Relationships are always a balancing act, especially in the early stages. One or both of you might be fresh out of a relationship that didn't work out, or just getting back into the game; either way, it's never easy, and forcing it is a recipe for disaster.
There's a lot of pitfalls that can become obvious only after a relationship has gotten off the ground. One of the worst stumbling blocks is the simple fact that some women (and men, obviously) have a hard time getting over their exes. While it's easy to tell other people about the joys of letting go, the fact is that if this problem comes up, you're going to have to deal with it, or your relationship might end up dead in the water sooner than you know.
Of course, if your ex-girlfriend is cheating on you openly, that's where most would draw the line. But that's rarely ever the case, as most cheating is obviously done in private, aided by social media, which seems designed to spur those little devils on all of our shoulders. Here are a few red flags to look for when you're trying to figure out if your girlfriend's still not over her ex, and not sure what she might be doing about those feelings ...
15 They're Still In Touch
So first things first, if the ex comes up in conversation and she says she's still talking to him, it's not a great sign, depending on how long ago they broke up. Sometimes there are logistical issues that have to be sorted out. There's furniture to pick up, books and records to get back, and maybe even some money issues that need to be worked out, especially if they lived together (and possibly even owned a cat or a dog together). If this goes on for longer than 3-4 months at the maximum, they're probably talking about other things, like, oh, I don't know, maybe getting back together?
14 She Compares You To Him
It happened. You set up a fun date. Dinner and a movie, and then you're just enjoying your relationship and the "sexy time" you'll probably have after all that's all done. And it would have worked too, but whoops, you showed up about 30 minutes late, after which your girlfriend says "MY EX would never have done that." There goes date night, and maybe the rest of the week/month and all that "sexy time" you were so excited for. Nobody likes to be compared to an ex girlfriend or boyfriend, and if she does this, it's a good sign that she still holds him in high esteem and could be considering giving him a second (or even third) shot at this point...
13 He Comes Up In Conversation Frequently
She says: "Hey, what did you do yesterday?" You say: "I watched the first 3 Die Hard movies. Man, it was so great." She says: "Oh, that's so funny, Chad loved those movies too. He always loved a good action movie." Uh-oh. Why does it matter what Chad the ex thinks about this topic? Why is he even coming up in our conversation ? Well, it could be because he's always on her mind. You should probably ask her why she's mentioning him so much, and if she can't come up with an answer, then there's a reasonable chance she's either seeing him again or is strongly considering it at this point. At the very least, she's wondering what he's doing right now, and maybe if she's also on HIS mind.
12 She Texts Him While She's With You
When you and your girlfriend are together, whether it's date night or you two are just enjoying each other's company on a Tuesday, you should have each other's undivided attention. While this isn't always a given in the age of smartphones, at the very least neither of you should be texting while you're hanging out, or relaxing together. If she's texting an ex mid-conversation with you? Ouch. It's pretty clear in that case that she'd rather be talking to him instead of you, and is probably doing so, even more, when you're not around ... maybe even in person when they meet up to "talk".
11 She Reminisces About Moments With Her Ex
It's totally normal in everyday conversation to reminisce about good times you've had, and it's especially fun when you're reminiscing as a couple about a memory you both want to remember. That's why when she reminisces about an ex-boyfriend to you, it's usually a jarring and unpleasant change. She may want some kind of emotional reassurance from you as a boyfriend, in order to alleviate any guilt she may feel about bringing up her ex again, even though it might be a sign that she's reminiscing about more than that time they went to that movie together ...
10 Talking Smack: Still Not A Great Sign
So she's not talking about her ex anymore. Well, that's good news, right? If your conversations are relatively ex-free, it's a sign that she's totally over her ex. Problem is, if she brings up the ex in a negative light, then she's obviously still thinking of him. Probably even more than usual, since rehashing negative scenarios and emotions requires a lot of conscious effort on her part. If she's thinking about him this much, also consider that she may be getting annoyed at more recent interactions they may have had and that her problems with her ex might be fresh ... And in turn, now also your problem.
9 Constant Irritation Is A Red Flag
One sign that either party isn't happy with the relationship they're in is if even the most ordinary conversation leads to irritation. "Looks like it's going to rain." "Ugh, you would say that, obviously. You're so negative. All the time." And so on. If you're the person she's currently dating and this change in attitude comes on when you know she is in contact with her ex, then it's probably a (very) bad sign. She could be complaining about you to the guy, which is extra not good. If constant irritation is the norm, you'll want to address it for the good of the relationship, in any case.
8 The No-Go Situation
So far we've covered your girlfriend talking about her ex too much, too positively, or too negatively. None of those things are great, but weirdly enough, her refusing to address her exes at all if they come up in a conversation is also kind of a red flag. If this is the case, she may not have resolved her feelings about her ex, and may not be over him at all. The fact that she's making him an issue by becoming upset when or if he's brought up is also a problem that's admittedly not easy to deal with, but it could be a sign that she's still harboring feelings for her ex and staying with you until she makes up her mind about whether or not she wants to get back together with him.
7 Are You A Rebound Guy?
If the previous post got you thinking about whether or not your girlfriend has unresolved feelings about her ex, you might want to consider the possibility that you're a rebound guy. Nope, it's not a fun thought, but it might be the case if she cancels dates on you randomly, is secretive about who she hangs out with, or just otherwise seems to have no time for you, but seems to always have time for her ex, be it hanging out or texting. It's more than a little suspect if she talks to her ex more than she talks to you, or gets irritated and defensive when you ask her not to, let's just put it that way.
6 "Bumping Into" Her Ex Happens Often
Most people don't really have a huge problem avoiding their exes if they want to. In smaller towns or cities it might be a little harder to avoid people with common interests (but not impossible), but in larger cities, that's not so much the case. If your ex casually mentions bumping into her ex (or multiple exes ...) suspiciously quite often, it may just be the case that they're actually meeting on purpose. If she's telling you about it at all, it could just be to minimize the implications of the contact that the two of them are having, be they physical or emotional interactions.
5 If They're Just Friends ...
Aside from her just bumping into an ex, it's a whole other scenario when your girlfriend is full-on pals with her ex. It's never really totally healthy to be "Just friends" with an ex, especially right after a breakup. The wounds are just too fresh, and the issues that broke them up should be reason enough for them to break contact, at least for a little while. If he's her ex from a recent breakup and they're still hanging out all the time, then it's entirely likely that their relationship only went through a "test-run" or "trial" breakup, and they're seeing if they can manage to put it back together at you, the current boyfriend's expense.
4 She's Up To Date On The Ex's Life
Social media's a pretty mixed blessing when it comes to relationships. On the one hand, people can get together and meet easier than ever before. On the other though, social media enables partners with wandering eyes to, well, wander a whole lot. It also lets us keep tabs on friends, family members, and yes, exes. While it can be tempting, it's probably best to just ignore whatever is going on in the lives of your exes, and you should expect your girlfriend to do the same if they're truly engaged in your relationship. Staying up to date with her ex's dating or daily life is another red flag that shows she's engaged elsewhere.
3 He Never Left Her Phone
Is your girlfriend's ex still in her phone as a contact? Probably not a good sign, but of course if she's been texting him often this is a given. Does she always put her phone face-down on the table? Step away to answer texts? Maybe she doesn't want you to see who she gets in touch with regularly. In any case, if your girlfriend is addicted to her phone and rather secretive about who she's getting in touch with, then it's definitely not a good sign. If he's never left her phone, it's likely he's never left her thoughts, or her heart, for that matter. And yeah, all of this could also be a sign she's been cheating on you for a little while now.
2 She's Kept All The Mementos
Okay, so we're onto the deadly obvious signs that she's thinking about her ex by now. It used to be that looking into a person's wallet or purse would tell you a lot about them, as they'd keep pictures, notes, jewelry, or even smaller mementos there for safekeeping. We're more of a phone-oriented culture now, so while these mementos may still exist in a drawer or on a nightstand, the picture she has as the background on her phone or computer is more likely to tell the story, or the pictures she's kept to herself. In any case, if she keeps his pictures on display or close, it's another indicator that her ex is still on her mind.
1 She Calls You His Name By Mistake
If she ever gets your names mixed up ... Well, it's time to have your own personal version of "The Relationship Talk." Nothing could be more of a giveaway that the #1 guy on her mind isn't you, but in fact the ex. It could come out in conversation or during the deed, but either way, it's a guaranteed mood (and possibly relationship) killer. Hopefully, you haven't experienced this one, but if you have, it's time to, at the very least, get some distance from the relationship after you've talked about your problems, in order to get some perspective, then figure out where your relationship is going and if you want to work on the issues at hand. Don't forget to be honest and upfront with what you want, and ask her to do the same. Good luck!