Ever walked into a room and caught your significant other tearing up while looking at her phone? Or have you noticed her mentioning her ex’s opinion in conversations? Are there moments where she seems distant and emotionally unavailable? These are all tell-tale signs she is not over her ex yet. Such behavior often makes you feel there is a part of her that you can’t seem to reach.
It bothers you for days on end as you don’t know how you fit in her life if she is still so hung up on her ex. And you begin to wonder, does she truly love you or are these the signs she’s using you to get over her ex? And what does it mean for the future of your relationship? Being with someone stuck in their past can be confusing and heartbreaking at the same time. Clarity on where she stands with respect to her past is critical to help you decide how you want to handle your present and future.
10 Classic Signs She Is Not Over Her Ex
Even if you can’t put a finger on what’s amiss with your partner, when you are with someone who still has strings attached to their past, you live with a nagging feeling that something is not right. A person who’s still in love with their ex won’t be able to invest themselves entirely in the present relationship – both mentally and physically.
As her current partner, you may feel as if you are living in the shadow of a third person between you two. You will crave her full attention and affection but that is something you just cannot attain. We are not saying she doesn’t love you at all. But lack of closure from the past relationship is holding her back from committing to you with her whole heart. You may find yourself wrestling with thoughts like “How long does a girl think about her ex?” or “I don’t understand why my girlfriend is still hurt by her ex”.
Wellness coach & counseling psychologist Shazia Saleem says, “Erasing someone’s memories feels so difficult because we try so hard to forget them. In order to do so, we actually end up overthinking about the same person subconsciously. Then one’s mind is constantly occupied by why one is unable to forget him/her. If we shift our focus to other things instead of trying painfully hard to not think about them, it might be easier to forget someone you loved.“
Your girlfriend being constantly lost in her ex’s thoughts might mess with your mental peace and sanity. It may even leave you wondering, “Is she over her ex, or is this only a rebound relationship?” There are ways in which you can help her process this pain and get over that relationship. But before that, it’s important to make sure that her distracted nature is a reflection of the signs she still loves her ex. To help you get some clarity on the matter, here are 10 classic signs she is not over her ex.
1. Frequent mentions are one of the signs she is not over her ex
From conversations about your relationship to casual banter about less important things in life, the mention of her ex finds a way in no matter what. She makes it seem casual but the fact of the matter is that her ex occupies her mind space enough to come up in her interactions. This is definitely one of the alarming signs she’s not over her ex.
If she ever mistakenly calls you by her ex’s name, count it as an ominous sign. Mat, a research scholar in his 30s, says, “One day my girlfriend was making fun of my habit of sleeping till late. She said, “You should teach a crash course: How to sleep till 12 with Andrew Davis (her ex).” She apologized a hundred times after that. But it was a no-brainer that subconsciously, she thinks about her ex.”
2. She still talks to her ex
She may claim that she’s just friends with her ex now but the fact that they’re a part of her life still is an indicator that she hasn’t fully moved on. If she still talks to her ex, meets them on and off, and goes out of her way to stay in touch, in all likelihood, it’s because a part of her still hopes to get back together with them.
Despite knowing that you are not fully on board with the idea of her talking to her ex regularly, she might still pick up their calls and go to see them if they ask her to come over at any time. If this is not one of the major signs she still loves her ex, we don’t know what is.
3. She checks her notifications obsessively
We all have a tendency to reach out to our phones and check for notifications every now and then. But if this behavior seems almost obsessive in the case of your girlfriend or spouse, it’s one of the signs she is not over her ex. She secretly longs to receive a text or call from her ex and keeps checking her social media feed just in case the person has dropped a like or comment somewhere.
Weighing in on this tendency, psychotherapist Gopa Khan says, “People obsess over their exes because they feel like they need to get an understanding of why things happened the way that they did. Sometimes, it’s also because of the “If I cannot have my ex-partner, no one can” attitude. And they start engaging in various kinds of stalking. The best thing is, of course, to handle a breakup maturely and accept what has happened.
“However, most of them are so invested in what the other person is doing that they stalk them through Instagram, Facebook, and other social networking sites. Or they try to find out details about their ex’s life through common friends. This makes it harder for them to snap the chord and move on because it’s hard to get over someone you stalk or talk about every day.”
Related Reading: How To Respond To A Breakup Text
4. Comparisons are among signs she is not over her ex
If you’re being compared to her ex, you are dealing with one of the undeniable signs she’s not over her ex. These comparisons can be positive or negative – you wear a new shirt and she tells you that you look as stunning as her ex. Or you have an argument and she lashes at you, saying, after all, you’re no different than her ex. Either way, this is not a healthy sign for your relationship and signals trouble in your paradise.
5. She drunk texts him
One of the most alarming signs she’s not over her ex is the constant desire for communication or to keep a link alive. If despite your presence in her life, she cannot resist texting him in her drunken stupor, she most certainly has a foot in her past. My friend John once shared a similar predicament with me.
He said, “How long does a girl think about her ex? I believe my girlfriend is still hurt by her ex. Every time she drinks a bit much, she becomes an entirely different person who constantly talks about her toxic ex-partner and sends him nasty texts. Plus, she treats me like I have no say in it because apparently, I am interfering in her personal space. I don’t know if I can take this much longer.”
It doesn’t matter if those drunk messages to her ex are angry rants about how they trampled over her heart. The fact that she’s still hurting and feels the need to reach out to her past for comfort and not you is worrisome. If the ex reciprocates her advances, it can put your relationship in jeopardy.
6. She holds onto the memories
There is that old, worn-out T-shirt in her closet that she just cannot let go of. She wears it to bed every other night, spends her weekends in it, and just won’t agree to part with it. If you know that t-shirt has a connection to her ex – maybe it was a gift from them or signifies a special occasion in her past relationship – you have every reason to be worried about her being hung over her past.
On being adhered to the recollections of a past relationship, consultant psychologist Jaseena Backer says, “There is no formula to forgetting the memories of a relationship. Memories come back when you visit the same old places or watch the same old movies you both liked. There are always going to be many triggers all around you. The only way to help yourself is to try to not dwell over them. Let them flash by as they will but do move on.”
7. She cannot bear the thought of her ex moving on
Do you still wonder, “Is she over her ex or am I just overreacting?” Tell me if this sounds familiar. Every time she gets to know about a new girl her ex is dating, she tries to dig in dirt on her and tries to use this information to fill his mind with negative thoughts about a prospective partner.
Not only does she keep tabs on her ex’s present life but shudders at the thought of them moving on. If the news of them dating again or being in a relationship unsettles her, it’s one of the classic signs she is not over her ex. Their new relationship sounds like the death knell for her hopes of reviving that old connection, and that she cannot bear to stand.
Related Reading: How To Get Over Someone You Love Deeply – 9 Steps To Follow
8. She prioritizes the ex
She may be in a relationship with you but her allegiances rest elsewhere. Her ex remains her top priority even today. And that is reason enough for you to worry that she may not be as emotionally invested in her relationship with you as she’s in her past. His well-being is still her major concern. If he calls for any help, she would show up without thinking twice. If this is your everyday relationship story, chances are you are dealing with the classic signs she’s not over her ex.
9. She doesn’t commit
You and your partner may have been together long enough to think about the next step or put a seal of commitment on your relationship but she evades the topic. If despite being with you long enough, she is not ready for a serious, committed relationship, it could well be one of the signs she is not over her ex. Since, in her heart of hearts, she wants to revive that old bond, she’s scared to commit to you and close the door on that possibility.
10. She keeps in touch with her ex’s friends and family
Her bridges with her ex may be burnt but she cannot let go of that part of her life completely. That’s why she stays in touch with their friends and family. It’s her way of keeping track of what’s happening in their life and keeping alive the possibility of rekindling that old romance.
How Long Does It Take A Woman To Get Over Her Ex?
Just like every relationship, every heartbreak is unique too. As such, it is hard to definitely pin down the amount of time it takes a person to get over a break-up and their ex. However, research offers some kind of an answer to how long does it take a woman to get over her ex.
According to a survey, women can move on from a breakup in anywhere from three to six months, in case of casual relationships. But everyone has their own pace of dealing with the heartbreak, depending on how emotionally involved they were with their ex-partner. If a woman is getting out of a long-term relationship where she saw a future with her ex, it may take her a lot longer to fully move on. The real difference, however, lies in the way men and women process heartbreak.
A study indicates that heartbreak hits men later because a majority of men don’t process the feelings of hurt immediately. On the other hand, a relationship not working out affects women more negatively, impacting them on an emotional as well as physical level. However, since they feel these negative emotions more deeply, women are better poised to recover and move on completely whereas men may simply learn to live with the pain.
What Do You Do When She’s Not Over Her Ex?
In case you are feeling you give too much of yourself in the relationship without being reciprocated, Gaurav Deka, a doctor and transpersonal regression therapist, suggests, “You need to stop being gullible and stand up for yourself if you feel you’re giving too much of yourself in a relationship. More importantly, if you feel like you don’t get as much as you give, you need to take a step back and reassess your priorities.”
Being in a relationship with someone who’s displaying clear signs she is not over her ex can be neither easy nor pleasant. Here’s what you can do to manage this situation sensibly, especially if there are signs she’s using you to get over her ex:
Related Reading: 7 Steps To Ensure Closure After A Breakup – Are You Following These?
1. Talk to her about the signs she is not over her ex
Have an honest conversation with your partner about these alarming signs she’s not over her ex. Give her the chance to explain her side of the story and hear her out patiently. Then ask her if she sees a future with you. If she answers in the affirmative, tell her that she needs to do the work to move on, reassuring her that you’ll be there to hold her hand through it all.
2. Don’t expect a miracle
Just because she has promised to make amends, don’t expect a miracle to happen overnight. The fact that you noticed the signs she is not over her ex indicates that she’s been struggling with moving on. Give her time, be patient. Things might work out for the better this time.
3. Seek an intervention
In case you and your significant other have not been able to resolve this issue even after putting in an earnest effort and she still talks to her ex or seems inclined to remain in touch, know that couples counseling can help you make progress. If you’re looking for help, skilled and licensed counselors on Bonobology’s panel are here for you. It might well be what you need to salvage your relationship.
4. Focus on strengthening your connection
You can counter the negativity of your girlfriend being hung over her past by strengthening your connection with her. Build memories, let her know that you’re there for her, and show your love and care. A promising future is often the best antidote to the nostalgia of the past.
5. Move on
If your girlfriend refuses to step out that zone where she has one foot in the present and another in the past or if the signs she is not over her ex become an irreconcilable issue between you two, consider moving on. When only one person is emotionally invested, you might notice the signs of a toxic relationship that can scar you for life.
- She talks about her ex all the time
- She puts every effort to keep in touch with them
- She compares you with her ex
- She can’t let go of the memories
- She doesn’t handle the prospect of her ex moving on that well
- She won’t commit to you
Everyone has some baggage from their past. As long as it doesn’t interfere with your present, it’s nothing you can’t make your peace with. Being in a relationship with a girl displaying signs she is not over her ex is a whole different ball game. Do your best to salvage the relationship, but not at the cost of your own happiness and peace of mind.
If the girl you like so much is hung up on her ex, you could try to make her see the signs that she is still stuck in the past and how that is affecting her life in the present. Offer her enough space and time to process these feelings but at the same time, be there for her. Support her, validate her emotions, make her laugh, and feel loved. In short, let her recognize on her own that you can be a better partner than her ex and she can have a beautiful loving relationship with you.
If someone is still in love with their ex, they will wait for texts and calls from them, and also, check notifications if that ex person has seen their stories on Instagram. They may stalk them virtually and in real life too, sometimes. They would always drag their ex in every conversation or might even call you (the present partner) by the ex’s name by mistake. They will hold on to the stuff the ex has left at their place and the gifts they got from their ex. If there is any chance of that ex moving on, they will be heartbroken. In fact, they might go to the extent of sabotaging their new relationship, just like Rachel and Ross.