I don't know what it is, but I always seem to attract the man who is still in love with his ex, which greatly affects his ability to connect with me.
It's easy to avoid this guy when you see him coming from a mile away, waving his “I love my ex” flag. But when he's low-key not over his ex, it's hard to know until you're in too deep and your feelings are at stake.
Here are six telltale signs he's not over his ex:
1. He won't commit to you
If you've been casually but exclusively dating him for a few months, then I don't blame you for wanting to make things official. After all, it's been a few months and there's really no reason not to — unless he's still holding out hope for his ex.
If you bring it up and he brushes it off or tells you, “I like where things are right now,” it's an indication things are likely going nowhere unless it involves his ex. Dump his ass, girl.
2. He finds reasons to talk about her
Imagine having dinner and the conversation is waltzing toward the direction of the ex.
It's like when you're in high school and you have a crush on a guy; you'll find every excuse to talk about him, no matter how crazy you're driving the people around you.
It's essentially no different, except it's his ex and he's clearly not over her.
And, if you and your SO have mutual friends who are friends with his ex, this is an entirely possible scenario.
3. He still talks to her and hangs out with her... without you
It's not uncommon for people to remain friends with their exes, especially if they were friends before they started dating.
However, if he's going out with mutual friends and his ex, but he doesn't invite you along — or even tell you she'll be there — it's a big red flag he's not over her.
For whatever reason, he doesn't want her to see you, probably in hopes they'll be able to patch things up and get back together.
If it was a healthy relationship between the two of you and a healthy friendship between them, he'd invite you along and things wouldn't be awkward at all.
4. He still likes her photos on Facebook
There's no harm in liking a few photos and posts here and there, but if every time she posts a photo or status, if he's right on top of “liking” it, it certainly cause for concern, especially if they no longer speak in real life.
If he's silently creeping her social media, he's obviously trying to keep tabs on her. There's no reason to keep tabs on anyone unless you're not over them.
5. He compares you to her
Ever get into any arguments? Maybe you left the dishes on the corner of the sink. His retort is, “Ashley never did that,” or maybe “Jessica always did that.”
Whatever the issue is, his ex shouldn't be brought up. Maybe he's comparing your profession to hers, or her fashion and decorating styles to yours.
If his ex is being compared to you, he's not over her.
6. He's hot and cold with you
This one goes hand-in-hand with him not committing.
If he's going days without talking to you, he's either unsure about you or he's got his mind on someone else.
If he's not interested, it's not hard to outright tell you and move on with his life. But if he's hot and cold with you, it's likely that he's keeping you on the back burner until he's absolutely sure things won't ever work out with his ex.
Not getting over your ex is completely natural, but it's not natural to continue to date if you haven't given yourself time to grieve.
He's not wrong for mourning the loss of his relationship, but if that's the case, then he shouldn't be attempting new relationships or leading unsuspecting women on.
The important thing to remember is if you realize you're dating a guy who isn't over his ex, it's not your job to help him get over her — he needs to sort it out on his own.
Quit wasting your time now before it's too late and he breaks your heart. There are many more non-heartbroken fish in the sea for you – or at least ones with wounds that aren't as fresh.
This post originally appeared on Unwritten.