I get it, Ex’s are an ‘off-limits’ topic. They fuel insecurities and create unnecessary reminders of lost time. But, most importantly they are pieces of our past. A past that molds who we are today.
Understanding your current partner’s previous relationship is equivalent to taking Calculus your senior year. Nobody wants to do it, it’s going to seem like a giant waste of time, but in the end, it’ll get you to where you want to be much faster.
The Ex is around somewhere. They exist. Find them and research their failures. Or, when that feels entirely too invasive, simply…just ask your partner. Your significant other’s ex’s faults are a streamlined path to triggers that could be easily avoided with the knowledge of their existence. They say, that what we don’t know can’t hurt us…except in this very instance.
What made him leave? Why was their relationship less than successful?
Before doing some irresponsible social-media stalking take a moment to engage with your partner and find out from them what they were looking for, and didn’t find, in a potential spouse. Sometimes you will get the ol’ “She was crazy” which you will come to find out translates into “stayed out late drinking and fucked my best friend”. Note to self: don’t do either cause it doesn’t label well. Clearly infidelity is a huge turn off for everyone, but more specifically it’s important to remember that the partner with this kind of “EX-file” is probably more fragile when it comes to trust.
You may even get the “She wasn’t my type”, translating into: “She let herself go about four months into the relationship and by the time we moved in together she was able to eat a slice of pizza off of her belly Fat-Bastard style”.
Whatever you get for a response about what was enough to end their relationship, it’s enough to help you not end this relationship. And that’s such a one up, it’s absurd. Grab a front row seat to any kind of evolution, even if it’s a taboo topic like who your boyfriend used to bang. Honestly, being aware of you AND your partner’s boundaries is probably the single most important influencer in the confidence people need to create solid connections.
Normalize your past, align your objectives and TALK ABOUT YOUR EX’S. It’ll make things so much easier for you when you realize your not asking someone to repeat any former regrets. You’re setting them up for success by giving them the tools they need to not be another tool you don’t need.