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Your Man Still Loves His Ex? So what?

There are a lot of topics that are assumed to be off limits between people in a relationship – a sort of unspoken nod at the fact that the two of you have your own pasts, but that they aren’t relevant to your relationship now. Some of those gritty subjects might include details regarding some kinky hookups after nights out bar-hopping, or how you “totally don’t have a type,” when really everyone knows you always go for the low-riding jeans and muscle T’s, but your new guy sports joggers and oversized hoodies. Issues like these don’t have to be a big deal, and shouldn’t matter too much in your relationship. But what happens when your boyfriend brings up his ex – the ex? What happens when he can’t help but talk about his first love with fond clarity, reminiscing in your presence on ancient history that he seemingly can’t let go of? How jealous would you get? How much would you doubt what you have, or your chances of creating something better than what he remembers true love to be? The answer is that you probably shouldn’t care that he has loving, affectionate memories of someone else.

For a lot of people, it’s arguably one of the hardest things to think about the fact that the one you’re with, the one you love, loved someone else first. And to make it all worse, on some level he still does love her. Maybe their parents made them split up, and he never got real closure. Or maybe they broke up because she moved away. Or maybe she freaked out because they fell hard, but were so young at the time. Whatever the case, he doesn’t have much reason to hate her. And, if anything, he’s completely warranted in his long-time affection for the first girl who kept him up late texting on school nights, who kissed him after the homecoming game, and who had him wrapped around her finger so much that he waited half a term for her answer to Prom while everyone else got their dates.

But don’t get your pants in a wad just yet, and try to remember that, at the end of the day, you’re the one he’s with. And after all these years it’s even likely that he’s had the chance to get back with his then-lover and didn’t, especially here in Utah where relationships seem to rise from the dead at least three times before the knot’s tied, or they’re tossed aside for good. Maybe it’s the way you make him pizza rolls after he’s had a hard day, or how you showed him up in old school Madden on GameCube, or how you nuzzle him awake two hours before his alarm goes off. Whatever the case, he loves you. And part of why he’s so good at loving you might have something to do with the fact that he loved that other girl first, and she showed him what it meant to really trust and respect someone else. And now he’s older, more experienced, and that love he once knew will only be enhanced now that he’s with you. At the end of the day, you might actually owe that “other woman” for softening your man and teaching him how to love in ways most guys take ages to figure out. So thank her, and thank the heavens that you weren’t his first. Because now, maybe, you can be his last.   

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