Why Do Narcissists Talk About Their Ex
Why Do Narcissists Talk About Their Ex?

When it comes to relationships, some individuals possess an uncanny ability to keep us captivated, but not always for the right reasons. Have you ever wondered why narcissists incessantly talk about their ex-partners? The answer lies in unraveling the intricate web of their motivations and the impact it has on their current relationships.

In this thought-provoking article, we delve into the fascinating question: Why do narcissists talk about their ex so much? By uncovering the underlying reasons behind this behavior, we gain valuable insights into the complex nature of narcissism and the dynamics that unfold within their relationships.

Why Do Narcissists Talk About Their Ex So Much? (15 Reasons Reviewed)

Understanding the underlying reasons behind narcissists’ repetitive discussions about their exes is crucial in comprehending their behavior and the impact it has on those around them. Let’s explore each of these fifteen key reasons in greater depth:

#1. Lack of Closure and the Need for Validation

Narcissists often struggle with a lack of closure from past relationships, leaving unresolved emotions lingering within them. This lack of closure could stem from abrupt breakups, unanswered questions, or lingering feelings.

As a result, they may find themselves constantly thinking and talking about their exes. By frequently talking about their exes, they attempt to seek validation and closure, hoping to satisfy their unmet emotional needs. This behavior may stem from their difficulty in processing and moving on from past experiences.

#2. Seeking Attention and Validation

Narcissists thrive on attention and validation from others. Deep down, they have a fragile self-esteem that requires constant reinforcement. Talking about their exes becomes a way to draw attention to themselves and elicit validation.

By discussing their exes’ accomplishments, qualities, or positive experiences, they seek to garner admiration and reassurance. This constant need for external validation stems from their deep-seated insecurities and the inherent emptiness they feel within themselves.

#3. Manipulation and Control

Narcissists are notorious for their manipulative tendencies. Talking about their exes can serve as a tactic to exert control and manipulate their current partners or those around them. By mentioning their exes repeatedly, they create a sense of insecurity or comparison, ultimately maintaining a power dynamic that allows them to manipulate the emotions and behaviors of others.

They may use this tactic to make their current partner feel inadequate, establish a sense of dependence, or even provoke jealousy. The intention is to maintain control over the relationship and ensure their own needs are met.

#4. Maintaining a False Self-Image

Narcissists construct a false self-image characterized by grandiosity and superiority. They believe they are exceptional and deserve special treatment. By frequently discussing their exes, they reinforce this idealized self-image and create a narrative that supports their inflated sense of self-worth.

They may selectively highlight aspects of their past relationships that reflect positively on themselves, such as achievements, compliments, or the admiration they received. This behavior allows them to bolster their fragile ego by emphasizing their past successes or desirable qualities, further solidifying their distorted self-perception.

#5. Seeking Narcissistic Supply

Narcissists require a constant flow of admiration, attention, and validation, known as narcissistic supply, to sustain their self-esteem. Their self-worth relies heavily on external validation. Talking about their exes becomes a means to obtain the attention and admiration they desperately crave.

By recounting past experiences, they seek validation of their desirability, attractiveness, or perceived superiority, thereby reinforcing their self-worth. The more they can evoke positive reactions or admiration from others, the more their ego is nourished.

#6. Fueling Their Sense of Superiority and Grandiosity

Narcissists harbor an inflated sense of superiority and grandiosity. They firmly believe that they are unique and better than others. Talking about their exes allows them to compare themselves favorably and maintain their inflated self-perception.

They may highlight the flaws or shortcomings of their exes to create a contrast between themselves and their past partners. By doing so, they reinforce their belief in their exceptional qualities, reinforcing their grandiose self-image. This behavior serves as a way to protect their fragile ego and reinforce their distorted view of themselves as superior beings.

#7. Comparison and Idealization of the Ex

During the idealization phase of a new relationship, narcissists often idealize their exes. They perceive their ex-partners as perfect, faultless individuals. By constantly talking about their exes, they indirectly compare their current partners to their idealized image of their past partners, setting unrealistic expectations.

This behavior also serves as a subtle form of manipulation, making their current partners strive to meet the impossibly high standards set by the exes. The narcissist may emphasize the positive aspects of the past relationship and create an idealized image of their ex to create feelings of jealousy or insecurity in their current partner.

#8. Fear of Abandonment and Insecurity

Behind their facade of confidence, narcissists frequently grapple with deep-seated fears of abandonment and insecurity. These fears may stem from past traumas or experiences of rejection.

Discussing their exes can be a defense mechanism to protect themselves from potential future abandonment. By emphasizing the importance of their past relationships and highlighting the impact of their exes’ departure, they create a narrative that reinforces the fear of being left behind.

This behavior allows them to establish stability and minimize the perceived risk of abandonment in their current relationships.

#9. Playing the Victim and Seeking Sympathy

Narcissists often manipulate situations to portray themselves as victims. They use their past relationships as a platform to gain sympathy and attention from others. By talking about their exes and highlighting past grievances, they seek sympathy and support.

They may emphasize how they were mistreated or wronged in their previous relationships, painting themselves as innocent victims of circumstances. This victim mentality allows them to deflect responsibility and gain emotional support from those around them.

#10. Hoovering: Attempts to Re-Engage the Ex for Narcissistic Supply

Some narcissists engage in a tactic known as hoovering, which involves attempting to re-establish contact and rekindle relationships with their exes. Talking about their exes serves as a way to gauge their ex-partner’s response and potentially regain narcissistic supply.

By reminiscing about shared experiences or reminiscing about the past, they aim to evoke emotions that might compel the ex to reconnect. This behavior allows them to regain a sense of control and power, and it provides an opportunity to obtain the desired admiration and attention they seek.

#11. Establishing a Power Dynamic in Current Relationships

Discussing their exes enables narcissists to establish a power dynamic in their current relationships. They strategically emphasize the qualities, achievements, or positive experiences of their exes to make their current partners feel inferior. By constantly mentioning their exes’ accomplishments or positive attributes, they subtly undermine their current partners, instilling feelings of insecurity and inadequacy.

This power play allows narcissists to maintain control over their partners and assert their dominance. It reinforces their perceived superiority and allows them to manipulate the dynamics of the relationship to suit their needs.

#12. Creating a Narrative that Supports Their Self-Image

Narcissists carefully construct a narrative that aligns with their desired self-image. They craft a story that portrays them in a positive light while downplaying any negative aspects or flaws. Talking about their exes becomes an essential part of this narrative-building process.

They selectively highlight moments that support their idealized self-image, such as times when they were adored, admired, or achieved success. This self-serving narrative helps them maintain a façade of perfection and reinforce their grandiose self-perception.

#13. Using Exes as a Source of Emotional Leverage

Narcissists may utilize information about their exes as emotional leverage in their current relationships. They strategically disclose details or comparisons to manipulate their partners’ emotions and behaviors. By reminding their partners of how their exes treated them or how they were mistreated in the past, they create feelings of guilt, fear, or insecurity.

This emotional leverage further solidifies their sense of control and dominance, allowing them to influence their current partners’ actions. It becomes a manipulative tool to assert power and maintain their desired position within the relationship.

#14. Maintaining a Sense of Control and Power Over the Ex

Talking about their exes enables narcissists to maintain control and power even after the relationship has ended. It serves as a way for them to influence others’ perception of their exes, potentially damaging their reputation or instilling doubt in the minds of mutual acquaintances.

By discussing their exes, they can shape the narrative and create a perception that aligns with their own interests. This control allows them to assert dominance and maintain a sense of power over their exes’ lives, even long after the relationship has ended.

#15. Masking Their Own Insecurities and Fears

Beneath their confident facade, narcissists often harbor deep-rooted insecurities and fears. They fear being exposed for who they truly are and worry that others will discover their vulnerabilities. By consistently talking about their exes, they divert attention away from their own insecurities and shift the focus onto their past relationships.

This deflection serves as a defense mechanism to protect their fragile self-esteem and prevent others from probing into their own emotional insecurities. It becomes a way to maintain a false sense of invulnerability and control over their own emotions.


Unraveling the reasons why narcissists incessantly talk about their exes sheds light on the complexities of their behavior. From seeking validation and control to manipulating others’ emotions, narcissists employ various strategies to maintain their distorted self-image and satisfy their emotional needs.

Recognizing these underlying reasons helps individuals affected by narcissistic behavior navigate these relationships with greater understanding. By fostering empathy, setting boundaries, and prioritizing self-care, it becomes possible to mitigate the negative impact of narcissistic individuals and cultivate healthier, more fulfilling relationships.