Have you ever started to date someone, begun to have feelings for them and then found out that they still hadn't gotten over their ex? Few things in the dating world are more annoying than the "Ex-factor". If someone is not over their ex, no matter how hot, sexy, intelligent and sweet you are, it won't matter, because they are not in a position to appreciate it at the moment. They are living in the past.
You are competing with someone they have a history with, who knows them a lot better than you do and who they share a lot of good memories with. How do you know if someone isn't over their ex? The two main clues are if they're always mentioning the other person, when there is clearly no reason for it or if they refuse to discuss the ex. So what can you do? Practice what I call the: "Lose 'em to keep 'em" move.
Sit your sweetie down and say: I like you and enjoy being with you, but it doesn't seem as if you're over your ex. That's not fair to either one of us and I can't continue to see you under these circumstances. I don't want to be in a rebound relationship.
I think you need to go and do whatever you need to, in order to figure out what you want. This will probably surprise them and they may even deny still being into the ex, but don't fall for it. No matter how much they beg and plead, stand by your statement. If they ask whether you are going to be dating others, the answer is, "Yes!".
Don't worry that if they get back with their ex it will be over forever with you. I once started dating someone that had just gotten out of a relationship. When the ex found out, suddenly she wanted him back.
He saw both of us for a while, although she thought he had broken it off with me. One night he had to leave to go pick her up. I was not happy about that and told him so. His response was: Too bad. I broke up with him that night.
They were together for another year but in the meantime he kept in touch with me. When he caught her cheating, he immediately broke it off and came running back to me. I took my time taking him back and from that moment on I always had the upper hand in what turned out to be a five year relationship. Eventually he asked me to marry him but I turned him down.
I truly believe that if I hadn't broken up with him and had instead put up with him seeing me on the side, the relationship would have ended for good within a short time and he wouldn't have come back. The ex is an ex for a reason-something obviously wasn't working. More often than not, if they do get back together, eventually they'll fall into the same patterns and before you know it, they'll start having problems again.
You need to give them an opportunity to see that it's not going to work, so that they can stop idealizing the relationship in their minds. It will probably happen sooner rather than later if you're not around to distract them. When they finally have closure, they will be able to move on and give you their full attention.
Copyright (c) 2007 Lucia D.
Lucia is a dating/relationship expert, syndicated columnist, author of "Lucia's Lessons of Love" and host of the TV Show "The Art of Love". For more information, go to: http://www.lessonsoflove.net