With New Love Comes Old Baggage: Why You Can't Compete With Exes


With love comes struggle, and with a new love interest comes the interest’s crazy ex. If you’re in your 20s, your new partner might even have multiple crazy exes by now.

Save yourself the heartache and realize that these people are likely going to be in your partner’s life for as long as you are, and maybe longer. When it comes to the exes, oftentimes you have to just surrender.

Your boyfriend/girlfriend most likely has had a boyfriend/girlfriend before you. There was probably that naïve high school love they thought they would be with forever, then college came and ended all that with the tap of a keg.

While you’re now older and approaching the “serious” relationship era, keep in mind that you cannot compete with your lover’s ex, because the competition is usually impossible or way too easy.

Here are the two types of ex competition that you will likely encounter in your love life:

The Endless Love

This is the most common problem that arises in new relationships. Your new special someone claims to be over an ex so completely that feelings for this person will never again rise. This is a lie. Especially if this ex was a first love, you have some nerve thinking you can compete.

Trust me, until your significance in this new person’s life exceeds that of what the ex represented, the ex will get chosen over you — the first love ex is the mother of all exes. There is nothing that will ever compare.

If the ex texts your partner, your partner will answer. Unless something completely tragic ensued causing the relationship to end, the spark of possibility that they will get back together will remain pretty flammable — who knows, it may never totally burn out.

Save yourself the pain and realize now that you cannot compete with this ex. It’s devastating; you will cry and binge eat and Facebook stalk, but you will get over it.

The Inescapable Ex

The second frustrating ex will not ruin your relationship: You can usually win. Your partner might have been previously naïve, or just poor at decision-making, because he or she fell in love with a psychotic person.

You know who this kind of person this is — the one who texts every weekend while drunk, shows up to places uninvited and follows you on Twitter and Instagram to see pictures of you.

This is the ex to whom you are superior. Unless your partner is as crazy as the ex, it’s likely that he or she wants nothing to do with this person, and simply wants to live a happy life with you. And bonus! The more embarrassingly the ex acts, the better you look in your lover’s eyes.

While exes are inevitable (and awful) elements of a relationship, don’t let them ruin the good stuff for you. Enjoy being in love and being the new priority in this special person’s life.

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