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10 Signs Your Partner's Still Into an Ex

How to tell if your lover is hung up on a former flame.
By
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Holding on to previous romantic attachments creates feelings of distrust and can stymie an otherwise promising relationship. So are you wondering if your honey's heart still rests in the hands of a past love? There’s no way to know for sure without talking to your partner about your concerns. But how do you know when you need to have that talk? Here are 10 signs that it may be time to bring it up.

1. Talking About the Ex Too Much

We all compare our current romance to ones we’ve had in the past, and an occasional reference to an old steady is no cause for alarm. “But," says marriage and family therapist Joan Sherman, "if it’s happening 24-seven, it’s a problem. It’s going to keep both of you from enjoying the new relationship.”

Sherman says if you're hearing every detail and story about the former relationship, it’s probably a sign that your partner hasn’t moved on.

2. Not Talking About the Former Love At All

Silence about a former lover can indicate lack of closure. Guilty feelings from carrying a secret torch often make a person not want to talk about an ex. If you notice your partner's afraid to bring up the ex or if your partner's tried and it's becomes a sore point, Sherman says, it’s time to ask why.

3. Online Stalking

Whether it’s with Facebook, a dating profile, or Googling the ex's name, relationship expert and author John Gray says, keeping frequent online tabs can be a red flag. Gray says, “If they’re spending too much time online following a past partner, it may make you feel neglected. Are you getting what you need from this person, especially when he or she spends two hours on Facebook after dinner?” If not, Gray says, it’s time to speak up.

4. Too Much Contact With the Ex

Frequent emails, phone calls, or online messaging with a past love can take away from a current relationship. But it’s a matter of context, says Washington Post advice columnist Carolyn Hax.

If you're talking weekly emails and your partner is still fully invested in your current relationship, then it’s not a sign of anything. But if it’s weekly emails and you partner isn't devoted, then you have a legit concern, Hax says. Your partner may not have cut the cord

A new relationship is all about trust, Sherman says. If you’re not OK with your current partner’s contact with an ex, say so. Your partner and his or her ex should be willing to take a break from each other while you two concentrate on what you have together. It doesn’t have to be a permanent break, but it is the respectful thing to do.

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