Should I Let My Boyfriend Be Friends With His Ex?

Should I Let My Boyfriend Be Friends With His Ex?

I want to know where you stand on the whole “staying friends with your ex” thing. Recently I moved to the country/ town where my boyfriend lives, after a few months of long-distance relationship with visits intermittent. Things had been great between us. Of course it’s early days. We’ve both been loving, attentive, kind and considerate. Two things happened when I got here, however, which have me thinking. I don’t know if they’re related.

First, when I arrived I was very ill with a horrible cold. My boyfriend was also sick (with food poisoning) but he avoided me physically. No hugging, kissing… He explained it was because he didn’t want to get sick again in the last few days before his work ended before vacation. I was hurt but understood. I had thought he’d lost interest but took what he said and accepted it. Second, a few days ago while he was on skype with his dad, a text-message came to him on the phone. Yes, I made the mistake of looking at it! We hadn’t been private about these things in the past at all. The text was from his ex-girlfriend arranging to meet him for lunch on Friday. I made the additional mistake of scrolling back and then realised they’d been talking while I was making him dinner. He had gone outside to speak privately, and I had a hunch it was something untoward.

Well, I wrote a note saying “I’m sorry I invaded your privacy. When the text came I thought it might have been important. Your ex-girlfriend wasn’t to meet you for lunch on Friday.” I was very tired and just went up to bed. He came up soon after and we talked. 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. Also, I pointed out his tendency to keep his relations with her private. Once in the past, he had received a text from her and he turned over the phone so I wouldn’t notice. I made no comment at that time…

I think it is unacceptable for him to be meeting her, texting and talking with her when he is four months into a new relationship. What do you think? He said he’s not attracted to her and so on, but I just don’t like the idea of him hanging out with her, what if he invites her over for dinner, etc? By the way, I do trust my boyfriend, but I find it almost an insult to me, or to our relationship, that he would still be in touch with her. Please answer my question, I’d love to know what you think. Thanks, Emily

Dear Emily,

Yeah, you probably asked the wrong guy.

I think you are particularly sensitive to your own needs and feelings and somewhat clueless about the needs and feelings of your boyfriend. So let’s get this straight:

Your boyfriend has only lost interest if he shows no affection when you’re both healthy, not when you’re both sick.

While it may not feel good to have your boyfriend keep his distance when you had a horrible cold, you have to admit, it’s pretty practical, isn’t it? My wife travels for a living and I can recall at least two times when she wouldn’t kiss her sick husband because it might jeopardize her health before a trip. How selfish would it be for my need for affection to outweigh my wife’s need to stay healthy? How insecure would I have to be to think that my wife’s act of self-preservation was somehow an insult to me?

This is paranoid thinking and it serves you no practical purpose. Your boyfriend has only lost interest in you if he shows no affection when you’re both healthy, not when you’re both sick. Cut him some slack, will ya?

Next, you “made the mistake of looking at his text message,” and then “you made the mistake of scrolling back and reading the conversation” and then you made the mistake of bringing this whole thing up with him and then you made the mistake of thinking that it’s inappropriate for ex’s to be friends… I could go on, but this is enough of a run-on sentence already.

Jealousy is a useless emotion, Emily. The only thing that jealousy indicates is how insecure you are. It says nothing about your boyfriend.

If you have a man that’s untrustworthy, then he shouldn’t be your boyfriend. If he’s your boyfriend, then you have no choice but to trust him completely.

If you don’t trust him because you’re insecure about his friendship with his ex, you’re only going to accomplish the following:

1) You’ll make him feel like crap because his own girlfriend doesn’t trust him.
2) You’ll make him feel trapped because he’s dating someone who reads his text messages.
3) You’ll make him feel that he can’t be honest with you about his friendship with his ex – because he CAN’T.
4) You’ll make him feel that he can find a woman who DOES trust him.
5) You’ll make him feel that he can’t be himself around you, which is the highest compliment a man can give to a woman.

Trust is the foundation of any relationship, Emily, and if you don’t have it, you don’t really have anything.

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. And if he’s with you now, shut the hell up and trust that there’s a reason he’s with you, too.

You’ll be surprised at how well men respond to being trusted.

There’s no reason for a man to destroy all evidence of his past just because he’s dating you. I have photos, love letters, and emails from women in my past. I even wrote to my ex on Facebook today. She’s had us over for dinner multiple times. Not to mention that my wife has her first wedding album in a drawer in our home. What? I should make her burn it because I’M insecure that she left him 6 years ago?

If you’re insulted that your boyfriend is in touch with his ex, that’s your prerogative, but you’re pretty much ensuring the destruction of your own relationship.

Because any man who cuts off his friendships because of an insecure ex will get what he deserves – an irrationally jealous girlfriend who will never trust him no matter what.

Be a class act and invite her over for dinner.

You’ll be surprised at how well men respond to being trusted.

P.S. A woman’s fear of being hurt is one of the main reasons why men disappear. Click here to learn more:

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  1. 1
    E. Foley

    Yes, yes, yes!!
    I really don’t understand why some women are so afraid that their boyfriends are going to go running back to their exes. Evan is absolutely right to say that there are REASONS why they broke up. There are reasons why they can’t be together romantically. And obviously, there are reasons why he chose you as a romantic partner.
    I’m friends with nearly all of my exes. Do I want to get back with them romantically? Heck no. But I definitely want to stay in touch because I care about them in the same way I care about my other friends.
    Just because your boyfriend’s friend happens to own ladyparts doesn’t mean he wants to leave you for her.

    1. 1.1

      I can’t believe some if these comments. If course
       She has cause for concern. They are just starting out and he is 
      already being secretive.  Ever hear the saying trust
      what you see not what you hear.  I have been in similar situations
      many times over my 57 years and have dated women
      that admittedly say they have lots of guy friends and
      hang out with there exes.  I will never tell a woman
      what she can and can’t do. I do however tell them
      that I do not believe in collecting exes and do not
      believe in going out one on one with guy friends.
      if you are in a committed relationship with the goal
      to be together in the future then the need for
      for opposite sex attention should be a thing
      of the past, that’s why they have designation referred
      yo as being single.  I very politely say that Im not at all
       comfortable with that tpye of relTionship, but she is welcome to do what she wants. I in turn will tolerate what I am comfortable with
      and will depart if I am not. The choice is always hers and if
      she requires those relationships the then I am not the right guy for
      her, no hard feelings. If you have to fight for inches of comfort in
      a so-called comitted relationship, it is not worth it. It isn’t about insecurities as anyone that wants to have this kind of open program
      would want you to believe. It’s about what your comfortable with.
      Here is an analogy for you. I am a swinger and a least once a week
      i have to go visit my swinger girlfriend to get my fix, but don’t worry
      it doesn’t mean anything, I love you.  So I guess it comes down to definitions  of what’s acceptable to the parties involved. Everyone that
      voices concern about this is told they are insecure. I am in a relationship
      right now that is wonderful. We had this same discussion i. The beginning. She said it was a no brained, as she enjoys the same level
      of consideration from me. I told all my then female friends that will
      not be communicating with them any longer as I do not want this very
      spe ial new girl of mine to be uncomfortabl. The ones that were true
      friends said they understand and are happy for me.  That simple! 

      1. 1.1.1

        Thank you for this rational response.
        Hiding, secretive behavior, lying…is unethical, disrespectful and damaging to any relationship.
        As we get older, most of us have exes. The reality is if we want a new relationship to fully deepen & develop, we MUST cool it with exes.
        Anything less is unhealthy for the new relationship.


      2. 1.1.2

        I agree totally with you. I am old enough to know that when a person is secretive about an ex it’s never a good thing. The blame falls on the current girlfriend and an accusation of insecurity always follows. Always. Some men think that they can have their cake and eat it too. Like no man ever slept with an ex when he and the current girlfriend have a falling out. That’s BS. Some guys use the accusation of insecurity as a way to deflect their own behavior that’s not on the up and up.
        It’s smart to continue to date when these things start happening. If a man’s not willing to go the extra mile to make you feel safe and secure in your relationship, he’s not the guy for you. Move on.

      3. 1.1.3

        My view is that when you break up with someone the attraction that got the two of you together in the first place doesn’t just suddenly disappear. If you want to move on and form a new committed relationship it is best to make a clean break and leave the past in the past.

      4. 1.1.4

        how lovely to read your post. I hope your relationship works out.. you are giving it every chance and your new lady deserves to be treated with respect.
        I hope I meet someone like you one day

      5. 1.1.5

        Thank God for men like you! Thanks so much for your post!

      6. 1.1.6

        Yup! Toms, I agree 100%. My bf is friends with his ex, and I’ve told him that if he ever feels the need to be closer to her than he is now, I can’t tell him that he “can’t”. But I can leave. We’re all adults. And as such, we’ve all got choices to make. If his choice is to be so close to his ex that he needs to keep it a secret, my choice is to find someone who’s strong enough to cut the cord with his ex. Pure and simple. 

        1. Annie

          Right! When you r dating someone you don’t own them, u don’t have a right to tell them who they can and can’t like, we’re all humans, if we r in s relationship, and find iuselves attracted to someone else, theirs really nothing you can do. It’s life.

      7. 1.1.7

        I agree 100%. These people are from another planet.

      8. 1.1.8

        I have to agree with Toms here. The fact that he tried to hide who the call was from DOES say something about him, and that is that he is willing to be sneaky instead of forthcoming about his friendship with his ex, who may very well have dumped HIM and has changed her mind.

        Emily, if it’s still unacceptable to you once you have made an honest effort to figure out what the situation is, then it’s unacceptable, period. Meet her, not as a grueling exercise in ignoring your own instincts, but to get a better read on the situation. You may very well come to realize that they are, as he says, not interested in each other. But definitely it will help to demystify her.

        My husband doesn’t like when I’ve met old boyfriends for lunch. He never said anything, but I figured that out pretty fast and stopped doing it. But then, I would not be happy if he met an old flame for lunch, and we have been married for 27 years (as of October 1). So really it’s a matter of making life sweeter for each other.

        But different strokes for different folks. I just wanted to say that it is not unheard-of for a partner to go back to his or her ex without warning. There are some bad actors out there. Trust, but verify, especially in a relationship that is only four months old.

      9. 1.1.9

        ummm..her boyfriend is being crazy secretive!  i dont think she should be with him or feel bad that she  is concerned!  i agree!

      10. 1.1.10

        I’m told the same thing if I get upset over the guy I’m with communicating with an ex but it’s only the exes who come around like they are still a couple and act like competition. I just recently told my boyfriend that I had no problem with exes being friends as he knew about exes of mine but there is one of his that would be a problem because she will not accept friendship. Her permanent goal is to be with him and I would feel uncomfortable with that friendship. It would give me a trust issue because when him and I were strictly friends he would always complain about her, breakup with her and turn around and get back with her. Flashforward now we are dating and she comes around because of her sick dog. He reassures me that he isn’t interested just helping with the dog. Well she shows up to the house when I was there freaking out threatening to report him to his po….Boyfriend tells me he is done with her then ignores me for a few weeks and takes his ex to a wedding. I try to call to talk but he ignores my call…shocker…that is the kind to be leery of.

    2. 1.2

      E. Foley, people run back to their exes all the time. My two former partners cheated on me with their exes. I also know two women who married men they had previously been with before. Hell, even I got back together with a boyfriend once or twice, although never cheated on anybody. I am in no way suggesting that all those with exes around them have less than noble intentions, but in many, many cases, it’s much more complex than “They broke up for a reason”.

      1. 1.2.1
        Karmic Equation

        There is some truth to your position, Antonia.

        It might be good to know who did the breaking up. If he did it, it’s highly unlikely they’re getting back together, particularly if he has a new gf.

        If she did the breaking up, and you’re his first gf after the breakup, could be problemmatic as he might still be carrying a torch for her.

        However, most women here are of the opinion that when women break up with a guy, it’s over and done with.

        So if that is truly the case, and we believe that when a man breaks up with a woman, it stays broken and when a woman breaks up with a man, then she won’t go back to him, then what are all the women on this board worried about exactly?

        Unless of course, most women on this board secretly wish to get back with one of their exes, despite all the protestations otherwise. That’s where the fear comes from. You’re afraid of HER intentions and that he’s too “weak” to not succumb to her advances. If that’s the case, then maybe we women ought to be out there preaching to the sisterhood not to poach other women’s boyfriends. Make sure your own thoughts and behaviors are above reproach as it relates to exes and we wouldn’t have to worry, would we?

      2. 1.2.2

        I totally agree with you.

    3. 1.3

      If they are your ex why don’t you Keep a distance from them .I am not saying be at war with them. You can greet or talk to your ex when you meet him or her but you don’t plan  meetings with your ex and expect your girlfriend or wife feel happy.  If you do that and she does not complain then there is something wrong

    4. 1.4

      I 100% don’t agree with Evan and all the other who agrees with him. This man was hiding his EX from his new girlfriend. “Before you invite someone into your heart, Don’t forget to close other doors.” Evan, we are called INDIVIDUALS and NOT everybody want to live their lives as you do. If my husband holding to EX’s photos and love letters, BYE!!!! Men disappear since they want to EAT THEIR CAKE AND HAVE IT TOO and THAT’S IT!

  2. 2

    Spot on. If you complain to a guy about remaining friends with his exes, you are destined to join them…except possibly without the friendship.

    1. 2.1

      Yes! Couldn’t have said it better

    2. 2.2

      BOO Joe!!! So be it. Some men want to have their cake and eat it too. That’s why there are so many emotional bruised women in this world. Some men are scum bags!!! “leave and cleave”

  3. 3

    I used to be completely in favor of boyfriends being friends with exes. Unfortunately, this always seemed to cause problems. I’ve had boyfriends who really weren’t over their exes, bfs who got back together with their exes, exes who weren’t over my bf. I think it’s good if the person I’m dating is on civil terms with his ex, but I don’t think that committed couples have friendships with an ex that exclude the current partner. Four months is really fast to move to a new country for someone (too fast, IMO), let alone a new town, and Emily probably doesn’t know anyone else and feels vulnerable. How about asking her to join him and the ex for lunch? If he is open about the friendship, rather than appearing secretive, the ex won’t seem so threatening.

    1. 3.1

      I agree! from what Emily is saying her current boyfriend is being very secretive about being friends with his ex girlfriend. If there is nothing to hide there’s no reason to be secretive by turn your phone upside down or walking outside to have a conversation. I believe that Emily has every reason to be concerned. She is seeing the red flags and her gut feeling is probably right.

      Jealousy is not a good thing all the time but some people have been through a lot and have seen a lot of shady things and it’s hard to trust a situation like this. You don’t have to trust a situation like this if you don’t want to. There are men out there that will agree with your views fully and you don’t have to settle for ex girlfriends in the picture. There are men out there that aren’t comfortable with his girlfriend talking to her ex aswell and understand. Therefor he will respect your wishes as well and you can both be happy. Don’t settle if your not happy Emily.

      PS The responder was extremely mean in his response that it made my jaw drop. Lol jeez…

      1. 3.1.1

        I too am shocked and feel there is some unresolved feelings about the responder to the type of woman who asked the questions.
        Key important thing- follow your intuition despite what anyone else says.
        If you feel uncomfortable and your partner is not transparent then re-examine the relationship- you may have different views and lifestyles.
        I was once in the same situation and gave my boyfriend an ultimatum after dealing with the exes during the first few months of my relationship. He hid these relationships saying they were over.
        Deceit or being non-tranpsarent is not a good thing.
        Bottom line- if you got different views then maybe it is time to move on and stop wasting time with a guy who holds onto his exes for whatever reason- do not worry about their intentions- of it does not feel right for you then that is what counts.
        Also this is for the women who hang out with their exes despite their exes new relationship… what is your aim in doing this- do you wish to break up the relationship. If you cared about him you would also care about her and pull back in getting yourself in the life of your exes new relationship because that is what you are doing.

        1. Kim

          I totally agreed with you! I do not talk to my ex just because I respect his new relationship with his new girlfriend. I wouldn’t want her to feel uncomfortable or cause any trouble in their relationship. Likewise, I would hope my new partner shares the same perspective as me.

      2. 3.1.2

        I agree that the responder was really rude! Humans have emotions and woman and men can be insecure.  It all depends on how we deal with it that can become a problem.  I personally feel that out if respect for the new gf that either the boyfriend should not be secretive about his ex and be comfortable talking to his gf about her because there is nothing to hide or she should be out of the picture.  And in my opinion the ex gf should be more than willing to meet the new gf, so there is nothing to hide.  

      3. 3.1.3

        True, I agree to you Lisa. The responder was too mean and just answered the issue from a single perspective. Emily has every right to not settle with ex girlfriends picture and secrecy if she is not comfortable with them. 

      4. 3.1.4
        Gina Wood

        Thank you very much, Lisa. Nobody advises his/her lover to “kill” and ex. If your lover is in touch with his ex 24/7 and will not even hide it, then why are they exes and what are you there for? Where do you fit. It tells you only one thing, and it is up to you to make up your mind on what you want, especially if he/she does not subscribe to the same or even occasional  lower level of contact with your ex. We must be human and sensitive to the needs of each other. 

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          (reposted from Comment 78) Hi, I’m Emily, I wrote this letter. Thanks for posting it Evan, and for writing a reply. I appreciate having a guy’s perspective (also the other guys that wrote back). It’s been several months since this happened. We did dicuss things for a few days after all of this happened. I totally admitted that I was in the wrong checking his messagaes. In the end, I caused myself the pain. So yes, I fully own that.
          As many of you will be aware, moving across the Atlantic, moving at all, is one of the most stressful things a person can do. Now I’m not making excuses for my behaviour (that was wrong) but rather I’m trying to explain why I got so over-emotional over it all – he was the thing which was secure, known, valued – and I thought that was changing.
          My boyfriend has gone ahead and stayed in touch with his ex. We talked about this and I said, “Okay, but you need to be above-board and not engage in behaviour which provokes suspicision” which he agreed. He told me something too which I hadn’t considered. His father cheated on his mother several times, and his mother was very jealous. He said he didn’t want me to know about the ex, because he assumed I would be jealous (so he’s projecting old fears onto the relatinship, just as I am – of course this needs to stop). I told him I was, but only because of the sneaking around. (Again, my bad cause I looked at the phone!).
          On another note, he is friends with other exs and I don’t mind (they are married with kids and in my mind that MEANS something). Another thing to add, it turned out (after boyfriend and I talked) that his ex was sneaking around on her current boyfriend, not telling him she was meeting mine for lunch.
          Anyway, Evan you are right, Trust is essential. I’m going to talk with my boyfriend tonight (again, after reading all of this) and let him know that it’s trust I want and see where we can go from there. I love him and I know he loves me, so I know we’ll both put in the effort.
          Thanks Evan and keep up the good work!

    2. 3.2
      Jennifer Zylman

      You are so right, a relationship with an ex that excludes new romantic partners,in my opinion, is unacceptable! Emily SHOULD feel insecure in her relationship because he was hiding things. Innocent people have nothing to hide.

      1. 3.2.1

        I have to agree with Jennifer Z.  I had a boyfriend stated he wasn’t doing anything wrong and continued to date his ex-girlfriend behind my back in secret.  When I confronted him about it, I got the most irrational argument I have ever heard – he was afraid to totally break it off with her because she threated to physically hurt him.  He stated he finally broke it off with her and my finding out the he buys her diamond jewelry for her birthday and Christmas.  If he’s cheating on you, he probably cheated on you with her etc.  My mother told me one thing I will not forget …. “Leopards do not change their spots.”  You deserve and open, honest relationship with someone who loves you the same way you love him.

      2. 3.2.2

        He was probably hiding it be a use he knew she would react in a ridiculous jealous manner. I agree 100 percent with the original responder. I am one of the rare women that don’t get jealous, be friends wit who u want, ex or not. We do not own the other person that we r in a relationship ship with.

    3. 3.3

      Totally agree with this post :)

  4. 4

    Like most men I had a mother and I do not appreciate another adult telling me who I can be friends with.  I also don’t appreciate people looking through my private things.   Either act would make me strongly consider moving on from a woman, especially if the relationship is new.
    Should a man be aware of and consider his GF’s feeling in such matters.  Yes.  However, like Evan wrote, either you trust him or you get out of the relationship.
    Is it a red flag that he is contacting his ex GF in private and not out in the open?  Possibly.  Keep your eyes open.

    1. 4.1


      Sooner than later- I wish you find the girl that will treat you the same as you treated other women. Then you’ll find out for yourself how much it hurts when we women were deliberately unfairly made insecure by your secretive ways considering that i.e like Emily-she moves from one continent to another just to be with her man. He must have promised her something-and to be treated like that at their early stage of getting to know each other is just un acceptable, inconsiderate, heartless ,hypocrite and ignorant of human’s feeling. 
      I have very similar situation but a little bit better because when I moved-he and his relatives helped/helps me to settle down. But him sending Xxx to his supposed to be woman-collegue and wont tell me nor let me read them plus they are friends in fb is not acceptable to me. I have been divorced because of cheating and naively waited for 7years before I’ve decided to quit our 13 years of marriage so my new man understand that I will never be in the same position again. We’ve been 5months of chatting and soon to 3 months of living half-way together. I have been waiting for some more warnings then that’s it-my decision will be final. 

    2. 4.2

      Trust is not instant and it is not an all or nothing approach. If both are virgins and in their first relationship and committed then no prob but many people have baggage, past relationship and many men talk rubbish and some women too, but in reality it takes time to trust- does your employer give you access to their banking system and give you the passwords from the get-go- no- you have to sign confidentially waivers and then they need to make sure you are trustworthy. Most employers do background checks and credit checks and we are supposed to just trust people in our personal lives like that ?! if you want instant trust then go back to the Garden of Eden before the apple was handed to Adam. People can be totally unrealistic about trust, yet everyone is different and has different experiences and we are not all saints. I think the bottom-line is if any guy expects a woman to trust him instantly he is pretty darn egocentric for a start !

      1. 4.2.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        You said the same exact thing on four different comments. Being trustworthy and following the Golden Rule is not egocentric, nor is it rarified territory. You can demand the right to “not” trust a trustworthy person. But that trustworthy person will then demand a different partner who isn’t so fearful and paranoid. It’s actually quite simple.

        1. Hope

          Evan, “birds of a feather flock together.” Not everyone carry the same feelings. If my man is hiding and going outside secretly talking to his EX, what is that saying to me? That he is hiding something!!!!!!!!!!!!

      2. 4.2.2

        Are you seriously comparing an employer/employee dynamic to a romantic relationship? The former involves an inescapable element of power, while the latter should be grounded in love, trust, equality and reciprocity. Anyone who believes that trust should be ‘earned’ not only has baggage but extremely low self-esteem, and are often projecting their own negative qualities onto others.

  5. 5

    Trust is something that is earned. When it comes to the sensitive issue of staying in contact with ex’s, I think it’s important to be open with your new partner, and this means disclosure up front. A simple, “Hey, I’m on good terms with my ex, and we still get together for lunch once in a while” is different from your new partner finding out after the fact. I can see where this might raise suspicion. Hopefully, the other person is secure enough in themselves and in the relationship (assuming it’s a good one) to be understanding and accepting about it. And vice verse, too; that an unfortunate assumption isn’t made that the other person won’t be alright with it.
    I’m not saying this guy needs Emily’s permission or anything. But it’s important to be considerate and courteous to their new relationship, too. And Emily, it’s total appropriate, provided it’s on the table.

    1. 5.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Diana “Trust is something that is earned.”

      No, no, no, no, no. You’ve got it all backwards.

      Trust should be assumed. It’s not my job to “earn” trust with you because your ex-boyfriend cheated on you.

      Until there’s proof otherwise, you should assume that your boyfriend is trustworthy.

      Truth is, it’s impossible to “prove” that you’re trustworthy to someone who is jealous and assumes the worst.

      1. 5.1.1
        Max Xavier

         Someone being secretive about conversations and texts isn’t exhibiting trustworthy behavior. And yes, trust IS earned. We don’t hand over our valuables to people until we are sure they are worth the risk. What is more valuable than our faith in someone else? Nothing. So why would we just hand that over without reason to believe they will hold it as valuable as we do?
             Her boyfriend has already proved himself untrustworthy by not disclosing the relationship with his ex, by turning over the phone when she texted, and by leaving the room to take a phone call from her. If there was nothing but friendship there, then privacy from a current girlfriend should not be an issue. Also, how is she to know whether this woman is really an ex? They obviously do not live together, maybe the supposed ex is a current. And yeah, there IS a problem with just “trusting” people. They lie. And they carry diseases that can kill.
           Your response should have been to ask him openly, to lay out her fears on the table, and be upfront with what she is feeling. Meeting the “ex” would have been a good step to alleviating the fears that she had, while also allowing for trust to gain a natural foothold. Open communication is much better than just swallowing your doubts. And a loving partner will be there to help dispel any fear you may have. That is part of being a team.

        1. Alanna Myers

          This reply was awesome, my friend. Excellent and well said. I am usually very averted to posting my name on random sites that I come across (of which this was one), but I just felt like I had to give credit where credit was due. I felt like your response hit the nail on the head.

        2. Karmic Equation

          I actually really liked the gist your reply overall, Max. However, the devils in the details, as they say.
          First, a person’s boyfriend is NOT a stranger. Presumably she WOULD trust him with her jewelry. So hence she should trust him with her faith. If she CAN’T trust him with her jewelry, then maybe she should rethink her relationship. Same with trust.
          Second, trust is NOT binary. There are CONTEXTS to trust. We trust the tellers at the bank, who are strangers, with our money, because their job is to handle money in a trustworthy way. We do not trust strangers in the street with our money. You trust priests in confessionals with your sins. You gonna trust the police the same way? Not if those sins will get you thrown in the slammer. So CONTEXT is EVERYTHING with trust. 
          In the context of DATING, I would proffer we give the same trust that we want to receive. If you want your bf to trust you completely, then you must trust HIM completely. If you EXPECT to be given the benefit of the doubt, then you need to GIVE the benefit of the doubt.
          All that said, I agree that this man is NOT behaving in a trustworthy way. Since this is a 3-month young relationship, then the LW should just dump him. Don’t waste the effort trying to get him to be more forthcoming. If he can’t be trusted this early, it’s only going to get worse over time.

        3. Maxine

          Very true.

        4. katie


      2. 5.1.2

        Trust should be assumed? I’m sorry, but that’s either an incredibly ignorant or very optimistic outlook on how trust works. I should automatically trust everyone I meet until they give me reason to do otherwise? No, I agree with Diana. Trust should be earned. For some it’s easy and for others it’s not, but things that are worthwhile are never easy to obtain. 
        In this case especially, I sympathize with Emily and I feel the response was borderline cruel. If her boyfriend had come out in the open about the situation and been honest, that may have been a separate situation entirely, but he did not. From what she says, he even goes so far as to -turn his phone away- from her when he gets a text message from his ex-girlfriend.
        Trust needs to work both ways in a relationship. 

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Let’s flip it over, Briana. You go out with a guy who’s been hurt by women. He interrogates you. He checks your phone. He wants to know who you’ve been out with. How does this feel? Wouldn’t you want him to trust you from the get-go, instead of “earning” it?

        2. katie

          I agree 100%

      3. 5.1.3

        No Evan……You have it all wrong….

      4. 5.1.4

        Evan, what planet do you live on?

        You were rude and it makes me very concerned that people like you give advice on anything more important than what to have for lunch.

        Firstly, trust does need to be earned, as assuming anything can and generally does make an “ASS-out of-U and ME”, and making assumptions about anything is a dangerous practice.

        Secondly, there is absolutely no need for a man to remain friends with an ex. Ex is what they are and what they should stay, not friends that you meet for lunch and hide from your current girlfriend.

        Finally, it is completely selfish to think that you can do whatever you want and think that it is your current girlfriend who is being unreasonable because you want to keep in touch with an ex who should mean nothing to you now, but instead you want to be pigheaded and stubborn and show everyone that you will do whatever you want. You sound like a spoilt brat who needs to start thinking about the consequences of your actions by being so selfish.

        It sounds more like you would want to keep all options open, just in case, instead of committing to a relationship and foregoing any more contact with ex’s and concentrating on your current girlfriend.

        1. Karmic Equation

          Jim, you write like a woman. So changing your name to a masculine one does not disguise your gender.

          You must trust that your boyfriend won’t cheat and won’t hurt you. If cannot give him that trust, then why is he your boyfriend?

          I trust my boyfriends when he meets with exes. But I don’t trust the exes, because I think they have agendas, particularly if HE was the one to break it off.

          So instead of trying to control your man, preach to the sisterhood to not poach other women’s bfs, even if he’s your ex.

          Problem solved.

      5. 5.1.5

        Men who expect instant trust must be pretty darn egocentric and to say you have baggage to deal with so it is your issues of trust not mine is pretty narcissistic at that – I think people who think on these terms are unrealistic and even counselors can be narcissistic as there need to tell everyone what to do to feel superior! The proof is in the pudding.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          “Men who expect instant trust must be pretty darn egocentric.”

          Or we’re just – you know – trustworthy.

          Let’s flip it around: do you expect instant trust? What can you do to EARN my trust? How would you like it if your employer didn’t trust you – monitored your computer, checked your pockets and bags every night, interrogated you about your whereabouts at lunch?

          If you’re not trustworthy, you may find this behavior normal – because you have something to hide.
          If you have nothing to hide, you will find this to be completely oppressive.

          What part of my assessment doesn’t agree with yoU?

      6. 5.1.6

        Evan, why should I assume a relative stranger is trustworthy? And why would you assume that the only alternative is to assume that he isn’t? False dichotomy.

        What if I simply don’t know yet, and don’t assume one thing or the other until I know him better?

        I get it; I really do. It’s unpleasant to be around a suspicious, insecure, accusatory partner. That is as true for women as it is for guys.  But some of us are insecure, and it takes us time to trust people. (We can and do get there eventually, and we own our insecurity). Given the facts in Emily’s case, I think maybe you were a little hard on her. His turning the phone over was just fishy. I would have wanted to know more about that friendship before I moved in with him. Or at least know that it existed.

        Cheers! I like your blog very much.

    2. 5.2

      I cannot see why your bf would like somebody elses company let alone his exes. Does that mean he’s got a time for exes and not for his  real gf? What would men expects their gfs to do whilst they are busy dating their exes? Why having a new gf if he obviously not lacking companionship from his ex? The man is heartless and needs to be smack. Suffrogettes died for us all women to be treated fairly and equally -not the wrong way round to go back in the old days!

  6. 6
    E. Foley

    Another thing… about not sharing germs…
    My boyfriend and I have an agreement that whenever one of us is sick, the other person sleeps on the futon. It’s helped us avoid sharing colds many, many times. Also, we both sleep better.

  7. 7

    “what if he invites her over for dinner?”

    Well, it sounds like you cook, so make an amazing dinner, be a gracious hostess, and show you aren’t jealous in the least! You’re new to the country, so I bet you haven’t made too many friends yet, nor do you know how many mutual friends they may still share. It’s always better to make a friend than an enemy… Living in a new country/town + living with someone new is a huge transition, and that’s probably making you more insecure than normal and reading into things that wouldn’t bother you once you settle in.

    Also, I’ve had food poisoning. Twice. You definitely aren’t in the mood for holding hands, much less “sexy time” 😉 It’s more like, “baby, hand me the bucket! Now!”

  8. 8

    Well said, Ruby #3.

  9. 9

    This girl sounds completely irrational.. She shows all the signs that she does not trust his boyfriend ad then also defends herself by saying… “but i do trust him”!!
    Its completely normal to be friends with your exes if they were good, caring people and if you let go of your anger.. And there are are lots of cases where people don’t start a relationship with their ex again if they are friends.

    1. 9.1

      Please re-read Emily’s story. Good friends with exes who talked and texts in a secretive way then to meet up together? Come on. Won’t you asked whats going on? This relationship is just impossible for me to accept it. Hence I am giving compromises right now for a little bit more signs and warnings.

  10. 10

    Well said Evan.  Usually complaining about the ex is because of insecurity.  I have plenty of ex’s that I’m friends with.  We realize that we’re great friends and awful mates.

  11. 11

    Evan, I agree with your comment. I didn’t mean to imply that he had to earn her trust. I always assume a person is trustworthy, until proven otherwise. There’s really no other practical way to be, and have a healthy relationship. No one wants to start out in a new relationship with the other person instantly distrusting them for no real reason other than their own issues, myself included.
    I think my comment may have been misplaced. From the moment I begin to interact and/or communicate with someone, I am simultaneously assuming they’re worthy of my trust, while their actions are also earning my trust.

  12. 12

    Bravo, Evan.

    The writer lost me at should I “LET” my boyfriend…
    My ex- husband is now my ex because he thought it was his decision what he would and would not ‘let” me do. Guess again.
    Emily, these are totally your issues. Lose them.

  13. 13

    @EMK “Trust should be assumed. It’s not my job to “earn” trust with you because your ex-boyfriend cheated on you.”
    There are few worse things in a relationship than paying for the sins of your brothers.
    While I understand Emily’s concern about her guy’s somewhat shadowy actions, I can’t help but wonder if he was certain that there would be an uncomfortable exchange with Emily if she found out.

  14. 14

    I disagree with all of you…Obviously a man who hides and has conversations behind her back is not trustworthy…Who makes lunch dates with a woman…ex girlfriend or not…How would he feel if the roles were reversed…Trust is the foundation to a relationship…and people who sneak around do it for a reason…His actions are not those of a trustworthy committed man.

    1. 14.1

      I could not agree more!

    2. 14.2
      Unknown_ Planet

      I agreed!!! People I’m going to be logical. Don’t friend your exes, because no one wants a baggage of drama that will follower you around. Plus who wants to friend their exes, that is gross. Other people don’t need to know who you sleep with. 

      1. 14.2.1

        So true. Don’t friend your ex lovers! Really!? Its selfishness, inconsideration…Why I 
        ‘m going to tell you something very personal. When Steve & I were dating I was ok with him being friends with, & even going to coffee with his EX’s, thinking I was secure and had nothing to worry about. We were strong in our relationship. Until he starting “seeing” his ex (his first), meaning he cheated on me and lied about. She fell in love with him again so she didn’t care about telling me. The EXs will never be a part of your girlfriend life and will even talk negatively about her. In my experience she acted/pretended to like me but I should have gone with my gut. My gut was right.  Somehow we got through it but it almost ruined our life. . Ex lovers seem to find it less difficult to be intimate again than if was just a friend who is a girl. I would NEVER EVER recommend staying friends w your ex especially if the love of your life felt threatened by it. It’s naive to think its ok. Talk to anyone who is mature enough to know this, even googol the question. Who’s more important- your ex lover and you or you and your girlfriend/future wife? I’m in awe and disappointment that you would let this end your relationship. It’s a real life tragedy of, hmm so many words I could use here…..first one that comes to mind is disrespect. 

        1. Matty

          Nice way to put it and yes I know many women who trusted and their man cheated while she trusted him and then the ones who do not trust fully because things are new or they had bad experiences get ripped-up for being insecure. Women are always targeted and the finger is pointed at them even by counselors who justify men’s actions to be innocent and this is biased because of the gender only.

    3. 14.3

      Well said Debra,  we don’t trust our id with people, or our 
       Financial information, should you just trust
      our mental well being any easier. If you
      see this deception now, you will see it again. 

  15. 15

    What I want to know is this: If the boyfriend’s relationship with his ex is on the level, what’s he got to hide? It’s the difference between walking out of the office supply closet with a box of pens, and slinking out of the office supply closet with a bulging purse and a dodgy gaze. Sure, that purse might be full of allergy medication, romance novels and a sandwich for lunch, but what are the coworkers automatically going to think?
    I think he has the right to be friends with whomever he wants, but his behavior IS suspicious (not the getting sick part, I think that’s normal, but the hiding things business). It’s Emily’s job as his girlfriend to give him the benefit of the doubt until she is presented with actual, concrete, irrefutable evidence that he’s running around–but he’s not making this job any easier for her.

    1. 15.1

      Perfectly said! Trust is good to have but give trust to someone that doesn’t hide shit from you.

  16. 16

    My theory is that if you go looking for trouble, you’ll find it.  I’ve certainly had my share of insecurity in the past, but I know that nothing good ever comes from distrusting someone to the point that you invade their privacy and go snooping around where you shouldn’t.  Or start suspiciously questioning his every move when you’re not around. You know that saying, “Fake it until you can make it”? If you’re struggling with the bear of insecurity, act as if you’ve risen above it.  When I do this, I feel so much better about myself. And when I feel good about myself, I’m such a better mate.  Always assume the best of people until they prove you shouldn’t.  If they wind up betraying your trust, then you will deal with it.  If it’s a deal-breaker, you’ll move on.  You haven’t “been had,” you’ve simply had a relationship with someone who wasn’t right for you.  

    People handle ex’s in different ways.  If a guy wants me to meet his ex, I consider it an absolute compliment.  But if he doesn’t, I don’t consider it “proof” that he’s not over her or doesn’t want her to know about me.  He may just not be ready to involve me in that part of his life.  Assume he’ll get there until he tells you something blatant, like, “I’m still in love with my ex and it’s affecting our relationship.”  Otherwise, an ex is just another facet of your mate’s history, and we’ve all got history.

  17. 17
    Christie Hartman

    I agree with you, Evan, but not completely. Yes, people should be allowed to be friends with their exes. Trust is necessary for a healthy relationship, but it works both ways. If his relationship with his ex is innocent, then why is he hiding it? Why doesn’t he prove himself trustworthy and tell his girlfriend what’s up? A wise male friend of mine told his new girlfriend, up front, that he was good friends with his ex-wife and that wasn’t going to change. He did not tiptoe around and text the ex behind his girlfriend’s back. In my relationship, when I have lunch with an ex or a male friend, I let my boyfriend in on it, so he has no reason to wonder. I make introductions. It’s like saying, hey, if I keep you informed, you give me freedom to be friends with who I want.
    And, the truth is, some men cheat with their exes, go back with their exes, or have inappropriate boundaries with their exes. To ignore any potential red flags isn’t wise.
    @E. Foley (10) – great idea with the futon! :)

    1. 17.1
      Unknown_ Planet

      I agreed. To be honest I don’t friend any of my exes, because I believe the past should not interfere with me in the present or my future. I like to RESPECT my partner’s thoughts and feelings, because they matters to me. In the end we are humans with feeling and it’s wrong to tell others how they should feel and not feel. 

  18. 18

    All these comments people forgot to asked what if things were turned around. How would you feel if your boyfriend told you that your not allowed to see your ex boyfriend that you had a two year relationship with and etc. People seem to forget what if the situation was turn around.

    1. 18.1

      You know I am reading all of the comments and I’m in this situation now and it a lot harder because their are children involved. But Bill you asked a great question and here’s a personal answer. I would have absolutely no problem with my boyfriend not wanting me to be friends with our contacting my ex. In fact it would be so much nit a problem that he would never ever have to ask me to do because I had already done so. Don’t get me wrong an reasonable relationship between two exes is fine if I see you in public or a party a hello and a few laughs is cool but a random text and e-mail out of the blue is a no no and definitely no texting every week or ever other day and having lunch or dinner together aww hell naw. See the problem with a lot of relationships now a days is we want a relationship with single ppl benefits. Um no first I always put myself in my s/o’s shoes first how does he feel all of this leads to something usually. Whenever things go wrong in your relationship what do most ppl do bat Trac to the ex they talk to the ex and most importantly women are alot like Noreen in certain ways when you stay friends and continue communicating with your ex and she knows that you are currently in a relationship you are giving her the power of thinking the that she goes above your own woman or man’s needs and Weiss she feels she still has you and that what your girl feels didn’t really mean anything. And it’s not her fault it’s the man out woman who allows their partner to be treated this way. You should ask yourself if we were good friends why did we break up in the first place if your done be done.I’m not saying be nasty but know the story and value of the person your with now why would I throw away my present for my past. Its called a ex girlfriend for a reason. You don’t have female friends that you introduce as your ex girlfriend who has been just a friend you introduce her as your friend so why keep an ex girlfriend and try to introduce her as a friend now? You can’t the lines have been crossed Now I believe to sum it up you can be acquaintances with an ex but if you can or will not bring me around her and we all have breakfast lunch or dinner together or you can not talk in front of me then you still need to be with your ex!!!!! Just my motto  

  19. 19

    I think when your boyfriend is friends with his ex’s it’s a good sign of character. To tell someone not to be friends with their ex is going to cause you problems. No one wants to have to chose between a girlfriend and their friend, especially if that friend has done nothing wrong.
    I have to say though, that if the boyfriend is really hiding his friendship with his ex from his girlfriend, that is cause for suspicion. I don’t believe in spying on your boyfriend. But I kind of don’t blame her at the same time if he’s acting like he is  hiding something. If he truly has no feelings for his ex and they are just friends, he needs to stop hiding it. Be up front with their friendship and if he is going to go out to lunch with her, then tell his girlfriend. I think to really help secure her trust with her boyfriend, she would meet the ex. If he acts normal, then you have your answer. Trust him fully and stop with the paranoia. If he acts weird, then well.. then there may or may not be a problem there.

    1. 19.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      The reason a trustworthy man would hide his relationship with his ex is because his jealous girlfriend doesn’t trust him talking to his ex. Essentially, she’s giving him two choices: “Cut her off!” or “Lie to me”. The third choice is for him to tell his girlfriend to calm down and deal with it…and we know how well that line works…

      1. 19.1.1

        I have to say most of comments really piss me off and are completely wrong I’m not a jealous person or insecure I know for a fact but I had multiple readings why I did not want my ex contacting it having contact with his ex for one the disrespect from her to me two because I knew she was and is still very much in love with him and three sometimes you just can’t be friends with certain ppl some ppl you just have to let go I knew it was a potentially dangerous situation so he couldn’t respect that so I let him go most women aren’t jealous or insecure unless a man gives them a reason to feel so.

      2. 19.1.2

        Yes Evan, she sure is giving him those choices.
        thats what she should be doing. If his ex is that
        important to him, probably should have stayed.
        i think what should be more important is the
        felling of his girlfriend if he serious about her.

      3. 19.1.3

        So she’s supposed to presume he’s trustworthy while he gets to presume that she’s jealous thereby justifying his hiding things?  That’s a helluva double standard for you.  Why would he hide something without being honest first and giving her a chance to handle it maturely?

      4. 19.1.4

        What about his need for adulation and his need to be attached to other women- is he codependent or suffer from a superego or Approach Avoidance Repetition Complex, so he is unable to commit himself to one girl? Sounds like he is a somatic narcissist and is actually the one cover-up his insecurities, not her.

  20. 20

    This is interesting to me because Jake has a “clean break” rule and doesn’t talk to anyone that he used to call a girlfriend.  Some casual friends that he slept with once or twice in college but never dated (and are therefore no one to be jealous of), yes.  Any past “significant other,” no.
    I do keep in touch with mine on FB but since I don’t live in the same town with any of my exes seeing them in person just would never happen anyway.  Jake doesn’t do social networking sites so it’s a moot point there (he quit using MySpace almost immediately after meeting me on there and doesn’t have a FB account).

  21. 21

    As someone who has been cheated on by a partner with his ex – more than once – I’m with Chrisitie Hartman #18. When people are really “just friends” with an ex they are willing to bring their new love into the friendship. If they are sneaky about/ hide the friendship? You BET that is a red flag.

    Sorry Evan, but I don’t believe many trustworthy men  hide their friendships with ex’s from their current girlfriends. It’s the hiding and sneaking that are more apt to invoke jealousy rather than the fact the man had a previous relationship.

  22. 22

    So it boils down to a chicken or egg argument?  Which came first, the girlfriend being suspicious of the boyfriend BECAUSE he is sneaking around and hiding a supposedly innocent relationship from her, or the boyfriend sneaking around and hiding what truly is an innocent relationship because his girlfriend is ALWAYS acting suspicious?

    Evan — you argue that if she doesn’t trust him, she should leave.  Fair enough.  I would also argue that if HE doesn’t trust her enough to be open about his relationships, then he should leave.  He is proving that he doesn’t trust her with the truth.  Both are big red flags.

  23. 23
    Evan Marc Katz

    Sorry, everybody. This guy isn’t sneaking around or hiding anything. He’s protecting his overbearing girlfriend from flipping out on him for being friends with his ex. He is innocent until proven guilty, not guilty until proven innocent. Plus, there’s a reason this guy broke up with his ex – as such, she’s far LESS of a threat than a woman he hasn’t dated before.

    As a trustworthy man with lots of exes, there’s no reasoning with a jealous woman who is checking your cellphone and sees potential infidelity in lunch with an ex.

    Just because you’ve been cheated on before doesn’t mean that THIS guy has done anything wrong.

    Only thing he’s done wrong is to choose a jealous girlfriend who doesn’t understand that men and women can be friends once the sexual tension is gone.

    1. 23.1

      “This guy isn’t sneaking around or hiding anything. He’s protecting his overbearing girlfriend from flipping out on him for being friends with his ex. ”

      Evan, you seem to be assuming that all women can’t handle the TRUTH. I’m a woman who would actually PREFER to hear the cold truth even if it was painful or hurtful to hear, because at least I could deal with reality much faster if in case it may be a worst case scenario.

      No disrespect Evan, but given your past history in dating hundreds of women it is likely that men that behave similar to you prefer to have the upper hand at all times….even if it involves lying to protect the feelings that you may or may not potentially have for an ex. Men need to respect women more (but I guess since you speak for the masses they really don’t?) and let women decide what to do with that truth…and yes…even if it means having to take the risk to be dumped by the woman…but that doesn’t bode well for men, right? But, at the same time I understand that not all women can handle the truth well. I had an ex who was so comfortable with telling me the truth about his past/present relationships that he would tell me about all his female friends before introducing me…he would identify who were platonic, those who were exes and also those who his other friends pointed out may have had a thing for him. I would always hear his side without freaking out. I mean, friends are friends…who am I to tell him who he should and should not be friends with? He would even tell me when one of his female friends wanted to meet up with him..yes…just the 2 of them…and I would usually give him my blessing to go have fun. I totally trusted him. I respected him so much more for that and I told him that. There is no need to lie at all. Lies infuriate me so much more compared to the cold hard truth.

      1. 23.1.1

        That first part was SOOOOOOO incredibly sexist..get a grip of reality..SHEEEESH!

    2. 23.2

      Evan, she is questioning his motives for
      the hiding their conversation. If he is trustworthy
      we are all doomed. She did not make any statements
      that she has done this before, just this instance
      because he was not forthright. He should have
      said I am going to meet my ex friday for lunch
      and I’m sure she would  not have posted hear. 

    3. 23.3

      The truth is that you have NO IDEA how the man in this situation is acting or behaving or what his motives for doing ANYTHING that he does would be because you weren’t talking to HIM…..there is no way that you can sit there and make comments about how this man does his business when all you have is a woman’s opinion….his girlfriends.  You should get off your high horse and understand that not ALL men are cut from the same cloth and women are not either.  I find myself in the same situation as these other women who are in relationships with men while remaining friends with an ex and I struggle with it lots.  My boyfriend hides his friendship and does so with telling me that it’s because the friendship makes me uncomfortable….of COURSE IT DOES….in my experience, when I began seeing my boyfriend 3 years ago, his ex was so involved with him as his FRIEND that she called every night to talk and couldn’t settle herself with the fact that my boyfriend found someone new.  He told me she was jealous of our new relationship….she went so far  as to ask if we were having sex…..why would a FRIEND ask that?? Ever heard the saying Don’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answers to?  She called one morning a couple weeks  after we began seeing each other and I was there at his place….she told him how she still loved him and didn’t want their FRIENDSHIP to change…..she was crying….so he made plans to go to her house that evening and discuss the new PLAN for their friendship now that I was in his life….he went for dinner that night and came back about 3 hours later….I can only imagine the consoling that happened and how he had to make his FRIEND feel good about him dating someone else….he went to her house again a week later for dinner….and then it continued into helping her move, being there on the phone 3-4 times a week, texting every day, sometimes asking “are you alone?”  I have to say….The people that write here are seemingly unaware that not only is there a boyfriend and a girlfriend in this scenario….there is a whole other person….an ex-girlfriend…one that has her OWN opinions about how the exes being friends scenario will play out.  She or he also has some kind of control in this situation and whether it’s all innocent or not, if the friendship is held in secret then I guess we are left wondering ALL THE TIME….how innocent IS it?  In my situation, I don’t see an innocent Ex being Friends scenario….and it’s not because I’m JEALOUS or INSECURE….it’s because things are weird and it doesn’t feel right. I was sick of the lying…the texting, the weird feeling I had that this ex girlfriend who is now my boyfriends FRIEND feels somehow entitled to his time and fills his moments with her calls and texts….all the time.  I didn’t see an innocent friendship…what I saw was a woman who wasn’t with my boyfriend but wanted to be with him….I still feel that way….we still struggle with it….I asked him why he continues to keep his conversations and meetings with her private unless I ask if he’s talked to her and he continues to tell me every time I ask that it’s because I’m not comfortable with her but that it won’t change and that if I don’t like it I can move along.  My guy is great, don’t get me wrong.  That’s perhaps the problem I’m having…that other women think my man is amazing too….I wrestle with how I should feel but I also hold firm to the thought that my guy and his ex share a history and for whatever the reasons, they have made a pact to each other that no matter who comes into their lives, their friendship will stand time….I don’t want him to dissolve his friendship BUT, I believe he should do his part and incorporate the friendship into our lives and if he doesn’t and continues to be that way then there is no excuse….he can tell me till hell freezes over that he is hesitant to show the friendship for fear that I will see it as I choose to….but really, he knows me to be exactly the opposite….I see what is and what isnt….I’ll always believe that he hides their time together because he’s afraid of what I will know….that he was a liar and there is more to their friendship than I need to  know.  We will see. 

    4. 23.4

      chating can be mentally also and not only physically. So even he didnt cheat on her physically, mentally he did and everything starts from brain.

      Once a man decides to have a girlfriend he doesnt need any validation from exes.

      And for those who find normal the friendship with exes, could you tell me what is the logic behind that and what is the need or want to keep in touch with an ex? Get over them! They have been hurting you, misstreating you, cheating on you (thats why they are exes) and now you are a hypocrite to ”be friends” with them!

      I can only understand keeping in touch with an ex if there are small children between them or have the same work place and cant really avoid seeing them, but at no cost ”be friends”.

      As far as I know, friends don”t kiss, don”t have sex, don”t hold hands. Exes  are in another cathegory ”lovers” and not the ”friends” one.

      Finally, no woman can ever compete with her boyfriend’s ex. If the ex  decides she wants to take her man back, as they have stronger emotional connection built over years and the new relationship is too fragile to resist, she will win. Although doesnt happen in all cases but it happens often. Why someone would take that ris?

      Scenario: ” two people are in a relationship and after sometime they break up, one dumped the other one. One is in pain, perhaps the other one too but less anyway, and they try to get over it. ” Are you guys telling me that it is ok for them to stay friends in the future???? They didnt care when you suffered and you award his/her actions with your friendship??? Thats something really funny!

      People with principles dont do that!



      1. 23.4.1
        Karmic Equation

        “Finally, no woman can ever compete with her boyfriend’s ex. If the ex  decides she wants to take her man back, as they have stronger emotional connection built over years and the new relationship is too fragile to resist, she will win.”

        This is untrue if you’ve created a relationship with your boyfriend that is BETTER than the one he had with his ex. If your relationship with him is the same or WORSE than the one he had with his ex, then yes, I would agree. And that is assuming his ex was sane not crazy.

        I had this EXACT situation happen to me three months into our relationship. His ex was actually his ex-fiancee, whom he had lived with for two years. She contacted him and pretty much said she wanted to get back together with him. He told me about this conversation. And I simply asked, “What did you say to her?” He replied, “I told her it was too late.”

        “Although doesnt happen in all cases but it happens often. Why someone would take that risk?”

        Because you need to let your man CHOOSE you whenever he has to make a choice. Creating a “sole source” situation  (can’t talk to exes or other attractive women) doesn’t teach him how to choose you whenever he’s tempted. Trusting him to choose you shows that you’re confident in yourself and in the relationship you’ve created.

        “Forbidding” him to talk to exes or other attractive women shows that you’re afraid of something. And he’s going to start questioning what that might be.

        If you’re a sweet, confident, kind person who makes him feel good about himself and the relationship you’ve created with him gives him peace and comfort, he’d be a fool to leave you. You should know that.

        And if he is fool enough to leave you in spite of all that, he’s an idiot you’re better off without. That’s not to say, you won’t cry buckets and miss him.

        The only way to “win” is to let your man choose you, over and over again, IN SPITE OF temptation or competition. The act of choosing you reinforces in him that he values you above others. If he never has the opportunity to choose you over other women, he’s not going to know how to handle it when he does get tempted. And you know, sometimes, when he makes that mental comparison, he’ll won’t be tempted in the least. I have a story about that from when I was married :)

  24. 24

    But why should people be friends with their exes in the first place? forget cheating with a past ex, but why should you have to befriend a woman that used to be your boyfriend’s girlfriend, wife?
    Evan are you friends with your wife’s ex-husband?
    My boyfriend and I went to his ex-wife’s for dinner because I was trying to be a good sport, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. I told my boyfriend if he wants he could be friends with her, but I wasn’t interested. (Maybe if I’d liked her more I would have but I doubt it).

    1. 24.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I’m not friends with my wife’s ex-husband, but then, she doesn’t speak to him much (although she did call him today). My wife is, however, friendly with my ex-girlfriend, who will be attending our party this Saturday. If you’re secure in your relationship, none of this crap matters. If you’re insecure, everything matters, even things that shouldn’t.

      1. 24.1.1


        I am 1000% on board with you on this trust issue, and love your very smart and human approach of life, and men/women interaction. American women are so entitled it’s really baffling. and yes I really mean the “america” pointing finger because this attitude towards men and love really is cultural.

        It looks so difficult for you to preach the right word, here in the comment section! I feel like you’re swimming against the tide 😉

        But anyway. I see you try and deflect some comments of people who continue to defend their insecure approach but when there is someone who is in the right (somewhere here and there in the comments there are a few gems, people who are smart, like Karmic Equation, her name is, I think), you do not express anything. I wanted to ask: why is that? I know I am slightly offbase by asking you this personal question; but I’m trying my luck. Bises!


  25. 25

    Angie #24, thanks for writing what crossed my mind, too; re: the chicken or the egg analysis. There’s no clear indication which came first, and as I tried to point out earlier, there has to be trust both ways.

  26. 26
    Christie Hartman

    Based on what Emily said, this guy, up until she confronted him, was hiding his relationship with his ex. Is that proof he’s untrustworthy? No. But it raises a red flag, like many here have suggested. Perhaps he’s a good guy who feels uncomfortable admitting it because he’s afraid she’ll get angry. Or, perhaps he’s a guy who is still a bit hung up on his ex in some way (I see no evidence that he dumped her – she could have dumped him). Is Emily’s insistence that he not be friends with his ex unreasonable? Yes. But I don’t think there is proof, based on what she wrote, that her unreasonable stance caused him to hide things. As Angie (24) said, we really don’t know the whole story.

  27. 27

    there’s no reasoning with a jealous woman who is checking your cellphone and sees potential infidelity in lunch with an ex.
    Just like a woman who doesn’t trust her BF should get out of the relationship, a guy who is having his GF spy on him and violate is privacy should get out.  Snooping is unethical.

    1. 27.1
      John smith

      It’s interesting the way people talk about “spying” on each other in regards to the text message. I see messages on my wifes phone and vice versa because we have iPhones and they pop up on the screen for all to see like it or not.  Doesn’t mean spying is going on but if a strange text happened to be seen it could cause a problem, and that goes both ways. And I get privacy, but when I got married I kind of gave that up because there is nothing to hide. If you can’t be honest that IS shady and if you are afraid of a fight then you have other issues going on.
      I am not too keen on the friend with an ex though. Most people have made the assumption that there was a break up for good reason and that will keep things kosher. I highly disagree, not all break-ups are messy and it is possible for people to rekindle things later on. Throw in some relationship issues with your current partner and you have the makings for a major problem.  Most people don’t want to share their partner and knowing they are hanging around someone they have been intimate with can cause major jealousy.  IMO it’s a lot easier to make a bad choice with an ex than go find someone new at a bar, online, etc.  And let’s be honest, most guys think with the wrong head so it’s a slippery slope. 

      1. 27.1.1

        I totally agree with John.
        More so, with todays’ technology ( FB included) it is much easier to find a slippery slope and engage in online relationships with former lovers without your partner’s knowledge.
        Yes, if you need new friends, find some new ones, perhaps of the same gender, not people you’ve been intimate with in the past.

  28. 28

    Yeah, I really don’t see what the big deal is. So he’s seeing his ex girlfriend for lunch. Does that really equal cheating now? I mean even if you feel a bit insecure about it why on earth would you go on and tell him that? He sure won’t admire you more because of it.
    I’ve always tried to stay friends with my ex girlfriends. And one time I even broke up with my new girlfriend over my ex. And no, not because I cheated and wanted to go back to my ex, but because I felt I couldn’t be in a relationship where my girlfriend won’t “allow” me to see my ex or is making a big fuss over it.
    When I was 15 it was unimaginable to be friends with my ex (or date someone who is), but now, it’s unimaginable not to.
    His ex and him shared a life at some point, does the fact that you’re with him now really erase his past??

  29. 29

    The poster Emily apparently does not believe people should remain friends with their ex’s. That’s her problem and since this fellow IS friendly with an ex, she’s just going to have to accept it, or move on.  If the man finds her too jealous/insecure what is HE doing with her?

    Speaking generally, people with nothing to hide don’t hide anything. Sneaking around to see, hiding communicate with an ex isn’t justifiable because the new love is jealous and/or insecure. The way to make someone less jealous/insecure is to be open. If they can’t handle it, they are not the one for you.

    As a trustworthy man with lot’s of ex’s Evan, how long did those jealous, “checker” new girlfriends last with you? How long did you *hide* communications with ex’s before you decided it was a ridiculous thing to be doing?

    1. 29.1

      First time here so cannot comment on your third paragraph Selena. However, you are absolutely spot on with your other comments.

      In my opinion, there aren’t many men who would put up with that if the boot was on the other foot.

      Note to Emily…move on. If a guy truly loves you, he will move mountains to keep you 

  30. 30
    Terri H

    Evan – you continue to amaze and educate me…thanks! this was an excellent insightful articulate response as always. For some reason your verdict surprised me but it also made perfect sense.
    Emily, I sympathise with you….you’ve been sick, youre in a new town with no support network, and your general overall wellbeing is probably completely out of kilter. Like you, I suffer horribly from self esteem issues in any new relationship and often panic and assume the worse…something I’m constantly trying to learn to overcome and change my thinking. One excellent piece of advice I was given once…when these thoughts start affecting you, take a minute – sit down – and BREATHE. Remind yourself these are just thoughts…nothing else!
    Not sure what Evan would think of this, but to salvage the situation and take a step in a different direction is it worth saying those special 3 magic words to your new boyfriend – ” I am sorry”.
    The comments to this blog that really rang true were that you need to get your boyfriend into a space where he feels comfortable telling you anything without fear of your reaction.
    Have boundaries but practice understanding.

    lots of luck (and p.s. – go out and make some new friends! book clubs . yoga classes…all that good stuff)

    1. 30.1

      Terri, how uncaring is he. She just moved
      to the city he is in, has no friends yet, feeling
      a little out if place, just to be with him. If he
      was a real man he would do what he needs to
      ti make her feel comfortable and get adjust to
      her new environment. He is very selfish. 
      she should dump him. 

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