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When you date someone, can you tell if they are hung up on an ex?


renaissancewoman101

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I am curious if people can tell if the person they are dating is hung up on an ex or not (even if they don't talk about the ex constantly)?

 

I wonder this because I still have a close friendship with T (who was first ex, we broke up because he is gay). When I can, I spend time with him chatting on the phone or hanging out. I am trying to branch away and start dating eventually and hope to meet someone.

 

My last ex was ok with me being good friends with T (he tried to be friends with T too but it didn't work out really well). And I still got to spend time with T (like on Friday afternoons after work before I went to pick up my ex at the train station), and we talked on the phone as usual.

 

I know when I do find someone to date, I will have to cut out the phone conversations with T (unless I am at home alone) but I was curious if people could tell if a potential SO was hung up on an ex (even if they didn't talk about him/her).

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It seems as though the ones who are hung up on their exes are always the ones who continue to talk about their exes. Recently, two people who wanted to go on dates with me had exes they talked about constantly. "She's a _______, I want her dead, she hurt me, blah blah blah" and it was a huge turn off.

 

I think if there is any desperation or longing emotionally, it will be noticeable to the person you're dating.

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There are a great many people who have been fooled because the rebounder was even kidding themselves. "I am ready to move on", "I don't know what I saw in my ex", "I met this really great man/woman and we really hit it off and now I couldn't care less about my ex who dumped me a month ago after a 6 year relationship". These are the kinds of things I always see on this forum....and then several months into the relationship they are suddenly smacked in the stomach with the realization that they didn't actually get over their ex before getting involved with someone else...but they did a pretty darn good job of faking all the love, attention and affection to their rebound. They faked it but they didn't make it....and then their rebound got very hurt. I have seen plenty of reboundees on this forum who were blindsided by the fact that the bf/gf went back to the ex..that all the wonderful vacations they took together, the lovemaking, the inside jokes, the real connection, was just all fake because the other person never properly dealt with the lingering feelings for the ex. So the answer to your question is "no" you can't always tell if the person is hung up on their ex....many people lie to themselves, lie to their partner and will do anything to smother their pain, including drag someone else into it.

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When I dated my ex, I was still very close to T, but I didn't tell my ex about T right away. On the other hand I did tell T that I found someone to date and I hoped that he could meet him and give me his opinion of him. Eventually, after about 1-2 months of dating (after we became a couple), I did tell my ex about T and introduced him to T. My ex was nice to T but they didn't hit it off.

 

To me, when one dates it is best NEVER to discuss an ex until one is a couple, then maybe if you are friends with the ex, you can let your SO other know and have him/her meet the ex.

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As another person has mentioned, I can tell when that person isnt primarily focused on me. I dont know if that would be an ex or if they are seeing another person. Once you have seen the typical behavior for a person who isnt interested in you then you become familiar with that kind of behavior.

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I think there are clear signs most of the time, but some people manage to completely hide out. My ex wasn't over his ex, and I knew that because she was always there, he spoke enough about her that it made me uncomfortable, and he was determined to maintain a friendship with her despite how dysfunctional their friendship/relationship was.

 

I still speak with another ex, but I would cut that out completely when I started dating someone new - that's what I did last time, and it worked out fine. I think my focus on my ex is still a little intense for me if I were to be in a relationship.

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It's one thing not being aware of being still hung up on an ex and lying to yourself about it, it's another cattle of fish, if you do know and yet still decide to deceive a potential new partner. This in itself can ruin it for you, even if the partner is not aware of it, because you are neither fully here nor there.

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No..you can't always tell-not just because people might be great at masking. But YOU yourself might not be ready to confront those signals..because you are so happy you have finally found that seemingly great guy or girl. And truly the last options happens even more ... Its too darn hard to open your eyes for the truth in front of you..

 

But over the years and due to my own big heartbreak recovery and some soulsearching I have discovered some tiny signs..to make you more aware of there being some lingering feelings..big or small.

 

- The break up is recent ( say less than 6 months ago)

- they have had an on and off relationship for some time before he or she 'finally' broke up

- the ex broke up with them..or they were forced to break up (cheating etc)

- reminiscent about the ex ..lots of times..(very smiley memories)

- refers to ex as 'my boyfriend' or 'my girlfriend' unconciously when talking about the past

- refers to the ex by their name (when the ex is not in their live anymore) ..also this is some form of personalizing in present time

- get's very upset about the ex..still a lot of anger or disappointment there

- has difficulties discussing the ex..(because they say it's in the past)..-if its truly way in the past you can talk about your experiences with your ex..like you're having a 3rd party view or take on it. You can point out the feelings you had without getting into 'the zone'. It always shows when you are in that zone..and in that case..there has not been enough detachment or enough mature growing.

- their best memories are always with the ex in it. Now ..ofcourse it depends if they were with them for just a few months or years , what age they were when they met or if they were married for a long time. To some degree some intertwineness is allowed..But if they have been single for a while and all the best memories come from the time they've been with the ex..i would start to wonder...

- Oh yeah..and should there have been some time between the one that mattered..and you. listen carefully about how they talk about people that came in the mean time (or how fast they engaged in new relationships)

 

So..its about being alert and starting to ask those hard questions.. very soon in the dating process..and then you listen and observe.

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I think there are clear signs most of the time, but some people manage to completely hide out. My ex wasn't over his ex, and I knew that because she was always there, he spoke enough about her that it made me uncomfortable, and he was determined to maintain a friendship with her despite how dysfunctional their friendship/relationship was.

 

I still speak with another ex, but I would cut that out completely when I started dating someone new - that's what I did last time, and it worked out fine. I think my focus on my ex is still a little intense for me if I were to be in a relationship.

 

So you really would just drop a friendship with your ex when you start dating someone new? What about the value of the friendship with your ex? Also, how would you feel if you dropped the ex as a friend, started getting serious with the new guy and got dropped by the new guy and now have no one to turn to to talk to?

 

I always believe in never burning bridges.

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It's one thing not being aware of being still hung up on an ex and lying to yourself about it, it's another cattle of fish, if you do know and yet still decide to deceive a potential new partner. This in itself can ruin it for you, even if the partner is not aware of it, because you are neither fully here nor there.

 

i don't excuse that either because what these people often do is jump straight into dating 5 seconds after the break up and claim that they are only just dating...but of course then they find someone who really wants them so they get all mushy gushy about that person because that person wants them, unlike their ex who dumped them. So they are making a conscious decision to put themselves out there and mask their hurt and convince themselves they love the next person. Being irresponsible and desperate is no excuse...the lying to themselves is more of a "I will fake it 'til I make it" approach but deep down they know they are kidding themselves.

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i don't excuse that either because what these people often do is jump straight into dating 5 seconds after the break up and claim that they are only just dating...but of course then they find someone who really wants them so they get all mushy gushy about that person because that person wants them, unlike their ex who dumped them. So they are making a conscious decision to put themselves out there and mask their hurt and convince themselves they love the next person. Being irresponsible and desperate is no excuse...the lying to themselves is more of a "I will fake it 'til I make it" approach but deep down they know they are kidding themselves.

 

This is really the basis of 90% of the dating problems on ena. People use relationships and dating, attention and sex as their life support. I've noticed that for many people, the concept of NOT having someone to date is not even an option... relationships are like a barrel of monkeys chain from one to the next until things are "good" with the person they're clinging to.

 

It cannot work that way. It never does work. If you cannot stand alone, if you cannot survive as one human with interests and goals, you are not living. People forget that friends, family and relationships should be healthy and fun necessary supplements to life, the the sole purpose of living.

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I'm not saying that you can't be friends with an ex once you are 100% over them - but it's a totally different thing if you stay in touch with an ex, because you have unresolved emotions for them and because you want them to be your emotional backup, i.e. if you do it because you tell yourself it's better to be in a weird relationship with your ex than not to be in a relationship at all.

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So you really would just drop a friendship with your ex when you start dating someone new? What about the value of the friendship with your ex? Also, how would you feel if you dropped the ex as a friend, started getting serious with the new guy and got dropped by the new guy and now have no one to turn to to talk to?

 

I always believe in never burning bridges.

 

My friendship with my ex isn't extremely valuable to me, honestly. He's shown over and over again that he's just not a very good friend or boyfriend, but I keep speaking with him because I do get some positive attention out of it. I didn't have a very hard time dropping him last time, and I wouldn't again.

 

The scenario you outline happened with my last relationship. I dropped the ex, and the new guy and I started getting serious, and then we broke up (ironically because he wasn't over his ex yet). I started talking to my ex again not long after that. No hurt feelings, no burnt bridges. This is our cycle.

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