Is it appropriate for a person to bring up their ex?

For some reason men I date always bring up their exes. I was dating a guy recently who complained about how his ex never valued him and how he needed to be single for a while and how his ex did this and how his ex was crazy and asked me if I was crazy ( it was ridiculous and we are no longer dating) but I have noticed some men bring up their exes.

My question is why? and should you be okay with it to an extent?

  • Never talk about an ex
    37%(14)30%(19)Vote19%(5)
  • It's okay in certain situations (explain)
    63%(24)70%(45)Vote81%(21)
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Most Helpful Guy

  • From a relationship coaches perspective, a couple of questions and thoughts:

    1) I don't have a problem with people I date bringing up their ex if it is in context to a discussion we are having or if they are doing it to help me understand more about who they (the person I'm dating) are.

    2) But, I do have a problem with people bringing up ex's on the first date. It makes me think, "I'm trying to learn about you, not about someone you used to be with" and/or "Are you even over them?", and/or, "are you this angry about everyone you used to date?"

    3) Sometimes someone bringing up their ex constantly, in the negative light you experienced, while annoying to me in some regard, does help me develop a picture of this person (I'm dating) that may help me determine if I want to keep dating them.

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    • So basically it's a bad thing right? I just don't ever see it being beneficial... people who bring up their exes are either going to be complaining about them or telling you something they liked about them which would rub me the wrong way (for example saying me and my ex used to go rock climbing or whatever would make me feel as though he is implying I am not into that kinda stuff or something. Am I wrong for thinking that way?)

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    • In response to him mentioning the girls he has dated I didn't really react any differently like I was pretty nonchalant about it but I don't know would he have wanted me to act jealous or something? Sorry for all the questions but you're a relationship coach after all :)

    • Don't be sorry about asking. 😁 It's just that the answer to your question about why he brought them up is really about his tone, body language, timing, and frequency. Not knowing those makes it hard to really answer.

What Guys Said 15

  • It's okay to talk about an ex, to a limited extent, once you are dating. Those experiences helped you to become the person who you are now. However, you need to be sensitive to your partner's insecurities.

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  • It's only ok to bring up an ex if the statement is neutral. For example, "I had an ex who was big into (insert hobby) or did this" is one thing.

    Saying anything that's praising or trashing an ex is off limits. It shows that the person is not over them. Some personal details about exes should be off limits too. Like I had a tinder date talk about her sex life with an ex and how crazy it was and I'm thinking why the fuck are you telling me about this? Especially on a first date.

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  • It's alright, if they are important to a back story or something.. Or even a joke.. But definitely not excessive, especially for complaining..

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  • I told my currently girlfriend about my ex when started becoming official. I find it weird that people sometimes never discuss their past relationships with their current partners.

    Complaining would be a solid implication that he still has feelings towards his ex. In that case, it would be inappropriate.

    It's honestly beyond me as to a guy would admit to a previous lover blatantly disrespecting him lol. I mean, he has nothing to gain, and everything to lose. To be quite honest I think that guy your dating is a complete fruit cup based on what you've stated here.

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    • As I said to someone else what else could they say that is not complaining or positive? No one wants to hear "my ex and i used to do ________ (positive thing) together" and no one wants to hear you complaining about them either so how have you mentioned your ex?

    • Well my relationship with my ex girlfriend was pretty intense. I was almost about to get married to this girl at one point. I told her how we broke up and how I moved on. She was genuinely interested.

  • I mean your partner should help you. If it's a situation where you want to share with your partner about an ex (to get something off your chest, or get their opinion), or use the ex as part of an analogy, I don't see what's wrong really.

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  • I think most people have a tendency to do this. Learning when to, and when not to, is something you pick up with experience.

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  • People talk about their lives, their life experiences. Sometimes that includes an ex. Don't over think it.
    OTOH someone that is dwelling on it isn't ready to be with someone else yet.

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  • I've made this mistake a couple of times with my current partner, she just totally switches off. Then again I've had a few partners in the past who would openly ask about my exs. In hindsight, I wouldn't bring an ex up anymore because you make them jealous if they're asking and upset if they're not.

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  • I'd be fine with an FYI about having any, but wouldn't want to hear any more.

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  • it's okay to talk about if the other person asks about her/him

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  • In trust with you, it is just sharing the feelings. You both know it is past and no more real. You may also learn how much he appreciates his new find that's YOU!

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  • If one side wants to talk about this, that's okay, because maybe he or she wants to know your past, and then know who's with him, or maybe it's just to know what mistake you don't want to make, so that's normal to talk about this, for me.

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  • Really depends on the conversation. Always avoid the comparison of body parts

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  • If you love drama, it's one of the smartest moves you can do.
    Many people love drama, so... many people bring up exes.

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  • Sometimes you bring them up if they are part of a story but not to complain about, try to bring them up as little as possible

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What Girls Said 13

  • It is a bother or strange for your current or future partner to bring it up and if they bring it up. But what you shared seemed like he doesn't want to be played again. He wanted to know if you will be true, loyal, and faithful. I do bring up my exes and I am not ashamed. But first I ask my fiance if it's okay with him. My experiences were like a lesson so I tell him why I feel a certain way, why I say stuffs, etc. For example: My fiance and I were cheated on by our exes in the past. We are bit insecure about being far apart because of our colleges are far from one another. We been a long distance relationship for almost a year. But I always tell him how I feel and what bothers me and he does too. At first, he was the one being a bit paranoid if I was cheating. Then, this year... it's suddenly me that I am being so overwhelmed with being paranoid. My ex girlfriend still have feelings for me which I shared to him and he was a bit paranoid that he might lose me because of her. I am no longer friends with her. She was a good friend of mine after dating. She stopped talking to me because I have a man and she knew how much I love him.

    It really depends on the story. If he or she is talking as if he or she misses or still loves their ex, then you should ask them about it. Because if they are with you, then they should only love you and think about you. But it is hard to forget the past because it might had impacted the person a lot.

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  • When you are trying to establish relationship boundaries or are on the boarder of wanting something steady or more I can see why it would come up. Sometimes men just want to commiserate other times they are fishing to find out your stand on somethings or if you will/won't behave that way.

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  • It's okay to talk about an ex once in a while in certain situations, but usually only once you're in a serious relationship and are really opening up about your pasts.

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    • Beware of guys who are quick to refer to their exes as "crazy". It implies an attitude that he's perfect and every problem in the relationship was her fault, and someday, he's going to be calling you "crazy" too.

  • NEVER on a first date, never in the getting to know each other stages either. But after that an occasional mention in casual conversation should be ok. Never to compare though.

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  • i say let it come up naturally and/or if it's relevant. otherwise, there's no need.

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  • It sounds like that guy still had some emotional baggage he needed to work through. I've dated guys like that. They don't deal with breakups the same way we do. I really believe it takes them longer to get over them. And it is quite possible you were the first person or one of the only people he's talked to about that. Guys need people to talk to as well. It was just unfortunate that in was in dating scenario.

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  • It can be ok in situations. Like once a guy asked me if I've ever been to Mexico and I said I went there with an ex once. I usually try to keep it pretty brief when talking about an ex. I like the idea of keeping the past in the past and when. Guy is shit talking his exs I usually assume he would do the same with me or he just has bad taste and then I feel like I could do better.

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  • I think it's good to know if there is any fresh baggage. of course, any old stuff doesn't need to be brought up, unless it matters. the way I see it is a way you know what kind of things can be a trigger to a bad memory, and avoid them.

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  • I seldom bring up former relationships and never ever ever bring up sex with one.

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  • better not to talk about the ex.

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  • in my opinion it's kind of hard to not talk about someone or something that had a big impact on you or was a big part of your life for a time. I'd find it weirder if someone never mentioned an Ex...

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  • Ex is dead for me

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  • the only reason you should talk about your ex, is if they ask. otherwise you just shouldn't bring it up. even then you should keep the talk about exes to a minimum

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