1. OK: He likes a Facebook post about his ex’s new job. This isn’t a big deal. Some couples have really healthy breakups and can stay friendly. Being happy for your ex and showing support in the least intrusive way possible isn’t really a big deal. Plus, most people just like all those “HUGE NEWS” posts reflexively anyway.
NOT OK: He liked 20 photos of the two of them together… at 3 a.m. Someone got drunk, lonely, or wistful, and started clicking away with wild abandon. He might just have been reminiscing about “the good old days” but no one in a new, healthy relationship is going to reminisce that much…
NOT OK: They hang out alone … at each other’s place late at night. If they act like their relationship never ended, that’s not OK. It’s one thing to hang out with mutual friends, but it’s another thing to go to the movies with your ex.
3. OK: They catch up over text every once in a while. It’s fine to consider an ex a friend and see how they’re doing.
NOT OK: He’s constantly texting her to share all his big life events, like promotions. And even worse, sometimes she knows before you do.
4. OK: They still share a couple inside jokes when they occasionally chat. Just because you fall out of love with someone doesn’t mean everything about the relationship stops being appealing.
NOT OK: You feel like he gets something out of his relationship with her that he doesn’t get with you. It’s one thing to get along with your ex; it’s another if you’re still going to them for emotional support.
5. OK: He still has a few pictures of her if you scroll all the way to the end of the pics in his phone. It takes a special kind of angry to actually take the time to go through every single photo you’ve ever taken so you can purge your ex from your life. It’s reasonable that he’s got some stuff from their relationship lying around out of pure apathy and laziness.
NOT OK: He’s still got pictures of the two of them on his mantle. This is pretty weird. Unless it’s a group shot of him and all of his friends, with his ex present, having pictures of a dead romance out and about is kind of like stuffing and displaying a dead pet.
6. OK: He laughs it off if you ever ask if he still has feelings for her. Because it’s OK to laugh at ridiculous, left-field questions if he views what you’re suggesting as ridiculous.
NOT OK: He gets really defensive about her. If he’s trying to deflect things back onto you for being jealous and overprotective (assuming you don’t bring up his exes daily), it’s probably because he feels there’s something to hide.
7. OK: His ex’s number is still in his phone. This is perfectly reasonable considering he probably still has his middle school best friend’s dad’s cell phone number and some random lab partners in there too.
NOT OK: His ex’s number is still on his speed dial/favorites. If you’re dating a 68-year-old-man who can’t use a cellular telephone, this is excusable.
8. OK: He tells you about past relationships when you ask about them. There’s nothing wrong with being honest, and if he’s being open with you, it’s just because he sees the past as the past.
NOT OK: It’s almost like he’s looking for reasons to talk about his ex. Unless these are amazing stories that need to be told, it’s never a great idea to bring up an ex unprompted. If he brags about his ex constantly or remarks on inside jokes, he’s still thinking about her way too much.
9. OK: You see a “happy birthday” text from his ex pop up on his phone. Acknowledging your ex’s birthday is pretty much the most minimal interaction possible.
NOT OK: Any time you see a text from his ex, he tries to hide it. It’s possible he’s more worried about how you’ll react to his ex texting him, but realistically, if he’s going out of his way to make sure you can’t see what’s going on, he’s hiding something.
10. OK: He occasionally makes plans with his ex and tells you about them in advance.There’s nothing wrong with catching up or trying to stay friends.
NOT OK: He makes plans with his ex while you’re on a business trip, and you don’t find out until later. Best case scenario, meeting up with his ex feels like a dirty secret he needs to keep from you because he still has feelings. And you don’t just “forget” to mention a topic as sensitive as an ex.