. Not a good sign.

Here's the thing ladies, just because a guy isn't singing his ex's praises doesn't mean he's not over his ex. Sometimes hearing a guy talk negatively or complain or even take ownership for why the relationship didn't work can potentially be an even bigger red flag—that can easily go unnoticed—and it did for me. Knowing that this guy had zero interest in ever getting back together with his ex should have been a relief, right? You would have thought so.

"Here's the thing, ladies. Just because a guy isn't singing his ex's praises doesn't mean he's not over her."

This guy was so convincing that I was the only one he wanted to be with that (in my mind) his ex was no threat to me or our relationship. Why would she be, he clearly did not want her back—something he stated over and over again. He even told me that being with me not only made him happy, but he was doing things—cooking, romantic dinners, bubble baths, practicing yoga, eating healthier, etc.—that he didn't do or enjoy doing when he was with his ex. He also told me that he felt like a changed man and was excited for the possibilities of our relationship. Yay! Or so I thought...

He was soooo happy with me that the second his ex reached out to him and wanted to see if there was still anything left between them—romantically—he ended things with me quicker than a blink of an eye. Ouch! Talk about a rug being pulled from under my feet with no warning to brace myself first. Not only was the emotional fall devastating to my heart, I also felt completely stupid for believing him when he looked me in my eyes—numerous times—and told me that he was over her. What an idiot I was for believing him, however. I should have known better.

Women are very predictable. If they see that their ex has "changed" or if they find out that their ex is with another woman, they will think they want him back. This "want" usually lasts until they realize why they broke up in the first place. The reality is, most men "change" because of the current relationship they are in—some women bring out a different side in men, while others don't. However, nine times out of ten, the change is usually an illusion.

His ex thinking she wanted him back lasted less than a week—one date and one couples therapy session—before they were back on the road to breaking up, again. Needless to say when he came crawling back to me, I was not interested. How could I be? He broke my trust and my heart. Who's to say that if his ex decided that she thought she wanted him back (again) he wouldn't leap at the chance? I could no longer trust him, nor did I want a guy who was secretly pining for his ex.

Ladies, you deserve to be with a man who wants you and only you. If a man can't stop talking about his ex, this means she is on his mind Way more than she should be—and this could potentially be a bigger issue later on. Instead of living in the "ex past" with the guy you are dating, you should be building a future together—one that does not include her or you getting pushed aside the second she thinks she wants him back. Don't ever be his rebound and ex-it the relationship if signs of his ex don't go away!


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.