The Rules For Talking About Your Ex: When It’s Ok & When To Avoid It
It’s pretty safe to say that talking about an ex on a first date is a major red flag. When trying to get to know someone, a biography of an ex can be a turn-off, and you might assume that your date isn’t quite ready to move on. The end of any relationship is bound to come with hardships, and it might seem natural to go for a rebound, but those are less likely to develop long-term relationships and can create a negative environment. No ex leaves your life without making an impact on your journey moving forward, even if the agreement was mutual or by your own will. Thus, it’s best to take the time to heal however you may and start to date again once you’re open to a new commitment.
The first step in gaining closure is by self-reflection.
You have to be honest with yourself and look for signs that you’re not over your ex. If you detect any, you’re probably not able to enter into a new, healthy relationship at the moment. Venting to friends and family can help you overcome the initial shock, and after you’ve come to terms with it, you can then take the thought process a step further and reflect on any obstacles that could cause a snag in future relationships. Consider what went wrong in the previous relationship; where you were at fault, what you can work on, and how you might be able to improve. Identifying the problems in your relationship is key: whether there were trust issues, lack of communication, infidelity, or anything else, these patterns can often reoccur in the future. Hurdles like these affect us all, but if they’re preventing you from experiencing new happiness and causing you to stay invested in the past, talking to a professional about it might be just what you need. Abigail Brenner M.D. offers her advice for getting over a relationship by saying,
“prolonged or incomplete grief may contribute to making poor choices in the future. The ability to trust, to be honest, and to be yourself is essential for a new, healthier relationship or situation to present itself to you. ‘Unfinished business’ must be completed and resolved before you move on.”
From there you may learn more about yourself and your relationship patterns. Perhaps you get hesitant once things get too serious, or become clingy when your trust wavers. By speaking to an unbiased party about your experience, you’ll become more aware of your tendencies and how to fix them.
Clearly discussing an ex too early into a relationship can be a buzz kill; yet, are there times when the discussion can actually be beneficial?
While it’s not recommended to share intimate details of your past with someone you’ve just met, once a new relationship develops into something more serious, dialogue about your former relationships isn’t just helpful, but actually vital to the health and strength of a partnership, long-term.
According to health coach, Robin Hoffman, regarding talking about an ex when dating,
“as relationships progress and intimacy begins to deepen and things start to ‘get real,’ our issues tend to surface and we can either avoid what’s going on (and have it come out later, somehow) or we can deal with it, work through it, and see what kind of positivity the outcome brings.”
By sharing your history with a new partner, you’re not only establishing openness and honesty, but you're helping your partner understand and empathize with your previous pain. It can also provide clarity regarding your current behaviors and aid in communication and conflict.
When sparking dialogue, make sure to stay on topic. Share your experience, what you took away from your time together and the break-up itself, and how you want to move forward successfully in this new relationship. The discussion should always focus more on you and the situation, than on the ex. Mention issues with jealousy, self-esteem, or commitment, if those tend to be a problem for you and your behavior pattern. It’s also incredibly important for them to know you’re working on these problems.
Don’t forget this is a two-way street. If your partner hasn’t shared his or her past with you, be sure to express your interest. This is especially crucial if you notice repetitive behaviors that strike you as questionable.
Having these conversations with someone new isn’t always easy, especially when things are going so well, but in order to maintain a healthy, happy, and stable relationship, these sensitive discussions need to take place. Talking about your ex, no matter how difficult, is just as important, if not more so, than other serious and delicate conversations; just make sure the timing is right and the progression of the relationship makes sense.
What do you think? Are you open and honest about past relationships, or do you let your new significant other know about your history? Do you think this information should be kept private? We want to hear from you! Post your comments on our Facebook Page Here