Even though they’re not together anymore, she feels like competition.
Like (no matter what he says) he might still have some residual feelings of attraction towards her.
It doesn’t help that a 2012 study found that just under half of young adults had gotten back together with an ex … and just over half reported sleeping with an ex even after they broke up.
So there’s some truth to the idea that exes can be competition. But that doesn’t make his ex the enemy.
Rather, she’s someone who can help you.
She’s already given you an amazing gift, one you may have missed:
She’s shown you your guy’s weak spots.
The way their relationship ended gives you valuable insights into how you can lay an even stronger foundation this time around, ensuring that no matter what happens, you’ll have a good sense of what works with him and what doesn’t.
So how can you find the gift she left you, especially when just thinking about her feels uncomfortable?
Well, it begins with just a simple realization. That history tends to repeat itself.
Part of the magic of starting a relationship is a feeling as if no one has ever brought out the real you before.
You quickly begin to feel as if you know him better than anyone else alive—certainly better than his ex—and the feeling is mutual.
But what you’re seeing is only one side of each other.
He’s seeing your best self, and you’re seeing his. When the newness wears off, you’ll relax into each other’s company. You’ll feel free to treat each other a little more casually, maybe even a little less respectfully. That’s when old patterns rear their heads.
You can’t see those patterns when your relationship is new, but you can catch glimpses of them in how he talks about his past.
No one likes talking about past relationships. Why rehash the past? Surely it’s irrelevant to the present. Besides, you don’t want to hear about her. You don’t even want to think about him with another woman.
But avoiding that conversation prevents you from gaining valuable information about how he copes when relationships become difficult.
Here are 5 points to pay attention to when he talks about what happened with his ex.