Dealing with your boyfriend’s ex can be one of the most stressful things in a relationship, and things become even more complicated if he and his ex have remained friends. How do you know if he still has feelings for her without jumping to conclusions? When your boyfriend tells you that he’s still very good friends with his ex, your heart might drop. But, it’s important to try to maintain a cool head, bearing in mind that half of men and 42 percent of women would stay friends with their exes, as reported by Elite Daily. It’s really common and doesn’t have to make you worry that your boyfriend is still in love with his ex.
But, what if — worst-case scenario — he is? What if his friendship with his ex is actually inappropriate or getting in the way of your relationship? If you’re dating someone and not sure if his friendship with his ex is a threat to your relationship, here are some signs to clear up the confusion. Read on to discover 10 signs that your boyfriend might still be in love with his ex-girlfriend, and 10 signs that they’re totally platonic so you shouldn’t get stressed out for nothing.
20-He’s Still In Love With His Ex: Many Things Remind Him Of Her
If his ex seems to come up all the time, even when the conversation is pretty mundane, that’s usually a warning sign. For example, if you’re walking through autumn leaves and your boyfriend says they remind him of the holiday he took with his ex, or if he sees a pretty candle at the store and says his ex had one just like it. Yikes.
If he’s guilty of such “mentionitis,” it’s like she’s always on his mind.
It’s a bit too much, quite frankly, and insulting to you who has to hear her name every five minutes.
19-He Brings Her Up At Weird, Inappropriate Times
He might not bring up his ex when you’re shopping or doing something chilled together. Instead, he mentions her when it’s really inappropriate, such as during an argument when he tells you what she would say so that he can prove you wrong, or when he’s telling you he loves you and weirdly says something about her that makes you feel like he’s comparing you to her.
That’s unfair and can make you feel like you’re in a competition with his ex.
Is she that important to him that he has to bring her up without realizing how it makes you feel? It’s troubling to say the least.
18-He Confides In Her More Than You
Emotional infidelity is defined by Very Well Mind as when a person emotionally invests in someone who’s outside of their relationship and also receives emotional support from this other person. Just because your partner’s confiding in his ex, it doesn’t immediately mean that he’s betraying you, of course. However, if he confides in her instead of you and this happens regularly, then that’s a clear choice he’s making to have greater emotional connection with her. It can really make you feel like the third wheel to their so-called friendship.
17-He Meets Up With Her And Doesn’t Tell You
It’s perfectly fine for your partner to get together with his ex. They might be platonic friends who enjoy each other’s company, after all. However, things take a turn and become inappropriate if your boyfriend’s spending time with her without telling you about it.
It’s the lie that hurts more than the fact that he’s having coffee with his ex-girlfriend to be honest, and it creates an obstacle when it comes to the openness and trust you should have in your relationship.
Besides, if they’re really just platonic friends, then what’s he got to hide?
16-He’s Often Tagged In Pictures With Her
When you log into Facebook, you often see that your boyfriend’s been tagged in yet another picture with his ex. They always look like they’re having a fun time, and the various images they post of themselves give people the idea that they’re the best of friends and really spending lots of time together.
Being tagged as friends is one thing, but it’s quite another if they look super close and you’re never invited along to those social outings.
What’s up with that? Your BF should also know that it’s inappropriate for you to have to see those images in your newsfeed all the time, but it’s like he doesn’t care.
15-His Communication With Her Is Different From Other Friends
When his male friend from work calls, your boyfriend has no problem taking the call in front of you. When his ex-girlfriend calls him, however, he has to take the call in another room or go outside for a walk. The same goes for texting her. When you walk into the room, he’ll quickly stop texting or hide his phone. These behaviors are dodgy because he’s keeping his friendship with his ex a secret from you.
You can’t help but wonder if they’re friends who still have feelings for each other if he can’t be open with you about her.
Yes, everyone deserves privacy, but this is too much!
14-He Still Has Photos Of Her In His Apartment
Is it wrong for your partner to have pictures of his ex or the two of them together? It really depends on how you feel about it, according to April Masini, dating and etiquette expert. As she tells Elite Daily, if the images someone has of their ex makes their new partner feel uncomfortable, these photos should be tossed because one’s future is more important than the past. So, you might have to tell your partner that the couple selfies of him and his ex on his wall make you feel bad. As your boyfriend, he should be willing to see that it’s unfair on you — if he can’t, that’s a red flag.
13-He Talks About How Hard The Breakup Was
It’s healthy to talk about exes. It gives you more insight into the guy you’re dating. However, if he’s always going on about how traumatic his last breakup was, it can start to make you think he’s not over his ex. It’s even more of a red flag if she was the one who broke up with him.
Maybe he’s still got baggage from being dumped or he’s holding onto the idea that someday they’ll get back together.
It’s worth talking to him about this so that you can figure out just how deeply his feelings run and if his previous relationship is indeed hanging over your head — in which case, run!
12-He Compares You To Her
You should never be made to feel like your boyfriend’s always comparing you and his ex. It’s not only damaging to your self-esteem if you fall short, but it can also signal that he’s still in love with her. For example, if his eyes light up when he tells you how creative she was (knowing that you’re not interested in arts and crafts) or how much he loved her stubborn nature (knowing that you’re not a stubborn person). Why is he doing this? She’s still occupying a place in his thoughts, there’s no doubt about it, and the way he’s handling it is toxic to your relationship.
11-He Gets Upset If You Insult Her Or Disagree With Something She Said
Your boyfriend tells you something your ex used to think or say, and you politely disagree with her views. It shouldn’t be a big deal, but your boyfriend seems to take it personally. This can feel really weird because it’s like he’s got his ex-girlfriend on a pedestal!
He’s clearly still trying to protect her and support her, even though she’s not his romantic partner anymore.
Someone needs to sort out his feelings, ASAP, before he can move onto a new relationship. If he doesn’t, it’s not fair on you to have to deal with the love he still has for his ex.
10-He’s Just Friends With His Ex: He’s Happy She’s Dating Someone New
He finds out that his ex has got herself a new boyfriend and he’s genuinely happy for her. He might even want to take her out to celebrate. This shows that he’s definitely moved on from his relationship with her and sees her as a purely platonic friend. Phew. In addition, it also can be a good omen for your relationship. See, if he’s a genuinely good friend to his ex instead of holding grudges, he’ll probably treat you in the same way if you ever had to break up.
9-He Likes Hanging Out With Her, But Invites You Along
He might really enjoy spending time with his ex because they’re such good friends, and there doesn’t have to be anything wrong with that.
The important thing he should do as your boyfriend is invite you along to spend time with her or at least tell you that he’s going to visit her.
By having open communication regarding his past and his friendship with his ex, it makes it easier to trust him because you don’t have to worry that he’s leading a double life.
8-He Doesn’t’ Talk To Her Often
Maybe they have interesting and fun conversations, but it’s not like he’s always logging into Facebook to chat to her or spending hours of your quality time together as a couple to catch up with her on the phone.
The important thing is that their friendship and interactions don’t get in the way of your relationship.
You’re the one who speaks to him and knows what’s going on in his day much more than she does — which is the way it should be!
7-He Doesn’t Jump To Her Rescue When She Needs Him
In an article, Glamour lists being his ex’s handyman as a sign your boyfriend could still have feelings for her. It makes sense – why would he rush to help her all the time if he’s not with her anymore? That’s a job for the new guy she’s dating, after all. So, if your boyfriend does the opposite by not being at his ex’s beck and call and not the guy on her speed-dial when life throws her a curveball either, it’s a healthy sign that he’s moved on from their relationship.
6-He Can Take Her Call In Your Company
When your boyfriend’s ex phones him to chat or ask him something, he tells you she’s calling and happily takes the call in front of you. There’s no rushing into another room or cutting the call because you’re around. This open behavior should put you at ease.
If he had something to hide, he wouldn’t be doing that. Also, by letting you hear their conversations, you can feel more secure that nothing inappropriate is going on.
This is the behavior of a guy who’s trustworthy and wants you to feel secure. Nice one.
5-They’re Friends On Social Media But Hardly Ever Communicate
It might make you worry when you see your boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend is one of his friends or followers on social media. But it’s really common. The Chicago Tribune reports that a study by Western University found that 48% of people are friends with their exes on Facebook. The important thing is to look for any inappropriate behavior that could signal there are still romantic feelings between them. For example, if she’s tagging him in loads of pics or littering his timeline with cute, flirty messages. But, if those types of things aren’t happening, you probably don’t have anything to worry about when he receives a friend request from her.
4-He’s Open With Her And Others About Dating You
It doesn’t matter if your boyfriend is still friends with his ex. What matters is that he makes your relationship official.
By being comfortable with your relationship and letting everyone know that he’s in a relationship, including his ex, he’s giving you a clear message that he wants to be with you and he wants everyone to know that he’s off the market.
By letting his ex know that he’s dating you, he’s also setting up a boundary for your relationship in which you can feel much more secure. No one on the outside can get in and cause problems. That’s the way it should be!
3-He Asks If You’re Okay With Him Being Friends With Her
You want to be with a partner who cares about you and doesn’t want to hurt your feelings. So, if your boyfriend tells you he’s friends with his ex and asks if you’re okay with that, that’s a huge sign that he’s trying to make you happy. He doesn’t want to do anything that will make you feel bad. Wow, he really does care about your relationship a lot! Doing this is also a sign that he’s not tied to the past in any way and he’s clearly over his ex otherwise he wouldn’t ask you for your approval of their friendship.
2-He’s Open About Their Relationship
While it’s good for your boyfriend to be open about your relationship with his ex, it’s equally a positive sign if he’s open about their friendship with you. He doesn’t have to tell you everything they talk about, but he should be forthcoming about their friendship, such as by letting you meet her and spend time with her if you like.
And, when you ask him about his previous romantic relationship with her, he should talk about it instead of shutting down or becoming defensive.
As pointed out by Cosmopolitan, it’s okay for him to be friends with his ex when he’s honest and open with you because it shows you that he sees the past as the past. He’s definitely not holding onto it or hoping to use his friendship with her as a way back into a relationship.
1-He Makes It Clear That The Breakup Was A Good Thing
When you ask about their breakup, your boyfriend should make it clear that it was for the best and he’s happily moved on. This is crucial — you don’t want to feel like he’s still hurt or in denial about the end of their relationship. If he can top that up by being clear that he’s chosen to be with you and loves no one else, then you’re with someone who’s a stand-up guy and definitely not carrying a torch for his ex. Even if he does have a box of memories of her in his basement or he chats to her on Snapchat once in a while, there’s nothing more than friendship there.