The continued interest in your love life from an ex after a relationship has run its course and both parties have seemingly moved on emotionally can be confusing.

Why do they care who I'm dating now? Does this mean they still have feelings for me? Is it any of their business? I thought they had someone else now.

Although there can be many reasons why an ex may still be interested in a former lover's personal life, one very common, yet tragically misunderstood and overlooked reasons is what I'll call the "Photograph Effect".

Consider this, do you have a photograph somewhere in your home of you with friends you don't see much anymore? What do you see when you look at this photo? Do you remember the bad grade you got on your math test the day before the photo was taken, or the blister on your foot that was bothering you that day? Chances are, these bad memories have long since faded. Now when you look at the old photo, you only see a happier, simpler, less stressful time in your life. You only see the smiles.

Much like an old photograph, an ex can eventually become a representation of a happier, simpler, less stressful time in your life. As a relationship develops, a girlfriend or boyfriend can become part of your identity. When your ex thinks about you, they may not be thinking about the relationship as much as they think about how the time in their life was when you were around. They forget about the sunburns and only see the smiles.

But unlike an old photograph, you are not frozen in time. You are a living, breathing, evolving, mistake making being. Old photographs are perfect memories, but you are not perfect, nor should you try to be.

When an ex comes back into your life to discuss the people you are currently dating, remember that it may not be to reignite old flames as much as to preserve old memories. To keep their old photographs perfect. And therefore, the best course of action is often to explain that you appreciated the time you had together, but that time is over now, and you have your own life to live. Explain that they don't really miss you, they miss the perfect photograph, but you are not perfect, and you shouldn't be expected to be frozen in time.

______

Did you like "Why Does Your Ex Still Care Who You Date"? Did you find it helpful or thought provoking? Click the "Like" button at the bottom and share it with your friends. Also, check out last week's Deep Thought, "Are Our Inspirational Phrases Just Excuses?" And as always, the kiddie pool is nice, but the real fun goes down on the deep end.