We’ve all been there: we go on a few dates with someone who isn’t quite over the ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend just yet.
We ask ourselves, Should I date someone who isn’t over their ex?
You should not date someone who is not over their ex. Their unprocessed feelings will interrupt the development and progression of your dating relationship. Plus, it’s harder for them to move on when they are dating you. They might even go back to their ex.
The best advice I can give anyone is that dating someone who has unfinished business with an ex is not worth the risk. Don’t even go there.
With that said, let’s look at 14 great reasons you shouldn’t date someone who isn’t over their ex.
14 Reasons You Should Not Date Someone Who Isn’t Over Their Ex
If you’re wondering if it’s worth it to date someone who still has feelings for a past relationship, please read every single one of these reasons.
They might help you avoid inevitable heartache.
1. It’s Going to Constantly Affect the Relationship
It’s emotionally taxing, frustrating, and uncomfortable in general—all of which severely strain your relationship. Surrounding oneself with someone who provides negative energy and brings drama only adds to the potential pool of tears.
Many people think that dating someone new will help them move on, but it is actually the opposite.
Dating someone new makes it harder to move on because you can’t focus fully on yourself and resolving the past relationship.
2. They May Go Back to Their Ex Without an Explanation
If they haven’t gotten over their ex by the time you met them, they’re not going to get over a breakup right away in the relationship.
It may take weeks or months.
At some point in the relationship, they may decide to leave you for their ex.
It usually doesn’t take much for someone who isn’t ready to open his or her heart again to hop right back with an old flame—and they may do it without any explanation at all.
Save yourself the heartbreak by not dating them (at least not in a monogamous relationship).
3. It Slows Down the Development of the Relationship
Relationships should be a commitment, not something you can give and take at will. There’s no way of knowing when your ex is done grieving for their past love.
If they are not ready to move on, then they’re always with this other person in the back of their mind.
What happens if they win them back someday?
You could live in limbo for months or years as your partner longs for two people all the while resisting making any promises or commitment to building a future with you.
You deserve something better.
4. It Slows Down the Commitment Process
Romantically, it’s a lot to put up with when someone is not over their ex.
Not only does it slow down the commitment process, but they’re also likely unable to fully commit (even if they want to). Before you jump on board, the best decision is to hold out for someone who is open to total commitment.
You deserve all of a person, not the emotionally crippled half of a person.
5. They Will Be Unpredictable
Their unprocessed emotions will make them less reliable.
It’s a well-known fact that breakups often cause people to make irrational, impulsive decisions. This is compounded by the fact that when people are in the throes of a breakup, they can lose their objectivity and sense of reality.
You will never be able to predict a mood swing or sudden change in their emotional state.
Unprocessed feelings can wreak havoc on consistent behaviors and everyday interactions that make dating relationships work.
6. They Still Have Self-Healing To Do
Why would you want to date someone who hasn’t figured themselves out?
It takes time and work to overcome a breakup and begin feeling like yourself again—your old self. It takes time to get back on your own two feet without that other person supporting you every step of the way.
Most of us have some lingering emotional baggage from past relationships holding us back.
But they’ve got double the baggage because they haven’t done the necessary work to move on (at least not yet).
It’s important for someone to become happy enough in themselves that they can handle being alone. When they reach that level of self-healing, they are then ready for a new relationship.
7. They Will Compare You With Their Ex
They might constantly think about their ex and may even express how much better “s/he” was in every way.
Your good qualities may trigger memories of their ex, which leads them back into nostalgic feelings. Everything in your relationship is filtered through their past—often hurting your romantic connection.
You deserve someone who is not comparing you to anyone else and is only thinking about you.
8. They May Suffer From Serious Emotional Issues
The breakup of a relationship is often one of the most painful and stressful events in many people’s lives.
It can result in untreated and unprocessed emotions that can severely impact a person’s overall well-being. Someone who seems stable may falter if they struggle with these serious issues after the breakup.
Essentially, you are with someone experiencing trauma, which can trigger self-destructive behavior.
This is why having patience with someone who has recently been broken up with is so important. However, just because you offer them patience, doesn’t mean that you need to date them exclusively.
9. You Might Get Your Heart Broken
Dating a person who is not emotionally ready can lead to more heartache.
You might get invested only for them to leave you for their ex, or just want to take a break to heal.
It’s emotionally risky to invest yourself in someone who may not be able to reciprocate your feelings or level of commitment. You’re better off dating someone else who is not hung up on their ex.
Dating always involves risk, but there are more risky and less risky moves.
10. Their Feelings Might Be Too Intense
Instead of slowing down their feelings for you, the unresolved breakup might accelerate them.
In an effort to replace the feelings they have for their ex, they may overwhelm you with intense emotions. When they come on too strong, they may drive you away—which isn’t such a good thing for a new relationship.
The same thing happens when someone rushes out to get a new pet when their last pet dies.
Instead of dealing with the pain of losing a pet, they replace the pet. While it may make them feel better momentarily, it’s not a healthy long-term strategy.
It’s better to give yourself time to heal.
11. You Can’t Fully Trust Them
You can also never be sure if you can fully trust the person.
He or she may go back on a promise at any time because their feelings haven’t adjusted yet. Trust is an essential element of any healthy relationship.
If you can’t trust them, you can’t grow with them. You simply don’t want to be in a relationship with someone you can’t trust.
12. They May Use You As a Rebound Relationship
I recommend that you stay away from people still hung up over their exes.
It’s really hard for them to get over their ex when they’re dating you. The best way to make sure you don’t get used as a rebound is not to date someone who’s still fiending for their ex.
One of the most common reasons people stay in a relationship is because they’re afraid to be alone.
If you find yourself in this situation, you’re better off not being serious with them until they figure out how they feel about their ex. However, casually dating them might also work.
13. They May Still Be Enmeshed In Their Ex’s Life
You should never seriously date people who are still entangled in their ex’s life.
It’s really important to be aware of the cost-to-benefit ratio in any situation—and being in a relationship with someone who is constantly living in the past will always outweigh any potential benefit of companionship. It’s messy.
You’ll find yourself getting frustrated more often than not when you’re holding down 100% of the effort instead of splitting it 50/50.
Things will become exceedingly difficult, especially if they decide to text their ex or engage in some other potentially inappropriate interaction.
Also, it’s always better if both parties work on themselves before moving back into another relationship—so why rush it?
14. You Won’t Feel Like a Priority in the Relationship
It is imperative that a partner always put you as one of their priorities.
Last year around Valentine’s day, I read a great dating book about how important it is for your partner to prioritize you and the relationship.
It has been scientifically proven that people who prioritize their significant other show higher levels of physical intimacy, talk more often, spend more time together, and are less likely to cheat.
If your partner doesn’t place you high on their priority list, then it might be time to find someone who does.
You deserve it.
Check out this 4-minute video on what to do if you are dating someone who isn’t over their ex:
Is It Ok To Date Someone Who Isn’t Over Their Ex?
It’s certainly not an easy situation to be in, but it is possible to make it work.
It will require a lot of communication and understanding from both parties. You’ll need to be patient as your partner goes through the grieving process and be accepting that there may always be a place in their heart for their ex.
If you can handle all of that, then dating someone who isn’t over their ex can actually be pretty rewarding.
Your partner will appreciate your willingness to stick by them during this tough time, and they’ll likely be more open and honest with you than they would’ve been otherwise.
This can create a really strong foundation for your relationship.
So, if you’re up for the challenge, don’t rule out dating someone who isn’t quite over their last relationship.
Therefore, it’s ok but not recommended.
Final Thoughts: Should I Date Someone Who Isn’t Over Their Ex?
The old adage is true: go with someone who wants to be with you more than anything in the world —not someone who’s still waiting for their ex-love to call them back.
Remember, we all had a first love—it doesn’t mean we’re broken—it just means that person wasn’t the right match for us.
The good news is that there is a perfect match out there just waiting to meet you.
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