So my very new boyfriend is still friends with his ex. They broke up about a year ago due to the ex-boyfriend’s infidelity. He insured me that they are “platonic friends” only, and although he was cheated on and took him back twice, that the guy is still a nice guy. And that after the break up, the ex was there for him (not sure if this is emotionally/financially/etc) and still considers him a friend. Today he informs me that he believes that his ex bf is upset with him because he has turned down 2 requests to grab a bite to eat because of plans that we have had and the text exchange has been shorter than usual. According to my bf, they text 2-3 times a week. He did tell the ex that he was talking to someone, but has not yet updated him that he is now in a committed relationship.
I will say that I am totally uncomfortable with him remaining friends with the ex bf because he told me that he thinks that guy would still be sexual if my bf would allow it (meaning the guy still has feelings for him). I don’t have sexual desires for friends. Trust has to play a part in this, but I’m starting to feel that he isn’t over his ex and perhaps it’s more when you feel the need to cater to your ex. Can it be that they are more than friends? Any thoughts about this?
Not Feeling Your Ex
Dear Not Feeling Your Ex,
Thanks for writing to me. Because I’ve always been very adamant on a point you are touching on in this scenario, let me jump right into this answer. I have to tell you, I’m going to give it to you straight, so be ready.
I have always said, you can’t be friends with an ex, just friendly. People are entitled to disagree, but I haven’t seen a successful example of it yet. And yes there is a difference between being a friend, and simply being friendly. When you are just being friendly, you exchange pleasantries when you see each other, don’t bad mouth each other to other people, and can be cool and collected when at mutual friends’ get-togethers. There is no constant communication with one another, there are no frequent one- on-one outings, and there are no potentially compromising situations.
And I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say I raised an eyebrow at your boyfriend based on the scenario you presented. For starters, I’m concerned that your boo seems apprehensive about telling his ex that he is in a committed relationship. Why wouldn’t he share that with a “friend”? I know with my best friends, it’s pretty common for us to keep one another up to date on each other’s love life. So if your boyfriend and his ex are simply friends, it’s odd he hasn’t shared the news of your relationship.
My eyebrow also rose when you mentioned that it has only been about a year since your boyfriend and his former bae broke up. I’m not sure when you and your boyfriend started seeing each other, but it sounds like he moved on rather quickly. I have to question whether or not he got closure from the past relationship, before entering a new one. By no means am I saying your bae wants to leave you to return to his old flame. What I am saying, is that he may not have properly buried what once was. And as I’ve said before, closure doesn’t always come with the “I’m Through” discussion. But definitely should come.
I’d furthermore like to point out, that deep down the ex thinks he can get your boo back at some point down the line. Not that your boyfriend will give him a chance, but the fact your boyfriend and his ex have remained so close despite the fact the former love cheated is interesting. In addition, I don’t understand why your boyfriend would continue to profess the existence of a pure friendship, then turn around and tell you that the ex still wants to sleep with him.
Suggestions going forward.
- Don’t be shy, and tell your boyfriend how uncomfortable his friendship with his ex makes you. If you’re worried about an awkward exchange, don’t. This is one of those situations where you either be truthful and have an uncomfortable conversation with him now, or have a potential blow up with him later because you tried to suppress your feelings.
- When you have this conversation with your boo, make sure you mention some of your best attributes and why you two are good together. Nothing wrong with reminding him why he doesn’t want to mess up a great thing with you, by holding onto the past.
- As crazy as it may sound, encourage your boyfriend to get closure with his ex. That doesn’t mean you are sending him off to go sleep with the guy one last time either. You are just encouraging him to have an honest chat with the ex, and for him to realize an ongoing friendship with this person is not healthy for your relationship. If you and your babe love each other, and you trust what you two have, then this will be a good for you two as a couple.
- In the unfortunate chance after your boyfriend has had his convo with the ex, and you have had a convo with him, that you find he is really still madly in love with the ex, really contemplate how you want to proceed. Know that being someone’s number two is a hard road to travel and beneath anyone.
As always nothing but love,