The Exes and Oh’s

You’re getting to know a guy and, naturally, you’re curious about his relationship history. When I was younger, I didn’t think this was very important. Call it naïve but I was one to take things at face value. I thought that knowing about his exes would just lead to me comparing myself to them or obsessing over how many sexual partners he had. Yes, I can be a bit possessive and jealous at times. It wasn’t until I acquired some experience with the opposite sex that I realized how many red flags can be uncovered simply by asking a person about their past relationships. Here are a few that stand out.

He has a grocery list of exes and never had a long term relationship

If you question this, he will probably say, “I just haven’t found the right one yet,” followed by a sheepish grin and a playful poke but is that really it? You would think that at least one would have stuck for a while, right?

The most common reason a person has a string of short term relationships is that they either fear or look unfavorably upon commitment. They like companionship and exclusive access to a lover, but they aren’t interested in investing in anyone for the long term. They are either secure enough to know that they can find someone new when the ether wears off and the relationship is no longer fun and easy or too insecure to invest themselves deeply enough to risk being hurt.

I know a man who told me that he has never loved any of his romantic partners. Not even the ones that he cohabitated with. He said that he dated people who were just easy to date and didn’t require a lot of effort on his part. That way, when it was time to walk away, he could just cut things off and move on with no regrets or second thoughts. He has never had a relationship last longer than seven months with the noted exception of his first relationship.

One day, I decided to ask him about his first love and his tone and demeanor instantly changed. It was easy to see that he had loved this girl completely. He put her on a pedestal and gave her everything he had to offer both emotionally and materially. What happened? She broke his heart and, subsequently changed his perspective on relationships. Now, I know, we’ve all had our share of heartbreak, but for him, this first experience tainted the way he looked at relationships for the next ten years of his life. He was not willing to endure that kind of pain again but he didn’t want to be lonely either. So, when he felt like he wanted someone in his life, he sought out what I call disposable partners. They never knew that he considered them disposable. They’d settle in together and he would watch for their flaws. Not because he wanted to have dialogue about them, but because he wanted to make a mental note of them so that when the flaws outweighed the fun, he could pack it in.

I imagine these women waking up in the morning to find that the man that they went to sleep with was just gone. He would block their numbers, block them on social media and just disappear. They would be left to wonder what went wrong and never get any closure.

You are probably thinking that this guy is a real ass and from a relationship perspective, you’d be right but what about these women? They would have been able to see his lack of dedication to their relationship if they’d only asked a few questions. They failed to protect themselves because they made assumptions instead of seeking truth.

Asking a man who fears commitment about the future can close him off fast. A man who dislikes commitment may gas light when confronted with questions like, “Where do you see this going?” or, “Do we have a future together?” You need to find the truth the way a detective elicits a confession.

First, listen to what he talks about and how he responds to you. A man who is only in this for now will not connect deeply with you. Your conversations will mostly be light hearted and casual. He won’t sit down to share his deepest secrets, fears, and longings. You’ll tell yourself that women are just more emotional than men or that he’s the strong silent type, but this lack of desire to connect with you is a giant red flag.

When you talk about your own fears, heartbreaks, and dreams, he may offer words of encouragement or empathy but how quickly does he try to redirect the conversation? How well does he retain what you’ve told him?

When he talks about his goals and future plans, do they ever include you? When you ask serious questions or try to make plans, do you get half-answers or no answer at all?

If you want to know how committed a man is, talk to him about summer plans in the dead of winter. If he breaks a sweat just thinking about it, you may have a problem.

All of his exes were crazy. (According to him)

Never trust a guy who calls all of his exes crazy. Crazy is just a catch-all phrase that guys use to discount women. Calling them crazy is just a way of writing off the relationship without taking any blame. Men like to label women as crazy when they react to things in ways that they don’t like. When a woman calls a man out for lying or flirting with other women, she’s possessive crazy. When she gets upset because he continually breaks commitments and cancels plans, she’s needy crazy. If he’s a big enough jerk, she’s labeled as all kinds of crazy and it’s very likely that every woman who he refers to as crazy is referring to him as a big loser.

When he tells you they’re crazy he is only giving you the convenient parts of the story. The parts where he is the victim. They call their exes crazy but never say what they did to bring out the crazy.

While he’s cutting them down, he’s telling you a lot about his character. If he can’t speak respectfully about the women who have been in his life, he isn’t a man who respects women and, one day, he’ll label you as crazy, too.

I was casually involved with a man who I’d known on a friendly basis for many years. Because we’d known each other for so long, we shared parts of our social circle. One day, one of his exes reached out to me and told me that I should be careful because while we were seeing each other, he was also trying to renew his relationship with her. After I read the message I asked him, “What would you do if you were casually seeing someone and their ex contacted you and told you that they were also seeing your partner?” He replied, “I’d consider the source. She’s probably crazy.” To which I replied, “You realize that by calling the ex “she” you just made yourself the person who is being accused when I asked you what you would do if your partners ex accused them, right?” He looked like a deer caught in the headlights. I didn’t need any more proof. The “crazy ex” was the one who was being truthful.

I’ve started talking to my ex again but she’s just a friend. I’d never want a relationship with her again

World population – 7,874,965,825

Percentage of the world population that is female – 49.6%

You may not want to hear this, but with that many people in the world, if he needs a friend and choses an ex, and she agrees to be his friend, they are going to sleep together.

Maybe you’re saying, “Oh, Tomi, you’re being insecure. They might not sleep together. It may just be that they have a bond and he trusts her.”

Okay, if you’re willing to date a man who seeks emotional connection from other women, go for it. If you aren’t troubled by the idea that he is so bonded to a former lover that he would turn to her to talk about, oh, I don’t know, you? Rock on with your bad self. I don’t want it!

Ask Google why men want to be friends with women after a break up and this is the most common answer:

The reasons why he wants to be friends after dumping you are to soften the blow of ending the relationship, finding comfort knowing you’re still in his life when he experiences uncomfortable feelings and to keep you as an option. In some situations, he wants to be friends after dumping you out of guilt.

Raise your hand if any of that sounds appealing to you.

He has a string of committed relationships and has never been ‘single’

He might be a serial monogamist. A serial monogamist feels most comfortable in committed relationships. They have a series of monogamous relationships and don’t take breaks between relationships to be single or to casually date.

You may think a serial monogamist is a good guy to have. After all, they like commitment which may seem refreshing in a world full of fuck boys but serial monogamists are no more ready to settle down with you than the fuck boys are. They offer you monogamy with a limited life expectancy and aren’t likely to make good partners.

What are the red flags of the serial monogamist?

They’ve never been married or engaged but have a history of long term relationships that went nowhere. They lack independence often living with their family or several roommates. They show no interest in meeting your family even though you spend all of your time together. They have no interest at all in your romantic past. This is because they’re on a superficial ride and are only concerned about right now. All of their goals are career oriented. They never talk about future plans as it relates to marriage, children, or their personal interests. They don’t care about your personal opinions. Your religion, politics, family values…none of these things interest them. They get caught up in the moment. They are spontaneous, passionate, and intense but if that intensity fades, they will tire of you and move on.

If you like this red flag revelation, tune in tomorrow for part three!


Author: Tomi Dean Lynch

I'm a romance author and relationship blogger who hails from the garden state! I lovingly reminisce about growing up in New Jersey in the 1980s and often incorporate the decade in my work. I am a lover of art, erotica, animals, flowers, coffee, and wine. I think coffee should have been first on the list! If you're looking for honest talk and steamy romance (in the books! I hardly know you!), I'm your girl!

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