Is It Okay To Talk About Your Ex With Your Current Partner?

The last thing I ever want to hear about is my boyfriend’s ex. Quite frankly, he should forget everything that happened before me. I kid *wink*. Okay yes, do I want to know some things before we start becoming serious? Of course. There are pros and cons to every situation, and if I am going to understand my partner, I want to understand his past. I don’t need to know she had Gigi Hadid’s body and Albert Einstein’s brain, but I want to know how he has been affected by it. But how much is it okay to talk about your ex with your current partner before it’s too much?

1. The Truth About Dating

In the dating world, it is difficult to know exactly how much to share. Sharing too much can kill the mood, and sharing too little can make you come across as standoffish and cold. The question arises, when is it okay to talk about your past? Specifically, your past relationships? There are lots of different theories about whether it is detrimental or healthy to open up about your past. Bringing up ex-baggage can feel uncomfortable especially when you just met someone new and everything is going great. Talking about exes does not always weaken relationships–in fact, it can have the opposite effect. It can build a strong foundation of trust. But there is not a clear-cut way to handle the ex-conversation, and the preference may vary from person to person. So is it okay to talk about your ex with your current partner? Yes, and no.

2. When It Might Be Detrimental

Talking about your ex can be problematic. If you are talking about your ex frequently and bringing up the past a lot, you may not be over it. Time heals all wounds, and if you found yourself in a new relationship when you weren’t ready, you may bring up old memories frequently for a lot of reasons (i.e. you’re scared of getting hurt again, you’re nervous about the uncertainty, or you are still in love with someone else). If you find yourself in this situation, you either need to talk to someone and work through the past, or you need to take time for yourself to heal.

3. Why It’s Detrimental

It really is a major turn off. Here’s the skinny, I am glad you went through the experiences you did to become the person you are. I feel that every single person you’ve dated in the past, every heartbreak you go through, every up and down defines and shapes you. However, I don’t need to know exact details. I don’t need to picture you cuddling someone else, and I don’t want to compare myself to anyone else.

4. When It’s Helpful

Is it okay to talk about your ex if you’re trying to help? When you are sharing facts (again, no details) about your past you are showing your current partner that you are introspective and insightful. You can internalize what happened, but it is not defining you. If you have trouble talking about it, you may not be over it completely. You live and you learn, so who can fault you for living as long as you’ve learned something. That in and of itself makes you more interesting, and a stronger person!

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5. When It’s Formative

If you are really opening up to someone, you should have conversations that go deeper than the surface. Hashing out past mistakes can make you more aware of patterns or behaviors and less likely to repeat them. Another huge positive about talking through your past with your partner is that it gives them insight into who you are. When someone understands issues you face, what you went through, how you reacted, and what you might’ve done differently, they understand what works and what does not. Another reason that sharing about your past is positive is that it shows open and honest communication. Communication is imperative to having a successful relationship, and without it, you may be prone to repeat past mistakes without realizing it.  

What do you think? Is it okay to talk about your ex with your current SO? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Meghan Killian

Young "professional," Providence College grad, above average procrastinator, reality tv enthusiast, high profile contributing member of society.

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