How Realizing You Look Like Your Boyfriend’s Ex Affects You

January 3, 2019  |  
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boyfriend's ex girlfriend won't go away

Source: Hiraman / Getty

I had a horrendous realization recently: I look a lot like my boyfriend’s ex. Like, a lot a lot. I didn’t look her up, per say. I didn’t go on some rabbit hole hunt through the long and perilous vacuum that is social media. I just recently saw someone post on his best friend’s Facebook wall (I’m friends with this guy on FB, too, so I got the update), and the name of the poster rung a bell for me. Oooooh yes. This is my boyfriend’s ex girlfriend. I knew she was in some vague way on the outskirts of their social circle. I remember mention of her name once, years ago. I had never made a point to go find her online, but there she was just…presenting herself to be clicked on. So, I did (oh come on you would have, too!) And while I worried I may find something upsetting (like that she was a flat earth believer or a self-proclaimed witch), I didn’t expect to find this: we’re nearly the spitting image of each other. Yikes. Here’s how discovering you look like your man’s ex affects you.


It puts a new spin on “You’re my type”

I remember one night when my boyfriend and I were out, and I was wearing an outfit he particularly liked, he said something cute and flirty like, “If I didn’t know you, and saw you in this, I’d hit on you—you look so cute and, plus, you’re just my type.” At the time I thought “Aaaw!” and now, knowing just how much “his type” I am I think, “AaaaAAAAhhhheeeeeew. Eww.”


You know his friends notice

I’m a bit embarrassed realizing that his friends obviously see this. For the sake of anonymity I’ll change her name but let’s see his ex’s name is Sally. When I came around, his friends must have made jokes about him dating “Sally 2.0” and “Sally, the sequel.” They know and love me now but, I’m sure these jokes occurred.


You know his family notices

Oh no. His family must notice it, too. I’m sure when he first brought me home to meet them, they did a double take and thought, “Did he get back with the ex?”


Is this just about procreation?

You can’t help but get these weird thoughts like—is he just trying to create his idea of some super baby? And I have the exact features that he thinks would go perfectly with his to make the perfect child?


You’re in your head during sex

The first couple of times we had sex after I made my discovery, I was kind of in my head. Especially if we were in positions in which he was behind me, just seeing the back of my head. You see where this is going.


You obsess over the day you met

I think back to the day we met—a day I thought was so cute, quirky, wonderfully random and somehow fateful. I see it in a new light. Did he see a woman who was totally unique and intriguing? Or more like…familiar and comforting?


When he comments on your haircuts

When I’ve debated new haircuts, he’s had a lot of input. He’ll say things like, “That one goes great with your face shape. But that one might not turn out the way you think.” Is this because his ex tried the same haircuts so he’s already basically seen how they would look on me?


That person who mistook you for her

There have been times we’ve run into old, old acquaintances of his who thought I was the ex. I thought it was just because they hadn’t seen each other in a very long time. Now I’m realizing it could be because I just look so damn much like her.


What about your wardrobe?

You better believe I did a little digging into the ex’s photos to make sure we don’t have a similar taste in clothing. We don’t—thank goodness. Honestly, she dresses rather plain in my opinion. Okay, maybe that’s just me being catty. But really, how many t-shirts and jeans does a woman need? Okay, I’m done I promise.


Was he looking for that?

Was he out there looking for someone who looked like me? I mean, like her? Like us? Argh. Or, did he fall for my personality and I just happen to look like her?


Does he look like your ex

I realized I should probably scrutinize my romantic past, too. Maybe, in a way, he could interpret my exes as looking like him. I don’t think they look that alike but, maybe that’s how he feels about me and his ex.


Does he even realize?

I wonder if he doesn’t even realize it? He has to, right? Or, is he so deep down the rabbit hole of liking this type that he believes he sees major differences in each of us, not even realizing how similar we are? The same way I believe there is something different between each of my little black dresses, but to my boyfriend, they’re all the same.


What do people think on Facebook?

Do they think that he just replaced her with a replica? Or that I AM her? Maybe they just think, “Huh. Sally’s done something new with her bangs.” Social media affects relationships in a lot of funny ways like that.


You think he’s vain

I couldn’t help, for a few days, to think my partner was really vain. It’s a strange, twisted thing to think. If I think he’s vain for liking someone who looks just like me, isn’t that my thinking that I’m quite the looker?


You have to let it go

I’ve just had to let it go. We’ve had a lovely relationship for over five years now. Whether or not he knows I look like her or that’s even what he liked about me in the first place, that can’t be what has kept us so happy and in love for over five years. Sometimes, you just have to make life easy on yourself and let things go.

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