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5 Subtle Signs Your Partner Is Not Over Their Ex, Relationship Experts Say

These red flags could mean they're focused on a past love and not you.

Most people end up seriously dating more than one person in their lives. Unfortunately, this means you may find out that your partner's past isn't really in the past. In order to avoid feeling brokenhearted after a breakup, people will often try moving on before they're actually ready—and that can easily wreck their next relationship. After all, no one wants to find out their significant other is still hung up on a lost love. Talking to relationship experts, we found the signs to watch out for if you're worried your partner is not over their ex. Read on to discover the red flags you need to know.

READ THIS NEXT: 7 Body Language Signs That Mean Your Partner Is Cheating, According to Therapists.

They seem like they're still trying to impress their ex.

Friends gathered at the restaurant eating pizza and drinking some wine and spirit. At this photo they capturing a selfie photo while making a toast.

Right after a relationship ends, there is often a desire to prove that we're "better off" without our past partner. But as we get over our ex with time, we tend to care less about what they think. So, if it seems as thoguh your significant other is "still trying to impress their ex," that may mean they haven't actually moved on, according to Sarah Watson, a psychologist and the COO overseeing research at BPTLAB.

"Do they often talk about how much better they are in some way than the ex? If so, this could be a red flag that there is still something lingering for them," she says.

There are many physical reminders of their ex around.

man is packing and unpacking as he is moving into a new house. He is looking at old picture.

Most of us are well aware of our partner's past relationships—so the last thing we need or want is to be constantly reminded of these former flames. When someone is still stuck on their ex, however, they may be more likely hang on to physical reminders of that person.

"Seeing items from the past in plain sight could be a sign that they are not ready to let go of their former relationship," Watson warns.

This isn't always as obvious as your partner holding on to their ex's old shirt or photos of the two of them together. Your partner may also tend to take you to places that remind them of their past relationship, according to Jennifer Kelman, LCSW, a therapist with JustAnswer.

"If you go to a restaurant or another fun place and your partner begins to reminisce about the last time they were there, it may be that they are thinking back longingly about those times they had together with their ex," she explains.

They make excuses for their ex.

Couple arguing on the cough with one another
Just Life / Shutterstock

If your partner still has feelings for their ex, they might be quick to defend them when you have concerns. According to Kelman, you may find them trying to justify staying in contact with that person. This can manifest as "making excuses for the ex if they are reaching out," for example.

"They may make statements like, 'His Mom is so sad we aren't together and she loves me and wanted him to reach out to let me know she misses me,'" Kelman shares. " This prolongs the grief and may also be a subtle sign that things are not truly over and feelings are still strong for the ex."

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They constantly compare you to them.

Two young adult concerned girlfriends in casual clothes communicating drinking coffee in kitchen at home

It's only natural for us to sometimes compare our current relationships with what we've experienced in the past. But you shouldn't feel like conversations with your significant other are being dominated by these comparisons, according to Watson.

"If your partner constantly talks about how different or better things were in their former relationship, it is a clear sign that they have not completely moved on," she warns. "This could be concerning for your relationship as it may indicate that they need to be fully invested in the current one."

They make a big deal about being over their ex.

couple going over their their home finances on a laptop and smart phone while sitting at a table at home

Overcompensation can be one of the clearest signs that your partner is still stuck in the past. Someone who is truly over their ex won't be constantly bringing up just how over them they are. With that in mind, pay close attention if your partner is "making big declarations" about having moved on, Kelman advises.

"If you are over your ex, then there is no need to make declarations as they would not be on the forefront of your mind," she explains. "If you have to prove it, then most likely you are still pining away or rife with unresolved issues around the ex."

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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