Are you talking about your ex too much? Here’s how to find out

Ariana Grande’s hit song “thank u, next” is such a banger. Truly, I can’t get enough of it! And the video? She tapped into my girly movie love. What I didn’t realize until I watched a behind the video thing on the “thank u, next” music video – yep, I’m in that deep! – is that the song gets into a lot of detail about her exes, if you know what to look for. It seems to have especially affected Ariana’s most recent ex, Pete Davidson. He’s apparently getting cyber bullied, which is so awful. Obviously not Ariana’s fault, but I’m sure he’s no fan of the song. Anyway, once I realized just how much Ariana references her exes in the song, I started thinking about how much talking about your ex is too much and how to tell if you’re going overboard.

When was the last time you ex-talked?

Think back on the last time you talked about your ex and then the time before that. Is there more than a week between now and the last time and at least a week between the last time and the time before. If so, that’s fine. A couple times in the course of over two weeks is totally reasonable. It doesn’t feel obsessive and no one should be offended by that level of convo around someone you used to date. If you’re talking about your ex more frequently than once a week, though, and you’ve been broken up for more than three months, you’ve got to dial it back. If that feels impossible to you, it may be time to get yourself to a therapist. I’m guessing the real problem isn’t your pattern of talking about your ex, it’s your pattern of thinking about him. And a professional can help with that.

Do you ex-talk on first dates?  

I think this is pretty cut and dry, but don’t talk about your ex on first dates. If you do, even in a small way, you’re talking about him too much. No one wants to buy you a drink or dinner and then hear about the last guy who bought you drinks and dinner. Like I said above, if you can’t help yourself from talking about him to cute strangers you met on Tinder, get a professional involved. A little help can go a long way in making your dating life better.

How negative is your ex-talk?

When you bring up your ex, are you still angry and hurt…and does it show in what you say? If you’re talking about your ex because it’s football season and the two of you used to go to NFL games together, that’s pretty fine. It’s understandable why you’re bringing him up for something relevant and he’s just incidentally mentioned. But, if you’re bringing him up out of nowhere to vent about how terrible he was – or is – then that’s a sign you’re talking about him too much. In this case, it’s not even how much you talk about him, it’s how. Still being this emotionally tied to the actions of someone who’s no longer in your life is problematic. You need to address that problem.

Have your friends changed?

One of my favorite episodes of Sex and the City – I mean, let’s get real, they’re all my favorite episode! – is when Carrie’s friends tell her she’s been talking about her break up too much and needs to see a therapist. Carrie’s reaction at first is shock and blaming her friends and I think that’s a lot of people’s reaction when they’re the problem. So, think about it. Have your friends seemed less interested in what you have to say? Or maybe they’re avoiding hanging out with you one-on-one? If the people you talk to most seem to want to hang out with you less and less, it could be that your ex-talk is getting to be overwhelming and toxic.

Even if you are talking about your ex too much, don’t worry. This isn’t permanent. Like I said above, a little therapy and some time can change this. Don’t beat yourself up. Just make a change and move on. You’ve got this, girl.