It’s a fairly safe assumption if you date somebody that they have dated other people prior to meeting you, and that maybe some of those past experiences are less than stellar. However, it’s a bit of a red flag for me when those past experiences creep into the present. People are shaped by their experiences, and that’s to be expected. But when the person on the couch across from you is shedding tears about an ex-girlfriend who wasn’t so nice and they want to talk to you about it for hours on end, or they go quiet and broody at hearing a song that reminds them of her, then I gotta realize this is not going to bode well for me (see my previous reference to NOT wanting a fix’er upper). I don’t want to see a guy cry to me about his ex-girlfriend. Sorry, I just don’t. I’m not saying I have any problem with a guy crying, in fact, it shows that he’s human, and has emotions (which is a good thing). I just don’t want to see the waterworks and have to be a counsellor for your past relationship problems. Nor, should you want to be mine (it’s gotta go both ways!). And I can guarantee that I’ve been no poster child for doing the right thing here, I’m sure I’ve scared somebody off with the same thing!
But it is a symptom of a bigger problem, called “Not over it”. If you’re really not over it, but still want to get out there and get back on the dating train, then that’s great, you’ll be doing yourself some good to go be social, and get back on the proverbial horse. But keep the waterworks for your close friends, not a new date. Nothing will scare off a potential new mate, or make them want to chew off their own arm to get out more than that, or maybe that was just my reaction. And besides, nobody wants to live in the shadow of your love gone wrong.