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How to get your boyfriend to move away from his past

Updated on September 10, 2015

Get your boyfriend to move away from his past

Let go of the past and keep it there.

Make new memories and stop asking questions about his ex

Do not compare your relationship to a relationship that either of you have had in the past

Get rid of old photos and things that remind each other of ex relationships

Do not text an ex and if your boyfriend finds himself doing that often then you need to let him know that it doesn't make you happy, if he can't stop you got problems!

Your boyfriends history is important

Everyone has a past and it is great to listen to someone talk about their life before they met you. A history is important to know in any relationship so that you know where your partner has come from and what background they grew up in.

Sometimes listening to stories about the ex girlfriends or wives can be a little much but it is a part of their history and if you are wanting a future with someone then learning all about them is important as well as showing an interest in their lives.

When his past is all that he can talk about and you find pictures of ex girlfriends in his wallet, home videos in his closet and memorabilia from his favourite holiday destination away with his ex, then it is time to have a conversation about where you are going to be headed and if your name will be a part of the history he so exuberantly communicates about.

Three is a crowd
Three is a crowd

Signs that he cannot let go of the past

There are many ways to see if your boyfriend is hanging on to the past a little too much. Sure we all get nostalgic and wish that we could go back to a certain time in our lives but if it is something desperate and continuous then your relationship will not feel stable and you will start to feel inferior.

Having photos of old friends and girlfriends can mean nothing and if it is in an album somewhere in the house then it is nothing to worry about but if it is a photo of an ex in a wallet that your boyfriend carries around with him all day, you need to check your relationship status before you continue on as he might still be attached to his ex and will end up going back there.

Once you have entered into a serious relationship with your partner and you have taken the time to discuss past relationships and the history of the two of you before, you can understand where someone has come from and you can move forward from there.

Many of us with social networking having found old friends and boyfriends that you were curious to know about and how they would end up, some even decide to meet up for a reunion. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that but bringing up the past and allowing it into your future can cause friction in a relationship. Who wants to sit with their partners ex and compare notes?

If your partner is continuously watching home movies involving an ex and he is always looking on line to view their profiles then you need to have a conversation about boundaries.

Many of us miss something from our past and that is completely normal but if it becomes a daily obsession than it is too much and you need to talk about your own relationship and how the both of you can work towards a healthy future where he is looking at photos of you instead of photos from the past.

There are a few signs to tell you that he is not over the past.

Meetings with the ex are uncomfortable
Meetings with the ex are uncomfortable

Photo's and videos

It is great to look at old albums and videos from your partners past so that you can see what type of person he was and what sort of friends he kept as well as how much fun he had as a youngster.

A problem comes in when it is a single photo of an ex kept in his wallet that he continuously walks around with, especially if you have been together for a while.

Home videos are great to keep to have a look at and laugh or cry about but when it becomes a part of your every night viewing then it is too much.

There are also those naughty home made movies that have been secretly kept in a cupboard for his viewing pleasure when you are not around that are questionable.

Being comfortable and happy in a relationship is important and letting go of the past is the only way to move into the future, which if he cannot do, might lead to problems down the line for you both.

Everyone keeps a little memento from their past but if it is something that you take out and look at over and over again then this might be a sign that he has not let go of his past and that he is not that into you.

There are certain things that you keep and certain things that need to be discarded to move on into the future with a partner that you wish to spend the rest of your life with.

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There is no such thing as being friends with your ex if you want a relationship to last
There is no such thing as being friends with your ex if you want a relationship to last

Meetings with the ex

Some people leave relationships as adults and they become friends rather than enemies, which is a good thing but not when you find yourself socialising with the ex and sit there listening to their past stories, as an invisible girlfriend.

It is great to hear stories but when you find yourself meeting with his ex on a regular basis, knowing that she has more information about your relationship than you do, it is time to let your boyfriend know that he needs to let go.

A healthy relationship is based on trust and communication between the two of you and not with a third party.

Her number on speed dial is a sign that he is stuck in the past and it should be your number there and not hers.

Should you be texting your ex?
Should you be texting your ex?

Social networks and the internet

Many of us have searched for an ex or old friends on the Internet. We have viewed their profiles and seen what they have been up, we might have even sent a message to say hi and question what they are doing. It usually ends there because you have seen what they have been doing since school and you have both moved on and forward with your lives.

Reconnecting with people from your past is normal if you have spoken to your partner about it but what is not normal is to sit on the computer all day sending messages and emails back and forth, viewing their profiles all day and keeping it from your partner.

Reunions are great fun to see what everyone has been up to since school but when it becomes the most important aspec of your life and your partner ha no interest in you, then it is a sign that he is stuck in the past.

Make your own memories
Make your own memories

How to get your boyfriend to move out of the past

It is not as easy as it sounds because you can never take the past away and everyone has a history. A good and healthy relationship has knowledge on the past and you have both spoken about ex's and family and everything that you need to know about your partner.

Having the past in your present is not healthy because you need to be present in your relationship, creating your own memories and making your own movies together.

For those that have their partner continuously talking about the past and wishing that they were back there, you will need to do a few things to move forward or else that might never happen and he needs to know where you stand and just how much you are both able to do, involving the past.

Ex girlfriends are not welcome in a relationship and they have no business in your business. Your relationship should be discussed with you and your partner only and if an ex knows all about your relationship then it is time to tell your boyfriend to send the ex on her merry way.

If he is unable to give her up for you then you need to walk away from the relationship as this will become a problem later on.

Wallet size photo's are awesome but if it is not a photo of you or his mom, then it has no business being in there.

Ask him why it is there and tell him to take it out and get rid of it. Should he not be willing to do that then you need to find ask yourself why you are still there.

Home video's can make you feel insecure and uncomfortable and although it was probably fun for your boyfriend and his ex to make, it is not appropriate in your relationship and you should be wanting to make videos of your own.

Getting rid of those old videos is something that he has to do in order for you to have a healthy relationship and if he is not watching them now, then there is no need for them to be there at all. Letting go of those videos and replacing them with new ones is a good idea to keep your relationship healthy.

Meeting the ex and emailing her is also not a good idea and it is not fair to you. For a serious relationship to move forward the past needs to be left in the past and emailing or meeting ex's might be questionable. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, then you need to tell him to let it go.

If it is something that he cannot do then you need to move on and forget about him because he might end up with his ex once more.

A past is good to have but any memorabilia of it in your present relationship is just not normal. Nobody keeps a photo of their ex on the mantle piece unless they are still wanting to be with them.

You could do the same and post pictures all over the house but playing games is a waste of your time and life. Get rid of signs of the past involving ex girlfriends and if that cannot be done then you need to move on and find someone new that is willing to have your pictures and is willing to make memories with you.


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    • Tashaonthetown profile imageAUTHOR

      Natasha Pelati 

      4 years ago from South Africa

      Dr Billy Kidd - yes, debt from a previous relationship is not fun at all! It causes an automatic level of stress before your relationship has even started. But getting through it can make or break a relationship and only the strongest survive.

      Dashing Scorpio - I always love your comments and common sense!! If you have to look for the "how to" then you are in the wrong relationship and sometimes they just need a push into the right direction.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile image

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      dashingscorpio, you said, : "Most people would rather attempt to change the world than to change themselves."

      I've been a shrink for a long time and I rate this comment as absolutely brilliant.

    • dashingscorpio profile image


      4 years ago

      Whenever someone asks: "How do I get my mate to....etc"

      It should be a red flag to that individual that maybe they've chosen the (wrong mate) for them self! I have yet to come across anyone who said: "I'm looking for someone to (change) me."

      The vast majority of people want to be loved and accepted for who (they) are.

      Change comes from within and most people do not change unless (they) are unhappy with the way things are going in their life.

      Instead of taking on a "project" one is better off using their time to find someone who (already is) the kind of person they want. Most people would rather attempt to change the world than to change themselves.

      There are only two ways to experience joy and peace of mind in relationships: we either get what we want or we learn to be happy with what we have.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile image

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Sounds like good advice! Besides putting the ex behind him, people need to remember that a potential partner brings a credit reference and often thousands of dollars of loans into the relationship. This is particularly hard on young adults who are trying to work things out in this Age of Money.


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