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Thread: Case of the ex

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    JUB Addict MMMonsterBoy's Avatar
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    Case of the ex

    How often should the person you've recently began dating bring up his ex-boyfriend(s)?

    I've been seeing this guy since February and right off the bat I knew that he broke up with someone in December, and that he was in a five year relationship not long before that. No problem, that's fine...but here is how our conversations usually go

    Me: I love potatoes!
    Him: Oh my god, this one time I made (insert name of boyfriend of five years) fried potatoes and then his sister came over and I had to make them for her too!

    *later*

    Me: I hate driving in the dark because I have terrible vision
    Him: This one time I had to drive (insert name of boyfriend of five years)'s car in the dark and I was so nervous I was going to crash it!

    These type of conversations happen every visit. Every visit. Recently he graduated from university and asked me to attend, but I had something else to attend....His ex of five years was in attendance at the graduation, however. Now five years is a long time to date someone, so I understand how stories can accumulate overtime and referencing them does make some logical sense. Only, I never hear stories about other friends (which he has, and I've met). Usually, every little comment I make can be traced back to boyfriend of five years.

    December break up boyfriend is usually different...It's more somber. The ex was impatient, and kind of immature, from what I've heard (which is a lot). The guy I'm seeing is an artist, and his apartment was like a shrine for the ex - full of paintings of said ex - which I understood! But again the context is different, as I can tell the break up really hurt him. He claimed to be depressed, and started taking medication recently. To clarify, he didn't say he was depressed over the break up, I'm only guessing, as he didn't elaborate.

    He's a sweet guy, and the most thoughtful guy I've encountered - ever. We like each other plenty, which is why I plan on bringing it up to him. I'm not jealous, and I'm not going to tell him 'no more ex talk,' but I do want to know what he's feeling about said exes. I hear the stories he says, but I'd like for him to just tell me directly.

    Has this ever happened to anyone? What did you do?
    Last edited by MMMonsterBoy; June 2nd, 2014 at 12:23 PM.

  2. #2

    Re: Case of the ex

    If you have been in a relationship with someone for a long time is very hard to let go. I think is up to you to ask him if he is still in love with his ex to see what he tells you, you then tell him your concerns and that you find annoying that with every conversation he brings up the ex. There are times that someone is not ready to move on this may be the case it may not and is to your best interest to find out.

    I was in a relationship for 10 years and i am now dating this guy ( 1 month not long at all) but is just dating nothing serious yet, but i have not spoken of my ex once. If he ever asks me i would tell him but so far he has not and i don't feel the need. That relationship is over, done with....So talk to him.

    Take care and i hope things work out for you.

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    Re: Case of the ex

    I've never had an ex, so I can't offer insight on that, but I would say you need to move slowly with him or you are asking to be hurt. He is not ready for a new relationship.
    Everyone wants to be heard. No one wants to listen.

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    Re: Case of the ex

    It seems to me that he may have broken up with his ex, but he has yet to exorcise the ex from his thoughts.

    I am not saying your boyfriend is doing this deliberately - after all, spending five years with someone would lead to a lot of shared experiences and this is reflected in your boyfriend's speech.

    Is your boyfriend even aware that he keeps quoting anecdotes or experiences with his ex and that his is not healthy for this relationship? Perhaps this is something the two of you would like to talk about.

    Your boyfriend is not necessarily a bad guy. It is the spectre of his ex that might haunt your relationship with your boyfriend. It would be your boyfriend's duty to you to do something about it.

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    Re: Case of the ex

    Quote Originally Posted by MMMonsterBoy View Post
    I'm not jealous, and I'm not going to tell him 'no more ex talk,' but I do want to know what he's feeling about said exes. I hear the stories he says, but I'd like for him to just tell me directly.

    Has this ever happened to anyone? What did you do?
    Since it sounds like you won't have any trouble getting him to talk about his ex, maybe you should go ahead and let him/ask him to talk about his ex more so you can better assess the situation. Next time he mentions his ex (which sounds like will be soon), just play along and prod him lightly to get him to say more. If he's depressed, I would tread lightly, but it might be helpful for you to understand why/how they broke up and how he still feels about his ex.

    My ex and I were in a 3-year LTR, and when we broke up, he told me he still felt really strongly about his ex. (It was one of many reasons we broke up, but I feel that one reason he called it off was that he wanted the possibility of going back to his ex.) I then realized that he had an on-and-off thing with his ex for 5 or 6 years, which ended 6 months before we met, after he moved across the country to get away from him.

    Now, looking back, I've always known that he still had feelings for his ex. Every time he talks about this particular ex (let's call him Guy A), he got very passionate and emotional. I would also ask him about his other exes, and he would sound more indifferent. So, I've always known that Guy A had a special place in his heart. However, I did NOT think much about it at the time because I figured it was so long ago, and I didn't see that he would ever even think about getting back together with Guy A.

    I don't know if he ever got back together with Guy A, but I know he went back to see him after we broke up. And now I realize that I was probably his rebound when we first met.

    Now, my ex didn't really talk much about Guy A constantly when we first met; it was only after many many months before we started talking about him, so the situation is a bit different. Nonetheless, I think it would help you to understand what your bf's feelings are. But as I said, if he's depressed about it, try to tread lightly.

  6. #6

    Re: Case of the ex

    I think for a lot of guys, the relationship becomes their whole identity being known as, "MMMonsterBoy AND _________" ... like Batman AND Robin. Once they broke up and he was JUST "...Robin", who the fuck was he without Batman ??? Sometimes guys lose perspective of whom THEY are as an individual.

    It's also difficult for some to NOT bring baggage from last relationships into current ones. "Potatoes" might mean nothing to you, while for him it could be a major trigger he's already had years of conditioning with someone else and like Pavlov's dog he starts drooling every time the bell rings.
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    Re: Case of the ex

    It seems as though he's not over this 5 year relationship. Seeing that he ended another relationship in December and he's already in another one, he may may too eager to be in relationships and too afraid to be alone. I see a big red flag and also someone who might benefit from some counseling.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."--Dr. Seuss

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    Re: Case of the ex

    I came out of a two year relationship in December and I'm still not 100% over it. I know everyone is different but I can't understand how people can exit LTRs and enter new relationships mer months or even weeks after the breakup. Out of curiosity did he breakup with his bf, did his bf breakup with him or was it a mutual thing ? It does sound like he isn't over it so you should take him aside and talk about it. To be honest I'm guilty of this as well when I go out on dates, I usually bring up my ex a couple of times whether it be in a positive or negative light. I know a friend of mine entered two relationships after a bad LTR and they both ended because he was still "in love" with his ex. Everyone is different as I said before some people can't get over their exes right away while others, like my ex, have no problem getting over an ex. I think the thing that bothered me the most was how easy it seemed that he got over me. He was perfectly fine with having sex with other people mer days after we broke up. Whatever though that's him and I wish him the best.

  9. #9

    Re: Case of the ex

    Quote Originally Posted by NYClover54 View Post
    I came out of a two year relationship in December and I'm still not 100% over it. I know everyone is different but I can't understand how people can exit LTRs and enter new relationships mer months or even weeks after the breakup. Out of curiosity did he breakup with his bf, did his bf breakup with him or was it a mutual thing ? It does sound like he isn't over it so you should take him aside and talk about it. To be honest I'm guilty of this as well when I go out on dates, I usually bring up my ex a couple of times whether it be in a positive or negative light. I know a friend of mine entered two relationships after a bad LTR and they both ended because he was still "in love" with his ex. Everyone is different as I said before some people can't get over their exes right away while others, like my ex, have no problem getting over an ex. I think the thing that bothered me the most was how easy it seemed that he got over me. He was perfectly fine with having sex with other people mer days after we broke up. Whatever though that's him and I wish him the best.

    I am with you, i broke up with my boyfriend of 10 years, 3 years ago. I am not 100 percent over him, not because i still love him or want him back but because there are times i still think about what we had. When i broke up with him i did not even started dating for 2 years. I was just not ready. I like you don't get why some people go from one relationship to the other in matter of weeks, and months. I have always thought to take care of yourself first, relationships come and go but you are the most important. My ex cheated in our own home with his current partner, his partner is younger than me is the same old story of wanting someone younger. Everyone sees relationship differently, recover differently from a break up, to me is all about self respect.
    Last edited by spanishguy; June 4th, 2014 at 04:31 PM.

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    Re: Case of the ex

    Quote Originally Posted by spanishguy View Post
    I am with you, i broke up with my boyfriend of 10 years, 3 years ago. I am not 100 percent over him, not because i still love him or want him back but because there are times i still think about what we had. When i broke up with him i did not even started dating for 2 years. I was just not ready. I like you don't get why some people go from one relationship to the other in matter of weeks, and months. I have always thought to take care of yourself first, relationships come and go but you are the most important. My ex cheated in our own home with his current partner, his partner is younger than me is the same old story of wanting someone younger. Everyone sees relationship differently, recover differently from a break up, to me is all about self respect.
    My ex told my brother today that he doesn't see why not after my brother asked will we ever see him again. What's he thinking ? I don't really believe exes can be friends really

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    Re: Case of the ex

    Quote Originally Posted by MMMonsterBoy View Post
    December break up boyfriend is usually different...It's more somber. The ex was impatient, and kind of immature, from what I've heard (which is a lot). The guy I'm seeing is an artist, and his apartment was like a shrine for the ex - full of paintings of said ex - which I understood! But again the context is different, as I can tell the break up really hurt him. He claimed to be depressed, and started taking medication recently. To clarify, he didn't say he was depressed over the break up, I'm only guessing, as he didn't elaborate...
    Has this ever happened to anyone? What did you do?
    It's not about the ex-boyfriend, it's about mourning the loss of the relationship.

    He started dating probably with the belief that it was the best way to move on. Instead, he needs to work through his grief with a therapist. As long as he's stuck in the grief phase, he won't be ready to move on.
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    Re: Case of the ex

    EEK! You are in a three way relationship...him...you...and the ghost of his ex.

    I would address it soon...don't put it off. The last ex I had did exactly the same thing except he also brought out photos everytime to illustrate each story.....

    I didn't say anything...I just poured myself a drink.

    When I left him the final thing I did was tore myself out of the photos we were both in and took the negatives...he was gonna have to tell my story with no photos.
    Brainwash yourself before someone nasty beats you to it

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    Re: Case of the ex

    I am not sure there is a problem to resolve here. Of course when you shared your life with someone for five years, everything would remind you of that person two months later. It's perfectly normal. He may have moved on entirely, but you never lose those parts of your life, simply because they are now in your past. I am steal dealing with a loss from March, and it was barely three months long and was never official. I can't begin to imagine moving on after 5 years.

    So just be patient and understanding. His relationship is probably over for real, but that doesn't mean he can shed it off like an old skin.





    Also, you could be a rebound. Which, you gotta remember, even if that ends up being the case, it's nobody's fault.
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  14. #14

    Re: Case of the ex

    Some couples get so enmeshed in each other that their relationship becomes their whole world. I've been with my husband 17 years. It's only in the last three years that we have started doing things independently of each other. We spend all major holidays with his family. We visit mine together. (We never stay over at my mother's because she has a one-bedroom apartment and she's 95.) For a very long time, there was nothing I could talk about that did not involve him. Your bf may not be aware of what he does - it's may be the only life he can relate to. You need to talk to him in a kind and understanding manner and let him know that his constant references to his ex make you uncomfortable.

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    Re: Case of the ex

    I'm late in this conversation, but i just want to say...run away. FAST. RUN...far, far AWAY!

    It has been a while since you posted an update, so I'm interested to hear how things are going now. Have things gotten better?

    Based on my personal experience (and a few of my friends), it sounds like this guy is definitely not "over" his ex. And that can be a real hindrance in "breaking ground" in a new relationship. It's okay to recall things from one's past--but if you pay attention to the frequency, the emotions behind bringing his ex into conversations, etc. you will see when someone is not quite ready.


    Tread lightly...I'm telling you.
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    Re: Case of the ex

    I'm just going to say I personally do not get very involved emotionally with guys who have just broken up with somebody and they were with the person for more than 2+ years. It makes it even worse if the person is depressed. As others have said it doesn't sound at all like he's ready for anything too serious with somebody else. I think he's still making closure with the last breakup and is still in a way grieving it. 5 years is a long time and the healing process I can imagine takes more than a few months. I would definitely keep things light and move really, really slow if you want it work out well. Just my advice, good luck with everything I hope it all works out .

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