So you got involved with a guy, you thought things were going really well as a whole. You were hopeful, excited even. But then you started to suspect that actually, he’s still pretty hung up on his ex. So what do you do? Do you have to walk away? Do you hope his feelings change? Here’s what to do if he’s not over his ex.
How Do You Know He’s Not Over Her?
So before we get into it, it’s super important that you actually KNOW he’s not over his ex. Not just you think because you have your own insecurities or are basing this from past experiences… Letting your worried run wild. I honestly can’t stress this point enough.
How do you know that he’s not over his ex? Well…
- By speaking to him about it and him actually being honest about it.
- By noticing the signs. Click here for what they are. If you’re just noticing the signs and he won’t admit in. In fact – if he denies it but all of his actions tell you otherwise and you know in your gut you’re right – then he really needs to start being honest with both you and himself in order for the two of you to move forward.
What To Do If He’s Not Over His Ex
So before we look at what to do if he’s not over his ex, I want you to first ask yourself:
1) What is the situation between the two of you?
How heavily involved are you? How strong are your feelings?
2) How did you get in this situation?
How did you get to the point where you’re dating someone, “seeing” someone, or perhaps even if a relationship with someone who is not over their ex?
- Did you rush things too fast?
- Did he sweep you off your feet?
- Or did you push things along with him – and if so, why?
It could also be that you didn’t realise he wasn’t over his ex until it was “too late”. Maybe you missed the signs? Or ignored them? Didn’t want to see them?
Whatever it is, I want you to get totally clear and be very honest with yourself. Because you may find there’s some more pressing things that you need to look at before you look at this.
If you’ve done that, you can then assess what your options are and therefore the best way to deal with this.
Is It a Deal Breaker If He’s Not Over His Ex?
Well, not necessarily. It completely depends on the degree of it. For example:
- If he’s still speaking to his ex, misses her, is trying to get back with her, then there’s no chance for the two of you.
- If she broke up with him and he’s still just a little raw about it, he may just need some time to get over it, and be in a position where he can trust and love again.
- It could also be a case of him not necessarily being hung up on his ex, but struggling to get over the situation. There’s a difference, you see. The latter is definitely better than the former.
Then of course it depends on where the two of you are at. For instance:
- If you’ve been “seeing” each other for six months and he’s still not over his ex, then let’s be fair – it doesn’t look great. He shouldn’t have let you in and allowed you to develop feelings when he knows he still has feelings elsewhere.
- If, however, it’s still early days for the two of you and he’s being fairly open and honest about it – he doesn’t want to get back with his ex, he was just with her a long time, there are still lingering feelings but he’s starting to get genuine feelings for you too – this is good. This is workable. Especially if it’s still early days in single life for you, and you do want to take it slow, continue to date other people perhaps even.
Everyone has baggage. Everyone has a past. But if they’re open about it, the communication is there, and they’re not in too deep – it doesn’t have to be the end of the world.
Four Key Steps If He’s Not Over His Ex
So in terms of what to do if he’s not over his ex, I highly recommend this four step process. It’s pretty straight-forward, you see. Sometimes you just have to take a step back and reminding yourself of that.
1) Talk To Him About It
Have an honest and open conversation about it and if he refuses too – that’s a surefire sign he’s not showing you the care, respect or consideration you need. In which case – you must pull back from him.
Just remember that this doesn’t have to be make or break.
Maybe you met at the wrong time. It’s not ideal. But if you’re still the right people, you can find a way around it. Especially if he’s not over his ex but he knows there’s no going back and he doesn’t want to go back – hence why he’s been pursuing things with you.
The only way this will work however, the only way you will get through this and actually stand a chance- is with good communication. Without that, there will be no trust. And without trust, there will always be problems.
If he’s not over your ex right now, you need to understand why. He needs to know why. And then it’s just a case of him doing what he needs to do (or doing nothing at all but simply having the time) to then feel in a proper position to put more into the two of you.
NOTE: You can also avoid getting into this situation by asking these key qualifying questions when dating. This is particularly important, especially if you’re ready for something serious and want to stop wasting time with people who aren’t in the same place as you. Click here to read.
2) Give Him Space
And I know – this isn’t what you want. Right now your instincts are telling you to CLING ON, to desperately try to prove your worth, but it will only end up pushing him away… whilst slashing your confidence in the process.
See, what you want and what you need can often be different things, and sometimes you have to do the things you don’t want to.
So don’t fight it. Accept it. Change the way you see it.
Space will be good for you. Taking a step back will make this easier. It will also start to put things back into perspective again… Not to mention (hopefully) make him miss and appreciate you.
3) Take It Slow
So he’s been honest, you’ve given him a bit of space, you’ve realised you still want him and – great news – he’s come back and said he still likes you – he’s just not in the most ideal place mentally.
Do you have to cut him out? Well, not necessarily – but it totally depends on where your head is at. Because that’s the thing – you have to do what’s best for you, and only you know what that is.
See, if you can continue this relationship and move it more into a friendship until he’s where he needs to be, that’s perfect. Get it back to being more friends.
In your head, you have to separate yourself from the situation.
You’ll always be a little more than just friends, there will still be that spark there – and that’s actually a good thing. You don’t want to get into a friend zone that you can’t get out of.
Just make sure that he’s no longer your primary focus. See other people, keep your options open, spend more time with friends, fit him in around your other commitments and don’t hang your romantic hopes on him.
You can keep him in your life, but don’t get hooked on someone who’s emotionally unavailable… And don’t pin your hopes on that changing because you won’t actually know for sure what will happen next!
NOTE: All relationships work better when you take them slow. If you trust that he’s in a better place already, after having the space, then you just need to follow these steps to continue to take it slow from here. The good thing is with these approaches is they don’t take away the fun and excitement of dating the person, and they don’t leave you feeling deprived! So click here to read a little more on this topic.
4 A) Walk Away
Now if you can’t do the above, you’ll have to walk away. When you do this, don’t do it on bad terms. Just say something like…
“Look, I do like you, I did catch feelings and – as I’m sure you can understand – I can’t let them progress when I don’t know if or when yours will. So for now, I think it’s best we leave things here. Just know that I’m only a message away, okay? There’s no hard feelings and when you’re ready, reach out again. We’ll catch up, see where we’re at.
So don’t close that door completely. There’s no point. When you do this however, you can’t then sit and wait for a text because a lot can happen, a lot can change.
He could drift away and never come back – but by leaving it like this, you know that from your side there was nothing more you could do… And you can feel at peace with that.
4 B) See What Happens
If the two of you are keeping things ticking over, see how it progresses, if it progresses at all.
- Is it slipping into just friends?
- Is it going stagnant?
- Or do you still see potential later down the line?
Try to take it as it comes. Just focus on having fun every time you’re together, having the best time that you can and allowing yourself to enjoy that time without overthinking.
You’re not set on him, but you’re not closed off from him either. You’re just… open-minded, easy-going. And if that’s not in your nature, see if it can be, even to some degree.
Not Everything Is Black and White
Just remember, not everything is black and white.
Not all love stories are written perfectly from start to finish. And some love stories – well, stories that you thought would be a love story – don’t actually turn out how you’d want them, or how you thought they would. That’s just the way it goes.
Meeting someone you click with is only actually the first part. It can arguably feel like the hardest part at times, but it doesn’t need to be.
Maybe you do meet “the right person at the wrong time.” But if they’re the right person, the right time will soon follow. You can’t force it or rush it. It has to happen in its own time if it’s going to happen… and last.
So good luck, I hope this helps.