What does it mean when someone in a relationship keeps thinking about their ex?

noah asks: I had an ex-boyfriend who left to go on a mission in our church for two years. We’ve been four years together, on and off. Today, I have my present boyfriend, and we’ve been together for four fruitful months. Somehow, I think of my ex all the time (sort of concern and care). So, do I really love my present boyfriend? Or am I just using him to replace my feelings for my ex?

Hi noah –


I don’t know the inside of your heart or your mind, so I can’t answer your main question – only you can know whether you truly love your boyfriend or not. But I can put out a suggestion.


It’s really common, when people have been together for a while, for one or both of them to start getting a bit antsy, even a bit bored. And their minds will wander to others – very often to their exes. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t love their current faves, but maybe it’s a sign that something needs to be spiced up in the relationship. Maybe there are conversations you would like to have that you’re not having. Maybe you’re always doing the same activities together and should see about doing something else (even if you two, for example, just love going to movies, still – find something else to do on a date than just going back to the multiplex. Play laser tag or go on a hike – or if you really want fun, go to a dogpark!).


Then, if you find that you’re still thinking about your ex all the time, it might be good to see if you can figure out why. Maybe there’s something about him that this new guy doesn’t have. And if so, perhaps it’s something you could help this new guy get… or maybe you’re just learning that this is something you really need in a relationship, and this current boy isn’t the one you should stay with long-term.


This is the best thing about dating – you get to figure these things out. If you were a dog, and you were picked up by a family at a pound, you wouldn’t get to make these choices; you’d just be stuck with the ones you had. (Though in most cases, we fall madly in love with those families, so it works out fine!)


Best of luck,


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