As if starting a new relationship isn't challenging enough, add in an ex to the mix and your budding romance may seem more stressful than sweet. If your new guy constantly talks about his ex or seems to hold on to an unhealthy attachment, understanding what this means for your relationship and what you can do to help him move on is key.
Mending His Heart
Ending a relationship is a serious loss that often feels overwhelmingly painful, according to the article "Love and Romance" on the TeensHealth website. If your new boyfriend seems obsessed with his ex, it's possible he's still suffering from a broken heart. This is especially true if his past relationship recently ended. For example, your guy tearfully talks about the "good times" he used to have with his ex or starts crying when "their song" comes on the radio. It's likely that your boyfriend needs more time to heal. Even though you might want to move your relationship forward, suggest that he take a step back to work through his feelings. Offer to be there for him, as a friend, while he heals from his past wounds.
Make New Memories
The connection that your man felt to his ex may be the culprit when it comes to his obsession, according to health psychologist Kelly McGonigal in her article "Science-Based Strategies for Getting Over Your Ex" on the Psychology Today website. If your guy is constantly reminiscing about where he and his ex used to go, hobbies that they shared or the trips that they took together, make new memories to get him over his ex obsession. For example, if he non-stop gabs about how he and his ex used to go to the same diner every Sunday for breakfast, start a new weekend tradition and have a picnic lunch at the park instead.
Your guy is clearly still obsessed with his ex, and you -- like any rational person -- want him to stop. That said, you can't force him to get over his past relationship, snap your fingers and make everything magically better or offer unfair ultimatums. While it's tempting to scream, "You ex is a terrible person. Stop thinking about your ex now," that isn't likely to help. The more that your guy tries to consciously stop thinking about his ex, the more his thoughts will focus on his past relationship. If your boyfriend isn't ready to let your ex go, you can't force him to.
Take Care of Yourself
Don't forget that there are two people in your relationship, and both of you deserve caring and respect. Dating a guy who talks endlessly about his ex or obsesses in other ways isn't exactly a lot of fun for you. Instead of focusing all of your attention on your guy, take a step back and consider how much you are caring for yourself. Is hearing about how amazing his past romance was hurting you? Does his constant chatter about their awesome times make you feel like you're a second choice? If so, you may need to end the relationship and move on to someone who wants you -- and only you.
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