Did you just happen to be sitting beside your boyfriend when his phone lit up and it was a text from his ex? If you’re like me, your mind suddenly panics, “my boyfriend still talks to his ex should I be worried?”
Admittedly, it would leave you a bit concerned and uncomfortable. You probably even had one of your panicked, twisted chain reaction thoughts and wondered what the two of them were up to.
However, the plain fact that your boyfriend still talks to his ex might not be a bad thing. Sometimes it suggests a healthy way of dealing with personal realities.
And let's be honest for a second: If your boyfriend was the kind of guy who struggles to get a girlfriend in the first place, you'd probably never have been attracted to him to start with.
While your past relationships might have ended on a sour note, his might have been perfectly cordial and mutual, leaving no reason for detachment.
So before you overreact, there are a few things to consider, and being rational about the situation might be the best way to go about it.
Try running it through a step-by-step process before losing your mind over the lack of knowledge regarding their conversations.
1. Don’t Overreact
The first and most important step is to remain calm. Don’t overthink the situation at hand. Even if you can’t help thinking about it, at least keep a hold on your reactions.
Things will only get worse if you have a mini-outburst and say something unnecessary before truly knowing what’s going on between them.
Maybe they’re just catching up after a while; maybe it’s just friendly and harmless small talk.
Whatever it is, you will certainly put yourself in a precarious position if you overreact.
2. Have an Open Conversation
Addressing the situation openly and neutrally might be the best start to understanding what’s going on. Make your feelings about it heard, but don’t limit the conversation to that.
There are always two sides to a story, and knowing both sides is important.
The chances of knowing his honest opinion on the matter are low if you don’t have an open and honest conversation about their relations, how often they talk, and other major details.
3. Gauge His Reaction
Most concerns about these situations arise from doubts about whether or not your boyfriend still has feelings for her.
You can gather insights about this by his initial reaction to your concerns – is he awkward and trying to avoid a conversation or is he being casual and carefree with his response?
Ideally, your boyfriend broke up with her. It was his decision and he was certain about it. If that is the case, you take his word for it and leave it at that.
Even if that isn’t the case, time heals a lot of wounds. It could be that she just reminds him of everything that was wrong with his life, or just that he has grown over the whole fiasco.
If he’s not over her and still thinks about her, his initial reaction to the matter will certainly give you a hint.
If he tries being tight-lipped about it and does not delve into how he feels about the whole situation, you might get an idea that he still has some feelings for her.
4. Understand His Side
Asking him to open up about his breakup might work well for the both of you. It might put a lot of your doubts to bed while also showing him that you aren’t averse to talking about uncomfortable things in his life.
Selfish motives left aside, such a conversation can also lead to understanding why he actually talks to her.
It could just be irregular small talk. Maybe they broke up because he wasn’t physically attracted to her anymore. People change and their preferences evolve.
On the flip side, if there seems to be no reason for them to talk, and there is a regular exchange of texts, snaps and calls, things might look a bit worrisome.
Without being excessively intrusive, knowing why he talks to her will help you understand his reasoning behind it, and therefore help you make an informed decision about your feelings regarding the matter.
5. Make Him Understand Your Side
Once you understand how he feels about her and where she stands in his life, the next step is to make him understand how you feel about it.
While you might not want to come out with everything you feel about him talking to her, a brief insight into your thinking might be a good precedent to see how he reacts.
This might take a week or two, but you will know if he really cares about how you feel or if he finds it important to maintain his equation with his ex. If she doesn’t matter in his life as much as you do, he will certainly respect your feelings and act accordingly.
If he is unwilling to change his ways to make you feel a bit more comfortable, it’s another sign that he cannot do without talking to her.
This type of a conversation also serves as a chance you’re giving him to figure out his relationship to her. A lack of a reaction sometimes helps understand a person’s true feelings toward something.
Once you have been through all these steps, you have done two things: been rational and patient about the process and given him enough time and space to address the situation.
By this time, you also know if there is a cause for concern.
Ideally, he explained where she stands in his life and it does not come in the way of your relationship whatsoever. He has moved on and you are the most important thing in his life.
If that is not the case, you’ve given him enough space to have a conversation with you about it. You’ve also given him enough time to change his ways while spelling out how it affects you.
If none of this brings about any sort of change, and you find yourself on a weekend movie date on the couch while he texts away, it‘s time you gave him an ultimatum.