Is She Over Her Ex?
Bothersome ex-boyfriends are like bowel movements: they show up when they are least wanted, they are sometimes impossible to get out, and they always spoil the atmosphere of the place they’ve been in.
Most of the time the ex is not even trying to make a play for the girl he’s just ended it with; he only interferes to fuck with you, the new boyfriend.
Her inconsiderate sociopathic prick of an ex aside, you must also take a hard look at your girl. You may have already had “the talk” in which she told you all about him and assured you that it’s over, that there is no longer anything between them. But the old cliché rings true: actions speak louder than words.
She may say that she is over her ex, and may even believe it. The human heart, however, cannot be willed into obedience. No matter how many times she has said that you are not just rebound sex, that she wants a real relationship with you, if the ex-boyfriend is still in the picture you must be wary. She may not be having sex with him, but she may still be hung up on him.
Here are a few signs to watch for.
We don’t like to think about the guys are current girlfriends have been with (unless the two of you are into that kind of thing). Our ladies know that, and a girl who is serious about her current boyfriend will avoid mentioning ex-lovers.
If she continually brings up her ex in conversation, there may be a problem. The most decisive sign that he still occupies the place in her heart and mind that you should is if she shows a genuine concern for how he is getting on in life.
If she compares the two of you in the heat of an argument or when the two of you fall out, you need not worry: she does this only to rile you up. But if she still concerns herself with the details and developments of his life, it is a sign that she has not quite gotten over him.
It is not uncommon for a person to be in the same social circle as their ex. If you are all in the same profession, share the same educational and class pedigree, and live in the same region, seeing exes from time to time is a burden you have to deal with.
But there is a world of difference between seeing her ex occasionally and seeing him all the time—at every place the two of you go. There are two possibilities here. One, he is stalking her. Two, she gives him daily updates on what the two of you get up to. The first is easily dealt with through physical confrontation or the involvement of the police. The second may take more finesse to prove and respond to.
If her ex shows up and she behaves normally, it’s all good. If he shows up and she becomes frigid, pulls her hand away, and puts physical distance between you, there could be a problem. Talk to her a little. It could be her way of handling ex-boyfriends in general—that is, it may be her instinctive response to what is an uncomfortable situation.
It is equally unacceptable, and quite unnatural, for her to suddenly jump your bones whenever her ex shows up. That is game that you don’t want to be part of.
Coldness and indifference are the most reliable indications that the bond with her ex is irrevocably broken. Even if she is sending a message telling him to fuck off, that is a troubling sign that she is not over him. It shows that he can wind her up, that she prioritizes communicating with him over giving you her attention; it means, in short, that he still has a hold on her.
When speaking to her about it, you should explain the matter in those exact terms.
About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.