Entries in ex-partners (8)


Keeping the Flame Alive: Motivations for Staying Connected with Ex-Partners 

Although certainly not for everyone, individuals often remain in contact with former partners after a break-up. But what ramifications does continued contact with an ex have when one or both individuals find themselves in a new romantic relationship?

In one recent study the authors wanted to know why former partners communicate with each other, and whether motives for keeping in touch with ex-partners are what really matters for how communication affects the new relationships. The researchers found that about 40% of undergraduates in long-term relationships maintained communication with at least one former partner.

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How a White Bear Can Teach You to Forget Your Ex

Don’t think of the white bear. 

If you’re like most people, you are now probably sitting in front of your computer screen or phone doing exactly what you were just instructed not to do -- thinking of a white bear. In fact, you are probably fixating on the white bear. Certainly, if you weren’t thinking of the white bear before, you are now.

This laser-like focus on the exact idea I instructed you to block out results from what researchers refer to as the ironic process theory, or more simply, the white bear effect. In a seminal research study, participants were asked to verbalize their stream of consciousness and not think about a white bear.  Despite these explicit instructions, not only did participants have difficulty suppressing thoughts of the forbidden white bear, but the white bear surfaced with an unusually high frequency.1 This idea relates to relationships as well. After breaking up with a significant other, you may make a conscious effort to avoid thinking about him/her. However, in doing that, you wind up focusing on your ex, which is exactly what you intended not to do in the first place.

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Pondering the “What If” Relationship

About 10 years ago I had a short-lived, whirlwind romance with a man who was taking a long break from a complicated relationship with another woman. Once things got emotionally intimate with me, he bolted back to her and they eventually married. I was devastated. Despite my initial grief, we remain a presence in each other’s lives. Although we have transitioned to being only friends, there has always been a flirtatious quality to our interactions. I refer to him as The Question Mark because I have always had the “what if” question haunting me about him. What if he had been more available when we first started dating? What if our career paths were not so different? What would happen if we lived in the same city today, now that we are both single again?

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Is It Time to Move On and Let Go?

Q: I am 21 years old and my ex-boyfriend is 34. We had been together for 2 years on and off. We broke up two months ago but in the past two weeks he suddenly came into my work place and we spoke. This week we planned on Monday to hang out, but I canceled on him and rescheduled for Wednesday. We had a quick dinner; he kept updating me about his friends and what he has been up to, and asking how I have been. After dinner, he walked me home and brushed his hand against my back occasionally...but when we reached my place, we just hugged and parted. We didn't kiss or talk about where our relationship is going.

The next day he texted me telling me that it was nice to see me again...I replied "Likewise." Two days have passed now...and I haven't heard from him since.

I guess I'm just confused as to whether my ex-boyfriend still wants to get back with me...or is it time for me to let go and move on?

A: Thank you for your question. It does sound like you are getting some mixed signals, so it is natural to want some clarification about what is going on with your ex.

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After The Rebound… What Next?

Q: How likely is it that a rebound relationship (one where your lover dumps you and then gets with someone else immediately) will last? Also, how likely is it for two people who were once lovers to get back together, particularly after seeing/being with other people?

Thank you for these two interesting questions! I’m going to answer them one at a time.

1. How likely is it that a rebound relationship will last?

That really depends on two factors: the quality of the rebound relationship, and the strength of the rebounder’s attachment to their ex...

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Should You Stay “Friends” With Your Ex-Partner On Facebook?

Let’s face it, Facebook has changed the way we experience romantic relationships. The widespread popularity of Facebook has increased the amount of information people can access about their romantic partners - past, present, and future. In addition, Facebook has provided new ways for romantic partners to communicate. In previous posts, I talked about research findings linking Facebook use to higher levels of romantic jealousy and greater relationship satisfaction when going “Facebook official”. But, what are the consequences of staying Facebook “friends” with a partner after breaking up with said partner?

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“Insanimus Guano,” Stalking, and How to Deal with Unstable Ex-partners

My friend Jessica just broke up with her boyfriend of 6 months. Why? Her boyfriend’s ex-wife went crazy after finding out he was dating someone new; she created a scene in front of his house that ultimately required him to call the police to get her to leave his property. Suffice it to say, my friend did not want to be involved with someone who brought so much baggage to the table.

I understood all too well. Sadly, many of my closest friends have had similar experiences. A few of my favorite gems (names have been changed to protect the innocent):

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Get Your Facebook Profile Ready for Valentine’s Day

What should you do to get ready for Valentine’s Day? According to YourTango, you should delete your ex-partner from your Facebook friends list. They have even designated a day for doing it; February 13th is Break Up With Your Ex Day, and this means deleting, blocking, untagging, and unfollowing your ex from Facebook and other social media.

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