He said, she said

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I have been dating this girl for six months, and she continues to bring up her exes, as if she is still living in the past. How do I tell her that I don’t want to hear about her exes so often and want to focus on us?

Sincerely, Me and Only Me

He said:

Dear You and Only You,

I think the key to this situation is to delve one level deeper and ask both your partner and yourself two questions:

  1. Why is she bringing up her exes?
  2. Why does it make you feel uncomfortable?

We all know that a successful relationship is one where communication is clear, constant and open. If there is something that is bothering you, let her know what it is, and articulate why it makes you feel uncomfortable. Nobody can ever diminish or argue against what you feel, because your perceptions create your reality. Then you throw the ball over to her court. Give her the chance to explain why she brings up her exes, because when she takes the time to self-reflect, the metacognitive process will help anyone better understand their own emotions. Hopefully, she will realize that she is still holding onto the past, because oftentimes it is a subconscious action, which requires that higher-level thinking in order to break the habit.

Sincerely, Him and Only Him

She Said:

Dear You and Only You,

I think it’s important to consider why she is bringing up her exes. There’s a big difference between constantly bringing up her ex unnecessarily and talking about major life events that her exes happen to be involved in. If it feels like every time you go out or every time something major happens she brings up one of her exes, then there’s definitely cause for worry. In terms of how to tell her I think the best way to do it is to just be upfront with her. Explain how it makes you feel and that you would prefer to just focus on the present moment. If she truly loves you she should understand and change her behavior. That being said, be patient with her. It might be hard for her to feel like she can tell you about her past without mentioning her exes. Changing a behavior takes time, but she should have a desire to change it. If not, you may have bigger problems.

Sincerely, Her and Only Her

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