Luxdates First Date Kit
Talking about Ex-Partners
Hello and welcome to the 5th edition of Luxdates First Date Kit!
Today we’re going to talk about Exes on a first date!
A topic that comes up again and again in my work is the subject of ex partners. Should they be mentioned and if yes, when?
They may be gone, the story may be over and yet – Exes figure prominently in our lives, regardless of whether the relationship has ended on good or bad terms. They’re part of our biography.
So should we mention them on the first date?
You’re going to have a first date with this great man or woman and he asks: “Do you mind if I bring somebody?” – How would you react? It’s a little awkward, right? So, maybe you’re a good sport, and a little curious, and say: OK, bring somebody.
And then the person says, well, it’s my Ex.
How would you react NOW?
You probably might want to cancel the date!
Well, if you’re talking about your Ex on a first date, it is like you’re bringing him or her with you! Maybe not for you, but certainly for your date, it’s as if the Ex were practically sitting there with you!
So, why shouldn’t you talk about your ex on a first date? Because it triggers unwanted emotions both in your date and yourself.
Talking about your ex – regardless of whether it’s good or bad – shows that you care, that you STILL care.
If you care, your date may think that emotionally there’s no room in your heart for another person.
If you care – and I am talking about caring not in the sense of being in love still, but rather figuring out what happened to you – your date may think that there’s still unfinished business and that you’re not yet ready to fully commit to a relationship.
A first date is an occasion to share positive emotions. If you’ve had a bad break-up, this is not a positive emotion for sure and not a topic to share on a first date.
If you’re feeling nostalgic about your Ex and miss him or her, that’s also not a positive emotion.
If you mention something positive about ex, for instance that he was a great swimmer, or that she read a lot, and liked drinking Chardonnay, too, then inevitably your current date will compare him or herself to your Ex and they go into a state of uncertainty (oh, but I am a really bad swimmer, can I keep up? I am sure she was really smart, will I be smart enough? Oh, so she liked drinking Chardonnay, too, so clearly he’s comparing me to her) and it will be difficult to get out of that state during the time you spend together.
If your last relationship was awful and you relay all of this on a first date, your date might either feel sorry for you (and this is not a good solid base for a new relationship), or, worse, they might even lose respect for you.
Some people mention their Exes because they want to be transparent and authentic and they want their date to understand them better. On a first date, this is not a good idea, and there is such a thing as TMI – Too Much Information! Remember, you hardly know the person you’re talking to. If you want to share your relationship history, a later date is a better idea.
So what if your date specifically asks about your Ex?
You answer: of course I have a relationship history, and I am happy to talk about it at a later point in time, but I want this evening/afternoon to be for just the two of us.
Now does that mean that you should avoid the topic of your ex forever? Of course not! Before you enter into a relationship, it’s important to understand what has happened in your partner’s past and if (and how!) he or she has dealt with it. Just the first date is not the right time for this conversation.
If you still feel the need to talk about your Ex – remember: whatever you say about him or her, also says something about you. So if you are wondering why nobody wants a second date with you, after you told them all about your nasty divorce and your cruel ex partner – in detail! – before you even ordered the first drink, you may want to do a little self-reflection.
If you feel you need help with getting over your Ex or digesting your last relationship, feel free to contact me at Claudia@luxdates.lu . I provide one-on-one coaching and can help you become emotionally free for your next relationship.