Remains close to the ex – is this alright or am I unreasonable?

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This topic contains 46 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Nancy 6 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #732767 Reply


    Hello. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to my post here.

    I have been seeing a truly great guy for a month now. He asked me to be exclusive three dates in so about 10 days as there was something special and for us both to concentrate and focus on it which I was happy to do, both deleted our dating apps and so on, lots of lovely contact without it being. Too much, lovely dates and all really good.

    He has an ex who he remains friends with. Now I knew this at the start as we talked about various things including past relationships. He said then he remains friends with his ex’s and there’s no bad feelings.

    He was with his ex for three years, describing that he had an on off relationship and that they were friends before for four years whilst he was married (she was friends with them as a couple) and subsequently they got together. He said that whislyvthey had good times they couldn’t sustain these and that they were better off as friends so earlier this years that’s what happened and they broke up. He remained living with her in the spare room until beginning of October and she was therefore his landlady with nothing relationship wise throughout he maintains. He said she never brought any one home and neither did he, that they didn’t talk about this but that he thinks it would have felt awkward. He since moved out and got his own place two months now and expressed how amazing this feels for him and how it was the right thing to do.

    I knew they maintained a friendship, however I asked today what this meant and he said they chit chat on text most days. She is with someone else and he went to hers for an xmas drinks thing last Saturday and met her new partner there too (I was away) he is adamant they are friends nothing more, and that his friendship is important to him. We had a very long conversation which initially had him relating that whilst I am very important and fast becoming the centre of his world in lots of ways, he isn’t prepared to end his friendship with her. It felt like a deal breaker, and he said if he had been dishonest I’d be none the wiser but he wanted me to know. He agreed that he wouldn’t be ok with this if it were me in his postion, and said that he would however try and get past it de to what we have and see the friendship for what it is.

    I said I’m not ok with such a cosy arrangement, that I’m not into being friends wit ex’s and certainly not daily contacts of how is your day going etc.

    We eventually agreed that if he wants us to go forward together he has to step back the contact. I don’t want to tell him what to do, and he won’t be told in any case but I can’t help but feel this is not right?

    I wondered if he is so used to contact as the were together then lived together and remained close, that he’s still contacting regularly and it would naturally drop off as me and him get closer and she and him drift apart now they both have partners. I’ve asked him to ask if her new boyfriend knows about the regularity of the contact and if so what does he think? We’ve left it that he said e wants to be with me and if that means he had to back off from so much contact he will.

    Thoughts would be welcome

    #732782 Reply


    There is no guarantee your relationship with him will even last. You have only been together one month! Focus on the relationship to determine over time if you are really compatible. Most relationships fizzle within 3-4 months. I think you are being way to premature about this and would not expect him to back off on a friend he has known for years for a woman he has know for only one month.

    #732808 Reply


    Ok, I hear what you are saying.. But why does he need to have daily contact with an ex, friend or no friend?

    #732809 Reply


    Because people have friendships. And those can be deep and platonic and daily. I would have dumped you and I can see why he said it was a deal breaker. He does not see it as cozy, he sees it as a close friend who he told you about and now you want him to change. One month in.

    He said you were becoming the center of his world? Or you asked if you should be? That is codependency, not love.

    He can cheat on you no matter what – with an ex or anyone else.

    Trust or no trust, choose. You have now put him in a position to do what he wants (talk to the friend who he told you about from day one), and guess what…. just not tell you because you are being demanding, insecure, and needy. Never put a man in a position to lie to you. Not that he will, but that is what men do with unreasonable requests.


    #732810 Reply


    It isn’t about trust. I don’t think for a minute he wants his ex back or will do anything in that regard. It’s about not feeling comfortable with a significant ex of thrrr years who only split a few months back, who he has daily contact with. He says he’s over his ex. Keeping daily contact isn’t being over an ex surely? An ex shouldn’t be that important a friend?

    #732811 Reply


    Many years ago I fell in love with my now best friend. We had an on off thing and realized we are bit compatible for a relationship. So we decided to be just friends and we have been best friends for a long time. He has a gf, I am still single, we talk a lot through text or phone. I love him dearly but I don’t want to be with him. And I am also friends with other exes and keep regular contact. If a guy I dated for only a month acted like you that would be a deal-breaker for me.
    She was in his life long before you. I don’t think it’s fair to ask him not to be close to her anymore. If he lessens contact it should come naturally and because he chose to do so, not because you asked him to. My 2 cents

    #732812 Reply


    I meant we realized we are not compatible, not bit compatible :))

    #732813 Reply


    Omg. He has known you one month. He has known her 7 years. How would you feel if he told you not to be friends with someone who you were platonic with and that your friendship depth should be as he wants, not what you want or feel.

    Keeping daily contact is about a deep friendship. That is all. An ex can be as important or not as important as he sees fit. He has not lied to you, he has not misrepresented himself or his relationship, she is seeing someone, so is he.

    You are not entitled to tell someone how to feel about other people.

    Own your own insecurities and stop vomitting them on him.

    Either you trust him or you don’t. If you don’t dump him. End of story.

    #732814 Reply


    Interesting that so many women appear so ok with this on this thread 🙄 daily contact with an ex of three years, um, no. That’s my normal. Yes he’s been honest. But that doesn’t make it comfortable or appropriate. They were on and off so there was attraction enough for them to drag it on for half their friendship. Who initiates all this contact? Is it him? They saw each other every day until October- it feels like they are continuing this. It might drop off now he’s with you somewhere to a degree that’s more normal. I take it the very judgy put downs all have partners who have daily contact with ex’s and they are all ok with it. Not.

    #732816 Reply


    I think it’s okay for him to acknowledge her as a friend since they had a long friendship before a relationship. But daily contact is unnecessary given that they both have partners now. If he is willing to tone it down then he’s really respecting and caring about what he has with you and that is all I will ask for.

    #732817 Reply


    That’s not normal that should read, not my normal. Daily contact as partners yes… daily contact as ex’s. No. I agree too Cosy. It would be a deal breaker for me. Staying friends is one thing, this involved is another

    #732823 Reply


    My colleague broke up with his girlfriend of 2 years after his ex girlfriend whom he had remained ‘friends’ with for 4 years decided she wanted to get back with him, a year later they are getting married.

    I agree with Honeypie, I don’t know why so many of you would be OK with this. Although I don’t think you went about approaching him the right way about it, personally I would be backing out of this, it’s only been one month, there are other guys out there.

    #732826 Reply


    * an ex

    #732825 Reply


    I have ab ex who would like to get back together with me. If I had daily contact with him, he would definitely take it a sign that I was definitely interested. I have had to tone it down with him for the sake of his now current girlfriend. I have contact with him now about once every month or so. And yes, we had daily contact before since we are friends, but I just thought it wasn’t appropriate and I am sure I am right.

    #732832 Reply


    You contradict yourself. You say you ‘dont Think for a minute he wants to get back with the ex,’ and f it isn’t about worrying he will get back with her,. Ok, then who are you to decide who can be his good friends? You said he told you he remains friends with all his exes. This one happens to be someone he has known for a very long time.

    What is your real concern then? He already agreed after this big long discussion that over time if you two get closer he will back off.

    I maintain my point earlier. You have only been with him one month: that’s nothing. One or both of you could decide in the next month you don’t want to even be together. If I were him I definitely would not be pulling back from my friends because of some guy I had a few weeks of dates with.

    #732834 Reply


    I’d tread carefully. If the relationship failed because of a level of incompatibility (ie, he didn’t like how she handled money, or they weren’t on the same page with kids), I’d walk away because they are likely still emotionally connected and cracking that won’t be fun.

    If it was more about they were friends and failed to get to the depth of feeling required for a relationship, that’s different. I dated a guy, and while there was no chemistry, he felt like a bestie and we could talk for hours without developing feelings for each other or taking anything away from more romantic relationships.

    Personally, I still talk to my ex, but certainly not daily.

    #732844 Reply


    Stop talking about it and just observe! I don’t believe anything nefarious is going on between them and both concluded they were better off as friends than lovers. They have known each other for a very long time and to ask him to just cut it off because you entered the picture is not fair or right. I suggest you ask him to plan a get together with her, him and her new beau so you can get a clearer picture of their friendship. It definitely helped me when I was getting to know my BF in the early stages as it was very clear and obvious he had no residual romantic feelings towards the two exes I met and maintains very healthy boundaries with them so it doesn’t bother me.

    A big part of getting to know someone is getting to know everything about them and that includes meeting their family, friends and yes exes too if they’re able to segue into a platonic friendship. it doesn’t sound like any deep feelings were developed, it was more out of ‘curiosity’ (fantasy) or ‘comfort’ and when they tried it in real life it fell flat and went back to being friends. I’ve known many couples who were better friends than lovers/spouses and I see nothing wrong with it as long as its very clear that’s all it is but that takes some observation on their interactions with each other before you can form an opinion or judgment about it.

    This guy is very honest, an open book. and that’s a great quality to find in a guy. Do not punish him for his honesty or having a friendship with someone he thinks highly of until you meet her. I believe their conversations will naturally ebb as their relationships with others progress. He doesn’t know you well enough yet so its natural for him to speak to those he knows very well until you’ve earned that position of trust over time (many months) and will start the process of confiding in you v. her as it continues to develop.

    Dating is not a race but a journey. This is a small obstacle that can be jumped over with a bit of time and observation before making any decisions. Like they say “patience is a virtue” and this is good virtue to have v. acting like a bull in a china shop.

    #732845 Reply

    Anne ohio

    You don’t know him yet. Maybe he is an open book or maybe he just likes to talk about himself. Hence the daily communication with her.

    I would NOT plan a date to meet her and her man. I would not get dressed up and be on my best behavior to impress them. I’m too tough and strong, I do things on my terms and I don’t call that a fun evening.

    Don’t mention it again. Live your life, date him, but make sure you remain strong and independent. Don’t change yourself to accommodate him. Assume he is telling her all about you. Yuck!!!

    He will drop her if he doesn’t want to lose you. But if he sees you as whiney or insecure, that will give him the green light to stay close to her.

    #732859 Reply


    Thanks for all this advice ladies. Really appreciated.

    OK- I’ve beem thinking about why I feel so not ok about this. I don’t believe he wants to get back with her however I don’t know that, just what he’s said. I’ll take that at face value at the moment. Stay friends with someone you’ve dated I think is different to staying friends with someone live been with for three years. Going back to a friendship after all that time isn’t going to be easy I don’t believe, and she initiates nearly all contact apparently and it has increased from her recently. I think that is disrespectful from her, and disrespectful of me too actually from him to engage in daily. Staying friends isn’t usually thought of as daily contact with an ex surely? Also, the drinks he went to at hers he didn’t tell me about until yesterday either. He didn’t mention them at the time or as part of his plan. I happened to be away however even so thinking about it I don’t feel at ease with any of this.

    I guess I wait and see now I’ve told him how I feel. I haven’t given him any sort of ultimatum rather said he knows how I feel about it and I trust him to consider it in regard to contact – that being daily contact that is, I have never nor would I suggest no contact

    #732906 Reply


    Just a quick update. Whilst we spoke today he said she hadn’t been in contact today and said that what we are building is important, he likes it a lot and he’ll be stepping back from her and the amount of contact as he said I had a point. I confirmed again that I wouldn’t tell him who to be friends with or what to do and again he’s said he’s thought about it and he gets it.

    I feel heard and considered which means a huge amount. I think their friendship will fizzle. I spoke to friend who said she was friends with her ex for a few years before they got together and that afterwards it was never the same, and wen she met someone else she was adamant he’d accept she was still friends with her ex, but the friendship fizzled as she got close to her now husband as the friendship moved on

    I’m feeling very much settled now thank you for your thoughts

    #732907 Reply


    I would strongly suggest you not talk to mutual friends and obtain gossip like this. This is the kind of thing that gets back to people and makes you look like a drama queen.

    #732940 Reply


    It wasn’t a mutual friend, it was a friend of mine only

    #732948 Reply


    My closest friend is an ex who I dated for almost 3 years. Although we dated that long and even lived together we were really just close friends. The only reason we were together as long as we were was because we got along so well, as friends, and didn’t want that to end. Eventually we both acknowledged that we really didn’t have a romantic connection and should just call it like it was. We broke up over 6 yers ago. We do still talk and text every day. I have had boyfriends who didn’t like our contact at first, but once they got to know him and were able to see our interactions with each other they quickly realized there is no romantic interest there at all. My current boyfriend of 3 years is now also very good friends with this ex. I Think the reason my boyfriend is ok with it is because I’m so open with all of the communication I have with him. If he calls I answer the phone on speaker, if I get a text I’ll read it out loud or show it to my bf if it’s something funny. Having a close friend of the opposite sex, especially one you dated before, requires a lot more effort to enable your significant other to be comfortable with the friendship. I understand that and am more than willing to be completely transparent considering the circumstances.

    He has had a couple girlfriends who didn’t like our contact and I understand that. I’d never do anything to come in the way of a relationship he was in. We’ve gone months without talking at times with no hard feelings when I could sense that the person he was dating didn’t like it.

    I share this story just to show that it is entirely possible to be friends with an ex. I do have other exes who claim to want to be friends, and who I do talk to occasionally, but I know they really want more so there’s no way I could ever have a real friendship with them. Most ex-relationships are like that.. nott all though!

    I love my current boyfriend very much but I truly don’t know what I’d do if he told me I couldn’t be friends with the ex anymore. Not because the ex is more important to me, but because I think that would mean he didn’t really trust me and was too insecure to see that a man and a woman can be just friends. In the beginning I get it.. but once you truly know someone and are confident in your relationship and the trustworthiness of the person you’re with I would feel that the person just didn’t trust me .. and for me that would be the end of the relationship.

    You and your guy are new. Give him some time and just observe. You will very quickly be able to ascertain the true nature of their interactions. I would be cautious as you don’t really know him yet but I wouldn’t make this a deal breaker until you see for yourself that there’s more to it than what he’s telling you (or that there isn’t!!)

    #732960 Reply


    Nancy, the thing is: its your first months together…. while one month is nothing long, and everybody has a past, I do think its unfair to dump it on you in the beginning….

    I mean, you are just getting to know each other, it should be sunshine etc, and here you are, thinking about his ex, because he has chosen to talk about allll the details

    was he honest? I just dont like to be a “therapist” at the beginning of something new which should be shiny new…. at least for the beginning

    its not fair he told you all of this and updates you on if she is talking to him or not….

    just not fair on you, thats my honest opinion

    #732976 Reply


    Agree with Pandora. Something sounds off about this. It’s one thing to be transparent its another to throw it in your face. Time will tell. Way too early to know if this is match for you. I would focus on paying attention to him and not her. Seems odd he would make such a big deal about their friendship and now all of a sudden say he will cut things back for you. I would be asking myself then why the hell did you put me thru hell talking so much about her and your past with her?
    Very odd indeed. I would question a man who has no idea all this talk about another woman would bother you and it took you having a long talk about it to set him straight. Long talks in the first month of dating is a drag and makes you wonder why he was still single when you met him.

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