Green-eyed Monster has a Point

Dear Relationshipper,

My boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years. He recently started talking to one of his ex-girlfriends again when she called him and asked if he wanted to get together for coffee. He said he'd love to get together, but he let her know that he's in a relationship with me, and that they can only be friends. She agreed. He let me know, and at first I didn't have a problem with it so I said they could get together. They've since been spending a lot of time together and I'm starting to get jealous. What can I do?

Green-eyed in Wisconsin

Dear Green-eyed,

I’m going to go ahead and say it looks as though you’ve done everything right – including showing concern for your boyfriend spending more time with his ex.  While I don’t think he’s necessarily wrong for doing that, I think it’s healthy that you have a certain degree of discomfort with this activity.

Your boyfriend probably has absolutely no intention of getting back together with this girl, so he probably didn’t think twice when they initially got together – or any time after that.  Sometimes when we have no ill intentions it doesn’t occur to us to see what effect our actions might have on someone else.

This is where you come in.  You need to tell him that you think it’s a little inappropriate for him to be spending a lot of time with any girl, let alone an ex-girlfriend.  You can do this by being flat-out honest with him – if that’s your style – or you can be more subtle, by asking to tag along on some of their outings.  If there’s nothing going on between the two of them, there should be no problem if you come along.  If his ex-girlfriend is trying to get him back, your presence will really throw her off.

Since he made it clear to her right off the bat that he’s in a relationship and he doesn’t have any interest in her other than being friends, he’ll probably be receptive to your request that he spend much less time with this girl.

I don’t believe that exes strictly can’t, or shouldn’t, ever be friends.  However, when you’re in a new relationship you need to weigh the necessity of these friendships in relation to the undue stress it causes your significant other.  A two-year relationship is not worth jeopardizing for an old girlfriend.  It’s not about suffocating the other person out of a social life, it’s about respect and compromise.

Thanks for your question!

Got other exes lurking in your life?  Tell me about them at:


Post a Comment