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Whenever someone new comes into my life, I start thinking about my exes and past relationships all over again. I will have gone ages without thinking about these boys, but the second I have potential with a new guy, my exes sneak out from wherever I have left them and linger in the back of my mind. 

For example, the guy that I am talking to will send me a good morning text or tell me that I am beautiful, and I will think about how my ex never did that. On the flip side, a guy I am talking to will do something that my ex did, and my brain starts waving red flags at me. Sometimes I even find myself comparing the pace my relationships are going and will say things like, “Oh my gosh, this thing with John is going so well, but I feel like it’s moving way too fast. I can’t have another thing like what happened with Logan again.” 

Recently, I have been more and more conflicted about whether or not this comparison is normal or good. I want to give the new people in my life a fair shot, but I also think that comparison is somewhat normal and inevitable. Still, I do believe that if you compare your new relationship with an old one too much, it can be detrimental to building the foundations of your new one. Curious about what other people thought about this, I put a poll on my Instagram asking my female followers whether or not they compare their new relationships with their old ones and whether or not they think this comparison is healthy or detrimental. 

My poll results on whether people compare their relationships or not were that 87% of girls DO compare their relationships. I am honestly jealous of the 13% of girls who said they don’t compare their relationships. This poll made me feel better about my history of comparing relationships. The poll had more “No” responses than I expected, the explanations and thoughts that some people gave me were more interesting. I feel like people’s thoughts and feelings fall into three categories. These categories and some explanations follow…

  1. It’s 100% healthy!

Most of the people in this category said that due to the comparison of new partners with exes, they could protect themselves better by seeing red flags sooner and setting boundaries better. Also, many people said that they found that they could appreciate their new partners more through comparison. 

  1. It’s 100% detrimental!

The people in this category said that it isn’t fair to your new partner and relationship to compare them to exes. To expand on that, some people said that each relationship is a unique experience and they will never feel the same, so comparison can’t be helpful. 

  1. It’s BOTH!!

I feel like most people, including myself, fell into this category. They see the benefits that can come from looking at your past to better understand what you want for yourself in the future, but also believe in the harm and unfairness of comparing your new partner with your ex.

Julia is a junior Business Administration and Communications Studies double major at Furman. Outside of HerCampus, she is also on the executive board of the Chi Omega chapter on her campus. Some of Julia's favorite things include: cooking, working out, Law and Order: SVU, Taylor Swift, and being around the people she loves.
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