You have been in a stable relationship for a while now, but there is still something bothering you deeply. You’re noticing signs he’s not over his ex but you are not sure how seriously you should be taking them. Are these signs for real, or are you just overthinking this?
Have you noticed him still referring to his ex in conversations, talking to her when you are not around and seeming lonely even though you are with him? Is he still in love with his ex-wife or ex-girlfriend? According to a survey done by 93.1 FM Wzak, 71% of people say they think about their ex too much; narrowed to singles, the figure goes up to 81%. So then, how to know if your boyfriend still has feelings for his ex? We’re right with you on this one.
Perhaps, it is the comforting familiarity that keeps us gravitating back to old partners, even when we know there is nothing left in that connection. That being said, now that he is in a relationship with you, craving the old and comfortable isn’t a good enough reason for your partner to keep pining for his ex. His inability to snap that connection will get in the way of your relationship. Don’t take your suspicions too lightly, and check the below article to know if he is still in love with his ex.
10 Signs He Is Still In Love With His Ex
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How many times have you thought to yourself, “I think my boyfriend still loves his ex girlfriend”? Being with a person who still clings to his past relationship makes you question your place in their life. You even begin to question whether this relationship is going to stick, or are you just with a walking red flag.
Confronting him without knowing for sure will just portray you as a jealous and suspicious girlfriend. This conundrum can leave you wondering, “How do I confirm my suspicions before confronting my partner over them? Does this mean my boyfriend still loves his ex but loves me too?”
If you’ve been grappling with the question of how to know if your boyfriend still has feelings for his ex, pay attention because if you have a hunch there might be a good chance you are right. Here is a lowdown on 10 signs he misses his ex-wife or girlfriend:
1. The relationship is long over, but he still talks to her
How to tell if he still loves his ex? The lingering presence of the said ex in their life can be the first clear indicator you need to watch out for.
- Still in touch: Your boyfriend and his ex might have ended their relationship but they are still on talking terms. Which in many cases can be okay, especially if they had been long-term friends and broke up on a good note
- He lies about it: Being friends with his ex is okay but the problem arises when your boyfriend or husband tries to hide the fact that he is in touch with her.
Tara was devastated when she chanced upon a text conversation between her boyfriend and his ex. Even though he had told her that they were just friends and hardly spoke to each other, those messages pointed to the contrary.
The signs he wants to get back with his ex were written all over his heartfelt confessions of how much he missed having her in his life. At that moment, Tara found the answer to, “My boyfriend still loves his ex girlfriend, what do I do?” She chose her dignity over a relationship where she always felt like the second fiddle. So, if your partner is friends with an ex, remember that this friendship is not a free pass to lie to you. There have to be some boundaries.
Related Reading: How Do I Cope With My Husband’s Deep Friendship With His Ex-wife?
2. He hasn’t removed her pictures from social media
What are some of the signs he wants to get back with his ex, you ask? Well, this one is a definite red flag.
So you’ve been in this new relationship for 8 months now. And if your boyfriend still keeps cozy and lovey-dovey pictures with her on his social media, he’s not over her. When you confront him, he tries to stall you by making excuses like “It’s a good picture”, “She’s just a friend now” or “It will look rude”.
Treat it as the warning sign it is – you may just well be a placeholder until he can figure out a way to get back together with his ex. That’s not how you deserve to be treated in a relationship.
3. Bringing up her name in conversations may be a sign he wants to get back with his ex
Whether you both are on a date or spending quality time together at home, he somehow always brings up his ex. If his ex seems to be in 60% of his conversations and this puts you off many times, it’s a cause for concern and one of the signs he misses his ex. I guess someone still has unresolved feelings about their past relationship.
Some way or the other, there’s something that makes him remember and refer to his ex. Even when you both are hanging out with his friends he will talk about the fun episodes he had with his ex. It is as if you are still an outsider to him. This is another alarming sign he’s not over his ex.
This Reddit user shared her experience, “He brings her up in conversations a lot, but randomly. For example, we would talk about our past school days and then he would be like X had a teacher who didn’t like her and tell me a random story about her. At first, it just put me off, but now it starts to annoy me because I seriously don’t care.”
4. He stalks her online
This is one of the signs he loves his ex more than you when you just sit beside him while he is on his phone and he gets all jumpy or nervous. You check what he was checking and there it is, the profile page of his ex, staring right at your face and mocking you. He tries to give excuses but you know what’s going on. He has been stalking his ex!
Immediately, the first thing you’re going to think is that your boyfriend still misses his ex because he is still in love with her. If his ex’s social media handles are the most visited pages in this web history, you don’t even need to bother figuring out the answer to how to know if your boyfriend still has feelings for his ex.
5. He sometimes calls you by her name
What makes a man think about his ex? It’s the memory of the good times that he spent with her that makes him think about her so often.
- He misses her: He has, in his mind, built up an idealized version of her. He has very conveniently forgotten about everything that went wrong with her and only remembers the good times. He even misses her and is still emotionally attached to her
- You have not carved a space in his life yet: Hence, it’s no surprise if he calls you by her name. It could also be one of the signs he is using you like a rebound to get over his ex if they had a particularly bad breakup and that you do not mean that much to him
6. You don’t feel like you are in a new relationship
When you notice all the signs he wants to get back with his ex, you won’t feel that rush and excitement as new partners who have just started dating. Rather, you will feel a bit uncomfortable. The nervousness, the giddy rush of looking forward to a future together is just absent, and it could well be because your partner isn’t 100% present in the relationship. It is as if the honeymoon period in your relationship ended before it started. It could be one of the signs he loves his ex more than you.
Sabrina, who has been dating a guy who was coming out of a 5-year long relationship, says, “My boyfriend still continues to help his ex-girlfriend with anything and everything. I’ve tried to be understanding of their rapport but at this point, it feels like helping her is just a convenient excuse for him to be by her side. His face lights up at the prospect of meeting her; I’ve not seen him bring half that enthusiasm to our relationship, even though we’re in those early stages that are all about the can’t-keep-hands-off excitement. At this point I’m pretty certain my boyfriend is not over his ex, what should I do?”
7. He still has all her personal belongings
He might just be holding onto his lost love in any way that he can. Ava found her fiance to be distant and withdrawn, more often than not. Even though he’d dismissed her concerns, she felt something was amiss. Then, one day, she was looking for something at the back of his closet and found his ex’s old outfit neatly tucked there.
When she confronted him about it, he once again brushed it off as a case of his forgetfulness. But Ava knew the truth in her gut. He still has her stuff because he is not ready to let go of her and her memories. It’s one of the signs he still misses his ex and reminisces about her. He has her things because they are too precious for him to throw away as they are the only things that will connect him to her and he doesn’t want to let go of them. To her, it was one of the clear signs he was not over his ex, whether he wanted to admit it or not.
On the flip side, if your boyfriend has one or two stray things that once belonged to her it could be a coincidence. Or maybe he kept them as a keepsake. This alone may not be among the signs he wants to get back with his ex, especially if the things he kept around don’t seem that important. But if this happens in tandem with other indications of him being emotionally connected to her, then the writing is on the wall: it is one of the biggest signs he’s not over his ex.
Related Reading: 20 Signs He Is Not Into You
8. He hasn’t told his parents about you
You have been in a relationship with him for quite some time now and still haven’t met his parents. His parents don’t even know that you exist as a friend. Did it take this long for him to tell his parents about his ex too? If not, then it’s because in his mind he feels that his old flame was the one for him and is still unsure about what he feels about you. It might be one of the signs he still loves his ex.
Moreover, if he hasn’t introduced you to most of his friends, it’s time to sound the alarm bells. Nancy, a 32-year-old banker, started dating John a few months after his divorce. She wrote to us, saying, “I saw a few signs his ex-wife wants him back because she wasn’t happy with the divorce. I found out a bit later that he was pining for her too, when I learned that none of his friends knew about me though we had been dating for about half a year.”
9. He compares you with his ex
One of the most alarming signs he’s not over his ex is when you find him vocally comparing you to her. This is the clearest indication of his unresolved feelings and maybe you should even stop talking to them if they do something so humiliating to you.
- He has no idea he is wrong: What’s worse, since he’s probably lying to himself about not being in love with his ex, he won’t see anything wrong with bringing her up in conversations all the time
- He does not change: If you call him out for talking about his ex too much or pointing too many fingers at you, he will tell you it is just open and honest communication and that he is not criticizing you
- He does not appreciate anything about you: Maybe you baked him a Strawberry cheesecake and he tells you that his ex always made him a Tiramisu. It’s like you cannot get one positive remark from him
10. He speaks about his ex during intimate moments
How to tell if he still loves his ex? If he mentions the ex during your intimate moments, clearly his past relationship is still governing his mind.
Imagine your boyfriend saying her name instead of yours during the climax. It could not get worse! You may be able to forgive him for comparing your cooking with hers but not this! If it’s gotten to this point, we sincerely hope you’re no longer wasting your time trying to figure out, “My boyfriend is not over his ex, what should I do?”
11. Your gut just knows something is off
Thinking “My boyfriend still loves his ex but loves me too” is not going to keep you both on good terms, but will cause a lot of trust issues between the two of you. As his new love do you feel threatened or jealous easily? Even though he is fully committed to you, do you just have a gut feeling that he is unsure about you and could be emotionally attached elsewhere?
Maybe it was his friends who mentioned her casually at the last party at your house or that you thought you saw her name flash on his phone as a text message but you are unsure. However these signs have crept into your subconscious and your body knows something is off.
12. He is in touch with her family members
Remember when your boyfriend’s ex’s mom called him before his mother did on his birthday? While it was indeed nice of her to call him, it was a little odd, the way he answered. He is far too close to his ex’s family and even asked the mother how his ex was doing. Maybe the two of them are a little closer than they should be and have still not completely let go of each other.
This might make you want to probe whether the two of them are still in touch or if your boyfriend still has unresolved feelings for his ex.
13. He doesn’t talk about the breakup with you
You know he has an emotional connection and is still in love with his ex when he has continued to stay silent about what happened between the two of them. These are red flags you cannot miss. How to tell if he still loves his ex? A man who is over somebody and no longer emotionally attached will easily discuss the whole thing with you and not feel uncomfortable sharing what happened.
But if he is still awkward about telling you the truth about what went wrong with his past relationships, there might be an emotional attachment still lingering there. Most people can open up about a past relationship with their current partner. But when they don’t, they might be still in love with someone from their past.
14. Making no future plans with you
A big part of him is still with her simply because he does not discuss the future with you. Your hunch telling you, “My boyfriend still loves his ex girlfriend” might be right if he acts like a commitment-phobe around you.
- You may be a rebound: He is still in love with her, which is why he does not want to make you any false promises. Perhaps he is just treating you like some kind of a rebound relationship
- He dismisses your future plans: When you say things like you might move cities or that you don’t want kids, he does not really have much of an opinion on anything. This could be because he does not see himself going that far with you
- He does not meet your friends or family: You’ve called him over to meet your family tons of times and he always has a white lie handy, or he has to work late
15. The spark is lost
This could feel like a little thing in a relationship or just a minor rough patch, but is a good sign he is still in love with his ex. Maybe you’ve seen him look at old photos of himself and her, and he looks at those in a way he has never looked at you.
You two do not even indulge in any big fights or have major arguments, but that is because your emotional attachment is weakening. There is not a lot left to fight for because the spark between you two has just fizzled. This could even be a case of “My boyfriend still loves his ex but loves me too” where he is confused between the two of you, and that is why unable to give his best into the relationship.
What To Do If Your Partner Is Still In Love With His Ex
Now that we know how to tell if he still loves his ex, here’s what one should do next about the same. This might be a difficult thing for you to grapple with and come to terms but kudos to you for staying intact while reaching the end of this article. If your suspicion is indeed confirmed, here is what you can do next:
- Talk to him: It’s quite simple. The best way to deal with this situation is to confront him and ask him. If he acts evasive and startled, he might be lying to you
- Leave him: If he agrees, it is clear that you should walk out of this relationship. And if he does not agree but your gut feeling just tells you otherwise, you should leave him then too. If you don’t believe in this relationship, it won’t go anywhere
- Go to therapy: With or without him, whichever you prefer. If you think the issue is something else entirely, maybe couples therapy will help. And if you just feel broken after your breakup, you might need a little help yourself. Luckily, Bonobology’s panel of counselors are only a click away
Here’s a piece of advice from a Reddit user, “If your partner can not make the choice, if they can’t give up those feelings and it interferes in your relationship you need to take appropriate action. Communicate your feelings and come to a resolution.”
Being in a relationship with someone who is still in love with their ex or is stuck in a time loop of the past is a harrowing experience. It deals a severe blow to your self-esteem and can leave you with a lingering feeling of not being enough. That’s why, when you find yourself in such a situation, always, always, ALWAYS prioritize self-preservation over saving your relationship.
No matter how strong your feelings or how emotionally attached you are to your partner, you need to put yourself first and do what’s best for you. If you find yourself feeling a little lost as you navigate the messy realities of loving someone who loves their ex, seeking therapy can work wonders in helping you gain perspective.