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Dating Dilemma: Hung up on the ex

I know there is this dating rule that you should not talk about your ex on the first date. Now, I wonder if it is better to bring the ex up – so you would know early of possible unfinished business!

I know we all are rebounding from someone when we meet someone new. I just wonder what a reasonable amount of talking about “the ex” is and when does it become a sign of unresolved feelings?

When you get the feeling that someone you are seeing is hung up on their ex, do you think it is good to confront them? Does it do any good to bring it up or should you ignore it – hoping you will eventually make them forget?

How do you know when you are competing with the ex? Do you think we often compare our new relationship last with our most recent relationships? Does that mean we still have feelings for them?

By Wise Diva, Misadventures in Atlanta Dating Blog

144 comments Add your comment

[...] Dating Problem: Hung up on the ex I know there is this dating rule that you ought to not talk about your ex on the first date. Now, I wonder if it is much better to carry the ex up – so you would know early of achievable unfinished company! I know we all are rebounding from a person when we … Study more on Atlanta Journal Structure (website) [...]

Peach Blossom

November 14th, 2011
8:59 am

I believe everybody in your past is entitled to one sentence in your present life. “Yes, I dated him” or “Yes, I know him” or “We were lovers, but that was a long time ago and I’m over him,” but whatever the sentence is, is on a case-by-case basis. If the man I’m with is uptight, then it’s the former, but if the man I’m with cool about my past, then I’ll elaborate a little more with the sentence. I learned this with experience. Some men want to know about my past and some don’t. When I was younger I spoke too much about the men in my past and I found out most of the men couldn’t handle it, so I developed the “one sentence rule” and use it at my discretion. The older I get, the more I find out the men who are interested in me don’t care about my past and are just curious. But I’ve found out not to bring up much about my past on the first date.

MzNewy

November 14th, 2011
9:21 am

It’s easy to tell if you are competing with an ex. When things you do are often criticized or questioned for example “Why do you wear your ________like that, have you ever thought of wearing it like ________” Usually that is a sign that you are being compared to SOMEONE and often that someone is an ex. You can’t compete against the past. If it happens often, move on he/she is not over the ex yet and you are the rebound guy/chic.

Leggs

November 14th, 2011
9:47 am

I know we all are rebounding from someone when we meet someone new. – This isn’t necessarily true. Some wait and mend their hurt and get themselves together so they don’t rebound.

If asked on the first date about my ex, I will say married 12.5 years, divorced now for 5 and he’s in our child’s life, not mine, but hers!

Mike P

November 14th, 2011
9:48 am

Good Morning

Looks like I’ll be lurking today.

Celisea

November 14th, 2011
9:53 am

Some wait and mend their hurt and get themselves together so they don’t rebound.

Absolutely. It’s never my style to catch someone on the rebound. IMO it just makes things messy.

Morning folks!

Celisea

November 14th, 2011
9:54 am

Wasn’t trying to bold the entire post.

SexyCool

November 14th, 2011
9:58 am

Even if we are not competing against an ex, I do believe that we are measured against a person’s “ideal mate” – as they should be and should be doing as well.

Celisea

November 14th, 2011
10:08 am

And sometimes I don’t think that’s always something a person actually captured at some point and maybe lost. Sometimes and IMO it’s something that’s eluded them making “ideal” subjective cause some folks “ideal” far outweighs reality…lol

Celisea

November 14th, 2011
10:12 am

Ut oh, I’m smelling the “smell good” today and that’s not going to be good for this head of mine. So at 10:12 he’s passed me about 4 times since getting in about 8:30ish LOLOLOL…it’s a nice clean smell but it’s overwhelming.

Guess ya’ll say stank don’t work and smell don’t work. My head is just super sensitive and ANYTHING can spark a migraine. Seriously.

SexyCool

November 14th, 2011
10:12 am

Cel – thanks for that – I was just thinking of adding that “ideal” should be grounded in reality and a lot of times, it isn’t.

Celisea

November 14th, 2011
10:14 am

SexyC – I thought that’s where you was going.

kimmie

November 14th, 2011
10:31 am

Morning All!

Funny, thinking back, my husband never asked me about my exes when we dated. I may have mentioned one or 2 over the course of our courtship, as did he. But we have never dwelled on the past. It had been 2 years since I had been in a serious relationship with anyone and it had been that long since his wife had passed.

Before him, the only time exes were an issue is when dude was not over the ex. That happened to me twice – I was the rebound. It was very obvious I was being compared. I did not like it one bit and got out as quick as I could. Funny, they were complaining yet pinning for their ex, but none got back with the ex. In both cases, SHE had moved on, they had not!

I guess since my experiences being the rebound were such a bust, I made sure I was good and over my exes before getting into a new relationship.

Robert

November 14th, 2011
10:36 am

” Do you think we often compare our new relationship last with our most recent relationships?”

It depends. For example some men never really quit old relationships. We live in hard times and women will think about what it was like not to struggle with men who lose jobs and can not pay the bills and provide for them. Some women seek out “old friends” who can understand their situation and comfort them. I have a few “old friends” who like remembering the good old days we had together. We all need friends (men and women).

Celisea

November 14th, 2011
10:42 am

Happy belated birthday Robert :wink:

Robert

November 14th, 2011
10:44 am

@Celisea

Thank you very much.

26belly

November 14th, 2011
10:44 am

Hung up on the ex? As I think of the past two ex’s and the first date afterwards…there was a comparison on the first date! How different and a breath of fresh-air the new prospect was from the previous editions. I mean come on, after the first two minutes of the date, its like, “I should have moved on earlier!”

disco

November 14th, 2011
10:46 am

good morning guys. I was trying to wait for the topic to change before chiming in. a girlfriend called me out just last night for having too many exes in my life. I won’t say they are in my life like I see them regularly or anything (they all live in a different state than me) but I do still keep in touch with them, have befriended new girlfriends/wives over the years and know they are still in my corner if push ever comes to shove. I would hope that no new guy would feel threatened by the presence of any one of these exes as I know that I’m most certainly not comparing the old and the new.

Leggs

November 14th, 2011
10:56 am

“I would hope that no new guy would feel threatened by the presence of any one of these exes…” – His these exes are present, you may find some discord with your present relationship. Although they do not live in the same state as you, definitely helps. However, depeding upon how much contact you have via email, phone msgs, text, FB, etc. may provide a roadblock. Not many men are comfortable with many exes in the mix not matter how innocent on your part. I think a certain level of mistrust/insecurity creeps in the man’s mind.

THE INFAMOUS DK

November 14th, 2011
10:58 am

The only thing a ex should be is a reference point. A reference point of what you dont want in a future relationship. it has always been my stance to take some time by yourself to get to yourself after a relationship. that way when you meet someone and ya’ll have the convo of Ex’s its short and brief. Nothing horrible, just a gloss over and a polite it just didnt work out. The past is the past and if you let it control your future whoa is you. I think I got all my ill feelings out here after my divorce. Ahh Misadventures AKA Free therapy.com

Celisea

November 14th, 2011
11:12 am

I don’t know too many dudes that’s cool with current woman having ties with this ex. I know I’m not too cool on a dude having ties with his ex. Only if children are involved. But that’s just how I think.

Celisea

November 14th, 2011
11:12 am

the not this

disco

November 14th, 2011
11:13 am

actually leggs – so far it hasn’t proposed as much of a problem as some would think. I don’t do any social networking at all so all contact is by phone and it really is the occasional phone call here and there. I saw one over the summer when I went home and another I went by to check out last time I was in dc. certainly nothing over the top which is why I would likely resist being with any individual who felt like it was too much for them to handle. quite frankly I’d rather have to handle exes of my variety as opposed to the ones that are still potential jumpoffs and live locally to boot.

THE INFAMOUS DK

November 14th, 2011
11:14 am

Cee- Nah just communication about the kiddies. Other than that keep in to a minimum. However if the relationship is cool I try to roll with it.. You’ll know when its way too much. and at that point stick with it or bow out gracefully..

Leggs

November 14th, 2011
11:15 am

Cold Cut Artist = The Temptations….tickets to see Soul Train Awards at Fox Theatre this weekend. (404) 741-1075.

Most think that way, Celisea. My gf got married and her then boyfriend asked her to burn all her pictures of guys before them and not to contact any of them. She was more than happy to oblige. Not sure if I would have torn up my pictures because other friends were in most of the pics.

Leggs

November 14th, 2011
11:17 am

@disco ~ that’s great. Glad it’s working out for you. No social networking no doubt helps.

Celisea

November 14th, 2011
11:21 am

Infamous – I agree. Even with kids, it’s an “opportunity” for some. Yep you’re right…keep it to the bare minimum.

Leggs – I typically don’t keep exes around. But I have found if it keeps the peace and make things happen with the new person, then do it for the sake of keeping peace and better relations.

Exiled!

November 14th, 2011
11:23 am

If u are keeping stuff,aka,memorabilia like photos stashed in a stack..this is Ray Ray in 1980,then Kook J and some of my friends from the projects in 1999,then Disco when I moved to Chicago…like that…we ain’t going nowhere far together,Period!

Have fun? Sure!!!!

But nowhere far.

And I am not going to tell a grown woman to burn stuff she values simply because I came into ur lyfe! Ain’t controlling like that!

Do u,to get a man. I will do me to get a woman.

But that momento stash ain’t appealing to me nor does it suggest closure to me.

I am stepping!(but we can play a little)

good morning!

disco

November 14th, 2011
11:23 am

celisea – those are the exes I was avoiding bringing up. the mothers of the children (ex-wife, baby momma, same same). folks judge me but I avoid men with dependent children like the plague. I’m just in a place in my life where that situation isn’t something I want to be bothered with or a compromise I’m willing to make. Of course, I wound up with a man who treats his 27 year old daughter like she’s 12 but I digress.

Leggs

November 14th, 2011
11:26 am

And I am not going to tell a grown woman to burn stuff she values simply because I came into ur lyfe! Ain’t controlling like that! – That’s the bottom line. We all have pictures in photo albums from yesteryear. Why throw them away when they’re stored away in boxes in the garage! Just an example.

Celisea

November 14th, 2011
11:27 am

disco – Yeah it gets reeeeal sticky when folks want to use their kids to hook up or see if there’s some sort of potential.

My kid’s dad (prior to my kid) had a daughter from a previous relationship…I think about 3 at the time. When we decided to move in together, she moved back to Atlanta from hick town and thought it was going to be one of those situations. Nuh uh…not happening. I told her and him…day one: unless it baby related don’t call, come, look or knock. And then when it is baby related, to bring it to the front door. No hookups, meetings or secret calls. Nope…I told him, if he tried it he was out.

Celisea

November 14th, 2011
11:30 am

Leggs – If it was pictures of friends and family where an ex happen to be captured, I don’t know if I could either…for me that would mean more so history and memories. Now if it’s an ex and we’re on the bear rug or got some snuggly shots or something, then ummm yeah, that might pose a problem.

disco

November 14th, 2011
11:31 am

and a sad thing is that a lot of guys think once they’ve got a baby there they can always go back. and there’s a lot of chicks that think just because they’ve got a baby they’ve got dibs on that for life. just a hassle I don’t want in my life right now. still I find it comical that some parents have to do the visitation swap in walmart parking lots or mcdonald’s playlands. at one point I thought it was because of animosity between the parents but I wonder how much of that is due to suspicion of the new partner.

Exiled!

November 14th, 2011
11:34 am

I think there is a difference between stuff u forgot u had(garage) And stuff u purposely kept(somewhere in the vicinity in ur house)

If u are in the habit of purposely keeping and looking over(reminisce about) Old boyfriends then Houston! the next guy,like myself, might have issues with it.

And often I have observed that u establish the tempo of ur relationship when u get in Not when u are In already.

If u get in and she has All these momentos stashed and u don’t handle it.

It’s done!

Lie on that bed Sucker!

Leggs

November 14th, 2011
11:35 am

No doubt, Celisea. That would be a problem. I’m referring to the former type.

Celisea

November 14th, 2011
11:38 am

Girrrrrl, I was so happy to get away from her dad and his toxic behind but yeah, he thought for YEARS he could just walk up because of a baby produced. I remember we were having her 3 year old birthday party and I had moved on and dating the stock broker. Good Lord he was calling and calling and showed up eventually. It was at my sister’s house. She had to tell him, because of the kid you’re welcomed but you cannot just walk up without calling ahead and making some sort of arrangement with me. He thought that though…as long as there was some baby history he would always have a shot.

Celisea

November 14th, 2011
11:39 am

MMeello – If u are in the habit of purposely keeping and looking over(reminisce about)

You think women reminscing like that? Literally? LOLOL

Leggs

November 14th, 2011
11:40 am

@Ex ~ any knucklehead that keeps picts of exs on the fireplace, top of tv stand, nightstand, etc. and is currently seeing someone is crazy. Let me clarify, anyone who keeps pictures of exs like that around the house and isn’t seeing anyone is still crazy and blocking their blessings.

Randyt (aka...Been There, Done That, Have a Closet Full of T-Shirts)

November 14th, 2011
11:41 am

Tough question. it is easy when two divorced people get together to talk about their exes, and inevitably it is too much talk. What is really pathetic is that sometimes the ones complaining the most about “not wanting to hear it” are the ones talking the most about their exes which you don’t want to hear about. The sad thing is that we do but we don’t. We sort of want to know, but then when we do know we wish we didn’t. Almost universal truth is what Jack Nicholson so accurately stated in “A Few Good Men”….”you can’t handle the truth”. .

Best rule of thumb is to acknowledge that you have a past, but it has made you more appreciative of who is and is not right for you…then smile and STFU.

Leggs

November 14th, 2011
11:42 am

@Celisea ~ your comment reminds me a request my ex made of me this weekend. He texts me asking me to make him some stuffed peppers because he likes my cooking. I reminded him his mother is one room away, ask her.

disco

November 14th, 2011
11:43 am

exiled – now I may have a few exes on my friends roster but I am not a keeper of mementos. let’s face it, most relationships don’t necessarily end well. some do, but most don’t. I’m the chick that gets rid of everything. pictures, leftover greeting cards, assorted gifts. now, don’t get me wrong – I mentioned being a practical chick on here before. I keep practical gifts like electric skillets, crockpots, vacuums etc. but all those so-called romantic gifts are trashed immediately.

Lady~

November 14th, 2011
11:44 am

great post Randy!!!!!!

DreamsMaterialize

November 14th, 2011
11:45 am

Morning
When the topic of the ex comes up, I pay more attention to tone, inflection, and body language to guage where I think you are relative to an old flame.

On the topic of keeping exes around, I think women are just as opposed (probably more so) to a dude having his old flames around as he is to her having old flames around. Being cordial with your exes is one thing, having them IN your life is another. What purpose do they really serve? No ex of mine is above being completely cut off. The success and comfort of the current relationship is always more important than any exes. What dude/woman will be ok with you choosing the success of dead relationships over that of the current live one?

Celisea

November 14th, 2011
11:49 am

Leggs – I reminded him his mother is one room away, ask her.

LOLOLOLOL…that was funny

Randyt (aka...Been There, Done That, Have a Closet Full of T-Shirts)

November 14th, 2011
11:50 am

@ leggs…he lives with his mother?

SexyCool

November 14th, 2011
11:54 am

“Being cordial with your exes is one thing, having them IN your life is another.”

Worth repeating.

Randyt (aka...Been There, Done That, Have a Closet Full of T-Shirts)

November 14th, 2011
11:57 am

@ disco. I was in a relationship for a year and a half with a lady who every time we had a minor breakup would delete me from her phone, email, and throw every single thing i had bought for her out. I’d wonder where something was and find it had hit the trash can weeks before sometimes. I finally got so I bought her nothing with any sentimental value at all. She threw away this beautiful mid thigh robe that looked awesome on her after only having it a few weeks. DAYUM that still hurts..

disco

November 14th, 2011
12:02 pm

I’m sorry but I giggled a little at your post randy. i don’t do that at every little thing but when I realize that it’s over then I’m cool with it being over. still, I don’t think it can be over it right if I have little pieces of you all up and through my household. nope. I don’t hold onto stuff. last thing I need is to be getting on with my life and rifle through a drawer looking for something random and come across a memory. I’ll pass.

Celisea

November 14th, 2011
12:03 pm

We talked about keeping mementos and stuff from past relationships before on here and I argured (I think with Dan), that keeping an engagment ring I have a one other thing I have wasn’t not due to a part of you still holding on but I’m leaning the other way now….just overall. Sometimes it is.

For the ring I have, I have it because he didn’t ask for it back….I’m not going to toss because we’re no longer together. I don’t ever think of this dude or as MMeello put it sit and look at it and reminisce. It’s tucked away and really unless I’m moving or cleaning drawers or something don’t I even look at it.

The other thing I have, I’ve had it a couple of years now and it’s not near and dear but at one point it was. Initially there a piece of “something” that’s caused me to hold on to it. Like I said I don’t think about that one either…it’s just that we’re talking about it today. In my mind for all the places we ate and hung out (spending money) and spontaneous outings, this topped everything. It was quiet, simple and done probably the most sincere thoughtful thing this person ever did. I totally didn’t see it coming and was taken aback at how he did it. We broke up and now? It’s somewhere collecting dust…lol I’d have to remember where I put it.

Yes, that would be keeping for the wrong reasons.

Leggs

November 14th, 2011
12:04 pm

@Randyt ~ his mother moved down here a few months ago and is staying with her son. Thank goodness for small blessings in that we are no longer married because then she would be living with me. Supposedly he’s going to find her her own apartment. Doesn’t bother me since it’s affecting his household., not mine…WOO HOO, WOO HOO (just picture me jumping in the air clicking my heels).