Stop Talking So Much About Your Ex
By Frank Kermit
So you are on a date with someone new. You are excited. You are nervous. You hope that this is finally going to be the one. You meet. So far, you both like what you see. This is going good. You start talking about personal interests. Then your date does it. Your date starts to talk about an ex...and it is not just a passing mention that is brief in nature.
Your date keeps talking about the ex, to the point where you decide that your date is likely still way too hooked on the ex to be emotionally available to be in a relationship with you. The date ends. You are disappointed because the search goes on to find a more suitable partner. Your date, that in fact, may be fully interested in seeing you again, is disappointed that you did not make any connection, and chances are, your date has no idea what he or she did to turn you off.
Talking constantly about an ex while on a date is a red flag. It is a turn off, because talking constantly about an ex is like resurrecting a ghost. When it comes to romantic endeavors, flesh and blood imperfect human beings simply cannot compete with the fantastical fantasy phantoms of someone's idealize past lover.
Those people who would be higher quality potential partners, likely have learned not to bother even trying to fight the ghosts and just walk away. When you are on a date, talk about the things you love and the values you embody, and leave your ex in the past.
Now, if the only meaningful life experiences you have to share are only associated with a particular ex, then take it as a sign that you need to stop waiting to have someone to try new things with, and head out on your own.
For example, if you love dancing but the only dancing stories you have are directly related to an ex, then consider going out dancing with friends, or even taking dance lessons by yourself so that you can meet new people. In this way, you explore your love of dancing, and can share stories about your love of dancing that will be separate from stories of your ex.
If you are still hooked on your ex, to the point where you will not give someone new a legitimate chance at your heart, at the very least be honest about it with the new person you are dating. When on a date, let the person know that you are recovering from a severely broken heart, BUT that should be the extent of any talk about the ex. This gives the other person the ability to make an informed choice for him or her self as to whether or not they want to continue trying with you.
Some people will be OK with it, and are just glad to have someone to spend time with and have some fun. Some people are looking for emotionally available people for a serious relationship and those people will bolt away fast. Some people are in exactly the same predicament as you and are thrilled that they are not alone in their misery, happy to have the company.
A date is NOT a time to be going into a therapeutic discussion. When you are on a date, focus on the person you are with and get to know that person and what role that person can play in your life (friend, lover, serious long term partner).
While you make getting to know the person a fun process, leave the discussions about your unresolved issues with the ex for when you come into the coach's office.
FRANK KERMIT MA
EXPERT RELATIONSHIP COACH
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