Talking About Exes: Three Things to Consider

It’s a subject that has been covered in many a sitcom episode: A lovelorn gal (or guy), trying to move on, spends an entire first date talking about an old flame. The message is clear. Talking about exes is a total no-no.

And most Americans agree. A 2017 study found that, across most demographic lines, only roughly one-third of Americans believe it’s ok to discuss past relationships on a first date. But while it’s true that talking about your ex too much can put a damper on a new relationship, that doesn’t mean that you should never talk about your past. 

Your previous relationships are part of what make you who you are, and it’s natural for your partner to be curious about them. These conversations can also bring you closer, if done right.

There are a few simple rules that will help you avoid the minefields while opening up to your SO. Read on for our list of three things you should consider when talking about past relationships with your partner.

Never compare

This should go without saying, but it’s best never to compare your ex to your present, in any way, shape or form. That way madness lies. Past relationships are in the past—and if yours isn’t, you’re probably not ready for your present one.

Consider your intentions

It’s all in the delivery, and your intentions matter. So think about why you are sharing. Is it to give your significant other important context about you and your past? In that case, go ahead. But if you’re venting about your ex because you’re still angry, step back and think about it first. That relationship is over; let it go and focus all your energy on your current romance. Best of all? There’s no downside to this approach

Put this relationship first

Talking about your ex should never make your SO feel worse about themselves. And some things don’t need to be shared. So keep the intimate details to yourself. Yes, even if your partner asks. You don’t want to open that box.

It’s surprisingly easy to overshare when talking about your exes. But these rules will help you navigate those treacherous waters and come out dry on the other side.

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