The guy you like is best friends with his ex, its a situation not many plan to be in, but there it is. So what do you do? Insist he cut off all ties with his ex or learn to accept her as a part of his life? Not all relationships end in a nice way but few do and your boyfriend and his ex may have decided to remain friends especially if there were already friends prior to the relationship or a long time has passed since they were together.
I once dated a guy who was best friends with his ex. She was not only one of his closest friends but was also a co worker. This was at a time when i was new to the world of healthy relationships. Needless to say, i felt jealous and a tad threatened. But i thought about it and decided to confront the matter head on. So i went to this dinner with him and met her there. Things were very awkward in the beginning (i got there a lil drunk!) but as the evening progressed, it really felt no different from any other situation. I realised i was making a mountain out of a molehill mainly because of my own paranoia. I learnt a valuable lesson, in that sometimes things seem worse than they actually are.
That said, its not the easiest thing in the world to accept your partner’s ex as a part of their life. I think the general consensus seems to be that you have to be a jealous, irrational person to even think on those terms. well, not true. I can tell you from personal experience that it is a perfectly natural feeling and it is what you do with it that will ultimately matter. Whatever you do, DO NOT pretend. If having his ex around is making you uncomfortable, be honest and tell him about it. A person who is mature will understand, not be defensive and try to reassure you. It is at this stage that you will be faced with two choices –
You have to decide whether what you share with this guy is worth getting uncomfortable for in the short term for the greater good of the both of you.
Apart from this, is there any other thing bothering you? how has he carried himself otherwise? Think about it, and then take a stance. If you are the sort that sees themselves gradually be ok with the idea of being civil if not friendly with your partner’s ex, then while it will be hard in the beginning, it could be a workable situation. This is not for everyone, and if you see yourself going hard on yourself for not being able to deal with it or feeling a certain way, it would be wise to end things right then and there. I say this because although it is not ideal, you’ve got to ultimately do what’s in your best interests. Also it depends a lot of where you are in life at that moment. A lot of our thoughts evolve on various things from time to time and that’s OK.
Remember that your decision is your own, and at no point must be influenced by another person’s thinking. Make an informed decision and then stick to it. If you keep flip flapping, you will make life harder for yourself. I think a great way to make decisions easier to make or if you’re unsure of the situation, is by giving it some time. A sort of ‘evaluation period’ if you like.. where you honestly evaluate the situation and try not to rush for a conclusion. Try not to over think things in the meantime, and tell yourself you will give it an honest shot. If you decide to test the waters, you can do some things to make things easier for yourself, like –
Simply ask. I think a lot of us feel embarrassed to ask questions to someone we’re dating. In an attempt to not cause offense, we keep quiet and instead rack our brains in the background which affects the relationship anyway! Its perfectly ok to want to know their relationship history after a few dates. Any happy person without relationship baggage will be forthright and willing to talk about their experiences. Ask them how they met their ex, how long they were together, if they are completely over them etc. Don’t interrogate but do get to know what the equation is with his ex or exes.
Get to know his ex or atleast meet her a few times before you judge. I know it feels like a pain, and depending on your defense mechanism, it might even make you feel nauseatingly sick. Give it a shot, anyway. Trust me, if the guy you’re seeing really cares about you, he will do his best to make you feel comfortable and you should be his number one priority, so don’t worry. This is actually a good way to find out the kind of person they are, plus it will help relax your mind.
Understand that there is no pressure on you to be his ex’s friend. The idea is to be comfortable with having her as part of his life, they have a shared history and now are good friends, you need to be able to accept and respect that. Beyond that, it really depends on you where you want to take it. If you decide that actually you don’t want to be friends with his ex, that’s perfectly fine.
Be upfront. On the other hand, if you really feel this is not a situation you can deal with, be honest and tell him so. Wish him well and move on. Remember that there is no ‘right’ in this, it’s perfectly fine to not be ok with some things, you don’t owe any explanation to them.
Whatever you do, don’t take a rash decision only to regret it later. If you have something special going on with someone, why let it go? You never know how things might feel, unless you give it a chance. Think calmly and then take a call. But ultimately, you need to be honest with yourself and whatever you do decide, don’t be too harsh on yourself. Remember, it’s not important what decision we take but rather how we feel about it. Good luck.