Should I Let My Boyfriend Be Friends With His Ex?

2 women and 1 man drinking wine, on the couch

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, 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:

Join our conversation (522 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  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.


        1. Lesa

          Yes I agree I’m having that issue now. With my partner who wants to hang out with his ex just the 2 of them and he believes that he should be able to have single females friends still while we are in a relationship!! I question him about a confersation this woman and him have been having wind he got the shits with me and said its over I cantaloupe this with you anymore because you don’t trust me. 😞

      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.

        1. victoria vargas


        2. Shawna Raska

          Awesome reply.I agree!

        3. Helga

          Sue I agree with you 100%

      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.

        1. Rita


      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.

        2. Bobbi


      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!

        1. Eve

          I completely agree with you, the persons response shocked me, i think theres reason to worry, yes people should have privacy but comunication between who you talk to and hangout with should be exchanged i feel. I dont think its right to meet someone youve had previous relations with wothout taking to your present signifucant other.

      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.

      11. 1.1.11

        You are totally right.the best answer about this ex situation.   It is that simple. Who is more important? You ex or your girlfriend? If anything makes your girl feeling sad or bad, you should be the first one to change it.

        I am not insecure. I am very confident but i do not like my man talking with ex. PERIOD! I am ex of someone else and I know exactly how things work. If the guy want so bad keep his friendship with his ex , that guy is not for me! Lucky girl you have! Congratulations you are a truly gentle man.


      12. 1.1.12

        OMG! Finally someone who makes sence here. If someone is being secretive about their relationships period with their exes or anybody for that matter automatically are in the wrong. If you have nothing to hide you dont go around acting as though you have something to hide. Only exes anyone should be in constant contact with is the ones with children.the convo should never lead past the children eithor. No extra laughs n giggles. No letting them into your relationships trying to control them. No secrete a matter of fact if the convo goes pass the children its time to hang up. Unless you are single n you want them extras with the exes. They are your ex for a deal with it n focus on your current relationship n try to make that work bfr you have yet another ex on your hands. Unless your cool with her/him kicking it with their exes how you kick it yours.stop the madness n thanx again for being the rational one.

      13. 1.1.13

        I found this post to try to find advice on whether I should be worried about the constant communication of other girls with my guy. All I can think is that if I have to accept ex’s into my relationship I am most definitely not going to get laid for a long time. I have always let go completely of the people I have a history and yes it didn’t work out so I mean what’s the point in acting like we’re not attracted to eachother and being friends when we were attracted to eachother but we couldn’t be friends? I’m not for keeping ex’s so maybe there are guys that don’t feel that they should have theirs lingering around too. Personally, I don’t have a baby daddy or kids so there isn’t any excuse. One guy is enough.


        Thanks for posting this. Even though a lot of people don’t agree, having to wonder isn’t fair just like not trusting isn’t. I think if the relationship is strong then both people should be willing to cut off past ex’s. If it isn’t then I mean both people will have to learn to be flexible with each others   needs.

      14. 1.1.14

        I’m so relieved to read Tom’s note as somethig really nasty happened to me recently. I had a new boyfriend ( one month) who insisted he ‘d never cut ties with his ex and he claimed that she was a lovely soul. Well, it turned out that all her belongs were still in his house and she was “visiting” him and they both were entirely aware of my existence but choose to ignore and carry on anyway until I found the evidences and confronted him. I started by asking straight forward questions such as: whose been here this weekend, whose these belongins ( not in the place before) etc. However, he couldn’t be clear and looked visibly surprised. Firstly, he said ‘ I don’t know’ and they said ‘ no one’s been here. Well , since them   I’ve been accused of being paranoid and jealous. In my opinion, there isnt a problem being friendly with your ex as I’m with mine but there are boundaries we all need to be aware. Making your ex a priority over you new relatioship is very hurtful as it clearly indicates that one doesn’t give a monkeys…I felt unworthy and disgusted by a situation   I didn’t need to be part of.

        It’d be much more degnified to ensure he was completely free and ready to move on before engaging with someone else. It still hurting as its very raw for me and I can’t understand why would someone behave in such unscrupulous manner. I guess people have different moral standards …As for me, I will have a hard time trusting someone else.



      15. 1.1.15

        Thumbs up Toms.   You’ve spoken like a 1001 men and like a gentleman you are. It’s really awesome to hear such a wise comment from a guy point of view.   Am in the same situation that lady is going through. I have been seeing this guy for nine months now and my only problem   with him has always been this one ex of his who’s always all over him. Inviting him over or going out for dinner, campfires etc.   Though this ex of his is said to have moved on and has a boyfriend am always   so bothered by their ongoings and even my guy wanting me to be friends with his ex drives me nuts.   Though my   guy and his ex broke up 10 years ago they have been close friends ever since. Personally I don’t dwell in the past and when i break up with a guy am over and done. That doesnt mean we are enemies no.. if we meet on the street I will say hi and even sit down for a cup of tea or coffee but I don’t keep my Ex’s contact nor do I have them as friends on Facebook or Twitter. If being protective of my sanity and peace of mind is seen as being insecure so be it.

      16. 1.1.16


        so far your comment is the most suitable for the matter.

      17. 1.1.18

        Finally, someone with some sense. I   do not agree with people keeping in touch with their ex. I believe it is so disrespectful and anyone who just says that people who do mind are jealous ans insecure , are just crazy. There is a thing called emotional cheating and keeping up with ex’s is that. You should be putting your effort into your current relationship, not the ex. The ex should not be providing something your current partner can’t do………

      18. 1.1.19

        Tom, i wish my bf could read this, he does not understand that if I am that special girl he said I am,   he will delete all is ex from his past, and leave them in the past and focus on Us the now, present and the future.

        1. Bobbi

          You couldn’t have said it better.

      19. 1.1.20

        Truly wholeheartedly understand and agree my other half tries to debate as if I’m insecure I’m nowhere near bein insecure never not even of the best he constantly talks to his ex they were in a long relationship but I was even once before the X as a “crush” and we just got back together going on 4 yes. he’s never been married he has no kids by X, other than helping her take care of her kids he steps outside on a regular occasion and talk to her privately. My man states it’s about the kids, her kids are grown like really Grown!

      20. 1.1.21
        Janice Renea

        100% Agree, I am In a relationship with a man that divorce his wife seven months ago, he says they are still friends for the grown children sake yet she left him with a four page letter that stated they just didn’t see eye to eye on many things. He talks to her at least twice a week as I know of   and always tells me there’s no love there any more, but my daddy always told me that a man never talks about a woman he doesn’t care about, and he mention her at least once a week in my company. I have put some distance between us lately because I see myself as better than that, I am a woman to and I deserve to be with someone that can leave the past where it belongs, after all they are call ex’s for a damn reason. I have been marry to and divorce and let me tell you my ex and I don’t have a dam thing to be talking over during lunch, dinner, or breakfast, I have all the confidence in myself and no insecurities what so ever about who I am!

      21. 1.1.22

        Exactly! Especially if u find out they are sexual in nature

      22. 1.1.23

        Very well stated. Thanks for approaching this as a mature and committed partner.

      23. 1.1.24

        Agree with Toms.   I’m very disappointed in Evan Katz response. I usually agree with him BUT not this time!!   A friendship with your ex is INAPPROPRIATE, period. Cut the cord!! Move on!! I choose not to have a relationship with my ex husband because I do not want to disrespect the new wife and it’s just not necessary.   My boyfriend feels it it okay to have his ex-wife as a friend (their kids are adults so they don’t need to be in touch for the sake of the kids).   I tell him how I feel and hope that he chooses to do the right thing. Being amicable with an ex is sufficient IMO.   I do not agree with snooping through other’s cell phones though. That’s the only thing I didn’t agree with in the initial post. I don’t think the poster is jealous, I just think she felt disrespected.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          “My boyfriend feels it is okay to have his ex-wife as a friend (their kids are adults so they don’t need to be in touch for the sake of the kids). I tell him how I feel and hope that he chooses to do the right thing.”

          So the right thing is what you want, regardless of what he wants. Gotcha.

      24. 1.1.25

        I agree with this 110% thank you so much for articulating your thoughts so well!!!!

        This girl really did ask the right question to the wrong guy because the girl should NOT feel bad for feeling uncomfortable in her situation, let alone be accused that she is insecure and something is wrong with her.

        As your comment said, everyone has different comfort levels/boundaries and this should be communicated and agreed between a couple.

      25. 1.1.26

        Exactly this ! I can tell you after ending a 4 year long relationship that if they’re being secretive it’s not a good sign. My ex had a friend that I was always apprehensive about. I set my boundary and told him I wasn’t ok with what they did together when he was single , i.e sleeping over at her place etc. but if he wanted to hang out with her ( lunches etc ) and talk to her I really didn’t care. I knew they were talking and I knew he turned the notifications off for her msgs, I never ever went through his phone to see what they were talking about or what they were doing. Fast forward 4 years , they both went on a trip together behind my back. Maybe if I had looked at the msgs and not trusted him so blindly I wouldn’t have waited 4 years to realize hmm maybe I’m not ok with this. I’m not saying it’s ok to invade someone’s privacy , but if they are being secretive and he’s hiding his phone , it’s not good. If she is just a friend he should have absolutely nothing to hide.

    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!

      1. 1.4.1

        Completely agree!

    5. 1.5

      Would you say the same if the boyfriend   was secretly meeting up with the ex? After, for example, mine told me he was meeting with “some guys from uni”…


    6. 1.6

      what if that friend with lady parts likes him or especially if it’s ex? they could be doing sexual things without even having feelings for each other‍♀️

  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.

        1. loubelle

          i had the same with my ex. He also said his ex had made threats to him and his house where his mum and dad lived and thats why he was keeping in touch with her lol (and…hahah he is a policeman). All b.s of course. His ex wife cheated on him and so did his ex before me. He still kept in touch with both of them. The ex wife he said wanted to walk their dog (the dog was only a year old when she left), his last ex as ive said he kept in touch with her because she was threatening , yeah right! , tbh i dont blame the women i blame the man in my situation. This was to do with his insecurity and his need for female attention and he needed ‘fallback’ girls. HE MANIPULATED THE SITUATIONS. i told him i would not say he could not have anything to do with them but that we would not work out if he felt the need to keep in touch with his exes, and the ones who aparantly treated him so badly. weird. He acted the victim all the time when i now realise he was the perpetrator, why?because when we split up he asked if we could remain friends, i said no. i said it wasnt fair on either of us and especially not fair to any prospective new spouses. he wasnt used to that reply. He is a serial rebounder, serial monogamist, he is never alone long enough to work through his issues before going into the next relationship, and beleive me he has heaps of issues. i feel sorry for any woman who gets with him now. btw he used to be secretive and lied alot, went out with 2 new friend single women saying he wanted to ‘find out how women worked lol, im a woman arent i lol i will tell you exactly what women are about. lame.there is nothing wrong with being civil if you see your ex, but thats is where it should start and end.

      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.

        1. Tom.

          Annie,   Wait til you love someone who leaves you because you allowed it.   If you get hurt, you will change your mind.   If you don’t get hurt and change your mind then it wasn’t really love.

    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


        5. Carmen

          Spot on Max.Emily dont make excuses for your behaviour.Always trust your gut.If someone is being sneaky there’s a reason for it.I once heard a private detective being asked about his work,and most of it was people having their partners followed because they thought they were cheating.He was asked how many were cheating.He said 99 % of cases people who followed their gut were right.I’m a guy and it’s totally disrespectful to stay in contact with your ex ,unless there’s kids involved.Emily,you deserve better.Never settle for second best.None of us should

      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?

        2. Heather

          Dear Evan,

          I sometimes enjoy your articles very much, but I am disappointed in your response and your comments throughout the thread.

          Let’s use some different language. Trust isn’t necessarily something that needs to be “earned”, but it’s something that develops over a period of time when 2 people show consistency and good intentions towards one another.

          It is unlikely that the majority of human beings trust one another right away, and with fair  reason. It is wise to be cautious with people in the early stages of a relationship.

          I believe the original poster’s concern is warranted. She moved to his country/town and upon her arrival she discovers that her boyfriend is maintaining a secret relationship with  a former flame.
          Perhaps it is innocent, but the fact that he is hiding this relationship is  cause for concern. Deceitful or secretive behavior inhibits trust from developing, and damages trust that has already developed. Also, another perspective- rather than shame the poster for her lack of trust-   her boyfriend has already displayed a potential lack of trust for her, by not trusting her enough to be honest. Perhaps it’s because he’s doing something wrong, perhaps it’s because he fears having to deal with her emotions,   either way, part of loving and respecting your partner is being open and dealing with what may come- if he’s doing something she doesn’t approve of and hiding it, he’s oppressing her by not allowing her the choice of what she will and will not accept in the relationship. It’s incredibly selfish.

          From what the poster described, it didn’t sound like she “interrogated” her boyfriend, it sounded more like her being assertive and explaining what she saw and that she was concerned. There is nothing wrong with being assertive and direct. In fact, this entire situation wouldn’t exist if her boyfriend would have just been open and honest about whatever relationship he is maintaining with his ex.

          I feel your commentary and response to the poster and about this matter to be rude and misogynistic. It came across like you were shaming her for experiencing very natural feelings of concern and for trying to resolve it by speaking with her boyfriend.

          Women, should not be shamed for having thoughts, emotions or concerns. We should be allowed to discuss concerning matters with our partners- and if something is worrisome or makes us feel insecure, we should be allowed to express ourselves in a rational and healthy way. Shaming a woman for this healthy behavior rubs me the wrong way.

          I see some validity to your overall perspective, but it’s unrealistic in this day and age, and unless there is more to the story and the poster is constantly seeking validation or creating drama, I see a situation that is cause for concern, and her having a discussion with her partner seems very reasonable. If the man refuses to want to discuss or interprets adult conversation/attempts at resolution to be interrogation and insecurity- well, she’s probably better off without the guy as he sounds immature.

      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.

      7. 5.1.7

        Never assume anything

      8. 5.1.8
        Janelle Sheen

        I am with you Evan

        Trust is the bases of all positive relationships, if you don’t feel you are comfortable and safe with the person why on earth are you spending your previous personal time with them?   This comes trusting they care about you? Thing is yes sometimes things happen that YOU aren’t comfortable with then YOU can then ask about it and gain clarification.   Unspoken or even spoken rules of   who one can and can’t spend time with are controlling!    If YOU don’t like they way they live their life, their moral codes then it is up to YOU to decide the relationship is not in YOUR best interest! Not that it is wrong.

        Personally I like my man to be in touch with his exes- why?   Because 1) it shows he cares, after all they were a big part of his life for a long (well some time at least) term 2) it shows he has emotional maturity to discuss and negotiate the way out of a relationship that is no longer serving both people 3) I don’t believe I have right to tell anyone- let alone some one I care about that their past has to be dumped!

        While I agree with Marc re jealous and assumes the worst I will also try to stay open minded to say ok that is the way you’d like to live, that’s your right and truth.   At the same time others have the right to live by their values.   I had a partner who was a tad possessive for my liking.   So we broke up.   We went through all the tough work of sorting ourselves out for his new lady to turn on our friendship!   Banned him from speaking with me!   Mind we lived 10 hours apart and spoke on odd occasions and I got to visit them once.   Have you any idea how much that hurts, her fear and mistrust.   I lift him for a reason, we put effort into re clarifying our friendship and with a simple swipe it was all gone.

        Hey I get it they were a match -both a bit possessive.   What is really sad is she even ended up damaging his relationship with his mother….. Now you can’t tell me that is a good thing.   I know his mother.   She was the most kind caring woman, I would have be proud to have her as a mother in law.

        Once again I back Marc’s view on this.

        Go Marc, you info is so helpful informative and humane to boot!

      9. 5.1.9

        i went into my last relationship full of hope, confidence, and trusted him 100%, until he proved otherwise. so you are right there. so yes i assumed he was trustworthy, but when he proved otherwise then he had to earn my trust back,that never happened. so yes trust should be assumed, but if proved he is untrustworthy, it has to be earned. but tbh its best just getting out of that relationship. i wish i had sooner, not through jealousy or instability but through the lack of trust of being repeatedly lied to.

      10. 5.1.10

        Evan Marc Katz

        …but what about honesty on Emily’s boyfriend’s behalf ?

        Is that not in the same category as Emily’s distrust – partly caused by her boyfriend acting secretly about his friendship with his ex ?

        Surely he should’ve been as completely honest from the get-go as you think she should’ve been completely trusting.

        Do you think they both caused this drama?   Your initial response seems to reflect that you thought the responsibility lay entirely on Emily’s shoulders… I’m curious as to what you really believe


    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!”

    1. 7.1

      Secrecy is the key here. If he’s hiding it he’s not being honest with you. If it’s nothing to worry about and just genuine friendship it would seem to me that he would introduce the two of you and include you in their plans. Sorry, but hiding lunch dates from you with his ex is shady! Honesty and transparency would serve him well in this situation, which would give you the opportunity to become comfortable with their friendship. You have every right to ask questions about your own relationship when something seems off. If there’s unfinished business between them, the unselfish thing they would need to do Is be honest with everyone involved and not string anyone else along the way. Best wishes to you!

  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.

    2. 9.2

      It’s not called Anger…it’s called inappropriate behavior and much lack of respect and concern for his new gf. Her feelings should come first! What if the gf was doing the same thing??? Would he be ok with that? If so, then maybe he needs to find a girl that’s more into a “swinging” type life style. It’s just stupid to stay friends with an ex if you’re trying to build a new one…HAVE SOME RESPECT! -V

  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
    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. 12.1
      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.  

  13. 13

    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.

  14. 14

    @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.

  15. 15

    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. 15.1

      I could not agree more!

    2. 15.2
      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. 15.2.1

        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.

        2. M Nguyen

          Katy I am really with you. I understand this situantion. And I decided to leave.

          IT IS VERY NAIVE TO SAY IT IS OK AND TRUST IN THE SITUATION. WE ARE WOMEN. Jealousy is a very common feeling. The only thing you can do is managing its degree and choose the right guy to lock it up. Because, why did e have to hide? Whatever the reason is, he secreted it. There must be something wrong here. It means he still has feelings on her. And we just creat a layer of illusion around us that we have to trust him in this case or jealousy shows you insecure. Mr. Wrong is tapping us because he exactly feels insecure too. And he needs backups and also a wide range to choose. I just hope we’d be stronger and wiser. Most men are the same, but some specific ones are for you.

    3. 15.3

      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.  

  16. 16

    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. 16.1

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

  17. 17

    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.

  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   

      1. 18.1.1

        i am in the same situation and my ex still wants to been my friend and he sneaks around he new partner to talk to me to seen how I am and stuff and he new partner sneaks around her ex partner and my ex has got no idea he wants me to tell him how I know so I just keep on my every day life he said he still wants to talk to me he doesn’t care what he new partner says he only been with her for 7 weeks

    2. 18.2

      i would understand and absolutely respect and be flattered tbh. as long as he did not say he forbid it, if he talked to me like a grown ass man and said it upsets me blah blah, then i would not see my ex however i do not beleive in keeping friends with exes, a cordial hello etc when see them is fine but not be friends.. i give my undivided attention to my future and that is the partner i am with at the time. my past is my past. i respect myself and my new partner.

  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.

        1. So Far Off

          You are exactly right.   Women’s intuition is always on target and when you feel it’s wrong, it’s wrong.   All narcissist collect ex’s as friends, they cannot break contact and they continue to give them hope.   They are not really an ex, just put on a shelf to be gone back to whenever they feel like it.   And then it gets switched and the current girl is on the shelf, they keep everything very separate until the shit hits the fan and then it’s your fault for invading their privacy.   Don’t apologize, they will only manage down your expectations and once they get away with it, it only gets worse.   Run as fast as you can.   Save yourself the heartache.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          “Women’s intuition is always on target”.

          Of course. Except for all the times where women “just knew” that they’ve met their soulmate only to break up later.

      5. 19.1.5


        men and women cheat with exes all the time. Why blame the girlfriend for being upset about secretive behavior?? Oh and it turns out later,,, from Emilys post that the ex was sneaking around too!!! Why do his feelings matter, but not hers?? At the very least it’s disrespectful!! And how does she know he is trustworthy again?? Because he is hiding lunches and texts with his ex girlfriend from her……um you are wrong. He is being shady, and she has every right to be upset. He is not above reproach here, he should have told her up front. There is nothing pointing to her being a crazy jealous girlfriend. Guys if you need to date your exes, don’t break up with them. Having a secret lunch with someone who you had sex with at some point is a date. He is dating his ex!!

      6. 19.1.6
        Josephine Mills

        Or he could just be honest, I think it’s hiding that causes most ‘jealousy’ not the other way around, I have had very jealous partners (who were cheated on in past relationships) however my reaction is not to hide but to be as transparent as possible. Both men and women need honesty, it’s   a crucial part of healthy attachments in my view.

  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).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *