He defended being friends with her (they dated for about two years) saying she helped him during a very difficult time in his life and so on. I told him I didn’t think it was appropriate Good men and women stay in touch with their exes because their exes are kind people with whom they share a lot of history. What you forget when you’re jealous of the ex is that there’s a REASON they broke up With my partner who wants to hang out with his ex just the 2 of them and he believes that he should be able to have single females friends still while we are in a relationship!! I question him about a confersation this woman and him have been having wind he got the shits with me and said its over I cantaloupe this with you anymore because you don’t trust me. 😞.
Q. I've been dating my boyfriend for about five months now. We met through a mutual friend while I was still dating my ex, and we got together after the breakup. That friend – who still keeps in touch with my ex – recently had my boyfriend hang out with his group of friends, and my ex was there. My boyfriend knows that this particular guy is my ex and he's not a fan, but now he hangs out with the group of friends a lot even though my ex will be there.
Is it wrong for me to get mad? I mean, I understand he can have his own friends and all, but I don't feel comfortable that my boyfriend is hanging out with this ex and poking through my past.
I haven't told my boyfriend how I feel because I'm worried I'm making a big deal out of nothing. Am I? – Small World It's a little uncomfortable, but this can happen when you date friends of friends. You're bound to run into some familiar faces. It's a small world, after all. It doesn't sound like you have any issues with the mutual friend hanging out with your ex. If that's the case, you should be able to deal with other people (your boyfriend) knowing him, too.
You don't mention feeling limited by the situation – like you can't go out with your boyfriend without running into your ex. As long as you can develop your own community with him, you should be OK. This might feel like a smaller deal if you can refrain from making assumptions about what your boyfriend hears when he's out in a group with this ex. You say he's "poking through" your past, but is that even close to what's happening?
Do you really think your boyfriend asks your ex about your previous relationship – or that he does anything more than nod and smile at the guy? If you truly believe that your current boyfriend is using these outings to study your ex, that's another issue. But it sounds like he's in the room with the guy, sharing mutual companions, trying to be nice. You can feel weird about it, but don't make it more important than it is.
– Meredith Readers? Would this bother you?
best dating or just hanging out with my ex boyfriend - Why I Stopped Hanging Out With My Boyfriend
Whoa……What’s this? My ex-boyfriend is asking me to hang out? This week? Really?! What do I do? What do I wear? Are we gonna get back together? But we’re so early in the texting phase that I don’t know if this is a good idea.
It is a good idea, right? Yeah, no, it is a good idea. It is. But then why am I freaking out?! Does this sound familiar? If you’ve been in this situation before, you know that your internal dialogue goes exactly like this – though more or less exaggerated.
And I get it — I totally do! Sometimes when you wish for something and it actually happens, you just start to freak out because you’re not sure what do with your recent stroke of luck.
And that’s probably why you’re here, huh? You got what I like to call the magical text from your ex asking for a day to hang out, and now you’re busy mapping out your next step. Or hopefully, you’re reading this article in anticipation of getting the magical text) or at the very least before you’ve typed in, “Yeah sure! When?!” The only reason I’m hoping you’re still calculating your next move is because I don’t want you to jump the gun with this. In fact, before I even jump into giving you advice about how you should proceed in hanging out with your ex, I want you to consider if you are even ready or not.
And I’m not even talking about if you’ve already planed out: • what you’re gonna say • what you’re gonna wear • which coffee shop to hang out • what you’re gonna do No, girl, I’m not talking about the superficial.
What I’m talking about goes beyond that. You need to ask yourself, “Am I emotionally ready to hang out with him again?” If you’ve gone through the EBR process or have already started, you know that even before reaching out to your ex, you need to take care of yourself by focusing on you own personal Holy Trinity.
If you’re not familiar, the Holy Trinity is your • health • wealth • and relationships Basically, your goal before you get into contact with your ex is to be a better version of who you were before dating him if not the BEST.
I’m not going to get into that because that’s a totally different topic for a totally different article, so all I’m saying is that before you go and hang out with your ex, make sure you’re emotionally ready to accept a different kind of reality than you’re imagining. Remember to keep your emotions in check and be ready to just “be friends”…for the time being. He Wants to Hang Out… As Friends Let me just say this before we start… Hanging out with your ex =/= date.
Why is this not really considered a “date”? Well, it’s right there in the subtitle of this section. Y’all are hanging out as just friends. Hate to break it to you, babe, but you and your ex are still broken up. Right now, your relationship status is “amicable” at best. While it’s a very good sign of things getting better for you both, nothing happens overnight. Rebuilding a relationship, just like starting one, takes a lot of time.
In , the book outlines a simple 3-date plan to follow in your entire Mock Trial (refer to the EBR Pro book for more information on that.) The 3-date plan includes: • Small date – AKA the “non-date” because you’re going to keep it platonic.
• Medium date – AKA a bigger deal than the smaller date because you’re planting more seeds to lead up to the… • Romantic date – AKA The time to ask about getting back together (if that is your M.O.) You’re obviously going to start at the small date because, like I said, this things take time. In the small date, you’re catching up with your ex face-to-face and rebuilding your friendship again.
You really have to separate the idea of this being an actual, legitimate date because it really is going to be platonic. To help you focus on keeping the small date platonic, here is what I suggest: • Think small, but have fun – The idea of this date is to maintain a healthy friendship with your ex, but to also plant seeds of attraction back in his head.
The easiest way to do that is to keep the atmosphere of the date fun. If you’re having fun, naturally your ex will, too. And if he ever had his guard up, seeing you have fun and enjoying himself will allow him to relax and enjoy himself, as well. • Location, Location, Location – Just like real estate, location is key in this first meet-up with the ex.
You don’t want to pick somewhere too romantic or any place that would stir up emotions the first time around. Pick somewhere neutral where you both can talk for a while to catch up face-to-face.
• Keep non-romantic – Keep the conversation light and fun, steer away from heavy “I miss you’s” and the controversial, “Can we get back together?” Save that for another time.
Just have fun. • Leave early – Zeigarnik Effect is in full effect here! You’ll want to leave early because your endgame in this first date is to make your ex want to hang out with you again. If you’re both having so much fun throughout this small date, and you decide to bounce early, your ex is gonna a) wonder why, and b) be open to hanging out again because he was genuinely having fun.
Choose a good, high point to tell him, “Sorry! I have to go now, but I had a lot of fun! We should this again!” Plant the seed in his head and watch your plan grow into fruition when he says, “Yes!
How about next week?” He Wants To Hang Out… All Of The Time!! If you relate more to this scenario, you might need to kick things up a notch so things don’t get stale or too platonic between you two.
Upgrade your small date to a medium one. Basically, in this medium date idea, you’re planting more seeds in your ex’s head to get build him up to getting to ask you on an actual romantic date.
To do that, follow these modified “small date” suggestions: • Think bigger, have more fun – Change up the location to change up the vibe and the atmosphere. Remember: HAVE FUN. So go to the amusement park or go bowling. Hell, if you idea of fun is going to an art exhibit, do it! Diversify your location to match what you both like to do to have fun.
Every time you hang out with each other, change the setting to keep him (and yourself!) entertained. • Invite a group…or don’t – In EBR Pro, Chris suggests leaving one of the dates by inviting your ex to a group outing. Then, when the date draws closer, conveniently tell your ex that everyone else cancelled and gently encourage your ex to still come out by saying you still want to go.
You could do it this way, you sneaky minx…OR…you could really invite your ex and a group of friends for a group date. It can take a load of pressure off your ex, being in a group environment, Also, seeing you in a group setting might elicit your ex to just want to hang out with you and you alone, especially if you’ve been mostly hanging out alone prior to the group outings. He’ll probably be like, “Hey! I like hanging out with all these people, but I miss just hanging out with her.” And lo and behold, a seed is planted.
• Leave early – Yes, leave early again. Plant another seed to hang out again. • Touch Strategy – I didn’t mention this in the last section, but you can implement the touch strategy with your ex. Hug him when you greet him, hug him when you leave early. The book suggests hugging for at least 20 seconds, just to get him to get used to your touch again.
But I want to remind you not to be hurt if he pulls away before the 20 seconds, or any time you attempt to touch him. Instead, see it as an indicator of how great or bad the date is and you can adjust from there. He Wants To Hang Out… But He Doesn’t Want To Get Back Together So…he wants to hang out with you, but he clearly doesn’t want to get back together?
This is the part of the article where I put on my Oprah glasses and get really serious with you. I want to reiterate my hope that you’re reading this article after having gone through the EBR process already – reading the books, implementing No Contact, etc. If you have, you’re in a good place. If you haven’t, you’re not necessarily in a bad place, but you’re off to a rough start.
Here’s why… Basically, you don’t want to hang out with your ex without giving each other an adequate amount of space between you two. Remember what I mentioned way earlier about using No Contact to balance out your Holy Trinity? Well, get that sorted out first before you hang out with him. You see, if you keep stagnant in your post-breakup process – not making any significant improvements when it comes to the the relationship and also yourself – then it will be harder for your ex to revisit the idea of getting back together.
You basically want to be the kind of a woman we at EBR like to call an “Ungettable Girl” or we shorten it to “UG. ” An Ungettable Girl has taken her shortcomings from WITHIN the relationship along with any unattractive actions she took AFTER the breakup. You want to be that girl. And as a UG, if your ex isn’t showing any kind of initiative to ask you out on a bigger, more romantic date…then you might have to step up and take the initiative.
On the other hand, though, if no progress is being made at all, then you might have to ask yourself if you’re willing to be just friends with him knowing that nothing will ever happen. If your ex explicitly states that he just want to be friends and/or doesn’t want to get back together, you’ll have to decide if you’re okay with that or if it’s better to cut your losses and move on.
If that’s the case, then make sure you’re a strong-as-hell UG who won’t be too cut up about things turning this way. Free On Demand Coaching He Wants To Hang Out… After Two Or More Years So he sends you the magical text but you guys haven’t been together in a long time?
Probably feels something like this: Well, first things first, girl. Start slowly from the beginning. Like waaaaay in the beginning. Let’s face it, two years is a long-ass time and one helluva No Contact period. Start with texting, then work your way to phone calls before even meeting in person. Because like I said, 2 years is a long time to go without updates and contact. You two could be totally different people by now! Work your way up the EBR ladder to really achieve success.
If you haven’t been texting your ex, but he just randomly springs the magical text on you, then I would suggest the same for you. Build your friendship up again from the very beginning… • Texting • Phone calls • 3-date plan I know it sounds tedious, but all great things take time and if you rush into it, you might run the risk of being disappointed.
And I don’t want that happening for you. He Wants To Hang Out… But He Has A Girlfriend He wants to hang out but he has a girlfriend? Yes, you heard that right. I know what you might be thinking… Okay, yeah, I agree. I wouldn’t be okay with it either, but hear me out. It could potentially be a good thing that your ex wants to hang out with you even though he has a girlfriend.
What does that even mean? Why would he want to hang out if he has a new girlfriend? Because it could mean that he’s putting more value in reconnecting with you than in respecting the relationship he has with his new girlfriend. I know, I know. It sounds a little bitchy and manipulative. But I’m not advising you to take this opportunity to swoop in and steal him back right away. I’m actually going to tell you to do the opposite. You’re not going to get your man back by hanging out with him and telling him straight up, “Break up with with your girlfriend.” He’ll probably end up cutting ties with you and you’ll never hear from him again.
Instead, take this opportunity to be his friend again. I know it sucks and it sounds like the premise to a pre-Reputation Taylor Swift song. But trust me. It’s better to gain his trust as a friend and confidant – someone he can vent to about when he can’t seem to talk to his ex.
Of course, you won’t be able to set up “dates” with him because hello — he does has a girlfriend! But don’t let that stop your glow. Like I said, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. But you also have to keep in mind there are boundaries you need to set – like not implementing the Touch Strategy. While you can’t do that, you can implement the Being There method.
Being There means you’re already in his presence and on his mind, but you’re not actively trying to get him back. You’re not hinting that maybe he deserves better in his relationship or that he seemed happier before. Uh uh, girl. UG’s don’t play that game. Instead, be the UG you are and flaunt it (for yourself, not for him.
It will still plant seeds of attraction in his head. Look at this case as waiting on the wings during his relationship, then being there for him if it ends.
He Wants to Hang Out… With You AND His New Girlfriend So, he wants to hang with you, his ex-girlfriend, and bring along his current girlfriend? If I could add sound effects, it would be of a trombone playing, “Whomp whomp whoooomp.” I know…initially, it sounds like a crappy deal.
But just like the last scenario, it doesn’t have to be. After all, it means that you’re still in your ex’s life and he sees you as being an important aspect of it. Sure, it’s not in the way you want, but it’s a step.
True, you don’t get to hang out with him alone, but you get to also show that you’re not a threat to your ex’s current girlfriend or their relationship. Being seen as a friend and not a threat is good because you gain trust from the both of them. If your ultimate endgame in this scenario is to be back together with your ex, I’d advise you do not actively pursue him at all in this case.
Do not try to break him and his girlfriend up. If that situation is inevitable in your time hanging out with them, just let it happen naturally. Do not actively pursue him because drama will happen and inevitably they will both see you as a common enemy. This would only strengthen their bond and bring them closer together.
It’s tough, but stay away. Just be a friend. Because when and if a breakup occurs, you won’t be Suspect #1 for the ending of it. But What Can I Do?! The big takeaway from this is that patience takes a huge part in moving up in this 3-date plan ladder.
It will take some time adjusting from text and phone conversations to an in-person one. If you think about it, it’s like starting a relationship with your ex all over again. And you didn’t do that by jumping in on the first date and telling him, “Can we be official now?” Instead, start with smaller, “non-dates” to plant the seeds of attraction and build your rapport.
Then, work your way up to the medium dates to get the ball rolling, and eventually land yourself a romantic date and onto the road of relationship repair success. Just remember that it will take some time and patience on your part, especially in cases where there is another woman or a lot of time has gone by between the two of you.
But also remember that patience is well worth it in the end. That being said, I want to hear about your situation. In the comments below, tell me: • a little bit about your breakup. • what have you done since the breakup. • and where in the EBR process.
From there our team of EXperts will help you determine where you need to go from here. So my ex boyfriend and I have been over for almost a year. (He broke up with me) We were together for about 3 years it was great till of course the end. Um this whole year has been filled with weird signals. He has actually changed into things that I remember telling him it was an issue (when we were together) such as his anger issues, being on the phone while we were together, or just even listening to me while I’m talking.
I don’t know if it’s bad but I rarely reach out to him which make him the first one to initiate a conversation. Though there have been moments where he has tried to invite me over to his family house, but tells me to pretend like everything is cool with him (as if we are still together) …. I always ask him why he hasn’t told his family and his response is always like “there’s never a good time and my aunt will be heart broken” … at times I just want to know why he keeps doing this if he said he doesn’t want to be with me.
• My ex and I have been in a relationship for 8years. We broke up a week ago. He told me about his new girlfriend a few days ago after our breakup. He still wants to hangout with me as friends but he doesn’t initiates outings. I initiated the first outing yesterday just for coffee.
He was actually okay with it but after coffee he initiated to have some drinks at a pub. We went there and had 2 glass of beer. We played games and sang songs. But he wanted to end the day early so we left early and he insisted to send me to the nearest bus stand. He held my hand a few times when crossing the road. He did mention there was a movie he watched alone a few days ago and it was really good.
He asked if I was interested he would not mind watching it again with me. I am confused by his actions. I know I still love him and would do anything to get him back. But I can’t understand his actions or how he feels about me. What do you think of this? • I broke up with my ex boyfriend about 6 months ago. He was the one that dumped me. We stayed together for 6 months, and became friends with benefits a few weeks following the break up until we decided to stop but agreed to remain friends.
The break up was amicable. I have implemented NC… but after a month he contacted me asking to meet up. Since then it’s been: meeting up once a month, NC again, meeting again the next month, NC again… I strongly suspect he has a girlfriend but he still suggests to meet up.
Recently, I was the one initiating conversations until he recently contacted me a few days ago… What does it mean? Why does he want to hang out if he had a new girlfriend? Does he see me as just a friend? • Hi. My ex broke up with me 4 months ago saying he still enjoyed spending time with me but didn’t think there was a future. It wasn’t too messy a break up I said I understood his feelings but that I had thought there was a future.
After a week of back and forth phone calls and crying (both of us) nd pleading (me) I went I to no contact for 30days. I reached out after and he responded positively and immediately saying he was so glad I reached out as he had wanted to but didn’t want to upset me further. During no contact I joined a gym and yoga class, which I continue with I’ve recently got a new job and am looking at going back to university.
We have been texting back and forth we met up twice and both times I ended it early saying I had plans (but not specific) it was easy and fun, we had a laugh second time he reached out to hug me twice and said before I left that he missed me.
This was about 2 weeks ago since he’s been fairly distant with communication even when I try. Yet he asked me to go to the cinema with him?
What am I doing wrong in not building attraction? How can I get him to commit more time and effort to me? And should I agree to this next meet up at all? Please help! • Hey! So the situation is: my boyfriend and I were together for 7 months.
I broke it off with him, even though I loved him because he was very non-communicative and blew me off one to many times. It was a very amicable split and he asked if we could “still be friends” I said yes of course, but never thought it was a serious thing. I have never contacted him since. We broke up about 2 months ago. For the first month I would respond when he texted me, but then he called me and wanted to have drinks or coffee and I told him I was happy he was doing well with the breakup and appreciated his trying to be friends, but that I needed time and space away from him.
He responded by saying “well I’m not happy, but I’m sorry” and did not contact me for over a month. Just today he asked to have coffee, and we did and it was perfectly pleasant and nice. He did a small amount of reminiscing and I think a couple of times wanted to ask if I was dating but stopped himself. I have been working hard on myself since the breakup working out and going out a lot and he mentioned both of those things.
So what do you think? Totally platonic or is he still interested? • My situation is a little different. My ex and I were together for 1.5 years. We were very much in love. He broke up with me six months ago because his young son and I weren’t connecting in the way he wanted us to.
I took the first three months of the breakup to really work on myself – and felt like a better person who learned a lot and could be the partner and mother figure he was looking for. We started hanging out as a family again on January 1 and it lasted six beautiful weeks.
Everything was clicking, connecting. His son even mentioned how nice it all felt. And I felt and looked good. It was wonderful. But then he told me when he broke up with me it was “over” and he was now moving on. He had met someone a few weeks earlier and was “feeling really good about it”. He then asked if we could be friends and still hangout because he loved my daughter and I. I got really upset and said no.
Now I haven’t spoken to him in three weeks. Did I mess everything up? Please help. • Is there a way to get him interested in more than just sex? We had a great conversation last night in which there was a pretty clear emotional connection. I spent christmas alone and he said was sad about it and that the last time we hung out he was hinting that I could spend christmas with him and his family but apparently I didn’t pick up on it.
Also his mum was worried about me and I think that made him miss me a little. Is that not a good sign or an indication that he still cares and there may be a chance? • I texted my ex yesterday evening, after 4 weeks of silence. I asked when was the last time he saw an old and shared favorite musician of ours and included a poster of the musicians upcoming show next week.
30 minutes later he replied: “I haven’t seen him in a while. That will be a good show though.” I responded a few minutes later, “Yes, hopefully!” I’ve seen that he is still in town and hasn’t reached out. Is his neutral response a game-over? • This is going to be a little erroneous. My ex that I dated for 6-9 months and I will have been broken up for two years this coming February. Over this time period I did a month of no-contact, which seemed to work at first, but then I completely caved and we became regular friends with benefits who still spent most of our time together.
Since our breakup, we have been camping together where we shared a tent multiple times, traveling on two different large trips alone, wedding dates out of state, been to concerts for our favorite bands together, worked on some projects, stayed at his parents’ house together and I helped him move. Basically, he has had his cake and eaten it, too. I ended up moving out of our city a year ago for school, where we still kept in contact regularly, and hung out often, with intimacy involved even when I returned to our town for the summer for work.
I moved away again, and before I moved he has been distant from being busy, but has since started to talk to me less. I still want to be together, and I think he suspects this and apparently does not want it.
When I try to begin no contact, he sort of GNATs me within hours of my not responding to a message he has sent. We still talk every day, even if it is small, but have not been intimate in a month due to distance and schedule (which is fine because I know it hurts my chances).
Because we are not actually together, I have also been spending time with a different ex boyfriend (I dated before the ex I want to get back) who he dislikes, but is a good friend of mine and is a platonic relationship.
When he sees I am with him, he tries to contact me more often but doesn’t seem to know what to say. I’m pretty confused on what step to take, since the ex-bf I am trying to get back together with interest in me seems to be dwindling with the commotion of the holidays and how busy we both are. We are both number one on each other’s snapchat friends, and he likes to keep a streak going with me.
I believe we have “good” rapport, we hang out alone or with friends and he’s still attracted to me but seems to not want to have feelings for me again. It’s more friendly and distant now if anything, and it doesn’t help that he seems to be self-centered because the last time we got drinks he talked about himself most for most of our time together before asking about me and the car accident I was recently in.
Should I try No-Contact again, since he has not been initiating contact as it is? I have been doing great in my work and school, and he’s aware of this, changed my appearance positively for myself, to which he has responded positively (as well as many others). I am not quite a UG, but am doing a lot for myself including being financially stable and planning to go to Europe by myself this spring, which he seems to find “impressive”.
• Well I thought by him texting, asking me to meet him, and then immediately following up via text after dropping me and suggesting we meet earlier for more fun meant that we’d launch into building rapport. I’m really discouraged that’s not the case and he still hasn’t initiated any texts although he does reply. I’ve driven by his home and see that he’s been in town for a bit and will likely go back to work before Christmas and likely through NYE.
Do you think he’s still interested in me? I’m not sure I should keep initiating texts after these last 2 rounds and I was running the EBR process way back when (and it would work but then I’d get too emotional, a few times) so not sure it’d be different. I’m definitely busy running a new company I built and focusing on building my new life. I was so excited to hear from him I’m just scared to go back to my needy and emotionally dependable place.
• Hi Amor, I have been broken up with my ex for a year. We were together for 2 years but he broke up with me when he decided he had lost attraction. After 6 months I follow the ex boyfriend recovery program and he seemed interested for a little while but then fell off the track so I walked away.
After walking away he contacted me quite a bit. Recently I have started talking to him again. We have met up twice now, and kissed on both occasions. However the second time we met up he started to get handsy and wanted to sleep together, I removed his hand so he would get the point. At that point it had gotten late so he said he’d drive me home. He kept talking about how badly he wanted to sleep with me and when I left I told him I wanted to sleep with him as well but it feels bad to be kicked out afterwards.
He said he understood and I walked away with a sad look after realising he only wanted to use me. Should I go into a mini no-contact for 15 days? Or would it be better to text him and say ‘I had a nice time but dont sleep with people unless Im in a relationship but it would be nice to see each other again’?
• My (previously) LDR ex from 2013 and I flirted heavily via text throughout 2014 before messing up and having him tell me “it’s not meant to be” in 2015. After 2 yrs of silence while living in the same city he reached out 10-22-17, the same old flirting and eventually suggested we meet. I met him and we had a nice time catching up, filling each other in on interesting stories, and finally he called it a night.
He dropped me off at home and I gave him a big hug. He then texted me immediately after driving off saying it was fun and that we should do it again but earlier in the day to have more fun. I agreed and then he launched into a texting conversation and I complied.
I then said, “So did I turn you onto a new beer?” And he said, “yes you did!” And included an inside joke back from our heavy texting days that references intimacy. He then said he’d miss-read my text and that there was too much sexual tension between us (and he LOL’d embarrassingly). It was late and I was slow to respond and also not quite sure where to go from there because it’s been so long and I wasn’t getting sexual vibes from him at all when I’d seen him. He was so quiet and I was doing most of the talking.
So after that exchange, which ended neutrally, 1.5 week passed and I texted a one liner, he responded in 15 minutes and we had a nice but brief exchange. He was responding pretty quickly. Then another 1.5 week passed and I texted again, same deal. I then asked if he did want to go out earlier and he replied that he was working (he works off shore for multiple weeks at a time). I said “ok, jus checking in” and that was 3 weeks ago today. I’ve seen his car around town so I know he’s around.
What do you think? •
Evan, This may be an age-old question. My boyfriend is best friends with his ex-girlfriend. They dated for two and a half years, broke up 5 years ago, have many mutual friends. They met in graduate school and went through some hard times together, so I understand why they stay friends.
However, they are way too close. They talk on the phone 2-3 times a week, meet up for lunch/dinner. My boyfriend once told me she’s so important to him that if we ever get married and have a house, she would be invited to our house for holiday dinners. The first time I met his mom, she could not stop talking about the ex. She told me their entire dating story, why they broke up, how the ex-girlfriend’s parents still think my boyfriend is the best guy for her (oh yeah, the mom is also good friends with the ex girlfriend’s parents).
Of course, I was annoyed but maintained my cool. I did have a discussion with my boyfriend after this incident, and he thought his mom was inappropriate. The ex-girlfriend also will not stop posting on his Facebook wall almost daily, with intimate posts (“awww… your stress won’t last much longer”), pictures of their families having thanksgiving dinner last year before we started dating, pictures of them dancing together back in graduate school, etc.
I don’t think her intentions are pure. I trust my boyfriend 100% and I really don’t think he’ll cheat on me with her. I just think the whole situation is disrespectful to me and her behavior is very inappropriate. He’s letting her do that to me and to our relationship. He refuses to distance himself from her and thinks I’m being unreasonable by asking him to do so. I have met the ex-girlfriend. She was extremely nice to me, so much so it felt unnatural since she doesn’t know me at all.
So, my question is what kind of friendship with the ex is too much? Where do we draw the line? Am I being a jealous girlfriend to feel the way I feel? I have dated guys who were on civil terms with their exes and I was even friends with the exes, so I really don’t think I have jealousy or insecurity tendencies, it’s just that this situation makes me really uncomfortable.
–Irene Some men are better boyfriends than husbands. Dear Irene, Your story reminded me of someone I know – a female friend who has a similar relationship with her ex-boyfriend. It seems pretty clear from the outside that the ex-boyfriend is her best friend and “soulmate”, while the husband is merely the father to her children. The husband provides money and stability, but they don’t truly connect the way she does with her ex.
The husband seems to accept this and there is virtually no probability that she would leave him for the man she dumped seven years ago. Some men are better boyfriends than husbands, she concluded. And she’s right. Which is why I’m not willing to go out on a limb and suggest that you’re in the same situation. After all, I don’t have all the facts.
Among the important ones: How old are you? 35-year-olds are usually better decision makers than 25-year-olds. They’re often better able to separate relationships into different components and can see things clearer in retrospect.
I have a number of girlfriends that I’m appalled that I ever dated, a handful of girlfriends who were wonderful whom I didn’t appreciate, and a few girlfriends that really, would have been better off as friends. I’m guessing this guy is no different.
How long have you and your boyfriend been together? If you’re a recent couple, you don’t really have a right to say anything about how he lives his life. You don’t have any leverage on a man until he loves you, and the more you pressure him to change, the less likely he’s going to be busting out the “L-Word” any time soon. Nothing makes a man want to cheat (or leave) more than a girlfriend who doesn’t trust him. And the most important fact that we’re not privy to… Who dumped whom?
Usually, the person who got dumped is the one who still wanted to be in the relationship. The person who did the dumping is the one who thought long and hard about whether it was a wise decision to end a 2 ½ year relationship.
If your boyfriend concluded that, all things considered, his ex was not a good fit for him in the longterm, whether its due to different views on sex, money, religion, or personality conflicts, then that’s all you need to know.
Ask yourself this: would YOU take back anyone that you’ve dumped? That’s right. Neither would we. And the real truth is that I wouldn’t take back anyone who dumped me either.
Sure, at the time, I was reeling, and wishing things could be different. But then the smoke began to clear and I started to see my ex’s for what they were – normal, flawed women, not visions of perfection like I made them out to be. So even those who dumped me wouldn’t get a second shake today. Think about the men who dumped you and whether you’d truly take them back. I’m guessing you wouldn’t. At the end of the day, it’s not my place to say whether they’re “too close”.
Two to three times a week does seem excessive, I’ll admit. What I would probably suggest is that if you’re “the one” for your boyfriend, he’ll start to show it in his actions and won’t want to spend as much time and energy on his ex. You won’t have to say anything at all to make it happen. If you find you’re not getting your relationship needs met, you can leave. In the meantime, get out of your own way. You’re getting yourself tied up in knots and it’s surely not serving your goal of maintaining a healthy relationship with your boyfriend.
You’re the one who just said you trust him 100%. You’re the one who said he won’t cheat with her. How about you start living your life like it? Because nothing makes a man want to cheat (or leave) more than a girlfriend who doesn’t trust him. As I’ve said many, many times before, it’s either full trust or no trust. What do you think is going to lead to a better relationship. And if anyone wants to get on my case about telling her to accept her boyfriend’s behavior, please go back to that paragraph where I said that if she’s not getting her relationship needs met, she should leave.
But if she’s GOING to be in the relationship, the way to handle it is to be trusting, not edgy and jealous. 2 Demi Wow, I give you kudos for responding to it in what seems like a pretty enlightened manner. If it were me I’m with Cheryl- I’d be pretty upset! The bottom line here seems to be that he knows how this situation with his ex makes you feel (since you’ve told him), and it’s up to him to either do something about it, or not.
On your end, you have to decide if you’re OK with his actions (or inaction) on that front. Like Evan says: if this guy isn’t giving you what you personally need to feel secure…well, after letting him know your feelings and giving it some time, all that’s left is to leave.
I’d advise maybe taking a step back, getting into your own hobbies, hanging out with some friends…put yourself in a happy place and see where this goes. • 2.1.1 Karmic Equation Desiree, you have every right to say something to the ex if you believe she’s crossing a line.
Why don’t you tell her to stop her inappropriate behavior? There’s the rub, right? She’s not behaving inappropriately. You just don’t like it. You’re jealous. It’s not your bf’s responsibility to assuage your jealousy. If HE is behaving inappropriately, then you ask HIM to stop. If he doesn’t, he’s wrong. But him asking his ex stop HER behavior because YOU’re jealous is not a good enough reason.
As I wrote, if she crossed a line, you’re within your rights to tell her off. If otherwise, you need to let it go, or let him go. Not nag him. • 2.1.2 Sam I totally agree. I got upset because my finace was always talking to his ex- behind my back and then lying about it.
I left for a while and after a lot of conversations, I did forgive+ however, the trust is broken and slow mending. If it happens again- I will be gone for good- no more chances. Everything has been put on the table now, there is no question what my bottom line is- if I am disrespected, all I can do is leave for good and respect myself. • 3 starthrower68 On the one hand, what Evan says makes perfect sense. I am pretty good friends with my ex husband, but I know that I could not ever live with him again.
His current wife knows this and is not threatened by it. I get along with her quite well too, but have not ever knowingly given her a reason to suspect me.
That having been said, if this sort of situation makes me feel that uncomfortable, I’m walking. I agree that it’s best for the OP to get out of her own way and stop tying herself up in knots, but to me the best way to do that is just bow out gracefully and move on to a guy who doesn’t have such close ties to his ex.
But then I tend to be an avoidant personality type anyway. • 4 35Y old here :) I bet he was the dumper. The “reason” must have been bad timing, financial/career issues that “made it impossible” for him to commit to her. Slow, dragged-out breakup ensued.
Then they got back together as “friends”, after the period of time required to soothe the terror he felt vis-a-vis intimacy. In fact, now it is perfect for him, as his relationship needs are completely satisfied (what can be better than two lukewarm half-relationships to someone who is batshit scared to have both feet in one relationship, with one person?). He is going to play this Ex card to not commit of LW. The three of them may merrily continue this way, but worries that LW will need to cook for the ex during family holidays are pretty much unwarranted: he is not the marrying kind.
The biggest threat to everything ending abruptly and badly: when the ex grows up and falls in love with someone else. • 4.1 L Bingo! I just excused myself from a similar situation. As soon as I mentioned I wanted something more from the relationship… dude ditches me on a Friday to meet up with an ex-girlfriend.
When I inquired, it’s “I’m not ready for a serious relationship”. Queue my exit, ” okay well I’m not comfortable continuing as we are ” (three months, physically intimate). I’ve studied a lot of psychology and I know this ploy. You toss in a third person or thing (could be work, drugs, in-laws) to ensure you don’t get truly intimate with your partner.
I’m pretty bummed about it. And maybe haven’t handled it well… of course he’s hanging out with said ex a lot now, they’re flirting incessantly on Instagram AND of course he’s online looking for younger women. Because, you know, gotta keep that triad up. Make sure you get your needs met by more than one woman. • 4.1.1 L That’s why, girls and women, do not sleep with a man until he can promise you and show you a commitment !
3 months is too soon. Most girls get intimate with a guy on the 2 or 3 dates ! That is rediculous! They are only out to chase women, as soon as they get to the second base, goal is accomplished. They are just using you for their convinence. Ladies, do not believe their BS ! If a guy comes on too quickly physically, kissing and touching in the first 3 or 5 days, they are out to play !
• 5 Venus When my exhusband and I were dating he had an old flame like that. Always present, showed up unexpectedly at events she knew we would be attending, dropped in on him at the office, always keeping him up to date on her family happenings and occasions.
Reacting to me with cool acceptance. Obviously had a hidden agenda. So I asked him frankly about her “Does Ann still have feelings for you?” He replied that he had not thought about it because they had been friends so long but now that I had brought it up it was something that was worthy of assessment. So he made a conscious effort to gradually create some distance. She became resentful of me but eventually got the message and also lessened her contact.
So it might be worth the effort to discuss this with your boyfriend and if you are uncomfortable with the exchanges let him know this. He might be willing to adjust his behavior. • 5.1 Brian I’ve been absent from two of my ex girlfriends life for 20 years.
We dated when were 16 and 17. Many people might take the high road so to speak and say “I would be this or that.” But you can’t pick you ex’s. All of your girlfriends or boyfriends will become ex’s sooner and later. When they do. They do all sorts of things. My ex and I began talking on the net. Bad idea. We were different people back then. We were in highschool, just graduating from highschool. At the time, when we dated, she was great. Always funny, cute, and easy to love.
But now when ever we talk she thinks communicating includes yelling, cussing, swearing at me if I have a different opinion. One of the things I have learned about my ex’s. Is time doesn’t heal wounds, it makes our problems worse. Much worse. We don’t have sex between us anymore, we don’t love each other, hell we don’t like each other.
Ex’s generally don’t get better with time. • 6 MC Dear Irene, Been there. I also thought my boyfriend at the time wouldn’t cheat on me, but I didn’t trust her, too invasive, too “hey, don’t forget me, happy for you and your new girlfriend, but don’t forget me”. She was the one who dumped him after NINE years together, and one day she woke up and told him she wanted him back. He didn’t hesitate, not even for 24h.
He cheated on me and then dumped me over an e-mail while I was at work (yes! He did that!). Just like this, I couldn’t understand what was going on, since we never had a fight, the only problem was “her”, all over the place. Then I found out he cheated on me with her. And he even tried to make it look as if he did what was correct, ha! My advice? If you’ve been together for a short time, just like Evan says, wait and see. If things don’t change, find a guy who has a normal relationship with all of his exes.
You will lose NOTHING if you lose a guy that doesn’t respect you and your relationship. Please, don’t wait too long, you deserve a good boyfriend with no intoxicating ex… • 6.1 Torsh Johansen I like your view.
I would say wait and see, too — but in between seeing & leaving, I would say bringing it up. Plus — how long is “too short”? I mean, this isn’t about telling someone “how to live one’s life”.
This is gauging on what’s up between them. If someone is still like peas & carrots with their Ex like that, there’s some feelings that they themselves may not be aware of (but usually do with a few drinks in them). Doesn’t mean they’ll Physically Cheat or anything — but that’s not required.
I personally would say hitting the 3 month mark — you definitely have to bring it up to the bf/gf in a good way by not coming off as paranoid or whatever, because many times they’ll probably want to peg you that way out of defense. You let them know that it’s not a small deal, but you’re not going to be fighting all the time about it, etc.
And if you see their loyalty to their ex to be so cozy with them not change? You just pack it up and leave… • 7 LK To me, this seems abnormal behavior.
If it’s a short relationship between the LW and the guy, then I agree that he shouldn’t dump his friends for a new girlfriend. However, I think it’s a fair generalization to say that a large percentage of people would feel uncomfortable if their new partner was talking to an ex 2-3x a week.
Even if I was really good with my ex’s (I’m not friends with them at all), I would try to keep the friendship at a certain distance to not make potential new partners question me, like the LW is doing to her boyfriend. It just make sense to me… it’s almost kind of like a social grace. If they have been dating for a while, and if he wants her to be okay with the situation, he should compromise a bit too – maybe talk to her less.
It’s not really fair to say “you’re just sensitive, learn to deal” when you apparently are trying to sustain a relationship. • 8 Angie I agree that the situation is disrespectful and inappropriate, and think that the level of interaction he has with her is way more than reasonable.
I do agree with #4 to some extent… it does seem like he is having an emotional relationship with her and a romantic/physical relationship with you. BUT before I go dumping him, I think it is fair to do what Venus #5 did, and request he pull back, only on the grounds that you are picking up a “She’s still into you” vibe. His comment about “If” you get married (the big IF…) that she would come for holiday dinners is nuts.
She has a family! That, to me, reads like he is trying to hold some power card in the relationship, and knock you down a peg, whether consciously or subconsciously. • 11 Ruby Wow, I had a similar situation with a boyfriend. The ex just couldn’t let go, became obsessive, and even engaged in some weird, stalkerish behavior, like dumping things at his house and incessant hang-up calls (in the days before caller ID was everpresent).
He wore up, down, and sideways that he had no interest in her other than friendship, and told me he dumped her because their romantic relationship sucked. Eventually, he broke up with me, and guess what? He ran straight back to her, and they ended up getting married. I realized later that he was secretly flattered by the attention, which isn’t exactly the healthiest response either.
I disagree that people do not get back together with their exes. In fact, it happens all the time. If Irene and her boyfriend are really a solid couple, the ex should be hanging out with both of them.
• 12 MH Time may tell. If it seems that this new relationship isn’t advancing, then it sounds like the BF hasn’t let go of his ex. I think this girl should just keep her eye open for new guys if it seems like closeness this is going to still happen. Better to be with someone who has moved on than not.
• 13 Zann Sorry, what LW describes is not friendship with an ex — because those types of friendships have healthy boundaries, which I’m not seeing in this situation.
I’m totally in agreement about the complete-trust or no-trust philosophy and the ugliness of jealousy, insecurity, possessiveness. I also believe that the best kind of ex is one with whom you’re on friendly terms. But I also think truly healthy relationships can only grow when both people are ready and willing to let go of the past, ugh to move on and invest 100% in the new relationship. The Be-Here-Now mode of living & thinking. That’s my mature side talking. In more crude terms: Boyfriend needs to you-know-what or get off the that cozy little pot he’s occupying. Pretty safe to say he has no plans to do either, because apparently he requires the intimate connection of 2 women in order to have his “full spectrum” of needs met. Without judging that, (Har!) and based on my own experience with this kind of situation, this is a hands-down double-dealbreaker for me.
It involves his inability to disengage from his old girlfriend (and to me, who dumped who is irrelevant), coupled with the enmeshed families’ intrusiveness. Oy. As they say, life’s short. Find someone who’s happy as a clam having just wonderful you sharing his primary intimacy needs, and leave this selfish momma’s boy behind. • 14 I think Evan is on the right track. I have a suggestion that might help Irene to feel at ease with this situation.
Try to make friends with the ex. Ask her to go to lunch or coffee, tell her that you’d like to get to know her, but that you’d rather not discuss the boyfriend. Then talk about everything else you have in common.
Change the subject when his name comes up. This worked wonders for me and my ex, who is also a close friend. When he and his fiance got together a dozen years ago, she and I bonded over business, gardening, dancing–whatever we had in common (aside from him.) We socialize together as a threesome and with each other one-on-one. She knows that I totally support her and their relationship because she and I took time to establish trust and our own friendship. It’s awkward at first, but Irene will soon discover where the ex is coming from, and, if all is on the up-and-up, she will likely make a new friend.
Her boyfriend will feel more relaxed about the situation, because he won’t be caught in the middle. Annie Gleason, Midlife Dating Coach, Get A Love Life • 15 Debra Zann, your advice is always golden. Love when you comment! I have only been able to remain friends/acquaintances with exes when there was no real emotional bond.
If there was, at least one person probably got hurt, and before A LOT of time has passed, a friendship will be complicated, at best. Sounds like boyfriend’s ex– and his relationship with her– are way too present in his life right now. It’s not necessarily that he will cheat; it’s just that he might not be emotionally available. Irene should proceed with caution. • 17 Annie I was in a relationship like that. He was getting his physical and romantic needs met by me, and his need for emotional intimacy met by another woman.
When I ended things, he ended things with the other woman also, and fell in love with some-one completely different.
Most important question you can ask yourself, are your needs getting met? • 18 starthrower68 If Irene can reach a level of acceptance with this and she is sure in her heart there’s no jealousy, then she might be able to move forward and even develop a strong friendship with the ex gf.
However, if she will be plagued by insecurity and jealousy let it go. Do not stay in any situation that perpetuates those emotions as they are toxic and destructive. • 19 Beware of the ex!!! At least in my neck of the woods (Italy), the ex-girlfriends are VERY aggressive and competitive, and they pounce just for the sake of pouncing, whether they really want the guy or not. It’s a lack of respect towards the current girlfriend any way you look at it.
Jealousy or no jealousy, there is nothing that makes me more mad than feeling disrespected. I’m lucky not to have had such drama with my current boyfriend, who has taken the initiative and demonstrated that he wants to be with just me. I think that trust is one of the biggest gestures of love that exists, but at the same time, I have learned not to ever step aside so that someone else (an ex, for example) can “take the stage”.
If it feels really bad in your stomach, do what you need to do to feel better. • 20 P.S. I am best friends with an ex, and he is getting married this year. When I saw how excited he was to start dating her and brought her around to meet his “posse”, something that he simply doesn’t do with just any girl, I turned my focus to getting to know HER, and to leaving them alone, as a gesture of respect to her and to the new relationship.
In the end, she and I have bonded quite a bit, we really like each other, and they have asked me to be in the wedding! 🙂 I am absolutely thrilled. Anyway, she is a very secure, relaxed girl who doesn’t seem like the jealous type anyway, but I like to think that because I stepped waaaaaaay aside and stayed out of the way, I was able to earn her trust and pretty quickly too.
• 20.2 Chris I love this response! I have been the ex and reacted in the same way. It honestly felt disrespectful to the new person not to give space. Now that I am the new person and feeling guarded about his ex, I have additionally considered that her low effort to try and know me feels odd, at best. Very early on, I was forced to meet and hang out in a group when we met, because I barely even got the heads-up that this was an ex.
My partner admits to hoping we’d hit it off before he told me of their past, but luckily, he got better advice at the last second! Nevertheless, she was the center of attn most of the night because of recent celebrations in her life, and she spent more time thus impressing my friends than asking me ANYTHING about myself.
In fact, the only comments I received were aimed at what I don’t know (as well as her) about my new partner. I felt so trapped and manipulated, but I know I can’t direct my frustration at her. I’ve been very clear to my partner how difficult the situation was and that trust is more challenging now.
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Can You Be Friends With Your Ex?