I was brooding after a break up some days ago and the same time, writing one of my many unposted write ups when the idea of while the relationship failed struck me. It is truly said that deep thinking comes mostly with misery and depression. And now I figured it all out, that the reason might be the fact that my newly lost love never talked about her ex or exes, except for when she display the ex’s pictures but the minute I ask the reason for such act, she snaps and say it’s personal.
Truly, the last thing you want to hear out of a partner’s mouth is the name of his or her ex — but talking about an ex doesn’t always signal romantic doom. In fact, it can help build a solid foundation for your current relationship.
Experts say the individual growth that leads to healthy, stable relationships begins with heartbreaks, and one of the best ways to turn past disappointments into future relationship successes is to share these experiences with your new partner. If a partner holds back the truth with his/her ex, then there are two possibilities, either he/she wants to go back to him or he/she hasn’t moved on from what is left of the old relationship. And if this is true of the two reasons, then you don’t deserve to be in a relationship with such person.
Here are things to know before talking with your partner about an ex.
- Recalling past relationship mistakes makes you less inclined to repeat them.
When you’ve been dumped, areas of the brain associated with addiction as well as physical pain light up, said Helen Fisher, chief scientific adviser to Match.com and a senior research fellow at The Kinsey Institute. Human brains have evolved to “attach” to other people after forming romantic bonds. When a relationship ends and that attachment severs, there’s a huge emotional and physiological hit. After that, brain regions associated with processing what happened fire up.
“People will go through long periods after they’ve been dumped or after they dumped somebody asking, ‘Why did I do this? What did I lose? What did I gain?'” Said fisher. “The brain really does remember this, and it remembers this forever. You remember the ones that got away. It’s entirely possible that the brain is built that way so that you can remember why it didn’t work so that you can do it better the next time.”
- Talking about past relationships can give your partner insight into who you are.
Aside from the evolutionary benefits, talking about your exes can help you communicate to your new partner how you grew into the person you are today. Often, romantic relationships serve as learning experiences that let you test the boundaries of your interests and needs. Reflecting on a past relationship can even help you find out something about yourself that you may have missed during the relationship and breakup.
“I think every experience can help form your character,” – Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce coach.
“With partnerships, often times you’re spending so much time with that person and have so much more intensity that they have a chance to be a greater influence than other things are in shaping your character and shaping your responses.”
- Candid, focused conversations build trust and encourage open communication.
The American Psychological Association encourages those who have gone through breakups to focus on the positive aspects and outcomes, rather than banning talk of exes completely. While it’s ideal to hash out all of your strong emotions before entering a new relationship, the ability to speak freely with your partner is important.
“Unless you’re able to share what you’ve learned, it’s like hiding a part of yourself,” Finn said. “Does that mean that you need to share every last sexual encounter you’ve had and the intimate details of it? No. There are appropriate levels of sharing.”
Experts all recommend keeping details to a minimum. Simply explain what happened with the ex, what you learned and where you are now. Of course, every couple is different, and you’ll have to gauge your partner’s curiosity and comfort level — you don’t want to inadvertently make him or her feel as if you’re either not over your ex or using your ex as a benchmark by which to measure your new partner.
- When it comes to talking about an ex, timing is everything.
The beginning of a new relationship may not be the best time to drop the ex bomb. It may be said that there’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to timing, but you probably want to give a relationship time to develop before adding in any emotional third parties — i.e., avoid talk of your ex on the first date. One of the biggest turnoffs that people have when they’re starting to date again after the ending of a romantic relationship is going out with someone that can only talk about their ex.
If you want to get your brain geared up for a new attachment, you need to build your partnership and put the past aside for at least a little while so you two can have your own set of experiences and goals.
- Remember that perception may not match reality.
If we were to poll (opinion polls) how long it takes to get over an ex and we may find out that the average answer might be about three months.
But you know what? It’s one of the few things I don’t believe, I actually don’t believe that. I’ve seen people take 10 years. And when you ask such people, they get sad, angry and annoying with few phrase of their owns. Like, “it’s not easy”, “my new man loves me but I can’t love him back, just because I can’t get over my ex”.
However long it may take you to get over an ex, how you talk about that person when you’re in a new relationship can reveal a great deal. If you’re still grieving over an ex, that can create a barrier between you and your current partner and signify that you’re not “over it.”
If you’re continuing to talk about an ex in ways that are not indifferent and that person is out of your life, that suggests that you really aren’t over that person, you aren’t ready to move on and it’s not time to have a serious relationship with a new person.
You can still have fond memories of your exes and bring them up occasionally, but be wary of spending too much time dwelling on the past.
- Know that the reason you’re talking about your ex is to move forward, not backward.
Once you’ve shared the lessons of past relationships with your partner, it’s best to continue to get to know him or her, form a new bond and create new memories — don’t let your current relationship stagnate. There’s always more to learn about the relationship at hand, so you’ll need to give it as much attention as possible.
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Written by Falade Adekunle Gbotemi
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