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Mini Man-sode 33: She’s Stuck on Her Ex


JJ Tomlin

JJ explains the signs someone may be stuck on their ex and what would be considered a red flag and what would be considered a dealbreaker. 


Welcome back Heart of Dating Men to a minisode just for YOU! We’re continuing our season on RED FLAGS and we don’t have many left for this. We want more men to get this content so we can see more change in the Christian dating sphere. One way you can help with that is joining our Patreon! Anyway, this week we’re talking about about if she’s stuck on her ex…dun dun dun!!! 


JJ remembers so clearly being on a date with a young lady that he was attracted to, and he remembers it taking an HOUR before he realized that the girl was 100% stuck on her ex. AND guess what?! He kept dating her and it was actually HER who had to walk away from JJ. He should’ve been the one leading and proactively walked away when he realized she was stuck on her ex. If he had been dating from a healthier place and even others focused, and leaving them better than he found them, he would’ve walked away because he would’ve been able to say…”Man, I really want to date her but the RIGHT thing to do, the most KIND thing to do, and the most LOVING thing to do for HER is to walk away.” Because she is NOT ready to be in a relationship. 

The problem is that it’s really easy to hear and even know that you should walk away, but we don’t. WHY? 

There are so many answers that can be here but one that is simple that you may not be thinking of is, you think you need to help God. Put another way, you think YOUR plan and what YOU want is BETTER than God’s.  

How do you know if they are stuck on their ex… and is it a red flag if they are? Is it a deal breaker???

They talk about them. They talk about them ALOT and they talk about them without invite! How do you know if someone is vegan? They will tell you. The Christian version of this is how do you know if someone is fasting? They will tel you in some way LOL! In the same way, if someone is stuck on their ex they will talk about them. 

They may talk about them poorly. They may blame them for something. Anytime they’re criticizing their ex, this is cause for your ears to perk up and for you to pay attention. When you feel the need to criicize someone, it’s because they still hold some kind of power over you and it feels good to criticize them. However, this vindictiveness is bred from deep HURT, which still clearly exists. 

Think about when you are truly over someone, what can you do? What does it feel like? You don’t have to CONDEMN them, you don’t have to PROVE how bad they were, you don’t necessarily CARE what they are doing or what they THINK about you. True FREEDOM is at the end of FORGIVENESS. That’s how you know someone is completely over their ex. They have forgiven them, they wish them nothing but the best for their life. Until you get to this point, unfortunately, in some way or form you’re not over your ex. 

The second way you know is actually the complete opposite of what we just talked about. If they are completely SILENT about them, that could actually indicate that they have not had any closure and even just talking abou tit is too painful. This is equally as concerning because where the first sign is someone who is looking at the wound and incessantly talking about it, this second sign is someone who hasn’t even looked at the wound and it’s festering. 

If they get defensive or extremely sensitive, this is cause for you to pay attention. Their words may say that they’re ready to date now, but their ACTIONS are saying otherwise. If they absolutely cannot talk about it then this is a clear sign that there is still deep pain there and they’re not over their ex. You may find this more in people who are supressors and maybe lean more towards an avoidant attachment style. 

Here are some other things to watch out for…

  • Instagram stalking 
  • Still communicating in an overly friendly way AND making excuses for it. This is a BIG one.
  • Keeping mementos or photos 
  • Keeping in touch with the family 
  • Incessantly reacting to their ex’s social media posts 
  • They compare you to them or want to relive the same life 
  • They keep things from you about their ex or withhold information 

If you are dating someone, and you think they are stuck on their ex, you have to ask yourself this question. Is this a red flag for me or is this a dealbreaker?

RED FLAG: Is the individual in a place where they are healing has already started and they’re growing. This is already a work in progress, but they have independently kicked off that growth journey and are aware of it. Your response can be that you need to evaluate more, gather more data, and watch this carefully. Maybe you’re willing to wait as they do this, and they are worth waiting for. Maybe it won’t work out, but you will not be upset by that. 


DEALBREAKER: Is the individual in a place where you can tell this is way too raw and painful for them. They need a lot more TIME to heal and recover, you can see this from a mile away and out of nothing but LOVE you want to proactively remove yourself from the equation. They are still quite stuck on their ex and it is not changing. You don’t have time to wait and you don’t want to wait. 

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JJ Tomlin

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JJ Tomlin is a missionary kid born in Belgium, originally from Tennessee, and currently residing in the OC. He currently works in Gaming/E-Commerce, enjoys watching his Tennessee Titans on Sundays with his Goldendoodle Teddy and loves working with Christian men to raise the bar in singleness and dating.

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