When Your Partner Isn’t Over Their Ex

What should you do when your partner hasn’t healed from a previous breakup?

Ariana E.


Photo by Jackson James on Unsplash

If someone hasn’t healed properly from a previous relationship, it may very well be his or her own fault. But if the ex-in-question did something truly horrible — like cheating with their partner’s best friend, or wracking up $10,000 worth of debt on a credit card and vanishing— it can take a toll on a person’s mental state.

As expected, recovering from that type of breakup requires a lot more energy than moving on from an otherwise amicable relationship that ended on somewhat mutual grounds.

It may require therapy. It may require finding God. But it definitely requires more than just a few nights out with the boys or a few dates with new potential partners.

This concept — that healing takes time and tremendous effort — seems to be lost on young people who have had unpleasant experiences while dating in the past.

To Illustrate:

A young man — let’s call him Corey — has had a couple of bad experiences with women. Most recently, he had a long-term girlfriend who ended up cheating on him. He was with her for two years until the relationship finally ended.

Months after his breakup, Corey decides to date again. He is afraid of being cheated on, so he is unable to fully trust a new person. He is hurting, so he talks about his ex-girlfriend as though she were the devil incarnate.

Any new girl he meets has to deal with this side of him — including girls who have never cheated on anyone in the past.

Corey’s emotional issues prevent him from offering any new girl the best version of himself.

Like most people, he has many good qualities, too. He’s very sweet. He has a good sense of humor and thinks deeply about a lot of life’s mysteries. He’s kind to his mom and has big plans for work or school. He’s passionate about music, or art, or outdoors-y activities that make him seem special and unique.

But as good as these qualities may be, do they overshadow the negatives?



Ariana E.

I said what I said. Counter-cultural opinions on sex, love, and dating.