Signs You’re Letting Your Ex Control Your New Relationship

July 30, 2013  |  
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Every failed relationship deserves a little reflection—it’s the only way we actually gain something from the men we don’t end up with. But when are you letting your past relationships make you smarter? And when are you just letting your ex rule your every present decision? Lets us help you out with that one.


You won’t wear his favorite dress

Even though you also love the dress (duh—you bought it!), now you refuse to wear it. All you can think of is the way he looked at you in it. You almost feel like you’re being dishonest to your new guy by wearing the dress the old guy loved—it’s like there is a dirty secret attached…to a piece of fabric!

You can’t eat Thai food

That’s what you and your ex always ate together. Now just the smell of peanut sauce (or salsa, Orange chicken, pizza—whatever your couple food was) fills the room with memories. But come on: you love that food!

You can’t watch the show you used to watch together

You are driven crazy by the fact that, when you’re watching that show, somewhere in the world, your ex is taking in the exact same visions and sounds that you are, at the exact same time. It makes you feel like you’re connected to him again. But guess what: millions of people are tuned into Mad Men. Not just you and your ex.


You won’t call your new guy “Babe”

Or any other term of endearment that you called your ex, like sweetheart, honey, handsome etc. It feels disingenuous—like you’re just transferring the nickname to somebody new. The term still feels like it belongs to your ex.


You won’t let your new guy be there for you

Fact: your ex was, at one point, somebody you depended on. Fact: you lost that, for one reason or another. And now, you’re afraid to depend on someone again, so you don’t open up to your partner, you don’t tell him when you’ve had a bad day, or ask for advice, or ask him to keep you company on days you’re feeling down. You’re still in, “I don’t need a man” mode.

You’re hiding your quirks that your ex didn’t like

He didn’t like how you baby-talked your dog, so now you make an effort to talk to your dog in a “normal” voice. He didn’t like that you left some clothes on the floor, so you obsessively clean before your new guy comes over. You’re assuming every guy will be bothered by the things your ex was bothered by.


You’re trying to be creative about sex positions

You refuse to do any of the positions you and your ex used to do. Getting creative in bed is great, but trying to come up with new positions every night can be exhausting. Sometimes your new guy just wants a simple quickie. Your ex didn’t invent missionary, you know…

You’re moving at the opposite pace with your new guy

You and your ex took things really slow, so with your new guy you want him to meet your parents tomorrow and you want to travel together next week and you want to make this Facebook official now. Or, the opposite is true, and you and your ex moved fast, so you’re making your new guy wait an eternity to feel like anything is official. You should just be feeling out the pace that works in this scenario, regardless of past ones.

You’re texting differently

You’re hyper aware of how many texts you send in a day, and if you’re being too elaborate, or not affectionate enough, or long winded. You want a different text pattern than you had with your ex, and you can’t just send a freaking text, the way you want to send it, when the urge strikes.


You’re being super private or super public about your new relationship

You rarely spoke to your friends or family about your relationship with your ex, so now you’re singing the new guy’s praises to everyone you meet and updating your mom on every detail. Or, you were very public about your relationship with your ex, and now you won’t say a word about your new relationship to anyone. Just talk about it when you feel like it.

You’re over-rewarding your new guy

Your new guy asks how your day went, and he gets a medal, all because your ex never asked. Your new guy cleans a dish, and he’s boyfriend of the year. You’re over-appreciating really simple acts, all because your ex was a lazy boyfriend. Look: you should definitely acknowledge the nice things your new guy does for you. But don’t go too easy on him. Comparing a normal boyfriend to a wretched one isn’t a great compass for a solid relationship.


You’re avoiding people who know your ex

And it’s becoming difficult. Most parties are off limits to you (in your head) because one person who knows your ex will be there, and they might bring up your ex, or just seeing their face might remind you of your ex, and you can’t handle that. Your social circle is quickly shrinking.

You’re over-thinking your new relationship

You’re constantly keeping tabs of “how things are going.” You analyze every night you spend together: did it bond you two? Did he seem engaged? Was he distant? Were you acting distant? Was the conversation good enough? You can’t just relax and enjoy the ride.

You often feel mad and you don’t know why

You often become uncontrollably angry with your current guy, for no apparent reason. That’s the ghost of your ex popping up…some small action reminded you of him, and you were blasted to the past.

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