My Boyfriend Shares An Apartment With His Ex But Says It’s Platonic. Should I Be Worried?

My boyfriend is sharing an apartment with ex but says its platonic

I came upon your site after searching for dating advice while feeling sad at work. I met a guy online and we hit it off really well. On our second date we spent 8 hours together just walking and have seen him consistently 2 or even 3 times a week for about 6 weeks.

The problem is I started wondering why he didn’t invite me to his apartment, which he owns and isn’t far from my place. I asked him about this and it finally came out that he is living with his ex-girlfriend. Basically, she is living there rent free and has been for 10+ months, so she can save enough to move out (we live in NYC). When I asked him when is she moving out, he just said, “maybe the end of the year”, which is still 4 months away. He said that he feels bad for her because he knows what it’s like to be on your own and how scary that is. Plus she was instrumental in him buying the apartment (going to open houses when he could not, etc.) and so he feels like he should help her out.

I saw the apartment – they sleep in separate rooms. However, her stuff is everywhere, as I imagined. Also, he has not told her about me and does not want me there when she is there.

He claims that they do not have feelings for each other and hardly see each other since he works long daytime hours and she works nights.

Should I continue dating him under the circumstances? I really like him. But….eek.


Once upon a time, I had a client break up with her boyfriend because, among other things, he lent $25,000 to a girlfriend who never paid him back. My client took this as a sign that he had terrible financial judgment. I took it as a sign that he was generous and trusting. Kind of funny how two people can look at the same situation and see completely different things. (By the way, they got back together and are now married with a kid. I love my job.)

Anyway, this feels like one of those situations. You meet a guy who has been nothing but consistent and kind for the past two months. He’s acting like a boyfriend. He owns his own place in NYC. He no longer wants to date his ex, but given her financial circumstances, he feels bad throwing her out on the street.

Who knows, maybe you’ll one day be the beneficiary of this gentleman’s extraordinary patience and generosity.

Again, from where I sit, this sounds like a sweet, generous, sensitive guy. He’s treating his ex the way I would hope you’d treat your best friend. Now I can’t vouch for the ex-girlfriend. I don’t know how motivated she is to move out when she’s living rent-free. But I do know that the question I would have about the guy you’re seeing isn’t about whether he’s up to anything fishy, but simply whether he has the balls to give his ex a deadline for getting her act together and moving out.

I get it: it’s certainly inconvenient — for both you and him — to have her in his space, but, if your relationship is strong, this arrangement won’t last forever. So, Amy, would you rather give him an ultimatum to kick her out in the next 30 days, or continue to enjoy this relationship for the next four months, with him sleeping at your place? The answer seems pretty obvious to me.

And who knows, maybe you’ll one day be the beneficiary of this gentleman’s extraordinary patience and generosity. That should be something for you to think about, instead of stewing in your own juices that this guy is sacrificing for someone he cares about but is no longer dating.

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  1. 1

    This situation isn’t as clear-cut for me and I am a little surprised by your answer, Evan. If I were the new girlfriend I would try and accept the circumstances and be the cool girl for awhile. But I would not be happy with his “maybe by he end of the year” response. It’s too vague. I would hope he would say something more concrete like “I’ve told her she needs to be out by the end of the year”. When there is no deadline, the “end of the year” can quickly become April, May, June, etc. of next year. When one person is still tied to a former partner, even if only (or especially) by a shared living space, the new relationship exists in a kind of gray area, or at least it would for me. New York apartments by nature are small (tiny!!) and therefore intimate, and the continued cohabitation creates some fuzzy boundaries. I might have to rethink the relationship, if the end of the year came and went and the old girlfriend was still around. It’s one thing to have a kind and generous boyfriend and another to have a guy who can’t or won’t set the right boundaries and priorities.

    1. 1.1

      Its only been 1 month and she’s already planning a LTR with this guy? Hah, this is a huge red flag, that this guy might not be ready for a relationship, just got out of a serious relationship, and wants some fun short-term hookups.   Of course every relationship is different, and this guy might be sincere in his plans for the future, but you should ask him if he wants a long term relationship with you, or if he just wants some quick fling. Unless the new girl is hotter than the old girlfriend, then I he might stay with the new girl.   But this just screams, “separated not divorced guy looking for short-term flings without LT commitment.”

      1. 1.1.1

        You say like that is a bad thing.
        Why cant he just look at his interests?        

    2. 1.2

      Seems pretty black and white to me.

      If the ex knows she’s an ex and understands the generosity being handed to her, then she won’t mind and introduction to the new girlfriend.   Hey I’ve met this girl, I don’t know what will happen in the future, but I want honesty from the start, so I’d like you to meet her. She knows you still live here, and that’s a big thing. I’m letting you stay here till the end of the year to save for a new place, I know it’s awkward, but can you meet so she knows the deal.”

      If the ex can’t do this, then she doesn’t deserve his generosity.

    3. 1.3
      joan baczek

      alot of times its all a farse. the guy kicks the woman out of the bedroom so much she has to have a make shift bedroom just to get sleep on the nights he don’t want to recycle her for sex. yet tells the live in girl how much he loves her during the nice period and they share the bedroom and how much he hates her and hits her during naughty period. he does this so that while his live in girl is at work he can have sex dates with other women and the place appears like 2 people of the opposite sex living as roomates instead of lovers. the live in woman is being strung along, played with like a half dead mouse, and totally confused. what im saying may not be true in all cases but i lived it so its my truth

      1. 1.3.1

        Idiot… You didn’t have to live like that. Why would you? Why do you do that to yourself Joanie?

      2. 1.3.2
        miss america

        that has been me exactly and you are rt. I actually moved into the house but that went all baaad


      3. 1.3.3

        That’s terrible to be treated that way. Generosity and kindness are important but no one wants to be used, misled or having to tolerate the game playing. He should be able to introduce you to her, boundaries should be made and a deadline should be met!

    4. 1.4
      miss america

      I am soo that person waiting for my fiancé to actually make his exgirlfriend move out!! if it hasn’t happened by now it wont trust me hes not over the chase for her or he is using her being there to not fully commit to you. sorry because I have been living this exact flipping situation for 4 years now and anytime I bring up the when is she leaving, I get told to eff off


  2. 2

    sometimes a person’s greatest strength is their biggest flaw. This guy probably gets taken advantage by people all the time. Sure Evan perceives him as patient and generous but people like that are usually highly naive and this great quality has draw backs. My mother is like this and frankly it can frustrating to deal with someone who is a ‘bleeding heart’. Sometimes it’s a bad thing and I guess it depends if this is a flaw you can live with. The more important question is, where do you get intimate? At some point this ex will know about you but when is he going to tell her? After she leaves? What will he do when she does move out? Will this ex still be in his life or will he cut her out? This problem with this guy might just be the beginning. The reality is, in time if you get closer, he will have to chose you over her but when will he step up?

  3. 3

    I dated a guy once who had his ex living with him at first. They were coparents, long story short she got screwed in the closing of a house and had to forfeit a downpayment. Since she was the mother of his child and he would rather his kid stay in the city they lived in than have her move 2 hours away back with her parents until she had the funds for another down payment. He told me on the second date. I admit it was weird but she moved out a couple months in. We didn’t last but his ex had nothing to do with it. If anything, the way he treated his ex and his desire to have his son stay close made him seem even better to me.

  4. 4
    Karmic Equation

    The red flag isn’t that he’s still cohabitating with his ex, but rather that he hasn’t told his ex about you.  
    If you are indeed his GF as you think, and the ONLY reason she’s still living with him is for financial reasons, which implies they no longer have a relationship where he’s obligated to worry about her being jealous of you — then he should introduce the both of you and let that galvanize her into moving out. No woman with high self-esteem, who still has feelings for the guy, will tolerate living in a place where she sees him being with his new lady love. If she can tolerate it, then you know that she’s over him. If she gives you the evil eye when you’re there or avoids you when you’re there, you can tell him that she still has feelings and take it from there.
    Where you take it will depend on how he reacts to your notifying him that she still has feelings for him. If she doesn’t have any feelings for him, then problem solved.

    1. 4.1

      I am inclined to agree. If he’s platonic with the ex-gf, why keep the new girl a secret?   I guess we’rw not seeing the entirety of the situation but is he keeping new girl from other people in his life?   I do agree though, an ultimatum is a bad idea.   Either break up and move on, or accept things as they are, don’t complain, etc.

      1. 4.1.1

        I agree with KE.   Poster didn’t indicate whether they were exclusive or not.   If they were, then why would he not bring his new girlfriend around?   They’re suppose to have moved on and be living separate lives, just sharing space because of economical reasons.   Or, has everyone really moved on?   Maybe ex-girlfriend still harbors feelings for him and he knows it and doesn’t want to upset her.   In any event, this would make a very uncomfortable situation for me.      

        1. Julia

          My guess is because he’s not the kind of person to parade around a new love to the old one, you know, the kind of person with some decency?

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          It’s so revealing which people are trusting vs. which people are vigilant about being hurt.

          Put it this way, vigilant people, who would YOU want to be in a relationship with? The guy who didn’t trust you around your ex? Or the guy who understands that living with your ex is purely circumstantial? I’m not saying that the boyfriend couldn’t be “tougher” with his boundaries. I’m saying that if he has to sleep at the OPs place for a few months while the ex finds a new apartment, it’s a pretty small price to pay.

        3. Karmic Equation

          Evan, I’m not sure if you’re implying that I’m not trusting or not.
          About 2 months after my divorce with my ex was finalized, I had to go over to his place to either drop off something or pick up something and my bf came with me. Because I was at my ex’s place, I asked my bf to stay in the car while I did what I had to do to not rub it in my ex’s face that I was dating. My ex came out and invited my bf in. That is called having moved on.
          The apt is Amy’s BF’s place, the ex-gf needs to respect HIS space, not the other way around because she’s living off HIS good will already. For him to cater to HER lack of grace (if he’s catering) — I suppose you could read it as him being a “really” nice guy. But it’s HIS place. He gets to set the boundaries. Not the ex-gf. He shouldn’t have to “walk on eggshells” around his ex-gf in his OWN place. So what if Amy has her own place? Suppose she was living at her parents? What then? They forego intimacy for the sake of his niceness to his ex? I think that would be asking too much.

        4. Adrian

          Evan maybe you should do a post on that very subject, being trusting verse being vigilant not trying to get hurt

    2. 4.2

      I totally agree here. Why is everyone overlooking one giant red flag? He hasn’t told his ex about his new girlfriend, and there is absolutely no reason for him to do so, IF (and only if) she is truly his girlfriend (in his mind), he is over his ex, and she is living there on a roommate basis. I’m not talking about “parading ” new girlfriend in front of the ex, or rubbing the new love into the face of the ex… Far from it. But keeping the new GF a secret ? Sounds fishy to me  

      1. 4.2.1

        Ignore the positives, believe the negatives.

      2. 4.2.2

        Exactly… Fishy.. I have had to much life experience, I guess, to not question a situation like this. Everytime I have given someone “the benefit of the doubt” in a like situation, I have been proven wrong and my trust has been broken. I have learned(the hard way) that everytime something doesn’t seem right(OFF!) it usually is.. I would definitely pull back from this situation until I could get a clearer reading on exactly what their relationship is. If this guy really likes this woman, he will make it work out for his “new girlfriend”, not his old girlfriend..   The school of hard knocks has taught me to do this..

        1. Wendy

          Kathy, e careful. It’s been my experience on this blog that you must always have 100% trust with each new relationship or you will get blasted off these pages. Forget what you have learned from your past experiences–that applies to every other life scenario except relationships. Most reasonable people would tell you that if you touched a hot stove and got burned, you would be wise to approach all new stoves with at least a little caution. Here, however, you must always trust blindly. If a man tells you he’s not cheating, you must simply trust him, or you’re being unfair to HIM and you should move on unless you can trust him completely. Even if you catch him in the actual act of having sex with another woman, if he TELLS you he’s not cheating, you must TRUST HIM. If you can’t trust the men in your life, you will not have much luck on this blog.   

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          Holy shit, Wendy. This is really simple. Do YOU want to be blindly trusted by each new man you meet? Or do you want him to second guess you, monitor you, snoop on you, interrogate you, and be perpetually suspicious of you? Presuming the answer to that is no, you know what you have to do. Trust. If you can’t trust him, don’t date him. But you can’t date him and not trust him.

          And yes, you will not have much success on this blog – or in relationships – if you don’t trust your partner. Life is too short for a trustworthy man to spend with a suspicious woman.

        3. Wendy

          If I want to cheat, then hell yes I want him to trust me blindly. That always makes it so much easier to get away with!  
          My reply to Kathy’s comment was somewhat facetious (okay, maybe a lot) based on the “100% trust at all times” message that I’ve received from this blog. So we’re supposed to trust them, even if they are, in fact, cheating? What are our other options? What are you supposed to do when your partner, who is normally a couch potato slob, suddenly cleans up their act, buys new underwear, starts working late every night for no reason, and comes home smelling of perfume/cologne? Are we really supposed to just keep blindly trusting? If we ask them about it (and let’s assume we ask in a mature, non-confrontational way), then that’s admitting we’re having trust issues, a big no-no on this site because it will shatter the trust you had IF your partner wasn’t cheating. But let’s say we go nuts and ask anyway–what if they say they’re not cheating? Again, do we just keep trusting? For how long? Until he or she tells us they’re leaving, which could take months or even years? That gives them all the power! At what point are we allowed to take charge of our own lives, do what we need to do to get to the bottom of it (even if that means snooping or following them), to arm ourselves with enough information to make an educated decision about whether to stay or leave? I want to make an educated choice when I get a new cell phone, but I can’t do that with a human being? We’re talking about PEOPLE here, most of whom can’t be trusted to use their turn signals let alone to not break your heart.  
          I just don’t see what’s so wrong with being proactive when someone starts showing all the signs. I’m not talking about assuming your partner WILL cheat and therefore perform routine computer/phone checks on them, but what is the harm in being aware of the fact that someone COULD cheat?   To trust blindly implies a head-in-the-sand, “That would never happen to me!” approach. It’s a known fact that muggers look for people who are oblivious to their surroundings because they’re easier targets. Would you also advise someone who frequently has to walk down a city street late at night to get home after work to leave their gun or mace at home because people are so trustworthy? Being aware of your surroundings and just knowing that something bad COULD happen will keep your instincts honed and might just save your life (or your heart) if you’re able to react quickly and efficiently.  
          Can you please clarify what I’m missing, because surely you know people are capable of cheating. What are we supposed to do, if you don’t advocate us being doormats to our partners’ whims?

        4. Evan Marc Katz

          My head is about to explode.

          You keep writing ridiculous questions like this: “So we’re supposed to trust them, even if they are, in fact, cheating?”



          Don’t date a guy you can’t trust. That is it. That is the answer. There is nothing else. You keep on acting as if you should stay, snoop, question, interrogate and generally not trust the ONE person you’re supposed to trust implicitly. I’m not telling you to stay with a cheater. I’m telling you to DUMP a man you can’t trust and to TRUST any man who you stay with.

          If you have any response to my comment, I hope it’s “I get it. You’re right,” instead of restating the exact same misguided thing you wrote above about how I’m advocating you date an untrustworthy man.

        5. ScottH

          Evan- if I may wordsmith your answer a bit.   Dump a man who proves himself to be untrustworthy (instead of dumping someone you FEEL is untrustworthy since feelings aren’t facts).

        6. Wendy

          All I know is that at least four of the trustworthy men that I have dated cheated on me while I was too busy trusting them to see it happening. I have to defer to my personal experience and will be cautious and alert in my future relationships. Doing the same thing again and again while expecting different results is insane, but I shouldn’t have to tell you that.   

        7. ScottH

          Wendy-  I wasn’t trusted when there was no reason to distrust me and that very quickly led to the end of the relationship.   It sucks that you were cheated on 4 times and it’s understandable that you feel the way you do.   I just don’t understand how you’ll have a good relationship with all the lack of trust.  

        8. Rose

          I see trust as having to be earned, and unfortunately there’s no short cut: it takes time.   I won’t just give it to a guy because I started dating him 6 weeks ago.   I wouldn’t broadcast that fact to him either.   For women, the consequences of trusting too soon can be life-threatening sometimes.   

          I didn’t trust my husband 100% when we had been dating for 6 weeks.   I also wasn’t constantly suspicious of him.   It was not really presence of anything positive or negative, it was more like lack of info about him.   Every interaction was added more info.

          So Evan I don’t get how you can say “If you can’t trust him, don’t date him.” To me, the whole point of dating is to gather more info about him to decide if he is trustworthy.   Dating leads to trust, not the other way around.   I guess what I would say is if you can’t trust him now, give yourself a pre-specified amount of time (say 2 months from now).   And if by that time, you still do not think he is worth 100% of your trust, you end it.     

          I may have taken your quote out of context, if that’s the case I apologize.

        9. Wendy

          Thank you, Rose. This is EXCATLY what I’m talking about. You said it well. Trust must be earned, not automatically assumed. I don’t know why the “pro-trust” folks on this site are so “all or nothing” about it. I don’t go into my relationships assuming the guy is a lying, cheating scumbag, as people seem to think must be my MO. Have I snooped and   followed guys? Yes, but ONLY after the red flags began waving all over the place. I used to be a young, naïve, trusting individual who went through life thinking “It might happen to others, but MY boyfriend would NEVER cheat on ME!” However, after four experiences with seemingly decent good guys that I found out had, in fact, cheated (but only after they TOLD me they were leaving me for someone else), I decided I respected myself too much to be walked on and used again.
          Now I enter each new relationship like you did with your husband–cautiously optimistic! As we date, we build trust. Because of my past experiences it takes me a little longer than it might for a “100% Truster,” but I do get there. However, I NEVER say “he would never cheat” again and I’m more attuned to the signs when they start popping up again. Guys have cheated on me since, but now I don’t waste my time on them; they don’t deserve me. I do what I have to do to find out what they’re not going to tell me (because last time I checked cheaters were also pretty good liars, so just having a guy tell you he’s not cheating doesn’t mean he’s right!) I hate that ridiculous advice! “Just ask him–if he says he’s not cheating, then trust him!” What a crock! I tried that–all it does is alert him to fact that he needs to be super-careful about hiding his behavior.
          Long story short, I guess the takeaway here is if you want to blindly trust, that’s your choice. But those of us who’ve been hurt repeatedly shouldn’t be discounted as psychos unworthy of finding love with a decent guy just because we require a little more work to build trust with.  

        10. Evan Marc Katz

          No one said that you’re a psycho. All I said is that if I’m a trustworthy guy and you don’t treat me like I’m trustworthy, I’m out the door. So I am not “earning” trust with you. I start with it and keep it.

        11. starthrower68

          I’m coming to the conclusion that women are just supposed nod and smile a lot. 😁

        12. Wendy

          @Starthrower68: Yup.  

        13. Wendy

          You don’t have to “earn” trust? Are you kidding me? So I should trust the guy who sent me that email yesterday telling me I won $250,000 in a random drawing? How about the guy who left a flyer in my door last month asking me to leave my housekey under my doormat so he could do a “complimentary home pest inspection?” Or the new CEO who walks in promising job security after the latest corporate merge? Sorry–people must earn trust through their actions. Maybe the home pest inspector is legit but I won’t know that until I meet him (and ask for references, too). And NO, before you go there, I DON’T ask my dates to give me the names and phone numbers of past girlfriends for their review. Why is it EXPECTED that you will trust someone 100% at first sight, but someone who says they love someone and see a future together after six weeks gets blasted off the page?   What is the difference?

        14. Julia

          As a woman who is both trusting and trustworthy I have to say: It’s a whole lot easier and you are much happier when you trust your partner. Thinking about the mental gymnastics, the anguish assuming a man will cheat seems so exhaustive. I actually feel bad for the women here who do that.

        15. Karmic Equation


          Now you ARE sounding like a psycho or an idiot. Take your pick.
          you’re going to equate a man you’re dating, someone you might consider falling in love with, with a PEST CONTROL guy you’ve NEVER MET? Are you serious?
          You sound like a woman who needs to be right all the time. A personality trait like that will drive most normal men away.
          And like Henriette alluded to, the ones who will put up with that kind of behavior have issues of their own.  
          Being cheated on one time is one time two many. I’m sorry that happened to you.  
          But when you’ve been cheated on FOUR TIMES, then you have to look at the men you’re picking. Or you have to look at yourself and your contribution to the demise of those relationships.  
          For example, do you have behaviors only men with big issues of their would want to date? In other words, if you have an unhealthy emotional and psychological outlook towards men, then only men who will tolerate that unhealthiness would want to be in a relationship with you. But they’ve given themselves a get-of-relationship-free card because your unhealthy attitude either makes them less likely to invest emotionally in you in the first place (so you were a placeholder in their mind from the beginning) or they may sincerely like you and thought they could live with your flaws, but in the end your flaws were too much to handle.
          It’s actually a good exit strategy to let a distrustful woman know that he’s leaving her for someone else because his behavior validates her world view (that men can’t be trusted) and he can count on her self-righteous anger to nail that relationship coffin shut.  
          A man often does not tell woman that she argues too much, that she’s too distrustful, that her need to always be right made them nuts themselves. MOST men cannot articulate why they’re unhappy in a relationship to that level of detail — they only know they’re stressed and unhappy in a relationship. So finding another woman that makes him happier is MUCH easier than trying fix the woman or the relationship. Men are lazy in this regard. They’re going to take the path of least resistance. Easier to break up than deal with a teary woman who doesn’t want to be broken up with.
          Bottom line is that, yes, there ARE different levels of trust. You don’t trust a stranger on the street the same way you trust your mother and father. But you have to realize that trust is a TWO-WAY street. You have to trust him not to cheat, and HE has to trust that you’re not going to treat him like a cheater when he hasn’t cheated.
          Yes, when there are tell tale signs, you need to break up with him, but WITHOUT SNOOPING. You break up with him because the behaviors he’s exhibiting are making you feel suspicious. If you’re in a good relationship, you should be able to tell that to him without accusations. “I’m not sure why you all of sudden have decided to hit the gym, buy new underwear, and work late so often. But those actions are making me suspicious and I don’t want to be in a relationship where I feel suspicious. So we have two choices. You go back to being coach potato in old underwear or I have to break up with you. Which sounds better to you?”


        16. Wendy

          @Julia: I couldn’t agree more. Once a guy has earned my trust, it’s a wonderful thing. But what everyone keeps missing here is that I’m not saying to a guy on our first date, “Hi, I’m Wendy, and I don’t trust you.” As Evan mentioned, “…if I’m a trustworthy guy and you don’t treat me like I’m trustworthy, I’m out the door.” I’M NOT TREATING THESE GUYS LIKE I DON’T TRUST THEM!!! Why does everyone keep missing this fact and jumping to the conclusion that I’m a stalky, sneaky emotionally unhealthy psycho-bitch? Just because I don’t trust a guy 100% within the first five minutes of meeting him doesn’t mean I’m scrolling through his phone the first time he goes to the mens room.
          @Karmic: “You’re going to equate a man you’re dating, someone you might consider falling in love with, with a PEST CONTROL guy you’ve NEVER MET?”   If I just met a man and we have NO past, NO relationship of any kind, and have spent NO time together, I will be cautious until he’s had time to earn my trust. I will not hand it over instantly. That goes for the pest guy AND a man I’m considering dating/having a relationship with. If the pest guy comes to my house a few times and nothing goes missing, then I’ll trust him. If a guy I go on a few dates with doesn’t give me any reason to believe he’s anything but a stand-up guy, then I’ll trust him. You totally skewed the analogy.

          “I’m not sure why you all of sudden have decided to hit the gym, buy new underwear, and work late so often. But those actions are making me suspicious and I don’t want to be in a relationship where I feel suspicious. So we have two choices. You go back to being coach potato in old underwear or I have to break up with you. Which sounds better to you?”
          If we’re not supposed to give guys the impression we don’t trust them, then how is this statement saying I DO trust you? You’re giving two conflicting arguments. And what if the guy is out late because he’s shopping for an engagement ring? What if he bought new underwear because he decided his awesome girlfriend deserves to be with a decent guy who dresses properly? Walking out on a guy like this without proof of anything could be the worst mistake of my life. But asking him isn’t going to give me proof. Asking just gives a cheater a head’s up that he needs be sneakier and clean up any clues he may have left lying around. But if I check his computer BEFORE he’s had that head’s up and see raunchy emails from some other girl, I’m gone. If I don’t find anything suspicious, I’ll ride it out. Time will tell if he’s trustworthy or not. And before you ask me how I’d like it if a guy did that to me, I’d say bring it on. If I’m not cheating, I have nothing to hide. He knows my email passwords, I don’t have a lock screen on my phone. I would encourage him to check anything he likes if he’s feeling uncertain because I know nothing I can SAY will really give him what he needs if he’s feeling suspicious. Are you more likely to believe Bob when you ask him if his lawn care service is the best, or 30 reviews that says Bob’s Lawn Care is the best?
          And in response to your “bad picker” argument, I don’t know if you’re dating anyone right now, but if you aren’t then ALL of your relationships have failed so I wouldn’t get too judgy. If you ARE dating someone, then you can fairly say that only ONE of your relationships has succeeded, and who knows if this current one will even make it to the finish line? Relationships fail for all kinds of reasons. I’m no worse a human being than you are. If I were really as horrible as you make me out to be men wouldn’t wait to leave me until they meet someone else. And if you truly believe this statement that “MOST men cannot articulate why they’re unhappy in a relationship to that level of detail – they only know they’re stressed and unhappy in a relationship….Men are lazy in this regard,” then I feel sorry for you. While a few men may have cheated on me, almost ALL of the men that I have dated have done quite well in the communication department and I would never categorize them this way. I’m sorry you choose men that are lazy and can’t articulate. You may want to fix your own picker before you start passing advice on to others about theirs.

        17. Karmic Equation


          Wow. Wendy.
          What you wrote pretty much brought to life what I was trying to say about you. You need to be right at any cost.
          I had a specific argument about your bad picker and your behavior and you change it to “all relationships fail” (strawman) and “if YOUR relationships failed, then you shouldn’t judge” (ad hominem attack).
          My relationships didn’t fail because I picked men who cheated on me. My relationships ENDED because *I* ended them (all except 1 in my 20’s). And I ended them because we grew apart or I fell out of love with them. So MY picker works as my exhusband wanted to save the marriage; my last two bf’s still want to get back together with me. What I’ll admit to is I can’t sustain love for more than 6 years it seems 🙂  
          As I said, being cheated on once is one two many times. But being cheated on FOUR times is a pattern. And the pattern is either in the men you pick or in your behavior during the relationship. Maybe it’s even a combination of the two. You pick men who are predisposed to cheating and then behave in a way that actually drives them to do cheat.
          As with most troubleshooting, you start with one variable. If you don’t think it’s your own behavior, then it must be the men you pick. So do an in-depth post-mortem on what those men have in common in terms of behaviors that was attractive to you. Maybe whatever attracted you to them came with a cheating downside. For example, did they all want to be exclusive quickly? Did YOU have to convince to be exclusive? Did they all wear the same cologne? Did they all only have brothers (no sisters) — I think men who have sisters, whom they love; if they hate them that’s not good — tend to be more relationship-oriented than men who grew up in an all-boys family. Did they all ogle waitresses? Did they swear the same kinds of swear words (some men would never use the c**t word, but they’ll f-bomb like no tomorrow) — The f-bombers are better relationship material than the c* word dudes, I think. Look for patterns in THEIR behavior and figure out the one behavior that ALL of them had in common that you could link to their cheating. Put it all on paper. I’m sure you’ll find something concrete and useful. This is not an exercise of blame, but rather of discovery.
          For example, I seem to tend to pick men who have unhealthy relationships with money, either too cheap or too careless with it. And that proclivity in them eventually drives me crazy. So my next guy will have to have a HEALTHY relationship with money. Of course there will be other factors, but this one common trait in them is telling to me.


        18. Clare


          Karmic Equation’s feedback for you was actually really good if you could get over your need to be right all the time.

          If you believe in Law of Attraction at all, there’s a principle that would say that your distrust is in fact attracting into your life men who will prove your distrust right, and also attracts the reasons for the distrust. It sounds a little out there I know, but if you could change your attitude towards this around, you would definitely start having better experiences.

          I know you think you are right, but being right really doesn’t matter a whole hill of beans when it comes to relationships. Karmic Equation is quite right, men will make the decision to stay with you or break up with you based on how they feel in your presence, how you make them feel about themselves. They won’t necessarily tell you that you don’t make them feel like a great guy, but if that’s the case you won’t have a close, good relationship, and before you know it he’s distant and looking for someone else.

          The other thing that your argument completely omits is that a good man, the sort of man you would want to be with, when he senses that you trust him implicitly (and here, I am not talking about childilike, naive blindness which is what you describe it as – I am talking about adult trust where you not only trust him to make good decisions, you also trust yourself to know how to act in the face of any situation, and hence you know you’ll be ok) – a good man then strives to earn this trust. I have just seen this too many times. A good man loves the idea of the man he sees reflected in the eyes of a trusting woman, and strives to live up to this.

          And Karmic Equation is right about another thing – NO SNOOPING is necessary. Snooping is a slippery slope which, once started, is very difficult to stop. More than that, the nasty voices in your mind will tend to blow things out of proportion, so that even harmless things are taken as evidence. You may find the “proof” of infidelity that you are looking for, but look at the person you’ve had to become to get it. You may be fine with the person you are dating having access to your phone, email etc. but most people are not. Most people take this as a serious violation of their privacy. Are you ok with the fact that you have crossed someone’s boundaries in this way? More than this, if your boyfriend is doing things he shouldn’t, this has a tendency to come out on its own. No one is saying wilful blindness, just common sense. If you feel something is not right, talk to him about it. If you truly feel that this will give the guy a “heads up” and make him cover his tracks more carefully, what on earth are you doing with him in the first place?

        19. WOW

          WOW, I guess we know why Wendy is single!!

        20. Joe

          If you snoop, YOU are untrustworthy.

        21. Wendy

          @WOW: Who said I was single? I’ve been in a great relationship for almost four years now and going strong. He’s seen everything on this blog, including my responses, and he agrees with me 100%. He agrees the guy in the OP’s letter is hiding something and shouldn’t be trusted. He agrees that trust in general must be earned. He agrees that if he ever did anything to raise red flags he would deserve to be snooped on. We get each other.

          See, I think that’s where everyone goes wrong on here…it’s not about my NEED to be right; it’s about doing what’s right for each of us, as individuals. For me, what’s right may not be what you think is right. However, my BF (he’s a cop) thinks the advice to trust immediately isn’t just silly, it’s dangerous. Self-defense instructors will tell you the same thing–trust can kill you, not just break your heart. Ask any of Ted Bundy’s 100+ victims. Oh, wait–we can’t, because they’re dead. So just keep on doing what you think is right for you, and stop judging me for doing what I feel is right (based on facts and statistics) for me.  

        22. Evan Marc Katz

          Yes, the Ted Bundy argument trumps all. That’s an excellent comparison to why an honest guy should put up with being mistrusted.

          Oh, by the way, Wendy… how do I “earn” trust? What exactly do I need to do to “prove” to you that I’m not a serial killer, liar, player, or sociopath.


          Wait, you mean there’s no test for this kind of stuff? You mean all I have to do is act like a normal good guy? Hmm… so it sounds to me like I begin with full trust, and if I act suspicious, then I stand to lose it. Which was my original premise all along. And if I am not starting with full trust, what exactly are you, Wendy, doing while you don’t trust me? What can I do to get you to trust me?

          The point, of course, is that, while this may be semantics, they are important semantics. No one is suggesting you go down a dark alley naked with a Rape Me sign (except for you in your poorly considered parallels). I am suggesting that every man start with a clean slate, and be judged on his actions within the relationship, not your fears of what MIGHT happen.

          I fail to see how making me “earn” your trust changes my behavior, but your lack of trust only makes me like you less. I think, when it gets right down to it, you DO trust people unless they’ve actually wronged you, which is 100% normal. Glad we could work this out together.

        23. Karmic Equation

          Wendy, you ARE in the perfect relationship for you. You’re in a relationship with a cop. Cops CANNOT trust ANYONE. They could die. Of COURSE, he’s going to validate your world view. Of necessity, it is HIS world view, too. There is a lid for every pot. I mean this in the best of ways. I’ve never thought about PROFESSIONS balancing out (or validating) someone’s insecurities and being the right fit. Something to think about. I really mean it when I say I’m happy for you 🙂
          Nevertheless, most of us are not in a profession where our lives are on the line every day. For us non-cop/non-military daters, we don’t need to live our lives every day in fear that our trust is going to kill us. So for us, trusting other human beings is/should be the norm. Not blind trust, but normal trust. We can’t walk down the street thinking everyone is a serial killer. We shouldn’t date people looking for signs of serial-killer-ness. But we should have first dates in public. We need to be aware of our surroundings. One can be aware and trusting at the same time. One doesn’t preclude the other.

        24. Wendy

          @Karmic: Think about what you say. Evan’s wife had three men cheat on her. Are you going to accuse her of having a bad picker, too?
          @Evan: Actually, there IS a test for this kind of stuff. I’m surprised you haven’t heard of it. It’s called DATING. See, dating is this process whereby two people spend time together to form an opinion as to whether or not they share common interests, enjoy each other’s company, and bond over shared experiences. A popular relationship author (wish I could remember his name) tells us that a man proves he is a decent, trustworthy guy (i.e. NOT a psychopath/liar/player) when “he calls when he says he will call,” “does what he says he will do,” “makes an effort,” and “treats you like gold,” all quotes from this same relationship author. This is not something that a girl (or a guy–it goes both ways, of course) can KNOW for a FACT with 100% CERTAINTY if they haven’t even shared a single conversation over a cup of coffee yet. It is TIME that “proves” whether he is trustworthy. All along I’ve been saying the same thing as you when you state that a man “be judged on his actions within the relationship.” Yes! You finally get it! But he can’t perform “actions within a relationship” until he’s actually IN THE RELATIONSHIP, which, by definition, is something that forms OVER TIME. It is IMPOSSIBLE to know what a man’s actions will be like until we’ve gone on a few dates. It is physically impossible for this PROCESS to take place BEFORE it takes place! It is the man’s ACTIONS during the dating process that earn him my trust. I don’t understand what is so difficult to understand about this concept, especially when you seem to be agreeing with me, except the part about BEGINNING with FULL TRUST. If you begin with full trust and you’re wrong, you could die from that mistake.   You can’t simply dismiss the fact that there are Ted Bundys out there just because YOU aren’t one of them. There is no way for a woman to know what a man’s character is until he’s shown her, and I believe you agree with me. Congratulations–you’re right, you win!
          So once again, I will say what I’ve been saying all along. Maybe the tenth time is the charm! I don’t START with 100% trust but that doesn’t mean I start with none, instantly assuming the man sitting across the table from me WILL cheat on me, paralyzed with fear of the day that he might. I don’t put him through tests, saying “If you loved me, you’d prove it by….” I’ve NEVER done this and NEVER said that I do so PLEASE stop putting words in my mouth! I don’t “treat men as if they were untrustworthy until they actually do something untrustworthy,” another a direct quote from this author which I’ve interpreted to mean it’s normal behavior. But I will continue to tell my 17 year old niece that she should never let a guy pick her up from her place for a first date, but rather meet him there and to let someone know the who/what/where/when of it. I will continue to tell my 12-year old nephew not to get in a car with a guy just because he says he needs help looking for his lost puppy. I will continue to lock my doors at night and I will continue to be aware of the possibility that ignorance of the facts of life, that bad people DO exist, can break your heart at best, kill you at worst. And I will continue to be cautiously optimistic with new relationships until a man has EARNED my trust through his ACTIONS as we move through the dating PROCESS.
          Oh, now I remember his name….

        25. starthrower68

          It does seem to me, after reading the posts, that there really isn’t a disagreement here.   It is true that we cannot assume the worst and be suspicious of people we don’t know.   However, be do have to be wise and discerning.   Women are told that we have to take responsibility for our part in relationships, so it is wise and responsible to go into these situations with our eyes wide open.   Be as wise as serpents but as harmless as doves.

    3. 4.3

      As KE said, the flag for me is the choice of words: “he does not want me there when she is there”.   If it’s a tiny space, I can understand that there isn’t space for 3 people to spend the night comfortably.   I also understand respecting the ex’s feelings and not flaunting his new love in front of her.   But acknowledgement isn’t the same as flaunting.   Why would he not want to acknowledge a new girlfriend after 10+ months of being single?   It’s not as if the ex is a child who needs protecting :P.   I also wonder why OP had to dig to get this info.
      Putting myself in your shoes, OP, I probably wouldn’t be comfortable with an open ended arrangement like this.   There’s something a bit unnatural about the situation to me if there is no plan for remediation.   I will admit that I don’t know the housing situation in NYC all that well.   I live in a metropolis and while it’s bad here, it’s not impossible.   10 months would definitely be enough time to find an alternate residence.   I wouldn’t expect a deadline…that is not realistic and is counter productive.   But I would definitely want to know what the plan is: is she saving up for a down payment so she can buy her own place (how long is this likely to take), is she hunting for rentals and when one that meets her criteria becomes available she will move or are they both comfortable with the status quo for an indeterminate amount of time?   There is nothing wrong with status quo, it just wouldn’t work for me.   I have a friend who recently found herself in the same situation as the ex.   They live together and her boyfriend recently broke up with her.   She made it her priority to find somewhere else to live.   It has been two months and she has found a place.   To be sure, it is not as nice as the place she just left but it’s not bad and it is her own.
      Really, the whole thing comes down to whether you trust him.   Unfortunately, after only 6 weeks, any demands you make of him will not be well received.   If you do trust him and he’s great otherwise, give him a chance.   In time, the whole thing will resolve itself if you become an important part of his life and he values how you feel.

      1. 4.3.1

        I agree with Evan’s point of view but also I agree with Wendy,  
        Guys do cheat! They lie, we get in in a relationship trusting, just
        to find out he is a liar and a cheater!
        @Julia keep trusting that is a good thing but doesn’t mean his Not cheating.
        And btw the guy has the night time ex girlfriend and day time new one, to me he is sleeping with both, in different times, that is WHY he doesn’t want the women’s to know each other.

      2. 4.3.2

        Um, the ex-GF has been living in the apartment for 10+ months. The OP didn’t say how long she had been dating him.  
        Going to say less than 10 months thought b/c the ex GF moved in when she and the OP’s BF were together.

        Reading is fundamental. Seriously.  

    4. 4.4

      Okay karmic, now I’m confused. I was going to agree with you that him not introducing his new girl to his live-in ex was a huge red flag, but then you gave the example of how you were with your ex, so now I’m thinking maybe the boyfriend is doing the same thing. He doesn’t want the environment in his home even more uncomfortable with his old girl meeting his new… especially if the ex is still single or if he is the one who initiated the break-up

    5. 4.5

      Your comment about the red flag seems right on target!

    6. 4.6

      I agree completely because I really am in that situation now.   One huge thing that helped me feel more comfortable with it was my boyfriend introducing me to his ex, and not hiding me like a dirty secret.   I saw for myself that it truly is platonic between them now, because she was very nice and gracious to me when we met.   I really sensed no jealousy from her whatsoever and she really seemed happy for him that he has a new girlfriend, like any of his other friends.   I really don’t think I would have gotten that reaction if she still had any lingering feelings left.

      I’m not quite understanding the part where he always has to stay over at her place for the next couple of months.   I’m in the same boat but I’ve stayed over at my boyfriend’s house as many times as he’s been in my apartment.   In fact, my boyfriend cleared out space in his bedroom and bathroom drawers for me to keep my things in, so I didn’t have to keep carrying them back and forth from my place.   His bedroom is one floor above hers, so we can just stay up there to hang out.   She’s not even there all that much anyway due to her work schedule, and has been spending more time lately in her home state to arrange a job transfer there (really does seem intent on moving out and has taken concrete steps to make that happen).   However, his house is also pretty large so it might not be the exact same situation here (which is an apartment and presumably has less space to work with).

      No, this situation is not quite ideal, but I’ve decided that his consistent kindness is worth some temporary inconvenience.   I’ll take him over the guys I dated before who lived alone–but were jerks, players, etc. (or the narcissistic control freak who lived with male roommates but was cheating on me with other women).   The love we have for each other is completely worth it.

    7. 4.7

      I’ve just come out of a heartbreaking 4 year relationship.

      My partner still lives with his girlfriend of 15 years and they own a house…. Intentionally he told me he was going to tidy the house up and put it on the market but he’s been struggling with jobs and financially he’s struggled so as I gather the ex pays most of the bills.

      The other awful situation is I do know the Ex (not very well) and his family and see them and they don’t know we’ve been in a relationship either.

      I could no longer handle him staying in with his Ex on Saturday nights etc and not seeing me and being a secret any longer so ended it.

      But he said he’d sort his ‘shit’ out and we still saw each other until 2 months ago….. But the arguing by phone mainly and the hurt and pain has been crucifying…..he wants to remain friends but my feelings are to strong for him so I said I can’t right now.

      A week later he had a special event to attend and he had to let me know because of facebook that he’d taken his Ex because it was nice for her birthday? And she’s his friend?

      Its totally crucified me….. I’m devastated.


    8. 4.8

      I agree with Karmic. The red flag to me is that the ex gf doesn’t know about the new gf. That is fishy.

      My ex lived with me and my girls for a year and a half. We each told other people about the existence of an ex in the house. We didn’t introduce them, because if we were honest we still did have feelings for each other – we just weren’t going forward with them further.   (He is still my best friend)

      If he needs to let her wait till the end of the year, ok, but I’d only remain the gf if we were introduced.

  5. 5

    I was in this exact situation. And I was made to feel unwelcome in the home, as if it was set up like she was the wife and I was the visitor. I don’t care what he said, I gave it 4 months and said “buh bye.” I deserve a man who is emotionally, financially and physically available to be committed to our relationship.  

    I know myself,   and his providing for another woman while dating me just brought out the stress and the worst in me. Too many fish in the sea to tie myself to a fish that is already hooked into another line.  

    1. 5.1

      I agree T.. Some of us have had   a version of this same situation in one way or another,  over and over.. And we would be dumb not to listen to our inner voice.. Evan always says that a man will prove that he wants to be your boyfriend.. if this woman feels very uncomfortable in this situation(which she does), then I think this man should listen if he cares to keep her a budding romance.

  6. 6

    All I can say is glad it’s not my.situation to deal with. By all means stick with it if you have no problem with it.   

  7. 7
    Jennifer 8

    Yeah I have to say I agree about the ‘not telling the ex red flag’.   That’s the part that bothers me as well.   I completely understand why an ex may still be co-habitating in some situtions, but once the guy has a new girlfriend their is no way the new girlfriend should have to live like a dirty little secret.   I’ve known guys like this, they say ‘oh I haven’t told my ex about you because I don’t want to hurt her, I haven’t gotten around to it yet, etc. etc.’ and half the time the ex isn’t really an ex at all. No one is suggesting he be unkind to the ex, but suggesting that a man or woman keep a new boyfriend/girlfriend a secret is just wrong.   There is either something wrong with his situation or if I was the ex I would wonder why he felt the need to keep a new girlfriend a secret.   Does he not trust that she isn’t mature enough to handle it?   Is there something wrong with the new girlfriend?   Either way it’s not good.

    If I were in Amy’s situation, we had reached boyfriend/girlfriend status I would expect that ex to find out about me in short order.   This isn’t children we’re talking about, it’s a grown woman.   If it’s a red flag for someone not to introduce a girlfriend to their friends why is it not a red flag to avoid telling the live in ex?! It seems self evident to me.  

  8. 8

    Also on the whole “nice guy” topic, I’m married to one.   Most days I thank my lucky stars that he is.   On other, less frequently occurring, days I have to remind myself that I should be thankful.   Niceness has its drawbacks.   As long as you know what you’re getting into, I think niceness is a good thing.   It can also be incredibly annoying to you, the partner of a nice person.   Example: once, my husband, then boyfriend, left me in the parking lot of a grocery store for 20+ minutes without any communication.   I had just run in quickly to get a few things and he was waiting for me outside.   It was the tail end of fall and it was a chilly, windy evening.   Since I was only going from car to store and back, I hadn’t bothered with any warm clothing.   He knew how long my shopping list was and roughly how long it would take me.   I rushed through everything as fast as I possibly could in order to reduce his waiting time.   Imagine my frustration when I came outside to find no boyfriend.   Initially, I thought he had either parked or was taking a turn around the parking lot to avoid being in the way of other people.   No big deal.   I looked all around.   I waited a bit.   I tried to call him.   No answer.   I waited a bit more.   I rolled my cart to the other end of the parking lot.   I waited more.   Called him again, etc, etc.   It turns out that there was a family who asked him for a quarter so they could make a phone call about their car which had broken down.   Being the nice guy that he is, he offered to drive them home as they lived close by, not wanting them to lug their groceries home by foot.   So far, so good.   But, they lived farther than he had initially thought and he took a wrong turn on the way back.   End result?   Me freezing my buns off outside getting angrier by the minute.   Why didn’t you go back in to the store, one might ask?   Well, for the first 10 minutes, I kept thinking there was something I was missing and that I would find him any second.   After that, I couldn’t because the store had closed.   As I explained to him, it’s not that I minded the wait though if he had waited a few more minutes, I would have come out and we could all have gone together.   It’s just that I had no idea what had happened to him.   I was also annoyed that I didn’t rate even a simple text to let me know he was leaving.   He thought he would be back before I was finished.   There have been other such occasions but this was probably the worst.   So all in all, I’m pretty lucky.
    I have come to realize that these incidents don’t mean that he forgets about me, it’s just that he likes making people happy.   Sometimes it’s slightly at my expense, that’s all.   If that is all this is, OP, a nice guy being nice to an ex, hang on to him.   In the long run you’ll be happy you did.   I just hope you figure out what his motivation is sooner rather than later.

    1. 8.1

      Skaramouche, I know your frustration, because I have a BF like this too.   Most days his nice-guy persona makes me feel lucky, but sometimes I feel like he’s too busy helping everyone else to make quality time for the people who (should) really matter to him.  
      Our couples’ counsellor recently told him something that seemed to sink in for him:   that he should view the people in his life as being on a pyramid, with partner/kids at the top, and everyone else down below.  I’m not sure yet if it’s helping him re-focus and say “no” to other people once in a while, but I hope so.  
      And I’m glad you are able to re-cast these good Samaritan episodes not as him forgetting about you; I will admit I still struggling with being able to put that spin on things.

  9. 9

    There are a couple of things that would concern me here: the first is the vagueness of the comment that the ex will be out by the end of the year. I’d also be bothered by the boyfriend saying he ,”…feels bad for her because he knows what it’s like to be on your own and how scary that is”. Financial considerations aside, it may be scary, but that is what grown-ups do.
    On top of that, Amy is basically being kept a secret. So it isn’t just that her boyfriend is helping his ex out financially, it’s that he is still trying to protect her on an emotional level, perhaps at Amy’s expense. If neither one has feelings for the other, then why is he trying to protect her emotionally?

  10. 10

    Evan, you are such a good person. You are showing an incredible generosity of spirit here that I wish more of us shared. I see nothing in OP’s letter that indicates that the boyfriend has an inappropriate relationship with his ex, but these short-term situations have a funny way of becoming long-term situations. 4 months turns into 6, which turns into a year, which turns into 18 months, and you end up being dragged into some long drawn out battle that could have been avoided had you known that your partner didn’t have a spine to begin with.  
    I’ve been there. I waited 6 months while my boyfriend let his ex “save up” to move out. During that 6 months, while she swore she couldn’t possibly swing rent, she went on a few vacations (including a month abroad), enjoyed several high-end shopping sprees, and treated herself to new electronics and computers. I didn’t want to make his decisions for him, but I could feel smoke coming out of my ears every time I tried to point out that she was obviously taking advantage of him (and interfering with our relationship) and could not get him to see what was right in front of him. I had almost given up on him (and us) when she found some other sucker to leach off of and moved in with him. If I were OP, I would want to know more about the context. Is boyfriend really verifying that she’s making a good faith effort to get her finances squared away and move out, or is this a potentially interminable situation that he will Let. Go. On. Forever.  

  11. 11

    Evan, I’m really trying to be open and to see your point of view, and I re-read your response twice, but I can’t deny that I agree with the others in the comments.   The red flag is the fact that “Also, he has not told her about me and does not want me there when she is there.

    Why is the new girlfriend kept a secret???   That’s what bothers me.   He’s generous?   He’s kind?   He’s patient?   That’s wonderful.   But he should also be able to prioritize and set boundaries.   Why does he care so much what his ex-gf thinks?   That does not sound healthy to me.   What is he trying to prevent by keeping his current gf a secret from his ex-gf?   And why does the current gf gets the burden of knowing about the existence of his ex-gf but the ex doesn’t get the burden of knowing about his current gf?   

    By not telling the ex-gf about his current gf, he is basically saying that he values his ex’s feelings more than his current gf’s feelings.   Then he is either immature or he still has some feelings for the ex.   Yes, the fact that he cares about his ex-gf is wonderful, but he shouldn’t do that at the expense of his new gf, who should be his future.   He may be a very lovely man, but maybe he’s not ready to move on?

    If I were the current gf, I would proceed slowly.   I would try to get to know him more, and maybe not get physical too fast.   The OP is in a tough position though – maybe give it another couple of months and see how you feel.


  12. 12

    There was a time when I would have agreed with Evan’s advice, as I believe in practicing trust in a relationship until the person proves otherwise. However I do have a friend who went through a similar thing recently – the guy she was dating still lived with his ex, and he swore there was nothing between them, and initially that seemed to be true. But the longer the ex stayed with him, the more that changed until he and her were going on holidays together, going to parties together, and eventually were once again involved.

    My point is, this is an undesirable situation. I wouldn’t want to doubt the guy’s intentions, or make him feel badly about his good deed. However, I would require firmer boundaries in the form of a due date for her to move out. A person can set a deadline whilst still being a kind and generous individual. Depending on the circumstances, I might tell him to give me a call once the ex has moved out but that until then I wouldn’t feel so comfortable with dating him. With all due respect Evan, lending someone money is a very different thing from having them share your hearth and home.  

  13. 13

    I generally don ´t like people pleasers, I find them annoying. I don ´t like them to be walked all over by everone, their ex-girlfriends, their co-workers, their famiiles etc. I don ´t know, I just don ´t respect them enough to ever want to have a relationship with but well they deserve the best, they are good people.

  14. 14

    I lived with my ex in our co – owned house for 9 months after we split up, it was for financial reasons and we have a child together. I didn’t date until after he moved out as I didn’t feel right about it. He became involved with someone else while he was still living the house, I think she was very insecure about him living with me and eventually they moved in together. These things happen, and I think after six weeks of dating I would not assume that the author is the ‘girlfriend’ of this guy. I do think it is a little bit of a flag that he was not  up front about his living arrangements. I would hang back if I was her and be cautious, don’t invest too much in this guy until there is clarity about the ex and how much he wants his new girl in his life. only time will tell.

    1. 14.1

      I think that is one of the things in this guy’s defence. To me, it’s not clear that the OP and this guy actually are boyfriend/girlfriend or have some kind of commitment to each other. Seeing each 2 – 3 times a week is not necessarily definitive, and 6 weeks is very soon. I would be interested to know whether he is keeping things deliberately a bit casual, or whether he is moving the relationship forward enthusiastically, as I think this says a lot about his intentions and where he is at.

      1. 14.1.1

        Thank you…ppl here are so mad they didn’t even read the details here. We don’t know if this is a GF of   1 month or 3. If ppl were reading they’d clearly understand that if the ex GF has been in the apartment rent-free for 10+ months that when she moved in, they were probably dating. Are ppl missing that part? This new poster isn’t his GF of a year. Or 10 months. She’s a newish, maybe exclusive GF who is mad that the guy she is dating won’t toss his ex out on the street.
        So if he was dating this girl for years, they move in together, break-up, and a few months later he is dating again, would he be a nice guy you’d want to date if he kicked her out? B/c the OP hasn’t even proven that she’s been in his life long enough to get introduced to any of his friends, let alone decide who can stay in his home, for how long, and for how much rent.
        Since it’s NYC, odds are the apartment isn’t big and it would be awkward for the ex to be sharing the bathroom for the new GF.
        I feel as if a lot of women get really possessive and territorial really early. Like her demand to me isn’t really her to make but odds are, she’s been around for a much shorter time.
        It’s like the women who want to tell their BFs that they need to dumb certain male and female friends. Why would anyone dump friends they’ve had for years when you’ve been in the picture for 15 mins. I am not a fan of those kinds of demands unless the ppl in question are doing something beyond just existing…as in, are you just mad b/c your BF has a close female friend, or is she deliberately cold to you?
        Ditto with male friends.  

        1. Jay

          Yeah, this was never just about Trust.   This was about a possessive girl who is trying to turn a “casual relationship” into something with a future.   You can’t have a future with a guy who tells her don’t visit my apartment ever.   That’s not how an equal, open relationship works.   Some women also can’t handle the “casual, FWB, bang buddy, relationship.”   Women always want more, they want a future, they want monogamy, they want commitment, they want emotional security.   A lot of guys just don’t want marriage, at least not until after 6 months of dating.   But it doesn’t justify a guy treating a woman like nothing more than a weekend bang.   This guy just is not ready for a committed relationship.

  15. 15
    In a similar situation

    I have to side with Evan on this one, due to a similar situation i will most likely be going through. I am cohabiting with my boyfriend, and I am realizing that it is the beginning of the end for us. If/when the relationship ends, I would have no problem moving on, but there would be a period of time where one of is is in the process of moving out. In this transitional period, I would not introduce a new guy to the ex for several reasons:

    1. The guy in this situation could be the one who ended the relationship, so he may feel callous if he parades the new girlfriend around his ex.  
    2. The fact that he moved on and met someone else is not his ex girlfriend’s business. They are merely living under the same roof for financial reasons.  
    3. Maybe the ex girlfriend does not care to meet the new person he is dating. They are over with. Maybe they are cordial with each other, but again, the ex girlfriend may not care to bother with the new girl.  
    4. Maybe the guy may not want to make an awkward living situation even more awkward.  

    1. 15.1

      Some good points.
      I’d like to add #5. The ex may be a bit crazy and unpredictable, so he’s trying to prevent an opportunity for a blowup.
      I’ve been thinking about this post for a few days, because it’s not simple. Evan makes some good points, and it does come down to trust. If the OP doesn’t feel she can trust him over this, then say so (to him) and move on. THough I think a good, honest, non-critical conversation would help.
      Her other option is to believe that he’s serious (if they’re parting, then the ex is likely no threat, especially if he ended it. Since he’s dating someone else I’d say he’s moved on.)
      Yes, it’s possible that he’s lying – but does lying fit with everything the OP knows about him so far?

  16. 16
    Dina Strange

    Perhaps I am about to throw myself into bad light, but I had never had a guy, be it my ex or present boyfriend who did anything without some sort of expectations back.  

    If the guy is really that generous, I am truly surprised and good for the ex. My skepticism however tells me that it’s not all that simple.  

    1. 16.1

      Not to criticise you Dina, but those aren’t very good men.
      Mature, adult men (and women) give unconditionally, without expectation of return. That’s what defines being generous.
      I’ve never given anything to a woman with an expectation of getting something in return. If I give a gift, I accept that it’s a gift, and the reason I’m giving it is because I want to see that person pleased or happy (or less stressed, in the case of the OP).
      Anything else is manipulation.

  17. 17
    Kelly Rossi

    I have been in, and witnessed, the “Ex Factor” more times than I want to remember and in every circumstance the newest person to the equation is the one that got screwed.   It’s fine to be cordial to an old love in public or in parenting situations, but keeping them around in day to day life is disrespectful to your current or future partner.   I’d love to hear the advice if the situation was switched around and Amy was living with her ex.   You know no man would think Amy was being ‘caring’! Hell no!   A guy I dated in ’09 found an old belt of my ex from years prior and I heard about that belt for at least a month.   Men would get the first look at some exes boxers on the floor and Amy would be sitting there with no returned phone call wondering what happened binging on Sex & the City & Dryers!   

    As a relationship author, I took the time to do a survey on the ‘Ex Factor’ to study how people feel about having exes involved in a current relationship.   After surveying 50 people one thing was found.   While the participant’s varied on whether or not their own exes should be in their lives while they have a new relationship, everyone who took the survey did not want a partner who still had an ex in their life.   In conclusion, keeping an ex around (even if you think you’re being ‘helpful’) is selfish.   The people who do this are willing to put their current partner in an awkward situation and behind another person’s needs.   This is not a good way to start a healthy relationship.     
    Before I was married, if I ever got a hint that an ex was in the picture I’d move on.   I respect the men I dated enough to not carry old relationships into my current one and I expect the same.   I advise any woman to do the same.   There are men out there who leave their exes where they belong… in the past.

    1. 17.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      This is why you shouldn’t believe all “relationship authors”. They live in a world of fantasy where the right guy always does what you want him to do, and has no previous entanglements that can potentially complicate his life. In this world, men are not to be trusted, and any situation where a man went back to his ex means that all men want to go back to their exes.

      In other words, if you survey a bunch of jealous, low-self esteem people who don’t know how to trust, you are bound to get answers that reflect that. Of COURSE we want the right to keep valued exes in our life. Of COURSE it’s inconvenient when a partner has a prominent ex. The question is whether the relationship with the ex is actually threatening to the relationship. For the most part, that is usually more about the insecurity of the new partner than the actual threat of the old partner.

      Oh, and if you notice that my posts always tend to start with trust for men, that’s because I’m a trustworthy man. I put myself in the position of the OP’s boyfriend and ask what I would do, and I give advice from there. All of you who are assuming the worst in him need to reconcile the idea that a man is INNOCENT until proven guilty, not vice versa. My advice ALWAYS assumes innocence first; my detractors always start from a place of guilt.

      1. 17.1.1

        But Evan, you already know your clients find it easier to be closed than open–isn’t that why they’re your clients?

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          No. My clients pay me because they suspect that there’s something they’re doing that isn’t “effective.” My clients are the ones who are open to change. Commenters who post here – and I appreciate them – often haven’t (and will never) pay me a dollar for my advice. They would rather be “right” in their comment board battles than to be effective with actual men. And I don’t know how else to say it but trustworthy men really really REALLY don’t like not being trusted.

        2. ScottH

          “And I don’t know how else to say it but trustworthy men really really REALLY don’t like not being trusted.”
          Shout this from the rooftops!!  

        3. Henriette

          “…trustworthy men really really REALLY don’t like not being trusted.”   Amen.
          A woman I know didn’t trust any guy she dated; she was constantly accusing and snooping.   Needless to say, all of her honest boyfriends wearied of this treatment and would break up with her.   The guy who married her and “put up with” her mistrust turned out to be a cheating liar (they are now divorced.)   I think that he only accepted all her suspicious behaviour bc he knew that he was, in fact, not trust-worthy so her actions actually seemed reasonable to him.
          I treat the men I date with respect and trust.   A man with healthy self-esteem and integrity would tolerate nothing less.

      2. 17.1.2

        One thing I will say that I have found to be ABSOLUTELY true, is that trust creates more trust. A good man who is implicitly trusted tends to try harder to earn and live up to that trust. Trust attracts more trust. It also feels better. Mistrust attracts more mistrust, and also attracts the reasons for the mistrust.
        Another thing I will say is that a man who is happy in his relationship is very unlikely to go back to an ex or cheat. That is why I believe we should always be working on the happiness and health of our relationships as our first priority rather than policing our partners. That is the BEST way, hands-down, to cheat-proof your relationship.

        1. Belinda

          Hate to burst your bubble Clare, but  A study by Helen Fisher, PhD, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers, found that 56 percent of men and 34 percent of women who cheated on their spouses  claimed to be happy or very happy in their marriages.

        2. Wendy

          That’s great for you, Clare, if that has been your experience. So many of us, though, have found that blind trust creates the perfect environment for cheating. I’ve seen it happen sooo many times it isn’t funny. A good friend of mine right now is oblivious to the fact that his wife has been carrying on an affair for probably a year now (I know the guy she’s seeing, too, and I HATE the situation it’s put me in having to watch it all unfold). But he trusts her when she says she’s working late (until midnight, even though she doesn’t have that kind of job), getting her nails done on the weekend (for 8+ hours), etc. It kills me to see him be so stupid, but he trusts her.

          It’s happened to me several times, too, and I’ve been floored when the guy finally comes out and tells me he’s leaving and has met someone new. I’d had no clue, but suddenly all the late nights and the distance that grew between us begins to make sense. Now I’m a little more cautious (although some would call me a jealous psycho with low self-esteem). I trust completely UNTIL I start seeing the red flags (sudden late nights at work, unaccounted for time away from home, etc.) and if I sense something is wrong, I do a little “research” (everyone else here calls it “snooping”). When I find it (and I always find it!) then I have to be true to myself and stop being a doormat and be proactive with MY life. It has saved me a ton of time (and face!) when I can make an educated decision to stay or leave instead of waiting weeks/months/years for HIM to make that decision FOR me (as I did in the past).

        3. bmtacworsfold

          Clare…you can not cheat proof a relationship!   If a man or woman decides to cheat they will no matter how perfect you are.  

 treated Wendy very disrespectful! No one should give anyone blind trust. Great way to get burned badly. Especially if that trust is given to someone with a four burner stove filled with simmering relationships!

      3. 17.1.3

        Great points, Evan!   Thank you!

  18. 18

    Also, the fact that the boyfriend and the ex are still living together implies that the break-up is very recent, so I’d be concerned that one or both have not moved on.   Many people break up and get into a new relationship before they are truly ready. It’s happened to me more than once, and as a result, I’m cautious about getting involved with people who still have an ex actively in the picture, unless there are children involved. Kelly Rossi is right, it’s always the new person who gets screwed.

  19. 19

    Uhh I think some of the commenters here are overreacting. I did think it was strange he hadn’t brought her over to his place and introduced her to his ex/roommate, but then I saw, they’ve only been dating 6 weeks! I think this is a trap some people fall into when they meet so often–they get carried away and think they’ve been dating for ages even when they haven’t.

    & Some people are much less quick in introducing their partners to friends. The guy I’m dating has been trying to bring me to gatherings/events where his friends are from the time we began dating, but I’ve never tried to bring him to meet my friends, because I think having mutual friends can make relationships messy. We sometimes assume others think a lot like us, when they don’t.

    I think she should relax and enjoy her relationship for now–he will probably introduce them in due time.   He doesn’t seem like he’d cheat on her–besides, he and his ex are barely even awake at the same time! Lol. 🙂

  20. 20

    NO, NO, NO!!!!

    It’s not about  the fact that he is generous, it is the FACT that he is not transparent.    There is a reason why this man did not tell his ex about you and there is a reason why you have never met her.    He is still entangled emotionally with her and he is being sneaky, no ifs, ands, or buts.   So, him helping her out? Great! Him not telling her about you and making sure you guys don’t run into each other? Not  great.   He is  a liar. Yes, it is THAT clear cut and I am sure of it.    

    1. 20.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      All you know is that you “feel” that something is off because he hasn’t told his ex-girlfriend about the new girl he’s dating. I trust that will change over time. You assume that this is “sneaky” rather than practical. Seems like you’re making a lot of assumptions. Plus, if he were a liar, he probably wouldn’t have told the OP about his situation, much less told her that he hasn’t mentioned her yet. Evidently, when you say he’s a “liar,” you don’t mean that he’s actually lying to the OP, but simply not informing his ex-girlfriend that he’s been seeing someone. Remember, they’ve been dating for 6 weeks. So maybe you should back off of being “sure” and consider the possibility that what the OP wrote is actually what’s happening – he is not kicking his ex out until she can afford her own place, and he is not bringing another woman over out of politeness and deference to his ex. If you were 100% right, Stacy, there wouldn’t be another side for me to argue. Since there is, I would submit you should proceed with a little more humility and understanding, instead of assuming the worst in people. The view is much nicer from this side.

      1. 20.1.1


        Certainly I respect your stance on it.    And, I am  always willing to see the  flaws within my  own logic.    

        Okay, so let’s go over this. Let’s say you are  right. Let’s assume the ‘best’ – that he  does not want to bring another woman over out of politeness and deference to his ex.     See Evan, he  ALREADY brought her over to the apartment.   She was able to  behold both living spaces.   So, he is willing to bring this new girl to  his  apartment, he is just not willing to admit (yes, this is what it is) to the old girlfriend that he is  dating out of ‘deference’.    But, this ‘deference’ could only be possible if there was an implication that he was disrespecting  the ex or offending her.     If they have both moved on, there should be no foundation for offensiveness. No one is asking  the new and the old to be best buddies.   But  going out of his way to avoid meeting entirely? Blech…When I moved on  from my ex, he could have showed up with the entire Hugh Heffner entourage and I wouldn’t care because I moved on.

        While I will  not go so far to say he is a bad guy, I certainly think there is deception, especially since HE IS LEADING THE OLD GIRLFRIEND TO BELIEVE that he is NOT dating. That’s right because he has not even mentioned her.      Evan, there is a reason for it and in my opinion, it is not good.   And while they are only dating for 6 weeks, he should AT LEAST be close to  asking new girl if she wants to be in a relationship. Per your advice, it’s around this time when a man should ‘man up’ in your life.    So nah, I am not buying it.   It’s one thing to be open minded and assume the best but you also cannot ignore the red flags and be naive.    You are the one who said, believe the negatives.                  

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          I did. I just don’t think what he’s doing is that negative.

          One thing that gets lost here all too often: people don’t always lie because they’re immoral. They lie because they’re with people who can’t handle the truth. Perhaps he’s just protecting his emotionally fragile ex instead of rubbing her face in the fact that he’s kicking her out and dating someone else. Sounds as plausible as your theory that he’s a lying scumbag.

        2. Jay

          I think what the OP Amy is asking is really is there a future with this guy and can she trust him?   I would say that at 6 weeks it is still too early for him or her to get serious and monogamous.   It just sounds like she is “way more into him but he is not ready for a serious relationship.”   I would advise Amy to wait 8-12 weeks for him to get serious.   It just sounds to me that this boyfriend just wants to play around with the “separated not yet divorced mindset.”   So he can string a girl along, and have a convenient excuse not to commit.   For all she knows, he could have a child he is hiding from her.   This is one of those situations where Amy just has to not get too emotionally attached and get ready to eject sooner rather than later.

    2. 20.2

      I still fail to see where he lied.   He eventually brought the OP to the apartment, presumably when the ex wasn’t there.   The letter writer doesn’t say he lied about anything, only that he was reluctant to describe his living situation, but when the (nosy) OP pressed him on it he admitted what it is.

      If you had to live with your ex, maybe you’d prefer to parade your new BF around in front of him, but I like to think I have a little more concern for others’ feelings than that.   I can’t imagine but that it’d be an awkward situation for all three parties.

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