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How to Know If Your Boyfriend Still Has Feelings for His Ex

by Lorraine Jones

Everyone has a past; your slate isn’t magically wiped clean every time you enter a new relationship. This part is assumed. But no one prepares you for when your new boyfriend brings that emotional baggage along with him. When unresolved feelings for an ex reveal themselves it changes everything.

The glow of the new relationship is now haunted by the looming shadow of the ex. Being insecure about one of your boyfriend's past love interests isn't easy, but having those insecurities and doubts confirmed feels even worse. But before you jump to conclusions or are labeled as jealous or crazy, confirm your suspicions.

Sometimes even the slightest contact with an ex can reignite an old flame. Casual or polite conversation can be harmless but there are limits. They don't always have to block a former girlfriend or pretend they don't exist but if your boyfriend is constantly stalking an ex’s social media accounts or regularly texting and checking in on an ex this could have a hidden meaning. If you are honest about your doubts and respectfully ask your boyfriend to unfollow an ex and they don’t, this could be a result of unresolved feelings.

If you notice your boyfriend is frequently bringing an ex into the conversation this is an indication that, that person must constantly be on his mind. Or when your boyfriend demonstrates extreme anger for an old flame, this isn’t a good sign. Feelings of hatred are still feelings; it shows that he is still affected by this person as being consumed by anger from an ex is not something to overlook.

When he compares you to any woman it's a downward spiral let alone a previous girlfriend. You should have his undivided affection, the standard to which others can't compare. If he contrasts your housekeeping, the sex you have together, your habits, etc. to his former lover this is a huge red flag. You shouldn’t be made to feel you are less than an ex.

The ghosts of former relationships can take its toll on the current state of this new connection as well as your well-being. “Having to go through this experience first-hand does affect you mentally and emotionally, sometimes even physically, you can question your worth and if you’re even good enough for that person,” said Rashad Hawkins, Instinct Marketing. “Remember, you must always love yourself first to love someone else, and if you don’t have self-love you can’t love anyone else,” said Hawkins.

Trust your gut! If you find yourself feeling inadequate or that despite your best efforts to show affection, you cannot be or do enough, it may not be on you but on him. You aren’t the problem. “When you feel like you are growing distant, or some things are changing, it is good to ask. There is no need to suffer in silence,” said Harriet Chan, the co-founder of Coco-Finder. Prevent second-guessing and questioning and be blunt by asking him directly. Good or bad it's better to hear it directly from the source. Confirm where you stand in the relationship sooner rather than later.

No matter how much you are infatuated with him, if you have the tiniest inkling of doubt, speak it. “Sometimes it is blind to the eye, especially if you have strong feelings for someone to ‘see it coming’ but other times it’s like a big billboard plastered right in front of your face that your boyfriend or girlfriend has feelings for their ex. Nevertheless, it’s always good to confront the situation and be honest with your partner, it could potentially help the relationship and open new doors for your significant other to possibly let go of the feelings for an ex,” said Hawkins.

If he carries the torch for a previous lover he will never be able to fully give his heart to you. An ex is different from a random girl walking down the street because they are familiar, at one point in time they did have a connection. Direct confirmation is required. Save yourself the feeling of being inadequate and struggling with insecurities by having that tough conversation so you can start the healing process. You have the right to know the truth and to protect your heart. You deserve someone's entire heart, not a piece.

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