under Date Night
I was with my ex-boyfriend for four years. Since breaking up, we’ve been able to remain good friends. In fact, I’m still friends with most of my exes and I thought guys would see this as a good thing – that I’m known as a good person and clearly don’t attract drama. But, when I mentioned hanging out with an ex to my most recent dates, the guys were not cool with it at all. One even straight-up asked if I was still having sex with an ex! (We are not.) Why do the guys have a problem with this? Is it their problem or mine?
Dear Friendly Femme
Theoretically, a man who is secure with himself, and your relationship with him, shouldn’t have a problem with you having a friendship with another man. It does become more complicated when you had a romantic relationship with that man in the past. Most men assume that a “guy-friend” – particularly one you had sex with in the past – is really only hanging around for (more) eventual sex. Being around an ex can make a new guy feel intimidated.
My advice is this: in order to find the man you want to spend the rest of your life with, you may need to put some distance between yourself and your exes. I personally don’t see a reason to be friends with every single one, but I do understand that you spent a good chunk of your life with someone and don’t want to lose that piece of your life. You need to ask yourself what an ex – or any friend for that matter – is contributing to your life? If you haven’t realized this yet, you will eventually: friendships are about quality, not quantity.
I suggest not mentioning your guy friends on a date, or the fact that those guy friends are exes. If things get serious and you begin introducing your new beau to your friends, then you will need to give a history ahead of time. But, you may also find you no longer want to be friends with an ex as things get more serious with someone else. Certain people from your past should stay in your past — even if the break-up was cordial and you get along now.
What Would Jew Do?
You’re early on in a new relationship and run into your date’s last flame while out and about. The ex greets your flame very intimately with a kiss too close to his or her mouth, a hug that lingered a moment too long and overall just too touchy-feely. What’s a Jew to do?
First, take a deep breath and don’t pass judgment too soon. Your new prospect isn’t with his or her ex for a reason and their ex could either be still hung up on them or could be one of those people who doesn’t understand personal space. Give your beau a chance to explain and if you do ask any questions make sure to limit how many questions you ask and to control your tone as well as your facial expressions. As long as everything checks out, let it go and move on.
Don’t you hate it when your ex gets married, gets a promotion, or just plain looks goooooood? It makes your blood boil, right? Especially when you’re in the exact same place as you were when you broke up. This is not a reflection of you, so try not to take it personally or beat yourself up over it. Maybe this is the kick in the tush you need to finally go after that hottie or that job or that haircut. It freaking sucks in the meantime, but use it for good, not evil. Even if you’ve moved on, it still might burn. But if you’re single, and your ex always pops up on JDate and then you hear he or she has moved on and suddenly their profile POOF! disappears, it’s gonna sting. Wallow in your self pity for bit, and then paste a smile on your face and carry on. Letting your ex’s success get the best of you will only make your desire to meet your Beshert seem like retaliation rather than authentic.
I was dating this guy for the past 3 years in an “open” but committed relationship. He had a lot of issues, but the biggest one is that he all of a sudden wanted more children and I cannot have children. I agreed to “open” dating as long as there’s honesty and that we would tell each other if either of us met someone else. It took some prodding but he finally admitted he was going on a date with another woman. At that point I realized “open” dating wasn’t for me and that I couldn’t continue in this relationship. He is insisting we be friends but I said NO. I am truly having a difficult time getting through this. What do you think?
You said it yourself, this guy has a lot of issues (I deleted the information for privacy’s sake, but you and I both know what they are and you should receive an award for making it 3 years!) and I think you are waaaay better off without him. I don’t see the need to be friends with exes, especially one that disrespected you. I think a clean cut-off would be best, both for you to get over him and for him to realize that he can’t treat people the way he treated you.
I also don’t believe that agreeing to “open” dating ever works out. Someone always, always, gets their feelings hurt. It’s one thing to be dating other people before you have “The Talk” but it’s quite another thing to see other people and not think you’re going to get jealous. Next time, either make the commitment to a guy or don’t, but this messy middle area should be avoided. Good Luck!