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General Dating Questions/What does this behavior mean?


my bf and i have been together for a few years. i feel that he is not over his "first love" and dont know what  to do. in the beggining of our relationship he was back and forth about what he wanted. he wanted me, but then he didn't, and then he did, and all the while he would talk about how special his ex had been to him, and how devastated he was when she broke up with him, and the few  times she got bored enough to contact him he always went behind my back to call her or see her. when i found out about this i started seeing a new guy and told him to never have correspondence with her again or i was finished, i can do better and he will be freed up for his beloved ex. so he called her and told her to leave him alone (although i only believe he did it because i was in the room and told him to call her and say it), as far as i know he didn't respond to her occasional attempts to contact him after that, and we stayed together.
i have met this ex in person, and i know how it probably sounds, but i am not basing this on bias - even his own mother has confirmed my feelings without my asking - she is not attractive, very immature for her age (same age as me, 23), and has a weird dorky personality. i've had to turn down complete strangers asking me to get a drink while pumping gas or grocery shopping, people i don't know tell me i look like a model, i prefer intelligent conversation and mature hobbies. she was hyperactive and childish in speech, appearance and interests, i looked at her facebook one time and her passions include "avril lavigne, coloring books and candy." she talks in a high pitched squeaky voice and dresses very childishly, bright plastic jewelry, wears little plastic bow-berettes in her hair etc. seriously almost to the point of having a complex, she is babyish.
anyway recently with permission i read all of my bfs emails bc he gave me a reason to not trust his online activity and to my disgust and sinking feelings, i found correspondences between them from when they dated and noticed that ALL of his words of endearments and things he says  to me are the same as with his ex. his nicknames, the phrases he uses, even the things he says during arguments. we had a disagreement recently and he said something along the lines of "don't be a poo head" and i lost my temper at him because to me this "toddler talk" is insulting to me when i expect a serious response. i noticed that she excessively used the same "toddler talk" although he did not, but for some reason he started using her childish arguing phrases with me. she apparently had a dog with the same name that he suggested we name our dog. they had discussed baby names and he had suggested the same names to me if we ever have children (trust me we wont). even the nicknames he called her are the same ones he has called me. why???
what is the reason of this? is he still pantomiming his old relationship because he is still emotionally fixated on it? or is he just so uncreative or thoughtless that he has to recycle the endearments and memories of another girl to have material for our relationship? this has been on my mind so much, what should i do when i never feel special and like his "first love" is never going to diminish. i have never repeated old relationships with him in this way because he was unique to me and my love for him was unique and so this behavior would not have felt right to me. please help me understand this.

Hello Melena,

Thank-you for your question. It is clear to me through reading your email that you and your boyfriend are not on the same level, both in maturity and intelligence. That is not to be taken as an insult to your boyfriend. It is, however, a statement attributed to the apparent, vast differences between the two of you. Now, I realize that opposites do attract, but I’m beginning to wonder how the two of you even got together in the first place coming from such different backgrounds. In any case, the fact remains that either your boyfriend has not moved on emotionally from his previous relationship with the “toddler talker” or he simply is not intelligible enough to come up with new material for your relationship. Either way, it sounds to me like the two of you may not be so compatible. There is an interesting phenomenon that occurs during the initial stages of attraction, especially when it comes to attracting your opposite. At first, you love how different and “unique” this person is when compared to you. He seems fun and interesting. Then as time wears on, those very same characteristics that first made you take notice and develop romantic feelings for this person become the very same characteristics that annoy the hell out of you, sometimes to the point of needing to end the relationship. This happens more often than you think, and it goes both ways. That is why the value of having commonalities in the major areas of life cannot be underestimated over the long haul when in a committed relationship. You are attracted and CHALLENGED by your opposite, but in the long run, that tends to not work out so well statistically. My educated guess would be that is what’s going on in your relationship. Now on to your boyfriend’s behavior.

I have a rule when entering into committed relationships that I tell all the men I work with but is just as true for women as well. That rule is that there can be no exes lurking in the background. If there are exes that the other person is still in contact with, I say just leave the relationship status as is. I don’t think I need to prove my reasoning behind this rule as you have experienced it first-hand. While we may never know the exact reasons a person holds onto an ex, the fact remains that none of those reasons are good or healthy, nor does it inspire confidence in the current relationship. You don’t really seem to trust your boyfriend either because of this whole thing with his ex. Once the trust is gone, the relationship is sure to follow suit. You should not need to check his emails, etc. What you are really asking is the psychological reason why you boyfriend is exhibiting this behavior. That is something I cannot answer, but the reason is really irrelevant when you think about it because the end result is the same regardless of the reason behind it.

None of this is intended to be offensive or harsh. I just like to be honest and straightforward with people who ask for my guidance. I don’t see a point in sugarcoating things when that would not prove useful. I think you need to take a good look at your wants, needs, and desires and get clear in your mind if this man in your life currently really stands a chance of fulfilling those. In the end, the choice is yours to make. I hope this is helpful. Take care and good luck!

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Mike Lamb


My expertise is in answering questions from men about dating women. I have a wealth of knowledge pertaining to nearly all facets of the dating world today. We all know that there are ways to be successful in dating, but what are they? I can answer that for you. I want to teach you how to find not just any woman who will date you, but the RIGHT woman who has long-term potential for a healthy relationship. That starts with how you act and treat women in the very beginning of the dating stages. I can teach how to get there and stay there for the duration of the relationship, on into marriage if that's where it leads. My aim is to teach you to respect yourselves as men first, to be gentlemen, and to change your life for the better. That is my passion. I want to support all good men in successful dating practices. I am not here to offer pick-up techniques or to help you get women into bed. My purpose is more noble than that. I cannot answer questions pertaining to psychology or psychological problems as these would best be addressed by a licensed mental health counselor.


For over a decade, I have dedicated myself to becoming a better man and to understanding women. This has led me to all sorts of seminars, training programs, books, etc. There is a wealth of information out there, but how much of it really is useful in real-world application? I have narrowed down the best and most-relevant information for men as it pertains to dating. This is information I have tested and learned in the real world from personal experiences and also gathered from the personal experiences of those closest to me.

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