Dating again after a serious relationship has its fair share of challenges. One thing people tend to struggle with is how to talk about their ex. If you’re on a date with someone, how much should you say about your ex? While it might not come up on the first date, the question will arise eventually, so it’s important that you’re prepared. It can be tempting to take advantage of your date’s sympathetic ear and list every issue you had with your ex. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to talk about your ex. Here’s what you shouldn’t do when you talk about your ex:
- Don’t bash your ex. Whatever you do, don’t start hurling insults at your ex. You might be completely justified, and your ex probably is as big of a pig as you say he is. But you should not be saying this to your date. It gives the impression that you speak this way about people in general, not just your ex. Your date will be left wondering what you’ll say about them one day, if they upset you. You don’t want your date to start imagining a worst-case scenario if they, too, become your ex. So, keep it kind.
- Don’t play the victim. No matter what went wrong in your relationship, it’s important to not seem too self-pitying. You may have been dealt a really crummy hand, but you don’t want to seem like someone who doesn’t take responsibility. Whatever happened between you and your ex, you played some part in it. Your ex may have flown into fits of rage, but was it in response to something you did? We don’t mean to imply that anything is your fault. But you might make your date wonder what part you played in the conflict. Or worse, your date could believe that things really were that terrible, but that you didn’t have the fortitude to end things. It’s not always fair when someone judges our relationships, but it happens. Make sure you seem mature by not blaming everything entirely on your ex.
- Don’t emphasize the differences between your date and your ex. You might choose to go on dates with someone who is the total opposite of your ex. That makes sense. Things didn’t work out, so you want to try someone completely different. If you focus on these differences though, your dates will begin to wonder if you’re just looking for not-your ex. They’ll also begin to wonder whether you’ll appreciate them for who they are, not just what they’re not. So, while it’s totally normal and understandable to seek out someone unlike your ex, don’t stress that too much when speaking with prospective partners.
- Don’t talk about your ex too much. If you can’t stop talking about your ex, your dates will wonder if you’re truly over the relationship. Don’t make your dates question whether you’re over your ex. Breeze by the subject as maturely as possible, and send the message that you’re ready to welcome someone new into your life. Leave the past behind.