Why It's OK To Be Curious About Your Partner's Ex

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Believe it or not, your significant other probably dated other people before you came along. But, how should you feel about your partner's exes? No matter how weird and unsettling it is to think about the person you love loving someone else, we all have exes, including your partner. The thing about exes, though, is that they're part of history, and they'll most likely stay there. Exes become exes for a reason, and it doesn't matter if it was bad timing, an affair, a problem with communication, or distance — ultimately, breakups tend to stick.

Once you know the names of your SO's exes, though, it can be hard to stifle that curiosity. You're inclined to learn about them — what they look like, how they dress, what they're into, where they work, etc. because knowing these things paints a clearer picture of who you're dating, and what they look for in a mate.

But knowing that info can cause some people to spiral into a mess of weird thoughts and needless concerns about the relationship they've built. While it's normal to have feelings (many feelings) about your partner's exes, you need to be careful not to allow their qualities and interests to make you doubt yourself. Here are four perfectly normal feelings to have about your partner's exes.

1. Curious

If your partner's ex is still in the picture — like maybe they stayed in the same friend circle post-breakup, or maybe they became close friends after their romantic relationship ended — you have every right to be a little curious. I'm not saying it's impossible for exes to truly become just friends after a breakup, but it is extremely rare. Be friendly, but just keep a respectful distance.

2. Intrigued

Learning about the exes of the person you're with tells a story of who your partner used to be. It can be interesting to learn about their ex's qualities and hobbies, as long as you don't obsess over it. They're with you now, remember?

3. Confident

The person you are, right now, is exactly what your partner was looking for. They could've crawled back to their exes, but they didn't. They want you. They adore YOU. So whenever you're faced with your partner's ex, keep that confidence on the surface like it's a cloak you're wearing, and never ever compare yourself to them.

4. Grateful

Whether or not we like to admit it, our exes shape the people we become. Your SO's exes might be responsible for making your SO better at sex, or teaching them the importance of feminism. You don't ever need to voice your appreciation for contributing to the person your SO is today, but silently, give credit where credit is due.

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