Your relationship with your boyfriend is great. But something’s been bothering you lately—he’s talking to his ex!
Before you accuse him of cheating, try to understand that there are many reasons why your bf might have done this. And most of them are wholesome.
In this article, I will tell you the possible reasons why men talk to his ex, and what you should do about it.
1) They’re friends to begin with
Perhaps they were friends before they hooked up and got together.
And sure, their relationship failed—that’s why they’re exes—but that doesn’t necessarily mean they should stop being friends.
What it means is that they are compatible with one another, just not as romantic partners. And there’s nothing weird about this at all.
In fact, it’s actually quite common for people to keep being friends with their exes, especially as they get older.
And if this is the case, it’s best for you to ignore the “ex” factor in their relationship and treat her as just another friend of his.
In fact, it might be a good idea for you to reach out and try to befriend her, too.
2) He’s too kind to ignore her
It could be that she just keeps reaching out and your boyfriend is way too kind to ignore her and leave her on read.
It’s not like they’re still friends, or that he wants to get back together with her. In fact, he might even be a little annoyed by her persistent messages.
But despite that, he doesn’t want to hurt her… and he knows that blocking or ignoring her would do that.
You may want to talk to him about it, and perhaps you can even help him set boundaries with his ex.
3) The ex is going through something
Ask him why he’s talking with his ex so much and he might just say “oh, she’s been having some problems lately.”
Men, well… men are always eager to help, especially if they have history together.
And perhaps he knows just how to reassure her or even help her get through her issues.
This doesn’t mean that she wants to get back together with him, or the other way around. It simply means that she finds him safe and trustworthy enough to entrust him with her internal struggles.
This is a good thing! It means that he’s a genuinely good and trustworthy person and that you should treasure him.
4) There are cracks in your relationship
It’s possible that although you’re good together, there are issues lurking beneath the surface.
You both feel these issues, but because you’re both non-confrontational, you refuse to acknowledge them directly.
This may be one reason why he’s talking to his ex—to tell her about these troubles and ask her how he should handle it.
But it can also be because he’s looking for affection and validation.
Clearly, there’s something your relationship isn’t giving him lately.
If you have a strong feeling that this is the case, I suggest you talk to a professional relationship coach from Relationship Hero.
They’re really good at what they do. I consulted them myself when I was having a hard time keeping my relationship together.
Not only were they genuinely helpful in fixing my relationship, they also offered me guidance on how I should view love and relationships.
Books, videos, and articles such as this can teach us a lot. But they’re for the general audience.
If you prefer to get guidance for your specific problem, having a relationship coach is the way to go.
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5) He’s missing simpler times
If he’s known her a long time ago—say, if she’s his first GF—then he might be talking to her not because he misses her, but because he misses his youth.
Our childhood is the time when we didn’t have to worry about bills as much.
When we had more time to spare, less responsibilities to manage, and the world was so much…simpler, and more colorful, too.
The thing is, they both went through those times together, so a part of him is always drawn to her—or to be more precise, to the representation of her.
There’s no harm in it, but it may be nice for you to reach out to him and have him gush about those good old days with you.
6) They have common friends
Imagine wanting to go on a holiday with your friends and being told by your partner that you can’t go because your ex is there.
He can’t just cut someone off when they have friends in common, even if they’ve decided not to continue being friends after the breakup.
It’s awkward for everyone involved, who will then have to navigate around all that unresolved tension.
And that’s exactly why he still talks to his ex.
If he’s a decent guy, I’m sure he put in effort to make sure they both remain civil towards one another for the sake of their mutual friends (and you, of course!).
It’s best to give him some space and not get involved. You don’t want to force him to cut off his friends just to be with you.
Let him have a life separate from you even if it somehow involves interacting with his ex. It’s healthier that way.
7) They have common interests
We want to nerd out on stuff sometimes. So maybe that’s just what he’s doing with his ex.
They might both like the same bands or artists, the same niche games, or are both geeks for a very specific topic.
I personally know some people who would keep spending time with each other over shared interests, even if they have partners.
Even if they weren’t friends before they started dating, this is definitely a possible reason why they would continue being friends after their breakup.
8) He wants to know more about himself
If your BF is the introspective kind of guy who wants to know more about himself, he’ll definitely want to know the opinions of someone who has been an important part of his life for a while—and one of them is his ex.
Maybe your BF is going through something, or he’s trying to get to know himself better, or he’s just curious how he’s changed over the years.
We all need a bit of self-reflection from time to time, don’t we?
You know him in the present, but you don’t know the past version of him.
The only things you know about his past are the things he told you…and that’s not enough for him to know more about himself. So he turns to her.
This usually happens when a guy is going through a midlife crisis or similar.
Be cool. Don’t be threatened. He’s only trying to figure out who he is. And you know what? This will be good for your relationship in the long run.
9) He is just naturally friendly
It’s just his nature to try to be friendly with everyone. This might even be one of the reasons why you fell in love with him in the first place.
This friendliness extends to her, and the fact that she’s his ex doesn’t even matter to him. Ask him about it and he might even go “wait, what’s weird about that?”
And there’s nothing wrong about that!
It might make you feel a little jealous and protective, but so long as he isn’t actually trying to cheat on you with her, there’s no reason for you to be afraid.
If anything, it means that he has a big heart and doesn’t have any malicious intentions when he’s talking with his ex.
You’ll just have to accept that it’s part of who he is, and trust that he isn’t having an affair behind your back.
10) He doesn’t know it affects you
Not everyone has the same qualms with people talking to their exes.
I have touched on this in the previous point, but it’s possible that he simply has no issues with the concept of him talking to his ex.
And chances are that he will have no issues with you should you decide to start talking to YOUR exes as well.
There’s a surprisingly large number of people who think this way.
And because they don’t have any issues with people talking to their exes, they don’t realize that it’s having an effect on you—and won’t, until you tell them about it.
So you will want to try to find the time to share your feelings with him. Be ready, be patient, and make sure you’re talking to help him understand.
What to do if you’re not ok with it
If this has been going on for a while and you’re still uneasy whenever your BF talks to his ex, then you have to do something about it. Deal with it before it explodes and ruins your relationship.
1) Ask yourself why it bothers you
As I have mentioned before, not everyone has issues talking with their exes.
There are those who stay away because it hurts being near their exes, there are those who stay away because their exes were abusive… and there are those who see their exes as friends.
Maybe you might even have no issues talking with YOUR exes… so why does it bother you?
- Have you been cheated on in the past?
- Did you witness your parents or a close friend get cheated on?
- Do you have good examples of people who talk to exes?
- Do you also feel bothered when he talks to other female friends of his, or just his ex?
- How would you feel if your BF gets jealous with you talking to your ex?
- Does his ex act especially chummy or affectionate towards him?
- Is your BF giving his ex special attention or priority?
Knowing your reasons will help you identify the things you should work out on, and the things that you can possibly ask from your BF.
I’m sure that if you tell him your reasons, he will find a way to assure you in a specific way, which is very much helpful in these types of issues.
2) Define your limits
Think about what you feel about his interactions with his ex, and how far you’re willing to go.
Do you hate that she’s talking to him at all and want him to stop completely?
Do you think their conversations are too intimate or that they spend too much time talking?
Or are you alright with him talking with her, so long as he isn’t cheating on you?
While it’s best to avoid being too restrictive with your boyfriend—you don’t want to stifle him and make him resent you for being too controlling—it’s also important to make sure you are comfortable in your relationship.
So try to define your limits so that you can share them with him when it’s time to talk it out.
3) Get guidance from a relationship coach
I mentioned this already, but it deserves to be repeated.
When it comes to figuring out how to handle situations like these, it pays to listen to those who have seen it before.
And that’s why it’s a good idea to talk to an experienced relationship coach. One who has helped a lot of people over many similar issues. You aren’t the first person in the world to face this issue after all.
The reason why I recommend Relationship Hero is because their relationship coaches are exactly that. They’re skilled and know exactly what they’re talking about.
4) Talk it out
You’re clearly not okay about this, so don’t bottle it up inside!
Otherwise, you’ll just end up resenting your boyfriend and even ruining your relationship altogether.
And the tragedy is that all that resentment might all be for nothing when you learn that he was more than willing to listen to you!
So while it might be a little scary or embarrassing to admit that you’ve been feeling uneasy or even jealous over what he’s doing… talk to him.
Communication is key for a good, functional relationship after all.
Try to ask him why he’s been chatting with his ex, and try to understand him. Share with him how his actions have been making you feel.
And then try to talk about your compromises, if they are needed given your circumstances.
5) Trust him fully
It might be hard, but your best option is really to put your trust in him.
Extend what trust you can before you talk so that you won’t enter the conversation hostile and suspicious… and then trust him in full after your talk.
After all, what’s the purpose of you talking things over if you aren’t going to try to trust his word?
Guys can sense it when you are being suspicious and distrustful of them, and if they feel like their efforts at keeping or earning your trust is futile, then they won’t be motivated to actually be trustworthy.
It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Besides, think about it this way. If he’s loyal to you, being distrustful would only hurt your relationship.
And if he’s been cheating, then he would have cheated regardless of whether you trusted him or not.
So might as well trust.
6) Work on your attachment style and insecurities
It can be hard to admit, but sometimes the problem lies in you.
You may know that your boyfriend isn’t doing anything with his ex. They might simply be best friends, and she might even have a boyfriend of her own… and yet you can’t help but feel jealous.
You aren’t being a pathetic loser or a monster for feeling this way. You might simply have insecurities or an attachment style that’s keeping you like this.
But now that you’re aware of it, you should definitely work on fixing the issues on your end.
What not to do:
Just as there are things you should do if you want to fix things up with him, there are also things you should avoid doing if you don’t want to make things worse than they already are.
1) Don’t violate his privacy
It might be tempting to just take his phone and scroll through his chat history to see if he truly has been cheating on you… but don’t. Resist the temptation.
Privacy is sacred, and the fact that you’re his girlfriend doesn’t matter. You can even be his wife and still not be entitled to violate his privacy.
And if he hasn’t been cheating on you? If his interactions with his ex have been benign up until this point?
Well, you just gave him a good reason to dump you. Congratulations—uhm, just don’t do that!
When in doubt, just ask if you can scroll his feed. And if he’d rather keep things private, well… tell him it affects you, but respect his decision nonetheless.
2) Don’t throw accusations at him
“You’re cheating on me, aren’t you?!”
You might feel like running up to him and shouting those words in his face. But it’s certain that whatever he might have done, he’ll deny it anyways.
If you must call him a cheater, you must at least make sure you have solid and irrefutable evidence to show to his face.
But even then, if you want your relationship to thrive, it’s in your best interest to NOT accuse him straight away.
Keep your evidence (if you have any) close at hand and instead try to understand him before you actually give your accusations.
3) Don’t try to have him cut her off completely
As much as possible.
Some restrictions are fine, of course. But mind how extreme your measures are.
Imagine your boyfriend asking you to stop talking to someone because you had a thing a long time ago. But no matter how hard you try to explain that you’re just friends, he isn’t listening.
That’s what it’s like. And this is why you should avoid having him cut off his ex completely, even if you think it would help with your insecurities.
If anything, this would only mean that you should work on your actual insecurities instead of trying to control your boyfriend’s life.
4) Don’t broadcast your problems
Unless you want to be potentially known and mocked all over the world, you will keep the goings-on in your life between yourself and your boyfriend.
That includes posting anonymously, on a throw-away account. You’ll be surprised at how easily people can figure out that it’s you.
And even if, say, nobody identifies you based on your posts, you are also at risk of having people project their own insecurities on you, or screenshotting your posts and spreading them around to mock you.
Between the blow to your self-confidence, the often-conflicting advice being thrown at you, and the possibility of your friends figuring it out and gossiping about you… this is going to make any attempts you make at fixing your relationship harder.
Work on your relationship in private.
As you can probably tell by now, there are many possible reasons why your boyfriend is talking to his ex, and most of them don’t really mean anything.
Of course, there’s a possibility that he still feels something about her. But unless you have hard evidence, give him the benefit of the doubt.
Set aside the fact that she’s his ex and focus more on how he talks to her as well as how transparent he is with you.
Most important of all is that you try to be transparent with your feelings and communicate with him properly about this so you can find a good compromise.
Both of you should be happy in your relationship. Give him a little understanding, and he should do the same to you.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.