Nobody wants to invest their time into a relationship with someone who's just counting down the days until their ex decides they want them back. So how can you tell if your
partner is still hung up on an ex? According to experts, listen closely to the things they don't say.
At some point in your relationship, you're
going to talk about exes. It's one of those important (and awkward) conversations that give you and your partner a chance to bond. Talking about what went wrong in the past can help you make better decisions for the future. But if your partner can't even talk about their ex, the relationship, or even the breakup, they might still be thinking about them.
"The breakup may have been a really hard one to go through, and unless they’re over it, it’s going to be hard for them to talk about," Bethany Ricciardi, sex educator and relationship expert with
Too Timid “The Romance Company” tells Bustle. "Even if your partner struggles to talk about their ex in a positive light, or at all, chances are their name still weighs heavily on their heart and they aren’t over losing them yet."
Often times the things people don't say reveal the most. So if your partner can't say any of these things about their ex, experts say they may not be fully over the situation.
1 "We Were Together For The Wrong Reasons, But I Learned A Lot"
If your partner is truly over their ex, they should be able to give you the details about why they were together and maybe even how long. "If your partner can’t articulate the reason they were with their ex, then it’s very likely they’ve just put a bandaid over that relationship and tried to distract themselves long enough to move on," Chelsea Leigh Trescott, breakup coach and host of the
podcast, tells Bustle. If you want to see whether your significant other has actually put their relationship in the past, see if they’ve put that relationship into perspective. "It’s only when we put our exes and our love for them into perspective, that we are able to understand ourselves in relation to them enough to grow beyond them," she says. If your partner knows why that relationship didn't work out and can say what they learned from it, they've moved on. Thank You Heartbreak 2 "They're A Good Person"
If your partner goes on and on about the bad things their ex did or call them every bad name in the book, they might not have moved past the heartache. As relationship expert and spiritual counselor,
Davida Rappaport, tells Bustle, "They may not have not gotten over their pain and disappointment or they may not have completely healed from their breakup." 3 "I'm Not Mad Anymore"
"You can tell your partner is still not over their ex if there is still a strong emotional connection to the ex or the relationship," licensed clinical psychologist,
Ellis Edmunds, Psy.D., tells Bustle. This is fairly easy to spot. If your partner's ex comes up in conversation and they suddenly get moody or shut down, they're likely still have emotions attached to that relationship. 4 "I Wish Them The Best"
It's not uncommon to secretly wish your ex was just as miserable and upset at the breakup as you. "But once you're over an ex, the feelings of wanting them to hurt should start to fade," Ricciardi says. Instead, you should be wishing them the best. At the end of the day, you shouldn't really care what your ex does because you're not part of their life anymore. "So ... once they aren’t important to you anymore, you kindly wish them the best in whatever they do and you don’t care anymore or less than that," she says.
5 "As Far As I Know, We Both Seem A Lot Happier Now"
If your partner can't say they're glad that their ex moved on, chances are they're still hung up on them. According to Ricciardi, jealousy may still be lingering there. When there's jealousy, deeper feelings might remain. "If your partner is upset in anyway that their ex is seeing someone else, I would take it as a red flag," she says. "They probably either want to still be with their ex or they at least still care very much about them."
6 "We Don't Really Talk Anymore"
It is totally fine to be friends with an ex. When two people have been together for some time, it's only natural to be there for each other if one is going through a hard time. But if your partner is still texting their ex like they're BFFs or making plans with them constantly while excluding you, Lori Bizzoco, relationship expert and founder of
Cupid's Pulse, tells Bustle, those are major red flags. "The biggest sign is when your partner is not open and hides things from you that they do with their ex," she says. "This is a sign that their relationship is not over." 7 "Honestly, I'm Over It"
If your partner can't genuinely state that they're over their ex, they are likely still hung up on them. "Sometimes it’s not what we hear, it’s what we don’t hear that hurts," Ricciardi says. If your partner can’t openly admit that they just want you and they're over their ex, then chances are they're holding out hope for their ex to come back.
It sucks to be in a new relationship with someone you're excited about when they're still pining after a past situation. So what should you do? Are you just always going to be seen as the rebound?
"You need to remember that it will take them time to process their breakup," Rappaport says. "Each person takes the time they need and memories will trigger both good and bad experiences." So, patience is definitely key here.
As hard as it may be, don't stress over it too much. With enough time and healing, your partner can move on from their ex completely.