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You Asked: My Boyfriend Constantly Talks About His Ex!

Dear Sugar--

I've been with my boyfriend for almost 2 years. We moved in together 9 months ago. After I moved in, I noticed that he started talking about his ex-girlfriend constantly. He never says anything great about her. I don't feel like he is comparing us. He just brings her up as part of a story. It has been 4 years since they broke up and they were together for 2.

There were a couple of stories that really bothered me. I asked him a couple of weeks ago if he wanted to go on trip with me. He agreed to go. I was making reservations and he told me that he stayed at the resort with his ex. She paid for him to get a massage there, etc. It seemed inappropriate. I was planning to foot the bill for a getaway for us and I felt like I had been slapped in the face.

The other time that it really got to me was we were watching the movie "Click." It is a "what if...could have been" kind of movie. He starts talking about how he is so glad that he didn't wind up married to his ex, blah blah blah. My thought was "Um, dude, you have sweet hotness on the couch next to you, why are you going there?"

At this point I am afraid to say anything about it. I've never confronted him about it. In every other aspect, he is perfect for me. I don't want to sound like a jealous raving maniac. Shouldn't he be over it by now? Help me, Sugar!

--Annoyed Amy

To see DEARSUGAR'a answer

Dear Annoyed Amy--

You took the words right out of my mouth! He obviously isn't over her if he continues to bring her name up. Since he's always mentioning bad memories, it makes me wonder how and why they broke up. Was it her idea and he had his heart broken? Or was it more his idea? Knowing this info could give you great insight into why he's still thinking about her.

Two years is a long time to be with someone, so by now you should feel like you can talk to him about anything. I would definitely speak up about how uncomfortable and upset this makes you. Ask him why he thinks about her so much, and if he wishes he were still with her. I wonder if he thinks that mentioning her in a "bad light" is somehow showing you how much he cares about you. Regardless of the reason, he needs to know how his incessant chatter about an ex-girlfriend in front of his current girlfriend is affecting you and your relationship. You deserve his 100% attention and love, without having to worry about a woman from his past.

It sounds like he needs a little help moving on so therapy might do him wonders. It could help him get to these deep-seeded thoughts he has about this girl. Only then will he be able to devote himself fully to you, if that is what he ultimately wants. I hope this helps Amy, and good luck!

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ninjastarlett ninjastarlett 8 years
"He starts talking about how he is so glad that he didn't wind up married to his ex, blah blah blah" That doesn't really sound like a bad thing to me... but I guess it goes after everything else. Really, just calmly tell him it bothers you and explain why it does. If it persists after that, then maybe he's just a jerk. =P
em1282 em1282 8 years
Heh, I'd still be bugged by the fact that he talks about her too much. You know what? He shouldn't be, because he has you now. He sounds like a loser--you deserve better.
Vdogg Vdogg 8 years
I don't want this to sound like i'm taking the side of your bf, but i just want to maybe bring up another reason he brings her up that may not have occured to you. It sounds as though he's not really reminicing (spelling?) about the good times they've had, & he moreso brings up the fact that he's happier without her, which is a good sign. however if it seems he feels a deep hatred towards her, then he is not likely over her & still feels hurt. afterall, Hate is not the opposite of Love, Indifference is. & you need to examine your behaviour as well, because if you've made him jealous previous to his mentioning her, maybe he's trying to get revenge by bringing her up to make you jealous. some guys feeeed off of jealousy & try to stir it up within the relationship to prove that the woman cares about them.. if you in any way (guy friends, male coworkers, etc) have made him jealous, perhaps take his ex mentions as a compliment in him trying to get a rise out of you. The only way is to find out though, so i agree with everyone else's post in that you need to talk to him about it.. if he isnt over her (and you NEED to force an honest answer out of him), move on.. and in your next relationship, don't make the same mistake he did by bringing him up to your new bf.. at least youll be able to learn from his mistakes.
Marci Marci 8 years
You're living together so you really should be able to talk about this with him; that it's bothering you. If you want your relationship to last, communication is key! That being said, I agree with everything pop said. It's fun to talk about exes, gripe about them, make fun of them. And I have to say that the more comfortable I got with my boyfriend, the free-er I felt to just say those things.
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
sounds like she was a really big part of his life and while he's done with having a relationship with her, he's not done remembering it. wouldn't worry about it. maybe there was something really great that he's missing because of that relationship, her family or perks from her job. something is tying him to memories and that will fade over time
nessabum nessabum 8 years
talk to him about that. tell him how you feel about that. that's all i have to say that hasn't already been said.
likethedirection likethedirection 8 years
I wouldn't really jump to the conclusion that he's not over her. Sometimes I even catch myself talking a little too much about my ex...NOT because I want him back by any means, but just because he was part of my life for four years so a lot of my time and my experiences during that time were shared with him. He may be telling not-so-positive stories about his ex as somewhat of a compliment to you. Maybe that's the only way he knows how to tell you that you're better than she was and maybe he doesn't know it bothers you so much. Either way, definitely tell your boyfriend that you don't really like hearing about his ex. Don't worry about sounding jealous. I think it's understandable.
bookgirl bookgirl 8 years
I agree with popgoestheworld!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
If my BF accidentally booked a trip at the exact same resort my ex and I went to, I'd probably bring it up. I reference my exes all the time as I do with all my friends I have funny stories about. It doesn't bother my current BF because I'm not like telling romantic stories about them. I think it's personality type. I like telling stories about funny or embarrassing things that happen to me. And when you are with someone for a long time you just end up with lots of stories about them. I wouldn't worry too much about it, but it also wouldn't hurt to just say that you're not a big fan of him talking about his ex, even in a negative light. That's what I'd want my BF to do if he had a problem with me doing it.
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