How To Talk About Your Ex Without Arguments

When it comes to conversations with your loved one, talking about your ex is unlikely to be a favourite topic. In fact, when it comes to arguments, discussing an ex is a common cause of conflict. But sometimes it’s impossible to avoid talking about your ex. Perhaps you share mutual friends, maybe you live in the same town as them, or even work for the same company. Or maybe you were married or had kids together and so they remain a constant presence in your life.

So, if you can’t avoid bringing up your ex, there are some ways to tackle the conversation without conflict:

Be honest

It might be tempting to tell the odd white lie about your ex to make things smoother with your new love. But be careful, if there’s a chance they might meet at some point in the future, or if they share mutual friends, there’s little point in lying. Saying that they weren’t very attractive, for example, could backfire if they later meet and your new partner discovers your ex looks like a supermodel.

Choose the right time

Choose the right time to talk about your ex. As a rule, only bring them into conversation when necessary. Constantly hearing anecdotes about an ex is frustrating for anyone and is sure to lead to tension. If you do need to discuss your ex – maybe because you’re going through a divorce and need to update your new partner on progress – always pick a time when you can sit down calmly.

Don’t compare

At the start of a new relationship, it can be tempting to compare your new partner with your ex. But keep any such thoughts in your head. Even if you’re being favourable to your new partner, hearing about how they match up with your ex love isn’t pleasant. Certainly don’t begin conversations with “When he and I were together…” or “She would never have done that….”. It won’t end well!

Keep first dates ex-free

One time to avoid talking about an ex altogether is on a first date. It can be a real turn-off for a potential new partner to hear about your ex – either in a positive or negative light. And if you’re still feeling fragile about the break-up, bringing up the subject could lead you to becoming upset – which definitely isn’t attractive on a first date. If your date asks questions about your ex, answer them quickly and then move the subject onto something new.

Enlist the help of friends and family

Perhaps you’ve managed to keep your ex in the past but your friends and family keep bringing them into conversation. It can be tempting for friends to say, “We like you much more than the earlier guy…” or for your parents to say, “We were so happy when she broke things off…” For them it’s a way to make conversation and prove that they like your new love. But hearing about your ex from other people can be just as bad as hearing you talk about them. So, if you’re visiting friends or family and you suspect they might find it hard to avoid the subject of your ex, brief them in advance.

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