To what extent is it appropriate to talk about exes with your boyfriend/girlfriend?

There were times when a person I was dating talked excessively about their ex as if they still wanted to be with them (things they liked), there was a time when they talked bad about them (things about them/things that they they did that they didn't like and what they learned from being with them) and there were times when they talked about the things they did and compared them to things I did (saying they wanted me to do those exact same things). I feel, especially in the beginning, exes should for sure not be talked about. What do you think?


Most Helpful Guy

  • I think it's good that you can refer in the past tense -- "was dating" -- to this person who talked about their exes in such a manipulative, out-of-line way. He was using his past with her (assuming it was a he/her for the sake of discussion) to try to control you in the present. And there was always the not-so-subtle implication that you would become an ex too if you didn't toe the line. The WORST part was the bit about trying to get you to do stuff he liked that a previous girlfriend did. That to me is just really low. You are well rid of him.

    I think you're right when you suggest bringing up your exes at the beginning of a new relationship is a bad idea; you want the new relationship to start standing on its own.

    In my view, the only justifiable ways to talk about exes would be 1) in terms of lessons learned that resulted in positive changes in me that I'm now bringing to the table in the current relationship, or 2) to help my current partner understand why I might have some of the sore spots or trust issues that they're running into with me.


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What Guys Said 0

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What Girls Said 2

  • I attempt to avoid talking about exes with present sig others. I only mention things that are important or may have an effect on our current relationship. I also sometimes reassure the current that they are better than the ex.

  • i agree. I don't wanna hear about the ex in the beginning. it'll come off as him not having gotten over her, and that'll lead me to think that this probably won't go anywhere. after I get to know the person and I'm invested in learning more about them, I'll get curious about the ex(es). you can learn a lot about a person based on how they speak of their past relationships and what they say about them.