How do you deal with a perfect ex-girlfriend?

I’ve been seeing this guy for about a month now. I really like him, but there’s a problem that keeps coming up. We’ve discussed our exes in kind of detail, and it seems that his ex… was perfect.

They dated for two years, and broke up about a year ago because she moved away for grad school. He says that they never fought in those two years, and didn’t have many issues; when I asked what her biggest flaw was, he said “chewing loudly.” He can sometimes be insensitive about comments he makes about other women, and he says she never really had a problem with it; the sex was great, they had so much in common… You get the idea. He says he’s over her, but it also seems like she was this perfect girlfriend. He’s already kind of compared me a little bit to her (“well you and I run into an issue like once a week”… largely him making some comment about another girl being hot, and me telling him calmly that that upsets me.. “and she never got upset about this stuff.”)

So am I always going to have to compete against the perfect ex-girlfriend? Should I even bother dating him, or tell him to go find someone like her to date?

PS: Me and her are also don’t seem very similar; he’s described her as shy and quiet, and I’m kind of outgoing and talkative.


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Most Helpful Girl

  • First of all, some reassurance. However things might appear from the outside, a relationship that ends because one person moves away for grad school isn't a good or strong one. I know plenty of couples who have chosen to stay together in a longdistance relationship (even though this is hard) over grad school, rather than breaking up. Why didn't they do this? Equally, I know many cases where one partner has been prepared to move state, or even country, to support the other through a choice like that. Clearly, in this case, he wasn't so much in love with her that he was prepared to move. If their relationship had been perfect, and the pair of them had been head-over-heels in love, it wouldn't have ended for such a relatively small reason.

    Secondly, he needs to stop comparing the two of you. Just because she didn't have a problem with something, doesn't mean that you will feel the same. People are different. What upsets one person will be fine with another. You are his girlfriend now, and he needs to adjust to your likes and dislikes, and your preferences. Whatever his ex did is irrelevant - she is in the past! Plenty of women are upset when they boyfriends call other women 'hot' - and it doesn't sound like you overreacted at all in asking him not to do so. He needs to understand that justifying such behaviour with reference to another woman hurts your feelings and makes you feel insecure.

    Finally, I think you need to talk to him about this issue in more depth. There clearly is a trust issue here - albeit a minor one. Your limited knowledge of his past relationship is leading you to feel unhappy, and to mistrust his feelings for you. At some level, it sounds like you suspect he isn't over her. Sit him down and explain this to him, calmly and quietly, without anger or angst. Hopefully he will rush to reassure you that you are 'the one' for him, and you will feel much better. Good luck!

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What Guys Said 3

  • I think that if he thought she was perfect he would have found a way to make that work... I think everyone compares their ex's to their current partners on some level... I know I have, my last girlfriend told me that I spoke about my ex a litte too much, I had no idea really... I did mention comparisons, I didn't mention them, because I still liked my ex... but sometimes just for conversation or because I thought she might like to know dating history or whatever. I don't think its a bad thing really. As you said, he says things and doesn't think that it might worry you... he might be like me and just not think about what he's saying sometimes. I've dated people who aren't that similar, it can bring something new to a relationship that I thought I might have been missing before, maybe he does the same.There's a lot of variables... but he's with you and not her, I don't think its somethng to worry about.

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    • I guess I feel like when he compares us, she always wins: like she never got upset about stuff, and I do. She was never jealous, and I am. He's never said one bad thing about her and never mentioned what went wrong. Honestly, I really don't get why he ISN'T with her, aside from the distance. He says he's over her; but what do you think?

    • He could just be telling you she didn't get upset, so that you try to be more like her, and not get upset about it. Basically lying, just like, oh well my ex girlfriend didn't mind when I said other girls were hot... How many girls don't get jealous when their boyfriend says something like that? very few id say.. If he's with you I'd say he is over it, even if he wasn't he wants to be... If he liked her and wanted her he would try hard to keep her, long distance relationship or even wait for her

  • He seems to a bit immature and manipulative. It can be easily handled.

    Just tell him what bothers you and what behavior you expect from him. If he does not measure up, make it clear that it would not work out.

    Tell him that each person is different and each person has his or her good points. You would not like being compared to some one else. If at anytime he compares, then tell him (even if a fictional tale) about how an ex of yours was such gentleman that he would always tell you that you were the best compared to all the girls. You still remember him fondly.

    Other thing you must do is to do opposite of what he expects to get through such manipulation. If he tells you that his perfect girlfriend (PGF) had a lot of things common with him then tell him that opposites attract. He should watch sports and you should watch soap operas. If he tells you that PGF did not mind his saying that some girl is hot, you tell him that you mind it unless for every time he says that some girl is hot, then he must tell you that you are hot ten times. You get the picture.

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  • He is NOT over her and has not grieved the loss of the relationship. Its too soon for him to do so and people idealize their exes for about 3 months and then remember what caused the breakup. Its the attachment he misses not necessarily her and if she was the one who broke up with him then he is reacting to that more than the rest. You need to expect him to grieve before he attaches himself to you. He is open with you and that is a great thing but if you can't handle it then stop asking him the questions you don't want positive answer to. Give him time ! It has NOTHING to do with you ! Its about him and be understanding of his mental processing of it all. :)

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What Girls Said 13

  • I find that would be annoying. It sounds almost like he has not completely moved on from this girl. Not only do I feel that that would be disrespectful if he kept shoving it in my face that his ex girlfriend is perfect, I'd warn him not to mention it again.

    The thing is, I think that it's a sign he's not ready to go into a relationship if this guy over does the describing how his ex girlfriend is perfect. I guess everyone is different but because I have a short fuse myself sometimes for people who disrespect me , I'd probably stop associating with him. I mean, I feel it's rude. aka he should shut up, if I were you, I wouldn't want to know that the sex was great between him and whoever that chick is-to me that's a total lack of consideration and acknowledgement that you have feelings or that you have to put up with this. calmly tell this to shut up or just move on.

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  • I think he should have taken time to get over her before he started dating someone else. It's making your relationship sour. I mean you are asking if you should even bother... Regardless tell him that she's not here and you are. He needs to get over her because you're not her. If he wants to be with you he needs to stop comparing you to her. An apple is not an orange. I have been in the place where a guy held me to high expectations because of another person before me. It made me miserable. I hated her, I began to hate myself for not being like her, and then I realized that this jerk is making me feel like garbage. So I got out of that situation and moved on. It was well worth it. He needs to accept you for who you are and NOT who he wishes you were.

    Best of luck

    Bnwsmile

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  • this sounds like my situation. My current boyfriend has a an ex and I see her like everyday at school. He often talks about her and she's soooo pretty. She has like blonde hair tan skin ect.. they dated for two years and were engaged too. and mine is the same way like her flaws, she didn't really have any. and me and her are like completely different, same way you are. but I would say you should keep dating him if you really like him and if it is serious or when it does get serious tell him you really don't like being compared to someone else and its not okay to talk about another girl in a relationship unless he doesn't want to have one with you.

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  • Don't worry about how perfect she was. Think about how you can be better. Try not to fight about little things. Don't annoy him about things he does wrong or doesn't do. Accept him for who he is and he will accept you for who you are, even if you aren't perfect. Guys like originality, she sounds like she was just very compatible with him, or tried to make herself just what he wanted. Because really, if she was that perfect he wouldn't want another girlfriend. When he compares you to her again, don't get mad at him for it, make him feel bad for what he says by acting really sad. If he doesn't feel bad then he doesn't even realize what he is doing or just doesn't care.

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  • well there you go... she was shy and quiet so that's why she probably just didn't say anything

    if he likes you and is with you then HE has to accept ur flaws.. I'm pretty sure she wasn't perfect

    nobody is... or is he?

    and you should be straight out with him and tell him that you feel like ur competing with this

    ex .. and see what he says!

    if he gives you a dumb answer and still praises her then he ain't over her you know?

    and I also think that a big mistake was to talk about ur exes in detail... that just hurts u

    she should be out of the way completely ... its his and your time now(:

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  • wooooow he's a jerk. you should kick him to the curb. guys shouldn't compliment other girls in the presence of their girlfriend unless they've been together so long that they're comfortable with it, or the girl has expressed it doesn't bug her. but the fact remains that you said it bugged you, and that you did so calmly. plus that's always horrible when a guy compares his current girlfriend with his past ex. especially if its in the form here he's comparing you to her in a bad way. that's a low blow to throw a girl. YOU are YOU, YOU'RE not HER. and he needs to realize that and not compare you both. point is, you need to talk to him, and by talking to him you can figure out what the next step is to take.

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  • I think everyone else has got this covered, but a couple of things to keep in mind...

    1. Are you similiar? Its a a misconception that opposites attract (other than for a short tryst), similiar minded people who share values, interests etc will last the distance.

    2. Fighting takes passion, a relationship with passion is a good one. However sometimes (and I had to learn this the hard way) it is better to let the smaller things go.

    3. There is a reason they are not together, is it really JUST distance?

    4. Have a time limit for his crap, don't let yourself get beaten down. You are unique, there was obviously something about you that appealed to him - find out what it was and focus on that :)

    Goodluck with it!

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  • From my experience I can tell you that if your new boyfriend talks to you about an ex, don't even bother to get close. It sounds like he's not over her. If he's comparing you to her this is a further incentive to run away as quickly as you can.

    And if you've seen each other only for a month, well consider that after 10 years people break up discovering they didn't know each other, so how much can you know about the him after only one month?

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  • why is he bringing up his x you should just tell him to shut up becuase he is seeing you and if he doesn't like it then say c ya. wow if a guy ever did that to me I would put him in his place. but if I really didn't like him I would not talk to him anymore because who has time for that?

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  • Like sweetdee said, if she was shy and quiet that certainly explains why they didn't argue.

    Anyway, this sounds like (A) he's using her as a straw woman to manipulate you into being more what he wants and (B) he had a cool girlfriend. He's going to miss her, but if he really wanted her he'd still be in a relationship with her. Now he's yours, and he's kind of being a jerk. Let him know that being compared to her annoys you. If he can't understand that then he's rather immature.

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  • NO ONE IS PERFECT.

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  • That's probably why she was his perfect girlfriend because she didn't speak her mind to him

    I was in the same kind of relationship something told me to back off in the beckoning and I didn't

    sure enough there was an ex I was always competing with he always helped her out and in turn ended up stiffing me...And if he's just checking girls now and pretty much saying o well to you then what will he do in a year and say o well...That's Ur call though I don't know your whole situation because it is normal for guys to look at girls and vice verse but if you are having doubts now then maybe you should tell him good bye before you get Ur emotions in to it and it isn't so easy to say goodbye

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  • If you still like her Tell her that you love her so much.

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