Are you comparing all your potential Mr. Rights to your former Mr. Wrong? Don’t be that girl. Here’s how you can quit comparing your dates to your ex. By Minot Pettinato-Little
The waiter comes, and Mr. Dreamboat orders a steak, and suddenly you start talking about how Mr. Ex used to order his steak rare and you laugh: “Ew, right?” Suddenly, you’ve become that girl. The “I compare everyone to my ex and look for reasons to bring him up” girl.
It can be tempting to ramble on about your ex or to associate every little thing your date does with what your ex used to do. But you know that you’ll just end up holding yourself back from getting to know this potentially awesome new guy!
How to stop playing the comparison game with a new date
Look, I know it can be hard to completely erase your ex from your mind. But that doesn’t mean he has to pop up with every thought in your head. Here are the big steps you need to take to ensure that the thought of your ex won’t ruin a blossoming relationship with a new guy.
#1 Get over him. This is no simple feat, as this is the person who stole your heart away and perhaps left you devastated, binging on bowls of chocolate ice cream every night post-breakup.
It may be difficult, and it may take you a heck of a lot of time to get it done, but you have to learn to let him go before you start anything new with someone else. Holding on to old feelings for an ex will ruin your potential future with someone fantastic and will leave you feeling miserable, not to mention dragging old issues into your new relationship.
#2 Don’t rebound date. Dating is fun, it’s exciting, and it makes you feel alive after a messy breakup. However, when having a flirty night out with a great new guy suddenly turns into relationshipville, you may be wondering if you’ve boarded the rebound train too soon. If you’re not completely over your ex, at least to the point where you don’t bring him up at every turn, then you have no business dating.
If you do rebound date before you’re truly ready, make sure you don’t let it turn into a relationship. All you’re doing is potentially ruining a future with someone who, at a different stage in your life, could be a great match for you. Unfortunately for you, you’re still too devastated by who you now refer to as “Cheating-Lying-Small-Penis-Bastard” to see a great thing right in front of you. Therefore, if you do feel the urge to get back out in the field post-breakup, make sure you keep it exactly what it should be: casual.
#3 Make a pro list. Okay, so your ex used to bring you breakfast in bed, helped pay your rent even though he wasn’t living with you, and always gave you first Netflix picks. New boy? Not so much.
Instead of seeing all the ways these boys aren’t similar, try focusing on what he does that you love. Does he show up at your work with a surprise lunch? Take care of you when you’re sick? Open doors for you? Send you texts that are loaded with smileys when you’ve had a bad day? More importantly, does he always strive to make you O? These are all fantastic things that should be raved about, not compared.
Start mentally focusing on all the wonderful things you’re starting to love about this guy by being vocal about it. Not to say the next time he opens the door to the coffee shop you should be shouting “I love you!” from the rooftops, but make sure to tell him “I love how you open doors for me, it’s so romantic!” Or, “You always make me feel better after a bad day.”
Saying these things out loud will not only make him feel like Boyfriend of the Year, but it will mentally reinforce to you that you have a winner on your hands. New boy could be exactly what you’re looking for, if you let it happen.
#4 Create new memories. For those who prefer the warm and fuzzy “comfortable” side to relationships, rather than the bustling energy of meeting someone new, it can be hard to entertain the thought of inviting someone new into your life. After all, they don’t know your ticks and hints like your ex did, and you don’t have that comfortable chemistry that comes along with being intimately acquainted with someone for an extended period of time.
Don’t shut the door on your new boy just yet. Give him a chance to develop new memories with him to trump, or at least make you forget about your old ones. After a while, you may find yourself getting close to the new guy, creating your own inside-jokes, and getting lost in the way it feels to fall in love all over again.
#5 Remember why you broke up. People tend to look back on past-relationships with rose-colored-glasses, forgetting all the nasty things that made the relationship a living nightmare. Instead of romanticizing your former fling, try to remember why you broke up in the first place. Even if you weren’t the one who wanted to end things, there must have been some things you didn’t like about the guy.
Loud chewer? Small penis? Snores? Friends can’t stand him? Yes, these things can help you fall out of love with your ex. If you can’t seem to find anything to hate about your ex, then recall that heart-wrenching feeling when things started to go downhill, when things got really bad, and finally when you finally broke up.
You may not be able to control the thoughts that enter your head, but you can fill your mind with other thoughts that won’t leave you completely hung up on your ex and oblivious to an awesome new guy who’s tripping over landmines just to woo you.
Your ex is gone, in the past, kaput. Quit looking back and making comparisons, and instead look to a potentially bright future the new guy might bring you!
In the end, you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you can find the prince. Your first assignment? Start thinking of your ex as that frog: slimy, flitting from lily to lily without a care in the world, and using way too much tongue while he did it. With that mental image in mind, do you still think you can muster up the urge to make comparisons?