How to handle a boyfriend or girlfriend who won’t stop talking about how great their ex was

Lawrence asks: Why do men talk about their ex to their current girlfriend? My boyfriend had numerous lovers in the past. Among those, there is one whom he spoke about in great details. How beautiful she was, how he sees her face, when he followed her to another city, how she was a look alike of another young actress, how he sneaked in order to be with her. It is intimidating and I am deeply hurt. When I spoke to him and asked him if she still loves her, he said no with conviction. He said I am giving such a big fuss over nothing because she is past. I gave him the chance to break up with me and search for his ex if his heart still belongs to her, but he said he will not search for her because he already found his love, which according to him, is me. My question is why would a man talk about his ex to his current girlfriend? And not just a passing conversation, he gave such vivid details.

Hi Lawrence –


My human Handsome loves to talk about the dogs he loved before he met me, and it’s never bothered me.  But I’ll be honest with you – I wonder if it’s because he always tells me that I’m his all-time favorite, and always will be.  Maybe if I wasn’t so sure, I’d be bothered when I heard about how smart Wolfgang was, or how sweet and lovable that dumb little Ygor was.


Of course, I really can’t answer your actual question.  I’d have to be able to read your boyfriend’s mind.  Perhaps he’s been trying to be honest with you, and not keep secrets?  Perhaps he’s afraid you’ll meet her someday and he wants you to be prepared.  Or is he actually playing games with you, trying to make you jealous?  I don’t know.


But I want you to try an experiment for me.  There’s a great old movie called Rebecca, starring Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier.  It’s easy to find, has always been popular, won the Best Picture Oscar in 1940.  (It even has a little conversation in it that opens the book Handsome wrote about me!)  It tells the story of a shy young woman who marries a mysterious dynamic gentleman, and is constantly being compared by everyone to his amazing first wife, who died some time back.  I won’t tell you anything more about the plot – it’s sort of a mystery and full of surprises – but I would LOVE you to watch the movie with your boyfriend.  Even though your relationship is quite different from theirs, it would put him in the mindset of a woman being compared to an ex for two straight hours, and I imagine that, after watching it, he’d understand what you’re feeling and why it’s SO WRONG for him to keep doing this!


Now as far as your question of why, even watching this movie might not answer that question.  But if his reason was innocent (just trying to be honest, etc.), at least it will stop his doing it, and you can move on from there.


And if he doesn’t stop doing it, then it allows you to ask him WHY NOT!  Since he’d know he’s putting you through just what poor Joan Fontaine goes through in the flick!


(The movie is also based on a wonderful book, but I’m recommending the movie so you two can share the experience at the same time, and he can really grasp what you’re going through.  But afterwards, if you want to read the book too, I’ve never heard of a human who read it and didn’t love it!)


Let me know what happens!


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