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He Still Loves His Ex But Likes Me

He Still Loves His Ex But Likes Me

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Note: This is an excerpt from a podcast episode I created and uploaded to all of my podcasting platforms. The transcription is raw and only lightly edited, which is why it doesn’t read like a polished blog post. To listen to the audio version, you can listen to the episode on YouTube or anywhere where my podcast episodes are published.

As you may notice, the title of this post is he still loves his ex, but likes me

And this is a pretty good title. I found this title doing some keyword research, but honestly, it’s a little bit broader than this. 

Basically, there’s the question of whether or not you should be worried about exes when you’re dating someone. 

Is it a red flag if they’re still talking to them? 

Should you be careful with people who are dating you while still talking to their exes? 

(Note: You can listen to this entire episode on Spotify, or on any other popular podcast platform.)

There are many schools of thought on this. Some people say “oh, it’s not that big of a deal.” 

Of course, it makes a difference if there are kids involved. 

Some people say “absolutely not. You should have a zero-tolerance policy for exes.” 

So, I’m going to share my thoughts about this with you. 

This was prompted by an email I got from a reader. 

And I’m just gonna read this email for you and help you to kind of understand the question. It’s pretty detailed. 

This is what this person (a woman) is dealing with. And to be honest, this isn’t so uncommon. 

This is a pretty common occurrence. 

I feel like in the modern dating landscape, we live in a world where fewer and fewer people tend to sever those ties when they leave a relationship. Or when a relationship ends, they kind of try to keep in touch with their exes. 

People always want to keep all their options open all the time— that’s kind of the way things tend to go. 

And so, that leads to continuing to be open to talking to exes and stuff. 

And so it’s just getting more common—and learning how to deal with it and figuring out what the right thing to do is isn’t always so easy. 

I don’t have a one size fits all answer, necessarily. 

There is a little bit of variability in it. 

Alright, let’s start off with the email I got. 

“So I found out some more information today talking to a guy because we’ve had a bit of an argument where I was telling him things I wasn’t comfortable with and if he can respect it and make changes we can keep talking. He said that he is friendly with an ex like from 10 years ago, they broke up because he felt it wasn’t going to work out she had a lot of issues it was from when he was 20, and they were together for 2 years and no cheating or anything they just split.  

But she’ll hit him up like on holidays or if she needs something. I said that’s a red flag to me, he said that he won’t cut her off because he’s a nice person and it’s called being human, I said that’s weird that someone needs you like she doesn’t have friends or a boyfriend or any guy friends that she’s gotta reach out to you? And he said that he doesn’t see anything wrong with that, he had boundaries, nothing had happened and nothing will happen, it’s been 10 years and nothing has happened. I’m not really sure how to feel about all of that, do you see a problem with this??

I also wanted to add that my issue with dealing with exes is that unless there is a kid involved, I don’t think people need to be in touch or in contact if they are an ex. Now I don’t know if that is stemming from my trust issues and I’m just very cutthroat when it comes to people from the past, I believe they should stay in the past. I don’t know why people out in this world talk to people that they used to hook up with or have intimate relations with and how they are able to be civil and still care about this person and want to know what their life is doing and what they are up to and stuff like that because quite frankly, I do not care about what my exes are doing. So I have really been thinking about my situation with this guy, and it’s just annoying to me. I don’t really want to deal with it but I like other things about him. And clearly there is no forcing someone to change.”

So, that’s the end of the email. 

It was a super good and detailed question. 

So to the reader, who will probably listen to this… thank you for that. 

Now, I want to jump into this and talk about it a bit. 

Okay, so first of all, there is good reason to be concerned about an ex. 

This is someone you’re thinking about dating, the person you’re thinking of investing in, the person you’re thinking about putting time, energy, effort, love, and affection into—literally staking a time investment into for the future—someone you would like to maybe consider a serious relationship with, maybe marry one day, right? If this person is talking to an ex, that is definitely a liability

And the reason for that is because there’s a lot of attachment that still exists between people and their exes. 

Generally speaking, they still have at least some of those feelings, right? 

Even though they broke up.

In fact, sometimes, after a breakup, if you give it a few months, that’s when an ex starts to look their most attractive. 

And the reason is because you kind of forget about the problems, and then you just have those feelings of lust and attachment. 

You’re missing them, they’re familiar, you have this pre-existing bond… that kind of thing. Right? 

So to the writer of the email, this woman, she is absolutely right in thinking that she has cause to be concerned about an ex being in the picture. 

Now 10 years, that’s a long time. 

And there are some questions that bear asking:

  • Why would he keep talking to her? 
  • Why does she keep popping up in his frame? 
  • Why does he tolerate it? 
  • Why doesn’t he move on? 

These are very fair questions to ask. 

And it could indicate that either maybe he’s clueless, and he doesn’t realize that the ex probably has some kind of intent for his relationship/dating life in this—because women don’t do anything by accident. 

Trust me on this, guys can be clueless

Sometimes, guys do dumb shit—and they don’t know what they’re doing. 

And they just make ass-faces of themselves because they don’t understand human mating behavior. And this can get them into trouble. 

Women are generally another story. 

Women do sometimes make dumb decisions, don’t get me wrong. But they don’t invest energy just willy nilly. 

Women do not do that. 

Women invest energy very intentionally (once again, I’m talking about specifically in a human mating behavior context). 

And this comes down to our evolutionary psychology. 

Men evolved to be protectors and providers. 

And so there’s kind of a ‘nice guy’ thing, right? 

Well, protectors, providers, sometimes warriors. 

So, some guys are jerks. 

But some guys tend to be nice guys, or white knights. 

So if an ex from the past pops up and asks a dude:

“Hey, how are you doing? Oh, I was thinking—I kind of needed help moving this couch, if you would? Do you think you can maybe give me a hand? I just can’t get anyone else to help me do it, it would just take 10 minutes.” 

So with this, there’s a chance that the man in his instincts is, you know, he’s not gonna really think much of it. 

To him, this looks like a basic request for help. 

And he might be like:

“Yeah, I’ll help you. Okay. That’s just basic human kindness.”

But here’s the thing. 

There’s really no such thing as a woman who doesn’t have male options to help her with stuff if she’s at all attractive. 

Every attractive woman has orbiters—men who would love to get with her, guys she could ask to do stuff, and they would willingly do it. 

So why of all the men she could ask for help or reach out to say, “Hey, what’s up?” to… Why would it be this ex?

Because there’s an intent for it.

To hear the rest of this episode, just check it out either on Youtube, or on any podcast platform (including Spotify) that you regularly use.