How to Know if You're Comparing Your SO to Your Ex

Sometimes we think that we have found the one…. And then it turns out we were very, very wrong. So, we often find ourselves comparing our new partners to our ex, even if we do not do it consciously. Since each person is unique and has the right to begin fresh, it is unfair to compare the present and the past while expecting the new relationship to be happy and successful. Here are a couple ways you can see if you are comparing your ex to your new significant other.

1. You have a list of things that your new partner should be doing.


Maybe your ex bought you flowers on your birthday, always let you pick the movie on date night, or loved to dance with you at clubs. You find yourself somehow disappointed a little if your new significant other doesn’t do these things. But, you have to keep in mind that your new partner has their own ways of showing affection, as well as their own qualities and habits. Additionally, they can’t read minds and will not magically know that you expect them to fulfill some of these expectations, so maybe try talking to them about it.

2. Familiar fights cut deep.

Maybe your new partner calls you crazy in an argument, and you are taken back to when your ex called you crazy… as you discovered that he was cheating on you. The insults cut deep because they show you that one more person thinks this of you, and that maybe you really are those insults. However, try to keep in mind that your significant other may not understand the deeper context of what they are saying and their words have a completely different meaning. 

3. You find yourself getting upset over little things your partner does.

Maybe they might not answer some of your texts during a busy day of work or school. However, you are more upset than even you justify, because it takes you back to constantly feeling ignored in your last relationship. You don't want to feel abandoned again, whereas they just see it as a busy day and limited time on their phone. 

4. You anticipate your significant other’s behavior.

Your ex used to get mad when you went out with your friends, got defensive about their phone, and lied about where they were. So, you assume that your new partner will do the same things.  You stress that they'll be mad that you’re at a club, you avoid even grazing their phone at all costs, and catch yourself with lingering doubt when they tell you that they're  with their friends and are not ignoring you. It’s important to let this new person show you that they are different than your ex, and to not look for the worst in them.

5. You find yourself feeling distant and lonely.

Odds are, if you have an ex, you've been hurt. We often default to putting up walls to protect us from feeling the way that we did with our ex. Sometimes your partner may say or do something to bother you, which can push you off the edge simply because it reminds you of your past. Again, the best way to manage this feeling is communicate with your significant other, as well as taking a hard look at yourself. It helps to be aware of your triggers and habits, so that you can know when your partner is really doing something wrong, or if they just happen to stumble upon a sensitive area.

If you think that you are comparing your significant other to your ex, there are ways to stop and find happiness over time. First, recognize that you had some good times with your ex: they knew you well, you shared some meaningful memories, and you cared about each other. However, it is time to move on. Your partner and your ex are two completely different people, and comparing them will only hurt everyone involved. You deserve to be happy in your new relationship, which begins with ending the comparison and looking hopefully into the future instead of painfully into the past. 

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