Two people cannot have a healthy relationship unless they are both emotionally available.
This means that both parties need to have processed any baggage from their previous relationships, and decided to let go of all psychological attachments to ex-partners.
Unfortunately, some people don’t go through this process before dating someone new.
This approach leads to disaster; they are still hung up on their ex, so they cannot form an emotional connection with anyone else.
It’s important that you can spot the signs that someone hasn’t yet moved on, because it can help explain why a relationship that looked promising in the beginning has started to falter.
Here are 7 signs they aren’t really over their ex:
1. They are bitter
When someone has truly let go of a past relationship, they no longer harbour any feelings of resentment.
In fact, an emotionally healthy person will even be pleased if they hear their ex is happy.
If your partner likes to talk about how unhappy their ex made them feel, this signals they are still emotionally involved on a deep level.
2. They take you to the same places they went with their ex
When someone isn’t over their ex, they might start a new relationship as a distraction from their pain.
This might not be a conscious decision; some people automatically start searching for a new partner to fill the void left by their ex.
In some cases, they might not even change their relationship routine.
If someone takes you the same places they used to take their ex, suggests the same activities, or even uses a similar nickname, there’s a good chance they are using you as an emotional buffer to help them get over their former partner.
3. They are still friends with their ex
Unless your partner has children with their ex, or they are forced to work together, there is no reason why they should be friends.
As a general rule, when two healthy people end a relationship, they take time apart to heal.
If they ever become friends, it will be months or years later, when both have had time to move on.
Someone who isn’t over their ex will often want to be their friend, because they harbour a secret hope that their relationship will resume.
4. You find their ex’s possessions in their home
In the worst case scenario, finding their possessions suggests they have been seeing each other behind your back.
However, it’s more likely that your partner is holding onto their ex’s possessions because they can’t stand the thought of returning them to their rightful owner.
By giving them back, they lose an excuse to see their ex, which is a painful prospect if they aren’t over them.
5. Your relationship is based on physical chemistry rather than emotional connection
This is a classic sign of a rebound relationship.
If someone doesn’t want to get to know you as a person, they are probably using you as a distraction from their pain.
6. They like keeping up with their ex on social media
Your partner might claim that he and his ex are no longer friends, but if they are still stalking them on social media, they haven’t moved on.
If they can’t stop themselves flicking through their statuses or photos, it’s because they are still emotionally invested.
7. They make comparisons, even if you come out ahead
If your partner complains that their ex was better than you in any way, this is a blatant sign of disrespect that should signal the end of your relationship.
However, you should also be wary if they try to compliment you by telling you, in detail, how awesome you are compared to their ex.
In either case, they are still using their ex as a point of reference in their personal life.
This isn’t inappropriate, because they are supposed to be focusing on your instead.
It’s not your job to help mend their broken heart
There’s nothing you can do to make someone get over their ex.
It’s up to them to make sense of the past and prepare themselves for a new relationship.
Don’t gamble with your time;
if you wait around in the hope that they will suddenly become emotionally available, you could be waiting months, or even years.
It’s best to move on when you realize a partner is still obsessed with an ex.
Find someone who is truly ready to engage with you as an individual, and not merely as a replacement for their former love.