There is something special about meeting someone new and developing feelings.
These early stages of attraction are full of so many amazing experiences.
From the butterflies in your stomach every time you see him. To the racing heart when you spend time together.
You know he likes you. You know you like him. You know there’s potential for this relationship to go somewhere.
And you find yourself making your way deeper and deeper into relationship territory when you discover a hiccup.
He still has feelings for his ex.
It’s a tricky situation that no one wants to find themselves in. On the one hand, you can see there’s potential for your relationship to go somewhere.
On the other, it’s possible he’s not emotionally ready for a new relationship and may never get over his ex. So you could just be wasting your time trying to see where it goes.
So, what do you do?
This is a question many have asked – that’s right, you’re not the only one to find yourself in this situation. It’s more common than you think. If this is you, here are 7 tips to help you decide what to do next.
1) Consider how he talks about his ex
It’s one thing if your guy brings his ex up in passing, and a completely another thing if his eyes well up while talking about her.
Words hold a lot of power and emotion and you can tell a lot about what someone is feeling through them.
The tears are definitely a big red flag – it’s pretty hard to move on from this place with him. Do you really want to be the one picking up his messy pieces?
If he’s mournful of the relationship, yet accepting that it’s over, then it means there’s still a chance to help him through.
Relationships take a big emotional toll on us, and it can take a while to move past this. A lot of emotions need to be processed and pushed past to get out the other side, so he might just need a chance to do this.
You’ll be able to tell if he’s showing no signs of moving on. For example, he might be blaming himself for the breakup and wishing he could go back and fix things. Or he might even be going as far as to trying to work out if he can get her back.
Listen to the way he talks about her and make a judgement call.
If this a guy working through emotions to come out the other side, or is he simply stuck and too fixated on living in the past?
Only one of these guys is worth pursuing a relationship with.
2) Think about how fast your relationship is going
It’s hard not to get sucked up into the romance of a whirlwind relationship.
Let’s face it, every girl wants to get swept off her feet. It’s exciting, thrilling, and packed full of lust. What could be better?
The truth is, relationships that spark at full pace are also the ones that tend to burn out the quickest.
If this guy isn’t over his ex, then he could be on the lookout for a whirlwind romance to get caught up in and distract him from his feelings.
This isn’t a guy looking to fall in love. This isn’t a guy looking for a serious commitment.
This is simply a guy trying to outrun his past.
But, we all know how this story ends. The past always catches up with you. And when it does, this guy is going to come tumbling down like a pile of bricks while he processes all these emotions he has been out running with you.
Take it slow. Don’t jump into anything.
That way, you have time to get to know each other and work out if there are any feelings there. This also gives him time to work through his feelings for his ex and then put them aside to take a chance on your relationship.
3) Who dumped who?
It may not feel like an important question, but it’s definitely one you need to know the answer to.
If he dumped her, then you know that you’re more than likely in the clear.
He is still working through those feelings, but it’s a decision he made. In the end, this makes all the difference to both his head space and where his heart is.
Your relationship definitely has a good shot. But, what happens if she dumped him?
Things definitely get a little more complicated.
Men tend to nurse big egos. Been dumped by a woman they love is a big knock to this ego of theirs. It can leave them shattered. These are pieces that you don’t want to be picking up.
He might be holding onto a lot of remorse about the way things ended, and still be wondering whether there’s a chance for him to make amends and make it right again.
You don’t want to be the girl on the side if that’s the case.
4) Can you trigger his hero instinct?
Have you heard of the hero instinct?
If you want him to move on from his ex and set his sites on you, then this is the way to go about it.
The hero instinct is a new concept in psychology that’s generating a lot of buzz at the moment. So, what exactly is it?
The idea is simple.
Men have this biological need to provide and protect for women they care about. They quite simply want to be your hero.
The best thing you can do is watch this free video from the relationship expert who discovered this concept. He reveals the simple things you can do starting today.
Once you trigger the hero instinct in your man, you know he’s ready to move on and has genuine feelings for you.
It’s a game-changer.
5) Don’t fall into role of therapist
It’s natural for you to want to help him to get over his ex so that he can move on with you.
But jumping into the role of therapist is the last thing you want.
You want to be his girlfriend, not his therapist. Even if he’s not over his ex, you’re not responsible for healing him!
It’s ok to listen and to help guide him when he’s looking for advice, but just be careful about overstepping the bounds.
You always have the power to suggest he go and talk to a counsellor to talk through his problems or direct him to a close friend or family member.
If he leans on you to help him through this, it will taint your relationship and be a constant reminder that it was built off the back of his heartbreak that you helped him through. That’s not what you want your role to be in this relationship.
Plus, it comes back to that all important question: what are you getting out of this?
Being a therapist in a relationship doesn’t pay off for you, so don’t get stuck in a role that offers nothing in return for you.
Relationships work both ways and you need to make sure you’re getting out as much as you put in if it’s going to work.
6) Focus on the fun things
At the end of the day, it’s up to him to move on from his past relationship.
It’s not your job to talk him through his emotions or to get him past them. You’re there to see if there’s something between the two of you and to work out what’s in this relationship for you.
So that should be your focus.
Keep it fun and playful, so you can get to know each other without the stigma of the ex forever on your minds.
Go out and make some memories together.
Head out bowling.
Go to the movies.
Take a hike together.
Try and connect in a fun and stress-free environment, where you can both be yourselves and see whether or not there is anything between the two of you.
At least you know that no matter what, you’ll have some great memories together that you can look back on one day, no matter which way the relationship goes.
It’s about giving it a chance in the first place. So go out and have some fun.
7) Can you take a step back?
If you’re still not sure whether or not to take a chance on him, then it might mean you need to take a step back from the relationship to reassess it.
It could be that your guy simply needs a little more time to process his feelings over his previous relationship before he’s ready to move on with you.
You definitely want him to be ready before pursuing the relationship.
Let’s face it, the more romantically and emotionally involved you get with someone who isn’t ready for a new relationship, the more hurt you will feel when your needs aren’t being met and your feelings aren’t being reciprocated.
This will just result in resentment and relationship that has nowhere to go.
It’s all too easy to fixate on whether or not he has feelings for his ex that you could end up overlooking whether or not you actually have feelings for him.
Focus on your feelings
A relationship should progress naturally and easily.
If you’re finding yourself second-guessing everything along the way, then it probably has less to do with your fears about him still having feelings for his ex, and more to do with your own feelings for him.
If you aren’t happy with the way things are going, then it might be time to end things.
Of course, that’s never an easy thing to do and often leaves you with a lot of questions about whether you should be sticking it out and seeing where it goes.
Dating and relationships are all about learning from your past mistakes and using these to make better decisions in the future.
If you’re unable to see past this ex or have found that your feelings are no longer there, the best thing you can do is end things for both of you.
Should I stay with him?
That’s a question only you can answer.
You might be lucky and find it doesn’t take long for him to get over his ex and move on happily with you.
On the other hand, it could end up tearing your relationship apart.
At the end of the day, every relationship comes with a risk, but that’s what love is.
Putting yourself out there and taking a chance on someone.
The best thing you can do is go into the relationship with both eyes open.
Know exactly what you’re getting into and lookout for some of the warning signs that this ex is getting between you and your new partner.
That way, you know when it’s not working and time to cut your losses.
Love is a risk. And you can’t predict it. It’s often just best to dive in and give it a shot.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.
The above link will give you $50 off your first session - an exclusive offer for Love Connection readers.